WENR, July/August 2016: Europe

England: May Promises New Restrictions on International Students, Diploma Mills

Prime Minister Theresa May plans to place new restrictions on student visas as part of a broader effort to curtail immigration. The administration is looking into other restrictions on international students as well, with a focus on ensuring that they leave the UK once they’re done with school. As part of a hotly contested plan to reduce “net migration” to less than 100,000 people, May’s government has promised to crack down on “Mickey Mouse” schools that allegedly offer foreign immigrants an easy pathway to employment. Under the previous administration, international students were expected to contribute up to £1 billion to Great Britain’s economy by 2020. That estimate is no longer sound.

Telegraph [1]
July 24, 2016

U.K.: Universities Say E.U. Branch Campuses Could Mitigate Brexit Blow

Some U.K. universities are considering opening branch campuses in the E.U. to soften the financial and academic effects of Brexit on Britain’s higher education system. Brexit is expected to have a chilling effect on both international student enrollments and scientific research partnerships. New branch campuses in the E.U. could enable an easier visa process and lower fees for European students seeking a British education. The maneuver could also allow the U.K. to retain access to research funding from the E.U.

Times Higher Education [2]
July 19, 2016

U.K.: New Program Provides Asylum and Further Education for Graduating Refugee Students

An innovative new program at the University of Portsmouth business school, created with Scholars at Risk and Amnesty International, provides full scholarships for PhD students from emerging economies. Although not specifically developed to support refugees, the program may benefit international students from countries in turmoil, such as Syria, who cannot return home without being forced to join the military or even killed. The program offered two scholarships this year and plans to offer two more in the coming year.

Times Higher Education [3]
July 14, 2016

Germany: Scholarship Funding for 2,500 Syrian Refugees

Germany is supporting the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative (DAFI) with 2,500 scholarships for Syrian refugees. The scholarships provide access to education for Syrian students wherever they find refuge. Many of the scholarships will be awarded to refugees in countries neighboring Syria. Prior to the war, 20 percent of Syrians between the ages of 18-24 were enrolled at an institution, this number has fallen to 4 percent in the midst of the conflict. While Sub-Saharan Africa has traditionally been the focus of the program, Germany hopes to utilize DAFI to help create strong for the futures of many Syrians in need.

In Depth News
July 8, 2016

Ireland: Brexit May Lead to a Flood of International Enrollments

Ireland’s higher education sector is bracing for a flood of students in the wake of Brexit. Britain’s decision to leave the European Union puts the future of some 10,905 Irish students studying in U.K. colleges and universities in question. Those students, along with others from throughout the E.U., are considered foreign under new rules, and may opt to enroll in Irish institutions in the near term. Post-Brexit increases in enrollments will put financial pressure on Ireland’s already under-funded higher education system. However some view the potential to attract additional international students as a potential windfall that could offset those stresses.

Irish Times [4]
July 8, 2016

U.K.: Graduate Employment Rates Key Factor in New University Evaluation Metric

Recent data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency found higher-than-expected variation in the employment rates of graduates from U.K. institutions. Employment rates – a proxy for student outcomes and university quality – will be a key metric for the soon-to-be-implemented Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which will tie tuition rates to institutions’ performance against key metrics. The U.K. government plans to evaluate schools using employment data averages over the last three years in conjunction with indicators for both student satisfaction and retention.

Times Higher Education [5]
July 7, 2016

Transnational Education Industry Sees Rapid Growth in U.K.

Though U.K. transnational higher education (TNE) programs grew 13 percent between 2012 and 2015, international recruitment grew at a much slower rate, 2.7 percent. The U.K.’s TNE programs reach all but 15 countries, and many feel serve a valuable role in extending the reach of U.K. education. One negative aspect of TNE programs is a tendency to foster tension between various local providers, which undercut one another in an attempt to entice students with the lowest prices.

University World News [6]
July 1, 2016

Russia: Higher Ed Initiative Increases Foreign Student Numbers and International Standing

Russia’s higher education internationalization initiative, Project 5-100, has seen international student numbers double between 2012 and 2015. Proponents of the initiative hoped it would bring five universities into the top 100 ranking, as well as improve the Russian higher education systems international standing overall. As of 2015, 680 collaborative programs have been developed with foreign institutions. The initiative also brings increased support for research, partly in the form of guidance and training on where to and how to publish in English. Publishing in Russian has traditionally hinder Russia’s institutions; the new training programs seek to increase exposure and visibility for Russian research.

The Pie News [7]
July 1, 2016

E.U.: Coalition of European Schools Take Research Focus

A new network of schools called the Guild of European Research Intensive Universities seeks to foster an intellectual environment to generate ideas to address a range of issues facing the E.U. So far, nine member institutions have been announced. The university alliance hopes to distinguish itself from other partnerships in the region through a strong commitment to building member institutions’ research capabilities.

University World News [8]
June 4, 2016