HE News Brief 23.7.12
By Abby Chau
- INDIA: A new epicenter for higher education
- SOUTH AFRICA: Fighting racism in institutions
- UNITED STATES: Financial forecast tool released
- UK: Inequality for state schools
In a part of India’s northern desert, a higher education super city is being constructed in order to meet the country’s growing demand for higher education. Jodhpur is located in Rajasthan, a region which the government hopes to transform into an epicentre for universities by offering free land and other benefits for institutions. For the most part, it looks like it has worked: in 2007, Rajasthan hosted 22 institutions, and by 2011, that number has more than doubled. The government is focussing on making the region a hub for medical colleges and it has already attracted the elite Indian Institute of Technology, which has a campus due to open in 2013.
In 2001, the National Plan for Higher Education championed the need for South African institutions to increase the number of black staff members to not only help to eradicate years of alleged racism, but to also meet the diversity and growing number of the student body, which has almost doubled since 1994. The number of black students attending the country’s institutions have shot up during the same period by 25% to 80% and the increase in black staff members rose by 27% to 44% in 2010. However some are saying that the government must do more to tackle racism by recruiting staff members from more regions in South Africa, and to address the overcrowding in universities that have recently lead to violent incidences.
A recent report by Bain & Company has revealed that a third of the 1,700 institutions examined in the United States has a challenging financial future. The consulting company behind the analysis has published a nifty tool to allow people to type in a university and it reveals a financial forecast. Indicators used for the study includes endowments (for the period between 2005-10), an equity ratio which is based on institutional asset change value, and an expense ratio which examines revenue and changes in expenses. The report released by the consulting firm shows that growth in operational costs have overshadow instruction costs.
Recent school-level statistics released in the United Kingdom show that drastic inequalities exist for certain students who wish to study at a Russell Group institution. Only one in seven students from a state school attend one of the elite universities, and approximately two out of three do not find a place at Oxford. According to the data, 12 of the top 14 schools who send the highest percentage of students to a Russell institution were selective. Sally Hunt of the University and College Union says that in order to build a skilled economic force, ministers must do more to address inequalities.