WENR, April 2017: Europe
Europe: New University Rankings Give Germany High Marks
The recently published 2017 EU Country Ranking identified Germany as the most attractive destination for international students, followed by the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The report ranks 30 European countries, taking into account three metrics: quality of education, cost, and life and career prospects. For more insight into German higher education, please see our 2016 country profile, Education in Germany.
Hungary: Government Proposes New Restrictions on Foreign-Funded Universities
Hungary’s right-wing government may implement strict new requirements for foreign-funded universities. Under the proposed policy, 28 affected universities would be required to have a campus in their home country, and to offer similar courses of study both at home and in Hungary. Leaders of the 25-year-old Central European University (CEU), founded when the Soviet Bloc collapsed, charge that the proposed restrictions are primarily intended to target their campus. The Soros-funded institution seeks to foster academic and intellectual freedom in formerly totalitarian countries.
University World News
Scotland: Government Guarantees Free Tuition for 2018/19 Incoming Students
The Scottish government has guaranteed free tuition for European Union students entering university in the 2018/19 school year, a promise it will maintain for the duration of their enrollment. The announcement seeks to dispell student fears about the prospect Brexit-related tuition hikes. International enrollments in Scotland have been on an upward trend: Some 20,945 students from the EU enrolled on Scottish campuses last year, up from 17,475 in 2012/13.
The Pie News
Europe: Elite Status Offers Little Benefit to University, Research Finds
Recent research on Germany’s Excellence Initiative has found that, though a university’s reputation is significantly hurt by losing elite status, the benefits of getting it in the first place are marginal. These findings have far-reaching implications for efforts to stack-rank higher education institutions, especially in England, where ministers are pushing for a new “gold, silver, and bronze” university ranking system.
Times Higher Education
Denmark: Ph.D. Enrollments Double; Higher Ed Quality Unharmed
In 2006, when Denmark’s Higher Education Ministry decided to up their intake of Ph.D. and postdoctoral students, many critics argued that the expansion would damage the quality of the country’s higher education offerings. The critic’s prediction, however, is not in keeping with the findings of a recent report, which says that Ph.D. enrollments in Denmark have doubled without hurting program quality. The report included the results of a survey, of Ph.D. supervisors. Some 75 percent of those supervisors said quality had either been maintained or improved.
Times Higher Education
Netherlands: New Bill Aims to Simplify and Strengthen Dutch Transnational Education System
The Dutch House of Representatives recently passed a new transnational education (TNE) bill that will soon face the senate. The bill would lift a lot of regulations on joint degree programs and greatly reduce costs for students pursuing TNE options. Many, like Dutch education minister Jet Bussemaker, hope that the simplified system will generate more interest in TNE programs, and in turn bolster the profile and competitiveness of the involved institutions.
Ireland: Government Cracking Down on Essay Mill Companies
The Irish Department of Education plans to implement new laws to combat companies who write student’s assignments for pay, often referred to as “essay mills.” The government is also considering a ban on advertisements for the companies’ services. Though it’s difficult to estimate how frequently these types of academic dishonesty take place, about 1,000 cases of plagiarism among Irish students have been identified since 2010.
The Irish Times
Europe: New Directive Lifts Some Residency Restrictions for Non-E.U. Researchers
A recent E.U. directive is seeking to facilitating research collaboration by removing restrictions and simplifying the visa process for non-E.U. academics. Researchers can now move from one E.U. country to another for up to six months without needing to apply for a different residency permit.
Finland: New Program Aims to More than Triple International Student Numbers
The Finnish government is introducing a new program to attract 100,000 new international students to study in Finland, more than triple the current amount. The new program primarily targets Asian students, but will broaden its scope over time. Finland has traditionally been an attractive destination for international students, offering high quality instruction and relatively low fees.
The Pie News
U.K.: International Students Generate More Than 25 Billion Pounds for British Economy
New analysis by Oxford Economics shows that international students generate over 25 billion pounds for the British economy, and support about 206,600 jobs across the country. Some hope the findings will strengthen the push to ease restrictions on international students, a movement that has found strong footing with the recent sharp decline of international student enrollments in the wake of the Brexit vote.