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Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Volume 10, Issue 24; June 22, 2011

The Playing Field

A new Aussie campus – for those who can afford it

Abroad Perspectives

B-School Boom in China: the beginning… or the end?

Over The Counter

Too many here, too few there: worrying changes over the world’s PhD populations.

Globe Tipping

See the sites… without breaking the bank! Part I

1) THE PLAYING FIELD – A new Aussie campus – for those who can afford it.

While international student numbers may be dropping in Australia, there is a new push by US-based Laureate International Universities, which aims to open up a new institution in Adelaide by 2012. If approved, it will be the first new university in Australia for more than a decade – and will cater to the wealthy, offering quality courses for those who can afford it.

The International University of Australia, as it will be known, aims for an equal mix of domestic and international students. Run by the global for-profit, Laureate (which boasts former US President Bill Clinton as its honorary chancellor), the founders believe that their school will generate a $1.8 billion boost to the state’s economic activity by 2020, and generate about 550 new jobs – supported of course by its students, who will be required to pay full fees of about $80,000 AUS for their degrees. The plan is to attract faculty through a willingness to shell out above-average teaching salaries, and PhD candidates wooed with salaried pre-doctoral academic positions as junior research fellows. Initial offerings will focus on Bachelor degrees in design, hospitality management, and global business. The hope is to then offer a Masters in adult education and vocational education, and by 2016 it aims to have expanded to six broad fields of study.

There are of course, skeptics. Many wonder about Laureate’s ability to meet its lofty goals, given the project’s relatively small scale, and its 2022 recruitment goal of 3,500 students.

Higher Education commentator and RMIT policy analyst Gavin Moodie, believes that Laureate – if given the go-ahead – will struggle to attract students, considering the many available spots already available at high-status public universities in the country.

“I expect this development will be as underwhelming as all the previous attempts to establish Adelaide as the Boston of Australia,” Dr. Moodie says.

The Baltimore-based Laureate currently has a network of 55 traditional campus and online universities, covering 28 different countries. This will be the second time it has sought to open up an institution in Australia. Last year, it looked into setting up an alliance with Southbank Institute of Technology in Brisbane.

Sources: “Global Laureate International Universities targets Adelaide”. The Australian, June 15, 2011.
& “New uni’s 550 jobs boost”. Adelaide Now, June 15, 2011.

2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVES – B-School Boom in China: the beginning… or the end?

International business, and now international business schools – it seems everyone wants to get a foothold in China, considering that it is one of the world’s most important markets for higher-education.

Eager to capitalize on the Chinese economy’s fast growing need for well-trained managers, big name B-schools from Europe and the U.S. are launching and expanding MBA programs with established universities, or going in on their own, offering short courses aimed at mid-career executives.

It’s not only the schools who are heading East. According to Matt Symonds, of B-school consultant company, Symonds GSB, many individual deans and professors are also jumping ship, trading in their Western schools for growing opportunities in China. George Yip, for example, left his top post at the Netherlands’ Rotterdam School of Management for a job at the China Europe International Business School, or CEIBS – the same school where John Quelch, a onetime head of London Business School, has already become dean.

Western students as well, are heading to China in greater numbers each year – either for full M.B.A. programs or shorter exchange courses, increasingly available through their Western-based university’s new satellite programs.

“The lure is to go and learn about what’s happening, and be in the middle of the action in one of the most dynamic economies in the world,” explains Krishna Palepu, senior associate dean for international development at Harvard Business School. Although the school has had a faculty research base in China for about 20 years, Palepu says its partnerships and presence in the country have grown tremendously over the last five years.

With all this growing competition between schools opening up in the Asian nation, the demands of Chinese scholars are also becoming more advanced. As Rama Velamuri, academic director of CEIBS’ international executive M.B.A. program explains, the Chinese are no longer willing to listen unquestioningly to anyone bringing Western ideas into a classroom.

“The market has become very discerning now,” he says. “It’s no longer good enough for you to come up with a theory that was done up in the West and present it to an audience in China. The Chinese will push back and say ‘Tell us how it will apply here.’”

Although most believe demand for B-School education in China – both by Chinese scholars, and Western scholars hoping for Chinese experience – will continue to grow, some believe there may be a glass roof ahead.

“There are lots of flimsy partnerships [in China]”, says B-School consultant Matt Symonds, pointing out that, in many ways, China is still not an easy place for foreigners to do business. While markets like Singapore become ever more crowded with international B-Schools, he predicts China may only get a few more.

