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HE at risk from immigration policies - University head

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:26
A prominent university head has said university leaders are concerned about how federal government policies, particularly on immigration, are affecting higher education in the United States, write ...

Number of foreign students rising at universities

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:24
The number of foreigners studying at Czech universities and colleges has been rising and most of them do not pay for their studies, but the total number of university students has decreased since ...

Non-academic university staff vow to continue strike

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:22
Non-teaching staff members of federal universities in Nigeria have vowed that their ongoing strike will continue until their demands are acceded to by the government. The workers, operating under ...

'Grossly inequitable' fee-free warning from universities

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:20
Universities have warned that fee-free study could push some students to apply for courses they are unlikely to pass, as tension between the sector and the Labour-led government over the flagship ...

Finally - How government plans to fund free education

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:18
A month after university registrations opened, Treasury has finally answered the big question regarding how government will fund free higher education - as expected it comes with significant cuts ...

Academia, industry partner to end labour market mismatch

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:16
Four heads of higher education bodies and the Federation of Thai Industries have joined forces to solve the problem of a mismatch of supply and demand of labour force and skills in Thailand, write ...

Universities, colleges to abolish admission fees by 2022

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:14
South Korea's education ministry said last weekend that the nation's national and private universities and 330 vocational colleges had presented their plans to do away with admission fees, reports ...

Scottish universities demand say on tuition fees

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:12
Scottish universities have demanded a say on the future of tuition fees after British Prime Minister Theresa May launched a review of university funding, to be chaired by author and financier Phil ...

Universities criticise government's free tuition criteria

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:10
Universities in Japan have slammed the central government for its moves to set criteria for institutions that will come under student fee reduction and exemption programmes as "an interventio ...

Calls for student sexual assault taskforce

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:08
Leading anti-sexual violence advocacy groups are calling for the federal government to establish an independent taskforce to monitor Australian universities' and residences' responses to sexual vi ...

Record foreign student numbers at technology universities

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:06
The number of foreign students doing engineering and technical degrees in the Netherlands has never been higher, with one in three masters students at four institutions coming from abroad, writes ...

HE body moots changes to academic promotion criteria

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:04
The University Grants Commission of India has proposed to do away with most of the existing rules on promotions for the post of associate and assistant professors, reports Out ...

Universities prepare for post-Brexit student influx

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:02
A new study suggests that universities on the Continent are increasing their offers as they expect students to look outside of the United Kingdom for courses in the years after Brexit, writes Elea ...

Ongoing war leaves scientific research crippled

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:00
Though never a top producer of scientific research in the Arab region, Yemen had achieved a steady output of scholarly studies in recent decades. However, the continuing civil war over the past fo ...

Jordan to recognise overseas degrees

The PIE News - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 06:41

Jordan will begin to recognise degrees earned at universities overseas if they are acknowledged by accreditation commissions abroad, according to the country’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Higher education minister Adel Tweisi said the reform was instigated to ensure that Jordanian students looking to study overseas were able to choose a reputable institution, by understanding the worth of foreign accreditations. 

“It’s not breaking new ground for universities and countries per se”

“The aim of these amendments is to ensure the quality of the different higher education outputs, and to direct students to register in internationally recognised institutions”, he said.

It is also a streamlining effort, Tweisi told local media.

“It does not make sense to reapply our criteria to each foreign university if we consider that the standards used by most official accreditation commissions are similar to ours.”

Paul Fear, chief executive officer at the British Accreditation Council told The PIE News that the announcement would bring Jordan into line with many other countries.

“This wouldn’t be unusual in Europe and in many countries. It’s not breaking new ground for universities and countries per se.”

He continued to say that the move could benefit students, universities and Jordan.

“With any regulatory regime… opening and allowing students to go outside of the country, study and bring those skills back, one it’s good for the students – they can travel elsewhere, they can choose which institutions they want to study at – they have access to the best institutions in the world.”

Accrediting degrees from other countries “is a very good way of making sure that students do come back”, Fear stated. Skills  returning students bring to Jordan could create employment and ensure the economy is up to speed with the best developments elsewhere.

