WENR, June 2017: Asia Pacific

Taiwan: Concerns about Enrollments as Mainland China Cuts Student Quota by 50 Percent

The Chinese government is allowing fewer Chinese students to study in Taiwan, and has cut the number of student permits for Taiwanese undergraduate degree programs from 2,136 in 2016 to 1,000 in 2017 – a decrease of more than 50 percent. The move follows a previous decrease in the number of Chinese students enrolled in short-term non-degree programs in 2016.  It is expected to create financial losses, primarily for private universities in Taiwan, which are already suffering from low enrollments due to demographic decline. The shrinking of college-aged population cohorts is expected to decrease the overall number of domestic student enrollments by 40 percent until 2023. The Taiwanese government seeks to offset the losses with increased enrollments from South East Asian countries.

University World News
May 31, 2017

Australia: Number of International Students up by 15 percent

The number of international students in Australia increased by 15 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the first quarter of 2016, and stood at 480,092 as of March 2017. The spike was to a large extent driven by growing numbers of Chinese students which increased by 17 percent and now make up 30 percent of all students in the country. Other top countries include India (11 percent of students), and Nepal, Malaysia, and Vietnam (4 percent each). Overall, international students contribute USD $16.7 billion to the Australian economy, USD $11.2 billion of which are generated in the higher education sector.

Time Higher Education
May 30, 2017

India: Online Education Industry Expected to Grow Eight-fold by 2021

According to a study by Google and the professional services company KPMG, the trade volume of India’s online education industry is expected to increase from USD $247 million in 2016 to $1.96 billion in 2021. Online education is expected to shift from reskilling and certification courses, which currently account for 38 percent of demand, to supplementary education in the elementary and secondary sectors, with the fastest growth anticipated in test preparation courses. The expansion of online education is facilitated by a greater availability of cell phones, and improved internet connectivity in growing parts of the country.

The Times of India
May 30, 2017

Thailand: Expert Warns That a Majority of Thai Universities Are in Danger of Closure

According to a worst-case scenario outlined by Thai scholar Arnond Sakworawich, demographic decline and increased foreign competition threaten the existence of 75 percent of Thai universities within the next decade. The warning comes amidst plans of the Thai government to allow foreign universities to establish branch campuses in special economic zones along the borders of the country. Sakworawich fears that competition from these foreign institutions will further harm Thai universities, which are already suffering from decreased enrollments. Declining fertility rates are expected to decrease Thailand’s school-age population to 20 percent of the overall population by 2040, down from 62 percent in 1980. In 2016, Thai universities already experienced a shortage of students as only 80,000 students applied for admission to 150,000 available slots. Enrollment declines are most pronounced in social science majors.

Bangkok Post
May 22, 2017

South Korea: Major Changes in Higher Education Expected After Election of New President

The May 2017 election of left-leaning President Moon Jae-in, who campaigned on issues that prominently included youth employment and education reforms,  is expected to lead to major changes in Korea’s education system. Among the reforms proposed by Moon Jae-in is the abolition of the ministry of education in favor of an independent state education committee expected to have greater leverage in pushing through quality reforms against the resistance of universities. Other proposals include cutting university tuition fees to 50 percent of current levels, and the conversion of expensive international high schools into regular tuition-free schools. Moon Jae-in also seeks to break the dominance of the country’s top-ranked state universities by integrating all state universities in a unified university network, and to ban, by law, the need to state academic background on job applications – a move that is intended to increase the employment prospects for graduates from universities around the country in a job market that strongly favors graduates from elite schools in Seoul.

University World News
May 11, 2017

Pan-Asia: Top Institutions from 14 Asian Countries Form University Alliance

Under the leadership of China’s Tsinghua University, 15 top Asian universities have created an “Asian University Alliance” (AUA) to advance internationalization and to strengthen Asia’s standing in global education. The AUA seeks to promote student and faculty mobility in Asia and to support research collaboration between its member institutions. The AUA, which includes some of the world’s top-ranked institutions, including the National University of Singapore and Peking University, is seed-funded with USD$ 1.5 million and supported by the Chinese government.

ICEF Monitor
May 9, 2017

Posted in Asia Pacific, Regional News Summaries