WENR, March 2013: Americas
Report Says Goal of Sending 100,000 American Students to China By 2014 Will Likely be Met
According to the findings of a new report from the Institute of International Education (IIE) –US Students in China: Meeting the goals of the 100,000 Strong Initiative – American students are increasingly experiencing Chinese higher education in ways other than through traditional for-credit programs.
The IIE Center for Academic Mobility Research pulled together data on the range of learning opportunities available to American students in China beyond that covered by the IIE’s flagship mobility report, Open Doors, which looks mainly at credit-bearing programs (finding that China is the number one destination for U.S. students outside of Europe).
Through a survey of almost 1,700 US higher education institutions between October 2011 and September 2012, with a response rate of 34 percent, the report found that in 2011 more than 26,000 American students were engaged in some form of educational activity in China – 11,000 more than those counted in the Open Doors study. The additional activities included study tours, language study, internships and volunteering or service learning.
Announced in 2009, the US State Department’s 100,000 Strong Initiative seeks to meet a cumulative goal of having 100,000 Americans studying in China by 2014, in response to a bilateral desire to foster US-Chinese relations through increasing the number and diversity of American students involved in educational activities in China. The study provides a baseline against which to assess progress of the initiative and finds that the goal will likely be met.
January 31, 2013
Brazilian Scholarship Program to Work with U.S. Community College Consortium
Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is leading a consortium of U.S. colleges in an innovative partnership with the Brazilian government to help expand the reach of its Science Without Borders initiative.
The Community College Consortium (CCC) will offer one-year undergraduate scholarships for Brazilian students to study STEM concentrations (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) at U.S. community colleges. Initial CCC institutions include NOVA, City College of San Francisco, Maricopa Community College District and Miami Dade College.
The CCC program will be the first to serve the community college equivalent sector of Brazilian higher education under the Science Without Borders program. At the Brazil-U.S. Partnership for the 21st Century summit in Washington, D.C., in April 2012, NOVA signed a memorandum of understanding to support the Brazilian educational initiative. A plan has since been developed for the CCC institutions to host 400 Brazilian students, with the first cohort set to arrive in fall 2013.
– Alexandria News
February 2, 2013
Quebec Leads the Way in International Dual PhDs
A new trend in doctoral studies is emerging on the Canadian university landscape, reports University Affairs, with a growing number of doctoral students choosing to study under a thesis supervisor at two universities – one in Canada and one abroad. The joint thesis supervision tends to go by its French name, cotutelle, and in Canada it is most common with students studying at francophone universities in Quebec who are doing a joint degree with an institution in France.
These are among the findings of a recent survey on joint and dual PhD programs in Canada, undertaken by the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies (CAGS). The survey was sent to 68 institutions and had 48 responses.
The cotutelle is a formal agreement between two universities that allows a student to do part of their academic activities at each. The student has two thesis supervisors but typically only one thesis defense, before a single examining committee appointed by both institutions. Most of the time, the student gets two degrees – a model the students prefer, although often each degree notes that it was issued simultaneously with the other institution.
Université de Montréal is by far the largest adopter of cotutelles with 175 doctoral students pursuing them, according to the CAGS report. Université Laval and Université de Sherbrooke are also heavily involved. In recent years, interest in cotutelles and other kinds of joint international doctoral programs has spread to the rest of the country. Almost half of the 48 respondents to the CAGS survey offered some kind of joint or dual degree PhD program. The number of agreements with countries other than France, specifically with Germany, China and Belgium, are also on the rise, according to the report.
February 6, 2013
Top Canadian B-Schools Partner to Market Country as Business Study Destination
Canada’s top business schools announced in February that they will be collaborating to market the country as an international MBA destination. The new “Canadian MBA Alliance” brings together all of the nation’s leading providers: McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Western Ontario’s Ivey School of Business, University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, York University’s Schulich School of Business, and Queen’s School of Business.
The consortium model is not unlike that employed by two groups of top U.S. and Asian business schools. Cornell, Darden, Duke, Haas, NYU, Ross, and Yale have worked together to stage joint information events; while the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Indian School of Business, Nanyang Business School in Singapore, and CEIBS in China have also cooperated to market their corner of the world as a business education hub.
Canadian visa rules allow international students enrolled in a master’s or MBA degree program to stay and work in Canada under the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program for the length of the study program, up to a maximum of three years. Building on this through a concerted marketing campaign could make it a very serious competitor in the lucrative international market.
– Business Week
February 11, 2013
2012, A Record Year for International Enrollments
According to figures released at the end of February by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2012 was a record year for international student enrollments in Canada, with its institutions welcoming over 100,000 new students, an increase of 60 percent from 2004.
