News in Brief

November 18, 2010

India

A date with the Americans

The US and India will hold a higher education summit next year as the two nations strengthen links. The three-day summit, to be held in Mumbai in July, was announced by Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh during a visit to the country by US president Barack Obama. Mr Singh said education partnerships between the US and India held "great promise" because no other countries were "better equipped to be partners in building the knowledge economy of the future". Nearly 100,000 Indians study in the US, the Hindustan Times said. In a speech to the Indian Parliament, Mr Obama said his administration was committed to increasing "exchanges between students, colleges and universities" in both countries.

Australia

Salons' loss is colleges' gain

An Australian immigration system for skilled migrants that "notoriously preferred hairdressers over Harvard scientists" is to be abolished. Chris Bowen, Australia's immigration minister, has announced a new visa points system in keeping with wider reforms to skilled migration, The Australian newspaper reported. "The reforms shift the emphasis to high skill levels and employee sponsorship, making it harder for overseas students with low-quality Australian qualifications to secure permanent residency," the newspaper said. "Stricter rules for skilled migration have damaged the business model used by private colleges and universities to attract students and fee revenue."

Canada

Foreign PhD scholarship dispute

New scholarships for foreign PhD students have sparked a political row in Canada. Dalton McGuinty, the Ontario premier, announced 75 new scholarships for foreign PhD students while he was in China last week. The initiative will cost the province C$20 million (£12.4 million) over the next four years, supplemented by C$10 million more from universities. "Ontario's universities applauded the four-year, C$40,000-a-year scholarships as a step towards global competitiveness," The Globe and Mail newspaper said. "Within days, Mr McGuinty's main rival, Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak, criticised the premier, claiming that the decision to spend on foreign students instead of those at home shows he's 'out of touch' with recession-weary Ontario families." The announcement comes as universities across the country strive to attract more foreign students, who currently make up just 7 per cent of Canada's student body.

Ethiopia

Bigger, and getting better

Ethiopia's investment in higher education has reached 4.5 per cent of its gross domestic product, according to Demeke Mekonnen, the minister of education. In a speech to a conference on tertiary education held in Addis Ababa last week, the minister said that although there were still challenges, Ethiopia had made significant progress in expanding higher education. Kenichi Ohashi, Ethiopia country director at the World Bank, added that the annual capacity of Ethiopia's tertiary institutions, which was less than 13,000 students in the early 1990s, had grown to 185,000, New Business Ethiopia reported. However, the conference also heard that quality remained a problem.

YOUR PERSONAL TOP 5

Times Higher Education's World University Rankings are now available for the iPhone on the App Store.

Use our app to create personalised rankings from detailed data on 400 institutions - reprioritise the criteria and filter the results by region, country, cost of living and tuition fees to build your bespoke league table.

The app also allows you to follow the development of new user-based popularity rankings and participate in live opinion polls.

This week, users were asked to vote for which university they would recommend to a friend:

1. Aston University

2. Newcastle University

3. Imperial College London

4. Polytechnic University of Milan

5. National University of Singapore.

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