EduChat – December 2019 Edition 2

Dear Reader,

We are at the start of a new decade and we wanted to present to you this year’s last edition of EduChat.

In this edition, we have introduced a section on ‘South Asia’ covering news on Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Moreover, there is a new release within our ‘Practitioner Series’ that talks about seeing ‘Climate Crisis’ as an opportunity to transform international education. 

‘Super Stats’ provides information on demand, supply and investment in the university student accommodation sector in the UK. The rise of DIY higher education has been mentioned under ‘Insights’.

Thank you for staying with us over this year and we are hoping to introduce new sections and features in the New Year.

Thank you in advance for your feedback which would help us to improve the quality and impact of the forthcoming issues.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Editorial Team.

Practitioner Series: Vol. 3

Rethinking the Climate Crisis as an opportunity to transform international education for the better

In the third volume of ‘Practitioner Series’, Ailsa Lamont, Director of Pomegranate Global and Co-Founder of Climate Action Network for International Educators (CANIE), talks about carbon emissions linked with international education and initiatives to reduce the associated environmental cost. A climate action manifesto for international education should include: 

  • An institutional and sectoral commitment to reducing carbon emissions with clear and ambitious targets
  • Climate action literacy as a required graduate attribute
  • Employability and experiential learning initiatives using climate action as a platform
  • Environmentally friendly procurement policies to drive change among suppliers

Digital Future

AI and Smart Campuses are among Higher Ed Tech to watch in 2020

In 2020, higher education is likely to continue its smart-campus push, with an eye toward enhanced data streams as a core tool for improved responsiveness and efficiencies. Colleges are also leveraging artificial intelligence to drive student outcomes and empower adaptive learning.

Super Stats

UK Student Accommodation Report 2019–20

The Student Accommodation Annual Report 2019 provides a unique insight into the trends in demand, supply and investment during the sector’s year to date.

  • 87% of all new beds delivered by private sector providers, the joint highest proportion on record
  • Demand for student accommodation continues to rise by around 30% faster than the number of beds developed
  • 114,000 Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) beds in the pipeline, two-thirds have full planning approval
  • Deals worth GBP 2.5 billion transacted by end of October 2019 with a further GBP 2 billion under offer


The rise of Do-It-Yourself education

The advent of the internet and its robust integration into scholarly and academic fields has enabled do-it-yourself approaches online. The Pearson and Harris Insights & Analytics survey reveals that DIY reskilling and upskilling is even more prevalent in developing countries. Over two-thirds of learners in these countries have been looking to re-skill in the past two years, compared to only 31% of Americans and 24% of British learners.


Latin America

Costa Rica: One of the most innovative countries in Latin America

Investment in education and research and development has made Costa Rica, the most innovative country in Latin America. The public sector, through universities, has led the investment in technological innovation attracting major technology companies—Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Google, Amazon—to the country.

Colombia launches inclusive employment programme to facilitate access to jobs

Employability in Colombia will improve with a new programme that seeks to bolster employment services, provide better job training and broaden the scope of competency-based certification, among other measures. The programme for USD 25 million—financed by Inter-American Development Bank, Government of Switzerland and IDB—seeks to increase access and quality of jobs.

South Asia

USA remains a preferred choice for Nepalese students

The number of Nepalese students studying in the US remained high as it’s still a preferred choice for students planning to study abroad. Though the total number of Nepalese students has decreased marginally compared to the previous year, the number of UG students and students pursuing OPT has increased.

Bhutan and Canada hold first biennial consultations on collaboration in higher education and employment opportunities

Bhutan and Canada held its first biennial consultations in the capital, Thimphu following the signing of the MoU, to establish a bilateral consultation mechanism. The two sides also held in-depth discussions on collaboration in the fields of health, sustainable mining and higher education and employment opportunities for Bhutanese in Canada.

National Colleges of Education in Sri Lanka to be upgraded to university status

The cabinet of ministers has approved a measure to upgrade National Colleges of Education in Sri Lanka to the status of the University Faculties with an aim to convert the entire teaching staff in the country as graduates.

UGC chairman, Association of Private Universities (APUB) leaders hold a meeting regarding higher education in private universities
A meeting has been held between the Association of Private Universities (APUB) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh regarding higher education in private universities. The meeting was held at the UGC office in Dhaka on December 12, a press release issued from APUB’s public relations department stated.

