Daily Higher Education News: 21 February 2013

Daily Higher Education News: 21 February 2013

The TopUniversities.com guide to the latest higher education news from around the world, on 21 February 2013.

US v everyone else: Who does better on the GRE?

Data released today reveals that test takers from outside the US do better than US citizens on the quantitative reasoning section of the GRE. Compared to the rest of the world, the US gets higher scores on the verbal reasoning and analytic writing sections. However, US citizens are outperformed on these sections by those from other English-speaking regions, such as Australia, the UK and English-speaking Canada. Writing for Inside Higher Ed, Scott Jaschik suggests these results underline the importance for the US of continuing to attract top international students to its graduate programs. 

Big week for new MOOC partnerships

This week sees two of the world’s largest MOOC platforms almost double their university partnerships, The New York Times reports. Coursera is adding 29 universities to its current 33, with new additions including the National University of Singapore, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and École Polytechnique. Meanwhile edX is doubling its total partnerships to 12, with new members including Australian National University, Delft University of Technology and McGill University.

UK universities minister suggests older people should return to study

The UK’s minister for universities, David Willetts, has suggested more people of retirement age should consider returning to university, to lengthen their careers. Speaking on a visit to India, Willetts said, “Education is such a good thing – it is not reserved for younger people” and, “if you stay up to date with knowledge and skills, you are more employable.” He acknowledged that there had been criticisms over age restrictions on student loans, but said students of any age were eligible for loans to cover university fees, The Guardian reports.

More US high schools allow students to earn degree credits

According to a new report, 82% of public high schools in the US now allow students to enrol on dual-credit courses – which means they can start earning credits towards a university degree. This is an increase compared to 2002-3, when 71% of high schools offered dual-credit programs, Education Week reports. The data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics also shows that at nearly 63% of schools offering dual-credit programs, it is actually a requirement for students to enrol in one.

Danish students protesting over planned changes to student loans

Students in Denmark are planning demonstrations after the government announced changes to the student loans system, University World News reports. Prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said changes would mean savings of  DKK2 billion (US$360 million) per year, and claimed Denmark could still boast the world’s most generous student loan program. The biggest impact of reforms will be on students who live at home, and there will also for the first time be a limit on how many education strands students can choose. Demonstrations will be held on 28 February.

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