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International higher education trends highlighted at Going Global 2012University World News’ Yojana Sharma and David Jobbins were at the British Council’s “Going Global” conference last week, and we wrap up coverage of the recent International Finance Corporation private education conference in Dubai.
In World Blog, Rahul Choudaha warns that while commission-based recruitment agents can rapidly increase international students numbers, universities should consider alternatives that carry less risk of damaging their reputations. In Commentary, Vangelis Tsiligiris argues that neo-liberal policies following the financial crisis have effectively handed over higher education planning to economists, and Vladimir Geroimenko, Grigori Kliucharev and John Morgan write that the growth of private higher education in Russia is fulfilling an economic need and could drive up quality.
In Features, Bianka Siwinska reports on a campaign in Poland that has attracted growing numbers of students – especially girls – to technical universities, and Sharon Dell describes a review of student accommodation in South Africa that found many students living in appalling conditions and some starving.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
The United Kingdom’s reputation as a centre of excellence for university education second only to the United States is beginning to slip and could be falling victim to the impact of government policies, the results of Times Higher Education’s 2012 World Reputation Rankings suggest. Meanwhile Asian universities are on the rise.
India has allocated only marginal increases to higher education in its 2012-13 budget announced by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee last week, despite a stated aim to dramatically increase the higher education participation rate from 17% now to 30% by 2025.
Greece has a new education minister as Prime Minister Lucas Papademos prepares for an expected general election by reshuffling his cabinet.
MEXICOJonathan P Dyson
A rapidly growing number of students in Mexico are attending private universities, but there are increasing concerns about the quality of many of the new institutions. The government is introducing a quality assurance system and expanding access to student loans and grants – but critics say this will not stop the demand for inexpensive courses, which are often of low quality.
A final decision on whether South Africa or Australia will host the world’s biggest radio telescope may be made as early as 4 April. An expert scientific panel has narrowly recommended a consortium of eight African nations over a joint bid by Australia and New Zealand to build the massive telescope, the US$2 billion Square Kilometre Array or SKA.
The findings of visitation panels to federal universities in Nigeria have been released, along with a white paper responding to them. The reports have accused leaders and councils in most of the 26 universities of abusing autonomy, and some vice-chancellors may lose their jobs for deliberately flouting university statutes.
UNITED STATESEileen Travers
Prodding for an exact definition of the elusive term ‘internationalisation’ triggered hearty chuckles from a range of educators gathered to provide a report card on recent United States-Brazil higher education initiatives, at the Institute of International Education in New York.
British Council – Going Global
The British Council held its annual “Going Global” international education conference in London from 13-15 March, attended by more than 1,000 delegates from around the world. University World News was there.
A combination of demographic and economic changes will resize the global higher education landscape by 2020, according to a new report by the British Council. The largest higher education systems are likely to be China with some 37 million students, India with 28 million, the US with 20 million and Brazil with nine million.
For almost a decade, the International Association of Universities has been conducting global surveys on internationalisation to monitor trends. IAU Secretary-general Eva Egron-Polak, who led a series of discussions at the "Going Global" conference, told University World News about the latest state of play and the costs and benefits of internationalisation.
Officials in Europe are pressing on with plans to expand its flagship student mobility programme beyond the borders of existing eligible countries despite the economic crisis, the British Council's "Going Global" conference heard on Thursday.
AFRICAJames Otieno Jowi
Africa might need to cast off the impact of external forces on it higher education system in order to properly internationalise, the “Going Global” conference heard last week. And universities need to participate more in international forums on higher education to highlight what they are doing.
China wants to welcome in foreign universities and branch campuses as part of its drive to grow enrolment in the next decade and in line with plans for increased internationalisation. But it is tightening up the rules on what kinds of universities and programmes it will allow in, the official in charge of auditing overseas university partnerships has said.
IFC – Making Global Connections
The International Finance Corporation held its fifth private higher education conference in Dubai from 6-7 March, titled “Making Global Connections”. University World News produced a special report on the conference last week, and this week we wrap up the reporting.
With graduate unemployment recognised as a ticking time bomb in many countries, innovative ways to get graduates into jobs were presented at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) conference held in Dubai this month.
Two years ago it was just a patch of desert around Dubai, but now a new, state-of-the-art Manipal University campus has arisen out of the sands with its own laboratories, lecture theatres and classrooms in purpose-built facilities.
Colombia is experimenting with more public-private partnerships in higher education in an effort to increase student enrolments through private sector expansion. But allowing for-profit universities is still highly controversial and opposed by students and university rectors alike, according to the country’s former education minister Cecilia María Vélez.
Duoc UC, whose name derives from the Spanish acronym for ‘university department for workers and peasants’ – Departamento Universitario Obrero y Campesino – provides affordable professional and technical education to more than 70,000 low- and middle-income students on more than 40 campuses around Chile.
While the growing worldwide shortage of engineers has become a threat to global development, students have been flocking to technical universities in Poland to such an extent that they are now more popular than traditional universities.
SOUTH AFRICASharon Dell
A significant portion of South African students are living in “appalling” conditions which are jeopardising their academic endeavours and creating health and safety risks. Some are also starving, according to a report on student housing released recently by the Department of Higher Education and Training.
Commission-based agents can increase international student numbers fast, but not without risks and challenges. Should universities use them or consider alternatives such as social media or regional consortia, which might not deliver such high numbers in the short term but won’t run the risk of damaging an institution's reputation?
The economic crisis has resulted in neo-neoliberal economic policies guiding higher education strategies. This means less focus on government funding of higher education and more focus on monetary objectives. Higher education planning has in effect been given over to economists.
RUSSIAVladimir Geroimenko, Grigori Kliucharev and John Morgan
The growing number of private higher education institutions in Russia fulfil an economic need in a growing economy for more student places and more courses that are closely linked to industry. They will help create an innovative educational environment and drive up quality.
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CHINAThe New York Times.
FRANCETimes Higher Education.
SCOTLANDThe Herald Scotland.
UNITED KINGDOMBBC. The National Union of Students said lectures had been boycotted as students joined rallies, marches, petition signings and other events in a week of action by students against higher tuition fees, ‘hidden’ course costs and a lack of bursaries.
UNITED KINGDOMThe Independent on Sunday.
UNITED STATESThe Chronicle of Higher Education.
UNITED STATESChristian Science Monitor.
SOUTH AFRICADaily Maverick.
UNITED KINGDOMPM News.
GERMANYGuardian. Last month the former director of anatomy was found dead, apparently having taken his life when rumours began to circulate.
UNITED KINGDOMThe Telegraph.
UNITED KINGOMThe Cambridge Student.
UNITED STATESChicago Tribune.
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