WENR, Feb. 2006: Asia-Pacific
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Second Overseas University Looking to Enter Australian Market
Edinburgh-based Heriot-Watt University is seeking accreditation of its MBA degree programs in Australia. If successful, Heriot-Watt would become the second overseas university to take advantage of the Australian Government’s move to open up its higher education market to international competition.
Carnegie Mellon, a private US university, opens its campus in Adelaide in March with US$15 million in subsidies from the state government of South Australia. The Scottish university would not receive government money, however, if its bid for accreditation from the government of New South Wales is approved students who enroll will be eligible to apply for a deferred student loan recently introduced by the Australian Government.
Heriot Watt is one of the world’s largest online MBA providers with a current enrollment of approximately 9,000 students worldwide. If approved, the Heriot-Watt MBA would be offered via distance learning through the university’s graduate school of business, the Edinburgh Business School, in cooperation with the Australian financial services group Tribeca Learning, which is currently facing a takeover bid from US-based education giant Kaplan Inc.
— The Australian
Feb 1, 2006
Foreign Students Flock South
The number of foreign students studying in South Australia has risen nearly three fold in comparison to the numbers for the rest of the nation. Australian Education International reported that since 2002 the number of students enrolling in the schools of the state of Adelaide rose 63 percent. Roughly 18,000 international students chose Adelaide over other parts of the country due to the quality of its institutions of higher education and the comparatively cheap cost of living. Stephanie Key, Adelaide’s Further Education Minister, said that the state was aiming to double its share of foreign students by 2013.
— The Advertiser
Jan. 19, 2006
Australian Universities Embrace U.S. Model
In an effort to compete with prestigious universities in the United States and bolster emptying endowments, Australian universities are altering their structure in order to emulate their counterparts in America. The University of Melbourne, one of Australia’s top research universities, recently announced that it would cut its undergraduate enrollment by 15,000 students, concentrate on professional and graduate programs, and increase the number of students required to pay tuition fees. Brendan Nelson, the federal Education Minister, supports the move and encourages a transition in higher education towards more general first degrees and specialized graduate studies.
— Times Higher Education Supplement
Dec. 2, 2005
International Student Bubble Deflates
The number of international students enrolling at Australian universities rose less than 1 percent in 2005 after years of exponential growth. Overseas students comprise more than one quarter of all enrollments at Australia institutions of higher education totaling approximately 270,000 students. Concerns over global security, the poor exchange rate and increased university fees as federal education spending declines in Australia have all been cited as contributing to the drop in foreign enrollments. Government officials worried about the decrease also cite the up swing in competition from Asian countries such as China, India, and South Korea who are pumping large amounts of money into their respective education systems. Australia’s lucrative education export industry currently brings in approximately $5 billion to the economy each year.
— The Australian
Dec. 29, 2005
Australia Courts Asian Students
Australia plans to offer hundreds of millions of dollars in scholarships next year to Asian students wishing to study at Australian universities. After 2005, in which Australia saw the smallest increase in new enrollments from overseas (see above) in years, the government is unveiling a new version of the Colombo Plan, an initiative that brought 20,000 Asian students to study in Australia between 1951 and 1980. The new plan would offer federally funded scholarships to students from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Burma, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Japan. Prime Minister John Howard has also pledged an additional $40 million for scholarships to sponsor Pakistanis and a $100 million scholarship fund for Indonesian students affected by last year’s devastating tsunami.
— The Australian
Dec. 13, 2005
IT Internationals Not Welcome
The number of international students traveling to Australia to study information technology (IT) may soon be on the decline. The Australian Computer Society has scheduled talks with the federal government to lobby for a decrease in international work visas provided in the field of information technology. A report published by an Australian university magazine found the unemployment rate amongst Australia’s IT professionals to be double that of other professions in the country. This is in large part due to a long-standing government initiative that gives Australian universities incentives to offer education programs for foreign students that offer work visas upon graduation. Australia’s Productivity Commission released a study calling this policy detrimental to the economy due to “unintended distortions and outcomes”.
