eWENR, July/August 2000: Asia & Pacific

Regional News

 Asia & Pacific 


The Ministry of Education recently announced plans to provide quality assurance for the country’s 40 colleges and universities. The Australian Quality Assurance Agency will audit data provided by self-accrediting institutions of higher education. Everything from teaching to management and research levels will be duly assessed. Only institutions that meet national standards will be granted accreditation.

The introduction of this system will greatly facilitate matters for international students who wish to study in Australia. Students will be able to easily find out which institutions are accredited, and which are not.

— Studying Abroad
Vol. 4, No. 6

Increasing numbers of Australians are traveling to the United Kingdom for higher education. Recent statistics show that 3,900 Australians traveled to the UK to study in 1998. The British Council [1] reports a 10 percent increase in the number of students considering the UK for higher education in 1999. Meanwhile, with more funding available for the overseas marketing of EducationUK [2], British colleges and universities are poised to capitalize on the bonanza of students from Australia. Eleven schools are sending a mission to five Australian states to promote their institutions and programs.

The mission will also promote the Study Away UK program — a combined effort of British and Australian universities to increase international education opportunities for students. Students who participate in the program will spend a semester studying in the UK and have their British credits applied toward their Australian qualification.

— Campus News
May 31-June 6, 2000


Higher education enrollments rose from 1 million students in the early 1980s to about 6 million in 1998. However, this figure only represents 7 percent of the college-age population, according to an executive vice president at Peking University [3].

Increasing enrollments have meant government funding can no longer keep up with rising costs. The demise of university budgets has resulted in poorly stocked libraries and dilapidated laboratories, impelling many institutions to seek funding through tuition and commercial ventures, such as research for hire.

In 1998 public universities introduced tuition of US$890, which represents a large sum of money in a country where the per-capita income is less than US$680. Officials say even more increases are forthcoming, but the government has asked colleges to allocate 10 percent of tuition fees to work study programs for poor students.

— The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 5, 2000

The Xi’an Translator Training College admitted some 7,000 new students in 1999, making it China’s largest private college with a total enrollment of 17,000. Of the 7,000 students, 4,000 passed the national entrance exam. Other private colleges accept applicants who have failed the exam and can’t get into a state-run school. The college, founded in 1987, has endeavored to improve the quality of enrollment by recruiting more students who have passed the national entrance exam and by establishing more four-year bachelor degree programs.

The college has pursued a different approach to higher education than most of the state-run schools by providing a combination of language and hands-on training with the aim of better preparing students for an increasingly globalized job market. Academic programs, lasting between three and four years, are offered in international accounting, international trade, foreign-oriented secretarial skills, marketing and computer applications.

There is a strong emphasis on language skills, especially spoken English and listening comprehension. Students enrolled in any of the above mentioned programs are also required to complete English courses equivalent to those taken by English language majors. In addition, the Xi’an Translator Training College provides courses in written English, computer skills, etiquette, public relations, foreign trade correspondence, calligraphy and driving.

However, the college does not grant degrees. Students who successfully complete their studies here must apply for adult education degrees issued by the Ministry of Education.

— China Daily
May 11, 2000


India Today [4] magazine recently ranked the country’s top 10 colleges in seven disciplines: arts, science, medicine, engineering, commerce, law and medicine. Four hundred and fifty academicians across India were surveyed for the listing. The respondents were asked to rate each college from 0 to 100 on the basis of reputation, curriculum, academic input, student care, admission procedure, infrastructure and job/placement opportunities. Here are the top-10, listed by discipline:


1) St. Xavier’s, Mumbai [5]
2) Loyola College, Chennai [6]
3) Presidency College, Chennai
4) Presidency College, Calcutta [7]
5) St. Stephen’s, Delhi [8]
6) Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi
7) Madras Christian College, Chennai
8) Miranda House, Delhi
9) St. Xavier’s, Calcutta
10) Elphinstone College, Mumbai [9]


1) Presidency College, Chennai
2) St. Stephen’s, Delhi [8]
3) St. Xavier’s, Mumbai [10]
4) Loyola College, Chennai [6]
5) Madras Christian College, Chennai
6) St. Xavier’s, Calcutta
7) Presidency College, Calcutta [7]
8) Hans Raj College, Delhi
9) Hindu College, Delhi
10) Ferguson College, Pune [11]


1) Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi
2) St. Xavier’s, Mumbai //www.xaviers.edu/
3) Presidency College, Chennai
4) St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta
5) Hans Raj College, Delhi
6) Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi
7) Loyola College, Chennai [6]
8) Madras Christian College, Chennai
9) Hindu College, Delhi


1) Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Powai
2) IIT, Chennai
3) IIT, Delhi
4) IIT, Kanpur [12]
5) IIT, Kharagpur
6) Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani [13]
7) Delhi College of Engineering
8) Roorkee Engineering College [14]
9) P.S.G. College of Technology, Coimbatore
10) IIT, Guwahati


1) National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore
2) Faculty of Law, Delhi University
3) Law College, Pune [15]
4) Government College of Law, Mumbai
5) Faculty of Law, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
6) Faculty of Law, Madras University
7) Faculty of law, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)
8) Faculty of Law, Allahabad University
9) University College of Law, Hyderabad
10) Faculty of Law, University of Cochin


1) AIIMS, Delhi [16]
2) Christian Medical College, Vellore [17]
3) AFMC, Pune
4) King Edward Memorial College, Mumbai
5) Grant Medical College, Mumbai
6) Jawaharlal Inst. of Post Grad Medical Ed. and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry [18]
7) Faculty of Medicine, AMU
8) Madras Medical College, Chennai
9) Bangalore Medical College [19]
10) Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi

Further information about these colleges and the methodology used in ranking them is available at: www.india-today.com/itoday/20000619/cover.html [20].

— India Today International
June 19, 2000


Student numbers are significantly higher this year in Malaysia than they were last year. Additional funding, from private as well as government sources, is serving to keep students from going abroad for higher education. In Kuala Lumpur, for example, fewer students are applying for scholarships to study in the UK.

Malaysia, traditionally a consumer of international education, is now looking to recruit students from overseas by offering high-quality academic programs. The government, for instance, is now encouraging private colleges to merge, so they can pool resources to attract more foreign students. There has already been a large inflow of students from China and Indonesia. However, their reasons for choosing Malaysia over their own countries for higher education may be more political than academic.

Malaysia is also attracting foreign partners to work with local institutions at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. A number of British universities have already entered into agreements with Malaysian schools aimed at facilitating student exchanges, staff cooperation and creating offshore programs. More recently, institutions from Germany, Finland, France and the Netherlands have formed similar partnerships in Malaysia.

The government is also undertaking efforts to increase the number of scientists and engineers needed to sustain Malaysia in the information age. The current target for upper secondary school enrollment into the science stream is set at 60 percent, up from 21 percent in 1995. Traditionally Britain has attracted significant numbers of Malaysian law and business students.

Will British universities continue to succeed in reeling in science and engineering students from Malaysia, or will the latter be able to provide enough local education to meet the demand? Another possibility still is that Australia will step in to corner the market.

— EAIE Forum
Summer 2000


For the first time in three years, thousands of students have been returning to classes. In 1996 the government closed all universities for fear that college campuses would become breeding grounds for dissent. But on July 24, the ban was lifted, and 60,000 students were allowed to return to classes.

Some returning students are being forced to transfer to new schools. These students are from universities that the government considered to be hotbeds of radical activism, including the Yangon Arts and Science University [21].

During the three years the universities were closed, some students traveled abroad to study. However, most could not afford to go overseas for higher education and remained at home.

— BBC News
July 24, 2000


Chulalongkorn University [22] is currently offering a new four-year bachelor degree program in international business taught entirely in English. Female students account for 75 percent of the enrollment. According to Professor Porpan Vachajitpan, this is part of a wider trend throughout Asia, where women are becoming predominant in international business studies.

Male students in Thailand still choose more technical courses like engineering and computers. He said that another reason women predominate in the international business program is because they receive higher scores than males on the highly competitive written entrance exam.

— Campus Review
May 24-30, 2000

Largely as a result of the former Asian economic crisis, the government has been encouraging the country’s public universities to become more self-sufficient. It is hoped that institutions of higher education will become less of a drain on the national treasury if they can learn to fund themselves.

A new National Education Act allows universities to raise tuition beginning in October 2001. Perhaps as a way of avoiding, or at least minimizing student protests, the government allows each university to decide when a tuition increase is necessary.

— Chronicle of Higher Education
May 5, 2000


Students at the University of Papua New Guinea [23] (UPNG) launched a series of protests and strikes following the administration’s decision to restructure academic programs and raise tuition by 25 percent. The boycott of classes forced the university to shut down halfway through the 1999 final term.

Due to severe government budget cuts that year, the university was forced to discontinue three costly programs: journalism, creative arts and health sciences. In addition, academic disciplines were merged into newly created faculties, and all academic programs were reorganized to comprise fewer compulsory courses and more electives.

The academic year was also changed from two 14-week semesters to three 10-week semesters.

Students responded to the changes with strikes and demonstrations, which sometimes became violent. Classes resumed, however, following negotiations between student leaders and the prime minister.

— ACU Bulletin
June 2000

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