WENR, November 2016: Asia Pacific

Malaysia: Number of PhD Holders to Increase by Nearly 3X

The Malyasian government plans to nearly triple its number of PhD holders to 60,000 by 2023 — there are currently 23,000 doctorate holders in the country. Thanks to a government initiative called MyBrain15, by September 2016, over 54,000 scholarships had been awarded to students seeking graduate degrees. Students have also been funded by individual university grants and specific government sponsorship programs. The goal of increasing the number of doctoral students is to elevate the nation’s research and innovation.

New Straits Times [1]
November 1, 2016

Singapore: Crackdown on International Branch Campuses Seeks to Enforce Quality & Sustainability

Singapore has enacted measures to increase the quality of private education, including providers offering transnational education (TNE), on the heels of a lawsuit brought by three former students of Tisch Asia, a now defunct branch campus of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in Singapore. The students allege that the education they received at Tisch Asia was far inferior to that of the main campus in NYC, yet carried the same price tag. There are also reports that graduates of private institutions face more difficulties finding jobs post-graduation than their counterparts from local public universities. Private institutions will now have to undergo a standardized certification procedure, participate in a survey that measures graduate employability on a yearly basis, enact “minimum entry requirements”, and adhere to minimum financial requirements to ensure viability of their institutions. These measures will better protect the 100,000 students enrolled at private institutions in Singapore.

University World News [2]
October 21, 2016

Chinese and E.U. Education Ministers Forge New Partnerships

In a move to significantly increase academic cooperation, education ministry representatives and ambassadors from several EU nations and China met at the “Building a China-EU education Silk Road towards the future” conference in Beijing in mid-October. China forged mutual degree recognition agreements with 19 EU countries (including France, the UK and Germany) ahead of the conference, building upon a strong foundation of academic exchange between the two regions. In 2015, 303,000 Chinese students studied in the EU and over 45,000 EU students attended Chinese higher education institutions.

Times Higher Ed [3]
October 18, 2016

Chinese Education Company Accused of Fraud, Improper Relationships with U.S. Universities

Chinese company Dipont Education Management group is being accused of application fraud after several former employees admitted to altering transcripts and recommendation letters and ghostwriting application essays. These allegations shine a new light on the relationships that Dipont has developed with dozens of U.S. universities. For Dipont’s yearly workshop in Shanghai, hundreds of Chinese students pay to get in front of U.S. admissions officers, some scoring interviews. In recent years, Dipont has offered perks to the U.S. admission officers attending the workshop, including a 4,500 honorarium, which was paid in cash last year. Dipont earns about 30 million dollars annually providing services to outbound Chinse students. The price tag for college counseling alone can bring in over 30,000 per student.

Reuters [4]
October 14

India: International Students Forced to Leave Medical Programs Due to Test-Related Admissions Requirements

International students who entered medical school programs at private universities in the fall term of 2016 will not be allowed to continue study. This decision was made in light of a Supreme Court ruling mandating that all applicants to private schools take a standardized test known as the NEET. As it stands, the NEET is only available to Indian citizens, therefore effectively eliminating the international student applicant pool. This affects 22 students, several of whom had already begun classes and are reportedly devastated.

Sunday Guardian Live [5]
October 9, 2016

Vietnam: Universities Help Fill Demand for Skilled Workers

Vietnam is facing a shortage of skilled workers in almost every field, and several business including Prudential are partnering with universities to provide job specific training, while Intel is sending promising students to training abroad. These training initiatives have been developed to stave off a forecasted 15% shortage of skilled workers by 2020. The growing demand for skilled workers in Vietnam echoes a larger regional issue, with McKinsey consulting group estimating that developing ASEAN countries will face a shortage of 45 million skilled workers by 2020.

Vietnamnet [6]
October 3, 2016