WENR, May 2012: Asia Pacific
Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and UK Release Ethical Code for Use of Agents
Education officials from Australia, the UK, New Zealand, and Ireland have issued a joint statement of principles for ethical international student recruitment. The statement from four of the top destinations for international students places an emphasis on the need for professionalism and ethical responsibility on the part of commission-based agents who assist many schools, colleges, and universities in international recruitment.
The so-called “London Statement” calls on agents and consultants to engage in responsible business ethics; provide current, accurate, and honest information in an ethical manner; develop transparent business relationships with students and providers through the use of written agreements; protect the interests of minors; provide current and up-to-date information, including a disclosure on fees paid by students and commissions paid by universities, that allows international students to make informed choices when selecting which agent and consultant to employ; act professionally; and work with destination countries and providers to raise ethical standards and best practices.
There are no enforcement mechanisms within the agreement, so it is up to each country to decide how and if it wants to implement the suggested ethical recruiting practices. The four countries will each work towards implementing the principles with the agents that they use and share information about their efforts at another international forum in 2013, according to a news release. Officials involved in the process say the next step will be to talk to the agents’ representative bodies in countries that send many students to study overseas such as India and China, to get them to sign up to the statement.
– British Council News Release
April 26, 2012
The Brain Gain Factor
A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research has provided objective data on which countries are gaining the most academic talent and which ones are losing it. The data show that Switzerland has by far the greatest percentage of scientists from other countries (56.7 percent), while India has the lowest (0.8 percent).
The study was based on an analysis of the scientists in 16 countries working on biology, chemistry, earth and environmental sciences, and materials. For researchers in each country, the study asked where they were at age 18, yielding data both on which countries rely on immigrant talent and on which countries are supplying that talent.
The table below shows the data for the 16 countries in the survey:
Mobility Patterns of Scientists, 2011
|Country||% of Scientists Who Lived Elsewhere at 18||Countries Supplying at Least 10% of Foreign Workforce|
|India||0.8%||Size too small to analyze|
South Korea: 11.6%
– Inside Higher Ed
May 15, 2012
Data Modeling Suggests 2009 Highs in International Enrollments will not Be Seen Again Until 2020
According to data modeling done by the International Education Association of Australia two years ago, numbers of international students are not predicted to rise back to the 2009 peak of enrollments until 2020.
With international enrollment data for the first semester of 2012 confirmed, and using up-to-date Australian Bureau of Statistics export revenue data, the IEAA has seen continued fall-offs in student numbers, with commencements falling across every sector in the first semester this year. Semester two will continue the downward trend, according to IEAA, but from first semester next year, on the back of the student visa reforms, an end is apparently in sight with growth in commencements predicted for 2013.
This will not stop overall enrollment figures and export revenue continuing to fall in 2012-13, as the impact of more than two years of declines flows through the system. The IEAA believes that from next year, commencements will grow 5 percent annually, with weighting heavily in favor of higher education (50 percent of all enrollments by 2020). Enrollments in the public and private vocational education sector are predicted to drop significantly from 2009 levels to approximately 20 percent of total international student enrollments by 2020.
English language and school enrollments will increase to slightly higher proportions than previously, according to the IEAA, which says that student visa reforms will make it easier for those institutions to enroll international students if they can maintain low-risk provider status, enabling their international students easier access to visas.
– The Australian
May 12, 2012
Australian University to Open Graduate School Near Shanghai
Following what have been described as “months of tortuous negotiations with Ministry of Education officials in Beijing,” Melbourne’s Monash University is set to open a graduate school in Suzhou, near Shanghai, in collaboration with Southeast University. Monash has thus become the first Australian university to be issued a license to operate a campus in China.
Monash says it will begin offering graduate education later this year, with 350 masters students and 150 PhD candidates being added each year, building to a capacity of more than 1,400 by 2017. Students will graduate with joint degrees from Southeast University and Monash.
The school will be known as the Southeast University-Monash University Joint Graduate School and will offer programs in a range of disciplines. These include nanotechnology, biomedicine, environmental science, transportation, industrial design, economics, and software, thermal and mechanical engineering.
