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HE News Brief 12.3.12

  • Australia: Australian universities lose twenty percent of its foreign student numbers
  • World: Institutions in the US, Japan, and South Korea top list of WIPO’s patent filers
  • UK: Twenty years later and former polytechnics are making strides
  • China: Thousand Foreign Experts program seeks to recruit foreign university staff and entrepreneurs


Recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that there was a 20% downturn in the revenue generated by international students in 2011. This represents a lost of 3.3 billion dollars which international students generate for the Australian economy. University of Melbourne higher education expert Simon Marginson says that universities have a lot of ground to cover in order to reach levels achieved in 2009, when income generated from international students was 17.7 billion dollars. A Deloitte Access Economics report predicted last year that by 2015, the downturn in foreign student numbers would cost the economy 57,000 jobs and 6.2 billion dollars from gdp. The Australian government has recently implemented policies recommended by the Knight report which they hope will curb the downturn.

[alert_blue]Full Story: The Australian[/alert_blue]


The UN World Intellectual Property Organization recently released figures showing the highest ranked countries with patent applications. Universities located in the United States filed the most patents, accounting for 30 of the top 50 universities. John Daly, a science and technology consultant and former director of the office of research at USAID, said that according to the Natural Science Foundation, the amount of revenue generated in the US from intellectual property amounted to one billion dollars annually. Japan and South Korea came in second place for the most number of patent filed. Top universities include the University of California, MIT, John Hopkins, and KAIST. The US also led in terms of international patent applications, followed by Japan and Germany. Digital communications accounted for a large portion of patent applications, followed by electronic machinery and medical technology.

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


Twenty years ago in the UK, polytechnics were turned into universities, allowing them to compete for students and granting them degree-awarding powers. Some were sceptical about the move but stats show that former polytechnics are doing well, if not better than older institutions. In 1995, former polytechnics found they enrolled 35,300 fewer students than traditional universities but now they enroll 20,000 more. The number of foreign students has also grown faster at polytechnics than at older institutions. With new government policies taking place this autumn, particularly with the rise in tuition fees and the distribution of 20,000 more places for particular institutions, former polytechnics, if they continue their strategy of focussing on employability, may be perfectly poised for a competitive market.

[alert_blue]Full Story: The Economist[/alert_blue]


Last year the Chinese government announced a new initiative, the Thousand Foreign Experts program, which seeks, in the next ten years, to recruit foreign staff and entrepreneurs. The initiative, created to boost China’s knowledge base and creative industry, will award foreigners with a subsidy worth 160,00 dollars and foreign scientists will also be eligible for grants totalling over 300,000 dollars. Foreign staff are also enticed by the prospect of tenured positions. Institutions in China are hoping that recruiting foreign staff will help boost their reputation, and obtain research funding. An analyst with the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education in London said that Chinese institutions tend to hire professors specialising in STEM subjects because these disciplines tend to be more politically neutral.

[alert_blue]Full Story: New York Times[/alert_blue]

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