21 août 2013

China’s graduates are ill-matched for jobs

https://azstarnet-dot-com.bloxcms.com/app/branding/images/logo.png?_t=2By . Li Sha, 23 and with a fresh college degree in wastewater management, meandered tentatively through the Saturday job fair at the China International Exhibition Center. She passed booths advertising vacancies for software whiz kids, Sichuan restaurant cooks, writers for the glossy monthly Wives of Servicemen. But even in a nation with staggering air- and water-quality issues, there was nothing that jumped out for a college grad with her expertise. “I just want to find a position that matches my knowledge,” said Li, who added that she’d accept a salary as low as $330 a month, roughly 25 percent above minimum wage. “But it’s rare, and it’s even harder as a woman to get hired in this field.” More...

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The French connection

http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/logo.gifBy Aanchal Bedi. Home to globally-recognised ­education brands, such as La Sorbonne, Sciences Po or Les Gobelins, to name a few, France remains the fourth most popular destination for international students after the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Last year, almost 2600 students opted for higher education in France, a number that the French government is ­looking to increase by another 50 per cent in the next five years. Low ­tuition fees and the fact that over 700 courses are being taught in English here, are just some of the reasons why Indian students are looking towards France as an option for higher studies.
All international ­students, whether or not they receive additional financial aid, enjoy the same low tuition rates as French students at universities and other public institutions. France’s central government defrays a large share of the true cost of education at public ­institutions (between €10,000 and €14,000 per student per year), thereby reducing the student’s tuition burden. “French universities and other education ­institutions do not distinguish between international students and French students. Also, admission and tuition requirements are the same for both,” says Arnaud Mentre, first counsellor, head of press section. More...

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Two in five teaching jobs in prestigious Indian institutions vacant

http://rtn.asia/sites/default/files/LOGO-90px.pngBy Deepti Rajan. Almost two in every 5 faculty seats in central universities in India are lying vacant, according to numbers from the Human Resources ministry. Out of a total of 16,542 faculty positions in India’s central universities, 6152 were lying vacant as of March end, according to a reply furnished by the ministry in response to a question by Rajya Sabha MP Shyamal Chakraborty. Chakraborty had wondered if there was a ‘huge shortage’ of faculty in central government universities. Central government universities are funded directly by the Centre, and comprise of some of the most prestigious in India, including the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science, Bombay-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the most well-known of all, the IITs and the IIMs. In all, there are 40 such universities. By default, the President of India is the Chancellor of all such universities. More...

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South Asian higher education: At a crossroads

http://tribune.com.pk/wp-content/themes/express/img/header/logo.gif?v=0.2By Anum Pasha. One of the poorest and most heavily-populated regions of the world, South Asia, struggles to keep up with its increasing demand for higher education, which is not being met according to a recent report by the Economist Intelligent Unit, commissioned by the British Council and circulated at the first of the six-part series of the British Council’s Global Education Dialogues: South Asia Series in Colombo this summer. Pakistan’s higher education landscape faces a multitude of challenges similar to its neighbouring countries, albeit standing out as one of the only two countries in the region where private sector education is playing a significant role. With private universities emerging in the mid-1980s, Pakistan is a unique example of a system that dropped its dependence on public funding and universities were encouraged to generate their own funds. Country Director British Council Pakistan Peter Upton put forward an important question at the dialogue: is higher education a private commodity, given the decline in state funding? More...

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19 août 2013

Controversy over compulsory Islamic studies on foreign campuses

http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UWN.jpgBy Yojana Sharma and Emilia Tan. An Islamic studies and Asian civilisation course, compulsory for students in Malaysia’s public universities, will also be mandatory for all private university students – including those at foreign branch campuses – from 1 September. Amid controversy over the course content, Muhyiddin Yassin, Malaysia’s deputy prime minister and education minister, said the move was intended to “streamline the requirements” of private and public universities. Vincenzo Raimo, director of the international office at the University of Nottingham in the UK, which has a branch campus in Malaysia, said the subject was being made compulsory across the board, including at foreign branch campuses. TITAS, as the religion and civilisation course is known by its Malaysian acronym, has sparked considerable debate within the country, particularly among non-Malay communities. Critics have called on the government to make the subject non-compulsory for non-Muslims; Malaysia has significant Hindu, Chinese Buddhist and Christian minorities, many of them attending private universities because of restricted places at public institutions. Just over 60% of Malaysians consider themselves to be Muslim, according to official census figures. More...

