HE News Brief 16.4.12
By Abby Chau
- India: Five-year plan calls for a significant increase in student numbers
- Canada: Business schools paving the way for internationalisation
- Australia: Paper discusses whether Australian institutions are preparing Chinese students for domestic employability
- Italy: Controversial move causing an uproar
According to the University Grants Commission, some institutions in India in the next five years may have to double their student enrolment in-take. This is following the findings of the 12th Five Year Plan report which was released this year. The report stipulates that if 50 percent of India’s public institutions increased their student enrolment by 30% percent, then there will be capacity for 200,000 new students by 2017. Many are cautioning that there are not enough academics to accommodate the increase in student numbers.
Canadian business schools are paving the way for internationalisation and innovation. Compared to universities which have between 5 to 10 percent foreign students, international students account for 30 percent of the undergraduate business administration and commerce student body and almost 50 percent of students in business studies. Some business schools send over 90 percent of their students for a study abroad semester and are offering speciality programmes in different languages.
According to a dissertation by Victoria University student Fiona Henderson, there is a disconnect between what Australian institutions teach Chinese students and what Chinese employers are looking for during the hiring process. Having studied the correlation between employability and a Australian higher education for a decade, Henderson found that the clash between critical and independent thinking and Chinese employer’s desire for industry knowledge may prove to be a disadvantage for Chinese students. Henderson says that university should provide a more global curriculum and push for more faculty exchange in order to combat this trend.
Major news in Italy with the announcement that top institution Politecnico di Milano will be operating classes exclusively in English. Although the decision has drawn criticism, Rector Giovanni Azzone has defended the move by saying that it will ultimately draw-in much needed global talent. Francesco Profumo, a higher education minister, has given approval, adding that other institutions should consider a similar decision.