News in brief

August 26, 2010

China

International students look East

The rise of China as a destination for international students has been highlighted by the Global Times newspaper. While China has long been one of the largest exporters of students, the dynamic is starting to change. The Global Times cited Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, as an example. The paper said the school had seen the proportion of international students grow from 10 to 30 per cent in two years. Liu Weiyu, senior manager of the school's MBA department, attributed this to the fact that "the global financial crisis hit the US and Europe hard, while China is an emerging market that has kept up fast growth". Lydia J. Price, academic director of the MBA programme at China Europe International Business School, said that almost 40 per cent of her students were now from abroad.

Australia

College regulator investigated

An Australian education regulation agency is under investigation after a spate of college collapses that have affected thousands of international students. According to The Age newspaper, a crackdown on dodgy private colleges by Victoria's auditor-general, Des Pearson, is examining whether the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority is doing its job properly. The organisation is in charge of registering, monitoring and regulating all education providers in the state. The Age reported that "in the past five years unscrupulous college operators and corrupt education agents have grown at an unprecedented rate". However, it added that a series of closures had left thousands of overseas students high and dry, prompting the review.

Saudi Arabia

Cash cut for overseas studies

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reduced the number of students sent to foreign universities, according to a report in the Arab News. It said that the Ministry of Higher Education had limited the number of scholarships available for students to study at universities in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan and Jordan. A spokesman said the decision had been taken because the number of students at the universities in question had exceeded agreed quotas, although he did not say what the quotas were or how widely they applied. He added: "The piling up of Saudi students in these universities means that they will not benefit from their studies and average grades will go down. Hence there will be no more approvals for Saudi students to go to these universities."

United States

War general to lead Yale course

A month after he was sacked by Barack Obama as commander of the International Security Assistance Force and of the US military in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal has been hired to lead a university course. General McChrystal has been snapped up by Yale University to teach a graduate-level seminar on leadership on its campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Announcing the appointment last week, Yale said the seminar would "examine how dramatic changes in globalisation have increased the complexity of modern leadership". General McChrystal says, in a statement reported by the AFP news agency, that he is looking forward to sharing his "experiences and insights as a career military officer". He was fired by President Obama in July after making disparaging comments about the president and other senior members of government, which were reported in Rolling Stone magazine.

Nigeria

Deregulation of sector mooted

The government of Nigeria is considering "total deregulation" of the university sector. According to the Nigerian Tribune, the plan is being considered "to divest the government from the enormous burden of running university education in the country". Education Minister Kenneth Gbagi said last week that most of the problems besetting higher education in Nigeria, in particular the "incessant strike action", could be resolved if the government stepped back. He added that Nigerian universities were losing significant sums in funding because students were choosing to study elsewhere, including in neighbouring African countries, to avoid the instability present in the Nigerian system. "We must start as a country, in the same way we have started deregulating the petroleum sector, to deregulate the university sector," he said.

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