News (60)


The California Institute for Technology (Caltech) has been named the world’s best institution for the fourth consecutive year in the Times Higher Education’s annual league table.

Harvard and Oxford follow in second and third place respectively. Stanford has retained its fourth place position while the University of Cambridge has climbed two places to fifth and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has dropped one place to sixth on the rankings. 

Princeton University is up one place and the University of California, Berkeley remains eighth on the list, while Imperial College London and Yale now share ninth place.

US continues to dominate, taking seven of the top ten positions and 45 of the top 100 but the number is slightly down on last year when the US saw 46 of its universities make it into the top 100. 

The chart below shows how the top 100 breaks down by country representation.

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Sunday, 05 October 2014 08:40
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New figures show that white university students receive significantly higher degree grades than those from minority ethnic backgrounds with the same A-level qualifications. This suggests that higher education institutions are somehow failing black students, which should be a national embarrassment.

Three years ago the National Union of Students (NUS) conducted a study on the experiences of black students. The findings showed that they face a range of barriers in all levels of education, which affect satisfaction and attainment. The figures made for uncomfortable reading. It emerged that one in six black students had experienced racism in their institution, a third felt their educational environment left them unable to bring their minority perspective to lectures and tutorials, and 7% openly labelled their learning environment as "racist".

Many linked their experiences of racism with a drop in their self-esteem, confidence, motivation and desire to continue their education, reporting that they felt marginalised and socially excluded. Worse still, we continue to hear stories of how black students are being pushed down before they've even really had a chance to get their feet off the ground.

Read more: White universities..

Thursday, 17 April 2014 11:15
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Australia is hoping for a surge in visa applications from overseas students after putting into place recommendations from a review commissioned after numbers fell.

International education is one of Australia’s largest export sectors, generating income of $15.3 billion in 2011/2012 and generating thousands of jobs for Australians but between n 2009 and 2011 student visa grant numbers declined due to global and local factors.

In December 2010, the Australian Government commissioned the first independent review of Australia’s student visa programme, headed by the Hon Michael Knight AO, which made a series of recommendations to improve the situation. Higher education establishments had warned that dwindling numbers would have a serious financial impact.

The recommendations arising from the review aimed to address the decline through the introduction of initiatives such as streamlined visa processing, which allows eligible student visa applicants from certain universities to be assessed as a lower immigration risk, irrespective of their country of origin.

Sunday, 26 January 2014 12:43
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South Korea has been lauded for having an education system that helped transform the country and rapidly grow its economy over the past 60 years. Today, its high-performing students are the envy of many nations worldwide. But with graduate unemployment on the rise, and increasing concerns about the human cost of performance pressure, some are starting to question whether South Korea’s intense education system needs a rethink. In today’s post we take a look at the context for education in Korea and what current trends could mean for university enrolment domestically and abroad.

High investment

Education is a serious matter for South Korea. The country invested heavily in education during the second half of the 20th century, and in 2010, spent 7.6% of its GDP on all levels of education – significantly more than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average of 6.3%. During that same year, South Korea spent 2.6% on tertiary education, a figure also above the OECD average of 1.6%.

In 2009, spending on private tuition in South Korea was the highest as a proportion of GDP among OECD countries, and according to the Ministry of Education, South Koreans spent 19 trillion won ($17.9 billion USD) on private tuition in 2012. Overall, education accounted for nearly 12% of consumer spending in 2012 – a large amount of which went toward extra English classes.

What’s driving these levels of investment? As reported in The Economist, it’s competition for college places:

Read more: South Korea

Saturday, 25 January 2014 13:11
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B.C. government delays in adapting to federal changes in visa rules are leaving private international schools and their students in limbo, according to industry representatives.

"The uncertainty has become an issue, because we're now marketing our program overseas for students who will come in the summer or September," said Jeff Romonko, managing partner of International House Vancouver, which has between 200 and 400 international students taking language programs depending on the time of year.

"Because of the uncertainty, it causes people to look at other countries. They're not sure if they'll get their visas."

According to NDP advanced education critic David Eby, the delay is threatening B.C.'s international education industry.

Read more: Foriegn Students in Limbo

Saturday, 18 January 2014 05:20
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EI's European region, the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), held a special meeting on 23 October in Brussels. Entitled "What is needed to improve the quality of education in Europe?", it brought together trade unionists from across Europe to reflect on challenges ahead and discuss measures to improve the quality of education within the region.

The meeting was chaired by ETUCE European Director Martin Rømer and moderated by ETUCE President and the General Secretary of UK’s National Union of Teachers, Christine Blower.

The EI/ETUCE initiative, Unite for Quality Education, was presented to participants by EI’s Deputy General Secretaries, David Edwards and Haldis Holst. They both emphasised the need for joining forces and mobilising during EI’s year of action to make free universal quality education a priority in political agendas worldwide.

Equitable and democratic education
Edwards highlighted the importance of the word ‘free’ versus ‘affordable’ and warned about global privatisation trends in education. “We want quality education that is equitable and democratic,” he stated.

Read more: Eurpopeans joined hands...


Thursday, 31 October 2013 06:55
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Veduca, a Brazilian education tech company, has launched the world’s first open online MBA in Engineering and Innovation, which will begin on 5 November. Content will be delivered in Portugese through video classes from Brazil’s leading engineering schools while also offering a certificate programme for those who wish to pay.


The certificate will be recognised by the Brazilian Ministry of Education.

“We have received very good feedback from different employer companies in Brazil, who would like to use this tool for in-company training for the employees,” Carlos Souza, CEO of Veduca, toldThe PIE News.

