HE News Brief 11.6.12
By Abby Chau
- UK: A new report about the merits of a degree
- UK: Will elite institutions go rogue and charge more in the future
- VIETNAM: Crack down on fradulant colleges
- CHILE: Call for admission system reform
A new study called Further, Higher? Tertiary Education and Growth has estimated that graduates receive £180,000 more in their working life than their A-level counterparts. However despite the advantage of a higher education degree, other nations have been investing more in higher education, particularly China and India. It has been reported that the latter country is set to add 800 new universities by 2020. The percentage of public expenditure on higher education of 1.7% is also low compared to the OECD average of 3%. Some warn that the UK economy will suffer if does not take measures to educate students in a more competitive workforce.
A leading Professor at the New College of the Humanities, A C Grayling, says that top UK institutions like Oxford and Cambridge may need to depart from the state funding system and eventually charge over the maximum £9,000, if it is to stay competitive. Cambridge recently published findings on how much it cost to educate a humanity student – the report found that it cost £17,500 a year. Grayling says that top universities will find it unsustainable to continue at the current fees. The issue will be further complicated if Labour wins the next General Election as they have promised to lower fees to £6,000 a year.
In the last six months, the Vietnamese government has been cracking down on more institutions, closing several foreign-linked institutions. Most of the institutions are vocational or professional universities. The government has made all certificates from the universities invalid and have also ordered universities to pay students for any damages, including tuition fees. Some institutions intended to offer ph.d courses even though they were only English language schools. Some say that academics are drawn to these unauthorised institutions because they offer higher salaries.
Chilean Education Minister Harald Beyer has criticised the country’s admission system, particularly the PSU entrance exam, which is equivalent to the US’ SAT exam. Beyer says that the test is extremely limited with the lack of higher maths. Some also say that the test is also biased toward students who attend private schools and thus arguably receive a more elite education. Andres Fielbaum at the Student Federation of Universidad de Chile, says that reforms must be made at secondary level, where inequalities really begin.