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Ph.D. Candidates Now Need To Be Proficient In English:
The country of Morocco, being a predominantly Arabic and French speaking country, has now introduced requirements that moving forward, all Ph.D. candidates must pass the TOELF and DALF language test. This shift in focus to English is to enable citizens of the country be more competitive in the global education and job markets. Over the years the country has gradually being making a lot of courses available in English and is now determined to introduce English in its drive to be globally competitive.
Universities Demand End To Artificial Grade Inflation:
Irish universities are demanding a return to the traditional spread of grades in the Leaving Certificate, after a third year of grade inflation.
The exam is predominately written and is taken at the end of secondary schooling and is used by universities to select for entry.
Inflated grades do not give students a true sense of their ability. In the year 2022, exams, students papers were marked in the traditional way, but their grades were bumped up by 5.6% on average. This did not reflect the true abilities of the students and the universities are demanding that this practice end.
Students Welcome Living-costs Relief Grant But Want More:
A one-off living-costs relief grant to all students (including international students), has been welcomed, but the students say this does not go far enough to address their financial predicament. They request for more.
Euros 200 for students is meant to help them cope with the cost of living in general over the coming winter. Gas prices have surged in Germany as a result of gas being cut off by Russia.
Study Abroad Demand Surge:
According to the countries department of immigration and emigration data, there has been a massive increase in the issuance of the country's passports. In this year 2022, Sri Lanka has issued 600,000 passports so far as against 382,000 for the whole of 2021. Currently the department is issuing 3,000 passports daily as against 1,000. This is as a result of students wanting to leave the country to further their education abroad because of the dire economic situation in the country. Most of the departing students say the economic situation in the country is likely to last for a long time.
Government To Introduce Patriotism Lessons In Universities:
The Government of Uganda has finalized plans to introduce "patriotism lectures" in all universities and higher educational institutions in the country. This was disclosed by the Minister for Presidency, Milly Babalanda during a meeting with Mwangaza African Revolutionary Study Group. This group has been charged with the responsibility of teaching ideological principles among university students.
Students Shun Loans That Require Settlement Before Graduation:
Students in the Philippines have refused to collect student loans that require that full payments must be made before graduation. The country changed to the loan arrangement under the new Unified Financial Assistance System For Tertiary Education (UniFast). This scheme now requires student loan beneficiaries to fully pay for their loan before they can graduate; this replaced the previous scheme 'Study Now, Pay Later" program.
Universities Take Divergent Paths On Covid-19 Mandates:
Universities across Canada are taking divergent approaches to the COVID-19 mandates, as students and faculty return to classes. Universities are making individual decisions based on relaxed provincial public-health guidelines.
Over 50,000 Sign Petition For Increased Student Allowance:
Over 50,000 people, mainly university students have signed a petition imploring the government and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to increase their monthly allowance from the current ZAR1,500 to ZAR2,000; they argue that the current allowance can no longer take care of the students basic costs of living.
Court Order Limits Penalties On Outstanding Student Loans:
A High Court in Nairobi, Kenya has barred the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), from imposing interest, penalties or fines that exceed the principal amount of the loan owed to the agency.
A petition filed by three applicants arguing that HELB was charging exorbitant interest penalties which often grew beyond double the principal amounts owed, thereby making repayment extremely difficult was upheld. The petitioners had taken student loans from HELB over different dates to support their undergraduate studies but the hefty interest and penalties had the made the loan amount almost impossible to repay.
Student Loan Cancellation:
President Biden has made good on his campaign promise by issuing an executive order cancelling student loans for borrowers who earn less than US$125,000 a year. Also to benefit are low income students who qualify for federal for Pell Grants, as they will receive US$20,000 in relief. About a third of US students receive Pell Grant.
More than 45 million Americans owe a combined US$1.7 trillion in federal student debt. Almost a third owe less than US$10,000. The main beneficiaries of the student loan cancellation will be Black and Hispanic students, who are generally at the bottom of the economic and social strata.
China Sees An Upsurge In African Students Numbers:
There has been been an upsurge in African students numbers according to the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China. In 2018, the student numbers were 81,562, as against 1,000 in 1996 (770% increase). This is almost twice the number of African students in the U.S, in the same period. China is now the second largest African students-hosting country behind France.
The China state-sponsored scholarships approach might be the main reason for this upsurge, as against the U.S approach in which scholarships are awarded by educational institutions based on the availability of funding resources.
Another reason for this upsurge, is the fact that; because of the very strict visa policy in China, African students have to return home immediately after their studies. This has been encouraged by African countries, as it guarantees them that their students will return to add value to their countries on the completion of their studies.
University Regulator To Crack Down on Institutions Offering Poor Quality Courses:
The Office for Students (OfS) has published a consultation detailing its minimum acceptable outcomes for students, which sets thresholds for drop-out rates, course completion and graduate employment that universities and colleges will have to pass to avoid further investigation. The document from OfS noted that 60,000 students on full-time undergraduate courses are currently or recently enrolled at institutions in England that could fail to meet the minimum standards, as have more than 150,000 part-time undergraduate students. The proposed new regulations , provides that institutions will be sanctioned if fewer than 80% of students studying full-time for their first degree continue past their first year, or if fewer than 75%complete their degrees, over the previous four years.
Universities Call For Return of Student Maintenance Grant:
Vice-chancellors have called for maintenance grants to be re-introduced for undergraduates in England, warning that otherwise there will be a significant impact on student health and well-being as well as their education. With the huge increase in the costs of living in the UK, student education has been significantly impacted.
Universities Twinning Initiative with Ukraine Institutions Underway:
Universities in the UK are to be matched with 28 institutions in Ukraine as part of the proposed twinning initiative. This scheme is being organized by the Cormack Consulting Group with the support of Universities UK. The aim is to support academics, students and university leaders who have been impacted by the conflict in the Ukraine.
It is estimated that about 2 million students in France have turned to digital education as a result of school closures caused by the pandemic. There was a five-fold increase in digital learning within a period of 3 weeks. The digital platform, CGI OpenENT is designed to benefit the entire educational community and is used by 2 million pupils and students in France at more than 1,700 schools.
DAAD Launched Online Platform To Help Ukraine Students And Researchers:
It is estimated that about 100,000 Ukrainian students and researchers will benefit from the online platform, as it will help them continue their studies or academic careers in Germany.
Major Step Taken To Attract International Students:
India has proposed 25% extra places for international students in its higher education institutions. This was outlined in the country's National Education Policy 2020 report by University Grants Commission (UGC), the regulatory body for higher education.
The policy also waives entrance exams for the international students and admission will be based on "equivalency" of the international students qualifications with that in India. The equivalency is to be determined by the UGC or another body recognized the the UGC. However, the number of available places will be determined by the universities and colleges themselves. The additional increase will not include international students on student exchange programs; between different educational institutions and those under MOU between the Government of India and another country.
There has been a lot of anger and agitation in Nigeria in recent months over the requirements of foreign countries that students from Nigeria take the IELTS English language test conducted by the British Council. This test is usually required when applying to relocate to Canada, applying to study in most Canadian, UK, Ireland and some USA universities and colleges.
The test itself can set an applicant back Naira 90,000; each time it is taken, and there are no guarantees. In order to pass with the requisite grades, applicants also need to take preparatory courses which is on average another Naira 45,000. All these additional costs is adding to the anger and frustration of parents and students from Nigeria.
However, it is unlikely foreign governments will accede to the requests of Nigerians with respect to waiving the need for them to take the IELTS test. Furthermore, the British Council is definitely not interested in backing down on this, as fees paid by Nigerians is a major cash cow for the Council.
UK: Surge in International Students Numbers:
The recently released report by the Home Office show a remarkable surge in International student numbers for the period June 2019 to June 2022, in spite of the lockdowns of the pandemic. The main increases come from students from India, Nigeria and Pakistan. The overall growth rate is +77%. There was a slight decline in the student numbers from China.
Nationality Year ending 2019 Year ending 2022 Difference Percentage Difference
India 37,396 117,965 +80.569 +215%
China 119,825 115,056 - 4.769 -4%
Nigeria 8,384 65,929 +57,545 +686%
Pakistan 4,927 23,490 +18,563 +377%
United States 14,837 16,137 +1,300 +9%
Country ponders the establishment of foreign universities:
The government has announced that it anticipates the first agreements between foreign education providers and local private-sector partners to be established later in 2018. It is expected that between five and ten foreign university campuses will be established in Indonesia.
International student numbers grow by 20% in 2017:
By the end of 2017, international student numbers in Canada was 494,525, which represents a 20% increase from the previous year figures.
The country has therefore reached its long-term target of hosting 450,000 international students by 2022, five years ahead of schedule. Taking a longer view the number of international students in Canada has increased by just under 120% between 2010 and 2017, and by 41% between 2015 and 2017.
Country post 22% growth in international student number for 2017:
The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that the contribution of international education activity to the Australian economy rose by 22% from 2016 to 2017, the most significant annual growth since 2008. International students personal expenses (tuition and living costs) made up the bulk of that expenses, accounting for AUS$1.6 billion of the overall contribution. Australia is currently the third most popular study abroad destination in the world after the US and UK. It jumped to second place in terms of destination most favoured by Indian and Chinese students.
In 2017, the total number of international students in Australia is 624,000, with China (30%), India (11%), Nepal (5%) and Malaysia and Brazil (4%) being the major sending countries.
Country's academic research nears a crisis:
Kenya's university education is in dire straits. According to the Commission for University Education (CUE), one of the drawbacks is scarce research funding. In the absence of research funding lecturers have opted for survival tactics, including part-time and all manner of moonlighting. Compared to peers, Kenya fares dismally in post-graduate education. According to a 2016 CUE report, completion rates at the postgraduate level are low, and the quality of research supervision wanting. The country has a severe shortage of PhD-level researchers, standing at 40% of the teaching staff in universities.
Foreign enrolment in China up by 10.5% in 2017:
The latest statistics from China Ministry of Education show another year of strong growth for China foreign enrolment. The Ministry report a total of 489,200 international students enrolled in Chinese educational institutions in 2017., an increase of 10.5% over 2016 and a major step for the country to achieve it's ambition of hosting 500,000 international students by 2020.
India set on becoming a major regional study destination:
India has set a goal to quadruple its foreign student numbers, and to host 200,000 international students by 2023. In support of that goal, the Indian government has launched a new Study in India campaign complete with a web portal, an international marketing campaign, and full or partial fee waivers for up to 15,000 international students.
Presently, there are about 47,500 international students in India. Key sending countries are Nepal (24%), Afghanistan (9%), Bhutan, Sudan and Nigeria (4%). Key target countries are Nepal, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Malaysia, Egypt, Bangladesh and Nigeria.
Hundreds of new universities planned in Nigeria as demand soars:
Almost 300 new universities could be created in the country in the next few years as a rapidly growing youth population has made demand outpace university space. According to the executive sectary of the National Universities Commission there are presently 292 applications from institutions that hope to become private universities. If all applications are approved, this will almost treble the number of higher education institutions in the country which presently stands at 163, for a population close to 200 million. Nigeria hopes to recruit and retain an extra 10,000 university lectures by 2023, above the the current total of 62,000, which is 30% short of what is required.
International student enrolment dipped in 2017:
International student numbers fell off 7% in 2017, mainly as a result of a 29% decrease in Indian students enrolment and also by a 30% drop in registrations for unfunded private training centres. China and India together account for 50% of all international students in New Zealand.
However, the country saw increasing numbers from a wider field of sending markets including the US, Colombia, Chile, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Most of these countries grew from a small base from 2016.
Country seeks mutual qualification agreement with France:
The South African department of Higher Education and Training is seeking to boost outbound and inbound student mobility with a mutual recognition of qualifications agreement with France. The country currently has such agreements with Germany, Russia, Brazil and the SADC region.
United Arab Emirates
UAE announces five-year student visas and residency opportunities:
International students studying in the UAE will now be eligible for a five-year student visa, replacing the one-year visa term in place. In addition, plans are being finalised to allow students performing exceptionally well to apply for a 10-year residency and students who live as dependants of their parents in the UAE to apply for a visa extension after graduation.
