All You Need to Know About the Latest International Education News
The world of higher education is quickly evolving thanks to widespread government reforms which transform prospects for both domestic and international students. While it may be impossible to predict how the higher education sector will look in 50, 25 or even 10 years, its clear that internationalization — regardless of geography — will remain at the forefront of most government agendas, and can be expected to continue to guide 21st centuries policies for countries seeking an edge in this increasingly competitive market. Let’s circle the globe to take a closer look at today’s headline-making news in global higher education.
Attention continues to surround reforms to Australia’s higher education system. 2014’s Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Act, which was referred to the Australian Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee for further study, aims to expand educational opportunities and choice by deregulating tuition fees and decreasing government funding to Australian higher educational institutions. While opponents have expressed fears about higher tuitions leading to limited access, advocates counter that eliminating government red tape will lead to a more competitive higher education sector and advantages for students, universities and the economy at large.
Whatever the findings of the Australian Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee, we can expect the internationalization and global competitiveness to continue to inform the evolution of Australia’s higher education system.
We recently wrote about Japan’s increasing prioritization of growth through internationalization. While this imperative remains strong, a New York Times article published just last month highlights a dichotomy between this goal and the reality of the country’s increasingly “patriotic” textbook policy. While some worry that this nationalistic direction will alienate neighboring Asian countries as well as the U.S., others anticipate a boon to global relations thanks to the country’s ongoing commitment to an outward-focused education system as well as push to improve international rankings through internationalization of both students and faculty members.
Higher education doesn’t exist in a vacuum and in Denmark’s case educational reforms are directly informed by the country’s flagging economy. With growth forecasts negligible, the government’s national Productivity Commission’s 2013 findings mandated widespread higher educational reforms, including new domestic tuition fees along with more rigorous admissions requirements and a switch from an abbreviated bachelor’s degree to a four-year curriculum. The ultimate goal? Enhancements across quality, relevance and productivity measures designed to more directly meet the demands of the labor market.
While the Danish government seems unlikely to start charging domestic students tuition, strategies do include reducing university enrollments in certain programs while encouraging enrollments in areas supported by the labor market. The collateral damage of such a move? Fewer spaces for domestic students mean fewer spots for international ones.
In fact, two major Danish Universities — Copenhagen University and the University of Southern Denmark — have indicated that beginning in 2015 they will no longer sign “development contracts” allowing the enrollment of new international students. While this seems to stand firmly at odds with global trends, the push for a thriving economy currently supersedes the quest for internationalization.
Read more about studying in Denmark.
India’s higher education trajectory continues to gain traction thanks to rising ingoing and outgoing student mobility. In fact, a recent report from the British Council determined that India is poised to become one of the world’s strongest sources of mobile postgraduate students while also expanding domestic spaces. The result? Explosive growth — particularly at the undergraduate level — across the comprehensive higher education system. While quality control issues can be expected to accompany this growth, financial, physical and virtual accessibility, availability and effectiveness are expected to improve.
India’s most recent set of reforms aims to standardize admissions, curricula and credit transfers while offering guidelines for student and faculty mobility. A stronger connection between academia and industry, meanwhile, promised to enhance research as well as employability. As the Indian government and universities continue to embrace internationalization and higher education reform, we can expect to see continued growth.
While Morocco is one of Africa’s most significant entities in terms of outbound student mobility, domestic unemployment remains an area of conflict: public education graduates suggest that the system overlooks them for grads of domestic private schools and international universities. Some researchers attribute the issue to a disconnect between the country’s secondary and postsecondary education offerings. Perhaps this most strongly plays out in terms of language: while Arabic is the primary language of Morocco’s primary and secondary schools, the predominant language in higher education is French. Many believe such inconsistencies have led to sub-par student performance.
In response to these challenges, King Mohammed VI established the Higher Council for Education, Training and Scientific Research, designed to spearhead educational reforms — likely in some part through international partnerships and collaborations. As the process is still in its beginning stages, the demand for study abroad opportunities for Moroccan students is expected to remain strong.
A recently released report from Education New Zealand (ENZ) reveals that while preliminary figured indicated declining enrollments, the full-year data told a different story: significant growth occurred during the latter half of the year across all areas of education — but particularly in the area of international higher education. In fact, university enrollments were up a whopping 30 percent while student visas approached all-time highs.
And with the economic impact of international education increasingly in the spotlight — it’s the country’s fifth-largest export sector — it’s no surprise that the government continues to aggressively target this market, most recently through the “Think New” campaign, designed to further improve visa and immigration processes.