Sunday, August 16th, 2009
Loyalty Scheme: Queensland University pays students…to get more students!
Shaken, but not stirring: English Universities reject proposals to change admissions process
To PhD or not to PhD: India’s 14 open universities banned from conducting research programmes
Penny Pinching: Travelling Smart
1) LET’S GO CANADA – Loyalty Scheme: Queensland University pays students…to get more students!
Central Queensland University (CQU) has come under fire for offering foreign students incentives for recruiting fellow overseas students.
Under the scheme, which has been operating for over a decade, students can earn iPods, laptops, airfare and even accommodation packages. CQU Vice Chancellor Scott Bowman defended the practice. “We do not believe our program has a negative academic impact’”.
Dr Vincent-Lancrin, a senior analyst with the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation believes it is an improper practice from an academic perspective. He claims that paying students can add numbers but not necessarily provide prospective recruits with the right information and advice.
Under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act (ESOS), education providers must ensure marketing is done in a professional way that maintains the integrity of the industry and registered providers and is not misleading. However, the Department of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations has said it has insufficient information to determine whether or not the CQU reward program might fail to meet the requirements of the ESOS Act.
2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Shaken, but not stirring: English Universities reject proposals to change admissions process
Calls by the Sutton Trust, an education Charity, and Lord Mandelson, England’s first Secretary of State, to have students apply to universities after their A level final results are published – have been met with resistance by universities. Still, there is a growing list of higher education ministers and advisers who have called for the ending of university admissions based on school predictions.
The Russell Group, which represents leading universities, says the changes would pose serious logistical problems for not only the universities but also the students and their schools. However, the National Union of Students’ President, Wes Keeting, says that applying after results would allow the students’ actual achievements to be taken into account.
There has already been an adaptation of the application system this year – allowing students to “trade up” if they get better than expected results. But there are no firm plans for any full-scale switch.
3) OVER THE COUNTER – To PhD or not to PhD: India’s 14 open universities banned from conducting research programmes
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has stopped registration for PhD and MPhil programmes at India’s 14 open universities, citing declining quality of research in distance learning programs.
This surprise decision comes hot on the heels of plans by the Indian government to boost PhDs in the country. India currently awards 8,000 per year, in comparison to China’s 50,000, so India is looking to bridge the gap.
In order to achieve this, India’s Human Resource Ministry plans to set up 14 innovation universities from 2010 to concentrate on research and development.
Officials feel the move by UGC is discriminatory to open universities as state universities are plagued by the same restrictions in terms of availability of guides, laboratory work and library facilities.