- Denmark: Fined for Too Many Foreign Students ?
- US: Accreditors Without Borders
- BRICS: Pace Differs in Building BRICs
- Australia: Employers ‘wary of wholly online study’
Danish universities have to pay fines totalling 97.5 million kroner for accepting more foreign exchange students than they have sent abroad, according to freesheet metroXpress. The fines stem from the universities having broken regulations that state that the number of incoming foreign students must equal the number of Danish students that go to foreign universities. “The goal is to get more Danish students to go out on foreign exchange”, the minister of higher education, Morten Østergaard (Radikale), told metroXpress.Kristian Thorn, the deputy rector of Aarhus University, said that the punishment is self-defeating.”It is very inexpedient that we are being punished for attracting students from abroad when the national ambition is to make Danish universities more international,” Thorn told metroXpress. “Foreign students add great value to our universities and to the study environment.”
American accrediting agencies are increasingly evaluating foreign colleges and programs that are unattached to U.S. institutions. Proponents of the exportation of U.S. accreditation argue that it has a role to play in improving the quality of universities and professional programs worldwide and in promoting the mobility of students and faculty; critics contend that, without care, the accreditors could find themselves in a compromising position. They argue that the expansion of U.S. accreditation abroad is neocolonial on the one hand and hazardous on the other: can standards built on values underlying American higher education be upheld with integrity in other cultural contexts? Kevin Kinser, an associate professor of education at the State University of New York at Albany, sees the expansion of U.S. accreditation abroad as a positive thing, on balance. “International education is already existing, and we have no good transnational quality assurance regime, so the more the existing quality assurance agencies can adapt what they do to be able to work internationally and transnationally, I think that helps move us along a path where we can think about education in an equivalent way across multiple contexts.” Kinser also notes the competitive aspect of this: “If the U.S. accreditation regime is not active internationally, then the British and the Australians will be. So there’s an element of saying, ‘Whose quality assurance model, whose perspective of quality education is going to be out there in the world and be something the world is going to look to?”
There is much discussion about the rise of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) in economy, science and education.A sure sign a new term is in vogue is that it is easier to generate policy consultancy work and research grants when that term is used in the title of the proposal. For a decade innovation was the buzzword. Globalisation, creative economy and social capital have all had their time in the sun. Now there is BRIC.Sometimes the term is BRICS to include South Africa among the countries on the rise. Maybe. Sometimes it is BRICKS to add South Korea, which makes more sense.Seoul has become a world city and Korea’s industry, technology, science and universities are emerging quickly, not to mention K-pop and Gangnam style.The reality underlying BRICs is that global power is becoming more plural. The world is no longer run by the US, Britain and Western Europe with a bit of help from Japan. Even while the Atlantic zone wobbles between recession and currency crisis, urbanisation is spreading rapidly in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Fifty countries now publish more than 1000 papers a year in the global science literature, indicating a substantial research presence. But like many popular terms, BRIC is an ambiguous simplification that conceals as much as it reveals. Brazil, Russia, India and China have differing capacities and prospects. Only China is a clear-cut emerging superstar.China’s GDP will soon exceed the US’s and national income per head has doubled in the past five years.
The Australian Technology Network of Universities has told the federal ¬opposition that moving to online -education will be very expensive for higher education providers and that employers are not ready to accept graduates with wholly online degrees.In a submission on Friday to the ¬Coalition’s Online Higher Education Working Group, the five ATN universities called for an independent review of the likely cost to universities, taxpayers and students of a widespread shift to online teaching technology.It said small and medium-sized enterprises were particularly hesitant about employing graduates who did not have on-campus experience.These businesses believed students without on-campus experience might lack “skills and attributes developed through a more hands-on student ¬experience such as completing group work, developing verbal communication and presentation skills, and having regard for timetables and schedules”.