QSIU HE Digest – The Law School Crisis

  • US: The Law School Crisis
  • China: End to Free PG Tuition
  • Kenya: Policy for Specialist Unis
  • Norway: Losing International Talent

Law school applications are headed for a 30-year low, reflecting increased concern over soaring tuition, crushing student debt and diminishing prospects of lucrative employment upon graduation.As of this month, there were 30,000 applicants to law schools for the fall, a 20 percent decrease from the same time last year and a 38 percent decline from 2010, according to the Law School Admission Council. Of some 200 law schools nationwide, only 4 have seen increases in applications this year. In 2004 there were 100,000 applicants to law schools; this year there are likely to be 54,000. Such startling numbers have plunged law school administrations into soul-searching debate about the future of legal education and the profession over all.University of Chicago law professor Brian Leiter made the story’s most ominous prediction: He estimated 10 law schools would close within the next decade.

Full Story: New York Times

China’s State Council announced last Wednesday that the country would begin charging tuition fees to all postgraduate students while offering more flexible choices of student financial aid, reports the official agency Xinhua.Starting in the Autumn semester of 2014, all new postgraduates will be charged tuition fees, the cabinet said in a statement. Previously, students on government-funded postgraduate programmes enjoyed tuition waivers. The country will improve its financial aid system, introducing more kinds of scholarships as well as loans to help students cover their fees, the statement said.The central government also vowed gradually to increase funds earmarked for improving the quality of postgraduate education. Under the new policy, yearly tuition fees for masters degrees and doctorates in academic disciplines are capped at 8,000 yuan (US$1,272) and 10,000 yuan respectively.

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The Commission for University Education (CUE) is on Tuesday expected to receive a report detailing the strengths and weaknesses of each public university.An important detail in the expected report, according to CUE chief executive Prof David Some, concerns recommendations about the programmes that each public university should specialise in, as opposed to the growing trend in which most universities want to offer as many courses as they can.A team of 42 higher education professionals comprising Kenyans, Tanzanians, Ugandans, and Rwandans, has been conducting capacity audits of public universities to determine the quality of their programmes, facilities, and capabilities.Thus, if a university is found to be better equipped to offer the arts than sciences and it insists on offering science degrees, it is likely to be advised to drop the latter.

Full Story: The Nation (Kenya)

A recent survey conducted by Damvad shows that very few international students remain in Norway after their graduation.79 percent of over 1,000 international master students who took their degree in Norway in the period of 2007-2011 had to go back to their home country.It is bad economics for Norway in a time where we must do everything to attract the best expertise, says strategic adviser of Abelia – Association of Science and Technology, Tarje Bjørgum. At any given time there are 15,000 international students in Norway, but little is done to get them to stay after their studies. It is wrong to educate them and then send them back to their home country in order to compete against us in the market, says Bjørgum to DN.

Full Story: The Nordic Page


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