— Australian IT
Jan. 17, 2006
Government Working to Attract International Students
The Ministry of Education approved 53 universities deemed qualified to receive students sponsored by foreign governments as part of a new plan to attract international learners. The China Scholarship Council (CSC), the organization in charge of foreign student affairs, will set up sponsorship agreements with foreign governments and organizations to bring students from around the world to study at Chinese universities.
As China’s economy has boomed and the higher education sector has expanded, the number of overseas students enrolling at the country’s institutions of education has grown. In 2004 over 110,000 foreign students studied in China, representing more than 170 different nations. In 2006 the Chinese government is set to increase the number of scholarships it offers from 6,700 to 10,000.
Universities participating in the new recruitment plan include Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Sichuan University, and Beijing Normal University. The CSC is also hoping to implement a corporate initiative that will allow Chinese enterprises to sponsor students and retain them for employment purposes after graduation.
— People’s Daily Online
Jan. 20, 2006
China’s New Export: Language
Interest in the Chinese language around the world has been piqued and the government is taking advantage of the situation with an effort to spread goodwill and influence through common cultural and language-learning centers known as Confucius Institutes. The Confucius Institute, with 11 locations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the United States and 5 more American locations planned, is dotting the globe at a breakneck pace that the Institute’s director, Xu Lin, calls “China frenzy”.
China is hoping to use the Confucius Institute not only as a recruiting tool for the business and academic worlds, but also as a harbinger of good will around the world that will dispel suspicion about the country’s rapid economic rise. So far, the numbers of students warming to Chinese seems to point to the accomplishment of that very goal. In neighboring countries such as South Korea, Vietnam, and Indonesia, where Chinese was long-banned, Chinese has outpaced all other foreign languages, including English, as the most popular foreign language among students. The demand for the Chinese language in the United States has prompted the College Board, the body that administers advanced placement tests, to add Chinese as its first East Asian language test after petitions from 2,400 high schools.
Approximately 90,000 foreign students travel to China annually for language training. An estimated 30 million people worldwide are currently learning Chinese, and last year 117,660 students signed up for the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK), 26.2 percent more than the year before. The HSK was developed in 1991 as a national standardized test to assess Chinese language proficiency and now has test centers in 35 Chinese cities and 37 countries across the globe. As of 2005, half a million people in over 120 nations had taken the HSK.
— The New York Times
Jan. 11, 2006
— People’s Daily Online
Jan. 17, 2006
Plans for IIM International Campus Granted
The Indian government initially rejected the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore’s (IIM-B) proposal to open a branch campus in Singapore, claming that the prestigious institute should first cater to domestic needs before expanding abroad.
After a meeting of the directors of the six national campuses of the Indian Institute of Management was called to discuss the ruling, the government has agreed to grant the IIM-B permission to create campuses abroad. The decision came after the IIM-B assented to government demands to alter their memorandum of association and to increase student intake. The Institute plans to increase its student capacity of 250 to 300 by 2007.
This is not the first time in recent history that the Institutes of Management and the government have clashed. In 2004 the government forced tuition cuts at the institutions, a move that the institutes claimed hindered their ability to provide top quality education. That decision was overturned by the current administration.
Jan. 11, 2006
— Business Standard
Feb. 2, 2006
India Announces Plans to Improve Education in the Pure Sciences
The government has announced the creation of two new universities, similar to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) that will specialize in the study of the pure sciences. It is hoped that the new Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research based in Kolkata and Pune will help India’s pure sciences program reach the level of advancement that the IITs have gained in the field of engineering.
The government’s decision to create the new institutes is largely due to findings released by the government-commissioned India Science Report, which found that despite a growing demand for researchers, Indian postgraduates are not prepared for the scientific job market. According to the University Grants Commission the deficiency in the country’s science education programs has caused a 31 percent drop in the number of students pursuing degrees in science since the 1950s. The two Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research will enroll a total of 5,110 students and offer courses in the pure sciences as well as mathematics and computer science. They are scheduled to open next year.
