HE News Brief 5.4.11

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Abby Chau

IN THIS EDITION

  • LATIN AMERICA: Regional and national university rankings emerging
  • UNITED KINGDOM: Could number of high charging universities undermine the whole idea and result in reduced places for students?
  • CZECH REPUBLIC: Foreign students quadrupled in four years
  • GLOBAL: Britain’s Royal Society report that the landscape of international research collaboration has changed dramatically

by Abby Chau

  • As university ranking tables proliferate worldwide, Latin America is following suit as countries like Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Peru and Mexico have developed their own national rankings. Brazil has developed the National System of Higher Education Evaluation which the Ministry of Education utilises in order to accredit colleges and programs as well as to penalise institutions who are not performing to standards. Colombia’s ranking Boletín Científico Sapiens Research is skewed toward scientific indicators. And Chile has also begun to publish rankings based on governmental statistics. Gregory Elacqua, director of the Public Policy Institute at Diego Portales University, says that institutions respond to the findings and react to boost performance in the various indicators. As domestic rankings expand, some are asking whether a Latin America rankings, soon to be published by Quacquarelli Symonds Limited, will be able to tackle the different higher education systems that exist across borders.
    Full Story: Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Now that it’s been confirmed that English universities like Aston, Essex, Lancaster, Loughborough, and Sussex have joined Oxford, Cambridge, and UCL to charge the maximum tuition fee of £9,000, many are questioning whether the government had it wrong. It’s reported that the parliament is looking to cut student numbers as a way to deal with the larger than expected student loans the Treasury will now have to issue.  Universities minister David Willetts admitted that Office of Fair Access does not have the right to regulate the amount institutions are charging. Shadow minister Gareth Thomas said that if institutions charged an average of £8,000, then more cuts in the tune of £430 million will be needed, which is equivalent of cutting student places by 5%.
    Full Story:  Guardian
    More: BBC News
  • Czech’s Institute for Information in Education has announced that its foreign students number has quadruple in the last four years.  17% of foreign students study in technical fields, whilst a third are registered in economic sciences.
    Full Story:  Prague Daily News
  • A major report by Britain’s Royal Society called Knowledge, Networks and Nations: Global scientific collaboration in the 21st century has addressed the red-hot issue of shifting scientific dominance, namely from the west to the east.  Apart from China, India, and Brazil, other countries are generating a buzz as discourse of scientific superpowers extend to other developing countries. According to the study, Turkey is rivalling China on scientific performance and spends more yearly on research and development than Denmark, Finland, or Norway. Iran has pledged a 15-year plan to enhance its knowledge base to include scientific and technological development. And Tunisia is also establishing research facilities in its institutions, albeit no one yet knows how its recent political upheavals will factor into its development.
    Full Story:  University World News
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