November/December 2011  Volume 24, Issue 9
  International Education Intelligence   
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Americas

Brazil

18 U.S. Colleges and Universities Selected for Brazil Partnership Program

The Institute of International Education announced recently the 18 U.S. colleges and universities selected for the 2012 Brazil initiative of IIE’s International Academic Partnership Program (IAPP). Over the next year, IIE will lead a series of training activities to help each institution implement and sustain partnerships with institutions in Brazil, culminating with a study tour to Brazil in spring 2012 to meet with potential partner campuses.

The participating U.S. campuses are: Baruch College, CUNY; Brandeis University; Brookdale Community College; Chatham University; California State University, Fullerton; Daemen College; East Tennessee State University; Illinois State University; Monroe Community College; Monterey Institute of International Studies; Queens College, CUNY; Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; Stevens Institute of Technology; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth; University of South Florida; University of Toledo; and Washington State University.

Each institution has made a commitment to form a campus-wide task force to work on prospective partnerships, conduct an institution-wide inventory of activities pertaining to Brazil, and develop a strategic plan focused on partnership with Brazil. IIE’s Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education manages the International Academic Partnership Program, which was established in 2009. The launch of the 2012 IAPP Brazil initiative represents the partnership program’s expansion into a new region. Since 2009, two cohorts of U.S. institutions each have focused on building partnerships with institutions in India, and one on linkages with China.

- IIE News Release
May 25, 2007

Canada

Immigration Rules Amended to Attract International PhDs

Canada is tweaking its immigration laws to make it easier for more students, especially doctoral students, to become permanent residents. Under changes announced in November, doctoral students who have completed two years of their program and are in good standing at a recognized institution can apply for permanent residency under the skilled-workers program. Graduates who are a year out of their program are also eligible.

Approximately 25 percent of doctoral students at Canadian universities are foreign students and they are, according to a government statement, examples of the young and well-educated people Canada wants.

In recent years, Canada has been making it easier for foreign students to apply for permanent residency. Five years ago, it began allowing foreign students to work off campus while attending classes, and in 2008, it started allowing graduates to stay and work in their field for three years. Then they could apply for permanent residency under what’s called the Canadian Experience Class, which speeds up citizenship. These measures have proven very successful in helping Canada enroll more foreign students at its universities and colleges.

- CBC
November 2, 2011

Chile

Student Protests Still Going After Six Months

More than six months after they launched nationwide protests to reform education in Chile, student activists have won widespread public support, inspired similar actions in other parts of South America and politically damaged billionaire-turned-President Sebastian Pinera, reports the Associated Press. However, they haven't scored any victories in brining about the major changes they claim are needed to save their schools, chief among them greater public funding to make education fairer and affordable.

College tuition in Chile still ranks among the highest in the world, comparable to education costs in the world's richest countries, according to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. Chileans pay 85 percent of the cost of a university education out of their own pockets, more than in any other developed nation, the OECD found.

Pinera's position is that not all higher education should be free, while he has also refused demands to rescind federal funding provided to 31 percent of the nation's private high schools. Protesters want that money to go to the public high schools, which they say are woefully underfunded. In recent weeks, government threats to revoke the grants and scholarships of university students who skip school have thinned the number at marches, and many have returned to class. Organizers now have trouble drawing the 200,000 participants they used to bring to protests when the movement started.

Still, the students say they are prepared to carry the fight into next year. In mid November, they rejected a proposal developed by opposition legislators to increase government funding for all education by 8.6 percent, calling it an agreement "that betrays the principles of this movement."

- Associated Press
November 17, 2011

Mexico

Mexico’s Largest University to Publish Course Materials Online for Free

The National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM, announced recently that it would be making most of its publications, databases, and course materials freely available on the Internet over the next few years.