Country introduces restrictions for some Chinese visas:
The Us government is moving to limit the period of validity for visas issued to some Chinese students and researchers. The new practice is due to take effect on June 11, 2018, and will mark a departure from the current approach of issuing visas for the maximum allowable term of up to five years. This is designed to limit the amount of time that some Chinese visa-holders will be able to stay in the US.
Ireland to create new technology universities:
he Irish government has passed legislation that will lead to the creation of a new category of higher education institution within Ireland's post-secondary system. The Technological Universities Act was passed into law on March 21, 2018, and provides for merging of two or more exiting institutes of technology. There are currently 14 institutes of technology (IOTs) in Ireland, nearly all of which were initially founded as regional technical colleges beginning in the 1960s. The strategy to create new technological universities out of the IOT system is enshrined in Ireland's National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030. The government envisions that these new institutions will be based in different regions of the country and will focus on science and technology programs that are vocationally and professionally oriented.
Graduate schools report decline in enrolment:
Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) figures show a decline in international graduate enrolments in US graduate programs between fall 2016 and fall 2017. Application volumes fell by 3% year over year while commencements were off more marginally with a 1% fall. This is the first time in over a decade that both of these key indicators have declined for the US graduate schools. Foreign applications for US graduate schools have been slowing for the past two years.
Notable improvement in international students application in 2018:
There has been a substantial increase in non-EU students' applications to UK undergraduate studies with 11% growth in 2017. This is the first time in five years that this has grown; EU application volumes have also increased by a little more than 3%. The total number of foreign applications to UK universities surpassed 1000,000 for the first time this year.
Country set to hit target of 300,000 international students:
For the fifth consecutive year, international student numbers have grown in Japan. The latest statistics from the Japan Student Services Organisation (JASSO) indicate that as of May 2017, 267,040 foreign students were studying in Japan, an increase of 11.6% over 2016.
Virtually all foreign students in Japan come from other Asian countries, with China and Vietnam accounting for much the growth. The number of Chinese students in 2017 was 107,260 (up 8.9% over 2016); Vietnamese students (61,670 up 14%); Nepalese (21,500 up 10.4%) and Taiwanese students (8,950 up 7.7%). However, the most notable growth is from Sri-Lanka, 6,610 representing 66.7% increase from 2016.
Country ranked as most attractive study destination in Europe:
Germany has been ranked as the most attractive study destination in Europe by Study.Edu. This is the second consecutive year the country has been so ranked. The ranking measures a range of education, cost, career, and quality of life factors among 30 European destinations. It should also be noted that Germany has made considerable improvement in the number of courses offered in English and boast the lowest unemployment rate for university graduates in Europe.
Country records growth in international students enrolment:
After experiencing a period of decline from 2012 to 2014, South Korea has bounced back and has now recorded three consecutive years of steady growth in international student enrolment numbers. 2017 was a particularly good year with record enrolment increase of 19% over 2016. This puts the country well on track to reach its longer-term target of 200,000 foreign students by 2023.
China remains the most important market for South Korea, with 68,180 students enrolled in South Korea in 201; the country accounts for 55% of international students in South Korea.
Universities Respond to Gender Imbalance:
Canadian universities have acted on redressing gender imbalance in the headship of science related faculties; this is coming six months after the Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan threatened that failure to rectify this will lead to cuts in their research funding. She had earlier described the gender ratio as "dismal", but now says the universities have heard her message and have responded positively.
More than half the scientist submitted by universities for Canada's 150 chair jobs are now women as well as 41% of the people nominated for the latest round of Canada Research Chair appointments; this is the highest in the 17 year period of the program.
Government Says It Can Not Afford Free Education:
The government of South Africa has stated that it can not afford free education for all; which is contrary to the Liberation Charter of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). The party had over the years declared that free education for all was one of its cardinal principles. However, the Heher Commission which submitted it's report recently stated that this was not possible considering the present economic situation in the country.
The commission recommended that Technical Vocational Education and Training be free but that university education be available only to those who can afford it. The commission suggested a "cost-sharing model" known as an income contingent loan in which the private financial makes funding available through loans to students, which will be backed by government guarantees. The private sectors did not warm up to this scheme and it is not known how students will react to this recommendation; considering their earlier position that "fees must fall".
Kaduna State Set To Fire 20,000 Teachers Who Failed Tests Designated For 10 Year Old Children:
The government of Kaduna state in northern Nigeria is set to sack over 20,000 state teachers who recently failed competency tests designed for 10 year-old children. The president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari while backing the proposed action of the sate government, has described the teachers performance as "shocking' and "tragic". He said the tests outcome is reflective of the decay in the education sector in Nigeria. The state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, had recently tweeted the tests results of the primary school teachers and had asked. "would you allow someone like this to teach your child".
Academic Staff of Universities Boycott:
Academic staff of public universities have commenced a boycott of universities over salary disagreement with the government. Universities which had been closed before the October 26, 2017 election rerun have not resumed as a result of this disagreement. The academic staff went on strike to push for a US$50 million salary agreement; this has resulted in the withdrawal of service of 27,798 academic staff workers.
Tertiary Institutions Move to Cut International Student Numbers:
Enrolment in Danish business academies and professional universities fell by nearly 28% in 2017 following action taken by the institutions to reduce international student numbers; according to the country's Ministry of Higher Education and Science. There was a reduction of 1,765 international students admitted in 2017 and this was mostly from Eastern Europe.
Government Threaten to Link Gender Equality Target to Funding:
Universities have been warned that funding will be withheld if they fail to promote more women in the academia and close the considerable gender gap. Although more than half of all lecturers in Ireland are women, they nevertheless account for just 29% of associate professors and 21% of professors and to date there has not been a woman appointed president of a university.
Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Minister of State for Higher Education said this state of affairs is unacceptable and if universities do not make progress on rectifying this gender inequality, they will lose access to research funding and state funding.
Eight Universities May deny 143,000 Students Admission:
Due to the worsening infrastructural challenges, unavailability of adequate manpower, inadequate teaching aids, regulatory uncertainties between the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board and the universities; 143,000 students will not gain admission to eight universities in the 2017-18 academic session.
Catalonia Education Crisis:
The Spanish government has taken over responsibility for higher education and research in Catalonia, following the region's unilateral declaration of independence on October 27, 2017. This move by the Spanish government has been criticised by the League of European Research Universities, as it is considered to threaten institutional autonomy.
Drive to Encourage Domestic Students to Study Abroad:
Universities UK International has launched a three-year campaign to increase the number of UK students studying, working and volunteering abroad for two or more weeks as part of their studies.
The push, titled 'Go International: Stand Out', is an attempt to address the low proportion of UK students; visa-verse other developed countries, in studying abroad.Currently just 6.6% of students complete a placement of studying abroad; the main reasons given being, cost, fear of isolation and interruption to friendships.
Bilateral Applied Science University Agreement About To Be Finalised:
The bilateral agreement to establish an applied science university in Kenya is in its final stages of ratification. This is according to the head of the German Cultural Affairs in Kenya. If all goes as planned the university should open by 2018, what is outstanding is the legal wording of the bilateral document.
Kenya Tighten Rules for International Student Admission:
Following mounting security concerns after the recent terror attack carried out at a Kenya university in early October 2017, the authorities have tighten the rules for admission of foreign students into Kenyan universities with the additional requirement of security clearance. Starting in January 2018, all foreign students admitted to Kenyan higher education institutions must be cleared by Kenyan security.
Deputy Prime Minister Veto Plans to Limit the Number of Universities in 5-100 Project:
The Deputy Minister of the Russian Federation, Olga Golodets has veto the planned reduction of the number of participating universities in the proposed 5-100 Project earlier recommended by the Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilyeva. The Education Minister had earlier suggested removing funding from 15 of the 21 recommended universities on the grounds of financial constraints. However, the Prime Minister in a statement said, "All of the 21 universities participating in the program will continue to be participants. The formula presupposes that all of the universities will be funded."
Report Card Show Sacrifice Of Quality For Quantity:
A recent report card on Israel's Higher Education System conducted by Shoresh Institution For Socioeconomic Research show that they has been a marked increase of Israelis with college degrees over the past decade, with nearly half of men and about 60% of women graduating with a college degree. However, this has come with decreased quality of education, which needs to be corrected in order not to comprise the nation's work force in future years.
Government Suspends NDDC Scholarship Program:
The Minister for Niger Delta Affairs Usani Usani, has ordered the immediate suspension of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), scholarship program in order for the commission to clear the massive backlog of payments to awardees that has remained outstanding for as long as two years. The Nigerian Senate recently commenced investigation on the factors causing the failure to pay awardees of scholarships offered by Nigerian institutions their payments.Several awardees of these scholarship had become destitute in foreign countries as their tuition and upkeep have not been paid for years.
Australian Education Export Close to AUS$29 Billion:
The latest education export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show a substantial growth in the country's international education sector in 2017. ABS estimates the export value of international students in Australia at AUS$28.6 billion (US$22 billion) for 2016-17.This represents a 16% increase over the year before and reflects student spending on tuition, accommodation, living expenses and travel during their studies.
Students Hit By Tax Hike On Higher Education:
India's new Goods and Services Tax (GST) will mean students applying to foreign universities will find this more expensive as educational events organised by foreign entities, which includes universities recruitment fairs, information events will be obliged to pay taxes under the GST recently introduced. Also affected are test and examinations for admission to overseas universities. Local students are not exempted, as they will have to pay more for accommodation and other essential campus services such as laundry, housekeeping, canteens, catering, security, transportation, food supply, general shops as third party providers have seen their tax increase from 15% to 18%.
Universities Generate Pound Sterling 100 Billion and Add One Million Jobs:
The universities in the United Kingdom now generate a knock-on-impact of nearly US$131 billion for the UK economy and support close to a million jobs. This is according to figures published by Universities UK. According to Universities UK, the universities support 940,000 jobs and added 95 billion pounds to the UK economy in 2014-15. This represents 3% of all employment in the UK.
Senate Raises Alarm Over Nigerian Students Stranded Abroad:
According to a report in The Nation Newspaper of October 25, 2017 the Nigerian Senate has raise the alarm over Nigerian students stranded outside the country due to non-payment of their scholarship awards. Senate Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye said that urgent action should be taken to salvage the situation in the interest of the students and the nation. The Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki said the situation was unfortunate as some of the students have not been paid for over two years. This has exposed them to criminal activities out of desperation. He promised to call a meeting of all concerned ministerial bodies in order to find a lasting solution to this recurring problem.
Universities join forces to attract international students:
As a result of the reintroduction of tuition fees for international students, there has been a considerable reduction in international student numbers, this has compelled five Finnish institutions of higher education to join forces with a education export company Edunation; the aim being to attract 150,000 international students to the country by 2020. Recent figures released by the Finnish Immigration Service show that 23% fewer international students applied to enter the country (4,300), in total by late September 2017.
Government set to curtail Private Universities Fees:
A recent government study on 80 private universities show they are collecting too much fees from students; as a result, government is set to curtail their fees in order to alleviate the financial burden of students and their families.
Students strike as new campus dress code is introduced:
Students in Egypt's public universities are protesting against new regulations on dress codes that prohibit a range of fashion choices and certain hairstyles that the administration deems "disgusting" and adjudged to be the "root of sexual harassment". The Supreme Council of Universities instructed universities administrators to bring "discipline" back to Egyptian campuses.
Anglophone Universities shut indefinitely:
The two main public universities in Anglophone Cameroon have been shut down indefinitely following months of partial closures by the government. Protest had been on for sometime in these regions against the cultural colonisation of the regions by the majority Francophone country. Unconfirmed reports suggest that as many as 17 protesters were killed by government troops on October 1, 2017; reports by Amnesty International stated that government forces used live bullets on protesters who were demanding that educational institutions in the region use English Language as the means of instruction, and that courts use the English Common Law as against French Law.