“In other countries that have been in similar situations … they often just lose their best students to overseas institutions, [who] get well qualified and then stay in the country where they studied because their degree is not being recognised back in Jordan itself.”

However, the impact on universities in Jordan could be negative as well as positive, according to Fear.

“[Universities] might see some students choosing to study overseas, at the same time, there’s more opportunities to collaborate with other universities outside of Jordan. It could significantly improve or help develop Jordanian universities, in terms of developing their reputations.”

The ministry lists recognised universities on its website.

The post Jordan to recognise overseas degrees appeared first on The PIE News.

38% international students in NZ apply through education agents

The PIE News - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 03:25

Almost two-fifths of international students studying in a New Zealand university in 2016 enrolled using the services of education agents, according to the latest report from education marketing consultancy, Studymove.

The International Education Benchmark for New Zealand report, which surveyed 1,781 undergraduate and postgraduate respondents, found on average, education agents recruited 38.7% of universities’ international student populations.

“Agents are a key recruitment channel for New Zealand universities across multiple markets as they are one of the most significant influencers when students are deciding where to study,” said executive director of Universities New Zealand Chris Whelan.

“Our universities work hard to build relationships with agents that are high-quality and high performing.”

While education agents played a significant role in New Zealand higher education, Studymove’s managing director Keri Ramirez said the results of the survey showed opportunities for further engagement.

“38% may be seen high but… Australian Universities received close to 75% of their students via agents,” he said, referring to a 2016 report by the Australian Universities International Directors’ Forum.

“Increased outbound mobility is an important part of university life, and part of the government’s international education policy”

“There are still good opportunities to engage more with education agents and effectively increase the number of international students studying in New Zealand,” Ramirez continued.

The report argued that the overall operational costs of using education agents were relatively small, coming to only 3.7% of total tuition revenue generated by all international students on campus.

“From a financial point of view, education agents are quite an effective recruitment channel,” Ramirez told The PIE News.

As well as looking at agent usage, the report found that universities increased revenue by 7.9%, to hit $371.3m in 2016, off the back of a 10.3% increase in enrolments.

China remained as New Zealand’s top source market for students, representing over a third of all international students at universities.

“China is the top market for New Zealand universities representing 36% of the total commencing international students,” Ramirez said.

“This figure is very similar to 38% reported by the Australian Government and 32% by Open Doors in 2016,” he continued, adding that smaller markets, such as Vietnam, South Korea and Indonesia represented some of New Zealand’s most significant areas for further growth.

Outbound mobility of New Zealand students also saw marked increases in 2016, growing 12.7% to 2,874.

“38% may be seen high but… Australian Universities received close to 75% of their students via agents”

Interestingly, while the number of domestic university students going abroad increased, participation rates decreased to 4.3%, with undergraduate students reporting the largest drop, from 8.5% to 6.1%.

“Increased outbound mobility is an important part of university life, and part of the government’s international education policy,” Whelan said.

“However, there are many factors which students take into account when deciding whether to study abroad. Some of these include language barriers, financial issues, a lack of recognition for study done abroad, prolonging their degree, and a general uncertainty about opportunities to study abroad.”

Whelan told The PIE that universities were aware of the barriers and were currently reviewing ways in which to reduce them an increased study abroad among New Zealand students.

A new strategy for international education is currently underway in New Zealand, after a draft and consultation period last year.

The post 38% international students in NZ apply through education agents appeared first on The PIE News.

Exclusive: Oxford International new partnership

The PIE News - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 02:00

Oxford International, the private education provider, has agreed a new partnership deal with the University in Greenwich, in London.

The partnership will have Oxford International create the Greenwich International College, which will operate on the existing Greenwich university campus. OI will then provide a range of pathway programs to both prospective undergraduates and hopeful postgraduates.

“We pride ourselves on working collaboratively with our university colleagues to… support the needs of international students”

The companies are aiming to achieve over 500 enrolments to the new centre over the next five years.

The pathways will assist international students in gaining access to the university-proper, by “developing students’ university level study skills and their English language level,” according to a statement.

Undergraduate pathway graduates will be able to choose from degree subjects relating to business and management, engineering, science, computing, and social sciences and law.

