China’s Back Yard Cambodia


CHINA: Foreign student scholarships spark anger as fees rise

Yojana Sharma 24 October 2014 Issue No:340     A new plan to lure foreign students with generous scholarships by China’s eastern Jiangsu province, host to a number of foreign branch campuses, has sparked anger in the province over resources being directed towards “wealthy foreigners” while Chinese students struggle with a rising fee burden. Resentment has also grown as foreign students are provided with what is seen as far superior accommodation to that available for local students. In mid-August, the province’s education bureau launched a ‘Study in Jiangsu’ programme to develop the province into a major destination for foreign students. Under the programme, annual scholarships of 50,000 to 90,000 yuan (US$8,200 to US$14,700) will be made available to applicants from overseas wanting to study at universities, including joint overseas ventures such as Duke Kunshan University and Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Another 50 publicly funded universities in Jia

FRANCE: Low fees but jobs needed to meet costs

Jane Marshall 24 October 2014 Issue No:340   Students in French universities pay among the lowest fees in Europe. But although education ministers claim that, despite austerity, funding for student benefits has kept up with purchasing power, student organisations say the cost of starting the new academic year for students is up to 2% higher than last year. The government has not gone down the route of charging students high sums for university studies, and fixes the modest rates by decree. For the 2014-15 academic year, enrolment fees have increased by 0.7%, to €184 (US$236) annually for a three-year licence (bachelor equivalent) course, €256 for a masters, €391 for a doctorate and €610 for an engineering diploma. But while students do not have to worry about high fees, they need money to live on during the university year. In its inquiry La Vie Étudiante: Repères , the Observatoire de la Vie Étudiante , or OVE, identified the main sources of student income. The

SINGAPORE: Rising fees cloud international hub status

Emilia Tan 24 October 2014 Issue No:340   Rising university fees for international students are casting a cloud over Singapore’s future as an Asian regional hub for international students – particularly from the rest of Asia. This is despite many parents in the region believing that paying for education is a good investment. A report by the HSBC Bank The Value of Education found that families in Asia were willing to pay high fees, but recent developments in the city state have shown that tolerance levels for high fees are being reached. Singapore is now one of the most expensive countries globally to obtain an undergraduate degree once the high cost of living in the city state is taken into account. Foreign student numbers have fallen as fees have been rising – and at a much faster rate than those for locals. At Singapore’s top-ranked public universities, undergraduate fees for foreign students are around S$15,300 (US$12,000) for humanities and social scienc

MALAYSIA: Loan defaulters barred from leaving

Emilia Tan 24 October 2014 Issue No:340   With the cost of university education rising faster than inflation and increasing sums taken out in loans, more and more students are defaulting on their loan repayments. For some, this means being barred from leaving the country. In fact, almost 85,000 recipients of student loans from the government’s low-interest National Higher Education Fund Corporation have to date been stopped because of loan arrears. They join criminals, tax dodgers and pension fund defaulters in facing departure bans. Rising costs affect even students from middle-income families who are now graduating with a large debt after a three-year undergraduate degree that costs more than RM60,000 (US$18,000). The outlay is much higher at a private university or a foreign branch campus. In a public university, a medical degree can cost as much as RM300,000 (US$92,000) whereas private colleges charge three times that much. Generally, private sector co

GLOBAL: Public higher education versus private

24 October 2014 Issue No:340 At the tertiary level, public expenditure per student in both public and private institutions averaged US$9,221 in OECD countries in 2012, the Education at a Glance report says. But the amount varied from about US$2,000 in Chile to more than US$17,000 in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden – the four countries where the share of private spending is small or negligible. In all countries with available data, except Hungary and Latvia, public expenditure per student is greater for public than private institutions. But patterns in the allocation of public funds to public and private institutions differ, the OECD analysts say. In Denmark and the Netherlands, at least 90% of students are enrolled in public universities and most public money goes to these institutions. In the two countries, private funds complement public spending to varying degrees although private expenditure is less than 6% of total spending on public and private instituti

