WENR, February 2018: Asia-Pacific

Indonesia: Government to Allow Foreign Universities to Operate

Indonesia’s government will allow foreign universities to operate in the country, as long as they partner with private Indonesian institutions and comply with official regulations. The Ministry of Education announced that ten foreign universities, including the University of Cambridge and Australia’s University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland had already expressed interest in entering the Indonesian market. The decision to allow foreign universities into the country is controversial in Indonesia. While proponents argue that it will improve educational quality, critics charge that it threatens the existence of domestic private providers. For foreign universities, operating in Indonesia will not be without complications either. Foreign universities are required to incorporate mandatory Islamic study courses into their curricula, and public foreign universities may be hesitant to partner with private institutions.

ABC News
January 31, 2017

Australia: Government Tightens Code of Conduct for Work with Recruitment Agents

Australia’s 2018 Code National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students, which went into effect on January 1st, makes academic institutions responsible for the behavior of their international recruitment agents.  It obliges them to educate agents about ethical standards in Australia and to sanction questionable behavior.  Education providers are now also required to enter information about their recruitment agents into a “Provider Registration and International Student Management System”.


The PIE News
January 24, 2018

India: Online Education Set to Expand as Government Plans to Allow More Universities to Offer Online Programs

Nearly 15 percent of Indian universities may be offering online degree courses once the government implements plans to allow universities that are rated A+ by the NAAC to provide online education. The move, which comes despite concerns about a deterioration of  educational quality by some observers, is expected to increase India’s gross enrollment ratio in higher education, which is low by international comparison. Online courses will be limited to non-technical fields and exclude disciplines like engineering and medicine. Government officials expect that online education will increase access to education in India, especially given the country’s expanding use of cell phones, which are currently being used by 73 percent of 14 to 18 year olds.

January 17, 2018


Pan-Asia: Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education Goes Into Effect

Following the formal ratification of the treaty by Australia, South Korea, China, Japan and New Zealand, the Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education went into effect on February 1st, 2018. The convention succeeds the previous 2011 Tokyo Convention [1]. The agreement is aimed at increasing transparency and information,  and easing the comparability and recognition of educational qualifications in order to facilitate international student mobility and cross-border mobility of workers in the region. Other Asian countries are expected to join the agreement in the future.

University World News [2]
January 13, 2017

India: International Student Enrollments and Gross Enrollment Ratio Remain Low Amidst Modest Growth

The number of international students in India has increased only modestly between the 2015/16 and 2016/17 academic years, from 45,424 students to 47,575 students, according to India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development. Growth in domestic tertiary enrollments, likewise, has been relatively small, despite the number of universities increasing from 799 to 864. The country’s Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) grew from 24.5 percent in 2015/16 to 25.2 percent in 2016/17. India has a far lower GER than countries like China or the U.S., where the GER currently stands at 43.4 percent and 85.8 percent, respectively. India attempts to boost its GER to 30 percent by 2020. The state of Tamil Nadu has the highest tertiary enrollment ratio, while participation rates in higher education are lowest in Bihar.

Indian Express
January 5, 2018

China: One in five of the world’s students enrolled in China

Student enrollments in China have grown to such an extent over the past decade that China today has the world’s largest population of tertiary students – fully one in five of the world’s students studied in China in 2016.  The number of universities in China grew by 176 percent between 2001 and 2014, from 1,022 to 2.824 universities, and the country today has a total student body of 37 million.  The number of international students in China, meanwhile, increased from 55,000 in 2006 to 440,000 in 2016, underscoring China’s growing importance in global higher education. By 2030, the country is expected to have the highest number of graduates in STEM disciplines, while the government seeks to have at least 40 world class Chinese universities by the middle of the century.

The Diplomat
December 29, 2017