EduChat January 2020 Edition 2

Know what is happening in the world of education - EduChat January 2020

Dear Reader,

We are happy to present EduChat—the second edition of January 2020—to provide you with key updates in the higher education space.

In our Practitioner series, integration of digital technology courses into content creation has been identified as an important path for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to meet the challenge of global skills mismatch.  With 5G expected to (finally!) take off in 2020, the wireless technology has the potent potential to enable faster and efficient access and pathways for the integration. 

From digital to the living world, climate change is attracting the attention of governments and HEIs. The raging bushfires in Australia, attributed partly to climate change, have not only taken a toll on the indigenous flora and fauna but also its environment. It is likely to affect the competitive edge of Australia in appealing to international students looking for clean and green study destinations. The US Department of Energy is calling for proposals to increase bioenergy crop sustainability and resistance to environmental stress. The University of Oklahoma has partnered with a Peruvian University to conduct joint research to understand the impact of climate change.

To facilitate the journey towards a better and sustainable future, we are organising an SDG Conclave in April 2020 to initiate multi-stakeholder conversations around eight identified SDGs.

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

Happy Reading!!

Sannam S4 Annual SDG Conclave 2020

Sannam S4 Annual SDG Conclave 2020

India, home to one-sixth of all humanity, contributes to 20% of the global SDG gap in 10 of the 17 goals. As a nation, it has a global responsibility to adopt, implement and monitor the goals to ensure a sustainable future for our planet. At Sannam S4, we believe that the 17th SDG, namely ‘Partnerships for the Goals’ is the critical backbone for achieving the SDGs in India by 2030. Multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilise and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources are needed to leave no one behind. SannamS4 recognises that the discourse on SDGs cannot be complete without universities, non-profits and corporates playing a leading role since they serve as critical hubs of innovation, research, and capacity-building across borders. To kick-start the conversation, Sannam S4 is organising a two-day conclave convening the leading Indian and International organisations who are working together to make an impact on the SDGs.

Practitioner Series: Volume 4

Developing Global Talent through Higher Education (HE)

Developing Global Talent through Higher Education

In the latest volume of Practitioner Series, Professor Sonal Minocha and Dr Dean Hristov, highlight the global skills mismatch which remains prime on the agenda of governments, HE institutions and policy organisations across the world. The HE institutions can respond to this challenge by integrating workforce development requirements and new subject areas such as Automation, Artificial Intelligence etc. into content creation and dissemination models.

Digital Future

How 5G will advance Educational Technology on Campus

The buzz about 5G has been around for a couple of years, but many in IT say that 2020 is the year 5G will take off. 5G will help to pick up the pace of virtual reality adoption in higher education. Because so many VR experiences are bandwidth-intensive, having a network that can properly deliver immersive content will make it easier for faculty to take advantage of this powerful learning tool.

Funding Opportunity

Department of Energy to provide USD 75 million for Bioenergy Crops Research

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced a plan to provide up to USD 75 million over five years for research to develop sustainable bioenergy crops tolerant of environmental stress and resilient to changing environmental conditions. Applications will be open to universities, industry, and nonprofit research institutions as the lead institution, with possible collaborators at DOE national laboratories and other federal agencies.

Super Stats

Higher Education Student Statistics: UK, 2018–19   

Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) releases annual statistical data on students studying in the UK. In 2018–19, 169 Higher Education (HE) providers reported student data to HESA. This includes publicly funded higher education institutions in the UK, the privately funded University of Buckingham, and HE level provision at further education (FE) colleges in Wales. Some of the key findings are:

  • The number of first-year students from other European Union countries has increased from 2017–18 to 2018–19 after a reduction following the European Union referendum (Brexit) result in June 2016.
  • Non-EU first-year student numbers grew by 18,475 between 2017–18 and 2018–19. 
  • In 2018–19, 35% of all non-EU students were from China. The number of students from China was also 34% higher in 2018–19 than in 2014–15, increasing from 89,540 to 120,385 in the five-year span.
  • Students from India increased from 18,325 in 2014–15 to 26,685 in 2018–19.


Bushfires pose a costly risk to Australia’s booming international education market

Australia’s catastrophic bushfires and the smoke haze blanketing major cities have sparked concerns among international students, presenting a risk for an industry that has become the country’s third most valuable export. The healthy environment and lifestyle offered by Australia have become a competitive edge in attracting overseas students, and figures in the international education sector believe the unprecedented bushfire crisis could have a damaging and long-term effect.

Education Fairs –  India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan

Our Education Team compiles all the education fairs that are happening in South Asia.


Latin America

Peruvian University and University of Oklahoma partner on a USD 9 million research programme

Universidad Nacional de San Agustin, one of Peru’s largest and oldest public research universities, has entered into an agreement with the University of Oklahoma to develop a USD 9 million joint research programme. The programme will focus on the impact of climate change, particularly its effects on Peru’s Arequipa region. The research is aimed at identifying the socio-economic drivers leading to a high incidence of diseases such as cancer and diabetes among the population of Arequipa and at improving disease diagnostics and treatments that incorporate advanced technologies.