MYANMAR: Students to hold emergency meeting over education law

Mizzima 17 October 2014 Issue No:339     Myanmar students are planning an emergency meeting to deal with concerns over the draft higher education law. Here students protest at Dagon University on September 2 against the proposed law. Photo: Nyain Thit Nyi/Mizzima     (MANDALAY) – The All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) is planning to hold an all-Myanmar students’ emergency meeting in November, said ABFSU central working committee and research committee official Aung Hmine San. “The ABFSU, in cooperation with other organizations, needs to oppose the national education law,” Aung Hmine San said. “We think other students organizations also need to collectively oppose it. That’s why we plan to organize the students emergency meeting so that ABFSU, the University Students Union and other students organizations will be able to work together to make plans.” Students and civic groups say the proposed law allows centralized control of universi

CHINA: Universities to get more autonomy

Global Times 17 October 2014 Issue No:339   Pessimism lingers regarding effectiveness China's top education authorities have approved new regulations for nine top universities, which seek to increase the schools' autonomy, while observers have expressed concern about their effectiveness. The nine universities include the country's top two universities, Peking University and Tsinghua University, the Ministry of Education announced on its website on Wednesday, adding that the newly established regulations will help the systematic reform of higher education and aid academic development. Since 2013, a total of 32 universities have already seen their new regulations, which were drafted by the universities themselves, approved by the authorities. All other Chinese universities are scheduled to establish their own regulations by the end of next year, according to the ministry. To run a university according to its own regulations is the foundati

GLOBAL: How Germany managed to abolish university tuition fees

The Conversation 17 October 2014 Issue No:339   If Germany has done it, why can’t we? That’s the question being asked by many students around the world in countries that charge tuition fees to university. From this semester, all higher education will be free for both Germans and international students at universities across the country, after Lower Saxony became the final state to abolish tuition fees. It’s important to be aware of two things when it comes to understanding how German higher education is funded and how the country got to this point. First, Germany is a federal country with 16 autonomous states responsible for education, higher education and cultural affairs. Second, the German higher education system – consisting of 379 higher education institutions with about 2.4m students – is a public system which is publicly funded. There are a number of small private institutions but they enrol less than 5% of the total student body. Back and forth wit

GLOBAL: Academic reputation affects citation count

Geoff Maslen 15 October 2014 Issue No:339   An academic’s reputation plays a key role in generating increases in a scientific paper’s citation count early in its citation life cycle, before a tipping point, after which his or her reputation has much less influence relative to the paper’s citation count. This is the intriguing finding from a study by a team of collaborating social science analysts in Belgium, Finland, Italy and the US. Using data compiled by Thomson Reuters Web of Science, the team studied 450 highly cited scientists, nearly 84,000 articles in scientific publication, and 7.6 million citations tracked over the equivalent of 387,000 publication years! The scientists studied included 100 top-cited physicists, 100 highly prolific physicists, 100 assistant professors in physics, 100 top-cited cell biologists, and 50 top-cited pure mathematicians. In a paper published in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , the team descr

AUSTRALIA: Graduates of top universities earn more

Alexandra Hansen 15 October 2014 Issue No:339   Bachelor-degree graduates from Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight, or Go8, and technology universities earn a greater amount over their lifetimes than those from the lesser known and regional universities, according to a new analysis that found their total income was 6% more over a 40-year career. For graduates with degrees in science or commerce, this equated to about A$200,000 (US$175,000) more over their career. The data showed that bachelor degree holders from top universities actually earned about 10% more over their lifetime, but this dropped four percentage points when social advantages were accounted for. Go8 universities were more likely to enrol students with better previous school grades, students from private schools, and students with parents who had degrees and high profile jobs, says a report by an independent think tank, the Grattan Institute. This means some of the difference could have been