Minister aims to refocus Elite Universities Program:
The Minister of Education and Science, Olga Vasilyeva is proposing a drastic reduction in the number of participants in the states's "Project 5-100". This is in order to enhance the project's chance of success, however, this will need the approval of the Russian parliament. She is seeking to reduce the initial 21 institution to six domestic universities. The objective of the project is to have 5 Russian universities in the top 100 ranking of global universities by 2020.
Turkey Pressures Nigeria To Close Down Educational Institutions Linked To Fethullah Organization (FETO):
According to a report in the Vanguard Newspaper of Nigeria, the government delegation of Nigeria which attended the D-8 meeting in Istanbul has accepted offers from the Turkish government to support a new group known as, Maarif Organization which is interested in setting up schools and specialist hospitals in Nigeria, as the new investors are not tainted by the accusation of subversion. Malam Garba Shehu the Senior Special Assistant Media to President Buhari of Nigeria stated that, "a delegation from the foundation will visit Nigeria to commence the process of registration as well as following the procedures of establishing the new schools".
At the meeting in Istanbul, the two countries also agreed to expand cooperation in the exchange of scholars, exchange of students and exchange/share ideas, education technology and to improve scholarships for Nigerians to study in Turkey. Turkey also agreed to help ease the problems being faced by Nigerian students in Turkey.
International Students Key to US lead in Innovation:
The USA dominance in innovation is as a result of contributions by international students; it is therefore essential that the country is seen to be more welcoming of them, this is the finding of National Foundation for American Policy or NFAP.
This comes as the present administration is seeking to roll-back the former administration's policy of Optional Practical Training work visas for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Student Hug prompts Call for Return of Campus Police:
An Egyptian government university-run university has requested for a return of campus police guards on its campus more than six years after a court order paved the way for their removal from the country's campuses. The request was made public after an online video went viral showing a man and woman hugging at an unauthorised party on campus.
African Leadership University Opens Second Campus:
On September 29, 2017 the African Leadership University opened the second campus on the continent (the first was established in Mauritius in 2015). The goal is to establish 25 such campuses by 2060; these universities adopt a unique approach whereby students are not mainly prepared for the labour market but instead, are taught leadership skills. ALU aims to mould leaders who will take up the mantle of solving some of the greatest challenges facing the continent.
Islamic Scholars Clamour for more Universities for Muslims Globally:
Islamic scholars have called for the establishment of more universities to cater for the learning needs of Muslims students globally. The call was made in a communique issued at the end of a four-day International Conference on Islamic Universities in Osogbo, Nigeria.
According to the participants, the current number of Islamic universities across the globe was grossly insufficient to cater for the learning needs of approximately two billion Muslims all over the world. The participants also said the number of such universities was inadequate to cater for the spiritual needs of such students across the world.
International Students To Take English Language Test:
International students will from 2018 take English language test before they can gain admission to Australian universities. English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students or ELICOS will assess students at the point of direct entry to a tertiary course in Australia.
US Promotes STEM Education in Nigeria:
The US government in collaboration with US-based robotics education, RoboRave International Education Academy has begun a robotics training workshop for 460 elementary, secondary, and university students, as well as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), teachers, robotic enthusiasts and scientists are their main target.
Increasing number of Chinese students head to Africa:
There has been an increase in the number of Chinese students heading to Africa for studies. There are basically three categories of students going to Africa for studies: 1. Language students who major in local African languages 2. Those who major in law, economy, culture, education or agriculture (they usually go for short term programs of 6 months to a year) who go for more knowledge for their research and 3. Chinese nationals who choose to develop their career and build a life in Africa.
Commission stops new enrolments into 19 Universities:
The Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU), will not withdraw its decision to bar 19 universities from admitting new students for the 2017-18 academic year starting in September as a result of poor quality. the TCU has also stopped the admission of 75 bachelor degree programs in 2017-18 from 22 universities and colleges.
Universities reject lower admission standards:
Universities have insisted that they have no intention to lower their admission standards to accommodate students who score 120 marks in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination. This is in response to the August 22, 2017 decision by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) announcement pegging the minimum cut-off for admissions to universities to 120 marks and 100 marks for polytechnics. JAMB however concede that the final decision on admissions lies with the individual university senates.
China to push 42 Universities to World Class Standard:
The government announced on September 21, 2017 a new drive that will enhance the prospect of 42 Chinese universities entering into the elite group of world class universities by 2050. The program tagged, "Double World Class Project" is a follow-up of a similar program introduced many years ago in China.
Government shuts 21 illegal Universities:
The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye stated at a meeting in Kebbi State on September 28, 2017 that the commission closed 21 illegal degree awarding institutions and fake NYSC camps across Nigeria, "we closed 21 illegal degree awarding institutions and fake NYSC camps across Nigeria. We are prosecuting their proprietors now."
Growth in international student enrolment unimpressive:
There has been very modest growth of 1% in international student enrolment in 2016, with growth coming mainly from neighbouring countries of Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. According to figures released by Servicio de Informacion de Educacion Superior (SIES), degree-seeking international students in the country reached 19,219 in 2016, up by 674 students from 2015 figures.
Steps Up Effort to Attract Students From Sub-Saharan Africa:
Measures are being proposed to reverse the sharp decline in the numbers of Sub-Saharan African students in Tunisia over the next three years. The number of students has fallen from 12,000 to 4,000 for the 2016-2017 academic year. The new measures aimed at growing the number of Sub-Saharan students to 20,000 by 2020 include a greater focus on the internationalisation of Tunisian higher education, promotion of Tunisia as a desirable destination for students from Sub-Saharan Africa and the development of mutual trust between Tunisia and the region.
Tunisia-Africa Business Council (TABC), has highlighted the problem of racism towards Sub-Saharan students in Tunisia, which manifest in the form of physical and verbal violence targeting Sub-Saharan Africans. The Council stated that racism against students is a "situation that ruins the lives of Sub-Saharan students who are often forced to desert Tunisia to continue their studies in Morocco". Presently, the Tunisian government is considering a draft law against racism and discrimination.
Government Increases Funding For Elite Universities:
The Russian government is increasing funding to the 5-100 program aimed at getting five universities into the global top 100 in international rankings. As a result, funding of the promotion of Russian universities in the global arena will grow from RUB34.8 billion (US$599 million) to RUB43.5 billion (US$749 million) during the period 2018-2020. The aim is to increase the competitiveness of Russian universities in the global market, currently the 5-100 program involves the participation of 21 universities. The government want 5 Russian universities in the top 100 bracket of global education ranking agencies such as QS, Times Higher Education and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).
Brazilian Outbound Continues To Strengthen With A Trend To Longer Stays Abroad:
The number of Brazilian students studying abroad increased by 14% in 2016. Brazilian Educational and Language Travel Association (Belta) recently released figures show a notable 82% increase in average spending on programs abroad between 2015 and 2016. As expected, language programs remain the primary area of demand, but there has been increasing interest from Brizilian undertaking undergraduate programs abroad.
Government Under Pressure To Take International Students Out Of Migration Target:
The Prime Minister is under pressure to remove international students from the target of cutting immigration from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands a year, following the release of new figures showing that nearly all students leave the country on time. The new data from the Home Office and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), indicate that between 95% and 98% of students leave the country on time, in line with their visa conditions.
Previous official estimates had suggested a gap of close to 100,000 a year between those entering the country and those leaving after their course ended. But the latest figures put the number of students overstaying at 4,600.
Language Programs Register Modest Growth In 2016:
The annual Languages Canada survey show modest marginal year-over-year growth among the association's 222 member programs for 2016. Members reported total enrolment of 135,425 students for the year, an increase of 1% over 2015. The country's top sending markets remain Japan, Brazil, China, with notable growth from Mexico and Colombia.
Country Experience Drop In International Students Enrolment:
International students are not applying to Indian universities according to a report by Study International. There has been a remarkable drop in enrolment numbers. There are only 30,423 international students in India in 2014, according to the Association of India Universities' report. The figure is substantially lower than then 4.85 million available spaces universities are allowed to enrol. This comes under the policy framework which enables universities and colleges to admit international students up to 15% of their total student cohort.
Government to Implement 40% Cut of Places in State-funded Universities:
The Russian government is about to commence implementation of 40% cut of places in state-funded universities, this is as a result of shortfall in funding of two programs, namely 'Development of Education' and 'Development of Science and Technology'. The cuts will lead to the sacking of about 500 scientists by early 2018 with an overall target reduction of 8,300 scientific workers by 2020. The cuts will see the share of education in the total budget fall from 2.75% to 2.45% in 2020.
New Proposal to Require International Students Yearly Visa Renewal:
There are discussions by the US Department of Homeland Security to have have international students reapply for permission to stay in the US on a yearly basis. The ongoing discussion will attach an end date to a student's program and will require the student reapply for permission to stay in the US if the student change program or up grade from an undergraduate program to a graduate program. Students will also need to reapply if they want an extension of their program.
US Government Awards Scholarships to 140 Nigerian Students:
The US government awarded scholarships to 140 Nigerian students to study in American colleges and universities. According to Aruna Amirthanayagam, US acting deputy chief of missions to Nigeria. He disclosed this at the pre-departure orientation for beneficiaries of the Education USA program, he said the program removed the financial barrier to study in the US for some of Nigeria's talented students. He stated, "Nigeria continues to be the undisputed leader in Africa sending more international students to the United States than any other country in the continent ranking 14 among countries worldwide."
Student Applications fall by 4%:
Recently released data by Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) show a continued decline in student numbers. As at June 30, 2017 (deadline for submission for Fall applications), there was a 4% overall decline in applications. Of the total figures, EU student numbers declined by 5% from 2016 numbers, to about 2,600 applications; the main declines were from France, Germany, Ireland and Italy. However, the 2% increase from Non-EU countries notably, China, India, USA and UAE, of 1,500 was not enough to offset the overall decline.
China is now second most popular destination for African outbound students:
In less than 15 years the African student numbers has grown 26- fold from under 2,000 in 2003 to almost 50,000 in 2015, this is according to UNESCO Institute for Statistics. The U.S.A and U.K host about 40,000 African students a year, while France host 95,000 students, making it the leading destination for African students. The dramatic increase in African student numbers to China can be attributable to Chinese government's targeted focus on African human resource and education development.
China announce new regulations concerning international students education:
The Chinese government has announced new rules governing programs and services that Chinese universities provide for international students. These rules effective July 1, 2017 require compulsory Chinese language and culture courses for international students and also prohibit international students participation in political activities, it also set controls for international students support services.
Israel propose bill that will increase international students fees by 25%:
The Knesset plenum has passed a bill that proposes allowing universities and colleges subsidised by the state to raise their tuition fees by up to 25% for international students. This will be the first increase the Student Law was passed in 1958, presently international students under taking a first degree program pay the same fees as Israeli citizens.
University Dons demand return of Post-Study Visas:
University dons, staff and principals at Scotland's universities are calling for the reintroduction of a post-study work visa for international students. They warn that the scrapping of this visa has led to loss of talents as the brightest and the best trained young professionals have no opportunity to work and stay in the U.K after graduation. They argue that the country's higher education institutions attract 31,000 non-EU students yearly and this has generated considerable economic benefit to the U.K.
Student issues affect election results:
Labour's pledge to scrap university tuition fees resonated with young voters 18 years to 24 years, at the just concluded general elections. Young voters numbers rose to an estimated 72% and they voted massively for the Labour party that promised to abolish tuition fees. This pattern of voting was most noticeable in university towns arose the country, in which the former Conservative chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne described as, "The young are coming out and voting and they are clobbering the Tory MPs in university towns and places like that".
Universities will be keenly watching Brexit talks, especially on negotiations on status of EU staff and participation in EU research programs.
Xenophobia fears behind African student enrolment decline:
Fewer African students are opting to study in South African universities and this could affect the future rating of the country's universities. According to professor Maxi Schoeman deputy dean of humanities at the University of Pretoria. The faculty received 200 fewer applications in 2017 for the post graduate studies as against the 1,000 applications per year. This is attributable to the xenophobia in the country and the attack on Africans. Also worrisome is the subtle form of xenophobia in which the country makes it extremely difficult for students to get student visas.
