WENR, February 2016: Asia Pacific

Japan: Universities seek closer ties to ASEAN nations

With an aging population and low birthrate threatening to drive down university enrollments, Japan has begun to court students from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. By 2020, the government hopes to increase the number of foreign students enrolled in Japanese institutions of higher education from an estimated 200,000 today to 300,000. The target is primarily students from ASEAN nations – including Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Singapore – that have already shown significant potential for growth.

Japan Times [1]
January 29, 2016

China: Beijing eases policy on foreign students and work

Beginning in March, international students studying in Beijing universities can take part-time jobs in the district known as “China’s Silicon Valley.” Foreign students will also be permitted to have short-term internships there. The new policy addresses stiff barriers to foreign employment that affect new graduates in particular. Last year, Shanghai announced similar measures, signaling growing business and city government interest in retaining foreign talent.

The PIE News [2]
January 28, 2016

India: Institutes of technology may open to foreign students

In 2014, a legislative change effectively forbade foreign students’ entry into India’s institutes of technology, banning them from sitting for required entrance exams. A recently proposed reform would roll that change back. Under the proposal, students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels would be allowed to sit for mandatory entrance examinations. The change, requested by the Human Resources Development Ministry, is part of an effort to raise the country’s standing in global academic rankings.

The Times Higher Education [3]
January 20, 2016

Cambodia: Internationalization linked to drive for quality

Over the past two decades, the Cambodian economy has evolved from a primarily agricultural focus to a more industrial and services-oriented model. The need for educated workers has grown in tandem. Although the country is home to some 110 public and private institutions of higher education, experts say that the capacity to address students’ needs is lacking, citing both inconsistent educational quality and insufficient funding. Internationalization, including partnerships, dual degree recognition and increased mobility of Cambodian students, is increasingly viewed as a potential remedy for both issues.

University World News [4]
January 15, 2016

China: An end to standardized degree certificates

After the government stopped requiring standardized diplomas in January, Chinese universities began to issue new, customized certificates. Peking University in Beijing was among the first to release a new design and grant them to about 1,000 graduates.

China News Service/ECNS [5]
January 10, 2016

China: Some local governments are leery of internationalization

A handful of Chinese city governments have taken steps to limit the influence of programs that prepare students for international studies. Beijing authorities, for instance, have reportedly stopped approving international programs in schools. The Shanghai city government has ordered programs to slash their fees, putting continued operations at risk. Given the 459,800 students studying abroad last year, observers speculate that the Communist Party may be concerned about exposure to Western lifestyles and values.

Times Higher Education [6]
December 24, 2015

South Korea: Copyright scam shakes academic reputations

An intensive investigation into copyright violations has shaken local faith in South Korea’s academic system and led to indictments for as many as 179 university professors from 110 universities. Under South Korean law, copyright infringement cases can result in sentences of up to five years’ imprisonment 50 million won in fines. The scale of violations could have repercussions for the global ranking of South Korean universities.

University World News [7]
December 17, 2015

China: Cooperation with Africa focuses on higher education and other development needs

China announced US$60 billion in funding support to ensure 10 new initiatives to support African development are implemented effectively. As part of the plan, China will establish 30,000 government scholarships over three years and to create 40,000 training opportunities for African students in China. Other initiatives focus on industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure construction, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, and more. Implementation will take place over a three-year period.

University World News [8]
December 12, 2015

Nepal: Student mobility on the rise

Despite the earthquake that devastated many regions of the country in 2015, Nepal may emerge as a major exporter of international students in the coming years, in large part because local institutions lack the capacity to meet the growing demand for higher ed. As the 18- to 22-year old population expands dramatically, the global repercussions are already apparent: Nepal was one of the top three fastest-growing markets for Australia in 2014, and the second-fastest-growing for Japan in 2013. Nepalese students also have a presence in the U.S., where many seek out STEM or business and programs. Nepal’s 18- to-22 cohort is expected to add 787,000 people between 2011 and 2024.

ICEF Monitor [9]
December 7, 2015

China: Ministry of Education views internationalization as a strategic part of higher ed reform

International collaboration is central to the Ministry of Education’s long-term strategic plans for higher and vocational education in China. The plans focus on improved quality in teaching, research, and management at top universities beginning in 2020. They also address increased international partnerships. Funding for improvements will be allocated based on institutions’ performance on specific criteria laid out in the blueprint. The goal is to ensure that an initial group of universities achieve ‘first-class’ status by 2020; others will hit the mark by 2030.

The Pie News [10]
December 1, 2015