This privately-funded initiative is Souza’s latest addition to what he calls a “democratic model of education.” After launching in 2012, Veduca has marketed the open course movement across Brazil by adding Portuguese subtitles to content from foreign universities in order to make them more accessible.

A two-year MBA program in Brazil typically costs US$30,000. Students studying with Veduca can expect to pay around 25% of what a traditional MBA of a similar quality would chargePayment plans include 18 monthly instalments of R$369.00, bringing the total to R$6,642.00 (US$3000).

In addition to a government-recognised certificate, fees will also cover individual tutoring and subject support. UniSEB University Center, a distance learning service provider in Brazil, has partnered with Veduca to oversee the paid for certification process.

Read more: Brazil online MBA

Saturday, 12 October 2013 12:01
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Emphasis on rote learning, theory and compulsory study to age of 18 pays off, but critics say it stifles critical thought:

Japan's state education system is often criticised for quashing original thought among pupils in favour of rote learning, and for placing an emphasis on theory rather than practical skills, especially when it comes to English. But it is this traditional approach that has helped Japanese pupils easily outperform their counterparts in England and Northern Ireland.

Formal, intense instruction in maths and the Japanese language begins at the age of six and continues through to 15, the earliest age at which pupils can leave school. Those who elect to go on to senior high school – the rough equivalent of an English sixth form college and a traditional route to higher education – through to age 18 must study an eclectic range of subjects, including maths, Japanese literature and English.

Japanese senior high school teachers, and their pupils, are often incredulous when they learn that 16- to 18-year-olds in England can drop maths and literature and study just three A-level subjects of their choice. Japan's approach – rote learning accompanied by regular reviewing and testing – has proved hugely successful in establishing basic academic skills among pupils. The country's literacy rate is frequently put at 99%.

According to guidelines introduced by the education ministry, Japanese children should have learned how to read 1,006 kanji – Chinese characters used in the modern Japanese writing system – by the time they leave primary school, and a further 1,130 characters by the time they end their compulsory education at the age of 15.

Those who continue to senior high school are expected to be able to write all 2,000-plus characters – considered the minimum requirement to function in Japanese society....

Read more: Japanese students

Thursday, 10 October 2013 14:14
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A shirt, tie and blazer may not be the ingredients for my favourite outfit, but if I were given the choice, I wouldn't throw away the idea of school uniform. Wearing a uniform is a badge of pride, creates an identity for a school and is an important part of being a school student.

"Uniforms show that you are part of an organisation. Wearing it says we're all in this together," Jason Wing, head teacher at the Neale-Wade academy in Cambridgeshire, says.

"Also, if you wear your uniform with pride, it means you are half way there to being respectful, buying into what the organisation is all about.''

Claire Howlette, an English teacher, agrees: "Uniforms give students a sense of belonging to a particular school and create an identity for the school in the community."

My school is one of many that seem to be reverting to a more formal uniform – this September I will be wearing a shirt and blazer instead of my old jumper and polo shirt. A number of students have complained about the change, but general opinion is that the jumpers and polo shirts were "childish".

A school uniform teaches students to dress smartly and take pride in their appearance. Howlette says: "Uniforms help students to prepare for when they leave school and may have to dress smartly or wear a uniform."

Some people believe that a school uniform can improve learning by reducing distraction, sharpening focus on schoolwork and making the classroom a more serious environment, allowing students to perform better academically.

Perhaps most importantly, a uniform means students don't have to worry about peer pressure when it comes to their clothes. When everyone is dressed the same, worrying about what you look like isn't so important. There is no competition about being dressed in the latest trend, which would put a great deal of financial pressure on students and parents. Potential bullies have one less target for their insults; it's hard to make fun of what someone is wearing when you're dressed exactly the same.

In America, where a majority of schools do not have a uniform, roughly 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. This might not be directly linked to what they're wearing, but having a uniform can be a safety net for many students who might otherwise suffer from bullying. A strict uniform gives the impression that rules are strict too, perhaps helping maintain a sense of order at school.

Read more: School Uniform

Sunday, 06 October 2013 12:44
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Turkey has long been known as a strong market, with one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, links with both Europe and Asia, and a large, young population. As the country grows in strength, it will need more highly skilled graduates. This need, combined with the rising personal disposable income of an emerging middle class, could mean that overseas study will become more affordable for more students, according to a new report from the British Council’s Education Intelligence released at the recent EAIE conference in Istanbul, Turkey.


Furthermore, 25% of respondents said the main advantage to studying overseas was exposure to different ways of thinking and learning, while 32% cited access to better education opportunities.

“Students in Turkey see an overseas university education as a way to achieve greater individual success, and education as a whole as the way for the entire country to move forward,” states Elizabeth Shepherd, Research Director for Education Intelligence.

The number of students going abroad for degree and non-degree programmes increases every year, and sees no signs of slowing down. In 2010, 49,116 Turkish students studied overseas. Some sources in Turkey say that in 2012, this figure increased to 57,400 outbound students, butICEF Monitor could not confirm these figures with government statistics yet.

Agency environment in Turkey

Keen to learn more about Turkey from an outbound perspective, we sat down with Murat Karatas, who has more than ten years of experience in the international education industry. He currently acts as president of the Turkish Educational Agents Group (TEAG), which has 15 agency members. Mr Karatas also serves as a board member on the International Education Counsellors’ Association of Turkey (YEDAB), which represents 67 agencies from all over Turkey. Finally, Mr Karatas is also a director at Network Educational Services, a student recruitment agency that also runs student fairs twice a year.

Read more: Turkish students

Thursday, 03 October 2013 13:24
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