HE News Brief 9.8.11

by Abby Chau

  • UNITED STATES: Forbes publishes the top 650 US undergraduate colleges
  • GHANA: Student protests erupt in response to what some deem as unfair fees
  • SWITZERLAND: Institutions are considering limiting foreign student figures
  • CHINA: To expand its online activities as part of its Five-Year higher ed strategy
  • UK: New forecast for England’s higher education woes
  • Forbes with conjunction with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (which was founded by an economist at Ohio University) has just released the first of what is to be months of rankings galore starting this autumn. The list uses an interesting “ranking schools by results” methodology, incorporating student debt, student satisfaction, graduation rates, post-graduate success, retention, and awards. Interestingly, the small liberal-arts Williams College tops the list, followed by Princeton University.
    Full Story:  Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Student protests have erupted in Ghana in demonstration against a variety of fee hikes. Organisers from the National Union of Ghana Students and the Graduate Students Association of Ghana rose against a range of fees including the vaguely  security, sports, and venture capital which they see as an unjust financial burden for students. University of Ghana vice-chancellor said that students were invited to attend the meeting which voted for fee hikes and that the protests are an unacceptable way for students to voice their concerns. The students have presented parliament with an official petition to amend the fees hike to a reasonable level.
    Full Story:  University World News
  • Universities in Switzerland are considering putting limits on foreign enrolment if there are not enough places for domestic students. The move comes as St. Gallen University started imposing limits on foreign students because German students began to arrive in masse, as Switzerland as a destination for foreign students has been seen as a financial bargain compared with other European counterparts. It is also estimated that German students will increasingly look elsewhere for higher education as capacity in Germany has hit a ceiling. The number of foreign students have doubled since 1990 and now sits at 132,000. Some are calling for higher fees for international students but others believe that imposing higher fees for foreign students is xenophobic.
    Full Story:  The Local Switzerland
  • China is looking to expand its online activity, following the success of institutions like MIT, Oxford, and Yale which has online open courses available on their websites and have become popular in China. Top institutions such as Peking and Tsinghua will be offering courses and lectures to the wider public. The goal, as part of their Five-Year Plan for higher education, is to increase the number of available courses to 1,000.
    Full Story:  China Daily
  • England’s higher education woes continue to grab headlines: a recent report by the Higher Education Funding Council for England has announced that at least 56 institutions will see the number of undergraduates reduce. According to HEFCE, on average, institutions predict a 2% shortfall in undergraduates. The report, which is based on financial forecasts for the next three years, also reveals that a quarter of institutions expect a rise in student numbers, while six institutions foresee a 100% rise in fees from foreign students. HEFCE has warned that institutions are operating too close to the knife’s edge financially, and that income from international students, often seen as the magic bullet, may not be so easily attainable.
    Full Story:  Guardian
    More: Telegraph
  • http://heplanningblog.blogspot.com/ Andrew Fisher

    Your report on England’s Higher Education ‘woes’ completely misunderstands what the HEFCE financial forecasts are for, and how they can be used. There really isn’t anything to be worried about in the forecasts.