You are here

Interested in studying abroad?

Check out our comprehensive guides

International Higher Education Roundup: 14 October 2011

International Higher Education Roundup: 14 October 2011 main image

The TopUniversities.com guide to higher education news from around the world.

IELTs monopoly to end in Australia

Until now, in order to gain an Australian student visa, students from non-Anglophone countries which are considered high risk (among them are India and China, the biggest sources of foreign students) have had to prove their proficiency in English with an IELTs score. However, as of November 5th, this monopoly will end, as Australian immigration officials will also be able to accept TOEFL, Pearson and Cambridge ESOL scores. That this would happen was announced in May, but has become a less significant issue since, as a recently announced relaxation of Australian visa rules means that it will be up to universities to set language requirements as of 2012.

The IELTs test is still the only test accepted for skilled migration, but that monopoly has been eroded by policy changes which have made skilled migration much harder.

Full story: The Australian

First ever India-US higher education summit takes place

Last week India’s Human Resources Minister Kapil Sibal and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met in the first India-US higher education summit, the goal of which was to strengthen academic collaboration between the two countries.

High on the agenda was the issue of US institutions setting up campuses in India to help the latter meet its target of having 30% of it population attend university by 2020, currently rendered impossible by a lack of places. Sibal stressed the economic benefits, though he remains unconvinced that for-profit institutions yet have a part to play in India.

It has been suggested that the bill that would allow US universities to set up campuses in India is too restrictive, and many feel that the conference did not go far enough in addressing this concern. However it was also pointed out that the US model is unviable in India, where many could not afford the cost of tuition. Others felt that India had more basic problems to resolve domestically before moving towards international partnerships.

The summit took place at Washington’s Georgetown University, and was attended by more than 300 academics and business people, and was seen a development of the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative announced by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama in 2009. The two countries will now meet annually to further the cause of collaboration.

Full story: University World News

China clamps down on indebted universities

China’s ambition when it comes to universities is well known, and millions of dollars have been invested in making the nation’s institutions competitive on the world stage. However, it emerged at the end of last year that many of the nation’s universities have been running beyond their means, accruing massive debts that they are unable to pay back. This has led to a number of governmental bailouts and the freezing of several new projects. Duke University’s planned China campus is one of the projects that has suffered as a result.

The central government has now demanded that each province reports debts back to it, and present plans on how they will reduce their deficits. If they can successfully demonstrate how they will achieve this, the central government will contribute money to alleviate their financial difficulties. Poorer provinces could, under this scheme, could see up to 45% of their higher education-related debts repaid by the government

In other Chinese financial news, it has been reported this week that if it was added to OECD nations (Europe, Australia and North America and a couple of other highly developed nations), its research expenditure would account for a massive 15% of the total.

Full story: University World News

Brazil and EU to meet to discuss academic collaboration

Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, and EU leaders have signed an agreement which will see both sides attend a meeting next year with the goal of strengthening cooperation between the two sides. This will be achieved through a joint work program, the goal of which is to "promote mutual cooperation and exchanges in higher education and research and the mobility of students, teachers and researchers through the implementation of higher education and research programs", according to a communiqué released after the agreement was reached. Amongst other things the collaboration will take the form of fairs and conferences, and specialized Brazilian and European studies.

Cooperation between the two sides began with a 2009 initiative to improve cooperation in education and training. However Brazil’s media and higher educational established have greeted the news with silence. A similar announcement of collaboration between Brazil and US, on the other hand, was greeted with significantly greater fanfare.

Full story: University World News

Lord Sainsbury wins election to become Chancellor of Cambridge University

In the UK, the name is synonymous with an orange-logoed brand of supermarket, but the Sainsbury name is in the news this week as a member of the family whose name the chain bears has been elected Chancellor of Cambridge University. The new chancellor, Lord Sainsbury of Turville – David to his friends – was the favoured choice of the university’s board, whose choice normally goes unopposed in these elections.

However, this time the contest took a bizarre turn as a local shopkeeper, Abdul Arain, stood on the basis of his opposition to a new Sainsbury’s supermarket being built in the city. Inspired by the shopkeeper, actor Brian Blessed (of Flash Gordon fame) and Michael Mansfield QC, a human rights lawyer famed for his left wing beliefs, entered the fray, leading to an unprecedented four-way race (the last time this election was even contested was in 1847, when the Earl of Powys chose to oppose Prince Albert).

However, the members of the university Senate – those who have completed degrees at Cambridge and collected the master’s degree offered seven years later – voted resoundingly for Lord Sainsbury, the only Cambridge graduate running, and a former UK science minister.

Full story: The Telegraph

Related categories:

QS Staff Writer's profile image
Written by QS Staff Writer

Want to leave a comment?

Please login or register to post
comment above our articles

0 Comment