SOUTH KOREA: Lowest-ranked universities to see cut in funding

Korea Joong Ang Daily 05 September 2014 Issue No:333   The Ministry of Education yesterday designated 19 universities and colleges in the lowest 15 percent in terms of their operations, restricting government financial support starting next year. In an assessment of the nation’s 334 universities and colleges, the education authority singled out the schools in the poorest condition and suggested a restructuring via a reduction in their admissions quotas. The ministry has sought to reduce university entrance quotas after it was discovered that XXX that there were too many universities in Korea based on the country’s number of college students and that many of them were operated irresponsibly. Earlier this year, the government also began to invest 1.2 trillion won ($1.1 billion) in making universities more specialized in order to reduce the number of freshmen. The assessment, which looks at nine criteria, including alumni employment rates and the number of students

GLOBAL: Different ways of learning for students abroad

Hans de Wit 05 September 2014 Issue No:333 When the European Commission recently published the results of the Erasmus programme for 2012-13, it was proud to announce an overall increase in numbers of students by 6% to nearly 270,000. The numbers and trends presented in the press release are indeed impressive: the overall numbers, the percentage of European Union students who are spending part of their study abroad with the support of Erasmus – 10%, still only half of the target of 20% set by the Bologna ministers of education, though – the top receiving and sending countries (Spain is number one for both), as well as increases in staff mobility (13%), in teaching assignments (8.5%), in university cooperation projects (25.4% success rate) and in intensive language courses (9%). What was in my view the most revealing information, but which received little attention, was the increase in job placements: 16%, compared to 3.8% in study placements. Job placements vs

Vietnam: Universities still have little autonomy

Last update 16:02 | 31/08/2014 by Vietnam net bridge Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has bemoaned the slow process of delegating more power to universities to enhance their autonomy, saying relevant agencies should accelerate the process to increase the quality of education. Chairing a meeting on autonomy at public universities in Hanoi Tuesday, Prime Minister Dung said that making universities responsible for all their operations is a right policy and has delivered initial positive results. According to Dung, their autonomy aims to create a motivation and a breakthrough to improve the quality of education and facilitate sustainable development of universities. However, the process has been moving slowly and should be speeded up so that universities can soon be autonomous in terms of finance, organization, training, curriculums and issuance of degrees and diplomas, Dung added. At the meeting, participants also discussed the implementation of such a policy. Prof

MALAYSIA:Not guilty, says first academic charged with sedition

Emilia Tan 02 September 2014 Issue No:33 Azmi Sharom, a law professor at the University of Malaya, was on 2 September charged with sedition in a court in Kuala Lumpur. The public galleries were packed with academics and students from the university, and other supporters and rights activists. He pleaded not guilty. Azmi is the first Malaysian academic to be charged under the 1948 Sedition Act, although a number of opposition politicians have faced sedition charges in recent weeks under the law that dates back to the British colonial era. The professor, who was granted bail during the Tuesday hearing, will appear again before the court in October. He said in a statement later that he would fight the charge, saying it was a blow to academic freedom and freedom of expression. “I hope reason will prevail,” he told well wishers at the court. Sedition can carry a jail term of up to three years. Shocking charges Azmi said he was “shocked” at the charges for comments

បទ​វិភាគ៖ តើ​កត្តា​អ្វី​ខ្លះ​ដែល​ធ្វើ​ឲ្យ​គុណភាព​អប់រំ​នៅ​កម្ពុជា​មិន​ទាន់​ប្រសើរ?