Germany offers great prospects to Pakistani students
A meeting has been held between the Association of Private Universities (APUB) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh regarding higher German Ambassador Bernhard Schlagheck has said that his country offered great prospects to the Pakistani students for getting higher education as its educational institutions were keen to enhance bilateral relations with their Pakistani counterparts.


TOEFL iBT aligns with China test framework

China’s Ministry of Education and US-based ETS have announced the alignment of the TOEFL iBT test to China’s Standards of English framework. This will promote the integration of the Chinese educational technical standard into the global standard, and spurs English education and the opening and development of foreign language education in China.

U.S., Chinese universities’ collaboration in medicine delivering results

Launched in 2010, the Joint Institute (JI) for clinical and translational research between the University of Michigan Medical School and Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) is designed to collaborate on big diseases that affect populations of both countries, do research, and come up with findings. After nearly 10-year development, the JI has grown to comprise 60 individual research projects and has garnered 67 publications.


IIT Kharagpur announces scholarships for Australian students

In order to boost its ongoing academic exchange programs with Australian institutions, IIT Kharagpur announced a competitive high-value scholarship for students from the University of Melbourne, Australia enrolled under the Dual Doctoral Programme jointly conducted by the two institutions.

University of Arizona and Amrita University partner for Education and Research

Amrita University and the University of Arizona signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) focused on a multi-disciplinary partnership in education and research. The LoI seeks to initiate multidisciplinary collaborations for the highest standard curriculums leading to integrated and dual-degree programmes at the under-graduate and post-graduate levels.

O.P. Jindal University signs agreements with seven top Australian Universities

O.P. Jindal University, one of India’s Institutions of Eminence, signed seven MOUs with leading universities in Australia. The partnerships will promote faculty and student exchanges, dual degree programmes, joint teaching, joint conferences and joint publications, besides pathways into the Ph. D programmes in Australian universities.


Education ministry first to submit ‘report card’ for 2019

The education ministry in Malaysia has presented its “report card” for 2019 detailing the achievements touching on all aspects of stakeholders in the education sector including higher education and graduate studies. The Ministry of Education closes the year with five major changes focusing on its 53 reform initiatives in the national education system moving towards an inclusive and high-quality education system.

YGL and Tianjin Hongtian enter into an agreement to collaborate on education and research

YGL Convergence Bhd. had entered into a cooperation agreement with Hongtian Intelligent Technology (Tianjin) Co. Ltd. to establish a research and education collaboration under the proposed cooperation vehicle, known as MCITEC Sdn Bhd. incorporated in Malaysia. The collaboration is to promote cross-nation sharing of research and development resources, co-development of intellectual property and promotion of national technology.


UAE students set to flock to the UK after visa reforms

A growing number of UAE-based students are applying to universities in the United Kingdom, with an overhaul of visa regulations set to spark a further increase. As per education consultants in the Emirates, the move by the UK government to allow international students to remain in the country for two years after graduation to search for employment is driving the trend.

UAE is fast becoming a leading player in the world of higher education

With state-of-the-art facilities, innovative learning techniques and future-ready courses on offer, the UAE is fast becoming a leading player in the world of higher education. With a comparable higher education system to the US and Australia, UAE universities are now enticing local students to stay and study within the country.

University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) launches a new Master’s degree — Global Executive Master in Luxury Management (GEMLux)

University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) has introduced ‘Global Executive Master in Luxury Management (GEMLux)’ in partnership with the prestigious Italian business school, Politecnico di Milano’s Graduate School of Business (MIP). The degree is designed to meet the growing demand for highly-skilled professionals in the luxury sector and focuses on implementing best-in-class managerial practices in the luxury goods and services segments.


Vietnamese universities soar up global sustainable development ranking

Two Vietnamese universities are ranked among world’s 300 most sustainable, marking substantial rise in UI GreenMetric World University Ranking from the last year. Ton Duc Thang University scored high in education and research while Tra Vinh University impressed with its transportation system and energy efficiency. 

Hokkaido University strengthens ties with Vietnam National University

In a recently organised event at Hanoi, a joint office was set up by the Hokkaido University and Vietnam National University—University of Science (VNU-HUS) in order to strengthen student and faculty exchanges as well as develop the Hokkaido University community in Vietnam. 

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