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NEWSLETTERUS-based quality and accreditation body goes global; UK looks inward
In World Blog, Iris Chiang contends that the British government's recent actions against international students show self-destructive tendencies in the face of receding world power. In Commentary, Ellen Hazelkorn argues that Ireland's higher education research policy is shifting towards more centralised control and linking research to economic policy.
Ranjit Goswami writes that private institutions in India account for 80% of all students, but due to state discrimination they are set up to fail, and William G Tierney calls for for-profit universities and colleges to be regulated to ensure the customer is protected.
Alison Moodie reports on an international division launched by the US-based Council for Higher Education and Accreditation, aimed at encouraging universities around the world to collaborate on quality assurance and, also in Features, Alya Mishra looks at sweeping changes under way at Delhi University and why they are being opposed.
Alarmed at a decline in the number of students enrolling in foreign institutions, Japan’s government is extending subsidies to universities and courses that offer study-abroad programmes, writes Suvendrini Kakuchi. Meanwhile, Hiep Pham reveals that more university courses in Vietnam are switching to being taught in English as part of a higher education internationalisation drive.
Karen MacGregor Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Thirty-four higher education leaders from 15 countries have agreed on a set of principles to guide universities and graduate schools in preparing doctoral and masters students to meet the demands of the global workforce and economy.
The Russian government is considering a radical shift in the management of national universities, in an attempt to strengthen their research potential and Russian science. But there are fears that the move will erode university autonomy.
UNITED STATESSarah King Head
A new report by Moody’s Investors Service suggests that while MOOCs’ exploitation of expanded collaborative networks and technological innovation will benefit higher education in the United States as a whole, their long-term effect on the for-profit sector and smaller not-for-profit institutions could be damaging.
University tuition fees cost more in England than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new report from the European Commission – but the headline figures are not the whole story for students sizing up how to survive.
EUROPEJan Petter Myklebust
Thousands will rally in support of female punk band Pussy Riot in 100 cities across the world on 1 October, when a Moscow court is due to hear an appeal by three members – two of them students – against a two-year prison sentence for performing a ‘punk prayer’ in a Russian Orthodox church.
The University of Warwick in Britain and Monash University in Australia have established a joint alliance and on Monday announced that Professor Andrew Coats will serve as the alliance’s first academic vice-president and director. Earlier this year the two institutions agreed to create an alliance “that will clearly establish both as globally connected universities”.
SWEDENJan Petter Myklebust
In its budget for 2013 the Swedish government has proposed doubling the grant for students from outside Europe. The move should help attract foreign students to Sweden, which saw a dramatic drop in numbers following the introduction of fees for non-Europeans in 2011.
EUROPEJan Petter Myklebust
There have been simultaneous calls in Sweden and Denmark to reduce bureaucracy that is bogging down the recruitment by universities of international students and academics.
Only every fifth young German attains an education level higher than that of his or her parents, according to the OECD. In its annual Education at a Glance report, the OECD calls for a further expansion of the country’s higher education system.
Kenya has moved closer to rolling out a national university ranking system in an effort to boost quality and make institutions more globally competitive. A proposed ranking has been crafted that will see universities compete across a range of parameters.
The government has sent security forces to protect camps in northern Nigeria where graduates are undertaking compulsory youth corps assignments. There have been threats of further armed attacks on graduates by the Islamic sect Boko Haram.
A decision by a medical school in an Egyptian delta province to separate female and male students on practical courses has triggered concerns that the country's new Islamist rulers are moving towards curbing freedoms.
Linguistic inconsistencies in translating and spelling out the names of Iranian universities in international publications may be lowering the positioning of the country's universities in global ranking systems, according to a study.
UNITED STATESAlison Moodie
The US-based Council for Higher Education and Accreditation, CHEA, has launched an international division, arguing that as internationalisation spreads there is a pressing need for institutions around the world to work together to establish a shared global system of quality assurance.
Delhi University, arguably India’s top higher education institution, is facing criticism for its decision to adopt a four-year degree model. Lecturers and students are bitterly opposing the latest in a series of sweeping changes and accuse the university of bending over backwards to accommodate Education Minister Kapil Sibal’s numerous higher education schemes.
When Keiko Ozawa (18) said she wanted to study abroad, she was strongly discouraged by family and friends. “‘Be sensible’ was the common answer I heard,” she said. “Everybody pointed out that foreign courses are too expensive and demanding, and that I would never be able to cope and it would be a waste of money.”
Increasingly, university courses in Vietnam are switching to being taught in English as part of an internationalisation drive in higher education. But there are linguistic and financial challenges.
