HE News Brief 28.6.11

by Abby Chau



  • KENYA: Government’s plan to substantially increase student intake is criticised
  • SOUTH KOREA: The government pledges to cut tuition by 30% after a series of student protests
  • UNITED KINGDOM: White paper on higher education is anxiously awaited
  • SAUDI ARABIA: A new institution has its sights set for world class university status
      • Kenya’s Universities Academic Staff Union has criticised the government’s plan to substantially increase enrolment at public institutions without augmenting their support for facilities and lecturers. The  government plans on increasing student intake by more than 8,000 students this year. MP David Koech of the Parliamentary Committee of Education has also criticised the move, saying that if Kenya’s Vision 2030 initiative is to succeed, then the government must match resources with its ambitious plans.
        Full Story: AllAfrica
      • Korea students have succeeded where their English and American counterparts of failed: forcing the government to cut tuition fees. The Grand National party has pledged a 30% decrease in tuition fees after a series of protests backed by 510 civic groups spilled out to the streets. The country has the highest percentage of school leavers going to university, at 80% percent this proportion of students is seen as a political powerful group.
        Full Story:  University World News
      • People are holding their breath for the White Paper which is due to be published soon which will lay out the plans for higher education. Many are speculating that it will open doors for a for-profit higher education market which is prevalent in the United States. Some critics say that the for-profit model may jeopardise students and the provisions for them must be taken with caution. Meanwhile, the FT reports that there is still confusion amongst parents and students regarding the tuition fees which are set to skyrocket in 2012.
        Full Story:  BBC News
        More: FT
      • All eyes are on King Abdullah University of Science and Technology as it sets to launch itself as a major global player. Many are saying that the institution, which opened in 2008, has the potential to become a top university as it has built its international partnership with such elite institutions as Oxford, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Stanford, and Cornell. KAUST’s international faculty has also been obtained from these institutions, saying that its current 85 foreign staff will reach the 225 mark in the near future.  But whether KAUST will reach elite status remains to be seen as challenges such as being located in a country with a somewhat controversial reputation as well as questions raised about the institution once King Abdullah, who is instrumental in setting up the university, no longer holds the cards.
        Full Story:  The Chronicle of Higher Education
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