WENR, May 2018: Europe

U.K.: Home Office Orders 7,000 Foreign Students to Leave in Big Blunder

New leaked information shows that the U.K. Home Office falsely accused 7,000 international students of faking their level of English proficiency and ordered them to leave the country in error. A large number of these students were not allowed to appeal the decision or view the evidence against them. Some point to the error as a real example of the effect of Prime Minister Theresa May’s rhetoric on immigration.

London Economic
May 1

Hungary: New Hungarian Laws Spark Calls for Codification of EU University Protections

Liviu Matei, provost and pro-rector of Central European University, has called for the official codification of EU laws protecting university autonomy and academic freedom. CEU faces an uncertain future after new Hungarian laws place restrictions on overseas universities operating in the country. Many view the laws as deliberately aimed at shutting down CEU. Under pressure from European Parliament, the Hungarian government has agreed to grant universities a year before they must comply with the new laws.

Times Higher Education
April 27

U.K.: Quality Assurance Agency Investigates London Alternative Education Providers

The U.K.’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) has been investigating a new wave of allegations against alternative education providers in London. Nineteen institutions have been accused, and the QAA has published four negative reports so far. QAA hopes to protect the academic integrity of the U.K. higher education system and prevent further fraud and low quality programs in the region.

Times Higher Education
April 25

Germany: Number of International Students Increases by 5.5 percent

The number of foreign students enrolled at Germany’s universities increased by 5.5 percent in 2017 to 358,900 students. This means that Germany has already exceeded its goal of 350,000 foreign students by 2020. Germany is presently the sixth-leading international study destination worldwide. The number students from China, the largest sending country, increased by 8.5 percent in 2017. The number of Indian students even grew by 13 percent. Other growth markets were Iran, the U.S., Korea, Pakistan, Syria, and Tunisia, while enrollments from Russia decreased.

ICEF Monitor
April 25

U.K.: University Leaders Call for Student Fee Policy Changes

While the number of European students studying in the U.K. hasn’t fallen too significantly this year, the Higher Education Policy Institute estimates student numbers will drop by as much as 60 percent when Britain leaves the EU next year. This drop in student numbers will likely lead to course closures, causing universities to begin lobbying the government for student fee policy changes. Currently, students from other EU countries pay the same fees as those from the U.K., after Brexit, these students will face fees of up to £20,000.

The Guardian
April 24

Russia: Government Urges International Students to Return Home

A Russian government agency is urging students studying internationally to return home. The move comes after many Western nations have expelled Russian diplomats in response to Russia’s alleged poisoning of a former military intelligence officer and his daughter. The agency cites these allegations as examples of anti-Russian attitudes abroad, something which would greatly influence the experience of Russian students studying in Western countries.

VOA News
April 19

Sweden: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of International Students, Universities Responsible for Ensuring Quality

The Supreme Court of Sweden recently ruled in favor of an international student who claimed that her university provided courses that were not of a high academic standard. Mälardalen University College, the accused university, will now have to compensate the plaintiff for two-thirds of her tuition fees. The case sets a precedent that Swedish universities are responsible for ensuring that courses offered to paying international students are of sufficiently high quality.

University World News
April 18

U.K.: Open University Model May Not Be Feasible with Current Student Loan Rules

Many have been concerned about the future of Open University, a distance learning institution, that has seen plummeting student numbers and huge deficits over recent years. England’s 2012 higher education funding reforms are a likely cause of shifting demographics that make the school’s model less feasible. The reforms made students not seeking a degree, and part-time undergraduates studying at less than 25 percent the rate of a full time student no longer eligible for loans. Prior to 2012 around a third of OU’s undergraduates belonged to one of these categories.

Times Higher Education
April 17

U.K.: Union Accepts Proposals, Ends University Pension Dispute

The University and College Union has reached an agreement with Universities UK, putting an end to recent strikes over university pensions. Under Universities UK’s initial proposal, a lecturer could end up around £10,000 worse off each year in their retirement, according to the union. The new proposals, approved by 64 percent of union members, will set up a joint expert panel which will look closely at the Universities Superannuation Scheme valuation and come up with recommendations for moving forward.

Nottingham Post
April 16

U.K.: Business Schools Reliant on EU Funding Threatened by Brexit

Funding for business and management research from within the U.K. has fallen sharply over the last six years, while the share of funding from the European Union has increased. Nearly 25 percent of funding came from EU government bodies in 2016-17, support that is threatened by the U.K.’s exit from the EU. The chief executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools says the increased reliance on EU funding is very concerning, and urges the U.K. government to commit to making up any budget shortfalls that occurs upon the U.K.’s exit.

Times Higher Education
April 11

U.K.: Universities See Record High Number of Applicants from Outside the EU

The Universities and College Admissions Services reported that the number of UK university applications from students outside the EU has increased by eight percent, hitting a record high of 65,440. Nearly 20 percent of the applications are from Chinese students, however, application numbers from India, the US, and Malaysia have also increased. There has also been an increase in the number of applications from other EU countries, despite uncertainty stemming from ongoing Brexit negotiations.

Relocate
April 6

Posted in Europe, Regional News Summaries