HE News Brief 5.7.11

  • UNITED STATES: U.S News & World Report recently announced that it will produce a ranking of online colleges
  • GERMANY: Hamburg is set to eradicate tuition fees in 2012, leaving just two states planning to continue charging out of seven
  • UNITED KINGDOM: White paper on higher education causing a furore
  • ABU DHABI: Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research reiterates the country’s 2019 goal for higher education

    • U.S News & World Report has announced that it will be ranking online colleges. The announcement has already drawn criticism as some argue that online programs are extremely difficult to compare due to the fact that it is relatively new and therefore resides in rather uncharted territory. Students also have very different needs when they sign up for an online program. According to the Sloan Consortium, enrolment in online programs have increased by 21 percent since last year. Some are questioning whether online providers, particular private providers, will participate in the survey questions. However Bob Morse of U.S News says that although the process may some fine turning after the first results, it is possible to compare programs if the outcomes are the same.
      Full Story: The Chronicle of Higher Education
    • It looks like Germany’s experiment with tuition fees may be ending. As a way to improve teaching, institutions introduced fee in 2005. Hamburg, lead by the Social Democratic Party, plans on getting rid of fees in 2012. North-Rhine Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg plan to follow suit, leaving just Lower Saxony and Bavaria to continue to charge fees. The total spend for German universities is 36 billion euros and in 2008, fees generated 1.2 billion in total. As secondary-school has been shortened by a year and military conscription will end this year, many are saying that if institutions do not charge fees, it will be a burden on the economy.
      Full Story:  The Economist
    • The publication of the white paper on higher education in the UK last week caused a furore as it was revealed that top institutions may be able to gain more top performing students in what some has described as a bidding war.   It also opened the gateways for more private institutions vying for students.  Critics are saying that universities which are middle of the mill will suffer under the new measures. Student groups have also decried the move saying that the tuition fee hike and budget cuts will further worsen social mobility and lead to closures of universities.
      Full Story:  BBC News
      More: The Independent
    • During a speech at the Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan has reiterated the goal of establishing a knowledge economy which would wean itself of its dependence on oil. By 2019, the Abu Dhabi Educational Council seeks to develop that workforce by focusing on student learning objectives, assisting with student work experience, and changing the stereotype that Emirati students are disinterested in the private sector. The ADEC’s goal is to have 20,000 Emirati students taking part in science and technology faculties by 2019.
      Full Story:  Gulfnews.com
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