WENR, April 2017: Asia Pacific

Taiwan: Demographic Pressures Expected to Reshape Higher Education System

Taiwan’s Ministry of Education predicts that, by 2028, declining birth rates will drive down the number of Taiwanese students  by almost 40 percent. The number of newly enrolled freshmen at universities and vocational colleges is expected to decrease to 723,000 in 2028, a full 413,000 less students than in 2013. The decline will likely spur spending cuts at universities, and cause school closures and mergers. The Taiwanese government is assessing how to facilitate reforms, mergers and exit strategies for universities. For more insight into the demographic trends threatening enrollments, please see our 2016 country profile, Education in Taiwan.

China Post
April 1

China: Foreign Student Enrollment Increases by 11 Percent in 2016

International student enrollments in China continue to grow at a rapid pace. According to official Chinese statistics, international enrollments  increased by 11 percent last year, for a total of 442,773 students. Sixty percent of international students came from the Asian continent. South Korea was the largest sending country with 70,540 students, or about 16 percent; Thailand came in third place with more than 5 percent of all students. The U.S. was the second largest sending country, accounting for 5.4 percent of foreign students. Increases in Asian enrollments have been helped by preferential scholarship programs. Other factors driving increased enrollments in China are low costs and the recent expansion of post-study work opportunities for foreign graduates.

The PIE News
March 28

Vietnam: Government Tightens Requirements for Foreign-Owned Universities

A new government decree will raise the minimum investment capital required for foreign investors to set up universities in Vietnam to around US$45 million. The new requirements also mandate that all lecturers at foreign-owned universities have at least a master’s degree, with around half of them holding a doctorate (an increase from 35 percent under previous legislation). The measures are intended to deter education providers of dubious quality, and ensure that only reputable institutions enter the Vietnamese market.  The new regulations also dispense of previous enrollment caps at the elementary and secondary school levels, allowing foreign-owned schools to enroll greater numbers of Vietnamese students.

The PIE News
March 21

Japan: Government Seeks to Retain More Foreign Graduates in Japanese Labor Market

Faced by a growing demand for multilingual graduates by Japanese companies expanding overseas, Japan’s government has initiated a variety of measures to keep foreign graduates in the country. Measures like Japanese language courses, government-subsidized internships, and the streamlining of visa requirements are intended to increase employment rates of foreign graduates from 35 percent (2016) to 50 percent in 2020. Japanese companies usually expect Japanese language skills and are primarily interested in foreign engineers, sales managers, and translators for their overseas branches in Southeast Asia. Chinese nationals currently account for 63 percent of foreign graduates employed by Japanese companies, followed by South Koreans and Vietnamese, 80 percent of them graduates from four-year undergraduate programs.

University World News
March 17

Pan-Asia: THE Asia Rankings Show Growing Importance of Southeast Asian Universities

The 2017 Times Higher Education Asia Ranking indicates that Southeast Asia could in the future play an increasingly important role as an education hub next to the traditional East Asian powerhouses of China, South Korea, and Japan. While the National University of Singapore ranked as the best Asian university for the second year in a row, Malaysia appeared in the ranking with seven universities in the top 200, highlighting the country’s growing importance as an international study destination. Two Indonesian universities reached the top 200, and Thailand had ten entries in the top 300, the highest number of ranked universities from all Southeast Asian countries. Pakistan in South Asia also saw strong gains, with seven universities among the top 200, compared to only two the year before.

Times Higher Education
March 16


India: National Assessment and Accreditation Council Forms International Partnerships in Effort to Drive Quality Improvements

India’s National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has signed an agreement with the International Quality Group (CIQG) of the U.S. Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in order to identify best practices in quality assurance and accreditation. The two institutions will exchange resources and assessment tools, as well as conduct joint activities like peer visits of universities. The NAAC expects the partnership to help improve accreditation practices in India.

Hindustan Times
March 15


Bangladesh: Parliament Passes Bill Establishing Accreditation Council

Bangladesh’s parliament has voted to create an accreditation council. The autonomous statutory body will include four full-time and eight part-time members who are experienced university professors, or public servants under the supervision of a senior university professor with 25 years of teaching experience. The accreditation council will be responsible for quality assurance in higher education, and for the accreditation of universities for five-year periods. The establishment of separate accreditation committees is planned in major disciplines, such as medicine, engineering, agriculture, business, law, and social sciences. The creation of the council is widely expected to improve quality standards, particularly at private universities.

New Age Bangladesh
March 8, 2017

Vietnam: Government Ramps Up Accreditation Process

The government of Vietnam intends to have all Vietnamese higher education institutions vetted under a new external quality assurance scheme by the year 2020. While 32 universities have already been accredited under the new scheme, a total of 35 percent of all universities and 10 percent, of pedagogical junior colleges are expected to be accredited by external accreditation centers by the end of 2017. Critics contend that there are not enough accreditation centers to complete the task and that a rush in the accreditation process could compromise quality. There are presently four accreditation centers in operation in Vietnam.

VietNamNet Bridge
March 7, 2017





Posted in Asia Pacific, Regional News Summaries