WENR, September 2016: Asia Pacific

Pan Asia: Japan and South Korea Top List of Innovative Universities

Of the top 20 Asian universities recently ranked by Thomson Reuters on the basis of innovation, 17 are in Japan and South Korea. The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) was Number 1. The University of Tokyo was Number 2. There are 75 Asian universities ranked in total. Some 22 Chinese universities made the list, more than any other country in the top 75. However, in terms of ranked universities per capita, it came in eighth out of nine countries.

University World News
August 31

Taiwan: As More Students Head Abroad, the U.S. Loses Enrollments to Asian Competitors

According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, the number of Taiwanese students enrolled abroad at the undergraduate level has more than doubled in the last five years. The U.S. remains the top destination, attracting some 21,000 students last year, but its long-solid hold is slipping: U.S. enrollments are about 19 percent below what they were ten years ago. Meanwhile, the number of Taiwanese students who study outside the country but remain in Asia has reportedly increased from 6,948 in the 2011/12 academic year to 9,934 in 2013/14. Factors at play include the steep cost of education in the U.S.; the difficulty of obtaining longer-term employment visas in the U.S.; and the increased availability of high quality higher education options closer to home, especially in countries like Japan, Australia, and Singapore.

The News Lens  
August 31

New Zealand: Student Visa Applications Taper, Spurring Renewed Efforts to Attract International Tuition Dollars

After initial 2016 visa numbers indicated a drop in international student interest, New Zealand has launched a range of initiatives aimed at ensuring stability of the sector. One key program focuses on marketing all 15 regions of New Zealand as study destinations. Almost two thirds of all international enrollments were in Auckland in 2015, more than six times those in the second highest region. International education is the New Zealand’s fifth largest export sector, contributing  USD $732 million in tuition fees to the economy in 2015. Education New Zealand is aiming to grow the overall value of international education to $USD 3.6 billion by 2025.

The PIE News
August 30

Australia: Outbound Students Look to China as Chinese Higher Ed Sector Expands

Recent data shows an 83 percent rise over five years in the number of Australians studying in Chinese higher education institutions. In 2015, Chinese universities enrolled 184,799 international students, 5,000 of them Australian. China continually adds new institutions to its higher ed sector; it now has a reported 2,800 tertiary institutions, and the second largest number of colleges and universities in the world. It’s seeking to increase foreign student enrollments to 500,000 by 2020.

Next Shark
August 29

Australia: Growing English Language Learning Sector Deviates From Downward Global Trajectory

International enrollments in Australia’s English Language Training programs are up – an anomaly amid declining ELT enrollments elsewhere around the globe. The latest data show that 2015 enrollments reached 170,628, demonstrating a growth rate of four percent over 2014 numbers. However, a deeper look at the numbers shows some cause for concern. For instance: unlike enrollment numbers, student weeks remained flat, thanks to declining duration of stay especially among European students. Moreover, the four percent growth rate was considerably slower than growth shown the previous two years  (19 percent and 11 percent respectively). China, Japan, and South Korea were the primary drivers of growth, although Colombia and Brazil also made strong showings.

ICEF Monitor
August 23

Australia: Visa Rejection For High Profile Indian Researcher Draws Scrutiny

Researcher SM Ananth won a prestigious scholarship to fund his work at the University of Melbourne – only to be denied a visa because his work could be “associated with weapons of mass destruction.” Indignant indian officials say the action amounts to treating India like a “rogue state” alongside countries like North Korea and Pakistan. The incident comes as Australian universities seek to increase research collaborations and student exchanges with Asian countries.  The case may just be the tip of the iceberg, with the rejection now being addressed at a diplomatic level. Faculty members at UK and Australian institutions have backed Ananth, as have those at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.

University World News
August 19

China: International Education Plan Emphasizes International Partnerships

China’s recently released plan for the country’s international education sector places a heavy emphasis on cross-border cooperation with foreign universities and other organizations, and outlines the goals of promoting China as an attractive study destination and enhancing international education initiatives. It explicitly encourages Chinese higher education institutions and vocational colleges to develop programs or branches overseas. The government also intends to reform transnational education program and accreditation procedures.

The PIE News
August 19

Australia: Report Says Australian Higher Education Sector Response to Refugees Is Lacking

Using data from the Department of Education and Training’s higher education statistics group, researchers from the University of Melbourne identified 3,506 students from refugee backgrounds currently enrolled in Australian higher education providers.  The report calls the level of participation among Australian Universities seeking to help refugees “very low,” especially among among refugee communities from Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma, and Bhutan. The study found that almost half of students from refugee backgrounds are over the age of 25, and need services tailored to their needs. Researchers call for universities to develop more nuanced and culturally specific ways to support refugee needs, and to engage with diverse refugee communities.

The PIE News
August 16

Taiwan: Too Many Higher Education Institutions, Too Few Students

Taiwan is at the start of a sustained period of contraction in university enrollment nationwide. Projected new student enrollments for the 2015-2016 academic year dropped to 250,000 students, from 270,000 the year before — 7.4 percent, in only one year. By the 2019 academic year, new enrollments are expected to drop by 30,000 students from the previous year. Both public and private universities are seeking ways to survive. In the private sector, an alliance of nine universities seeks to pool resources and faculty. Other public universities are formally merging.  National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) plans to formally absorb National Hsinchu University of Education (NHUE) for instance. The two universities have submitted their proposal to the MOE for approval.

The News Lens
August 16

China: Two Universities Earn Top 100 Shanghai Ranking for the First Time Ever

The highly regarded Shanghai Ranking of global universities saw two Chinese institutions, Tsinghua and Peking universities, break into the top 100 for the first time ever. The institutions ranked 58 and 71 respectively. Harvard led the rankings for the 14th year running. The National University of Singapore also entered the top 100 for the first time, tying for 83rd. The ranking, which was launched in 2003, has generated controversy for stressing science over the humanities in awarding rank.

The Guardian
August 15

Myanmar: First Ever Liberal Arts Institute Set to Begin Enrollments

Parami University will, if all goes well, be Myanmar’s first private, not-for-profit, four-year residential university in Yangon. But lack of knowledge about liberal arts and lack of funding are still barriers to such a large scale project. To kickstart the effort, Kyaw Moe Tun, executive director of the Parami University Founding Committee, plans to launch a pilot initiative, the Parami Leadership Institute, in January 2017. The Parami Institute will serve as a model with an academic curriculum that can be expanded and later integrated into a larger university. Students will undertake a four-month intensive program with courses in the liberal arts and sciences. The program will focus on research design, writing workshops, and speaker sessions. Parami Institute students will be recruited from local universities. The first cohort of students will start in January 2017; applications will open in September. Myanmar’s first democratically elected government took office in April 2016; reconstruction of the country’s devastated higher education system was expected to be high on the new government’s agenda.

Myanmar Times
August 12

India: New Regulations Facilitate International Student Mobility and Transnational Partnerships

A policy focused on transnational collaborations would formally recognize time spent studying abroad on students’ degree certificates. Under the new regulations, Indian students can undertake two semesters of their undergraduate degree at a partner foreign university, or one semester of their postgraduate degree, and receive recognition for their classes taken abroad when they return to their home institution. The Indian institution must be the degree awarding institution; no joint degrees are permitted. The move, which was announced in June by the University Grants Commission, will enable Indian universities to initiate partnerships with educational institutions abroad.

The PIE News
August 2

Posted in Asia Pacific, Regional News Summaries