The TopUniversities.com guide to the latest higher education news from around the world, on 25 January 2013.
New UK agency will focus on recruiting international students
The UK government has established a new agency, Education UK, which will promote UK educational products overseas, reports University World News. The agency will focus in particular on recruiting students from key markets, including India and the Middle East. The announcement follows news that fewer students from countries, notably India and Pakistan, were choosing to study in the UK. Alex Bols, executive director of the 1994 Group, said the team should focus on “a proactive publicity campaign to combat growing fears that the UK is not welcoming to international students”, as well as providing support for those applying for student visas.
Hong Kong universities offer to help politicians test ideas
Hong Kong’s University of Hong Kong and Polytechnic University have announced a scheme to help politicians test public opinion on key issues, reports South China Morning Post. Robert Chung Ting-yiu, director of the project, said politicians from any party were invited to suggest topics, which members of the public could then vote on using an electronic voting system. This follows a mock-ballot held last March, in which 220,000 people voted for their ideal chief executive (Hong Kong’s head of the government).
Italian exchange students campaigning for right to vote while abroad
Italian students participating in the EU’s Erasmus exchange program are campaigning for the right to vote in the forthcoming Italian general election, reports AEGEE. Most Italians abroad for a temporary period are not currently entitled to vote – though there are exceptions for members of the police and army, civil servants and academics. Erasmus students campaigning for the right to have their votes counted have set up a Facebook group, and are organizing ‘symbolic’ polling stations across Europe.
Stanford academics re-examine ‘misleading’ ranking of US education
Two researchers at Stanford Graduate School have published a study which claims the OECD’s assessment of education standards in the US gave a misleading impression, reports The Stanford Daily. In 2010, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranked the US 14th for reading and 25th for mathematics, in its study of member countries. Martin Carnoy and Richard Rothstein say this should be reassessed to 4th and 10th, arguing that the OECD failed to take sufficient account of factors such as social class distribution.
Number of international students in Denmark tripled in last decade
The number of international students choosing to study in Denmark has tripled over the past ten years, reportsThe Copenhagen Post. Capital city Copenhagen is particularly popular, and is now home to 18,000 foreign students. Advocacy group Goodwill Ambassador Corps said key attractions of Denmark included its welfare state system, environmentally friendly lifestyle, and teaching focused on group work and problem solving.