WENR, September 2015: Americas
Significant Growth Projected for Distance Learning Sector
Global education spending is estimated at $5.5 trillion, of which e-learning represents about 3 percent, or $1.7 billion. However, e-learning is expected to see considerable growth; outpacing all other categories of learning and growing at an average rate of 23 percent per annum, it will reach $4.8 billion by 2020.
Latin America presents an interesting opportunity for ed tech players. The region has more than 600 million people, and an educational system that has lagged behind the developed world and hasn’t been accessible to everyone. However, with smartphone penetration expected to increase from about 25 percent in Latin America today to roughly 50 percent by 2018, many are seeing e-learning as the ultimate class equalizer. In line with that trend, online education service Coursera is seeing more than 22 percent of its users based in Latin America, and is placing considerable business development efforts in the region.
July 11, 2015
Universities in Mexico, Colombia to Exchange Scholarship Students
Two leading private universities in Latin America have announced an exchange initiative for low-income students who qualify for their merit-based scholarship (becas) programs. Leaders of the Tecnológico de Monterrey (TEC) in Mexico and the Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES) in Colombia this month said the exchange is the beginning of a community of future leaders in the region.
From next year, 25 students from UNIANDES’s Quiero Estudiar and TEC’s Líderes del Mañana scholarship programs will participate in the exchange. UNIANDES’ Quiero Estudiar program has supported almost 400 students through to graduation since its inception. The program covers complete tuition costs for students from low-income backgrounds with the requirement that they return the money once they have stable employment in order to sustain the program and extend the opportunity to future students.
Similarly, Líderes del Mañana targets students with little to no economic resources to pay for higher education. The program, funded mostly by TEC, covers 100% of course fees and living costs for up to 200 students a year without any responsibility of repayment.
August 18, 2012
Brazil: More Students Funding Their Studies
The number of Brazilian students studying abroad through full fee-paying undergraduate and master’s degrees is expected to increase, according to a recent survey of international officers by BMI Media.
The survey, which was sent to directors of international offices at Brazilian universities, found that 76% of respondents are expecting some form of increase in the number of students who will pay for an undergraduate or master’s program overseas in the next three years.
This is the first time this particular survey has been conducted, and Samir Zaveri, President and CEO of BMI, said the study was motivated by a noticeable rise in the number of students willing to pay for overseas study.
“This has been boosted by the positive experiences that many of the Brazilians have had after participating in the Brazil government scholarship program,” he said. “But it is also due to the lack of spaces at the best institutions within the country.”
Zaveri noted that the competitiveness of higher education institutions in Brazil also contributes to many students looking to do their degrees abroad, adding also that the “cost of education itself in Brazil has been increasing.”
Still, despite indications that self-funded Brazilians are on the rise, another survey response found that offering scholarships for a semester or a year was the most influential factor for 47% of international directors at Brazilian universities to send their students abroad.
Last year, the Brazilian government announced a further 100,000 students would be eligible to study abroad through the government scholarship program, Science without Borders. The first phase of the program, implemented in 2011, sent 101,000 students to overseas institutions.
The PIE News
August 11, 2015
Canada: Ontario to Permit Funding of International Graduate Students
The government of Ontario in Canada has announced that, starting this fall, it will permit universities to use up to 25% of allocated public funding to support international graduate students. The decision won’t expand budgets, but will give institutions more freedom to give graduate placements to foreign students.
According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education, with 126,805 students, Ontario currently has the biggest share of international students at university in Canada, 43.3%. But, up until now, universities in Ontario, unlike other provinces, have not received any operational funding for international graduate students from the provincial government.
Jennifer Humphries, vice president of membership, public policy and communications, of CBIE said it is important that provincial governments support Canada’s international education agenda.
“Being supportive of international students at graduate level as at other levels of study, based on the needs and concerns expressed by institutions, is a key part of the provincial role,” she said.
“International students comprise 25% of enrollment in a number of our graduate programs and that’s a very good thing, conducive to a stronger and more comprehensive academic experience for all.”
The PIE News
July 21, 2015
Mexico: Focus on Quality Control at Private Universities
Ensuring that Mexico benefits from its own resources rather than becoming “a production line for Chinese investors” and creating national standards for university quality are some of the challenges faced by the country’s higher education system.
Guillermo Hernández, general director for strategic partnerships at Mexico’s National Association of Universities and Higher Education Institutions (ANUIES), stated that quality standards would help Mexican universities work with their counterparts elsewhere.
Speaking at a recent summit of Mexican university leaders hosted by the UK Higher Education International Unit in London, Dr. Hernández stated that Mexico’s appetite for higher education has led to rapid growth in the number of private universities. However, Dr. Hernández said, there was a “tension” between the drive to expand private sector provision and the need to ensure standards.
