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HE News Brief 03.12.2012

  • Chile: OECD advises a tighter scrutiny of university accreditation
  • UK: 10 new universities formed, focus is humanities
  • South East Asia: Greater Mekong region to emulate ERASMUS & Bologna processes
  • India: Waking up to international student recruitment

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Quotas in Belgium

Quotas established in Belgium to control the number of international students

Last month, Belgium announced the implementation of quotas for international students for medicine and dentistry, officially targeting students who have not lived in Belgium for at least three years by restricting to a proportion of 30% of non-residents, concretely; French students are the most affected by this measure. Currently 20 to 30% of first-year students in medicine in Belgium are hailing from France. Five years ago, there were only 16% of students in medicine who did not obtain their higher school certificate in Belgium; it has now increased to 26%. In some universities, in particular near the Belgium-France border such as the Université de Mons, the proportion of French students is one of the highest in the country with 50% of first year students in medicine being French .

The main issue for Belgium is that students once graduated usually prefer to go back to France to work instead of working in Belgium, therefore the training nation is losing a significant work force.
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Why are fewer international students choosing to study in Australia?

By Mansoor Iqbal, Education Writer

After a decade of growth, enrolments of international students are beginning to slow in one of the world’s most popular international study destinations

In terms of higher education destinations, there are only a handful of countries in the world that can rival the draw of Australia. A heady combination of strong universities, led by the elite Group of Eight, and an eminently desirable lifestyle (not to mention institutional efforts to take advantage of these assets) has meant that, over the past decade, the nation has consistently been home to one of the world’s largest populations of international students.

The number of international students there has grown each year, not just in line with the global increase in numbers of students studying abroad, but beyond it, as demonstrated by the greater market share Australia now enjoys as compared to the turn of the century. Between 2002 and 2009, the population actually doubled.

As an established study abroad destination, it is almost inevitable– particularly in straitened times – that the nation’s universities, and the wider economy, have come to rely on the income generated by international students (famously education is the nation’s biggest export after coal and ore). It is estimated that around 18 per cent of Australian universities’ income is generated by international students, increasing to nearly 30 per cent at some particularly internationally focussed universities. Read more

Influence of rankings on student choice

by Ben Sowter


We received a comment to my post a few days ago regarding the general reality that the validity of rankings are assessed by most against the alignment of the results with the observers expectations. The comment expressed that rankings were “for academics” and that prospective students don’t pay a great deal of attention. IDP conduct annual research into the motivations of prospective international students. The detailed results of their research can be found on the following links:



The 2009 work polled over 6000 prospective, current and recently graduated international students and found international ranking to be the most significant factor influencing choice of institution, with reputation in field, reputation of institution and employer recognition all featuring highly. The slide below is an excerpt from the 2009 presentation made at the AIEC Conference.

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Trends in student mobility

by Ina Chiriliuc

There has been a significant shift in the preference for study destinations. Students planning to pursue their courses abroad have started to consider new locations and this is only natural since the rather popular study destinations are very competitive, expensive and for many, a great distance away from home. The once obvious foreign destinations such as: United Kingdom, Germany and France have been losing inbound students in the last period, according to data in the “Education at a glance” 2010 Report, published by the Organisation for Economic and Co-Operation Development (OECD).

Considering that globally the number of foreign students has in the mean time increased, it is only obvious that there appeared a whole new range of booming destinations for studies. In a comparison of OECD’s “Education at a glance” reports for 2009 and 2010, there has been a remarkable growth in the number of inbound students to New Zealand, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Slovak Republic and the Russian Federation.

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