HE News Brief 29.3.11

by Abby Chau

 

IN THIS EDITION

  • UNITED KINGDOM: British Government backtracks on proposed policies to curtail immigration
  • CHINA: Peking University introduces controversial student screening
  • AUSTRALIA: Australian business leaders call for dergulation of student fees
  • UNITED STATES: US News & World Report produce MBA ranking based on student yield
  • UNITED KINGDOM: University of Wales under review by Quality Assurance Agency

by Abby Chau

  • British Home Secretary Theresa May previously raised alarm bells by threatening to dramatically curb foreign student numbers, as part of the Conservative Party’s pledge to curtail immigration. However it was recently announced that the new policies will not be as drastic as many had feared. May has backed off proposals to limit foreign student access to courses below university level, the post-study visa has been saved, somewhat, with albeit stricter rules for students in terms of the salary they must achieve in order to qualify for this visa category, and the spectre of fixing foreign student numbers has been put on hold, much to the collective sigh of universities country-wide.
    Full Story: Economist
    More: FT
  • Peking University plans on implementing a controversial new student evaluation system which screens all students for any traces of “radical thoughts” or “independent lifestyles”. Officials from the university says that it seeks to help students who are not performing well academically however the details of the screening process also identifies other categories of behaviour such as psychological issues, poverty and illness, internet addiction, and “eccentric” or radical lifestyles. Deputy director of student affairs Zha Jing says that the screening process is meant to help students, and not to target them. But many are saying this is a throwback to the days of the Cultural Revolution.
    Full Story: Guardian News
    More: Asia One
  • Business leaders in Australia is calling for the deregulation of university student fees. Michael Andrew, who is the chairman of the Business Council of Australia, says that charging more fees would help institutions recruit better teachers as well as invest in infrastructure. Andrew also says that at the moment, universities strapped for cash are over-enrolling students in order to “get the right funding outcome.” Next year, the Australian government plans on allowing universities to enrol a limitless number of students who meet the qualifications.
    Full Story:  The Australian 
  • US News has recently published a business school ranking based on yield, or the percentage of applicants who decide to attend a programme once they are accepted. Although Harvard, to no surprise, tops the list, there are some interesting findings. The institutions in the top ten are not all in the top US News’ 25 Best Business Schools rankings and include surprising entries such as Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge Ourso College of Business, University of Kansas School of Business, and University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics.
    Full Story:  US News  
  • The University of Wales is under investigation by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) in regards to its overseas degrees. There are 70,000 students who are studying globally for a degree from the University of Wales. It was recently discovered that Fazley Yaakob, a Malaysian pop star who runs a college offering degrees from the University of Wales, had a fake ph.d. Now the institution is under investigation for its collaborative centres in Singapore and many, including minister Leighton Andrews, says that the university is at risk of damaging its reputation and it must adhere to stringent standards in not only degree validation but safeguarding its overseas activities.
    Full Story:  BBC News
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