Earlier this year, the UK and Mexico signed an agreement on the mutual recognition of higher education qualifications, which signals the Mexican government’s commitment to establishing a system for accrediting higher education institutions.
John Bramwell, the British Council’s director of education and society for the Americas, said that public institutions in the region have traditionally kept quality high by admitting only the most academically strong students. But this may not be the case in the private sector, he added.
Mr. Bramwell said that connecting universities to local industry was another challenge for Mexican higher education. Without such ties, “there is a danger that Mexico will simply become a production line for Chinese investors rather than managing its own growth and prosperity,” he said.
Although there are some university-business partnerships, the country needs more, Dr. Hernández said. “We need to develop a research and development and an innovation culture, not only in our companies but in our universities,” he added.
Times Higher Education
August 13, 2015
United States: Fewer Liberal Arts Degrees during Recession
Students in the U.S. are increasingly less likely to major in a liberal arts subject or education field at university as unemployment rates rise. That is the main finding from a new study which suggests that U.S. students choose to major in subjects that are “more challenging, require more math” and lead to jobs with higher salaries.
The paper, published by the Institute for the Study of Labor, found that each time the unemployment rate increases by 1 percent, the share of men majoring in engineering fields rises by more than 0.6 percent, while the proportion choosing education or liberal arts falls by almost 0.4 percent and more than 0.2 percent respectively. For women, the proportion studying business rose the most (0.6 percent) as unemployment increased, with education (down 1 percent) and literature and language (down 0.3 percent) seeing the greatest drop.
“The recession-induced reallocation in college majors shifts the distribution toward fields of study that are more challenging, require more math, and, above all, are higher paying,” say authors Erica Bloom, principal consultant at Edgeworth Ecomonics, Brian Cadena, assistant professor in the department of economics at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Benjamin Keys, assistant professor at Harris School of public policy at the University of Chicago.
“These shifts suggest that a substantial number of college students make an earnings-maximizing response to recession conditions by choosing majors that are more insulated from recessions.”
They add that the data suggests that many college students, and especially female college students, have “sufficient ability to complete more challenging majors, such as STEM fields, yet choose not to do so in periods with stronger labor market prospects.”
Times Higher Education
August 3, 2015
MBA Programs with Majority International Students
When it comes to earning an MBA, students from across the globe have their sights set on the U.S. In fact, more than half of prospective MBA students from around the world want to study outside of their home country, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council. Among them, the U.S. is a top choice, with 66 percent hoping to gain admission to an American institution.
At the top 10 schools with majority international students, the average percentage of 2014 MBA-seekers was 63 percent. That’s compared with an average 33 percent among all 126 ranked schools reporting that figure to U.S. News.
Three-quarters of the 156-person student body at the University of California—Riverside were from outside the U.S. – the most of any school reporting data. Syracuse University was close behind, with nearly 70 percent of its 2014 MBA students hailing from beyond the border. Interestingly, U.S. students were the least likely to pursue an international MBA, with just 5 percent dreaming of obtaining a business degree abroad, according to GMAC.
The following business schools had the highest percentage of full-time international students for fall 2014: University of California—Riverside (Anderson), Syracuse University (Whitman) (NY), Thunderbird School of Global Management (AZ), Hofstra University (Zarb) (NY), Babson College (Olin) (MA), University of Delaware (Lerner), Bentley University (McCallum) (MA), University of California—San Diego (Rady).
August 4, 2015
Revised Program Eases Student Loan Burden
More student loan borrowers are expected to gain access this year to a repayment plan that cuts monthly debt payments to a small share of their income. The plan has been called Repaye, for “revised pay as you earn.” As the name suggests, it is based on the “pay as you earn” repayment program, which became available to some student loan borrowers nearly three years ago.
The new plan grew out of an executive order signed last year by President Obama, who aimed to expand the pool of borrowers helped by the pay-as-you-earn program. Concern has been growing about the economic impact of student debt and mounting loan defaults. In 2013, nearly 70 percent of graduating college seniors had student loans, and their average debt was more than $28,000. The Obama administration has said up to five million more borrowers will become eligible for the expanded program.
The new version of the pay-as-you-earn program will be available to anyone with federal direct loans, regardless of when students receive the loans and what their debt-to-income ratio is. (The original pay-as-you-earn plan is available only to those who borrowed after 2007 and requires borrowers to have high debt relative to their income.)
Monthly loan payments for participants in the repayment program will be capped at 10 percent of their discretionary income. Any loan balance remaining after 20 years of payments will be forgiven, if the students have only undergraduate loans. If they borrowed money for graduate school, the forgiveness comes after 25 years.
New York Times
August 14, 2015