HE News Brief 25.10.11

by Abby Chau

  • CHILE: Student protests have erupted in Santiago
  • CHINA: Collaboration of 11 institutions to form the Beijing Tech
  • INTERNATIONAL: A new report by the World Bank follows 11-leading universities
  • UK: A BBC investigation into graduate employability
  • NETHERLANDS: Call on cap for foreign student numbers
    • Protests have erupted in Santiago, Chile to the dismay of government officials. The Chilean Students Confederation and other organisations have timed their protest to coincide with the Occupy Wall Street protests which is aimed at decrying a broken financial system. The confederation is asking for free public higher education. At the moment 40% of qualified students, determined by their family’s income, are allowed access to free education.  This is the biggest protest that Chile has seen since 1990 – tens of thousands are marching the streets to ask for higher education reform. President Sebastian Pinera has vehemently opposed talks and is stanchly against negotiation with what he deems a movement led by delinquents.
      Full Story:  Al Jazeera
    • Eleven universities in China have formed a group called Beijing Tech which seeks to collaborate on scientific research and development. The universities include the Beijing University of Chemical Technology, China University of Petroleum, Harbin Engineering University, and University of Science and Technology Beijing. The institutions involved cover a wide field, from the chemical industry, mining, oil to telecommunications, and electronics.
      Full Story:  CRIENGLISH.com
    • In a new report released by the World Bank ‘The Road to Academic Excellence: the Making of World Class Universities’, researchers studied eleven leading universities in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. The findings show that there are three main characteristics of a world-class institutions: large budgets, a large pool of talented academics and students, and strong leadership and strategic plan. The institutions also recruit talented international faculty and students in order to galvanise both national and international knowledge transfer and collaboration. The amount of money spent on developing a world-class institution is exorbitant: Pakistan spent $750 million for universities which will cater to engineering, science, and technology, and Saudi Arabia has plans to build a research university which will cost $10 billion dollars. In terms of leadership, the report conveys that autonomous institutions tend to thrive as they have more control of their own budgets and are less mired by red-tape.
      Full Story:  The Chronicle of Higher Education

    • A BBC Inside Out East investigation has found that half of students in 2010 who graduate from the East – Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge, Essex, Suffolk, East Anglia, among others – have not been able to find a graduate level job. Some students decide to take on further study but one in three students were either found as under-employed or unemployed. The investigation followed students for up to six months after graduation. Hertfordshire performed the best, with 46% of graduates finding jobs. Bedfordshire came in second and Cambridge, which may have a higher rate of students pursuing further study, came in third. Essex was at the bottom of the table, with 30% of graduates finding jobs.
      Full Story:  BBC News
    • The Dutch government is calling for a review of the number of foreign students allowed in the country. Reports show that the number of international students have doubled since 2006 to 54,500. And the estimate cost to the government is over 130 million dollars. The call to reduce numbers is being heard from both sides, from the social democrats to the right –wing PVV.  They are also calling for a reduction in lottery places which has risen by 9% during the same period.
      Full Story:  University World News