Administrators at UNAM are labeling the program ‘Toda la UNAM en línea,’ and they believe it will as much as triple the institution's 3.5 million publicly available web pages to make it the largest collection of its kind in Latin America. They also said it was key to UNAM's social mission as a public institution funded largely from state coffers.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was the first major institution of education to make its course materials freely available, doing so over a decade ago, and now hosts material for 2,000 courses on its servers as part of its OpenCourseWare program. Many other institutions have since followed MIT’s lead. However, no university in Latin America has tried anything nearly as ambitious.

- The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 13, 2011

United States of America

Private Pathway Provider Reports Recruiting Success in Florida and Possible Deal in Colorado

The University of South Florida (USF) and INTO University Partnerships (INTO) announced in October that enrollment of international students in the INTO USF bridge program for the 2011-2012 academic year exceeded original targets by 16 percent. A total of 590 students from 33 countries enrolled for fall 2011 at the INTO USF center on the university's Tampa campus, a 27 percent increase over fall 2010 enrollment.

Meanwhile, INTO – a British company that works with US and UK universities to develop specialized pathway programs for international students – is reportedly in talks with Colorado State University (CSU) to open a center there. If the two parties agree on terms, then CSU would be INTO’s third university partner in the United States. It also runs a center at Oregon State University.

Students in the INTO USF program are enrolled in a variety of academic "Pathway" and English language programs designed and delivered by USF faculty to prepare them for successful transition to a degree program at the university. According to a recent INTO/USF press release, 81 percent of students in the INTO USF programs during the 2010-2011 academic year qualified for progression to USF degree programs.

- INTO/USF press release
October 11, 2011
Coloradoan
October 17, 2011

Enrollments at Community Colleges Slow After a Decade of Growth

After ten years of growth, new enrollments appear to be slowing at many of the nation's community colleges. The final figures are not out yet, but California, Connecticut, and Michigan are all predicting statewide decreases in full-time enrollment compared with last fall, and other states' numbers are uncharacteristically flat.

As is typical during an economic downturn, enrollment numbers have been booming at community colleges over the last few years with many campuses seeing their populations nearly double since the recession began. Some have reported increases of more than 20 percent each year; but last fall that growth started to show signs of slowing down. Nationwide enrollment was up just 3.2 percent in 2010, compared with an 11 percent increase the year before, according to a recent survey from the American Association of Community Colleges.

- The Chronicle of Higher Education
October 18, 2011

Booming Chinese Enrollments at Private Boarding Schools Cause for Concern

Paying fees that typically range between $40,000 and $50,000, the number of Chinese students enrolling at U.S. boarding schools has skyrocketed in recent years, and many of them are not getting the kind of top-notch education they were promised by third-party recruiters in China.

The number of Chinese students at U.S. private high schools soared more than 100-fold to 6,725 in 2010-11 from 65 in 2005- 06, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. China has displaced South Korea as the top source of international students at boarding schools, with the smallest schools having the biggest increases in Chinese enrollment, according to Peter Upham, executive director of the Association of Boarding Schools, in an interview with Bloomberg News.

According to the Bloomberg article, many of those recruited from China are ending up at schools with less rigorous academic standards than promised and large populations of Chinese students. Chinese students are complaining that in addition to being placed in classes with unmotivated American peers, the sheer volume of Chinese students on campus is hindering English-language advancement.

Many private boarding schools have turned to agents as they seek to bump enrollments and revenue at a time of declining enrollments among domestic students, brought on by the economic downturn. According to many students and school administrators interviewed by Bloomberg, agents don’t always paint an accurate picture of the schools they are recruiting for, many of which specialize in helping students with learning difficulties.

- Bloomberg
October 19, 2011

Medical School Applications Hit All Time High

The number of medical school applicants reached an all-time high this year as new and existing schools continued expansion plans aimed at lessening a projected shortage of physicians, the Association of American Medical Colleges reported in October.

