HE News Briefs 27.9.11

by Abby Chau

  • AUSTRALIA: Visa restrictions have been lifted for international students
  • UNITED STATES: Admission officers feel pressure to look at students who can pay their own way
  • SAUDI ARABIA: The country has been building partnerships around the world but some warn caution
  • SPAIN: Finding it difficult to implement its second year plan for the Bologna Process
  • BRITAIN: Tuition fee hikes have made some consider other routes for students Read more

Middle Eastern universities begin to make their mark

by Martin Ince

They may be at an early stage in their development, but investment schemes of Middle Eastern nations are beginning to pay dividends.

Across the Middle East, nations large and small are developing plans for higher education. Some have immeasurable sums of oil wealth to spend on this ambition, but even those that lack billions of petrodollars see no reason to be left behind.

Some Middle Eastern nations want universities for the new knowledge they generate, with an eye on replacing oil money with high technology employment. But others are aware of the soft power potential of universities in the struggle for world prominence. They would like universities that are good enough for their elites not to assume that their children have to go to Harvard or Oxford to complete their education. Read more

HE News Brief 28.6.11

by Abby Chau



  • KENYA: Government’s plan to substantially increase student intake is criticised
  • SOUTH KOREA: The government pledges to cut tuition by 30% after a series of student protests
  • UNITED KINGDOM: White paper on higher education is anxiously awaited
  • SAUDI ARABIA: A new institution has its sights set for world class university status
    Read more

HE News Brief 5.10.10

by Abby Chau

  • Higher Education institutions in Costa Rica lived in harmony with the government for years, with hardly a dispute regarding budgets, an issue that vex many public sector relationships. But as the demand for higher education has increased as well as escalating costs, the once friendly relationship is beginning to unravel. HE leaders say they need a 8 percent rise in their budgets in order to ensure quality as well as to accommodate the growing demand. Some say that education in general, with only a 73% high school enrolment rate (which falls below El Salvador and Panama), has been deteriorating and needs immediate attention. The argument also extends to private vs. public HE institutions and whether the former can adequately address these crucial problems.
    Full Story: Tico Times
  • In 1950, according to the Chinese Ministry of Education, there were 20 international students studying in China – and they were all from the Soviet Union. In 2009, this has grown to 240,000 foreign students with representatives from 190 countries. However, the MOE also admits that most of the 240,000 foreign students are from Asia.The MOE has just released a plan to augment this figure to 500,000 by 2020 by administrating more English language courses, increasing the availability of scholarships, and easing visa applications. They hope to spread their reach and with mutual degree recognition agreements with 34 countries, China seems poised to extend their influence.
    Full Story: The Independent
    Read more

HE News Brief 24.8.10

by Abby Chau


Here are this week’s news stories:

  • The glare on UK universities continue to mount as it was announced that over 150,000 potential students will not get a place at a university. Last year 130,000 would-be students were also disappointed. It seems as though, although worsening, this trend is not new. An article in the FT espouses the need for universities to be autonomous, as Whitehall still dictates the number of students who can study a specific subject at an institution.
    Full Story: FT
    More: Guardian
  • Asian countries, as oppose to their European and American peers, have well documented problems retaining the talents of young academics who often study abroad and take up residence in their host country. However there is hope that young and bright Indian professors will take a salary cut and return to their motherland. New opportunities in India as well as a chance to contribute to building their country’s higher education institutions, is a lure as western nations’ economic instability is making finding a job abroad a lot less likely. It is estimated that by 2020, 42 million 18-24 year olds will be competing for a place at a university and a 4.2 million lecturers will be needed to supply this demand.
    Full Story: University World News
  • Measuring student satisfaction has always been difficult but at the Inner Mongolia University of Science and Technology they are administering a student survey in the hope of discovering what students are thinking. In collaboration with Indiana University’s National Survey of Student Engagement and with the backing of Tsinghua University, they are joining 49 institutions this year who will look at results in order to drive up  students quality of life and teaching standards.
    Full Story: The Chronicle of Higher Education
      Read more

HE News Brief 13.07.10

by Abby Chau

A gay-friendly university ratings and Abu Dhabi’s ambitious goals for 2018 – here are this week’s news stories:

  • At the Saudi Arabia and Japan: A Dialogue for the Future Seminar held recently in Tokyo, the two nations heralded the need for further educational collaboration. According to the Saudi Ambassador to Japan Abdul Aziz Tukistani, Japan is the second largest trading partner of Saudi. Full Story: Arab News   
  • As a new fiscal year begins in the states,  public colleges are experiencing a tough time as federal stimulus money dries up. Hawaii slashed their educational budget by 26%, and Florida has laid off 21 tenured and 34 tenure-track professors after $82 million was cut from their budget.
    Full Story: USA Today

  • Executive Director of Strategic Affairs Rafic Makki delivered Abu Dhabi’s Higher Education Strategic Plan recently. Under the Economic Vision 2030, the country plans to move away from oil based revenue and develop a research and knowledge-based workforce. The government plans to invest 1 billion dollars to accomplish this Vision with the goal of having two Abu Dhabi universities ranking on a global Top 100 by 2018.
    Full Story: University World News Read more

HE News Brief 1.6.10

by Abby Chau


From the Iraq higher education system to a boost in the kiwi economy, here are this week’s news stories:

  • During the India-UAE: Leveraging the Knowledge Economy Paradigm forum in Abu Dhabi, both countries pledged more robust cooperation in education. Citing the economic climate and the possibility of a human resource crisis, both India and the UAE said distance learning programmes may be a good way forward.
    Full Story: Gulf News   
  • One of the many legacies the U.S will leave behind in Iraq appears to take the form of an uber expensive liberal arts university. The American University of Iraq, according to this article, has only attracted 375 students as high tuition costs and the impracticality of a liberal arts education are cited as barriers to attract enrolment.(See our 16.3.2010 post for more information regarding the Iraq Higher Education System)
    Full Story: Guardian
    More: Asharq Alawsat
              Read more

HE News Brief 23.03.10

by Abby Chau


Here is another set of higher education-related news that not only dominated media headlines this past week, but also fueled debate at our staff meeting today:

  • The proposed university budget cuts dominate the higher educational headlines. This one in particular is an insightful, albeit gloomy, read of the future diagnosis of universities.
    Full Story: BBC News
  • More: A related article on whether UK educational rankings are going to falter. The Independent.
  • Global universities are poised to attract UK students with their promise of more affordable education and a rising reputation for academic excellence.
    Full Story: The Independent