|02 November 2014||Issue 0341||Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week||Advanced Search|
NEWSLETTERThe costs of a degree – Great price and practice variations worldwide
This week we publish the second part of a series of articles edited by Geoff Maslen on the growing costs of degrees around the world, as cash-strapped governments shift the burden of higher education costs onto the shoulders of students.
Sticking with this theme, in World Blog William Patrick Leonard contends that annual tuition fee rises have led to a sense of entitlement among American universities, which now need to tailor programmes to their budgets.
In Commentary, Terence Lovat argues that comparative studies by Australian researchers of doctoral examination processes suggest that some combination of Britain’s viva and Australia’s non-viva system could maximise the benefits of both.
Roger Y Chao Jr wonders whether Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution was less about democracy than it was about anti-China sentiment, and calls for students to be more media literate, critical and globally aware. In Turkey, Bekir S Gur looks at growing consensus on the need to abolish the contentious Board of Higher Education in order to increase university autonomy.
In Features, Nic Mitchell unpacks a report from Europe on the need for greater attention to be paid to staff mobility if university internationalisation strategies are to succeed, and Paul Rigg reports on IE University’s fifth “Reinventing Higher Education” international conference held in Spain.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Federal and military forces discovered a new unmarked mass grave on 27 October in Cocula, 16 kilometres from Iguala in Guerrero state in southeastern Mexico, where 43 students from a teacher training college in Ayotzinapa were abducted in late September. Bones at the site are being tested by forensic experts to see if they belong to the abduction victims.
United States universities continue to dominate the top 500 in a new global university ranking launched by leading American education publisher US News & World Report. But German universities have outperformed their United Kingdom counterparts.
TAIWANMimi Leung and Yojana Sharma
Taiwanese civil servants involved in national security work will be barred from pursuing advanced studies in mainland China, Taiwan’s Interior Minister Chen Wei-zen announced last Wednesday, saying the ban would become effective from 30 October.
EAST AFRICAEsther Nakkazi
A new higher education network has been launched to support partnerships and relationships around community-university engagement and community-based research in East African countries – Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
SRI LANKADinesh De Alwis
Medical doctors, students and unions have been demonstrating against a Sri Lanka Health Ministry decision to allow students from a new private medical college to receive clinical training at government hospitals, which could pave the way for more private institutions to benefit from the public health system. On one occasion last week the protests turned violent.
On 31 October the European University Association issued a statement expressing deep concern about cuts to research and innovation funding – including the Horizon 2020 framework – proposed by the Council of the European Union. If implemented, said the EUA, the cuts would not only jeopardise universities but also economic growth and job creation.
Students in Germany appear to be chiefly concerned with their careers and show little interest in political issues, according to a survey supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, or BMBF. Also, they seem happy with the outcome of the Bologna reforms.
The German government is providing extra funding for Ebola research as part of an effort to focus on diseases previously given little attention by science. Research institutions, universities and industry are involved in the activities.
Kenya has set a higher qualifications threshold for the appointment of university lecturers. In a directive to be implemented in the next five years, the Commission for Higher Education said only PhD holders would be allowed to teach at universities as lecturers.
Staff mobility needs to be given the same kind of attention as is paid to student mobility if universities’ internationalisation strategies are to succeed, says a new report from the European University Association and the Academic Cooperation Association.
The fifth annual international IE University conference on “Reinventing Higher Education” discussed Bologna, English as the lingua franca and engagement between business and universities. But perhaps it will be the ‘digital natives’ of the next generation who will be higher education’s greatest challenge.
UNITED STATESJack Stripling, The Chronicle of Higher Education
An academic fraud scandal at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took root under a departmental secretary and die-hard Tar Heel fan, who was egged on by athletics advisers to create no-show classes that would keep under-prepared and unmotivated players eligible, according to the findings of an eight-month independent investigation.
RISING COSTS OF DEGREES
Last week University World News published a special edition on the costs of higher education to students around the world, and how much debt they are accumulating. This week we continue to cover this globally important topic in a special report.
Levels of student tuition or administrative fees, grants and loans continue to highlight stark differences across Europe, according to a new report by the European Commission's Eurydice network. Covering 33 countries, the report reveals that fee systems have remained relatively stable across the continent apart from some notable exceptions. Germany is the only country to recently abolish tuition fees – despite introducing them only in 2007.
Greek universities are state-financed and run so students do not pay fees – at least at undergraduate level. However a first degree is anything but cheap, with ‘other’ costs ranging from as little as €1,000 (US$1,300) to €10,000 – and even €100,000 – a year depending on who you are, the socio-economic position of your parents, the institution attended, the length of studies and even your lifestyle.
All Australian students are required to pay tuition fees when they enrol as undergraduates in public or private tertiary institutions, although the federal government subsidises a portion of the fees for most students enrolled in public universities and the rest is deferred as a student loan. But now the government is planning sweeping changes that will cost students far more than most have ever paid.