Monash operates six campuses around Melbourne as well as international campuses in Malaysia and South Africa, and research centers in India and Italy.
– Monash News Release
April 23, 2012
Nottingham U to Expand China Presence with Research Institute
The University of Nottingham has announced that it will establish a research institute in Shanghai this year with the East China University of Science and Technology. The collaboration will focus on drug discovery, green technology, and aerospace.
The British university first announced its interest in expanding to Shanghai in 2010, suggesting it wanted to build a branch campus similar to the one it has in Ningbo. The new agreement is far more limited, however, with Nottingham using space provided by the East China University of Science and Technology, according to David Greenaway, Nottingham’s vice chancellor.
– The Chronicle of Higher Education
April 20, 2012
EU and China Commit to Strengthening Cooperation in Education
High-ranking officials from China and the European Union in April signed a joint declaration committed to strengthening academic contacts and exchanges in order to deepen understanding and trust under the EU-China High-Level People-to-People Dialogue.
The “people-to-people” dialog covers the areas of education, culture, youth, research and multilingualism, and represents a “third pillar” in relations between the two partners, building on two previous cooperation agreements: the High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue (“first pillar”) and the High-Level Strategic Dialogue (“second pillar”).
The people-to-people dialog will enjoy the same status as the other agreements and will have a flexible structure with very low financial implications. A number of follow-up actions have been identified, with a particular emphasis being placed on increasing opportunities for mobility in education through student and scholar exchanges, particularly in higher education.
The two sides will also work together to improve the mutual recognition of academic qualifications and promote language learning. China and the EU will jointly organize a major conference on multilingualism at the end of the year.
April 19, 2012
Education and the One Child Policy
Opportunities abound for education providers catering to Chinese youth who, as single children and ‘little emperors,’ are under intense family pressure to succeed, according to a recent article in PIE News. And success for Chinese families these days inevitably includes English-language learning and academic brilliance.
In the English-language industry, this climate of competition and economic strength has meant major growth potential. Crazy English, a “non-traditional” form of English learning, is one example of. Founder Li Yang is a Chinese celebrity thanks to his language learning methods, which a reported 20 million people have signed up for, and include group shouting of English slogans in an effort to learn.
Kids aged two to three can begin their studies at a bilingual day care or with Disney English. Big companies like EF and New Oriental offer language training for older students or young adults. EF has a reported 160 schools in China and will continue to open one a week this year. Currently they enroll 10 million Chinese students online and offline, according to company officials. New Oriental has 608 schools and learning centers, and 2.1 million enrollments in 2011. It offers English language training, test prep, primary, secondary school education and study abroad.
Smaller players include Wall Street English, operated by Wall Street Institute, with 53,000 students enrolled in its nearly 60 centers. They reported growth last year of 10,000 enrollments. Web International English has 50 centers in China teaching just under 50,000 people and Rise Education is reported to have 100 centers in China with nearly 30,000 students.
English language learning is just one facet of the demand for education excellence, and tied in to the language boom is the desire for an overseas education. Chinese students who know they want to study abroad are now able to study foreign secondary programs at certain schools. For example, Chinese students are now able to sit their A-Levels in Beijing high schools before applying abroad, and the SAT has become a common alterative or insurance policy to the Gaokao – China’s national university admissions exam. Once Beijing started to do this, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hangzhou soon followed with special courses for students who intend to study overseas.
And of course, thousands of study abroad agencies now exist. It is common practise for universities in some recruiting countries to employ agents as brokers, but in the United States it has proven quite controversial, and especially so in recruiting from China, where application fraud is considered by many as commonplace for students using agents.
– The PIE News
May 3, 2012
Degree Mills Proliferate
With the number of students returning to China with degrees from prestigious overseas universities booming, so to is the degree mill and degree counterfeiting industry, making the country one of the world’s major producers of bogus degrees.
With the proliferation of private universities in China and the relaxation of degree-awarding rules to cover different types of qualifications, including online degrees and qualifications from an increasing number of branch campuses, it has become easier for scammers to offer bogus courses as ‘affiliate degrees’ of genuine institutions. Meanwhile, foreign degrees have become so common that universities and companies often do not check certificates, reports University World News.
