Showing posts from September, 2012

The Most Educated Countries in the World

By Michael B. Sauter and Alexander E. M. Hess | 24/7 Wall St  –  Mon, 24 Sep, 2012 1:31 PM EDT   College graduation rates continued to improve around the world during the recession, according to a recent international economic study. In more developed countries, the percentage of adults with the equivalent of a college degree rose to more than 30% in 2010. In the United States, it was more than 40%, which is among the highest percentages in the world. However, improvements in higher education are harder to achieve in these countries. More developed economies have had the most educated populations for some time. While these countries have steadily increased education rates, the increases have been modest compared to developing economies. At just above 1%, the U.S. has had one of the smallest annual growth rates for higher education since 1997. In Poland, an emerging market, the annualized rate was 7.2% from 1997 to 2010. [More from 24/7 Wall St.: The Happiest Countries in

UNITED STATES Quality and accreditation body goes global

Alison Moodie 19 September 2012 Issue No:240   The US-based Council for Higher Education and Accreditation, CHEA, has launched an international division, arguing that as internationalisation spreads there is a pressing need for institutions around the world to work together to establish a shared global system of quality assurance. For many years, the role of universities was relatively straightforward: educate the youth and produce original research. But in an increasingly globalised world, tertiary institutions serve a more complex purpose. They function more as nodes in a much larger global network that involves not only other universities, but also a slew of businesses, non-profits and organisations that have a vested interest in an institution’s educational activity and financial outcomes. With all these competing interests, programmes and objectives, has come growing recognition that a mechanism needs to be put in place to ensure universities aren’t working

CHINA Country scores top ranking in overseas student numbers

China Daily 23 September 2012 Issue No:240     An international education exhibition in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, attracts dozens of colleges and universities from 12 countries, including the US, Britain and Australia. China boasts the highest number of students studying overseas. Dong Jinlin / for China Daily China continues to top in terms of student numbers at international educational institutions The number of Chinese students pursuing higher education in overseas universities increased to 339,700 in 2011 and accounted for 14 percent of all the international students studying overseas, says a recent report. The report prepared by the Center for China and Globalization and published by the Social Sciences Academic Press on Sept 17, gave China the top ranking in terms of overseas students. It is also part of the efforts by the government to provide statistical information on Chinese students studying abroad. "A lot of people want to know the actu

IRAN Spelling errors may harm rankings of universities

Rasha Dewedar 23 September 2012 Issue No:240   Linguistic inconsistencies in translating and spelling out the names of Iranian universities in international publications may be lowering the positioning of the country's universities in global ranking systems, according to a study. By analysing more than 1,600 university name entries in author affiliation fields in journal publications listed in the citation database ISI Web of Science, researchers found that more than a third contained misspellings and some had more than 100 spelling variations. Almost half of the 84 Ministry of Science, Research and Technology universities analysed had more than 10 different spellings each. The authors of the study, which was published in July in the journal Scientometrics , say this variation may lower the universities' standing in international rankings, such the Academic Ranking of World Universities, which usually take each spelling to represent a different universit

More grants for students from outside Europe

Jan Petter Myklebust 20 September 2012 Issue No:240   In its budget for 2013 the Swedish government has proposed doubling the grant for students from outside Europe. The move should help attract foreign students to Sweden, which saw a dramatic drop in numbers following the introduction of fees for non-Europeans in 2011. Earlier this month the major newspaper, Dagens Nyheter , reported a reduction of 80%, compared to 2010, in the number of foreign students admitted to higher education institutions in Stockholm. The grant for students from outside Europe is to be increased from SEK50 million to SEK100 million (US$15 million) and distributed to universities from the Swedish Institute in Stockholm. The funds will include students from OECD and Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries outside Europe. A further SEK60 million is to be provided for students from countries not on the DAC list. The application fee at Swedish higher education institutions is SEK9

First formal alliance links universities in UK and Australia

Geoff Maslen 18 September 2012 Issue No:240   The University of Warwick in Britain and Monash University in Australia have established a joint alliance and on Monday announced that Professor Andrew Coats will serve as the alliance’s first academic vice-president and director. This follows the signing of an agreement earlier this year between the two universities to create an alliance “that will clearly establish both as globally connected universities”. Coats, who is an accredited physician and cardiologist in the UK and Australia, has extensive experience in applied health. He was CEO of the Norwich Research Park and a professor-at-large at the University of East Anglia. He was also a visiting professor of medicine at the University of Sydney and a consulting professor for research strategy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The two vice-chancellors, Warwick’s Professor Nigel Thrift and Monash’s Professor Ed Byrne, said that the partnership would help mee

