Saturday, May 17th, 2008
German universities struggle to keep foreign students
British universities Told to Streamline Marketing or Miss Out
A Tough Credibility Test for Foreign Universities in Kenya
New visa regulations in China
1) LET’S GO CANADA-German universities struggle to keep foreign students
A report from the Education Ministry has revealed that German universities are struggling to attract foreign students. While the report ranks the country third on the list of top destinations for international students, United States and Britain being first and second, maintaining the ranking is clearly becoming a problem. After growing rapidly since 1997, the number of foreign students — Chinese form the biggest group — has barely budged since 2003. Moreover, research funded by the German Academic Exchange Service shows that only half of those enrolled in the country’s institutions of higher learning successfully complete their degree programmes.
According to experts, foreign students find it difficult to integrate into German academic life. “German students aren’t hostile to foreigners – but they don’t feel the need to approach foreigners and offer help,” said researcher Ulrich Heublein. At universities, students are given a great deal of independence and relatively minimal supervision. This is often a challenge for foreign students who are used to structured curricula.
Nearly 190,000 foreign students studied in Germany in 2006, according to the ministry report. By comparison, the United States was the destination of choice for over 590,000 foreign students in 2005, while 318,000 went to Britain in the same year. The largest contingent in Germany by far come from China, which sent over 26,000 students in 2006.
Source: “http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gQ_xk936jOQTJ0UG5Zgw2IoGpBqQ“, AFP, April 30 2008
2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE-British universities Told to Streamline Marketing or Miss Out
At a conference held in London last week, British universities were advised to revamp their overseas recruitment strategies or lose out to competition. The conference, “Rethinking Higher Education: The Practice of Internationalisation”, was organized by the UK International Unit, Universities UK, research firm i-graduate and UK Trade and Investment.
Colin Gilligan, visiting professor of marketing at Northumbria University, said: “Universities still have a fundamental problem in international recruitment. They don’t understand the competition or the customer sufficiently well.” He said: “As universities we have a simple choice: we can either try to ride the wave of change or we can get sucked down.”
Will Archer, director of research firm i-graduate, said that while marketing used to be about “making the odd noise”, successful strategies now focused on understanding expectations and ensuring that personal referrals from current students and graduates were positive.
Source: “http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=401138&c=1“, Times Higher Education, March 20 2008
3) OVER THE COUNTER-A Tough Credibility Test for Foreign Universities in Kenya
An increase in the number of unaccredited institutions offering foreign degrees has eroded the confidence of local students in Kenya. As a result, legitimate institutions are finding it difficult to get enough students to enrol for their programmes. Through aggressive marketing, involving parents, guardians and prospective students, most of these institutions are desperately trying to save their dwindling image in the local scene hoping to earn a significant fraction of the multi-billion shilling industry that higher learning has become. However, most students and parents have become extremely wary about signing up for courses offered by foreign institutions. According to education analysts, the rapid globalisation of education is likely to attract a more diverse range of private providers – both local and foreign – and there could be a greater risk of confusion and corruption in store.
Source: “http://allafrica.com/stories/200804231095.html“, Business Daily, April 23 2008
4) GLOBE TIPPING-New visa regulations in China
For those traveling to China in the near future, be advised of the changes in the government’s visa regulations. In order to beef up security prior to the Olympics, China has introduced some changes in the visa processes for tourists and business travelers. For the first time, business travelers must obtain a letter from an approved Chinese government department that confirms they have bona fide commercial dealings inside China. Earlier, a supporting letter from the individual’s company was adequate.
Source: “http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/wary-chinese-crack-down-on-tourists/story-e6frfq80-1111116084785“, News.com, April 17 2008