Closure of universities:
The Turkish government has since summer of 2016 closed down 15 universities across the country over their alleged links to the faith-based Gulen movement, forcing 66,000 students to look for alternative universities to continue their education. Also more than 120,000 people have been detained over their alleged links to the movement.
US universities with campuses in Qatar monitor unfolding event:
The diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf has left the six US universities with campuses in the country in an uncertain situation. For now, they are seeking to reassure their students and faculty members of their continued operation in the country, this is more so as it relates to students from Arab nations that have severed ties to Qatar.
Outbound numbers grew in 2016:
The latest survey of education agents in Brazil noted that outbound student numbers rose by 14% in 2016 as compared to 2015 figures. The Brazilian Educational and Language Travel Association (Belta) estimates that more than 247,000 students went abroad, with Canada being the preferred destination. Other countries of choice for Brazilian students are, US, Australia, Ireland, UK and New Zealand.
6,000 African students in Morocco universities:
The number of Sub-Saharan African students in the country grew from 1,040 in 1994 to 16,000 in 2017 according to Moulay Ismail University in Meknes. This figure was mentioned during the university's Africa week conference, it also stated that 8,000 scholarships have been granted to these students.
Will allow foreign universities in special zones:
Thailand has issued a new decree that allows foreign universities to operate in its special economic zones. Operation of foreign campuses will start from the country's Eastern Economic Corridor which includes the provinces of Rayong, Chonburi and Chachoengsao.
Government invested $13.9 billion in Higher Education from 2006- 2016:
Over the past decade the government has spent a total of $13.9 billion on higher education, which represents 2% of the country's GDP, making Ecuador the country that has invested the most in this area. The government said the country had recovered its culture of excellence and quality within the university system.
University admission reform seeks to help private universities:
Two civil society organisations are planing a joint legal challenge to recent changes to university admissions criteria that require all candidates to list one private university in their application for admission. The Joint Admission Matriculation Board or JAMB's ruling has come under fire from those who accuse the federal and private university owners of trying to force students into more expensive institutions which are struggling to attract sufficient students in a time of recession.
Previously, students had free rein to choose a maximum of three universities from among any of the country's public or private institutions. Students are now unable to apply to study in more than one public university, whether federal or state owned.
Country tightens work visa rules:
The government has introduced new rules that will make it harder for foreign workers, including foreign graduates to qualify for the Skilled Migrant Visa category. This will in turn make it more difficult for foreign graduates who can not meet the new requirements to stay and work in New Zealand for an extended period after their studies or to pursue permanent residency in the country. The new visa rules are expected to impact international student recruitment, particularly for those students in below degree level programs.
Country is focusing on STEM to drive world-class universities scheme:
India plans to develop 20 world-class universities with the focus mainly on its institutes of technology. There are presently 23 Indian institutes of technology which are strong in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.The proposed scheme will help the 20 selected institutions to grow into global leaders by the provision of adequate funding and other government support.
Restrictions eased on postgraduate scholarships abroad:
Recent changes to the country's foreign scholarship program have been welcome by about 2,000 beneficiaries of the Becas Chile the country's largest provider of postgraduate scholarships. The changes are; doubling the period of time allowed after graduating for returning to Chile, from the current 1 year for postgraduate or masters degrees to two years; Doubling the time allowed to finishing a degree to two years for a postgraduate or masters degree and four years for a doctorate; Allowing scholarship holders to receive financial support from foreign entities and to work for money; The possibility of lifting the obligation of returning to Chile if the scholarship receiver carries on studying.
First quarter 2017 International student numbers up 15% on 2016:
The country has bolstered its popularity as a world class education destination with new data showing international student numbers jumped by 15% in the first quarter of 2017 compared to 2016. The data captured students commencing higher education in the first semester of 2017, as well as students commencing full-year courses in vocational education and training and in schools.
Canada - France
French as a foreign language agreement:
Canada and France have signed a cooperation agreement to improve professional opportunities for students studying for a degree in French as a foreign language in France. The agreement will pave the way for cooperation between the leaders of 34 French and Canadian universities and increase student mobility between the two countries. The agreement will encourage Canadian students in French-language teaching and francophone programs to study or work in France. The agreement will also encourage students and graduates of 'French as a foreign language' teaching programs in France to come to Canada.
Plans to reduce number of universities:
A working group of specialists have proposed a reform of state universities which would see the number of universities shrinking from 14 to 8 in a bid to increase the quality of higher education and save administration costs. The proposal seeks to merge some of the existing universities into those covering a wide range of study programs, technology universities and specialised academics.
Country feeling the effects of removal of tuition fees for international students:
Finland is facing a sharp drop in applications by non-EU and EU students and an outflow of scientists, as a result of introduction of tuition fees for international students and cuts in university funding.
More International students staying behind:
A growing number of highly skilled foreign workers are finding jobs under a program known as Optional Practical Training, which allows foreign graduates from U.S universities to work in the country on a temporary basis. Students with F-1 visas may apply to OPT and if approved may work for up to 12 months in their chosen field of study. However, for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduates, they are eligible to work for up to 36 months. Unlike other U.S visa programs, OPT has no cap on the number of foreign graduates who can participate.
Country will close 25% of its research laboratories:
Algeria's Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research recently announced the country's intention to close 25% of their research laboratories. This will affect 1,259 research laboratories, in what is considered a complete and thorough overall of the country's research system.
Iran looking to double international students numbers:
Iran is targeting doubling international students numbers according to the country's ministry of science, research and technology. Presently, about 52,000 international students are studying in Iran where a large number of programs are taught in English. Since 2015 when about 35,000 international students were studying in Iran, the country has seen a steady increase in student numbers.
China plans to set up 16 top universities by 2030:
Chinese officials have announced plans to set up 16 top universities to be spread across several provinces and regions outside of Beijing and Shanghai.
Free tuition for EU students in Scottish universities:
Scotland will be extending its free tuition policy for EU students to 2018-2019 according to Scottish Secretary of Education John Swinney. Scotland voted to remain in the European Union and it is expected this policy extension will further cement Scotland's relationship with the EU.
Will attacks on African students hit India's inbound African student numbers?
Following the March 2017 attacks on Nigerian students in India, the question is whether this incident will lead to a drastic reduction in numbers of African students going to India for studies. According to Association of African Students in India, about 25,000 Africans study in Indian universities with Nigeria sending the highest numbers, followed by Sudan and Kenya.
UK government gives EU students pledge on loans and fee status:
The UK government has confirmed that European Union students will continue to remain eligible for undergraduate, masters, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support in academic year 2018-19. The decision means EU students applying for these programs at UK universities or further education institutions in 2018-2019 academic year will continue to have access to student loans and grants, even if the course concludes after the UK exit from the EU.
US government signs executive order targeting H-1B visas:
The signing of the executive order limiting the numbers of issuance of H-1B visas for highly skilled foreign nationals has the potential of decreasing international student numbers to the US. After technology related occupations, higher education ranks third as the largest industry sponsor of recipients of the H-1B visas. The attraction of the US to international students is as a result of students ability to gain work experience post- graduation. Surveys have consistently shown that quality of education and the ability to gain work experience after graduation are some of the main attractions when students make the choice to study outside their home country.
Employment status given to nearly all PhD students:
The Swedish government has changed the university law to ensure all doctoral candidates, with the exception of a few on scholarships are made employees of the university with full salary. The change will also benefit international students who account for roughly 40% - 50% of the country's 19,000 doctoral candidates.
Country shift emphasis to home study:
The number of Malaysian students that went abroad to study between 2005 and 2015 did not increase considerably due to the fact that the government of Malaysia has shifted emphasis on their students staying at home. In 2005 nearly 47,000 Malaysian students studied abroad and this figure was marginally increased to 65,000 in 2015. The major destination countries for Malaysian students is UK, Australia and US, but it should be noted that study destination for Malaysian students is fairly distributed among other countries such as, Egypt (Africa), Jordan (Middle East), Russia, Ireland, France and Germany (Europe), India and Japan (Asia). According to UNESCO figures, Malaysia is now the second ranking non-EU sending country to the UK after China with just over 17,400 students enrolled in 2015/16.
Japan seeing improvement in international students enrolment:
As a result of its drive to increase international students numbers with the implementation of government policies, Japan grew its international students enrolment to reach nearly 240,000 in 2016 according to Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO). Asia provided almost all international students to Japan, with China and Vietnam accounting for half of the numbers. In recent years, Japan had targeted regional markets with attractive policies and commitment to boost employment for international students.
Brazil has officially announced the shut down of Science Without Border Program:
Brazil's ministry of Education has officially announced the shut down of the Science Without Borders mobility program which has been of befit to about 100,000 Brazilian students, with overseas scholarships. However, the government has agreed to provide funding for a limited number of students (about 10,000) who get scholarships for research and advanced studies, such as post-graduate studies, post-doctoral fellowships and senior internships abroad.
Losing market share:
France has been losing market share and slipping in international students enrolment table, despite recording 3.6% growth in 2015/16 , from 299,000 in 2014/15 to 309,642 in 2015/16. France growth figures are not as impressive as those of it's competitors like Canada, China and Australia. It has now slipped to sixth position having passed by Canada and if the present trend continues, risk being passed by Germany (301,000 students in 2015) and Russia (283,000 students in 2015). Africa remains the home of France's most important education export market, with more than four in ten of all international students coming from the continent.
Montreal is QS best students city:
Montreal has been named the best world city for students, displacing Paris which has held that position for 3 years. The rankings are based on a basket of measures which include quality of universities, facilities for students, affordability, the "desirability" of the city for students, access to employers, the international nature of a city, levels of tolerance, pollution and safety.
Russia courts Africa with science scholarships:
Russia through it's nuclear agency (Rosatom) is offering 60 scholarships places to African students from 2017. The students will get the opportunity to study in some of Russia's top universities, ten of the scholarships has been reserved for students from South Africa. According to UNESCO statistics, in 2014 Africa's top student source countries for Russian higher education institutions were Morocco (833), Nigeria (777) and Angola (401).
More Russian students are choosing to study abroad:
With the growing cost of education in Russian universities, an increasing number of students are opting to study abroad, mainly to Central and East European countries. There has also been an increase in Russian students attending higher educational institutions in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland and with the end of Russia's financial crisis, this trend is likely to continue.
International students enrolment surge:
International students enrolment in the Netherlands reached a record high of 112,000 in 2016/17, of this figure 81,392 were engaged in full time degree programs, another 11,500 are in Erasmus + exchange and nearly 20,000 more are comparable "credit mobile" exchange students from outside the EU.
Nigeria issues reform to foreign exchange for overseas study:
Nigeria's central bank has begun the sale of US dollars for students to pay for tuition fees which will allow them to avoid paying heavy premiums at the black market. The ban on the sale of foreign exchange to students was introduced in March 2016 and this took a toll on students and parents who struggled to meet international tuition commitments.
UK government signals increasing emphasis on transnational education:
As a result of the falling enrolment figures for international students, the UK government and educational institutions have shifted focus to transnational education. Latest figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show a noticeable trend in this direction. In 2015/16 673,000 international students were studying toward a British higher education qualification in the TNE program.
Senate pass tuition-free education Bill:
The Philippines Senate has approved a landmark bill to provide free tuition for students in all state universities and colleges. The "Free Education for All Act" was passed unanimously on Monday 13, March 2017. The Bill establishes an initial tuition subsidy fund of PHP15 billion (US$298 million) administered by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). the country's higher education governing body. It also provides financial assistance to students currently in private vocational institutions. More than 1.6 million students currently enrolled in one of the 112 state institutions will be covered by the fund.
Nigerian vice chancellors want reversal of tuition-free university education:
The Committee of vice-chancellors of Nigerian universities say it is no longer realistic to have tuition-free university education in Nigeria and want a change of policy. Federal universities in Nigeria charge no tuition fees, though students pay other charges. In a communique released March 13, 2017, they stated that a change in policy will enable parents, guardians and government "to equitably share the financial burden of education" and "will enable students pay revised fees commensurate with the true value of university education". They further stated that the present inclination towards free tuition or free university education is unrealistic to the national vision for practical and qualitative education and not sustainable.