Postgraduates who complete the pathway option and move on to the university itself will be able to choose from a range of degrees related to business and management.

The deal marks Oxford International’s fifth university pathway partnership in the UK. The other partners are Bangor, De Monfort (in Leicester), the University of Dundee and the University of Bedfordshire.

The University of Greenwich said the deal was done to improve its global attractiveness and boost international recruitment, according to vice-chancellor David Maguire, in a statement seen by The PIE News.

David Brown, president and co-founder of Oxford International said the each part of the centre would be run collaboratively between his company and the university, adding that Greenwich was chosen as a “natural fit” to the existing OI portfolio of university international colleges.

“With each partnership we pride ourselves on working collaboratively with our university colleagues to deliver an attractive range of programs that support the needs of international students,” he added in the statement.

The value of the deal was not disclosed by the parties involved.

The first cohort will start in September 2018, and recruitment is now open for the first pathway courses.

The post Exclusive: Oxford International new partnership appeared first on The PIE News.

Admissions officers take a stand to back high school students engaged in anti-gun protests

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 01:00

High schoolers regularly joke about infractions that might end up on their "permanent record," the one that will be reported to colleges to which they apply. But now some school districts, faced with growing activism by high school students pushing for tougher gun laws, have promised to suspend students who stage walkouts or protests during school hours. The superintendent of a Houston-area district specified that all such activity would result in three-day suspensions, even if parents authorized participation.

For those students who have been accepted to college, have applications pending or would apply in the future, suspensions can be serious business. Many colleges require high schools to report on suspensions and some other sanctions against students. And so students have been asking: If I join the growing protest movement, will I endanger my admission to college?

On Wednesday and Thursday, a number of colleges answered that question: such suspensions will not be held against applicants in the future or those already admitted to college, whose high schools would also report suspensions. It is highly unusual for college admissions offices to tell high schoolers that being suspended won't hurt their chances, but statements from admissions leaders made clear that they would view such suspensions as highly unusual if not inappropriate.

Statements issued by admissions leaders not only sought to reassure these high school students, but praised the activism that has grown since last week's deadly shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla.

One of the most detailed statements came from Stu Schmill, dean of admissions and financial services at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"Some students who have been admitted to MIT’s Class of 2022 have asked us if their acceptance will be rescinded if they are disciplined for joining the protests, while other applicants still under consideration are wondering if they have to choose between speaking out and getting in," wrote Schmill. "We have already informed those who asked that, in this case, a disciplinary action associated with meaningful, peaceful participation in a protest will not negatively impact their admissions decision, because we would not view it as inappropriate or lacking integrity on its face. The purpose of this blog post is to communicate that fact more broadly and explain our reasoning as to why."

Schmill added, "We have long held that students should not make decisions based on what they think will get them into college, but instead based on values and interests that are important to them. We believe students should follow compasses over maps, pursuing points of direction rather than specific destinations and trusting they will end up where they belong. As such, we always encourage students to undertake whatever course of action in life is most meaningful to, and consistent with, their own principles, and not prioritize how it might impact their college applications."

Further, Schmill expressed support for the idea of participating in protests that reflect student values. "We also believe that civic responsibility is, like most things at MIT, something you learn best by doing: indeed, to be civically responsible is to put into practice the obligation we owe to each other and to the common good." He added, "So: if any admitted students or applicants are disciplined by their high school for practicing responsible citizenship by engaging in peaceful, meaningful protest related to this (or any other) issue, we will still require them to report it to us. However, because we do not view such conduct on its face as inappropriate or inconsistent with their prior conduct, or anything we wouldn't applaud amongst our own students, it will not negatively impact their admissions outcome."

Schmill was not the only one to speak out. On Twitter, admissions leaders from the California Institute of Technology, DePaul University, Smith College, Trinity College in Connecticut, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Worcester Polytechnic Institute all posted assurances to students. Tulane University published such a statement on its admissions blog.

I’m in too. I would never punish students in the #Admissions process for standing up for what they believe in. https://t.co/aJZ5OBjVOo

— Angel B. Pérez (@AngelBPerez) February 22, 2018

 

I’m in too! Everyone, especially our youth, has the right to free speech and the ability to peacefully protest for what they believe in. And admissions should never hold that against them!

