HE News Brief 24.8.10

by Abby Chau


Here are this week’s news stories:

  • The glare on UK universities continue to mount as it was announced that over 150,000 potential students will not get a place at a university. Last year 130,000 would-be students were also disappointed. It seems as though, although worsening, this trend is not new. An article in the FT espouses the need for universities to be autonomous, as Whitehall still dictates the number of students who can study a specific subject at an institution.
    Full Story: FT
    More: Guardian
  • Asian countries, as oppose to their European and American peers, have well documented problems retaining the talents of young academics who often study abroad and take up residence in their host country. However there is hope that young and bright Indian professors will take a salary cut and return to their motherland. New opportunities in India as well as a chance to contribute to building their country’s higher education institutions, is a lure as western nations’ economic instability is making finding a job abroad a lot less likely. It is estimated that by 2020, 42 million 18-24 year olds will be competing for a place at a university and a 4.2 million lecturers will be needed to supply this demand.
    Full Story: University World News
  • Measuring student satisfaction has always been difficult but at the Inner Mongolia University of Science and Technology they are administering a student survey in the hope of discovering what students are thinking. In collaboration with Indiana University’s National Survey of Student Engagement and with the backing of Tsinghua University, they are joining 49 institutions this year who will look at results in order to drive up  students quality of life and teaching standards.
    Full Story: The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • A diplomatic spat between Saudi Arabia and Australia erupted when a letter was leaked that Saudi Cultural attaché Ali Mohammed Al-Bishri said that scholarships for students should be limited only to those who went to the Group of Eight of Australian universities which are deemed top notched. In addition, the letter also said that “his highness states that he is worried about the low-level of these universities.” In further developments, the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education announced that they will limit the amount of scholarships to study abroad students to numerous countries including the United States, Britain, Egypt, Australia, and Canada.
    Full Story:  The Australian
    More: Arab News
  • Further reaction to the recent publication of the Academic Ranking of World University where only three African universities made the top 500 and the Webometrics ranking has reached Kenya. Lamenting the poor performance of Kenyan universities, institutions are urged to be more competitive on the global stage. Higher education enrollment is increasing in Kenya with the number of government-sponsored students attending public universities up by 4000 to 24,300 this year.
    Full Story: Business Daily Africa
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