Africa's top higher education destination:
South Africa hosted close to 43,000 international students in 2014, this figure is far less than that of 2011 which stood at just over 70,000 international students. UNESCO figures for 2014 provides data of the 10 highest sending countries to South Africa and from the chart below, nine of the top ten sending countries are African nations.
Place of origin:
Number of students:
Percent of total:
According to a 2014 survey by International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA) the main reasons for South Africa's attractiveness to African students are:
- Closeness to their home countries and lower costs of living.
- Less stringent student visa requirements and decent living conditions.
- Affordability of higher education when compared to more developed countries and the availability of subsidies to students from the Southern African region.
- High quality of higher education and general recognition of degrees issued by educational institutions South Africa in African countries.
- South African institutions often offer courses not available in international students home countries.
- 5% quota available to students from Southern African countries in South African higher educational institutions.
- Other factors include the relatively greater range of research opportunities and an interest in learning about the country's culture.
China's international students enrolment numbers surging:
China hosted a record number of international students in 2016, with 442,773 enrolled in 2016, an increase of 11.4% over 2015. China has long been the world's most important sending market for international students, and while a record number of Chinese students still went abroad in 2016, the overall growth trend in Chinese outbound mobility has begun to flatten out.
Nearly half (47%) of all international students in China are pursuing undergraduate degrees at Chinese universities. Another 15% are studying toward advanced degrees at the master's or doctoral levels, and nearly 30% are enrolled in Chinese primary and secondary schools. About 40% of international students are studying Mandarin at some level.
Canada records impressive international students enrolment:
Canada's Bureau for International Education (CBIE) report for 2016 show that 352,570 international students were issued study permits for 2015, which is an 8% growth on the previous year's figure. This figure does not include an additional 90,000 students who are in Canadian institutions on short-term language programs. In broad terms, the number of international students in Canada grew by 92% between 2008 and 2015, of which 75% were enrolled at post-secondary level, with another 16% in secondary studies. The report also show that overall rate of study permit approval were flat at 71%, ranging from Jordan (31%) and Haiti (32%) to Brazil (90%) and Argentina (86%). Visa processing time varied from a low of 24 days for student-applicants in Poland to 113 days for applicants from South Africa.
Taiwan aims to double international student numbers by 2019:
Taiwan which currently host 28,000 international students is aiming to more than double this number by an additional 30,000 international students with an anticipated student number of 58,000 by 2019. Taiwan is targeting countries in Southeast Asia and South Asia in order to achieve this target.
The Economics of International Students Enrolment:
Spending by international students in New Zealand has increased by over 50% over the last two years to reach NZ$4.04 in 2015/16. The sector now the fourth largest in the country and employs about 32,000 people. China is the biggest contributor accounting for about 35% of the total figure. India accounts for 16.4%, while South Korea and Japan contribute about 7% each.
Applications from EU students to the UK down by 7% in 2017:
Unofficial figures based on the number of EU students applying for university admission to the UK show a 7% decline for 2017/18 academic year. This is a continuation of the the trend since 2011/12 and 2015/16 when student enrolment numbers from the EU to the UK fell by 4%.
The Irish government has extended the period during which foreign graduates of masters and doctoral programs may remain and work after their studies to 24 months. This is applicable to international students who have completed their study at recognised institutions. International students, outside of the EU and EEA who have completed their programs at the undergraduate (honours) level will continue to have a 12 month stay back option, while undergraduate (ordinary) level students will be eligible for a six month stay back period.
Country making gains in share of international students enrolment:
Malaysia has been making significant gains in international students enrolment and is seeking to host 250,000 foreign students by 2025. The government and its private sector partners has set up two education zones as sites for international branch campuses. There are 11 foreign branch campuses in the country from the UK, Australia, China, India, and the Netherlands. A ten year blueprint for higher education not only set enrolment target of 250,000 anticipated international students intake, but also how the performance of Malaysian institutions in global education rankings can be improved.
International students numbers hits new record:
International students numbers reached record highs in 2016 amounting to 554,179 for the year, according to the latest data from the Australian Department of Education and Training. This is a 10.9% year-over-year increase from 2015, against average annual growth of 6.5% per year over the past decade.
International students enrolment triples over past decade:
A new report from the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) finds that the number of international students enrolled in Russian universities has increased nearly three-fold over the past decade. From a base of 100,900 in 2004/05, total numbers in Russian higher education reached 282,900 in 2014/15. This represents total growth of 180% over the ten years, and is matched by a commensurate increase in related export revenues which grew to US$1.46 billion in 2015.
Year-over-year enrolment growth stands at 17.2% between 2013/14 alone and RANEPA reports an average annual growth rate of roughly 9% since 2003. In 2015 alone, Russia expanded its scholarship program for international students and a group of 15 leading institutions established a new joint centre for international recruitment.
UK considers new rules for international students:
The UK is considering new immigration rules for international students according to the country's Home Secretary Amber Rudd. Rudd in her address to the Conservative Party annual conference in Birmingham she said the government will soon be consulting on the next step needed on work and study in the UK. She said that the UK will look at whether student immigration rules should be tailored to the quality of the course and the quality of the educational institution, "the current system allows all students irrespective of their talents and the university's quality, favourable employment prospects when they stop studying."
She further stated, "a student immigration system that treats every student and university as equal only punishes those we should want to help." She said the consultation will be asking what can be done to support the best universities and those that stick to the rules, while looking at tougher rules for students on lower quality courses.
Rudd said the UK will examine whether to tighten the test companies have to take before recruiting staff from abroad, as "the current system has become a tick box exercise, allowing some firms to get away with not training local people." She warned that house landlords could go to jail if they rent out property to people who have no right to be in the UK.
Korea targets 200,000 foreign students by 2023:
South Korea has announced plans to expand its international student enrolment from 85,000 to 200,000 by 2023. In order to achieve this target, the government plans to introduce a number of packages as incentives to attract international students. Below are some of these incentives:
New regulations to permit Korean universities to open departments and programs exclusively for international students;
- An expansion of English-taught programs, particularly in STEM subjects;
- Increased employment support for international students who wish to stay in Korea to work after graduation;
- Funding of US$16 million in support of marketing and recruitment drive of Korean universities; and
- Funding for a 6 week scholarship program that will bring in international students from Asia, mostly in institutions outside of Seoul.
Policy changes in conditional admissions process:
The US Department of Homeland Security (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) has issued it's final policy guidance regarding conditional admissions for international students intending to study in the US on F-I or M-I visas. The new policy effectively requires that universities may not issue an I-20 (the document that international students need to acquire a study visa) for academic studies until the students has met all requirements for admission.
Universities that operate their own English language programs may issue an I-20 for language studies and subsequently a separate I-20 for students continuing to academic studies once language proficiency requirements have been met. However, institutions that rely on partner schools for language training or any other preparatory studies, may no longer issue an I-20 until the student has satisfied all admission requirements. Rather, partner schools must provide their own I-20 for students covering the period for any pre-degree studies.
Country shifting focus to Transnational Education:
Recently released data; 2016 from the UK provides a sharp contrast between onshore and offshore enrolment trends and which indicates a growing emphasis on transnational education (TNE), among UK's higher education institutions. The UK has witnessed 3 consecutive years of no growth in international enrolment (2013-2015).
As a result of this, UK education providers are shifting more of their focus on offshore delivery. The number of international students enrolled in UK transnational education programs increased by 13% between 2013-2015 according to a recently released study by HE Global, a joint initiative between the UK HE International Unit and the British Council.
Transnational education is all about higher education institutions delivering their educational services in another country instead of students having to travel to the university home country to study. Examples of such are, branch campuses, distance learning, online provision, joint and dual degree programs, flying in facility for short courses or blended learning models.
Sri Lanka is projected to become an important emerging market for international education, with four in ten Sri Lankan under the age of 24 years. The country is expected to be one of the ten fastest growing tertiary enrolment countries by 2025. Even with this, there is a significant shortage of university spaces available, as only 10% of those who sit for the university entrance exams gain admission each year.
International student numbers grow by 7% in 2015:
The number of international students in Germany increased by 7% between 2014 and 2015, this is the sixth consecutive year of growth and the third in which enrolment grew by more than 6%. China remains Germany's largest sending market but India was the big gainer in 2015, growing 25% to become the second largest source market overtaking Russia.
Germany's attractiveness as a study destination has had a boost in recent years from its low tuition fees, ready availability of English-taught master's programs and improved post-study work rights for foreign students. Germany has had an overall growth of 32% over the past decade.
Technology institutes open admissions to international students:
The Indian government has approved a proposal to open admissions in the country's premier engineering institutes for up to 10,000 international students. The move illustrates an increasing emphasis on educational diplomacy, particularly within South Asia. It also reflects the government's ambition to see its leading institutions perform better in international rankings. Initial recruitment will focus on eight countries mainly from South Asia.
France aims to counter slowing international enrolment growth:
France has seen its market share of international student enrolment grow slowly, but the increases since 2010/11 have been outpaced by those recorded by a number of other countries such as the United States, China, Canada, Australia and Germany. The French government has introduced a package of new student life measures including provisions to improve student services, ease visa processing and expand post-study work rights, all of which aim to boost international student numbers.
Egypt aims to quadruple international enrolment:
The Egyptian government has announced plans to increase the number of international students enrolled in the country and to market itself as a regional international education hub catering to Arab and African nations. With 2.5 million university students and some of the most highly regarded higher education institutions in the region, the country certainly has the potential to become an important regional centre for education.
University World News, reported that Egypt is planning to dramatically grow the number of Arab and African students in its post secondary institutions over the next three years, quadrupling enrolment from 53,000 to 200,000 total international students. This new international recruitment strategy was approved by the Supreme Council of Universities, the body responsible for planning, coordination and supervision of universities in Egypt.
Under the plan, Egypt will develop strategies to improve its profile in regional and global international education circles, with particular focus on improving teaching and research outcomes and developing campus infrastructure. These reforms and initiatives follow the recommendations of a recent European report called Review of Higher Education in Egypt, which called for enhanced innovation, creativity and modernisation across the system. Other planks of the strategy include ramping up social media marketing and other international student recruitment efforts and the development of dedicated international offices within Egyptian universities.
New Zealand experience strong growth in international students admissions in 2015:
New Zealand issued a total of 91,062 student visas in 2015, a 13% increase over 2014 with China and India being the main growth drivers. However, intakes from the United States, Philippines, Brazil, Sri Lanka and Colombia have surged in recent years.
India outbound to key destinations up 18% in 2015:
India outbound mobility saw another year of significant growth in 2015, with an 18% increase for key destinations namely, the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. This marks the second consecutive year of growth and also the second year in which India's outbound mobility grew faster than China's.
The United States was the big gainer in 2015 with a nearly 30% increase and with a balanced growth across both undergraduate and graduate programs. Together, China and India account for roughly 40% of all the international enrolment base in the United States, Canada and Australia. As China's year-over-year growth has begun to slow over the last two years, India is emerging as a more important driver of future growth for receiving markets, including those outside of the major English-speaking destinations, such as China and Germany.
Brexit could discourage international students from choosing UK:
Two recently published studies point to the likelihood that the UK would be less attractive study destination in the event of a vote to leave the EU. The Higher Education Statistics Agency counts 240,767 international students in British higher education for 2014/15 including 60,955 from the EU and 179,812 from outside of Europe.
It is estimated that about 50,000 EU students and another 63,000 from outside the EU that could be at risk in switching to other countries with a potential loss of international student fees of up to 690 million pound sterling (US$998 million).
The other study by Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) of two million university leavers in the UK finds that EU students are particularly high performing and represent a significant resource for the British economy. The study's author project that the uncertainty arising from a British exit would almost certainly discourage some EU students from taking up studies in the UK or staying on after graduation.
Vietnamese outbound students numbers soaring:
The number of Vietnamese students abroad is soaring with Japan and the United States in particular claiming a large share of total outbound numbers. Japan is now the leading destination for Vietnamese students. The 2015 tally of 38,882 Vietnamese students in Japan represents 47.7% increase on 2014 figures, according to JASSO (Japan Student Services Organisation).
