WENR, January/February 2015: Asia Pacific
Indian and Chinese Students to Drive Growth in Academic Mobility
Higher education participation rates across the world are set to soar further despite more than doubling over the past two decades, a study shows. The global gross tertiary enrollment ratio (GTER) went up from 14 percent in 1992 to 32 percent in 2012, compared with just a four percentage point rise in the previous 20 years, according to a report by Simon Marginson, professor of international higher education at University College London’s Institute of Education.
Some 54 countries had a GTER of more than 50 percent in 2012 compared with just five countries in 1992, Professor Marginson observed. Student numbers in these countries will continue to rise because university is “quasi compulsory” when more than 50 percent of school leavers progress to further study, Professor Marginson asserts in his report, titled The Social Implications of High Participation Higher Education Systems.
The rise of an aspirational middle class in developing countries, particularly China and India, will be the most important driver of participation rates, with the global GTER set to exceed 50 percent by 2025, he says.
– Times Higher Education
January 1, 2015
Australia: the World’s Most Expensive International Study Destination
Australia is the most expensive destination for overseas students, according to research from HSBC Bank. The average international student in Australia reportedly needs US$42,000 annually for university fees and living expenses in the country.
The research was carried out by Ipsos MORI on behalf of HSBC’s Retail Banking and Wealth Management business, drawing on publicly available sources including university websites. Singapore, the U.S. and the UK were the next most expensive of the 15 destinations examined, with average annual costs of between $35,000 and $40,000. Costs in the least expensive destination, India, were less than one fifth of those in Australia.
Perceptions of the quality of education available in these countries differ. HSBC published a report in April 2014 called The Value of Education Springboard for success. It found that more than half of parents (51 percent) rated the U.S. among the top three countries in the world for quality of education. It was the clear leader in terms of reputation. The UK came second. Australia’s reputation was strong in Asian countries: it was ranked among the top three by parents in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.
September 10, 2014
Indian Students Returning to Australian Universities
Australia appears to be back in favor among Indian students, with the state of Victoria alone registering a 20 percent year-on-year increase in enrollments in 2014, accounting for half of all Indian enrollments.
The number of Indian students in Australia dropped dramatically for three or four years after the closure of a number of bogus colleges and a spate of racial attacks in 2009. There has since been a steady increase with enrollments hitting 62,000 in November 2014, up 29 percent on the year prior. This is still well off the highs of 2009 when some 120,000 Indian students were enrolled in Australian institutions.
Immigration Department figures show that overall student visa applications increased 16.2 percent in September 2014 versus the same time in 2013, fueled primarily by a 23.4 percent increase in higher education applications, while new enrollments were also up 17.4 percent. These are both good signs for continued near-term growth in the international student market in Australia.
While the rebound in Indian numbers is good news for the Australian education industry, the boom continues to be driven primarily by strong growth from China, from where demand is up 30 percent versus 2013 to a total enrollment of over 153,000 students in November 2014, and accounting for over one in four of all foreign students in the country. Across all sectors, there were a total of 583,000 student enrolled in an Australian institution of education. These students are estimated to have contributed A$15.74 billion (US$13.8 billion) to the Australian economy in 2014, the highest figure since the industry peaked in 2010.
– Australia Education International
Student Visa Fraud Skyrockets
The number of student visas cancelled by the Australian government has more than tripled in the last two years as instances of falsified test results and/or financial documents have soared within a new streamlined visa system.
Figures obtained by The Australian show that student visa cancellations more than doubled from 1,978 in 2012 to 4,940 in 2013, rising again to 7,061 in the last financial year. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection said it had also identified about 1,000 “course hopping” international students, who arrived on streamlined student visas but later transferred to unaccredited colleges.
The data are, to some extent, a result of the changes in Streamlined Visa Processing (SVP) that is available for some education providers. SVP means “reduced evidentiary requirements (similar to the current Assessment Level 1) regardless of the applicant’s country of origin”. The SVP has been a boon for the industry, by providing an easier route for prospective students into the country. But, once here, some students would move to cheaper colleges that did not qualify for the streamlined visa program, a practice that is illegal.
Last year SVP was also extended to VET colleges, which Rod Camm, CEO of the Australian Council for Private Education and Training, believes has opened up more entry routes for bogus students looking for an easy way into the country. Global education provider Navitas warned of increasing numbers of potentially fake students. The company cancelled around 40 agent partnerships and initiated interviews with all students from India and Nepal.
– The Australian
January 21, 2015
After Years of Delays, Students Move into Duke Kunshan Campus
Originally slated to open in 2012, the inaugural academic year at Duke University’s Shanghai campus got underway in August 2014. After living and teaching in temporary premises – a hotel – for the first two months of the semester, the university’s 103 students finally moved onto campus in October where five out of six buildings have been completed.
The university’s effort’s to open its Kunshan campus on the outskirts of Shanghai have been beset by construction problems, Chinese bureaucracy, and faculty uncertainty back home in Durham, N.C. about the value and cost of the venture. The university is offering master’s-degree programs in management studies, global health, and medical physics, and a one-semester undergraduate program in interdisciplinary studies.