Plagiarism on the rise at Swedish universities

The Local 23 September 2012 Issue No:240   Some 800 students were suspended or received a formal warning due to cheating at Swedish universities last year, an increase of 5% compared to 2010, according to a new report from the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education, reports The Local . “Plagiarising has increased dramatically over the last decade. In 2001 there were only 68 cases,” said the agency’s legal expert Pontus Kyrk in a statement. Plagiarising is the most common form of cheating among university students, according to the study. The largest number of disciplinary cases reported was at Blekinge Institute of Technology and the lowest number was at University of Gothenburg. Of the detected cheaters, 639 were suspended and 151 received an official warning. Compared to 2010, the number of suspensions increased by 8%, while the issued warnings have decreased a little.  Full report on The Local site  

VIETNAM More university courses in English, in internationalisation drive

Hiep Pham 23 September 2012 Issue No:240   Three postgraduate courses at Vietnam National University-Hanoi – masters and doctoral degrees in organic chemistry, and doctorates in Vietnamese studies – are the latest to switch to being taught in English from the semester that began this month. They join 14 other courses, seven undergraduate and seven postgraduate, delivered in English since 2007 at the country’s largest multi-disciplinary university, under its Nhiem vu chien luoc (Strategic Tasks) programme to lay the foundations for internationalisation. The programme also has extra funding to increase the number of international students and academic staff, as well as for research and international publication, in order to push the university up the global university rankings. Academics are obliged to spend more time on research, and curricula and textbooks have been introduced from prestigious partners such as Tokyo University in Japan, the University of New So

USA: Visa woes for Iranian nuclear energy students

Wagdy Sawahel 16 September 2012 Issue No:239   The National Iranian American Council, or NIAC , has warned against a new United States bill that bans visas for Iranian students seeking education at American universities in fields relating to the nuclear and energy sectors. The bill’s language has critics arguing that it is potentially a human rights issue, given the new restrictions on fields of study Iranian students are allowed to pursue in the US. The NIAC warning was issued in response to a provision in the latest US sanctions bill against Iran, HR 1905: Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Human Rights Act of 2012 , which was signed into law on 3 August. As originally drafted, the provision in the bill applied to all engineering students. But the NIAC says it managed to have the engineering provision removed, and opposed the final bill. A NIAC press release of 1 August states: "NIAC supports an effective approach to prevent Iran from building a nuclea

UNITED KINGDOM: Universities fear for future after admissions chaos

Guardian 16 September 2012 Issue No:239   University leaders are blaming ministers for chaos in this year's clearing, with 30,000 fewer applicants. Universities have been forced to lower their offer grades in the frantic rush to fill places, and many vice-chancellors say this was the most "chaotic" and "uncertain" admissions round they have ever experienced, writes Anna Fazackerley for the Guardian . Elite institutions are slamming the government for failing to predict what looks like a dramatic fall in the numbers of top students in the system. Many universities have struggled to meet their recruitment targets, and experts warn that some less popular subjects could face the axe. This year, two key policies came on stream at the same time: fees of up to £9,000 (US$14,600), and a free market for the very best students, with universities able to recruit as many applicants with grades of AAB upwards as they could attract. Institutions were v

Chinese Students Eager to Enroll Elsewhere, Just Not in Taiwan

With a shared language and cultural roots, many educators in Taiwan assumed the island would be an appealing destination for the masses of mainland Chinese students eager to pursue higher education in the developed world. But after opening the doors of its universities to mainland students for the first time last year, Taiwan is still struggling to spur interest. Reuters Mainland Chinese students: Not interested in Taiwan. For the second year in a row, the island has filled less than half of the 2,000 university spots reserved for degree-seeking mainland students, according to numbers provided to The Wall Street Journal by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education. The ministry says 987 mainland students enrolled this fall, a slight bump up from 928 last year. Taiwan has been eager to attract mainland students to make up for sagging university enrollments resulting from an overabundance of colleges – a problem set to be compounded in the future by a perilously low birth ra

