by Abby Chau
- The tuition fee hike passed in the Commons this past week, with the proposal to set the tuition cap at £9,000, due to go to the Lords for a final vote. Thousands of protestors hit the streets last Thursday to convey their dismay over the initiative. Vice chancellors applaud the move saying that this will give universities a chance to succeed as budget cuts are imminent. Most Russell Group universities will charge the maximum but many say that the average fee will hover around the £7,000 mark.
Full Story: BBC News
- During the last five years, institutions in Kenya has ballooned, with many saying that higher education has become more of a cash cow than a centre for learning and employability. Following this, the Kenyan government’s efforts to reform higher education has lead to the closing of hundreds of unaccredited tertiary institutions. Only 464 out of Kenya’s 1,000 colleges have passed the audit which the government initiated by weeding out institutions that did not have adequate facilities or teaching resources. Many are saying that this will cause chaos as students will be left either holding degrees from colleges that will no longer exist, or scrambling to get a place in one of the accredited colleges.
Full Story: University World News
- Julian Assange has become a household name, even in the realm of higher education. Wikileaks recently released cables which imply that the battleground for ideology is fought using higher education. The US ambassador to France wrote a cable advising the country to put more effort into assimilating non-whites which included a plan for American university students living in the country to teach tolerance. From the Pakistani government’s effort for social development by sending students abroad to Russia’s remaking of Joseph Stalin in a dialogue regarding academic freedom, wikileaks, hate them or love them, makes for a fascinating read.
Full Story: Chronicle of Higher Education
- China’s higher education has seen impressive gains in the last decade. In 1998, there were less than a million graduates a year. In 2010, the number of graduates has risen to a gargantuan six million. But with so many more people receiving degrees, there is an issue with how many white-collar jobs there are to go around. Many Chinese graduates find it difficult to obtain a job in their field, leaving many despondent. On the other hand, the need for blue-collar jobs has grown as more and more people are leaving their villages to go to university, driving up the starting salary of migrant labourers to nearly 80% from 2003 to 2009. The starting wage for jobs in accounting, finance and programming has remained the same in that time period.
Full Story: New York Times
- As politicians in England scramble to make the new tuition fee hike fair to underprivileged students, it was recently discovered that 21 Oxbridge colleges did not accept any black students last year, and one college has not admitted a black student in the last five years. A spokesperson at Oxford says that one of the reasons for this is that popular subjects such as maths, medicine and economics are oversubscribed and difficult to gain admission. 44% of all black students who apply to Oxford try to gain admission to one of these subjects. The figures also show that the towns Knowlsley, Sandwell, and Merthyr Tydfil has the distinction of not sending one student to Cambridge in the last seven years. Richmond upon Thames however, received a large number of offers, comparable to the number of students who were accepted in the whole of Scotland.
Full Story: The Guardian