The United States claims the second highest number of Vietnamese students with a total of 28,883 students which is 18.9% increase on 2014 figures according to SEVIS, a US agency that counts the numbers of international students in all levels of US education. Only India (20%) and China (19.4%) recorded a higher rate of growth, making Vietnam the sixth largest international student population in the US.
Australia is attracting impressive numbers of Vietnamese students with 28,524 studying in Australia at the end of 2015. China is another leading destination and it hosted about 13,000 Vietnamese students in 2013, it is not clear how the enrolment has grown in recent years.
Germany on track to attract 350,000 international students:
The most recent statistics for 2016 from the Germany Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) stated that Germany hosted 321,569 international students in 2015. This represents an increase of 6.71% over the year before. In a broader context, these latest enrolment figures also brings Germany well within reach of its longer term goal of hosting 350,000 international students by 2020.
China's outbound numbers for 2015:
The China's Ministry of Education reported that 523,700 Chinese students went abroad to study in 2015. This represents a new record but also a second consecutive year-over-year growth has fallen short of long term averages. The Ministry notes as well that Chinese students are also being drawn back to the country's attractive job market in greater numbers, with roughly 70%-80% of students abroad returning to China in recent years.
Canadian government eases citizenship process for international students:
Canada's new government introduced legislation on 25, February 2016 to reduce the period of physical residency required to apply for Canadian citizenship. The government repealed certain provisions of the Citizenship Act which impeded faster route to permanent residency for international students. The new legislation restore a provision that allows international students to count time spent studying or working in Canada as part of years accumulated when calculating their residency requirements. The government also committed to a review of the Canadian Experience Class program, a key path to permanent residency for international students.
Kenyan students staying more at home:
Kenya students are becoming less likely to leave their country for higher education abroad, the reasons being the increasing costs of study abroad and also because of the increased capacity of Kenyan higher education institutions. The number of outbound Kenya students has declined over the past decade. UNESCO estimates there were just over 12,000 Kenyan students abroad in 2013, down from just over 15,000 the year prior. More than half of Kenya's outbound students went to the US, UK and Australia in 2013.
The US has seen numbers sharply down over the past decade, IIE figures show that there were 3,072 Kenyan students enrolled with US universities in 2014/15, less than half of the 7,000 students for 2004/05. The costs of study abroad for Kenya students, particularly in the US, have increased over time, in part due to the decline in the value of the Kenyan shilling against major foreign currencies. But the higher education system in Kenya has also expanded rapidly over the past decade and the country has considerably more university spaces today than it did at the turn of the century.
However, quality of education is a major issue that needs to be addressed by the government, as a recent World Bank study raised the alarm as to the quality and employability of Kenyan graduates.One of the key areas of concern in the World Bank study was the level of funding allocated to higher education in Kenya. The government appears to be looking to international students from other East African countries to offset funding challenges, this it has done with the removal of visa requirements. Kenya is also aiming to become the education hub of East Africa.
Japan looks to ASEAN markets for enrolment growth:
Japan's international students enrolment increased by nearly 10% in 2014 mainly as a result of strong growth from ASEAN countries. Students numbers climbed to 184,000 in 2014, marking the first growth recorded since 2011, much of the increase was from ASEAN countries. Of note, is the number of Vietnamese students in Japan nearly doubled year-over-year to reach 26,439 in 2014. Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) records show a 13% increase in student numbers from Thailand, a 14% increase in student growth from Indonesia, a 21% student growth rate from Myanmar, a 12% student growth figure for the Philippines and a 22% student growth figure for Singapore.
Falling oil prices has negative impact on outbound students:
The collapse in world oil prices has seen the Nigerian currency, the naira, fall to record lows against the US dollar this year, and economic growth fell to an estimated 3% in 2015 from 6.3% the year before, with 2016 growth forecast put at 3% - 4%. With this, the government has introduced austerity measures and this has led to restrictions on the availability of foreign exchange. A number of foreign universities have indicated their accounts with Nigerian funding agencies are in arrears. Nigerian students studying abroad on scholarships are reporting that they are not receiving the stipends promised for their living expenses and housing.
Regardless of the above, the fundamentals of the country's education market are strong, with an expanding middle class and total tertiary enrolment projected to double by 2024, the demand for domestic university places far outpace supply. UNESCO reports that more than 50,000 Nigerian students studied abroad in 2012, with the most popular countries being the UK (17,325), Ghana (11,993), the US (7,002), Ukraine (3,578), Malaysia (2,669), and Canada (2,490). These numbers have gone up substantially in certain markets since 2012: the Institute of International Education (IIE) stated that there were 9,500 Nigerians studying in the US in 2014/15 (a 20% increase over the year before) while Citizenship and Immigration Canada reported 8,620 Nigerians studying in Canada in 2014.
By some estimates, as many as 40% of Nigerian students abroad have some measure of scholarship funding for their studies, the country is estimated to spend US$8 billion on scholarship programs and the priority courses being science, engineering (including aero-space engineering), medicine, environmental management and technology.
Snap shot of global top ten international students receiving countries
1. United States:
The US remained the world's leading study destination in 2015. The number of international students enrolled in the US higher education grew by 10% in 2014/15, making the ninth consecutive year of enrolment growth for the US and the biggest year-over-year jump in 35 years. There were 974,926 international students enrolled in the US higher education institutions in 2014/15.
NAFSA estimates the economic impact of the sector at US$30.5 billion and that international student enrolment supports 373,381 American jobs. While the US has not established any firm targets for its inbound enrolment, it is expected that growth in international student numbers will continue in the years ahead.
2. United Kingdom:
The UK registered its first decline in international students numbers in nearly three decades in 2012/13. However it bounced back with a modest 3% in crease in non-EU enrolment in 2013/14. The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) reports 310,195 non-EU students enrolled in UK higher education for 2013/14 and Universities UK has estimated their economic impact at more than 7 billion pounds per year (US$10.4 billion). The IIE puts the total number of international students in the UK (EU and non-EU) at 493,570 for 2014. The UK government has set a goal of recruiting additional 55,000 students by 2020.
By 2012, the IIE's Project Atlas had noted China as the third largest study destination in the world with a total of 328,330 international students enrolled that year. The latest Project Atlas data indicates that China's international enrolment grew by another 15% over the last two years to reach 377,054 students in 2014. This growth is impressive but China is aiming higher, with official target to attract 500,000 international students by 2020.
Germany's international students enrolment grew by 7% between 2013 and 2014 alone, with just over 301,000 international students enrolled in higher education in 2014. This leaves the country well on track to reach its target of 350,000 international students by 2020. Germany's advantage is that international students are not required to pay tuition fees, and when fees are applicable, this is very low. Also a lot of courses are now in English language and this is a draw for international students.
France has seen growth of about 7% between 2012 and 2014. It hosted just over 298,000 international students in 2014, representing about 13% of higher education enrolment. An economic impact study by market research firm BVA estimates total spending by international students in France was euros 4.65 billion (US$5.1 billion) in 2013/14.
However, France has an established goal to push its international students numbers considerably higher to 20% of higher education enrolment by 2025. This works to about 470,000 international students based on current figures, but with the recent proposals to make international students pay more for their education in France, this numbers may not be achieved.
Australia has 269,752 international students enrolled in higher education and the country made a record high AUS$18.1 billion (US$13.1 billion) in 2014/15.
Canada reported 336,497 international students for 2014, representing 83% increase since 2008 and a 10% year-over-year increase to build on 2013's record enrolment. Canada has an established goal to reach 450,000 international students enrolment number by 2022.
After three years of minimal or no growth, Japan saw a notable spike in its international enrolment in 2014 with 184,155 international students enrolled that year. The bulk of these (about 140,000 students) were enrolled in higher education. The country has a long established goal to host 300,000 international students by 2020.
Malaysia has made impressive gains in establishing itself as an important regional hub for higher education in Asia. It hosted 135,000 international students in 2014 and aims to nearly double this base to reach 250,000 international students by 2025.
10. New Zealand:
New Zealand hosted 110,198 international students in 2014 (13% more than in 2013), and year-to-date figures suggest that student numbers are on track for another 12% to 13% growth in 2015. The international education sector in New Zealand is now valued at NZ$2.85 billion (US$1.94 billion) and estimated to support 30,230 jobs.The government has estimated a target to increase its value to NZ$5 billion (US$3.4 billion) by 2025.
Canada's new international education strategy aims for 450,000 international students by 2022:
The Canadian government unveiled its new International Education Strategy with the aim to double international students numbers to 450,000 by 2022.
Some of the key markets to the new Canadian International Education Strategy are emerging powers such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico, North Africa and the Middle East and Vietnam. The government estimate that the new goal of 450,000 students will create at least 86,000 net new jobs bringing the total number of jobs sustained by international education to 173,000. They also estimate that international students expenditures will rise to over CDN $16.1 billion, generating economic growth and prosperity in every region in Canada. The growth will provide approximately CDN $10 billion annually to the Canadian economy.
To achieve this ambitious target the government is aiming to do the following:
- Project a safe, welcoming and multicultural country;
- Offer the country as a global centre of innovation, research and development;
- Present Canada as a research partner of choice with state-of-the-art research facilities; and
- A world leader in skills development and other advanced skills for employment.
Canada achieves solid international students growth in past decade:
The number of international students in Canada has increased by 84% over the last decade, growing 22% from 2011 to 2013 and 11% from 2012 to 2013. In 2013, there were 293,505 international students in Canada which represents 5% of global international mobile students. This placed Canada seventh among the leading study destinations after the US, UK, China, France, Germany and Australia.
International students comprise approximately 8% of all tertiary enrolments in Canada (8% of undergraduate, 16% graduate, and 26% doctoral).
The international students came from 194 countries with the top five countries being China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and France. These five accounted for more than half of the 2013 figures. Below is the list of the top 10 source countries:
% of total:
3. South Korea
4. Saudi Arabia
6. United States
In 2013, 55% of all international students in Canada were enrolled in universities, 21% in other post-secondary (polytechnics and Colleges), 16% in secondary, 5% in trade programs and 3% in other programs.
Internationalisation quest of Canadian Universities:
A recent Association of Canadian Universities and Colleges survey indicated that 82% of Canadian educational institutions place internationalisation as one of their top five strategic priorities. According to them, this is due to their focus of "preparing internationally knowledgeable and inter-culturally competent graduates".
The second most important priority for them, is building international partnerships, whether for joint programs or collaborative research. Other priorities are promoting an internationalised campus, increasing their university's global profile and generating revenue.
Of the respondents, 45% indicated that undergraduate recruitment was their priority while another 7% indicated graduate recruitment as their top priority.
The AUCC survey shows that 15% of Canadian universities enroll degree students in programs delivered offshore at the campuses of international partners and another 9% at their own international branch campuses, while 6% are now working to develop such programs offshore.
It should be noted that 80% of Canada's 97 Universities and degree awarding Colleges responded to the AUCC survey.
Ontario to introduce free university and college education for students from low-income families:
In the 2016-2017 budget released on February 25, 2016 the government of Ontario has introduced an Ontario Student Grant that would entirely pay for average college or university tuition for students from families with incomes of $50,000 or less. Also under the program, half of students from families with incomes of $83,000 will qualify for non-repayable grants for tuition.
Canada's international students enrolment reached 100,000:
Canada's international students enrolment has surpassed 100,000 for the first time as figures for 2012 has shown. This represents a 60% increase over 2004 levels.
This number does not include those engaged in short-term studies; 6 months and below who visit Canada on a tourist visa and subsequently enrol for short-term exchange programs and language programs. Many more still are continuing students that arrived previous to 2012. As a fact the total number of international students enrolled at Canadian educational institutions for 6 months or more now surpasses 260,000.
The economic impact of this surge in international students to the Canadian economy is CDN$8 per year. The international student enrolment increase has also boosted Canada's goal of being a major player in international student recruitment. The country has introduced legislative changes that will attract more international students to its educational institutions.
