WENR, May 2015: Americas


Argentinian Universities Graduating Just 30% of Enrollees

Argentinian universities are graduating only three out of ten students, while in neighboring Chile six out of ten graduate, and in Brazil five out of ten students graduate. As a percentage of the population, the number of university graduates is, respectively, 96 percent and 59 percent higher in Brazil and Chile than in Argentina, according to a recent report.

“University graduates are few despite the high number of students because the majority do not finish their studies,” writes Alieto Guadagni, director of the Center of Argentinian Education Studies at the University of Belgrano, Buenos Aires, in its April 2015 bulletin.

“Between 2002 and 2012, the number of Chilean and Brazilian [university] graduates grew at a pace that is almost triple ours,” according to the report. It blames the high drop-out rate on the fact that Argentina, unlike Chile and Brazil, does not have a school-leaving exam at the end of secondary school which, it says, would prompt secondary school students to do better. But the situation is unlikely to change soon. There is a belief among education watchers that the low completion rates in Argentina are also due to the fact that many universities are not offering what the market needs, while secondary schools are failing to prepare students adequately.

University World News [1]
April 24, 2015


U.S. Private Equity Back in the Brazilian Higher Ed Market

Advent International Corp has agreed to acquire for-profit Brazilian university Faculdade da Serra Gaúcha in a deal marking the return of the U.S. private-equity firm to Brazil’s education industry. Advent is buying 100 percent of FSG, as the university is known, for an undisclosed amount to use it as a platform for future acquisitions, Newton Maia, an Advent director, said in an interview. The sector remains excessively fragmented and still presents fast growth opportunities for the years ahead, he said.

The acquisition is Advent’s first in Brazil’s education sector since its exit from Kroton Educacional SA in 2013. Kroton is now the world’s largest for-profit education company.

“There are three key drivers behind this deal: the ability to capture synergies, take advantage of massive market fragmentation and seize potential demand,” Maia said. “We believe FSG is a great platform to achieve all these goals.” FSG is based in the city of Caxias do Sul, in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Reuters [2]
March 24, 2015


Canada-India Sign Skills Development Agreement

Canadian educators have partnered with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) of India to help train India’s youth population. With the NSDC responsible for training 150 million young people by 2022, it signed memoranda of understanding with 12 Canadian colleges and an umbrella MoU with Colleges and Institutes Canada, which will facilitate collaborations for skill development in a variety of different sectors, including water, aviation and hydrocarbon.

The agreements were endorsed by both Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter’s visit to Canada in April, the first in 42 years. In 2009, under the National Policy on Skill Development in India, a target to train 500 million people before 2022 was set and the NSDC has been charged with training 150 million students.

According to CIC figures, last year Canadian colleges and institutes hosted more than 8,000 Indian students– more than the number at universities, language schools, primary and secondary schools combined.

The PIE News [3]
April 24, 2015

United States

State Department Revamps EducationUSA Web Presence

The U.S. Department of State’s EducationUSA network has revamped its web presence for international students, U.S. higher education professionals, and foreign governments and institutions at educationusa.state.gov [4] to better promote U.S. higher education abroad.

The interactive platform helps engage and inform international audiences about U.S. higher education, connecting them with EducationUSA advisers and centers around the world. Key information is provided to U.S. higher education professionals on regional educational and student recruiting trends.

The EducationUSA website has been a major asset to the network with a reported 1.8 million visits in 2014 alone. The new site has updated content translatable into 90 languages, including EducationUSA’s signature “Your 5 Steps to U.S. Study,” that walks prospective international students through the process of applying to and preparing to study at an accredited U.S. institution.

The State Department’s EducationUSA network [5] includes hundreds of advising centers in 170 countries around the world that provide prospective international students with comprehensive information about the diversity of accredited U.S. institutions of higher education, while supporting U.S. higher education professionals’ international student recruitment and internationalization efforts.

State Department news release [6]
March 31, 2015

Immigration Data Show 14% Increase in International Students in Last Quarter of 2014

There has been a 14.2 percent increase in international students enrolled in the U.S. education system compared to numbers from January 2014, according to a recent report from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The report, using data [7] from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, tracks the number of students participating in ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). SEVP manages academic and vocational visa classifications for non-immigrant students while the U.S. Department of State manages J visas for exchange programs, the report stated.

Approximately 76 percent of all international students enrolled in the United States come from Asian nations and 24 percent are from all other nations combined, the report stated. Since October 2014, there has been a 2 percent increase in students from Asia, primarily from China and India. China is the top country of origin (331,317, up .4% on the quarter), followed by India (146,336, +9%), South Korea (87,384, -1.2%), and Saudi Arabia (80,941, +4.9%).

February 2015

Major For-Profit Provider Closes All Campuses

Corinthian Colleges Inc., a for-profit-college company that was pushed to the brink of collapse last summer when the U.S. Department of Education tightened its financial oversight of the troubled enterprise, announced in April that it had ceased operations and would close all of its remaining 28 campuses at the beginning of May.

Approximately 16,000 students have been affected by the closures, which involve the Corinthian subsidiaries Everest College, Everest Institute, Heald College, and WyoTech, mostly in California and other western states. Corinthian reached an agreement with the Education Department last year to sell 95 of its campuses in the United States and Canada and to “teach out” and close the other 12. It announced in November that it had agreed to sell 56 campuses to the ECMC Group, a nonprofit student-loan servicer. A new division of ECMC, Zenith Education Group, now manages those campuses.

In its statement on Sunday, Corinthian said that it had been negotiating with several parties to sell the remaining campuses but that those efforts had been unsuccessful, “largely as a result of federal and state regulators seeking to impose financial penalties and conditions on buyers and teach-out partners.”

– The Chronicle of Higher Education [8]
April 27, 2015