“If it was as easy to do business in China as it is in Singapore, perhaps we’d see other main players setting up there,” he adds.

Source: “B-Schools Embrace China”. , June 15, 2011.

3) OVER THE COUNTER – Too many here, too few there: worrying changes over the world’s PhD populations.

Each year, universities around the world are raising standards when it comes to hiring the best trained, most highly educated professors to teach in their programs. In a growing number of cases, this has even led to universities considering PhD degree holders-only for joining their faculty – particularly when it comes to leading institutions across Europe, Canada, the U.S., Singapore, Japan and Australia, according to recent stats released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Being left out of the movement? Africa.

In many countries, there is a growing issue of too many PhDs and other doctorates being produced for the limited job market. According to OECD, for example, the number of doctorates handed out in the US alone rose by 22% between 1998 and 2006, with similar raises occurring in Mexico, Slovakia, Poland, China, Japan, and India.

“So far, there are no signs of slowing and the problem is that most PhD graduates may never get the chance of taking advantage of their qualifications,” read the OECD position report highlighting the situation.

But while the rest of the world worries what they will do with all the PhDs produced each year, Sub-Saharan Africa has the exact opposite problem – a mass deficit in doctorates, and consequently, in quality, doctorate-level applicants for university faculty positions.

In a few of the more developing African nations, such as Egypt, the number of PhD scholars is significant – with over 35,000 students enrolled in Egyptian doctoral programs last year. Yet critics consider these programs as low quality, and lacking in appropriate training – suffering, according to one scientist at Minia University, Professor Mounir Hana, from a shortage of highly qualified teaching staff, equipment, and poor compensation for researchers.

While elsewhere, not even the numbers are sufficient, let alone the quality. A cause of great concern across the continent’s institutions – especially when taking into account the greatly aging faculty population at many of them.

“Leaders of African universities acknowledge the devastating impact of a lack of qualified lecturers at doctoral level, and warn that if something is not done very soon, African academy will collapse or lose its ability to produce the countries’ personnel needs,” explains Dr Wisdom Tettey, from the University of Calgary.

Mentioning continuous high drop-out rates among many of the continent’s postgraduate programmes, Tettey says “the trend does not bode well for developing an adequate pool of high quality future academics in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Source: “Africa experiences PhD shortage”. The Standard, June 15, 2011.

4) GLOBE TIPPING – See the sites… without breaking the bank! Part I

While some cities, like New York or London, have enough free activities to easily fill a tourist’s week, others seem chalk full of money-demanding sites and services, no matter which way you look (ie: paid bathrooms, anyone?). But for those looking for some unique (and uniquely affordable) sites, read on for some of the world’s best free attractions:

The Kensington High Street Roof Gardens, London ( Although it’s popularity means it’s frequently closed for special events, this spectacular set of gardens covers 1.5 acres of London property.

Outdoor Art, Buenos Aires ( Buenos Aires has a number of distinctive neighbourhoods, known for outdoor artistic expression. Besides the well-known La Boca, Caminito and Calle Lanín areas, Buenos Aires’ official tourism site has several downloadable maps and itineraries to help you find more. (

St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican ( In addition to being one of the planet’s holiest Catholic sites, St Peter’s Basilica can also hold 60,000 people – making it the largest interior of any Christian church in the world. And for art buffs, it contains works by Michelangelo (specifically the dome), Raphael and Bramante, among many others.

Smithsonian, Washington DC ( The world’s largest museum and research complex is home to a series of free attractions, including the Air and Space Museum, the American History Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the National Zoological Park.

US Capitol, Washington DC ( Going on a parliamentary tour is usually free, and The American Capitol is no exception. Be on the lookout for statues of famous residents, plus some of the most stunning, baroque/neoclassical architecture around.

Cathedral of Our Lady of Paris (aka Notre Dame), Paris ( One of the world’s famous landmarks, Notre Dame took over 200 years to construct. Extremely detailed, free English language tours run on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2pm and Saturdays at 2:30pm. Extra Paris freebie: if you’re in the neighbourhood after 6pm on Fridays, or on the first Sunday of the month (or you can prove that you’re under 26 years old), cross the river and avail yourself of the free entry to the mammoth Louvre Museum.

Check back next week for even more free sightseeing options!

Source: “What are the world’s best free attractions? Lonely Planet, June 2, 2011.


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