Canadian colleges to train Indians:
The May 2015 visit by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi provided the opportunity for both countries to sign 13 memoranda of understanding (MoU) aimed at training Indians in furtherance of India's goal of massive skills acquisition. India plans to train 500 million people by 2022 and is presently the second highest international students source country to Canada. Over 31,000 Indian students were enrolled in Canada in 2013. The plan is to match an Indian partner that is focused on a specific sector with a Canadian college, these sectors will include agriculture, apparel and textiles, automotive, aviation, construction, green economy, healthcare, hydrocarbons, IT, telecommunications, electronics, sports and water.
Drive to internationalise higher education:
Russia has taken decisive steps to recruit international students after many years of indifference. The government has announced a new education strategy that will see substantial investments and upgrades in the education infrastructure with a RUB 9 billion (US$270 million) investment going to 15 universities.
This will go into student accommodations, which are in deplorable state and renovation of old buildings. The country has also made provision for dedicated campuses, a lack of which had been detrimental to attracting international students. To this end, RUB 40 billion (US$1.3 billion) has been injected tom develop campuses and student residences.
Finally, it is abolishing admission quotas for international students to its universities. It is also eliminating administrative barriers associated with the employment of foreigners and increasing the number of available scholarships to international students.
Russia has over 1,000 higher education institutions and many are seeking international engagements such as partnerships, research and student recruitment. As more educational institutions from Russia engage with international partners, the internationalization of higher education in Russia will take shape.
Asia's higher education rise:
A recent Institute of International Education (IIE) publication"Asia: The next higher education superpower" stated that by 2020 China alone will account for 30% of the world's university graduates between the ages 25 and 34 years. Governments across Asia have significantly invested in education and this is reflected in the growing numbers of in-bound international students to Asian countries.
For example, China has attracted increased numbers of students from South Korea and Indonesia as recent figures from Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE) indicate. Student numbers from Indonesia in China has steadily increased by about 10% year on year from 2010 till date and figures from South Korea has doubled to 62,855 in 2012 from 2003.
Factors driving this surge of international students to China are proximity to other Asian countries, affordability and improved education programs.
Japan is another Asia country that has been pushing to expand it's international students intake. The Japanese government with the help fro top Japanese corporations has been very active in international student recruitment, the corporations offering placements to international students on the completion of their studies. Another advantage to international students wanting to study in Japan, is that studying in Japan cost approximately half those in the US and Europe with commensurate quality.
China and India to produce 40% of global graduate by 2020:
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has reported that China and India will account for 40% of all young graduates aged 25 to 34 by 2020.
China is expected to produce 29% (up from 18% in 2010) while India will produce 11%. The United States is expected to produce 11% (down from 14% in 2010).
US witness fastest growth in 35 years for international students enrolment:
The number of international students enrolled in the US higher education grew by 10% in 2014/15 marking the ninth consecutive year of enrolment growth and the biggest year-over-year jump in 35 years. The number of international students in the US higher education institutions reached 974,926 in 2014/15, for the an overall increase of 88,874 students compared to the year before.
The number of commencements, the all important measure of students enrolling for the first time in the US reached 293,766 for an increase of 8.8% over the year before. US host roughly one out of every five higher education students enrolled outside their home countries today. China, India and South Korea account for just over half of all international student enrolment. China and India together account for 67% of the increase in international students and they now constitute nearly 45% of the total number of international students in the US higher education.
The number of Chinese students surpassed 300,000 for the first time in 2015. Also for 2014/15, Chinese enrolment grew by 10.8% and accounted for 31.2% of all international students in the US. However, a more rapid growth figure was recorded from India. The number of Indian students reached 132,888 in 2014/15 (13.6%). This represent a 29.4% increase over 2013/14 and reflects a growing trend that has been seen over the years. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Indian students enrolled in graduate programs and this is contributing a shift in the undergraduate-graduate mix in US institutions.
There was a noticeable shift from undergraduate to graduate studies, which reversed a two-year trend in which undergraduates accounted for the greater number of international students. Reason being that most students from India are studying at the graduate level. Below is the list of top 15 international students source countries to the US:
% of total:
3. South Korea
4. Saudi Arabia
Steady growth in international student enrolment:
In 2013 the US recorded its eighth consecutive year of international student enrolment growth, 8% expansion in 2013/14 to reach a figure of 886,052 students. The impact on the US economy was US$27 billion with accompanying 340,000 jobs created.
However, international students represent just over 4% of total higher education enrolment in the US in 2013/2014. The US is the leading international study destination and is host to approximately one in five of the world's mobile higher education students. The top four sending countries are, China, India, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
There are 17 countries which send at least 5,000.00 students respectively to the US yearly. These are:
- Hong Kong
- Saudi Arabia
- United Kingdom
Community colleges in US helping build undergraduate enrolments:
Approximately half of all US students commenced their studies at the community colleges, this is the same for about 900,000 international students currently enrolled in American universities. Community colleges are supportive and relatively affordable and they provide English language training to international students who may subsequently want to progress to universities.
US community colleges offer two broad types of programs, namely the one and two year vocational and technical certificates or diplomas. And the two year associate degrees in a range of academic subjects.
Hong Kong outbound students figure increasing:
The number of Hong Kong students seeking study options abroad continues to grow. 2013 saw 31,825 students study abroad with the United Kingdom (12,946), Australia (9,244), the United States (7,681) and Canada (1,614) hosting the vast majority. Data from the Higher Education Funding Council for England showed more than 4,600 Hong Kong students enrolled in undergraduate courses in 2012/13, up 24% from 2011/12, even as overall international students numbers remain stagnant in the UK.
Recent figures from Australia indicate a 22% increase in overall enrolment from Hong Kong (and just over 28% increase in commencements) between 2013/14. While enrolment to the US has been flat over the past several years.
Saudi tighten belt on outbound students requirements:
The Saudi government is moving to cut education spending in 2016 on the heels of a US$100 billion deficit in 2015. The 2016 edition of the International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education (IECHE) in Riyadh has been cancelled, while the Saudi government has introduced a cap on pre-academic language studies in the US.
The government also recently announced new eligibility requirements for students wanting to apply for funding after enrolling in institutions abroad. Those students must now be enrolled in one of the world's top 50 academic programs in their field or one of the world'd top 100 universities.
Turkey, a multicultural and Erasmus member is catching the attention of an ever-increasing number of international students. The expansion of higher education capacity in Turkey has been integral to Turkey's ability to welcome more international students. Between 2006 and 2011, 50 public universities and 36 private foundations universities were established.
There are now 165 universities in Turkey, which host students from more than 155 countries. The most important source countries being Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Morocco and Nigeria.
International student numbers to Turkey grows:
Turkey reported in 2012 increase in inbound international students numbers from 15,481 in 2005/06 to 26,228 by 2010/11. This increase is mainly due to the growth of the Turkish economy, an improvement in living conditions in Turkey, the hospitality and philanthropy of the Turkish people and the popularity of Turkey as a safe and comfortable destination for Muslim students.
Malaysia releases landmark education blueprint:
In April 2015, Malaysia released its landmark education blueprint with the ambition of becoming a major education destination for international students. The set goals of the blueprint is as follows:
- Increasing the tertiary enrolment rate from the current 36% to 53% by 2025 and higher education enrolment from 48% to 70% by 2025.
- Increasing the graduate employability rate which is currently 75% to 80% by 2025.
- Increasing international students from the current 103,000 to 250,000 by 2025 and
- Placing among the top 25 in the 50 countries Universitas 21 ranks in terms of research, enrolment and employability of which it is currently 44th.
Australian education exports top AU$19 billion:
Recently released 2016 data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals that Australia's education export income reached AU$19.65 billion in 2015, which represents an increment of 11.5% over 2014 and the second consecutive year of double-digit growth. The top five sending countries were - China, India, Vietnam, South Korea and Thailand (accounting for 51.1% of all international enrolments).
Outside of the top five senders, Brazil, Nepal, Pakistan, Hong Kong and Colombia were all notable senders. There were 373,734 commencements (representing 8.4% increase over the 2014 period). The enrolment performance in 2015 was slightly higher than the ten-year average of 7.3% for commencement growth.
Australia to streamline visa system:
In a recent announcement, the Government of Australia will introduce a simpler student visa system on July 1, 2016 when the present Streamlined visa processing system expires. The new visa system to be known as Simplified Student Visa Framework )SSVF) will offer some relief to both international students and Australian educators.
Features of the new SSVF:
- Reduced number of student visa sub-classes from 8 to 2.
- Introduction of a single immigration risk framework under which all international students will be assessed.
- Determination of students financial and English language proficiency, when processing their application will entail the examination of the profile of student's country of citizenship and their education provider.
It should be noted that all Australian education institutions will participate in the SSVF system unlike the present SVP system which involves universities, a few vocational education and training institutions and private providers.
Australia new draft strategy for international education:
The much anticipated draft strategy for international education has been released. The document acknowledges the recent up-surge of the country as a leading destination country, identifies areas that need to be improved for better study experience and also lays out plans to boost Australia's international student global competitiveness.
Finland introduces university tuition fees for non-EU students:
A new law that came into force on January 1, 2016 introduced tuition fees for non-EU students, but under the regulations non-EU fees are not mandatory until August 1, 2017. Non-EU students beginning undergraduate or master's programs after August 1, 2017 can expect to pay minimum tuition fees of euro 1,500 yearly, institutions are free to fix their tuition fees. However this will not apply to doctoral students or non-EU students whose programs are taught in Finnish or Swedish.
The severity of this can be seem in the light of the fact that Finland has one of the most expensive costs of living in Europe. Official government statistics indicate that there are a total of 19,880 foreign students enrolled in degree programs at Finnish universities and polytechnics in 2014, with non-EU students accounting for 77% (15,330) of this number.
Finnish education faces austerity measures that will see the introduction of fees for non-EU students:
Students in Finland are caught up in austerity measures to be introduced as a result of the difficulty state of the Finnish economy. As a result, non-EU international students may soon be paying tuition fees.
Currently Finland host about 20,000 international students from the following countries:
- China (2,129 students)
- Russia (2107 students)
- Nepal (976 students)
- Nigeria (939 students)
- Vietnam (904 students)
- Estonia (772 students)
- Pakistan (603 students)
- Bangladesh (591 students)
- India (557 students)
- Sweden (556 students)
- Germany (525 students)
- Ethiopia (454 students)
- Iran (401 students)
- Kenya (385 students)
- Ghana (382 students)
France is still the major destination of most international students from Africa with 380,376 students representing 29.2% of student population. Africa however, has 10% of global international student population and this percentage is expected to increase in the years ahead. France is the destination of choice for Francophone African students, from both the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. Only 2.6% of students from Anglophone Africa study in France.
South Africa is the number two destination for students from Africa with a market share of 15%, an increase of 28.8% since 2006. South Africa is the destination of choice for English speaking students from such countries as, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Lesotho.
The United Kingdom and the United States come in third place with a market share of 9.7% respectively, while Germany has 4.7% market share.
Italy , Canada and Morocco have all seen huge gains in their numbers of African students since 2006 with Italy gaining 54%, Canada 42% and Morocco 50%.
African countries by size of students studying abroad:
1. Morocco - 42,800 (11.3%)
2. Nigeria - 38,851 (10.2%)
3. Algeria - 22,465 (5.9%)
4. Zimbabwe - 19,658 (5.2%)
5. Cameroon - 19,506 (5.1%)
6. Tunisia - 19,506 (5.1%)
It should be noted that increasing numbers of African students are opting to study on the continent as is the case with the huge increase of Nigerian students who now study in Ghana instead of Europe or North America.
South Korea restructuring its education:
South Korea has shown a willingness to strengthen its educational institution and join in bilateral research and academic initiatives. The country is interested not only as a source country for international students but also as a destination country. It is working to upgrade its schools and practices to make them more attractive to international students.
Improvement in Japan's international students enrolment:
2014 saw noticeable improvement in Japan's international students enrolment. The latest figures from Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), show there were 184,155 international students studying in Japan as at May 1, 2014.