First-time applicants increased by 2.6 percent over last year, to 32,654, while total enrollment increased by 3 percent, with 19,230 students entering the association's 135 accredited medical schools in the United States in 2011. The latest numbers show that medical schools are on track to reach the association's goal, set in 2006, of increasing enrollments 30 percent by 2017. So far, enrollment is up 16.6 percent over the baseline year of 2002.

- Association of American Medical Colleges
October 24, 2011

U.S. For-Profit Education Companies Look Abroad for Growth

For-profit schools in the United States are reacting to shrinking student enrollments in the United States by looking for growth opportunities in other countries. Domestically, enrollments have been hampered by stricter government regulations and the weak economy, with the speed of recovery remaining uncertain.

DeVry is one of the schools talking up the importance of international expansion.

“We see certain international markets, in particular Latin America and India, as important opportunities for growth,” a DeVry spokesperson told CNBC. According to the company, growth overseas helped it mitigate the declines in total enrollment last quarter. The number of students at its DeVry Brazil operations increased 18 percent year-over-year and new enrollment was up 29 percent year-over-year.

Apollo and Washington Post’s Kaplan, which have an established presence abroad, say they continue to aggressively pursue new growth opportunities. Kaplan made three international acquisitions in the second quarter, according to its recent earnings report.

Capella University this summer acquired an online education service provider in the United Kingdom. And ITT Educational Services also recently said that it is considering expanding internationally.

Overseas operations currently account for a relatively small percent of the overall revenue: 6.8 percent at Apollo Group, 12.3 percent at DeVry, and 26 percent at Kaplan.

But analysts say they expect international revenue to grow, while revenue from the U.S. business will likely shrink in the next two years. Rising middle class, growing college participation rates, and a young population, particularly in Asia and Latin America, help drive the demand for post-secondary education abroad, according to analysts interviewed by CNBC.

- CNBC
October 28, 2011

Bids Are In for NYC Research Campus

Seven universities have submitted their bids to the city of New York for a chance to build a world-class research campus within the city limits. The bids, which were due October 28, respond to mayor Michael Bloomberg’s call in July for an institution to build a science and technology research facility that would make New York City a fertile ground for high-tech start-ups and business ventures. The city will contribute $100 million in infrastructure to the selected university, plus land on Governor’s Island, Roosevelt Island, downtown Brooklyn, or the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The six schools that have publicly announced their bidding are Cornell University, Columbia University, New York University, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Amity University from India. A group of institutions that include the New York Genome Center, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Rockefeller University, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook put in a bid to develop a campus on a site in midtown Manhattan. The proposals will be reviewed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, after which Mayor Bloomberg will announce the winner early in 2012.

- Science
October 28, 2011

Indian Applications for Student Visas Up 18% in 2011

The U.S. Mission Embassy in New Delhi has reported that student visa applications increased by 18 percent between the U.S. Government's Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 and FY2010, for a total increase from 39,958 applications in 2010 to 46,982 in 2011. The fiscal year extends from October through September.

More than 100,000 Indian students are currently studying at universities across the United States, and while recent data from the Institute for International Education show that enrollments among Indian students decreased slightly between 2009/10 and 2010/11, the more recent embassy data suggest a turnaround might be underway.

- Indian Embassy
October 28, 2011

New Foreign Graduate Enrollments Up 8% in 2011

New enrollments of international graduate students grew by 8 percent in 2011, representing the biggest gain since 2006, according to data released in November by the Council of Graduate Schools.

Total enrollment of international graduate students grew by 2 percent in 2011, up from a 1 percent rise the year before. However, looking forward the most important statistic is new enrollments as that sets the tone for enrollments in the years ahead.

As has been the story in recent years, Chinese growth dominated the headlines with continued double-digit percentage gains in new students in recent years. This year’s 21 percent gain in new graduate enrollments from China follows gains in previous years of 20 percent, 16 percent and 14 percent. Among other regions and countries, the Middle East this year continued steady growth, with new graduate enrollments up 14 percent, twice last year’s rate of increase. New international enrollments from India are up only 2 percent this year, and the numbers are flat for students from South Korea.

