Sunday, 24 January 2010

University World News 0108 - 24th January 2010

SPECIAL REPORT: Fees and the foreign student

Around the world, more than three million students are currently studying
outside their home countries and the number is growing year by year. So is the number of countries trying to attract fee-paying foreigners and, with so many fighting for a slice of the international student market, nations are becoming increasingly creative in marketing their education services.

Japan, among the top countries after China and India fuelling the growth in demand by international students for English language courses, is also developing them as part of its internationalisation efforts.

In almost all countries, the drive to recruit foreign students is based on the lure of money. Cash-strapped institutions faced with declining government support have turned to exporting education as a revenue-generating business. The danger is that too heavy a reliance on foreign fees can leave universities open to budgetary crises should student numbers start to fall. Our correspondents report.

US: Fees worth $18 billion to economy

Sarah King Head Only 3.7% of all students enrolled in American higher education institutions are foreigners yet they contribute nearly $18 billion a year to the US economy, according to the US Department of Commerce. Most of this income is generated by tuition and other fees.
Full report on the University World News site :

UK: Budget cuts may drive numbers down
David Jobbins
Britain is the second most popular destination for students from overseas, after the US. The UK receives more than 350,000 international students each year, more than 20% of the world's share. But university leaders fear public spending cuts over the next three years may put the strength of the higher education sector at risk.
Full report on the University World News site:

FINLAND: To fee or not to fee - that is the question
Ian R Dobson*
Only in recent times have the powers-that-be in Finnish higher education been able to bring themselves to utter the word 'fees'. In the Finnish context, the thought of charging students to study had risen only occasionally before discussions led to Finland's new Universities Act of 2009. But radical change is afoot and, from the start of 2010, it became possible for universities to charge tuition fees to students from outside the European Union, although under certain highly restrictive circumstances.
Full report on the University World News site:

CHINA: Tuition costs not high by western standards
John Richard Schrock
No country in history has ever expanded its university capacity as fast as the People's Republic of China over the last 20 years. Each year, more programmes become available at more universities for the international student considering studying there. The Chinese university system is markedly tiered and costs can be higher at the most prestigious schools in urban centres, but generally fees and housing are not expensive by Western standards.
Full report on the University World News site:

JAPAN: English courses to boost recruitment
Japan is boosting its recruitment of foreign students by increasing the number of university courses taught in English. Foreign enrolments are now estimated to exceed 133,000 - up by more than 9,000 since 2008 following an ambitious plan unveiled by the government for universities to recruit 300,000 international students by 2020.

Full report on the University World News site:

FRANCE: Influence worth more than national income
Jane Marshall
Foreigners studying in France pay the same fees as local students and, unlike in some other countries, they do not contribute vast sums to the state's exchequer. In fact, the opposite is the case: the French government expends thousands of euros on each student, regardless of nationality.
Full report on the University World News site:

GERMANY: Foreign students deterred by charges
Michael Gardner
Germany is popular with overseas students and comes third in terms of recruitment from OECD countries. Where they have been introduced, tuition fees appear modest compared with many other countries. But while a number of programmes exist to support students from abroad, World University Service Germany is concerned that fees are proving a deterrent to foreigners, particularly from southern countries.
Full report on the University World News site:

DENMARK: Fees part of broader reforms
Jan Petter Myklebust
Tuition fees for foreign students from outside the European Union and the European Economic Area were introduced in 2006 and form part of a broader globalisation strategy for Danish universities as well as a desire to strengthen market mechanisms in higher education.
Full report on the University World News site:

THE NETHERLANDS: More universities charge for tuition
Maurits van Rooijen and Arnold Persoon*
Traditionally The Netherlands has maintained subsidised fees for all students, whether EU or non-EU, which means a fee of roughly -1,600 a year. But this situation is changing rapidly and since 2008 non-EU students have no longer been funded by the government. So many universities have started to charge full-cost fees to those who enrol in English-taught degree courses. There is also an emerging private sector offering nationally accredited degree courses on a full-cost basis to Dutch, EU and non-EU students.
Full report on the University World News site:

SWEDEN: Students face fees next year
Jan Petter Myklebust
Sweden will introduce application fees, and most likely tuition fees as well, for international students from outside the European Union and the European Economic Area from the autumn term in 2011. As an EU member state, Sweden cannot differentiate between its own citizens and those from other EU nations.
Full report on the University World News site:

GREECE: An expensive free education
Makki Marseilles
Education in Greece is free so no fees are paid by students or their parents. Embodied in the country's constitution is that all Greek citizens (and certain foreigners who live and work in the country) are entitled to free education.
Full report on the University World News site:

AUSTRALIA: Exporting education worth billions
Geoff Maslen
When the Australian economy was struck by galloping external debt and a poor export performance in the mid-1980s, the then Labour government decided to create an export education industry it hoped would be worth millions of dollars. A quarter of a century on, the current government claims that industry generates A$17 billion (US$15.5 billion) for the national economy.
Full report on the University World News site:

NEW ZEALAND: Foreign students a welcome income source
John Gerritsen
Fees from international students became increasingly important to New Zealand universities this decade as they sought to increase their income in the face of government control or regulation of most other forms of their income.
Full report on the University World News site:

SA: International students - big numbers, small income
Karen MacGregor
South Africa is the eighth most popular destination for international students in the world, with 2.2% of the global share, and it is the only country in Africa that receives far more students than it sends abroad. But fees from international students are not a major income stream for universities - most come from other Southern African Development Community countries and receive the same state subsidies and pay similar fees as home students.
Full report on the University World News site:

MALTA: Non-EU students pay high fees
Jan Petter Myklebust
In Malta, the Mediterranean island with 360,000 inhabitants, higher education is almost totally funded by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Employment. The ministry also decides on the university fee regulations through legislation and non-EU students face heavy tuition charges.
Full report on the University World News site:


US: Universities mobilise disaster relief for Haiti
Sarah King Head
American colleges and universities have responded overwhelmingly in their efforts to offer humanitarian support to the people affected by the Haiti earthquake.
Full report on the University World News site:

EUROPE: EUA promotes full-costing and research
Alan Osborn
Two projects aimed at improving the ability of European universities to meet the challenges posed by the EU's Lisbon Strategy for increasing the union's technical competitiveness are to be launched by the European University Association. The programmes reflect a need for new tools and methodologies if Europe's higher education sector is to play its full part in equipping the EU to compete successfully in tomorrow's world.
Full report on the University World News site:

FRANCE: Fuchs is new national research head
Jane Marshall
Chemical engineer Professor Alain Fuchs has been appointed as the new President of France's flagship research institution, the National Science Research Centre. Director of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris, Chimie ParisTech, Fuchs replaces both current President Catherine Bréchignac and Director Arnold Migus whose terms of office are coming to an end.
Full report on the University World News site:

ZIMBABWE: Fee protests land 26 students in court
Twenty-six Zimbabwean students appeared in court earlier this month for demonstrating against unaffordable fees - at a time when lawmakers were expressing fears that this year's higher education examinations might not meet standards as a result of inadequate funding.
Full report on the University World News site:


IRAQ: New online museum for artifacts
Leah Germain
Google's Chief Executive Eric Schmidt has announced the creation of a virtual alternative to Iraq's national museum. The internet trailblazers will transfer four millennia of archaeological discoveries into an online version with high-resolution images, free of charge. Scholars, educators and historians will be able to use the virtual museum to examine and study some of Iraq's oldest archaeological treasures with the simple click of a mouse.
Full report on the University World News site:

EUROPE: Trade in computer resources opened up
Alan Osborn
Sometimes a single computer, or even a network of computer workstations, just isn't enough for major research projects requiring lots of gigabyte muscle. Now, with EU help, a solution has been found in Germany.
Full report on the University World News site:

US: Textbooks for rent
Leah Germain
As any university graduate can attest, the process of getting a degree is often a pricey endeavour. Along with tuition fees, students find themselves shelling out for textbooks and course packs that can add up to a small fortune, an average of US$900 a year in America. But BookRenter, a web-based company in northern California, is offering students an alternative to purchasing their expensive textbooks: simply rent them.
Full report on the University World News site:

EUROPE: New marketing tools aid wine producers
Leah Germain
A European research team has developed an online course to help small wine-producing businesses boost their commercial operations and establish a better understanding of their market. Scotland's University of Glasgow has coordinated the project, with the intention of giving small wine producers a chance to promote their highest quality products.
Full report on the University World News site:


UK: E-learning expert urges caution and balance
John Gerritsen
It would be fair to say that Grainne Conole was an early adopter of new technologies. While completing her PhD in chemistry, Conole was using email at a time when her colleagues could not see the point - why not send a letter, they asked. She had the same experience with the internet. Although attitudes have moved on since then, the professor of e-learning at the UK's Open University is still working at the cutting edge of technology.
Full report on the University World News site:

GERMANY: Managing natural resources
Kristin Mosch and Stephan Weidt*
The Centre for Natural Resources and Development at Cologne University of Applied Sciences is one of the five winners of the Exceed - Excellence for Development - competition. Since uncontrolled consumption of natural resources causes several development problems, ensuring environmental sustainability was adopted in the list of Millennium Development Goals or MDG 7. The centre is concentrating on water management, land use and biodiversity, renewable energy sources and regional management to help achieve this goal.
Full report on the University World News site:


DENMARK: Tuition fees and private universities loom
Ard Jongsma
Students and a united political opposition are baffled by new proposals from Science Minister Helge Sander to depart from the Danish tradition of free higher education for all. Both groups seemed taken by surprise at parliamentary debates following publication last week of a discussion paper setting out the options for a partial privatisation of higher education.
Full report on the University World News site:

CHINA: Academic freedom and public intellectuals
Qiang Zha
Academic freedom has always been viewed as problematic in China. The recent academic integrity crisis on university campuses and governmental intervention have once again brought this issue to the fore. Since 2002, China's Ministry of Education has promulgated a series of policies aimed at cleaning up academic corruption on university campuses. Most recently, in March 2009, it announced severe penalties for academic misbehaviour. Then, what is the status quo of academic freedom in Chinese universities?
First published in International Higher Education.
Full report on the University World News site:

US: Will China achieve science supremacy?
Last week in Room for Debate, a New York Times blog, Chinese and American academics probed the question: how likely is it that China will become the world's leader in science and technology, and what are the impediments to creating a research climate that would allow scientists to thrive?
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UNI-LATERAL: Off-beat university stories

NORWAY: Sacked professor sues the state
Jan Petter Myklebust
Earlier this month, five days were spent in an Oslo court to hear testimonies in a case where sacked University of Oslo Professor Arnved Nedkvitne is suing the Norwegian government. Nedkvitne has demanded that he either be reinstated as a full professor in medieval history or paid financial compensation until he reaches pension age.
Full report on the University World News site:

UK: Liter8 lrnrs: Is texting valuable or vandalism?
Children who are heavy users of mobile phone text abbreviations such as LOL (laughing out loud), plz (please), l8ter (later) and xxx (kisses), are unlikely to be problem spellers and readers, a new study by a Coventry University researcher has found.
Full report on the University World News site:

AUSTRALIA: A silly man comes under fire
Two academics at Monash University in Melbourne sent an email to the dean of their faculty after he proposed making some of their colleagues redundant. Their comments will resonate among academics in universities around the world where research apparently counts for much more than teaching.
Full report on the University World News site:


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INDIA: 44 universities to be stripped of deemed status
From an institution located inside New Delhi's National Museum to a 19-hectare campus at Faridabad in Haryana, shock waves were felt at 44 'deemed' universities after the government told the Supreme Court last Monday that they did not deserve the status, write Aparna Kalra and Santosh K Joy for LiveMint. Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said the government would protect the interests of an estimated 200,000 students whose future had been thrown into uncertainty. The move sparked student protests.
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INDIA: Education reform bills cleared
Notwithstanding initial hiccups, the Human Resource Development Ministry's two major Bills that promise to change the face of higher education in India - accreditation of higher education institutions and setting up educational tribunals - were cleared (with minor changes) by the Group of Ministers on Thursday, writes Akshaya Mukul for The Times of India.
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UK: Postgraduate rise largely a foreign affair
British universities are rapidly expanding the recruitment of overseas postgraduates who pay higher fees, but growth in the number of domestic postgraduates is far slower, a study has found, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education. The analysis by the Higher Education Policy Institute and the British Library, published on Thursday, urges the government to make PhDs more attractive to British students to arrest the erosion of the UK's research base.
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MALAYSIA: Major revamp for polytechnic education
Technical and polytechnic education in Malaysia will be overhauled this year in order to restore public confidence, writes Richard Lim for The Star. Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the move was necessary as polytechnics were currently regarded as a second chance route for weaker students and this perception had to change.
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ISRAEL: West Bank college upgraded to university
Israel has agreed to upgrade to university status a college built in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, a move critics see as placing another obstacle in the path of US-backed efforts to resume stalled peace talks, writes Allyn Fisher-Ilan for Reuters. The decision by Defence Minister Ehud Barak formalised a 2005 cabinet ruling to that effect but also coincided with the latest visit to the region by US peace envoy George Mitchell for talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
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US: Controversial visa bans on academics lifted
Adam Habib and Tariq Ramadan should soon be able to enter the United States once again, ending years in which the Bush administration kept out the two prominent scholars, infuriating many academic groups, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed. Several academic groups have been in a protracted legal battle with the government over the visa denials to Habib, a Deputy Vice-chancellor at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, and Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford University.
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US: Professor is a label that leans to the left
The overwhelmingly liberal tilt of university professors has been explained by everything from outright bias to higher IQ scores. Now new research suggests that critics may have been asking the wrong question. Instead of looking at why most professors are liberal, they should ask why so many liberals - and so few conservatives - want to be professors, writes Patricia Cohen for The New York Times.
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US: Terrible fiscal decline for higher education
By any financial measure, this fiscal year is a terrible one for public higher education. And while that's no surprise to anyone working at a state college or university, new national data document the extent of the loss of state support, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed. Total state support for higher education for 2009-10 - including federal stimulus dollars - is US$79.4 billion, which is a decline of 1.1% from the prior year and 1.7% from the year before that. This represents a dramatic shift from the three-year period of 2005 to 2008 when state support grew 24% to $80.7 billion - without federal stimulus dollars in the equation.
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US: Recession takes toll on university presidents' pay
The recession has reached the executive suites of America's public universities and colleges, putting a stop to a string of large annual pay increases for school presidents, writes Eric Gorski for Associated Press. A survey released on Monday by the Chronicle of Higher Education showed compensation packages of chief executives at public universities levelling off in 2008-09, rising a relatively modest 2.3%. One in 10 saw their pay decline. Some who did get raises or bonuses gave the money back to their institutions.
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US: More women out-earning, out-learning husbands
Bringing home the bacon is less and less a man's job in the US these days, writes Nicole Santa Cruz for The Los Angeles Times. According to a Pew Research Center study released on Tuesday, a larger share of men are married to women whose education and income exceed their own. In 1970, 4% of husbands had wives who made more money than they did. In 2007, that share rose to 22%.
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US: Survey finds more students worried about finances
Family unemployment and a growing student loan burden are making American college students increasingly anxious about finances, according to a national survey by University of California - Los Angeles researchers, writes Larry Gordon for the Los Angeles Times. Nearly 67% of freshmen at four-year colleges and universities said they had at least some concerns about paying their tuition bills, the highest percentage expressing such anxieties in a dozen years, the annual study found. And with unemployment affecting many families, about 53% of freshmen who took part in the survey last autumn said they carried student loans, up about 4% from the previous year and the highest in nine years.
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WALES: University job losses and course closures forecast
The body responsible for higher education funding in Wales has warned of job losses and the closure of courses as a result of falling funding levels, writes Matt Withers for Western Mail. Giving evidence to National Assembly Finance Committee's inquiry into further and higher education funding, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales said it was "inconceivable" that budget restraints would not lead to cutbacks in teaching and research.
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