This figure represents a 9.5% increase over the 2013 figures and shows growth in this sector since 2011 when Japan was hit by an earthquake. With the latest figures, there is hope that Japan's attempt to globalize its education is beginning to take root. The vast majority of international students in Japan are from Asia and the attraction is their proximity to Japan, Japanese education being relatively more affordable when compared to that of the United States and the rising pop culture in Japan.
The top 5 sending countries to Japan are:
1. China - 93,399
2. Vietnam - 26,439
3. Rep of Korea - 15,777
4. Nepal - 10,448
5. Taiwan - 6,231.
Nigerian students switch to USA and Canadian universities, shun UK:
According to recent survey by Study Search, a university application platform that provides services for international students mostly from Africa, Nigerian students are shunning UK educational institutions in favour of US and Canadian education providers. This is as a result of unfavourable policies and rising costs of tertiary education in the UK. The survey indicate that the number of students wishing to attend universities in the UK fell by as much as 65% between 2014 - 2015.
Nigeria on track to become one of the fast growing outbound postgraduate market:
UNESCO estimate shows that 49,531 students from Nigeria went abroad in 2012. The growth rate for Nigerian outbound mobility at the postgraduate level grew by an average of 7.4% from 2007 to 2012.
The United Kingdom accounted for just over a third, while the United States accounted for about 14%. Ghana, Malaysia, South Africa and Canada all had significant numbers. According to the British Council, the United Kingdom is expected to host 28,800 Nigerian postgraduate students by 2024, the United States is expected to host 7,600 Nigerian postgraduate students.
The highest annual average growth in Nigerian postgraduate flows will be to Australia (+12.7%), Canada (+11.2%), Germany (+9.7%), the United States (+9.5%) and the United Kingdom (+7.7%). It is projected that the volume of Nigerian students to the United Kingdom will be the fifth largest bilateral movement of postgraduate students in the world by 2024 (after only the flow of Chinese students to the United States, Indian students to the United States, Chinese students to the United Kingdom and Chinese students to Australia).
Generally there are close correlation between demand for postgraduate studies abroad and demand for study at other levels including undergraduate degrees. This being the case, Nigeria is poised to be one of the most significant growth markets in international education in the decade ahead.
Ireland introduces Interim List of Education Providers:
Effective January 20, 2016 international students wanting to study in Ireland can only do so if the educational institution they wish to study in is listed on the new ILEP. The significance of this is that international students can only receive student visas to attend institutions listed on the ILEP. This is in addition to the restrictions on the number of hours international students may work as well as the reduction in the number of months a non-EEA (European Economic Area) students may hold a student visa. In the past, non-EEA students were permitted to hold visas for a one-year term; this term has now been reduced to eight months.
New reforms introduced to international students study in Ireland:
As a result of fraudulent activities of some education providers in Ireland, the government has introduced some reforms to safeguard international students. As many as 10 private colleges closed in 2014 displacing more than 3,000 students, mainly none-EU. The Irish government released a special policy statement in September 2014, setting out a series of reforms in 3 areas.
- The process by which education providers are determined to be eligible to receive international students, namely the approved institutions that international students can receive a visa to attend.
- Enhanced inspection and compliance regime for international students.
- Changes to the "work-study" arrangement for international students. Students are now only permitted to work 40 hours per week for 4 months (May to August), and from 15 December to 15 January. All other work will be a maximum of 20 hours per week for international students.
Work and immigration opportunities now available to foreign trained graduates:
Sweden has introduced work and immigration opportunities to foreign trained graduates. Doctoral students will be able to qualify for permanent residence provided they have had a study permit in Sweden for 4 out of the past 7 years. Also international students will be able to stay in Sweden to look for work or set up their own companies on graduation.
Prior to 2011, Sweden was one of the few countries to offer free tuition to all foreign students regardless of origin. The introduction of fees in 2011 had an immediate negative impact on enrolment figures. The latest UNESCO figures estimate there are 28,629 international students studying in Sweden in 2014.
Sharp declines from emerging markets pressuring non-EU enrolment in UK:
The January 14, 2016 released numbers for 2014 - 2015 higher education enrolment statistics by Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), show total enrolment fell by 1% between 2013 - 2014 and 2014 - 2015. Undergraduate enrolment and part-time student numbers fell by 2% and 6% respectively. While the total number of non-EU enrolment was essentially flat in 2014 - 2015 rising only by 1% over the year before, the number of first-year students from outside the EU fell by 3%.
As the following table shows the number of the overall decline in first-year non-EU enrolment for 2014 - 2015 was led by some of the world's most important emerging markets. Year-over-year numbers from India and Nigeria were down 10% and 8% respectively. Six of the top ten non-EU source countries for UK declined in 2014 - 2015.
2013-2014 to 2014-2015
Total all UK
Changes to UK international students visa:
Changes which came into effect on November 12, 2015 requires that international students under the Further Education (FE) category are not permitted to apply for a work visa on the completion of their studies unless they first leave the country.
Also, the length of FE visas has been reduced from 3 years to 2 years.
UK set to ban non-EU students from working after graduation:
British Home Secretary Theresa May announced that non-EU students will have to leave the UK immediately they complete their study program. According to the Minister, this will stop colleges from being used as a "back door to a British work visa". Official figures have shown that of the 121,000 non-EU students that entered the UK between June 2013 and June 2014, only 51, 000 returned to their home country, while 70,000 remained in the UK.
The UK government wants to stop student visa being used as an easy way to enter UK, whereby the applicant subsequently gets a job and then claim benefits. Under the proposed new rules, non-EU students will be denied the right to work and will not be able to apply for a visa extension on the completion of their study program. Non-EU students will first have to leave the UK before applying to return under a work visa.
Furthermore, the length of stay is expected to be cut to two years when the government proposals are implemented. Already, government has taken action against 870 bogus colleges by banning them from admitting international students. The government estimates that the number of international students studying in the UK will rise by more than 6% yearly up to 2020.
Germany sees increase in international students enrolments:
Approximately half of international students in Germany come from Europe, especially Eastern Europe, with Russia, Bulgaria and Poland accounting for most of the student numbers. Other top student providers are Turkey and Austria.
In Asia, China and India provide about a third of international students to German institutions. The major attraction for international students to Germany is the low or no tuition fees of German educational institutions as well as the post-study rights for foreign students.
In an attempt to offset a shortage of skilled labour, the German government implemented the EU Blue Card Scheme in summer of 2012. This is similar to the US Green Card and is designed to make Europe a more attractive destination for highly educated persons from outside of the European Union. All 27 E.U members participate in this scheme, except the UK, Ireland and Denmark.
New Zealand's international students enrolment up 13% in 2014:
Data from Education New Zealand show a marked increase of 13% in international students numbers from 2013, an increase of 13,091 students. The turning point year for international students enrolment in New Zealand was 2013, when the government introduced new work rights for international students. Following up on this, the government also introduced improvements in visa processing and launched a highly successful campaign tagged "Think New".
New Zealand aims to double international students numbers by 2025:
Close to 100,000 international students chose New Zealand for their studies contributing NZ $2 billion (US $1.64 billion) to the economy and supporting approximately 32,000 jobs. This makes international education a significant export in the country and the government aims to double the value by 2025 to NZ $5 billion (US $4.1 billion).
The main source countries of international students to New Zealand are China (29.1%), India (15.8%) and South Korea.
Education reform continues to take shape:
The education reform package passed into law by the government of Ukraine on July 1,2014 has continued to improve the education system in the country.The law aims to align the education system of Ukraine with that of the rest of Europe and is a distinct break from the old Soviet centralised system. It provides for a simpler, less bureaucratic and financially autonomous higher education education system.
Within 1 year, since the law was passed the country has seen a dramatic reduction in the number of universities operating from 802 to 317 and some others have been downgraded to vocational education Colleges. Still more are expected to close as the government withdraws the operating licences of low quality institutions.
China now the world's third most popular study destination:
According to the US based Institute of International Education, China hosted close to 330,000 foreign students in 2012. This figure is surpassed by only the US and the UK. The Chinese figure represents 8% of global international students market.
A major attraction for international students to study in China is the opportunity to work during and after their studies. As of July 2013, international students are permitted to take part-time jobs during their studies, or to pursue internships off campus, so long as they obtain permission from both their host institution and the Chinese immigration authorities.
India reports strong growth in outbound for 2014:
A new student mobility report finds that the number of Indian students going overseas was sharply up in 2014. This reverses a four-year trend of declining student numbers from India and given the current scale and growth projections for Indian outbound, sets up in an interesting competitive dynamic among the world's leading English-speaking destinations.
The report notes that roughly 85% of Indian students chose to study in five English-speaking countries, namely US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Indian outbound to Australia:
Australia was especially hard hit as total Indian outbound numbers declined from 2009. After four consecutive years of falling Indian enrolment from 2010 to 2013. Australia saw a 28% increase in Indian student numbers in 2014.
Indian outbound to the US:
The growth of Indian students in the US graduate programs has typically been uneven over time, but it has been sustained in the last two years. It is projected that India will have the most tertiary students in the world by 2024 (48 million) and this can only be good news for the US. US graduate schools increased their admission to Indian students in 2014 by 25% following a 27% increase in 2012/13.
Indian outbound to Canada:
Canada seem to have gained at Australia's expense as 75% of the 48,000 Indian students lost by Australia from 2010 to 2013 went to Canada.
Indian outbound to the UK:
The UK continuous to see its share of the Indian outbound market decline. Indian students accounted for 4.5% of total international enrolment in the UK in 2014, down from a recent year high of 9.5% in 2010.
Indian outbound to New Zealand:
New Zealand saw its Indian enrolment increase by 49% in 2014 to reach a total of 17,850 students. Along with Australia, New Zealand has also been a beneficiary of the UK's falling market share. This dramatic growth by New Zealand fueled an overall increase of 12% in international enrolment and if this trend continues, it is projected that New Zealand will surpass the UK in terms of total Indian enrolment by 2016.
India sees dramatic increase in outbound students numbers:
According to the IIM Bangalore report, Indian students prefer to study in the US and UK, as a majority of them choose these two countries as their preferred study destination.
However, the study found that students complain of high financial demands as well as tightening visa regulations as a deterrent in studying in the UK. Countries like Germany and France are expected to make gains at the expense of the US and UK. While countries like Sweden, Denmark, Italy and Ireland are becoming increasingly attractive to Indian students.
The study showed that factors that determine students interests are, costs of education, opportunity to work while studying and prestige of educational institutions.
Most students going abroad are at the graduate level, with business or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as the most popular courses. Majority of them rely on scholarships and other financial assistance to fund their education, the study shows that more of them are now taking on huge personal financial burdens and debts in order to fund their education.
Increase in international students numbers:
The number of international students in the Netherlands grew by 61% between 2005 and 2012, numbering just under 70,000 in 2012. The majority of the students are from the EU, which also accounts for much of the growth in inbound mobility over those years. The main source countries of students to the Netherlands are Germany, China, Belgium, Bulgaria and Greece.
Poland launches strategy to attract international students:
Poland has set a goal to more than double its international student numbers to reach 100,000 by 2020. Though international students account for just 2.3% of total population in Poland, their numbers has increased markedly in recent years. Poland is aiming to host 100,000 students which is more than twice the present international student population.
The strategy is that the Ministry of Science will allocate EUR 57.5 million to funding international education programs, international summer schools, and language training. The country will also encourage universities to offer more degree programs in foreign languages and create more joint educational projects.
The strategy also encourages institutions to seek international accreditation and has earmarked EUR 112 million to attracting foreign researchers to Poland through the creation of both international doctoral programs and post-doctoral fellowships.
New report recommends that international students pay full fees:
A recent study by Campus France has pegged the value of France's subsidy to international students studying in French higher education institutions to US $3.5 billion for 2013/14. There are signs that France is moving towards a new fee policy that will see international students pay full fees for their studies.
Most recently, a report from France Strategie outlined the country's context in terms of the global marketplace for education and as a major destination for international students. It also makes a detailed case for a full-fee policy for non-European Union students that would in turn support greater investment in internationalization of French higher education.