WENR, January 2007: Americas
Mercosur Countries Consider the Formation of a Regional University
The South American regional organization Mercosur — a customs union between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru — is considering a proposal to form a regional university that would consist of at least one campus in each of the member nations. Contingent on final approval from Mercosur’s leaders, the resources are already in place to create the first University of Mercosur in Brazil with further expansion to the other member countries following shortly thereafter.
— The International Herald Tribune
Foreign Students in British Columbia Worth Half a Billion Dollars Annually
International students at campuses across British Columbia are contributing more than US$425 million to the provincial economy every year, according to the findings of a report published by the private research firm Roslyn Kunin and Associates. An estimated 27,000 students from 150 countries were enrolled at institutions of higher education during academic year 2004-05.
— The Province
Nov. 14, 2006
Absolute Foreign Enrollments Increase, Relative Global Share Drops
While Canadian universities welcomed a record number of international students to their campuses, the absolute share of students studying outside their national borders who chose Canada as a study destination dropped. According to figures released by the federal government in November, more than 75,200 international students were enrolled at Canadian institutions of higher education. The figure represents a 7.3 percent increase on the previous year. The most significant increase came from Chinese students who numbered 17,600 or 60 percent more than the previous year. As a destination for international students, however, Canada has dropped from fifth largest in absolute numbers to ninth, a cause for concern among many stakeholders in Canada.
— Statistics Canada news release
Nov. 7, 2006
College for Aboriginal Students Planned
The federal and Quebec governments are in the process of establishing a new college for aboriginal students that is scheduled to begin classes in the fall of 2008. The announcement was made at a First Nations socioeconomic forum in Quebec in October, where it was explained that the college would be affiliated with two existing ones: Dawson College, for those students who are English speaking, and Abitibi-Temiscamingue College of General and Vocational Education for French-speaking students. Plans for the new college are part of an effort to encourage young aboriginal residents to stay in school. Aboriginal leaders have increased pressure during the past decade for a college that reflects their culture. Stakeholders believe that it will take up to 10 years before the college becomes a full-fledged institution on its own, but they see it as “a first step” to a native-run educational system in the province. The new college will probably be located in the Montreal area, most likely on the Mohawk reserve of Kahnawake.
— The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription)
Nov. 10, 2006
Government Creates New Accrediting Body for Higher Education
The Chilean government has initiated the creation of a new federal body to oversee the accreditation of the country’s institutions of higher education. The National Commission for Accreditation will accredit tertiary programs and institutions, evaluate the private organizations that currently evaluate certain programs, and create a database of information on the nation’s institutions of higher education. The new law dictates that accreditation for education programs in English language, medicine and teaching is mandatory. For all other institutions accreditation will be voluntary, however, institutions will be ineligible for government funding without the appropriate federal accreditation. Chile’s current federal accreditation body, the National Commission for Undergraduate Accreditation, will continue its duties until March.
— The Santiago Times (subscription)
Oct. 25, 2006
Germany to Provide Hundreds of Postgraduate Scholarships for Chilean Students
Germany’s Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Chile’s National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) have signed a cooperative agreement that will provide 220 postgraduate scholarships for Chilean students to study in Germany by 2010.
Oct. 28, 2006
South Americans Choose Chilean Universities
Chilean universities have long maintained a positive reputation throughout South America, but according to academic officials the number of international students from within the region has spiked over the last few years. Increasingly students from the neighboring countries of Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, Argentina and Bolivia are pursuing degrees at Chilean institutions of higher education. The University of Chile hosted 970 foreign students last year, 1300 entered classes this fall and admission officers are planning for as many as 3000 by the year 2010.
— The Santiago Times
Dec. 3, 2006
New Network Attempts to Reverse Mexico’s High-Tech Brain Drain
A new organization, The Mexican Talent Network, is attempting to improve the reputation of Mexican technology professionals at home and abroad at a time where interest in the field among Mexican university students is booming. According to Mexico’s National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education there are some 650,000 students enrolled in undergraduate engineering programs in Mexico, a number that is nearly double the 366,000 students the American Society for Engineering Education reports pursuing similar degrees in the United States. A third of all Mexican students who graduate with advanced degrees in technology fields immigrate to the U.S. for lucrative job opportunities, as the average starting salary in Mexico for an engineering graduate is just $15,000 a year. The Mexican Talent Network, which maintains offices in both the U.S. and Mexico, is hoping to increase the profile of Mexican technology graduates and thus create job opportunities for qualified workers at home, diversify the Mexican economy, and stem the flow of skilled-labor opportunities to Asia and Central America.
— The Austin American-Statesman
Dec. 11, 2006
Foreign Student Enrollment Numbers Promising
The Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Open Doors 2006 report on international academic mobility released this past November indicates that overall numbers for foreign students in the United States has steadied after two consecutive years of decline and are poised for a rebound. This past year American institutions of higher education hosted 565,766 foreign students, a number that reflects very little change in comparison to the 565,039 internationals studying at U.S. universities and colleges in 2004/2005. The survey also reports an 8 percent increase in new foreign enrollments for 2005/2006. In 2005, 142,923 international students entered U.S. academic institutions compared with 131,945 the previous fall, numbers that indicate a future recovery of the international student population that peaked three years ago at 586,323. India remained the largest sending country of international students to the United States although overall numbers declined by 5 percent (76,503), the University of Southern California hosted the largest numbers of international students among U.S. institutions (6,881) and the state of California maintained its position as the leading host state for all foreign students (75,385).
Asian Students Earn One Quarter of U.S. Doctoral Degrees
The National Science Foundation has published research indicating that at U.S. institutions Asian students earn more than one-third of all doctorates in the fields of science and engineering and 17 percent of doctorates in other fields. The report, “U.S. Doctorates in the 20th Century,” cited India, Taiwan, South Korea and China as the countries sending the largest number of students to obtain advanced degrees in the U.S. Chinese students were the largest single group of foreign students earning doctorates at American universities with 24,000 degrees awarded in the 1990s. The United States experienced a brief downturn in the number of foreign students applying to graduate schools in the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001, but new numbers indicate that the U.S. has rebounded and maintained its role as educator to the world. The results of a Council of Graduate Schools survey released this year show the first increase in international graduate enrollment at U.S. institutions in four years as first-time enrollment jumped 12 percent.
— Asian Tribune
Nov. 12, 2006
Community Colleges Recruit Abroad
Over the last six years, the number of international students studying at U.S. community colleges has increased 18 percent, and community colleges are only planning to extend their recruiting abroad. Two community college leaders recently accompanied U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings and other university officials on a landmark trip to Asia to promote American higher education. As a result of increased international interest in the nation’s community colleges, the U.S. State Department is making available $3 million to attract students from Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey to community colleges by next fall. By and large, U.S. community colleges are expanding their “communities”, and middle class international students are enticed by the prospects of a more independent and cost-efficient education abroad. Today, community colleges educate around 15 percent of the estimated 564,000 foreign students studying in the United States.
— The Philadelphia Inquirer
Dec. 3, 2006
International Graduate Student Numbers Rebound
The Council of Graduate Schools reported in its annual enrollment study that after three consecutive years of decline, the total enrollment of international graduate students at U.S. institutions increased 1% from 2005 to 2006. The number of first-time enrollments is also up 12% with the majority of students hailing from India (32%) and China (20%) and specializing in the fields of Engineering (22%) or the Physical Sciences (5%). The report also illustrates that while some countries experienced contradictory results such as Korea where first-time enrollments rose and overall enrollment fell, the broader picture shows a positive recovery for international graduate enrollment in the U.S.
— Council of Graduate Schools press release
Nov. 1, 2006