While the Chinese authorities have begun to clamp down on the producers of fake foreign degrees, the scams have nonetheless become more ambitious.
“The fake agencies operate in the name of a branch office of a foreign university in China or claim they have authorized cooperation with foreign schools,” said Rao Mindang, an official with Beijing’s Haidian district procuratorate, speaking to official media.
In one of the highest profile cases recently, nine people went to trial in Beijing in March for their involvement in a scheme that provided fake graduate degrees to some 30 people, including executives of major international corporations. More recently, Beijing police announced the arrest of 422 suspects in April for their involvement in illegal training centers delivering qualifications purporting to be endorsed by national ministries.
In another major case, in Qingdao in eastern Shandong province, police destroyed some 7,000 fake certificates in March, including forged certificates ordered by a construction company to give employees engineering credentials, to help the company qualify for government contracts.
– University World News
April 29, 2012
English-language Provision Grows as Universities Seek to Attract International Students
Nankai University, one of China’s most prestigious universities, will offer some of its most popular degree programs in English in the coming semester, as part of its efforts to attract more foreign students from Europe and the United States.
Other universities have been offering courses in English for years. Tianjin Medical University, for example, has offered programs in English for international students since 1997, and has established a medical practice exclusively for international students, all in English. More than 1,200 international students have graduated from the university.
At the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, the 2,900 international students studying there reportedly bring in more than 40 million yuan ($6.3 million) to the university every year. MBA programs taught there in Chinese cost 33,000 yuan, while the same degree taught in English costs 120,000 yuan. The university recruited 2,500 international students in 2010. That increased to 2,900 this year, accounting for more than 20 percent of the university’s enrollment, according to officials.
– China Daily
May 19, 2012
200 New Universities in 5 Years
India’s Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry is reportedly finalizing plans worth Rs800 billion (US$15.2 billion) to improve access to colleges and universities.
The government has committed to doubling the gross enrollment ratio from around 17 percent at present to 30 percent by 2020. For this there will need to be many more new universities and colleges across the country. HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said in April that 200 new universities and a degree college in each district in India will be opened in the next five years. In addition to new institutions, many existing colleges will be upgraded, either to universities or autonomous colleges with degree-awarding powers. The Rs800 billion allocation will be the biggest ever for higher education.
– Hindustan Times
April 25, 012
Canadian Business School Develops Contingency Plan for India Campus
Ontario-based York University’s Schulich School of Business is preparing to open a campus in India in September 2013, even though it doesn’t have legislative approval to offer academic programs there. With construction for the $100 million campus in Hyderabad underway, India’s Parliament has yet to pass the Foreign Educational Institutions Act that would permit Schulich and other foreign higher education entities to operate stand-alone facilities in the country.
In April, Kapil Sibal, India’s minister in charge of higher education and the man responsible for the legislation, urged swift passage of the bill after almost two years of delay. However, the Indian political scene is currently gridlocked, so there is absolutely no guarantee that the legislation will be in place when Schulich’s campus opens next year.
That’s why business dean Dezso Horvath has a Plan B – a twinning arrangement with a local Hyderabad school, as required under current Indian rules. Dean Horvath was in India in May to choose one of four possible partners.
With or without the Indian legislation in place, Schulich will take in 60 students in 2013 and teach the same curriculum as in Toronto for the two-year MBA. If the Indian bill is not approved by 2014, Schulich would send Hyderabad students to Toronto for a semester to complete their degree (and comply with Indian rules). Assuming passage of the bill, Schulich would accept 120 students in 2014 and grow to its maximum enrollment of 360 students by 2017, with a 60-40 split of Indian and international students, respectively, who spend two years in Hyderabad to earn their MBA.
– The Globe and Mail
April 27, 2012
8 New IITs Awarded Degree Granting Power
India’s Rajya Sabha, the Council of States, passed two bills in April that officially recognizes eight new Indian Institutes of Technology as degree granting institutions.
The Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill 2011, already passed by the Lok Sabha, or House of the People, allows for the establishment of eight new Indian Institutes of Technology – in Bhubaneshwar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Indore, Jodhpur, Mandi, Patna and Ropar – and integrates the already-established Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, within the IIT network – now 16 institutes strong. All will be declared Institutions of National Importance, a special designation granting increased autonomy and funding from the government, under the amended Act.
The National Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill 2010, also passed by the Lok Sabha, declares certain institutions of technology to be Institutions of National Importance and seeks to add five Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research – established in Kolkata, Pune, Mohali, Bhopal and Thiruvananthapuram – as Institutions of National Importance as well.
April 30, 2012
Increasing Number of Indian Students Take British O and A Levels
Students thinking of studying abroad are increasingly taking foreign school-leaving examinations to improve their admissions prospects.
This year, the number of Indian student entries for Cambridge IGCSE and International A Level qualifications rose to over 27,000 – a more than 20 percent increase versus last year. Cambridge IGCSEs (or O Levels) are one of the world’s most popular international qualifications for students between the ages of 14 and 16 years, while Cambridge International A Levels are typically studied between the ages of 16 to 19 year olds as a precursor to university studies.
In India, there are already close to 300 schools in India that follow the Cambridge curriculum, with the most popular core subjects being Math, Physics, and Chemistry. Indian states with the largest growth in Cambridge O Level test-takers since 2011 include Madhya Pradesh (247%), Rajasthan (145%), and Punjab (112%). Meanwhile, Cambridge A Level numbers grew by 50% in Gujarat, 30% in Kerala, and 24% in Karnataka.
– Business Standard
May 3, 2012
Private Sector Support Needed to Boost Higher Education System
India’s ambitious plans to expand access and capacity within its system of higher education over the next five years requires extensive corporate support, with businesses contributing at least half of the US$7.5 billion needed, says a new report.
The recommendation came from a government-sponsored committee led by N.R. Narayana Murthy, the founder of Infosys, to explore the role of private players in education. In addition to increased contributions from companies, the report recommends the government give land free for 999 years to private entities to set up educational institutions, academic facilities, and technology parks.
“The existing higher-education system in India lags in comparison to global standards and is inadequate to meet the demand. There is a need to engage the corporate sector to invest in existing institutions and set up new ones,” Mr. Murthy said.
– The Indian Express
May 9, 2012
Two Higher Education Reform Bills Cleared for Parliamentary Vote
After much delay, India’s cabinet has approved the passage of two key higher-education reform bills for a vote in Parliament. One would require that institutions of higher education submit for mandatory accreditation vetting, while the other would establish innovation universities to promote research excellence.
The latter proposal had been aired with a view to soliciting help from overseas universities to help set up the new institutions. The cabinet’s efforts might be viewed as a sign that a set of long-delayed higher-education bills, including one that would allow foreign universities to establish campuses in India, may finally become law.
– The Times of India
May 11, 2012
Government Offers Subsidies for Universities to Start Study Abroad Programs
Japan’s education ministry has announced a plan to increase the number of Japanese students who go abroad to study, after recent years of rapidly declining overseas study among university students. The ministry says it will pay 40 universities between 120 million to 260 million yen ($1.4 million to $3.1 million) each in subsidies to start study abroad programs.
Universities “will be selected based on their plans for increasing the number of Japanese students going overseas, including adding foreign instructors, English-language classes and setting up credit-transfer systems with other colleges,” according to a report in the Japan Times. The education ministry has also increased this year’s scholarship budget for Japanese university students studying overseas to 3.1 billion yen (about $38 million) from 1.9 billion yen the previous year.
– The Japan Times
April 19, 2012
Japan and the Globalization of Higher Education
The internationalization of higher education in Japan has traditionally focused on bringing students from abroad into the country, but, until recently, a large number of Japanese also have travelled abroad to study.
Through initiatives such as the 100,000 International Students Plan and 300,000 International Students Plan, the government has played a central role in bringing students to Japan by offering government scholarships, funds for tuition reductions and exemptions, subsidies for the construction of student accommodations, and relaxing immigration regulations. However, both the country’s prolonged demographic decline and a rapidly growing global economy have reshaped Japan’s rationale and approaches to international education, reports Hiroshi Ota, a professor at Hitotsubashi University’s Global Education Program, in an article published by the International Association of Universities.
