HE News Brief 15.3.11

by Abby Chau


  • UNITED KINGDOM: British Council’s “Global Gauge” places Germany as the best country for international study
  • HONG KONG: Do rankings encourage  Asian universities to “westernize?”
  • INDIA: Ministerial support for foreign universities establishing campuses reiterated
  • NORTH AFRICA: Do student protests work after all?
  • DENMARK: Foreign students priced out of courses

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HE News Brief 01.2.11

by Abby Chau

  • The Ukraine Education Minister Dmitriy Tabachnyk recently criticised the higher education system as inefficient and that the 1000 universities in the country are too many for a population of 45 million. Tabachnyk said that institutions should be more regulated and mergers of smaller universities would help alleviate the problem. This announcement comes as students protested a new higher education law which would reduce the number of places at universities as well as a planned reduction of funding for student government.
    Full Story: RIA Novosti
    More: Interfax

  • Despite budget cuts and tuition fee hikes, the UK government is pressing on with their policy of tighter visa restrictions. Business schools are reacting to a plan that would disallow graduates from working in the country. Previously graduates were able to apply for a post-study visa which would allow them to work in the UK for up to two years. The government is planning to cancel the post-study visa in April 2011. In 2009, 38,000 visas were issued under this category. At the moment, the UK is the second most popular destination for international students. Policy makers in Europe are looking at positioning itself as a higher education destination as the UK falls out of favour with international students, and particularly, MBA graduates.
    Full Story: FT
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Evaluating rankings – Perception is everything… or is it?

by Ben Sowter


In a recent article in Inside Higher Ed, Philip Altbach commenting on the latest set of rankings from THE said “Why do Bilkent University in Turkey and the Hong Kong Baptist University rank ahead of Michigan State University, the University of Stockholm, or Leiden University in Holland? Why is Alexandria University ranked at all in the top 200?  These anomalies, and others, simply do not pass the “smell test.” Let it be hoped that these, and no doubt other, problems can be worked out.”

I would like to explore this notion of a “smell test” a little further, as in reality, it seems to be the single factor that defines the global credibility of any of these evaluations in the eyes of their many observers worldwide.

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