Part of Canada’s successes in recruiting international students are related to recent changes in immigration polices. One such program, the Canadian Experience Class, welcomed a record 9,353 newcomers in 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced in February.
“The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) makes Canada more competitive in attracting and retaining the best and brightest individuals with the skills we need. These are people who have already demonstrated their ability to integrate into the Canadian labor market and society,” said Minister Kenney. “The CEC allows these skilled and educated individuals to bring their skills and talents, contribute to our economy and help renew our workforce so that Canada remains competitive on the world stage.”
This is 34 percent more than the 2012 target of 7,000. Admissions in the CEC, which targets skilled immigrants, are up 55.2 percent from 2011. Introduced in 2008, CEC is an immigration option for international student graduates and skilled foreign workers with professional, managerial and skilled work experience in Canada. Unlike other programs, CEC allows an applicant’s experience in Canada to be considered a key selection factor when immigrating to Canada.
Recently, Citizenship and Immigration Canada streamlined the CEC work experience requirement to make the program faster and more flexible for applicants. As of January 2, 2013, applicants require 12 months of full-time Canadian work experience and now have more time, up to 36 months, to earn it.
– Citizenship and Immigration Canada
February 26, 2013
Quality Assurance Procedures Move Forward After Closure of 14 Institutions
In April 2012, 14 higher education institutions in Ecuador were suspended after it was found that they did not meet quality standards set by the government. University World News reports that 97 percent of the 41,000 students affected by the closures, and who applied for the government’s contingency plan, were admitted to one of the country’s remaining 57 higher education institutions.
Those 57 institutions are now readying themselves for a new round of accreditation and internal and external assessments. Leaders of the institutions now know that their continued existence depends on meeting minimum standards of academic and research capacity and performance, teacher quality, level of infrastructure, administration and finances. Universities are also focused on meeting targets set by the 2010 law on higher education that requires all ‘principal’ professors to have PhDs by 2017.
The drive for institutional quality upgrades is coming from Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa’s who believes that improving higher education is crucial for the country’s economic and social development. According to Correa, Ecuador now spends 1.86 percent of its gross domestic product on education – the highest in Latin America.
Correa has also said that technical education will be restructured. Among other things, a unified first degree, a yearlong first degree and a two-year graduate degree will be introduced. The government has set a goal of enrolling 23 percent of students in technical fields by 2016. To reach the target, 40 new institutes – averaging 3,300 students each – will be established.
– University World News
February 16, 2013
Law School Applications Continue Downward Trajectory
The New York Times is reporting that law school applications in the United States are heading for a 30-year low, reflecting increased concern over soaring tuition, mounting student debt and diminished employment opportunities upon graduation.
In January, there were 30,000 applicants to law schools for the fall semester, a 20 percent decrease from the same time last year and a 38 percent decline from 2010, according to the Law School Admission Council. Just four of 200 law schools nationwide have seen increases in applications this year. In 2004 there were 100,000 applicants to law schools; this year there are likely to be 54,000.
After the normal dropout of some applicants, the number of those matriculating in the fall will be about 38,000, the lowest since 1977, when there were more than 20 fewer law schools. Those who follow application trends are seeing reduced tuition fees at a number of schools and lower admissions standards at others. Meanwhile, some are predicting school closures, faculty lay-offs and reduced class sizes.
– The New York Times
January 31, 2012
GRE Test Data Shows Non-U.S. Test Takers Outperforming U.S. Peers in Quantitative Reasoning
Non-U.S. citizens outperform U.S. citizens on the quantitative reasoning section of the GRE, according to data released in February by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The non-U.S. quantitative mean is 155.6, compared to 149.5 for U.S. citizens.
However, U.S. test takers outperform non-Americans on the verbal reasoning and analytic writing sections, according to the data. The new report on GRE data is the first with country-by-country breakdowns.
The data do not necessarily show an equal comparison of the potential graduate students around the world, since only top potential graduate students in some countries (typically those looking at American or other Western institutions) might take the GRE, while many Americans take the test while seeking admission to a wide range of graduate programs. The figures do, however, illustrate why foreign talent is so important to American graduate programs, especially in math, science and technology fields.
In countries such as Australia, Britain and Canada, where English is the first language of most students, averages in all categories exceeded those of American students. The top ranking country on the quantitative section of the GRE was China (162.9), followed by Hong Kong (159.5), Turkey (158.7), South Korea (158.2), and Israel (156.7).
– Inside Higher Ed
February 21, 2013