HE News Brief 12.7.11

by Abby Chau

  • NETHERLANDS: New policy changes to increase completion rates
  • UNITED KINGDOM: University minister seeking international students from Brazil
  • CHILE: Students force the government to invest 4 billion dollars in higher education
  • SOUTH KOREA: Decreasing birthrates will stagger particpation in higher education

    • Halbe Zijlstra, state secretary of higher education, recently announced changes in the Dutch government policy for higher education which will cost $442 million. The changes is aimed at curbing low completion rates. Amongst the changes, students will be allowed to attend a prestudy advising session before entering an institution to help ensure they choose the right course to study,  and tuition fees for the fourth year of study will also increase to motivate students to complete their degree in three years.
      Full Story: New York Times
    • UK’s universities minister David Willetts have come under attack again as it was revealed that the government intends on offering 10,000 Brazilians a place at a university in an attempt to address the higher education budget crisis. The minister has flown to Brazil to negotiate a deal. It is understood that each student would pay £18,700 in international student fees. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union said that the government should not try to plug budget deficiencies by accepting more international students whilst places for domestic students are constrained.
      Full Story:  The Guardian
    • Bowing to student protests, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has announced that it will allocate 4 billion dollars to the country’s higher education. Students have took to the streets to decry what they see as an unfair system and demanding more investment in the sector. Pinera also called for an audit of the existing accreditation systems and to analyse the different types of institutions so that scholarship money could be be distributed more fairly. The president intends to use revenue from the country’s main export, copper, to fund the initiative.
      Full Story:  BBC News
    • Private institutions in Korea are being warned that birth-rates have and will incrementally decline for the next ten years, which will lessen the demand for higher education. The Korean Educational Development Institute estimates that if this continues, 90 colleges will be forced to close by 2030. Japan saw a similar trajectory and faced closures of private institutions. In 1982, the number of newborns in Korea was 840,000 but in 2010 this had dropped significantly to 460,000.
      Full Story:  The Chosunilbo
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