— Jarrid Whitney (@JarridWhitney) February 22, 2018

 

Agreed. I can’t believe I even have to clarify this: students applying to WPI will not be penalized for exercising their 1st Amendment rights to speak out against gun violence.

Thanks @JonBoeckenstedt, @akilbello & others for spreading this movement of support for our students. https://t.co/z2BtVpc7yu

— Andrew B. Palumbo (@InsideAdmission) February 22, 2018

 

To students worried about disciplinary action for getting
suspended for standing up for your beliefs: we’ve got you on this side. #Smith2022 #ParklandStudentsSpeak

— Deb Shaver (@deandebshaver) February 22, 2018

 

Dear Students: If you participate in protests against gun violence and incur school discipline for walking out, you can rest assured you can report it to DePaul and we won't hold it against you. #ParklandStudentsSpeak

— Jon Boeckenstedt (@JonBoeckenstedt) February 22, 2018

 

Students: If you participate in peaceful protests against gun violence and receive school discipline for walking out, staging your protest, etc., please rest assured that you can report it to UMass Amherst, and we won't hold it against you. #ParklandStudentsSpeak

— UMass Admissions (@UMassAmherstUA) February 22, 2018 AdmissionsEditorial Tags: AdmissionsImage Caption: Stu Schmill of MITIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: 

Study: students believe they are prepared for the workplace; employers disagree

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 01:00

College students may believe they’re ready for a job, but employers think otherwise.

At least, that’s according to data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which surveyed graduating college seniors and employers and found a significant difference in the groups' perceptions.

The association surveyed 4,213 graduating seniors and 201 employers on eight “competencies” that it considers necessary to be prepared to enter the workplace. This information comes from the association’s 2018 Job Outlook Survey.

For the most part, a high percentage of students indicated in almost every category they thought they were proficient. Employers disagreed.

“This can be problematic because it suggests that employers see skills gaps in key areas where college students don’t believe gaps exist,” a statement from the association reads.

The biggest divide was around students’ professionalism and work ethic. Almost 90 percent of seniors thought they were competent in that area, but only about 43 percent of the employers agreed.

Nearly 80 percent of students also believed they were competent in oral and written communication and critical thinking, while only roughly 42 percent and 56 percent of employers, respectively, indicated that students were successful in those areas.

Per the survey, only in digital technology skills were employers more likely to feel that students were prepared versus the seniors themselves.

Almost 66 percent of employers rated students proficient in technology compared to 60 percent of the seniors.

But Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup's higher education division, which also conducts research related to graduates and careers, said these sorts of definitions can vary.

For instance, Gallup has found that generally an employer believes that "critical thinking" is coming up with new, original thought. But in an academic sense, it can mean more picking apart ideas in depth, he said.

Written communication can differ, too, he said -- some students might excel at writing technical reports or papers with lots of citations, but these are far different than writing for marketing, Busteed said.

"I think in some ways these studies beg for further exploration," he said.

Busteed also pointed out that the lifestyle for the traditional undergraduate student likely does not match how they will need to operate when they enter the work force.

Undergraduates are typically scheduling classes later in the morning and staying up until the late hours of the night, which does not prepare them for an eight-hour workday, he said.

The easy solution: set students up in a more professional environment, Busteed said -- this could be internships or co-op programs. If students can't go to an actual office, then the environment should be brought to them so they have a better sense of how a workplace runs.

"It's good news because there's real quick fixes, but it's not a prevalent as it should be," he said.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities has conducted similar research. In 2015, it found that students thought they were far better equipped for jobs than employers did.

The AAC&U looked at some of the same measures as the association. Specifically around oral communication, students ranked themselves highly -- about 62 percent of students believed they did well in this area compared to 28 percent of employers. That and written communication showed the biggest gaps in the AAC&U report (27 percent of employers versus 65 percent of students).

“When it comes to the types of skills and knowledge that employers feel are most important to workplace success, large majorities of employers do NOT feel that recent college graduates are well prepared,” the AAC&U report states. “This is particularly the case for applying knowledge and skills in real-world settings, critical thinking skills, and written and oral communication skills -- areas in which fewer than three in 10 employers think that recent college graduates are well prepared.”