— The Chronicle for Higher Education
Dec. 16, 2005
More Chinese Students in Japan
The Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) reports that the number of Chinese students enrolled at Japanese institutions of education currently stands at 80,500. Chinese students account for two thirds of the total number of international enrollments in the country. The total numbers might be even higher , as the figures do not account for students enrolled at Japanese language schools, only those enrolled in a college or university. JASSO also reports that the number of foreign students studying at the nation’s institutions has increased 3.8 percent over the past year to 121,800.
— People’s Daily Online
Jan. 9, 2006
New Agency to Monitor Education Quality
The newly formed Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) began monitoring the quality of education in the country this year, announced Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr. Shafie Mohd Salleh. The MQA is the result of a merger between the National Accreditation Board and the Quality Assurance Division of the Higher Education Ministry. The new agency will establish guidelines within the Malaysian Qualification Framework (MQF) for curriculum development, quality assurance, and accreditation. The MQF will encourage lifelong learning as well as enable Malaysians with only work experience to apply to institutions of higher education without having to submit academic qualifications.
Dec. 24, 2005
Carnegie Mellon to Offer ICT Graduate Program
In collaboration with the University of Malaya, U.S.-based Carnegie Mellon University will be offering its master’s degree program in information technology management to students in Malaysia from September. Students on the Master of Science in Information Technology, Managing Systems Development program will be registered as Carnegie Mellon students and will be awarded degrees conferred by the Pittsburgh-based school. iCarnegie, Inc., a subsidiary of Carnegie Mellon, will manage the program. Although this is the first international offering of the Carnegie Mellon master’s degree, the institution delivers a host of computer programming and software systems development curriculum and certifications through iCarnegie, Inc. at partner institutions around the world.
— Carnegie Mellon news release
January 19, 2006
International Student Numbers Drop
Figures released by the Immigration Service in its annual Migration Trends report, shows that there were 77,600 student permit holders in academic year 2004/05, an 11 percent year-on-year drop.
The number of students from China — New Zealand’s number one source market —fell from 40,700 in 03/04 to 34,100 last year. International education professional in New Zealand have cited concerns over a stronger NZ dollar, bad press surrounding failed language schools, as well as increased domestic capacity in the tertiary sector as reasons for the drop-off in the number of Chinese students studying in the country.
An estimated 25 percent of overseas students go on to become permanent New Zealand residents, according to the Immigration Service.
Jan 3, 3006
Government Funds University Reconstruction
The earthquake-devastated University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir will receive a $33.5million government grant for reconstruction. The October 2005 quake destroyed the institution’s two campuses in Rawlakot and Muzaffarabad along with more than 150 faculty homes. 200 students and 8 faculty members were lost in the tragedy. The new campus in Muzaffarabad City is to be built utilizing cutting-edge technology so that it might withstand future catastrophes.
Nov. 23, 2005
New University to Partner with British Institution
When Namal College opens in Mianwali this coming September it will do so with an already established international affiliation. The University of Bradford, a British institution that educates a large number of students of Pakistani origin, has signed an agreement with the new college to help develop curriculum, institute quality assurance policies, and organize administration. Namal College will offer courses in automotive engineering, information technology, and construction with the possibility of a teacher’s and health college in the future.
— The Guardian
Dec. 21, 2005
No More Upgrades to University Status: Punjab Government
Following the upgrade of four colleges to university status in recent years, the Punjab government has announced that there will be no further upgrades in the near future as it is concerned that colleges are not meeting university-level quality standards. The four colleges that have recently been granted university status are Government College Lahore, the Lahore College of Women, Government College Sargodha and Government College Faisalabad.
Jan. 25, 2006
6 Engineering Universities to be Established in Collaboration with International Partners
According to reports coming from a January meeting of top education officials with President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, funding for the establishment of six new engineering universities in collaboration with leading international institutions of higher learning has been approved.
The engineering universities will reportedly be set up in collaboration with universities from Germany, France, Austria, Sweden, Korea and Holland, and form part of a federal university system with campuses located close to major industrial centers. Officials from the Higher Education Commission foresee an academic start date of 2008 for some of the proposed universities, although full completion of the project is slated to take ten years.
