HE News Brief 19.7.10

by Abby Chau


A shake-up of England’s Higher Education system and Australian anxiety over international students – here are this week’s news stories:

  • News outlets have been furiously reporting Business Secretary Vince Cable’s announcement of a new vision for higher education.  Cable is proposing to Lord Browne, who will be reviewing the state of higher education in the autumn, that a new graduate tax should replace the current system of government loans in order to subsidize higher education. Under this new system, graduates with higher paying jobs will make more graduate contributions. These proposals have been widely panned, some arguing that not only will Conservatives reject such a plan but that such an initiative will further hamper social mobility.
    Full Story: BBC News
    More: Guardian
  • Angolan Minister of Higher Education Maria Cândida Teixeira announced that the country will be going through an aggressive review of their higher education institutions this year. Results of the audit will be published and institutions who perform poorly will be overhauled. Committing to this initiative with resources rather than mere rhetoric, Teixeira hired 42  new officials in order to achieve this target.
    Full Story: Angola Press
  • Higher Education Commission Officials in Islamabad have their heads spinning over an enormous audit of university-degree holders not only in government but also university faculty and staff members.   In an embarrassing turn of events, it was exposed that parliamentarians fudged their credentials as the degree verification process is severely flawed.
    Full Story: Daily Times
  • In a move to build a knowledge based economy, Saudi Arabian Higher Education Minister Khaled Al-Anqari has established 200 research chairs in approximately 24 government universities. Chairs will focus on information technology, intellectual security, social responsibility, and contagious diseases. Saudi academics and researchers say this initiative will provide a much needed link between universities and social institutions.
    Full Story: Arab News
  • The Australian reports that our friends down under are anxious about their fledging “cash cows”, or international students, particularly competition from the U.S for Chinese students. The last year has been a difficult time for Australian higher education as new security concerns, stricter immigration policies, and the collapse of the private vocational market has left the country vulnerable. Now as the U.S plans to step up their recruitment of foreign students, many warn that Australia, which takes in 3.8 billion dollars from Chinese students each year, will take a step back from what has been a successful bid to become a top destination for foreign students.
    Full Story: The Australian