HE News Brief 30.1.12

by Abby Chau


  • SOUTH KOREA: A third of universities have announced the intention of dropping tuition fees by at least 5%
  • SAUDI ARABIA: The government has announced that it hopes to have 50,000 graduates from the world’s top 500 universities by 2020
  • UK: Application rates projected to fall by 10% for the autumn 2012 term amidst tuition fee hikes and budget cuts
  • GERMANY: A different take on foreign students?

    • Universities in Korea have announced that they will be dropping tuition fees by almost 5 percent. Starting this year, 109 universities (among South Korea’s 344 universities) have agreed to lower fees after increasing pressure from the government and student groups. The government pushed for the move and have announced a contribution of over $1.5 billion dollars to help subsidise students wanting to pursue higher education. A member of the Korea Student Aid Foundation said that students will be able to positively feel the effects of the tuition fee reduction, when it is coupled with subsidies and scholarships.
      Full Story: The Chosun llbo
      More: Korea Herald
    • The Saudi Ministry of Higher Education has announced that by 2020, it intends to have supported 50,000 Saudi graduates from top 500 universities around the world. Undersecretary Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Mousa says that the aim is to ensure students are trained in fields such as medicine, engineering, and computer science, that will help propel the economy. Al-Mousa says that students have been deterred away from the humanities in order to focus on fields which are needed by the economy including accountancy and marketing.
      Full Story:  Saudi Gazette
    • Professor David Green, vice-chancellor of the University of Worcester, has predicted that there will be a 10% drop in applications for UK institutions this year, a drop not seen since the 1970s. Tuition fees in England will increase this year, when a highly publicised trebling of cost will take effect. Other factors may have contributed to this decrease, including demographic changes – the number of 18-year-olds will decline by 11% by 2020. Professor Green says that due to governmental restrictions on the number of places universities can offer (cut by 15,000 places by the government last week), approximately 140,000 students will fail to receive a place. In a letter from business secretary Vince Cable and universities minister David Willetts, stated that the government may also cut funding for teaching by 18%.
      Full Story:  Guardian
    • With discussion of international students as cash cows hitting fever pitch recently, Germany is being hailed as a country which does not look to foreign students for additional revenue. Germany ranks as a popular destination for foreign students, along with Australia, the UK and US. The German Academic Exchange Service has a cash flow of $533 million and spends about a 100 million on internationalisation activities, scholarships (Germany spends almost as much on scholarships for foreign students than they do for domestic students.), and investment and partnerships with developing countries. The introduction of fees for universities in 2005 created a furore, as free higher education is seen as sacrosanct. In 2007, discussion for charging fees for international students was abruptly dropped as any mention of the subject carries a cloud of supposed xenophobia. Some are saying that it is only a matter of time before taxpayers will tire of subsidizing higher education but as it stands, Germany appears to be a leader in their treatment of international students.
      Full Story:  The Chronicle of Higher Education
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