HE News Brief 9.11.10

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by Abby Chau

  • Lord Browne’s report continues to dominate headlines in England as universities minister David Willetts announced last week that tuition fees should be capped at £9,000. Under the new system, students will not have to pay up front, it is only until they start earning £21,000 that the repayments will commence. Universities who decide to hike fees will have to create a special scholarship programme for underprivileged households. Universities are given a threshold of increasing fees to £6,000 with universities in exceptional cases able to raise it to the maximum. Lib Dems had previously promised in their manifesto that they would oppose the lifting of tuition fees however with the announcement of dramatic budget cuts of 40%  in direct state funding for teaching, many in Parliament including Vince Cable, have changed their tune. Critics opposed this proposal decrying the free market method in Higher Education.
    Full Story: Guardian
    More: The Economist

  • In order to solidify the Singh-Obama 21st Century Knowledge Initiative, signed last November, the US government and its Indian counterparts have reconfirmed their commitment to collaborate in Higher Education. President Obama’s recent trip to India is seen as an important step to this end as they announced the first official HE summit between the two countries will take place next year. There are currently 100,000 Indians studying in the US and with India positioned as a major player in Higher Education in the near future, President Obama and his delegation from Cornell University, Stanford, and UPenn are hoping to extend further ties.
    Full Story: Hindustan Times

  • Many people seeking affordable education in Chile are praising the opening of a new Community College in Santiago which is located in a Metro station. The community college is run by the Central University of Chile with the help of the City University of New York’s LaGuardia community college, where students will receive a dual degree. The joint venture started with the hopes of bridging social mobility as well as developing diverse skills which will contribute to the country’s fledging economy.
    Full Story: Chronicle of Higher Education

  • Canadian Premier Dalton McGuinty is drawing criticism for announcing plans to offer scholarships to 75 doctoral students from abroad for the new Ontario Trillium Scholarship programme. The 30 million dollar programme is aimed at attracting international students to Ontario. Political leaders are saying that average Canadians cannot afford to send their kids to universities and such a move to prioritize foreign students should be reconsidered.
    Full Story: the Star

  • The Univesity of Wales has recently severed its ties with Fazley International College in Malaysia, after the Malaysian principal’s academic qualifications came into question.  The University of Wales operates three universities in Malaysia and at 35 students were enrolled in Fazley. The move comes after the UK oversight organisation, the Quality Assurance Agency, issued stricter guidance for UK institutions looking to form partnerships abroad.
    Full Story: Wales Online