Quero Educação’s latest acquisition will boost match-ups for higher education

Quero Educação, the edtech from São José dos Campos announced that it has acquired the Brazilian arm of US marketing firm QuinStreet. As a diversification strategy, the Brazilian startup was interested in QuinStreet’s speed in finding students who don’t require a scholarship to then match them with higher education institutions that want to charge more.

South Asia

Foreign varsity campus to be allowed soon in Bangladesh

The University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh is going to allow foreign universities to set up their campus in the country. The UGC believes that foreign universities can impart quality education for local students, allowing them to better compete in the international arena. Many foreign universities, such as the UCSI University and Monash University in Malaysia, Lovely Professional University and Techno India University in India, and Mahidol University in Thailand have expressed their interest in opening branches in Bangladesh.

Tribhuvan University introduces a labour studies programme

Tribhuvan University has introduced Labour Studies at the master’s level under the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities. A team of 15 academicians from the University had also visited the Chinese University of Labour Relations to discuss the development of the curriculum and to incorporate issues pertinent to labour.

Iqra varsity to open a medical nursing school in Karachi’s Bahria Town

The Bahria Town Karachi and Iqra University have signed an agreement to open a university campus in 2020 in Bahria Town, Karachi. This is the first campus in Pakistan where all foreign faculty members will be hired from international universities.

Sri Lankan President says all graduates in the country will be employed to contribute to the economy

President Gotabhaya Rajapakse says that a programme will be launched to get the direct contribution of the graduates, who are expecting employment, to the economy according to their field of study. The move is aimed at building the economy of the country.



Beijing Film Academy joins forces with Taylor’s University to spur collaboration

The Beijing Film Academy Modern Creative Media College (BFAMCMC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Taylor’s University School of Media and Communication in Malaysia to facilitate mobility and research collaboration among students and faculty members in Taylor’s filmmaking and digital media production courses. Taylor’s University is the only university in Southeast Asia to have a partnership with the BFAMCMC.

China’s Fudan University to launch campus in Hungary

Fudan University has announced plans to open its first overseas campus in Budapest. The planned campus opening could promote further Chinese investments, and in particular, the settlement of the research and development centres of Chinese companies in Hungary.


America’s Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) collaborates with Lovely Professional University (LPU)

Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU), California, USA and Lovely Professional University (LPU) have collaborated in the areas of academic and research. Cooperative programmes between the two universities are to promote sustainable education and scholarly activities.

Gujarat is promoted as India’s education hub in Dubai roadshow

Representatives of 22 universities and four colleges from Gujarat will be part of the two-day event organised by the Indian Consulate in Dubai in January 2020. The roadshow will provide a glimpse of the thriving education sector in Gujarat and enable the interested candidates to get a first-hand understanding of the rich resources of the state in order to pursue higher education.

Rishihood University launches courses in entrepreneurship, healthcare and education 

Rishihood University has begun the admission process for the first batch of students looking to apply for under-graduate and post-graduate programmes in entrepreneurship, healthcare, education and creativity. The first phase of courses is slated to begin in the third week of July 2020.


University of Southampton to open new Iskandar Puteri campus next year

UK-based University of Southampton Malaysia (UoSM) will have a new campus in Malaysia, following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing with Eco Botanic Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Eco World Development Group Bhd. The new campus has a built-up area of 150,000 sq. ft. and is scheduled to begin operations in 2021. It will house offices, amenities, a library, lecture theatres and laboratories, and is set to support the introduction of new UoSM programmes in Business and Computer Sciences.


UAE drafting federal law on higher education

The Ministerial Development Council has reviewed a proposal for the preparation of federal law on higher education to enhance its quality and competitiveness. The law aims to encourage scientific research within higher education institutions and ensure their effective governance and management in accordance with the quality criteria of systems and programmes. In addition, the draft law stresses the importance of applying uniform criteria for academic degrees classification and requirements for obtaining them.

UAE-HBMSU, Alexandria University to enrich smart learning systems in the Arab world

The Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University, HBMSU, and Egypt’s Alexandria University have signed a memorandum of understanding, MoU, to enrich smart learning systems in the Arab world. Under the MoU, both parties agreed to collaborate to create common channels of communication for the transfer, dissemination, enrichment, and localisation of knowledge.


Decree 99 provides guidance on higher education in Vietnam

The government of Vietnam issued Decree 99/2019/ND-CP detailing and guiding the implementation of the amended 2018 Law on Higher Education. Decree 99 will take effect on 15 February 2020, and sets out, among other things, conditions for the establishment of campuses in Vietnam of foreign HEIs, regulations on governing boards, and the autonomy and accountability of HEIs.

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