Change in First-Year Enrollment of International Graduate Students, by Country and Region

Country or Region 2007 to 2008 2008 to 2009 2009 to 2010 2010 to 2011
All +3% +0% +3% +8%
China +14% +16% +20% +21%
India -2% -16% -3% +2%
South Korea -4% -13% -3% +0%
Middle East and Turkey +8% +22% +7% +14%

- Council of Graduate Schools
November 8, 2011

Student Work Program Frozen

Federal officials in November halted any further expansion of the J-1 visa program that allows foreign college students to take summer jobs in the United States. The freeze followed reports by the Associated Press about complaints that many of those who come to the United States through the program have been exploited by employers.

- Associated Press
November 7, 2011

U.S. Study Abroad Numbers Bounce Back

The 2009/10 academic year saw growth in study abroad numbers among U.S. students at the tertiary level after a drop in 2008/09, which was blamed on the weak economy, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE).

A total of 270,600 Americans studied overseas for academic credit, representing close to a 4 percent increase over the previous year and a return to a trend of growth. The number of American students going abroad has more than tripled over the past two decades. However, in 2009-10, more than half of all students traveled internationally on programs of eight weeks or less, according to the IIE Open Doors, and fewer than 4 percent went abroad for an entire academic year.

Fourteen of the top 25 destinations were outside Europe, and 19 were countries where English is not the primary language. The number of students going to India increased a massive 44 percent, while Brazil, Israel, and New Zealand also saw double-digit gains. Despite the big increase, fewer than 4,000 U.S. students went to India in 2009-10, and it lags far behind favored destinations like Britain, Italy, and even China. The number of students heading to a perennially popular destination, Australia, dropped by more than 10 percent in 2009-10, a fall-off many observers attribute to the strength of the Australian dollar and the expense of getting there.

- IIE Open Doors
November 15, 2011

Growth in International Enrollments Driven Again by China

The number of Chinese students attending U.S. colleges rose by more than 23 percent in the 2010 academic year, while overall enrollments from abroad grew at a more tempered 5 percent, compared to 3 percent last year, according to the Institute for International Education’s 2011 Open Doors report. The number of first-time students, perhaps a more important measure of international interest, grew nearly 6 percent compared with a 1 percent increase in 2009.

Of the record 723,277 international students enrolling in American colleges and universities in 2010, more than 1 in 5 were from China (157,558 total). The other country to show strong growth was Saudi Arabia (43.6 percent to a total of 22,704), which is now the sixth biggest source of international students. The huge growth from China builds on three previous years of double-digit growth, with undergraduate enrollments showing particular strength (43 percent growth in 2010 to 56,976). Other countries to show double-digit growth include Vietnam (13.5 percent to 14,888), Iran (19 percent to 5,626), and Venezuela (10.8 percent to 5,491).

Overall, undergraduate enrollments grew 7 percent. Meanwhile total graduate enrollments grew less than 1 percent, reflecting the continued global recession as well as declines by some graduate programs in their ability to offer stipends. Enrollments in associate-degree programs grew 4 percent, reversing a decline in 2009.

Enrollments from India, the second largest source of international students, dropped by 1 percent; however that data point is propped up by 26 percent growth in the number of Indians engaged in Optional Practical Training, a program through which graduates can stay in the U.S. and work temporarily. The number pursuing undergraduate degrees declined by 8 percent, and those pursuing graduate degrees declined by 7 percent. Japanese numbers continued to slide, falling 14 percent, and Turkey and Canada both fell 2 percent.

English-language enrollments grew by 14 percent after falling the year before. Strong growth in English-language enrollments is generally seen as bullish news for university enrollments, as many of those students go on to pursue degrees in the United States.

- IIE Open Doors
November 14, 2011

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