HE News Brief 6.8.12
By Abby Chau
- CHINA: Foreign degrees have lost some cachet
- RUSSIA: The government’s announced closures and mergers
- AUSTRALIA: More musing on international students
- Brazil: Science without Borders find a new host for 130 students
In recent years, a study abroad experience for Chinese students have lost some cachet according to a prominent recruitment company. Previously an education at a foreign university meant prestige and acquisition of important English language skills. However as Chinese universities internationalise, the advantage of language skills have somewhat been diluted. According to global recruitment expert, Simon Lance, students who have foreign degrees now need international work experience to gain a foothold in the job market when they return to China.
The Russian government have announced that it will restructure its universities, with a blueprint to be finalised by next May. Tentative plans include shrinking universities by a fifth and reducing its 1,400 branches by 30-35%. The government is undertaking an audit of universities to analyse if they are fit for purpose. The audit is due to be completed by the end of this year and will be based on several indicators including employability, research, and admissions criteria. Once closures are completed by 2014, the government plans on merging universities. Some critics however are concerned that the mergers will propagate corruption.
Since figures showing that Australia’s foothold on the international market has shrunk by 12.5% in the last year and a half, universities and officials have put measures in place to ensure foreign students receive a positive experience. A board tasked with building a five-year internationalisation strategy is now in its third year. However some say that more needs to be done in order to tackle issues of discrimination, and promote assimilation. Professor Simon Marginson at the University of Melbourne says that international student fees go toward building institutional branding and that universities need to put more effort behind providing a positive student experience.
Brazil’s Science Without Borders scheme, which seeks to send 100,000 students abroad, had to re-route students who failed the UK’s language test to institutions in the US. 130 students decided not to resit the exam and instead opted for the states where student immigration policies do not require language assessment skills.