– The Chronicle of Higher Education
January 5, 2015
China Increases Scholarships for Foreign Students
A new scholarship system offering increased financial support for foreign students attending Chinese universities was announced by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Education in January.
International students will receive an increased subsidy backdated to Sept 1, 2014. The highest subsides are 66,200 yuan ($10,660) a year for undergraduates, 79,200 yuan ($12,753) for students pursuing a master’s degree and 99,800 yuan ($16,070) for doctoral students.
– China Daily
January 22, 2015
State Universities Face Huge Faculty Shortages
Close to 40 percent of faculty positions in India’s higher education institutions are vacant. Experts say that while central institutions and institutes of national importance had a better student to faculty ratio, state public universities were significantly understaffed.
B Venkatesh Kumar, professor and chairperson, Centre for Public Policy and Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, said there are two reasons for the lack of good faculty. “The state governments are not willing to fill existing vacancies because it will add to their financial burden,” he said. “The second reason is that most universities are unable to find good quality teachers.”
Kumar was making a presentation at the south zone vice-chancellors’ conference at Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, and was assessing the country’s successive educational policies. “Most state governments spend 97 percent of the non-plan expenditure on salaries. Hence, the scope of recruiting new faculty to compensate for the rising student numbers is less. With 96 percent of the student population studying in state universities, the lack of faculty raises major concerns.”
– The Times of India
January 5, 2015
Government Urges All Universities to Adopt the Semester System
India’s University Grants Commission has asked all universities and colleges to take “quick action” towards adopting semester-based course curricula and grading systems, alongside the introduction the new Choice Based Credit System (see this month’s feature article).
The reforms are being encouraged under a higher education initiative known as Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), which is designed – among other things – to increase student mobility between institutions and programs through common credit systems and examinations. New curricular revisions would increase student course choice, while new alpha grading systems are to replace numerical marking.
– Times of India
January 8, 2015
International Enrollment Remains Anemic
The Association of Indian Universities has been collecting information on international students in India since 1994. For the recently released survey covering the academic year 2012-13, requests for information were sent out in August 2013 with 121 responses received by the end of May 2014. Among those institutions, 20,176 international students were pursuing diploma, degree and research programs, which means that for every international student in India, 10 Indian students are studying abroad.
Traditionally, the main source of international students in India has come from countries in Asia and Africa, and this continues to be the case. However, over the past two decades there has been considerable change in the relative contributions of these two regions. Compared to the mid-1990s, the share coming from Asia has increased from about 45 percent to 73 percent, and decreased from Africa to 24 percent from 48 percent. Significantly, South Asia and the Gulf region continue to be the most important providers of students, but new areas have emerged in Central Asia and East Asia. There is very low representation from the Americas, Europe and Australasia.
In 2012-13, seven Indian universities had more than 1,000 international students. Of these universities, three are self-financing or private, and the other four are public universities. The largest recruiter, with an international student body of 2,742, was Manipal University, a private institution.
– University World News
January 23, 2015
Internationalization Tops the Agenda at Japan’s Best Universities
Japanese universities do relatively well in global rankings, with ‘big-name’ universities featuring in the top 100, and the University of Tokyo well within the top 50 universities in the world for science and technology in the QS rankings.
But in the Asian rankings, placed well ahead of Japan’s top universities are institutions such as National University of Singapore, Peking University and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, all national champions that are funded generously by home governments and compete vigorously in the globalized market for higher education and university-based research.
In a bid to change this, top-ranked Japanese universities are now competing hard. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reported as saying that “the number of foreign students at a university will define its success.” Higher education in Japan must open up to global markets because international enrollment revenues will be necessary to support the system into the future, according to observers.
The Abe government is seeking to recruit increasing numbers of foreign students to plug the revenue gap currently faced by Japanese universities, while also revisiting structural and regulatory barriers to international recruitment. The emblematic announcement is that Kyoto University, a top-tier research institution, may open applications for its next university president to external candidates, including foreigners.
A new policy initiative, the Super Global program, was announced in 2013. This program aims to increase educational mobility, foreign-student recruitment and research linkages for 30 Japanese institutions. Deregulatory changes now on the table include degree programs that can be taught entirely in English, permission for joint or dual-degree programs with strategic international partners, and the full institutionalization of non-Japanese faculty. Abe has announced that eight national universities will hire 1,500 foreign faculty members over the next three years as replacements for retiring professors.
– East Asia Forum
December 30, 2014
University Enrollment to Drop by a Third
Taiwan plans to cut enrollment at universities and graduate institutes by around 35 percent over the next decade due to demographic declines. At the undergraduate and doctoral levels the target cuts are higher at 40 percent, the Ministry of Education said in January at a conference of university presidents, while master’s degree enrollment is forecast to drop to 46,000, or 14.55 percent down from 53,834 in 2013.
Taiwan only saw 1.065 births per woman in 2013, but experts say a rate of 2.1 births per woman is necessary to maintain population levels. Huang Wen-ling, head of the Department of Higher Education, said that she is expecting enrollment to begin falling sharply in 2016. Enrollment in the year 2023 could be 310,000 people fewer than the figures recorded in 2013, according to Huang, which she estimated means a NT$30 billion (US$955 million) reduction in tuition revenues.
– Focus Taiwan
January 15, 2015