HE News Brief 17.5.11

by Abby Chau


  • ENGLAND: Universities Minister David Willetts continues to draw fire for his HE proposals
  • UK: The Guardian has just released its list of top UK universities, with Cambridge topping the league table
  • GERMANY: Universities are overcrowded and many are calling for the reforms
  • FRENCH: New internationalisation strategy to target mobile students
  • AUSTRALIA: Losing its grip on mobile students

    • Seldom has a week gone by without England’s Universities Minister getting bashed for his higher education proposals. This week David Willetts saw another onslaught of criticism because he suggested that students should wait until the last minute to accept a place because institutions charging full tuition fees may slash their prices. Critics have fired at the minister, saying that he is reducing higher education to a commodity. The government has spent £1.5 million on a pr campaign to convince students to apply to university despite the higher tuition costs, which is due to take effect in 2012.
      Full Story: The Independent
    • The Guardian has just released its league tables which hails Cambridge in first position, edging out Oxford’s six-year reign as the number one institution in the UK. Oxford was in second place, followed by St. Andrew’s. According to the website, low ranking institutions are found to be charging the maximum tuition fees in 2012, a hit to government officials who touted that only institutions in exceptional circumstances would be charging full prices.
      Full Story:  The Guardian
    • In 2008, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on the country to focus on education. Three years later and students have taken the call to action to such a degree that institutions are now so overcrowded that classrooms can see a ratio of 60 students to one professor. Germany’s higher education system saw 200,000 new students in the last three years. Many say that this is due in part to a desire for white collar jobs, as well as to the fact that military service is no longer mandatory, along with a shorter high school curriculum.
      Full Story:  New York Times
    • The French government has just announce a new strategy in order to attract more foreign students, especially those from developing countries. Over the next three years, the government wants to more than double its international student numbers. France ranks third behind the United States and United Kingdom as a popular destination for mobile students. The Foreign Affairs Minister said that by 2025 there will be between four and six million mobile students and France’s newly reformed higher education system is an ideal destination for students looking for a transfer of knowledge and to gain expertise.
      Full Story:  University World News
    • Recent statistics has confirmed that Australia’s previously burgeoning international student market has hit a wall. In March the income generated by the lucrative overseas market fell by 4.6 percent. In order to combat this, some universities are offering scholarships to foreign students. Some critics are saying that universities are veiling discounted packages as scholarships to eight particular Asian markets in order to try to boost numbers to a higher education system heavily reliant on international students.
      Full Story:  The Australian
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