JAPAN: Robot to take top-ranked university exam

AFP 16 September 2012 Issue No:239   Japanese researchers are working on a robot they hope will be smart enough to ace entrance exams at the nation's top university, which test everything from maths to foreign languages. The robot's artificial brain would analyse a mash of words, numbers, and equations before spitting out the -- hopefully -- correct answer to questions on Tokyo University's notoriously tough exam. "It has to analyse the exam questions and convert formulations and equations to a form that it can process before solving it through computer algebra," said Hidenao Iwane from Fujitsu Laboratories, the Japanese IT giant's research unit. Fujitsu and Japan's National Institute of Informatics said the target is to have their robot score high marks on the exam for Tokyo University, one of the world's top-ranked schools, by 2021. Before then, they're hoping the robot can sail through national entrance exams whic

Fraud in higher education is big business

Inside Higher Ed 16 September 2012 Issue No:239   Fraud in international higher education is a US$1.5 billion to US$2.5 billion business, an expert said on Thursday at the European Association for International Education annual conference in Dublin, writes Elizabeth Redden for Inside Higher Ed . Daniel J Guhr, managing director for Illuminate Consulting Group, which advises governments, universities and foundations on higher education strategy, stressed that the estimate is necessarily imprecise: “Really good fraud is not visible.” But he said that the consulting group’s research does show that fraud is a pervasive problem. “It’s everywhere,” Guhr said, “and it hits all aspects of international education, from admissions to immigration rules violations."  Full report on the Inside Higher Ed site

PhD students should be managers, not technicians

Michael J Mulvany, Zdravko Lackovic and Roland Jonsson 16 September 2012 Issue No:239   Over the past year there has been considerable criticism in leading journals about the future of the PhD, with the underlying message that there is an overproduction of PhD graduates and that standards are falling. The Humboldt concept of PhD education – research training under supervision – goes back over 200 years. Now, the PhD is perhaps the most internationally recognised academic degree, a PhD graduate being perceived as a trained researcher. Until comparatively recently, PhD training was the route to an academic research position. Some professors would sometimes have a PhD student work with them, and successful students would likely end up permanently in academia. Given the growth in universities, this apprenticeship model was balanced. In the past decades, however, the position has changed. Now most professors have, and are expected to have, several PhD students. And

OECD – Who studies abroad and where?

16 September 2012 Issue No:239 In 2010, more than 4.1 million tertiary students were enrolled outside their country of citizenship. Luxembourg, Australia, the United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland and New Zealand have, in descending order, the highest percentages of international students among their tertiary enrolments. In Luxembourg, high mobility is due to strong integration with neighbouring countries, according to the OECD’s 2012 Education at a Glance report published last week. This is an extract from the report. In absolute terms, the largest numbers of foreign students are from China, India and Korea. Asian students represent 52% of foreign students enrolled worldwide. The number of foreign students enrolled in OECD countries was almost three times the number of citizens from an OECD country studying abroad in 2010. In the 21 European countries that are members of the OECD, there were 2.7 foreign students per each European citizen enrolled abroad. Some 83

Shift to S&T, mobility growth influence new QS ranking

Karen MacGregor 11 September 2012 Issue No:239   A global shift towards science and technology and rapid growth in international student mobility are trends impacting on the standing of the world’s finest universities, according to the 2012-13 QS rankings. Universities from a record 72 countries are in the top 700 list published last week. The top 100 universities average nearly 10% more international students this year than in 2011, “the biggest single-year increase in the rankings’ nine-year history”, according to the latest World University Rankings . “The unprecedented acceleration in international recruitment reflects an escalating global battle for talent: 120,000 more international students were reported by the top 500 universities this year,” said head of research Ben Sowter in a statement. “The total number of international students now exceeds 4.1 million globally.” Best of the best Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, in the US has overta

APEC summit moves towards Asia-Pacific higher education space

Yojana Sharma 13 September 2012 Issue No:239   Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) grouping have called for greater cross-border higher education cooperation in advance of building an Asia-Pacific higher education space that would include South East Asian nations, India, China, Japan and South Korea as well as Pacific Rim countries such as the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Cooperation would include enhancing the “mobility of students, researchers and education providers within APEC through the development of higher education cooperation,” according to the 8 September final communiqué issued at the end of a two-day summit held in the Russian city of Vladivostock. The leaders acknowledged the role of education as an “essential driver of innovative” growth in the Asia Pacific region. “All APEC economies stand to gain from enhancing collaboration on cross-border education,” a special annex to the formal declaration said. “Education as