ដោយ វណ្ណ វិចារ   (Source, RFA) 2014-08-30 ក្រសួង​អប់រំ យុវជន និង​កីឡា ប្រកាស​គោល​នយោបាយ​កំណែ​ទម្រង់​ស៊ី​ជម្រៅ ដើម្បី​ធានា​គុណភាព​អប់រំ​ឲ្យ​កាន់​តែ​ប្រសើរ។ កំណែ​ទម្រង់​ដំបូង​បំផុត​របស់​ក្រសួង​អប់រំ គឺ​ជា​ការ​ប្រឆាំង​អំពើ​ពុក​រលួយ​ពេល​ប្រឡង ដោយ​អនុវត្ត​ពាក្យ​ស្លោក អ្នក​ចេះ គឺ​ជាប់។ ភាគី​ពាក់ព័ន្ធ​ទាំងអស់​ចាត់​ទុក​ថា លទ្ធផល​ប្រឡង​បាក់​ឌុប​ឆ្នាំ​នេះ ជា​លទ្ធផល​ស្រាវជ្រាវ​ដែល​បង្ហាញ​ពី​គុណភាព​អប់រំ​នៅ​កម្ពុជា និង​ប្រសិទ្ធភាព​នៃ​កំណែ​ទម្រង់។ តើ​វិធី​ដែល​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​ប្រើ​នេះ អាច​ធ្វើ​ឲ្យ​គុណភាព​នៃ​ការ​អប់រំ​បាន​ប្រសើរ​មែន ឬ​យ៉ាង​ណា? វិធានការ​កម្ចាត់​អំពើ​ពុក​រលួយ​ពេល​ប្រឡង​បាក់​ឌុប​នៅ​ឆ្នាំ​នេះ បាន​ធ្វើ​ឲ្យ​បេក្ខជន​ជាង ៦​ម៉ឺន​នាក់ ឬ​ប្រមាណ​ជាង ៧៥% ប្រឡង​ធ្លាក់។ ចំនួន​សិស្ស​ប្រឡង​ធ្លាក់ មិន​ត្រឹម​តែ​បង្ហាញ​ពី​ប្រសិទ្ធភាព​នៃ​ការ​ពង្រឹង​វិន័យ​ពេល​ប្រឡង​ ប៉ុណ្ណោះ​ទេ ប៉ុន្តែ​វា​ក៏​បង្ហាញ​ពី​កម្រិត​ដ៏​ទន់​ខ្សោយ​នៃ​គុណភាព​អប់រំ​នៅ​កម្ពុជា ដែរ។ រាជ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​បាន​ដាក់​ចេញ​វិធានការ​លើក​កម្ពស់​វិស័យ​អប់រំ​មួយ​ចំនួន រួម​មាន ការ​រៀបចំ​ផែនការ​យុទ្ធសាស្ត្រ​អប់រំ​រយៈពេល ៥​ឆ្នា

Cambodia: More Than 70 Percent of Cambodia’s High School Students Fail Key Exam

Source: Radio Free Asia  Students leave an examination center in Cambodia's Svay Rieng province, Aug. 4, 2014. More than 70 percent of nearly 90,000 of Cambodia's high school students who sat for this year’s national examination have failed, the Ministry of Education announced Friday—the result of a government crackdown on bribery and cheating that had tainted previous exams. It was a stunning reversal of the 80 percent pass rate last year and the previous year, forcing Prime Minister Hun Sen to give a “second chance” to unsuccessful candidates who have to sit for another examination around mid-October. The ministry said in a statement that only 25.72 percent or 23,126 of 89,937 students passed this year’s Grade 12 examination held early this month under the watchful eyes of thousands of monitors recruited by the Anti-Corruption Unit. Ministry spokesman Ros Salin said the result of the examination—a prerequisite for students wishing to pursue universit

Myanmar’s University Students Protest Proposed Education Law

Source: Radio Free Asia Hundreds of university students protested on Tuesday against a proposed law that civic groups say allows centralized control of universities and curtails efforts to bring about autonomy of the country’s institutions of higher learning, according to student leaders. The protests at Dagon University in the northeast of Myanmar’s commercial capital Yangon and Dawei University in Thaninthary region in the country’s south were the latest by universities against the National Education Bill passed by parliament in July. At the protest in Dagon University, student leaders gave speeches about the bill and demanded a meeting with the government, parliament and the National Network for Education Reform (NNER), a group of civil societies pushing for reforms in educational institutions. Under the bill, the government would establish a National Education Commission (NEC) that would “control the entire country’s education sector, make policies for it and dete