HE News Brief 30.1.12

by Abby Chau


  • SOUTH KOREA: A third of universities have announced the intention of dropping tuition fees by at least 5%
  • SAUDI ARABIA: The government has announced that it hopes to have 50,000 graduates from the world’s top 500 universities by 2020
  • UK: Application rates projected to fall by 10% for the autumn 2012 term amidst tuition fee hikes and budget cuts
  • GERMANY: A different take on foreign students?

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Too many graduates, or too few?

by Mansoor Iqbal, Education Writer

Competition for jobs may be intense, but the vital role played by graduates in economic growth and recovery means that some voices believe the world needs more, not fewer.

It has recently been reported that no less than 83 applicants apply for every graduate level role in the UK. The total number of graduate jobs is expected to rise by 2.6% in 2011, and it should be remembered that graduates can often be pretty indiscriminate when applying for a first job, but the figure is still pretty daunting. It is no wonder, then, that one proposal in the recent white paper presented to the government by the UK’s Minister for Universities, David Willetts, was that universities publish data on how many of their graduates are able to find work – this is one of the primary concerns of students in the 21st century (as reflected in the methodology of the QS World University Rankings®, which takes into account the prestige afforded to universities by graduate employers).

Graduate unemployment figures inevitably add to these concerns. While the UK is used as an example here, the problems are certainly not limited to that particular nation – graduates in countries as prosperous as the US and China are also facing stiff competition for jobs (though it should be noted that graduates are generally less likely to be unemployed that non-graduates). The almost inevitable consequence of this is voices calling for the number of students in higher education to be greatly reduced, particularly while we are still living in the shadow of the financial crisis that occurred at the end of the last decade. Read more

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
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HE News Brief 17.5.11

by Abby Chau


  • ENGLAND: Universities Minister David Willetts continues to draw fire for his HE proposals
  • UK: The Guardian has just released its list of top UK universities, with Cambridge topping the league table
  • GERMANY: Universities are overcrowded and many are calling for the reforms
  • FRENCH: New internationalisation strategy to target mobile students
  • AUSTRALIA: Losing its grip on mobile students
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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
         Read more