||INTO University Partnerships a global organisation that specialises in setting up joint ventures with universities has announced that it is set to collaborate with City University London in the UK and there are rumours that it is in negotiations with a Florida-based university. Meanwhile, Kaplan International Colleges (KIC) has announced that it is teaming up with the University of Utah in Salt Lake City to provide academic pathway programmes.
Into City in London, UK will be a study centre offering academic and English language courses for international students, as well as several foundation pathways for those wanting to enrol onto undergraduate or postgraduate courses.
Located in the heart of London’s financial district (near Liverpool Street), the new teaching facility will be equipped to handle some 500 students and will incorporate a multi-purpose lecture theatre, state-of-the-art IT and language facilities and an adjoining residential complex.
Boasting an already international campus 40 per cent of the student body hail from outside the UK City University London hopes the new initiative will help raise its international profile even further.
Andrew Colin, Chairman of Into University Partnerships, said, “With the strong City University London academic offering, a brand new, centrally located teaching complex and stylish residential accommodation, Into City will define a sector-leading living and learning experience for students coming to London.”
Meanwhile, KIC is linking up with the University of Utah to promote its Global Pathways Programme. The 12-month programme that will be offered to international students combines intensive English with study skills preparation and the first year of a Bachelor’s degree programme.
University of Utah President, Michael Young, said, “Recruiting students from abroad is an important part of our growing focus on internationalisation. We are pleased to partner with Kaplan, combining our unique educational strength with their experience in recruiting extraordinary students from other lands.”
KIC also partners with Northeastern University in the USA and six partner universities in the UK, as well as two in Australia most recently, Murdoch University in Perth via its acquisition of Murdoch Institite of Technology, which prepares students for Murdoch University.
Malaysia to accredit private HE sector
A meeting between private higher education institutions and the Malaysian government in September last year saw agreement passed that private universities must be accredited by the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) by 2011.
As the number of international students in the country rises, there is concern about quality standards, given that the majority of international students enrol at private higher education institutions and no new public universities are planned for the forseeable future.
According to the Ministry of Higher Education in Malaysia, an estimated 69,154 international students from 150 source countries travelled to Malaysia for study purposes in the 2007-2008 academic year, a 26.5 per cent increase on the 50,788 recorded in March 2008.
“We’re happy to have two per cent of the world’s international student population,” said Higher Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin. “Malaysia is now regarded as an emerging contender to attract international students and we will improve our efforts as there will be an estimated eight million international students by 2025.” He affirmed that a target of 80,000 students by 2010 seemed highly realistic.
Professor Radin, Registrar General in Malaysia, commented, “The [education] ministry will seek to provide greater incentives to private IPTs [institutions], whcih includes double deductions on tax exemptions for sponsoring staff to pursue postgraduate studies and for fees paid in acquiring full accreditation from MQA.”
Meanwhile, Education@Iskandar Sendirian Berhad, a private company, has signed a deal with UK-based Marlborough College to establish Marlborough College Malaysia as part of plans to build EduCity in the region of Iskandar Malaysia. The school will open in June 2012.
Asian literacy grant for Australian schools
The Australian government is awarding 141 primary and secondary schools with a AUS$1.8 million (US$1.6 million) grant to encourage the study of Asian culture and language.
Minister of Education, Julia Gillard, announced that the initiative forms part of the Rudd government’s National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program (NALSSSP) that aims to familiarise Australian students with the language of regional neighbours, China, Indonesia, Japan and Korea.
So far 680 schools have applied to be a part of the outreach programme, prompting the government to set aside an additional AUS$1 million (US$0.9 million) to supplement the project. Individual schools will benefit from grants of up to AUS$20,000 (US$18,181) with groups of up to five schools eligible for grants of AUS$40,000 (US$36,363).
Long-term, the Australian government hopes that the literacy drive will see 12 per cent of students graduate from secondary school education with fluency in at least one Asian language.
News in brief
Global trends in student mobility
The 2009 Global Economic Digest (GED) published by the Unesco Institute of Statistics has found that 2.8 million students were enrolled in higher education abroad in 2007, a massive 53 per cent increase on the figure recorded in 1999. China continues to supply the bulk of tertiary students (421,100), followed by India (153,300), Korea (105,300), Germany (77,500), Japan (54,500), France (54,000), the USA (50,300), Malaysia (46,500), Canada (43,900) and the Russian Federation (42,900). Meanwhile, the top five host countries for mobile tertiary students included the USA with a 21.3 per cent share of the global market, the UK (12.6 per cent), France (8.8 per cent) Australia (7.6 per cent) and Germany (7.4 per cent).
University rankings include more Brits
British universities stormed up the Times Higher Education QS World University rankings this year, with the University of Cambridge, University College London, Imperial College London and the University of Oxford muscling their way into the top six. The league table, which has traditionally been dominated by North American institutes, also saw more representation from Asian and European outfits. There were 39 European universities and 16 Asian institutions in the top 100 this year.
Indian visa numbers dwindle in the USA
There has been a significant drop in the number of Indian students granted F1 student visas in the USA for the 2009 financial year. Only 25,860 visas were issued in FY09, 25 per cent less than in 2008. “The US student visas are streamlined now and the reason for less students going to the USA from India is probably because educational institutions are offering less financial aid in view of the economic slowdown,” said Poorvi Chothani, an Immigration Lawyer at LawQuest in Mumbai, India.