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HE News Brief 2.7.12

  • UK: A new report discusses social mobility and higher education
  • UK: Allegations that universities offer places to poor performing foreign students
  • INTERNATIONAL: India and Chinese international student trends
  • RUSSIA: Recognition of foreign universities in ranking systems

The Institute of Fiscal Studies has just publish the first of a planned series of findings regarding the state of social mobility in the United Kingdom. The findings show that the expansion of higher education has disproportionately favoured the more wealthy; for example, looking at children in the lowest fifth in terms of poverty and the fifth richest the researchers studied those born in 1958 and compared those born in 1970, the findings showed that since the expansion of higher education, only 10% (from 9%) of the former group has participated but for the latter group the percentage rose by 37% (from 28%).  The proportion of those obtaining post-graduate degrees also favour the top fifth of society. The good news is that the report says that the tuition fee hike in September will benefit the 30% of graduates with lower lifetime earnings.

[alert_blue]Full Story: Guardian[/alert_blue]

Recent allegations that UK Universities lower their thresholds for foreign students have surfaced. In a report in the Daily Telegraph, claims are made that Chinese students would be offered places even if they had lower A-levels. An agency in China, which claimed to represent 20 UK universities, said that Chinese students could enrol in UK universities even if they had C and B grades. International students can be charged higher fees and there is no quota on the number of students universities can accept for degree programmes. Chief Executive of Universities UK Nicola Dandridge says that in no way do international students displace home students and that recruiting poor performing foreign students work against universities because of all the additional work involved with having to support poor performing students.

[alert_blue]Full Story: BBC News[/alert_blue]

Currently, one in three foreign students studying abroad hail from China or India. In the United States alone, these students account for 84% of international student enrolment growth rates. However the growth of Chinese students studying internationally is higher in undergraduate programmes than India’s rate of growth. Rahul Choudaha, author of Drivers of Mobility of Chinese and Indian Students, says that by 2015, the picture will change for both countries. Choudaha predicts that India will show trends toward being a ‘growth country’ in terms of undergraduate student recruitment. However China, due to its wealth, will continue to be a dominant player in terms of absolute numbers of undergraduate enrolment.

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


In a move to recruit more foreign faculty, the Russian government have announced that they will recognise foreign diplomas from 210 universities that feature in rankings. This will save foreign faculty four to six months of red tape required to teach in the country. President Vladimir Putin spearheaded the, some say, controversial use of ranking systems to choose the 210 institutions. The president says that it seeks to see more Russian universities in rankings by 2020. The government chose the 210 universities by looking at the three top global ranking systems, Academic Ranking of World University, QS World University Rankings, and the Times Higher Education University Rankings. Some critics say that this does little to address problems such as the fact that foreign faculty face difficulties in participating in defending their graduates’ dissertations because the review is conducted in Russian.

[alert_blue]Full Story:Chronicles of Higher Education[/alert_blue]

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