WENR, December 2018: Europe
Ireland: Sudden Closure of Grafton College Affects 470 International Students
Grafton College has been closed and liquidated without notice, leaving 470 enrolled international students uncertain for the future. Students, the majority of which came from Brazil, had paid fees of up to €2000 to study at the college and must now find new institutions where they can continue their course of study. Marketing English in Ireland, an association of English language schools, has stated that affected students will be assisted in finding new schools under the Learner Protection Scheme introduced after a wave of school closures in the 2014-15 school year. Grafton College is the 22nd Irish English language teaching institution to suddenly close since 2014.
U.K.: Widely Circulated Article Falsely Claims Universities Stopping Recruitment of Chinese Students
An article widely circulated on popular Chinese social media platform WeChat claimed to have proof of UK Universities suspending recruitment of Chinese students. The British Council has said that the article, which has since been taken down, was fallacious, and that U.K. universities are open to accepting Chinese international students. In May of this year, WeChat blocked 500 million postings, and later launched a “rumor-debunker” program, aimed at preventing the spread of false information like that of the article.
France: Government Unveils New International Recruitment Strategy
The French government has introduced a new international student recruitment strategy which aims to increase foreign enrollment by roughly 5 percent annually, and host 500,000 international students by 2027. Foreign enrollment in France has been increasing since 2007, however, France’s share of the international student market has decreased, largely due to rapid growth in foreign enrollment for competitors, like Canada and Australia. The new strategy will simplify the visa process, increase scholarships for foreign students, and introduce new incentive programs to encourage universities to bolster student support services.
Russia: Project Lead Says Government’s Higher Ed Goals Unlikely to Be Met
The government initiative to have five Russian institutions rank in the top 100 global universities by 2020 is not realistic, according to Andrei Volkov, the deputy chair of the project. Volkov says the project has made great progress over the last five years, but says budget shortfalls and a tight timeline make it unlikely the government will achieve its goal. Currently, Lomonosov Moscow State University is the highest ranking Russian institution, and is ranked 199th.
Times Higher Education