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Uproar over affirmative action exemption for medical schools

http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UWN.jpgBy Alya Mishra. A ruling by India’s Supreme Court that appointments for highly specialised teaching positions in medical colleges cannot be subject to affirmative action caste-based quotas has led to a political uproar that has disrupted the current session of parliament, where a number of higher education bills are pending. The issue of caste reservations is highly political, with elections due in five states and national elections scheduled for 2014. Political parties frequently curry favour with specific caste groups or ‘vote banks’ by promising quotas in government jobs. Medical positions are among the most prestigious of these. More...

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Red tape strangling universities must be cut – Report

http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UWN.jpgBy Geoff Maslen. Australia’s universities are burdened by massive quantities of red tape imposed on them by federal and state government regulations, differing acts set down by parliament and the need to provide the same information to various government departments. Last week, a report of a national review into higher education red tape called for a significant reduction, with the higher education sector’s main regulatory body having its functions sharply curtailed. The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency was established in 2011 to act, along with a higher education standards panel and an Australian qualifications framework council, as an agency for maintaining quality. More...

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Academics in South Korea top business funding index

By Karen MacGregor. Academics in South Korea attract the largest amounts of funding per capita in the world from big business, according to a new index – on average US$97,900 per researcher. Next come academics in Singapore, The Netherlands, South Africa and Belgium. Ireland (US$8,300 per academic) and Portugal (US$8,600) are at the bottom of the list of 30 countries surveyed for the World Academic Summit Innovation Index, which calculates what big companies invest annually in academics to conduct research and innovation work on their behalf. The index, compiled by Times Higher Education ahead of its inaugural World Academic Summit to be held in October, was produced from Thomson Reuters data used by the THE World University Rankings. It examines one of the 13 indicators in isolation: ‘Industry Income – Innovation: Research income from industry/academic staff’. More...

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18 août 2013

How MOOCs Can Help India

http://www.scientificamerican.com/assets/img/logo_new.jpg. Online courses may help alleviate faculty shortages and improve education. Digital technologies have the potential to dramatically transform Indian higher education. A new model built around massive open online courses (MOOCs) that are developed locally and combined with those provided by top universities abroad could deliver higher education on a scale and at a quality not possible before.  University enrollment in India is huge and growing. It surpassed the U.S.'s enrollment in 2010 and became second only to China that year. Every day in India 5,000 students enroll at a university and 10 new institutions open their doors. More...

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17 août 2013

Getting education to make biculturalism work

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRP4qIrraW46oa4crCboqTzadd3IE4yTumRAbMvuvR527xT31xml_tozi4By Andreas Schleicher Deputy Director and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the OECD's Secretary-General. I was able to add half a day to visit schools in New Zealand, something I always try to do where my schedule permits. At Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi, New Zealand’s first community school offering Māori medium instruction, I was greeted by a group of ferocious warriors slowly approaching us and offering the choice between picking a fight and settling for peace. With that choice made, we were warmly welcomed with a traditional pōwhiri at the school’s marae. In Māori culture greeting others is an important opportunity for people to show respect and to set the tone for whatever comes after. That hour-long ceremony included skilled speakers crafting poetic verbal images, but most impressive was how the school’s entire student population sang with one voice, confident and incredibly dynamic and self-orchestrated, without a conductor. Principal Rawiri Wright, former leader of the tough Māori language schooling organisation and who had challenged Minister Kaye and myself at my public presentation earlier in the morning, asked me later how the range of artistic and social skills so evident among his students were featuring in New Zealand’s national standards and our comparative work at the OECD. One could argue with some of his political rhetoric, but our conversation left me thinking. And he referred me proudly to the latest results on academic performance too, which showed his students outperforming schools at the 8th decile of socio-economic advantage - despite the fact that his own school was catering for low to middle-income families located at the 4th decile. He sees these results vindicating his stance that the kind of academic performance that we value comes as a by-product of the holistic Maori medium instruction that his school offers, while he claims that attempts to add the latter as a ‘nice-to-have’ to the former were failing in New Zealand. Read more...

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