HE News Brief 30.7.12
By Abby Chau
- UK: Higher ed contributions to the economy
- SOUTH KOREA: Universities fudging employability rates
- MEXICO: Incoming president calls for 50% participation rate increase
- EUROPE: Erasmus Programme celebrates its 25th anniversary
Some good news for UK universities finally, recent data released by Hefce estimates that between 2010-11, institutions contributed £.3.3 billion to the economy. And also compared to the United States’ £56m, universities in the UK create a new company for every £24 billion it invests in research. And new graduates are joining the fray, with 2,800 new ventures establish as a direct result of their educational experience.
After a two month audit of universities, the South Korean Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology has discovered that 28 universities have falsely reported student employment rates. The universities falsified numbers in order to receive funding from the government, which uses employability as an important indicator. A university in North Gyeongsang province not only submitted bogus numbers, but also allegedly paid insurance fees in an elaborate cover-up of the fudged numbers. Some critics say that at the government needs to reconsider its method of evaluation of universities, taking more into account the diversity of universities instead of using a one-size fit all criteria.
Incoming president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto has announced his intention of increasing Mexico’s university participation rates by 50%. By 2018, when he is scheduled to leave office, President Nieto intends to create 1.5 additional places for students. At the moment, Mexico lags behind its South American counterparts in terms of participation and investment. Mexico’s participation rate is 30%, compared to Argentina and Uruguay at 68 and 65% respectively. Nieto plans on adding online courses to the offerings, supporting the establishment of a National Digital University. However some critics are saying that expansion of online activity should be carefully monitored because of issues of quality.
The Erasmus programme, which facilitates the opportunity for students to study abroad, celebrated its 25th anniversary this month. In 1987, the programme started with 14 million euros and now boasts a budget of 489 million euros, has been hailed as a major success, with 10% of Europeans now studying abroad and 50% receiving funding from the programme.