HE News Brief 25.5.10

by Abby Chau

 

From Bahrain’s educational overhaul to UK institutions going private, here are this week’s news stories:

  • With the help of the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), Bahrain is planning an overhaul of its education system, with plans to finalise the project by the end of 2011. This project will focus on  infrastructure, quality of education, adult education, raising standards, internationalisation and forming a unified award system.
    Full Story: Gulf Daily News  
  • For-profit higher education companies saw their shares rise when news broke that Deputy Undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education Robert Shireman plans to step down in July. It is reported that Shireman is a major critic of for-profit higher education companies (see our 4.5.2010 news brief for more on this).
    Full Story: Reuters
    More: Wall Street Journal 
  • In line with the Bologna Process, Germany plans on investing two billion euros  over the next ten years to improve university teaching quality. The money will go toward employing more staff and professors, as well as mentor and tutor programmes. In addition, a new academy has been set up to oversee the Quality Pact for Teaching, which was created to make sure that Bologna is successfully implemented.
    Full Story: eGov monitor
               
  • In the quest to harvest “first-class universities ” by 2020, China is sending 100 college officials abroad for a 24 day training trip. Referencing the poor performance of Chinese universities in league tables (noting the recently published  QS Asian University Rankings as a reference), this article purports that such a goal is unrealistic. This taxpayer funded 24 day training will send delegates to Japan, the United States, Australia, and Britain.
    Full Story:Xinhua
  • There is discussion in the UK press about universities like Oxford and Cambridge being forced to go private in order to respond to the economic climate.  Lord Browne, the former Head of BP, heard evidence as part of his review for an education report for the new coalition government. He heard that although universities may not want to go down that route, it may be the best course in order to ensure that students get the best education.
    Full Story: The Independent
    More: Telegraph