Recently, the term “international” is being replaced by “global” in Japanese higher education, in line with advances in an era of globalization, explains Ota. Accordingly, in order to meet the increasing demand for global-minded graduates at rapidly globalizing Japanese companies, the Japanese government has embarked on new initiatives of globalizing higher education, such as supporting universities to expand their English-taught courses and study abroad programs (see above).
But a problem, as Professor Hiroshi Ota explains, is that even with all this ‘looking outward,’ little effort has been spent ‘looking in’ when it comes to internationalizing of the country’s own higher education system.
“Beyond student mobility, internationalization has been less developed in Japan, especially in terms of curriculum reform. The government and universities have historically typified the approach of importing knowledge and technology from overseas, modifying them for Japan’s use with the main purpose of advancing the country’s modernization. Since the vast majority of course content originally came from the West, this model has prevented Japanese universities from internationalizing their curricula for a long time,” Ota states.
In response, “a growing number of international liberal arts institutions are now offering international learning experiences, incorporating a high percentage of English-taught courses, a highly diversified student population and faculty, and a variety of study abroad programs,” Ota explains. “Beyond just adding so-called international programs to the traditional curricula, these institutions have thus made the internationalization of education and learning the first priority within their missions and efforts.”
This attitude, along with increased government support and the crucial need for Japanese universities to develop an effective internationalization “evaluation process”, Ota says are the keys to ensuring quality higher education in the country, and supporting Japanese universities to meet “the demands of the 21st century’s global knowledge-based society”.
– IAU Horizons
February 29, 2012
Malaysia Launches University Recruitment Website
A private, but government-endorsed website was launched recently in hopes of helping students apply for both domestic and international universities online.
According to Malaysia’s Deputy Higher Education Minister, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, the new web-based recruitment portal lists information detailing over 34,000 courses and programs from 362 colleges and universities, located in more than 20 countries. Speaking to reporters in Kuala Lumpur in April, the deputy minister lauded the site’s services.
“The portal offers a comprehensive platform for local and international private college and university applications for school leavers and working adults,” he explained. “[The applicants] can search, compare and shortlist, rank the selection of colleges or universities and send in applications for free.”
April 10, 2012
Malaysia Education Hub Plans Take Shape with New Global Campus
With no less than eight international institutions of higher education, Malaysia’s Educity Iskandar campus will soon be the centerpiece of the country’s plan to become a ‘regional hub’ for university students, which was first set into motion in the 1990s.
The new 350-acre ‘Educity Iskandar’ campus first reached out to partners in 2004, and now has eight partners signed up with room for just one more. There are three from the UK – Newcastle, Southampton, and Reading – and they will take their place alongside the Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology, and the private Raffles University of Singapore. Australia’s Monash University and a Californian cinematic art school are currently in talks with Iskandar’s management.
The partnership has a commitment to certain standards, and as University of Reading in Malaysia’s CEO and Provost, Rob Robson, explains, “working together is going to be terribly important. If one institution does badly, and gets a poor reputation, that will be harmful for all us.”
Some of the universities are already offering courses from rented temporary space, with full campus operations set to begin in 2015.
– The Guardian
May 8, 2012
Saudi’s Choose New Zealand’s Friendly Shores
According to Saudi students interviewed by The New Zealand Herald, New Zealand is becoming a popular study destination for students from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations because it is “more friendly than America or Australia” and “easier to get a visa”.
In 2002, there were just 67 Saudi students studying in New Zealand. Now, there are approximately 7,000, according to ministry estimates. Immigration New Zealand issued 2,654 students visas to Saudi nationals last year – but many students taking short courses do not require a student visa. Changes have recently been made to New Zealand’s immigration policy to allow holders of temporary visas who wish to take short courses of no more than three months to do so without applying for a student visa.
In percentage terms, students from Saudi Arabia saw the largest increase in enrollments at New Zealand institutions of higher education last year – up 431, or 19 percent from the previous year, ahead of India’s 17 percent (to 10,435) and China’s 11 percent (to 16,620).
– The New Zealand Herald
April 25, 2012