WENR, October 2016: Asia Pacific
Hong Kong: New Wave of Calls for Independence at Universities
Banners proclaiming “Hong Kong Independence” were seen at around a dozen university campuses across the city on October 1st, the National Day of the People’s Republic of China. In the wake of a string of student protests in 2014, an increasing number of Hong Kong residents are taking a pro-democratic stance and criticizing purported Chinese interference in city affairs, including education. According to Reuters, “schools… are becoming a new battleground in a nascent campaign for the city’s independence.”
India: Top Universities Turn Away Job Recruiters
The Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), some of the most prominent universities in India, have prohibited 30 startup companies from recruiting their students. With allegations that around 150 students have received withdrawn or delayed job offers from these companies, the move seeks to mitigate the consequences of missed opportunities for students. While investments in Indian startups boomed in 2014 and 2015, this past year has seen a marked slump.
China: On Track to Beat Out the U.K. as an International Study Destination
China’s standing as a destination for international study has drastically increased in the past year. If the trend continues, the country may soon beat out the U.K. as a top international study destination. China welcomed 397,000 international students in 2015, more than double the numbers of a decade ago. The number of U.K. students enrolled in China has more than tripled during that time. Student.com predicts China will overtake the U.K. as the second most popular destination for international students by 2020, and that it will eventually compete with the U.S. for the top slot.
Australia: International Education Industry Booming in New South Wales
The state of New South Wales has seen a sharp increase in international students, amidst growing concerns about quality. The number of inbound students grew nearly 23% between 2013 and 2015, as did revenue, rising from AUS$5.5 billion to nearly AUS$ 7 billion. In a recent report, the Grattan Institute, a non-partisan think tank, uncovered a growing concern in the higher ed sector that academic rigor may be on the decline, a view that is empirically backed by a surge in pass rates among international students. A growing reliance on higher tuition fees from non-residents, especially in light of a 2012 reform that removed caps on the number of seats for various bachelor’s programs, could also be a factor.
The Sydney Morning Herald
China: Surging Demand for International Schools
A growing number of Chinese families are willing and able to pay high tuition rates for international schools, as criticism of the highly competitive top public schools mounts—namely the low acceptance rates and strong focus on preparation for the gaokao, China’s very difficult, high stakes college entrance exam. International schools provide an attractive alternative for parents who want to minimize this academic stress and provide a pathway for international tertiary education. Currently more than 150,000 Chinese students study at international schools and that number is expected to rise exponentially in coming years. To learn more about internationals schools in China, see Alike but Unequal: Quality and Credentials In China‘s International High School Sector.
South China Morning Post
India: New System to Track Students Abroad
Sushma Swaraj, the Indian Minister of External Affairs took to twitter in early September to announce a new program that will track Indian students abroad. All students studying abroad or planning to are urged to register on the Ministry’s website so that they can be contacted in case of emergency. To date, 7,147 students have signed up.
The Times of India
Indonesia: U.S. Funds Research Partnerships
Thanks to a $1 million dollar grant offered by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), six Indonesian scientists will partner with U.S. scientists to research topics in science education, climate change and infectious diseases. One of the key goals of this group of partnerships, funded by USAID’s Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) program, is to alleviate extreme poverty and encourage economic growth in Malaysia. To read about higher ed in Malaysia, see our 2014 country profile: Education in Malaysia.