Jan. 10, 2006
Cyber University to Offer Korean Language Courses
Kyung Hee Cyber University has established an online language education program designed for foreigners interested in learning Korean and organizations interested in Korean culture and language. The Korean language initiative is intended to provide basic, intermediate, and advanced instruction as well as provide a venue for the exchange of knowledge between different parties learning about Korean culture. The program is comprised of 64 total lectures with a running time of 30 minutes each. The university opened in 2001 and is the first cyber-university accredited by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development.
— The Korea Times
Jan. 18, 2006
English to be Taught from First Year of Primary School
The Ministry of Education announced recently that from 2008 English classes will be mandatory from the first year of primary school, two years earlier than is currently required. From 2010, the ministry seeks to employ qualified native English teachers to work as assistant teachers at all 2,900 junior high schools.
— Australian Education International
Feb. 1, 2006
Harsh Punishment for Exam Cheats
A recent law passed in the National Assembly called for the imprisonment of prospective university students caught cheating on the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT). The new law comes after a scandal involving hundreds of students using cell phones to cheat on the 2004 CSAT. A number of high school students caught in the scandal were arrested and received on average 8 months to a year in prison.
— The Korea Times
Dec. 7, 2005
Korean Universities Intensify English Requirements
South Korean Universities are vigorously promoting the teaching of the English language in an effort to improve their international image. Korean institutions have created English-only zones on campuses, begun offering a larger percentage of courses in the language and augmented hiring practices to recruit English-speaking professors. Korea University now requires that all new members of their faculty be able to speak English, with the exceptions of those that teach Korean, culture, and law. In addition, Korea University currently sends 1,000 students a year to English-speaking institutions in Canada and the United States.
The South Korean government has helped with the effort to internationalize the country’s universities, holding 10 recruitment fairs overseas in eight different countries. South Korea hopes to raise the number of international students it hosts from 17,000 this year to 50,000 in 2010.
— The Chronicle for Higher Education
Dec. 13, 2005
U.S. School to Offer Unique Degree in Response to Tsunami Aid Efforts
The Vermont-based School for International Training has created a one-year master’s program in sustainable development that will help respond to the needs of communities affected by damage from the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The program is being offered in collaboration with Sarvodaya, one of Sri Lanka’s most respected development NGO’s. Based entirely in Sri Lanka, the program began this year in Colombo and courses focus on program planning, project design, and social change. Twenty-two students are currently enrolled from 14 U.S. states, 1 from Washington D.C., and 4 from Sri Lanka.
— School for International Training news release
Jan. 20, 2006
New Visa Regulations
The Ministry of Education has issued new regulations governing the issuing of visas for foreign students studying the Chinese language at private schools. Under the new regulations, students at privately owned language schools will be allowed to remain in Taiwan as long as their student status remains valid.
— Australian Education International news brief
Jan. 25, 2006
Ministry E-Learning Portal to Open Access to Tertiary Studies
The Ministry of Education and Training has opened an e-learning portal based on a project initiated early in 2005 with technology and assistance from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The portal makes available open content educational resources for educators and teachers at all educational institutions across Vietnam.
In recent years, UNESCO has been working on building information and computer technology (ICT) capacities in the developing world to promote successful policy models and strategies for the integration of ICT into educational systems and curriculums. Special emphasis is placed on removing barriers to participation, in particular for girls and women, out-of-school youth, the disadvantaged, those with special needs and the poor. The ICT program falls under the umbrella of UNESCO’s Education for All goals.
— Vietnam Express
Nov. 8, 2005
First Vietnamese Students Receive U.S. MBA
Vietnam’s Hanoi University of Technology graduated its first class of MBA students last month in collaboration with the U.S. private institution Northcentral University. Twenty-five students received MBAs, jointly awarded by the two schools. The program, which began in 2003, combines modern business theory with practical business practices in Vietnam. It is a two-year Hanoi-based program taught in English by Northcentral University professors with Vietnamese assistants. Northcentral University is a private, for-profit university in the state of Arizona.
— Vietnamese News Agency
Jan. 16, 2006