HE News Brief 19.3.12

  • UK: Elite Russell Group of universities announce four new members
  • Mexico: New regulations for private institutions
  • Uganda: Private universities emerge in Uganda

Leaving their 1994 Group membership , Queen Mary, Durham, Exeter, and York have all joined the elite Russell Group, which now has 24 members. The Group represents the UK’s elite group of research intensive institutions including Oxford, Cambridge, and Imperial.  According to the Research Assessment Exercise in 2008, 60% of research in the UK is produced by the Russell Group. Professor Michael Arthur, chair of the Russell Group and the vice-chancellor of Leeds University, says that the four institutions were invited to join the Group because of their innovation and research intensity across a broad range of subjects.

[alert_blue]Full Story: Guardian News[/alert_blue]

The number of private institutions have grown considerably in Mexico, from 995 in 2006 to close to 1,500 in the current year. The number of students attending these universities increased from 400,000 in 2006 to one million in 2012 and come mostly from underprivileged backgrounds. The rapid growth rates are prompting many to be concerned with the quality of education received at private institutions, particularly because there are no quality assurance regulations in place. In order to curb this, the Ministry of Education has announced that private institutions will go through a thorough assessment process by national assessment bodies to ensure standards are up to scratch. The government is trying to balance increasing student enrolment numbers (Mexico (37%) trails behind Chile (56%) and Argentina (71%) for instance) with policing new institutions for quality.

[alert_blue]Full Story: University World News[/alert_blue]

A year after the furore surrounding Makerere University, which was once known as the ‘Harvard of Africa’, many are contemplating the role of private institutions in the country. Makerere, some are saying suffers from overcrowding which may have contributed to the strikes that took place last year. Private institutions, which total 30 in the country, are viable alternatives for many however some worry that the rapid growth in private institutions may contribute to further divisions within society. Mahmood Mamdani, director of Makerere’s Institute of Social Research, says that ‘commericialisation’ of higher education may lead to an even deeper divide between the rich and poor. Private institutions at the moment costs more than public universities and Professor Mamdani worries that only richer students could afford to go to a private institution while poorer students are relegated to overcrowded and badly managed public institutions

[alert_blue]Full Story: RNW[/alert_blue]

HE News Briefs 14.9.11

  • KOREA: After an extensive audit, 43 institutions have lost important funding
  • ENGLAND: Institutions are rethinking the amount they want to charge for tuition fees
  • INTERNATIONAL: According to a new report, collaborative international degrees are on the rise
  • NETHERLANDS: Morning raids at VU Amsterdam and University of Amsterdam
  • UGANDA: Institution shutting down due to lack of funds and staff discontent
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