HE News Brief 12.4.11

by Abby Chau

IN THIS EDITION

  • AUSTRALIA: Leadership at top institutions are targeting indigenous students’ leadership and participation rates
  • SOUTH KOREA: Series of suicides on the KAIST campus has forced a change in student scholarship policies
  • POLAND: Private and public institutions jostle for students and supremacy
  • KENYA: Brain drain affecting professors and students
  • GLOBAL: New QS Subject Rankings – Engineering & Technology has recently been released

by Abby Chau

  • A report produced by the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne says the number of indigenous students and academics  in higher education is too low. Australia’s indigenous community accounts for 2.4 percent of the population. Now the University of Sydney and University of Queensland have moved toward addressing this issue by appointing deputy and pro vice chancellors to target indigenous participation. As a matter of priority, Steven Larken, pro vice-chancellor at Charles Darwin University, says that increasing indigenous leadership and participation is now attached to performance measurement, which is of course linked to university financing.
    Full Story: New York Times
  • A series of suicides on the KAIST campus has forced President Suh Nam-pyo to change a controversial policy which tied student performance to the amount of scholarship they are allotted. The policy, instituted by President Suh in 2006, is being blamed for intense competition, which some are saying, may have contributed to the tragedies that unfolded on the campus.
    Full Story:  JoongAng Daily
    More: Wall Street Journal

  • Poland has the highest rate of student enrolment in private institutions in all of Europe. Before the collapse of communism, there was one private institution but now more than a third of Poland’s students attend private institutions. For years public and private institutions lived in relative harmony but as potential student rates are shrinking, competition between the two systems are set to increase. To buoy rivalry even further, private institutions are seeking subsidies from the state, and are trying to make tuition fees compulsory at public institutions. Some are saying competition is healthy for both private and public institutions as it will promote institutional diversity and excellence.
    Full Story:  Guardian
  • According to this report, highly educated academics from Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda used to flood Kenyan universities, now the trend has reversed and Kenya is losing its star academics and pupils to these Africa countries. For example some estimate that at the St Augustine University in Tanzania, a quarter of its teaching staff are Kenyan. In addition, Kenyan students are also flocking to these countries – in some Ugandan universities, particularly in law courses, the majority of students are Kenyan. Salary and tuition fees share the burden of the blame but some are saying Kenya’s rigid higher education system is also part of the problem.
    Full Story:  Daily Nation
  • The first ever QS Subject Rankings – Engineering & Technology has just been released. MIT topped the list in the Computer Science & Information Systems field, followed by Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. The subject rankings is based on several indicators including Academic and Employer Reputation, as well as citations per paper.
    Full Story:  The Australian

By Abby Chau

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