More than 100 universities that are members of the Inter-University Council for East Africa have scrapped high tuition fees for students from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. These are the five countries that form the East African Community, an economic alliance geared towards economic cooperation and future political integration.
SWEDENJan Petter Myklebust
While the amount of external research income for Swedish universities increased significantly in 2013, the number of new doctoral students fell by 800 to 3,100 – a whopping 20% drop – following the introduction of tuition fees for students from outside Europe three years ago.
SCANDINAVIAJan Petter Myklebust
The five Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland have 209 higher education institutions, of which 60 are universities. Only a handful are private institutions that can charge tuition fees for local citizens.
The Bangladesh government has brought in fixed admission and tuition fees for private medical colleges after complaints that some institutions have been charging excessive fees for the five-year degree. This comes on top of minimum marks for students wanting to enrol in private medical colleges, set in an effort to improve medical education quality.
NEW ZEALANDJohn Gerritsen
Fees vary by institutions and subject in New Zealand’s eight universities. Generally, undergraduates expect to pay about NZ$5,000 (US$3,930) a year to study the humanities, NZ$6,000 for commerce and law, and more than NZ$7,000 for architecture and engineering. On top of that are student service levies of as much as NZ$700.
NORTH AFRICAWagdy Sawahel
Although the higher education systems of North African countries followed European – French and English – policies and offered education at all levels for free, growing demand and limited public funds have forced countries to recover some costs from students. This has lead to steady growth in the cost of university in the past decade.
Africa's first cloud-based, virtual and tuition-free, not-for-profit university will open on 12 January next year. Called the Free University of Nigeria, popularly known as FUN, it will be dedicated to increasing access to higher education and is only the second of its kind after America’s University of the People.
UNITED STATESWilliam Patrick Leonard
American universities have increased their tuition fees annually above the rate of inflation – even before the 2008 crisis. This has led to a sense of entitlement that universities must continually expand what they offer when, in the face of funding cuts, they need to tailor programmes to their budgets.
What works for examining PhDs? Is the viva system a good idea or are examiners more led by their first reading of a thesis and could oral examinations actually encourage them to do a less thorough reading? An international comparison highlights some of the issues.
HONG KONGRoger Y Chao Jr
Is the Umbrella Revolution about democracy or anti-China feeling and growing inequality? Universities have a duty to do more to ensure that students are media literate, particularly social media literate, and able to critically analyse local developments within a global context.
TURKEYBekir S Gur
There is increasing consensus on the need for Turkey to reform its growing higher education system by abolishing the Board of Higher Education, which has greatly diminished university autonomy. The main issues are when and how radical the changes will be.
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Amid widespread calls to reform the science system, the Chinese Academy of Sciences – the nation’s largest research body – is to reshuffle its 100 plus research institutes and change the way it rewards scientists. But details of the ambitious plan are far from clear, writes Hepeng Jia for Chemistry World.
Ongoing protests by students and faculty may have forced the Iraqi government to back off a controversial plan to carve out a new female-only institution from Baghdad University, the country’s oldest establishment of higher learning, writes Gilgamesh Nabeel for Al-Fanar.
Japan’s efforts to increase the number of international students coming to its shores are being dwarfed by similar initiatives in neighbouring China and lofty goals such as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to attract 300,000 foreign students by 2020 appear to be struggling to gain traction, writes Teru Clavel for The Japan Times.
A professor in the United Kingdom was suspended from a top university for nine months following accusations he ‘sighed’ and was sarcastic during job interviews, writes Bill Gardner for The Telegraph.
An Istanbul-based private university has dismissed a professor of law following disciplinary proceedings against him over a complaint he filed against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who failed to resign as prime minister or chair of the Justice and Development Party after being elected president in the 10 August polls, reports Today’s Zaman.
University College Dublin has announced plans for recruitment and alumni offices in China, India, Malaysia and the United States as it joins other Irish universities in trying to boost international student numbers, writes Joe Humphreys for The Irish Times.
As more than 300,000 higher education students start the Israeli academic year, the Council for Higher Education is considering substantially reducing the number of colleges, writes Lior Dattel for Haaretz.
Universities have been asked to disclose graduate employment rates for fields of study as they launch recruitment drives, to better align supply of graduates with market demand, writes Lamphai Intathep for Bangkok Post.
Simon Walker, director-general of the Institute of Directors, said he was “appalled” by how overseas students had been caught up in targets for reducing immigration into the United Kingdom and how universities were “victims of political point-scoring”, reports Sean Coughlan for BBC News.
The increased number of jobless youths in East Africa will continue to double or even triple annually to alarming rates, unless institutions of higher learning revise curricula to start teaching on-the-job skills as opposed to academic-based programmes, writes Bernard Momanyi for Capital News.
The University of Sydney says nearly a third of its domestic undergraduate students will get scholarships if the proposed shake-up of higher education passes the Senate, giving universities the power to set fees, writes James Glenday for ABC.
Steve ‘Woz’ Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne, will be joining the University of Technology in Sydney as an adjunct professor, writes Aaron Mamiit for Tech Times.
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