WENR, November 2016: Europe

U.K.: Take a Page From Australia’s Lesson Book – Don’t Count Int’l Students as Immigrants

New vice-chancellor of Aston University, Alec Cameron, says that the U.K. should look to Australia to avoid harming the university system with its immigration policy. Australia, which has since changed its immigration policy, once opted to include international students in the country’s counts of immigrants. Cameron also sees positives in the current state of the European higher education system, envisioning a post-Brexit world where U.K. universities recruit E.U. students as aggressively as they do those from China or Canada, an action that only makes financial sense if international E.U. students pay the same tuition as their non-E.U. counterparts.

Times Higher Education
October 26, 2016

E.U.: €1.4 Billion in Horizon 2020 Proposal Costs (and Nothing to Show for It)

The League of European Research Universities (LERU) warns that distinguished researchers may opt out of Horizon 2020, the European Commission’s science and innovation program, if the chances of a successful application for funds remain as low as they are now. Concerns about the low success rates were raised after a new report suggesting that European institutions spent €1.4 billion (USD $1.5 billion) on proposals that were not funded. LERU suggests that the program give researchers another chance to secure funding, and that it divert funds from unpopular research areas to those where need is greater.

Times Higher Education
October 26, 2016

Germany: Free Tuition Delivers Mixed Outcomes

Free college tuition in Germany has delivered mixed returns, say observers. University enrollment rose 22 percent, while the number of students pursuing vocational training fell. Taxes to subsidize higher education, meanwhile, rose 37 percent. Many students from lower-income families still have to work or take out loans to cover housing and food costs, meaning that, despite free tuition, students still often graduate with debt. A number of universities contend they have lost a vital revenue stream, and some economists question how long the government will be able to sustain the current funding model. Germany now stands divided, with 44 percent wanting to re-impose tuition and 46 percent wanting tuition to remain free.

Hechinger Report
October 18, 2016

E.U.: Current E.U. Applicants to Pay Same Tuition as U.K. Students for Duration of Degrees

Recent news has dispelled some fears for EU students applying to universities in England and Wales, as U.K. authorities confirmed that E.U. students applying for the 2017-2018 academic year will have the same tuition costs as U.K. students. Students will also have the same access to loans and grants for the duration of their degree, whether the U.K. exits the E.U. during the course of their program or not. The European University Association is now calling on Scotland and North Ireland authorities to give similar reassurances.

The Irish Times
October 14, 2016

E.U.: Schools Emerges as Challengers to US Business Schools

European business schools have seen a jump in the number of applications to their graduate programs. Sixty-five percent of the schools saw a rise in enrollments, compared to only 46 percent of schools in the U.S. France’s INSEAD has also unseated Harvard Business school at the top of Financial Times’ MBA rankings. Some speculate that the European business schools have seen the sudden rise in popularity because they are often not tied to a university and are thus able to quickly react to the needs of the market. Some European programs may also be more attractive to students than their U.S. counterparts because they are shorter: Many last only one year instead of two.

Times Higher Education
October 13, 2016

France: National TNE Strategy Needed to Bolster French Institutions

A lack of national and institutional transnational education strategies is causing French institutions to fall behind their counterparts in the U.K., U.S., and Australia, according to a report from government-sponsored think tank France Stratégie. The report says French higher education institutions have a “niche offer,” with 70 percent of programs being at the postgraduate level and in very specialized fields that France has historically excelled in, like hospitality and fashion. The country also enrolls very few students in distance learning programs compared to Australia and the U.K., leading some to feel French schools are underutilizing new technologies as an internationalization tool. The report laid out three national objectives: providing institutions with the necessary tools to manage international strategies, increased oversight and quality assurance of overseas programs, and increased financial support for universities.

The PIE News
October 12, 2016

Italy: Anti-corruption Agency Plans to Take on Dishonest University Practices

Italy’s national anti-corruption chief has stated plans to turn his agency’s attention to the malpractice at the country’s universities. The agency plans to investigate cases of nepotism and cronyism, and end the country’s system of scholarly patronage, which benefits corrupt and connected academics. The goal is to bolster the image and prestige of Italy’s university system through the increased focus on university corruption.

Times Higher Education
October 11, 2016

Ireland: New Strategy Aimed at Increasing International Student Numbers, Overall Quality

Ireland unveiled a new education strategy that seeks to significantly increase international student numbers and revenue from international education from €1.5 billion to €2.1 billion (USD $1.7 billion to USD $2.3 billion) over the next four years. In an effort to boost the overall quality and prestige of the entire higher ed system, Ireland also intends to increase scholarships and extend its current 12 month post-study work scheme to incentivize high-achieving students to study in Ireland.

The PIE News
October 10, 2016

E.U.: Most European Universities Under Financial Strain, Not Norway and Sweden

Funding in European Countries has struggled to keep pace with increasing student numbers, according to new data from the 2016 Public Funding Observatory. Though funding has risen in some countries, student numbers have increased, meaning funding per student has fallen. The shortfall affects at least 20 out of 24 European countries. The only countries not under financial strain are Norway and Sweden.

University World News
October 7, 2016

Ireland: Plan to Capitalize on Status as Last English Language Destination in E.U.

Visa complications and other uncertainties are prompting more and more international students to choose Ireland as their study destination, and Marketing English in Ireland (MEI) predicts the growth will continue. Ireland plans to increase international student numbers by more than 37,000 and generate an extra €520 (USD $574) million per annum. Poised to be the sole English speaking country in the E.U. if Brexit goes through, Ireland aims to increase its English language training sector by 25 percent.

Irish Examiner
October 7, 2016

Russia: Questions About the Future of Project 5-100 Under New Minister of Education and Science

The future of Russia’s international higher education initiative, Project 5-100, is uncertain under the country’s new minister of education and science, Olga Vasilyeva. After taking over leadership of the ministry in August, Vasilyeva warned that revisions to the program, which seeks to elevate five of Russia’s universities into the top 100 of the global higher education rankings, may be pending. Vasilyeva has also suspended the consolidation of Russian universities, a strategy the country was pursuing to improve the overall quality of Russia’s higher education system and create local centers of excellence in specific disciplines.

The Pie News
October 6, 2016