UNITED KINGDOMIris Chiang
The British government's decision on London Metropolitan University's international students shows a self-destructive tendency linked to its feelings of receding world power and insecurity. Is the real plan to control universities and turn them into administrative bodies rather than places where students can learn the vision and values that promote progress across the world?
Until recently the main focus of Ireland's higher education policy was on widening participation. Tuition fees were abolished for undergraduates. Now the focus is on economic regeneration and universities are increasingly coming under centralised control, which could affect the breadth of subjects on offer and Ireland's attractiveness to international students.
If India wants to improve higher education quality and be internationally competitive, it needs to address discrimination against private institutions, which teach 80% of students. By improving conditions to allow these institutions to produce quality students, they will boost the country's higher education standing.
GLOBALWilliam G Tierney
For-profit higher education is burgeoning for a variety of reasons. But it cannot expand further without governments taking responsibility for ensuring that the customer is protected from fraud and that quality is maintained.
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The European Commission has launched a new high-level group on the modernisation of higher education, with seven leading academic and business figures. The group will address this issue as part of a comprehensive three-year review of the sector across the European Union, writes Martin Banks for The Parliament.
Coursera, a start-up online education company that has enrolled 1.35 million students in its free online courses since it began just five months ago, is now more than doubling – to 33 – its partners, universities that will offer classes on its platform, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.
Her first day on the job and Premier Pauline Marois didn’t lose any time in scrapping former Liberal government policies. University tuition fee hikes were cancelled, a law restricting public demonstrations was repealed, Quebec’s only nuclear power plant will be closed and shale gas development was put on hold permanently, writes Rhéal Séguin for The Globe and Mail.
As economic troubles continue to plague Europe, universities are ramping up efforts to recruit tuition-paying students overseas, writes Ian Wilhelm for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
London Metropolitan University has been given permission to challenge a ban on its recruitment of overseas students, writes Angela Harrison for BBC News.
Universities and successive governments have “turned a blind eye” to the recruitment of under-qualified students for years to drive up funding levels, according to Professor Susan Bassnett. The scholar suggested that the abuse of the student visa system at London Metropolitan University was rife at other institutions across Britain, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
The withdrawal by UK immigration authorities of London Metropolitan University's right to enrol foreign students from outside the EU sent shock waves across higher education. One reason given for the cancellation was that the English language ability of some students did not meet the minimum set under UK Border Agency visa rules, writes Max de Lotbinière for the Guardian.
The number of Chinese students pursuing higher education in overseas universities increased to 339,700 in 2011 and accounted for 14% of all the international students studying overseas, writes Li Aoxue for China Daily.
Experts have praised new policies that encourage physical education at universities, which will see students being tested on their fitness levels, write Luo Wangshu and Liu Ce for China Daily.
As an associate dean of academic services, Catherine Bolton spends a lot of time studying, lamenting and worrying about cheating in universities. But a Montreal-based online service that propels the activity to a new level made even her wince. The website unemployedprofessors.com has teachers writing papers for students, writes Karen Seidman for Postmedia News.
Some 800 students were suspended or received a formal warning due to cheating at Swedish universities last year, an increase of 5% compared to 2010, according to a new report from the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education, reports The Local.
The number of university students in South Korea has dropped for the first time in six years, while the number of elementary school children, which has been declining for the past 10 years, dipped below three million for the first time, reports The Chosunilbo.
Observers say that as more young people face tough economic conditions and struggle to find a decent job in South Korea, more will choose to wear a military uniform, writes Oh Kyu-wook for The Korea Herald.
The UK government was warned a year ago by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service that the ‘AAB’ system and changes to student numbers would create problems in admissions, it has emerged, as concern mounts over a dramatic shortfall in the number of undergraduates entering higher education, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education.
Northern Ireland students with an Irish passport will no longer be able to avoid paying fees at Scottish universities, as the Scottish government is to introduce legislation from 2013-14 to close the loophole that allowed people from Northern Ireland, England and Wales with Irish passports to study for free, writes Lindsay Fergus for Belfast Telegraph.
Following scrutiny from a California lawmaker, the University of California is shutting down a controversial college programme for illegal immigrants, though the reasons for the closure are not satisfying critics of the so-called National Dream University, writes Claudia Cowan for Fox News Online.
Nile University students continued their sit-in on campus last Monday, despite having been dispersed by security forces earlier in the day, writes Yasmine Wali for Ahram Online.
She grew up in grinding poverty and lost both of her parents, but 14-year-old whizz-kid Maud Chifamba defied adversity and hardship to break academic records. Last week she became the youngest ever student to attend university in Zimbabwe, writes Teo Kermeliotis for CNN.
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