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Authors discuss new book on why American professors and universities focus on the U.S.

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 01:00

College and university leaders talk all the time about their embrace of global agendas: they strive to enroll international students. They sign agreements with institutions around the world. They boast about the global perspectives of their campuses.

But is American higher education truly global? Or could it be increasingly parochial?

A new book argues more for the latter view than the former. Reward structures, particularly for faculty members in social science fields that should be global in perspective, are pushing them inward instead, according to Seeing the World: How U.S. Universities Make Knowledge in a Global Era (Princeton University Press). The authors are Mitchell L. Stevens, associate professor of education at Stanford University; Cynthia Miller-Idriss, associate professor of education and sociology at American University; and Seteney Shami, a program director at the Social Science Research Council and founding director of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences. Their book is based on interviews with scholars in a range of social science disciplines.

Stevens and Miller-Idriss responded via email to questions about their book.

Q: College and university presidents talk all the time about their institutions’ "global vision" or internationalization. Yet your book suggests areas in higher education that have a decidedly American focus. Why is that?

A: There’s no question that U.S. universities are courting clients and patrons all over the world. But we found that these global ambitions are often not matched by faculty in the social sciences, who are often ambivalent about international research. Social-science journals, book publishers and faculty hiring committees in the U.S. strongly favor scholarship on North American and Western European topics. It’s a peculiar but powerful legacy of the 20th century, when these regions were unquestionably dominant on the world stage.

Q: As you look at disciplines, are some better than others at embracing an international perspective?

A: Not better or worse, but different. Economists often were adamant that their economic explanatory models had primacy over cultural context: the world provides cases for economists to test the models. As one of them put it, “To understand what their census statistics mean, I don’t need to speak their language. This is just wrong.”

Political scientists have a strong comparative tradition, which enables them to recognize and appreciate place-specific inquiry. But we heard repeatedly that regional expertise was second to methodological expertise as political science gets “teched up,” as one of them put it, in quantitative methods.

Sociologists were the most parochial of the three disciplines. Sociology department chairs said frankly that they deliberately steer graduate students away from international study because such projects on non-U.S. topics are less likely to have purchase on the tenure-line job market.

Q: Why does the tenure process seem to encourage American researchers to focus on their own country?

A: The tenure process is largely mediated by disciplines. Scholars have to attain recognizable disciplinary success through publications and presentations in disciplinary journals, university presses and conferences. External reviewers are primarily or even exclusively drawn from the same discipline. And because those disciplines prioritize their own theoretical abstractions, contextual knowledge loses out. This isn’t only a problem of U.S./national versus global knowledge, but rather of the value placed on knowledge dedicated to particular problems or contexts.

Q: Will the American focus hurt American higher education?

A: In the long term, yes, because the relentless race to build prestigious universities worldwide will mean ever more opportunities for scholars who can produce knowledge of consequence for patrons outside the U.S. We believe that American social scientists jeopardize their long-term relevance if they remain ethnocentric. But in the short term, the rest of the world continues to believe that Americans produce the best scholarship.

The challenge for social scientists is to leverage their current strong reputations while also adapting to secular changes in where the money is coming from. Though we didn’t investigate it systematically in this book, it appears that the professional schools -- especially schools of business and public policy -- have been most canny in responding to the globalization of academic patronage.

Q: Many global trends -- "America first" in the United States, Brexit in Britain, nationalism elsewhere -- seem to suggest a shift inward around the world. Does this influence American researchers? Does it concern you?

A: The big, but little recognized, factor here is the end of the Cold War. Between 1945 and 1989, leaders in the U.S. federal government and the national academy largely shared a conviction that communism posed an existential threat to the countries in what was once called the West. The global ascendance of capitalism and the steady rise of China, India and Brazil as economic powerhouses has upended the old good vs. evil narratives that, for better or worse, organized a great deal of academic patronage in the second half of the 20th century. There is no clear storyline or center of gravity now. We all want to be global, but no one is quite sure what that entails.

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