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Collection of Articles/Education 2012

(25/05) New rules on overseas students 'will cost universities billions'
Universities stand to lose billions of pounds unless the coalition urgently abandons new rules for overseas students, campuses across the UK have warned. Universities UK, which represents 134 higher education institutions, is writing to the prime minister urging him to rethink recent changes to the student visa system. The changes aimed at meeting the Conservatives' election pledge to cut migration by "tens of thousands" by 2015 place a limit on the number of years non-European Union students can spend studying and restrict the number of hours of paid work they can do during and after their degrees. In addition, they are no longer allowed to bring their spouses or children with them unless they are enrolled on a postgraduate course that lasts more than a year. These changes are likely to deter overseas students from coming to Britain, Professor Eric Thomas, the president of Universities UK, warned. The more than 405,000 international students currently at UK campuses enrich the cultural mix of the country and contribute billions to our economy each year, he said. Universities also depend financially on these students some charge non-EU students more than four times as much as home students. One has already reported it has seen applications from nonEU students drop by 40% this year. "There aren't that many income streams for universities to grow in the current economic climate and a 40% drop is going to cause a university to respond pretty rapidly," Thomas said. Non-EU students bring 5bn to the UK each year. At a conference in February on how immigration policies are affecting universities, Professor Julia King, the vice-chancellor of Aston University, said her institution had recorded a 39% fall in the number of applications from Indian students this year compared with last. She added that there had been a decline of 29% in applications from Nigerian students. She put both down to Britain's immigration policies. As a result, her institution had 3m less income, which was "quite significant for an institution with a 120m turnover". Birmingham's economy would suffer at least a 6m loss as a result, she told the conference. Universities believe David Willetts, the higher education minister, understands the problem, but ministers at the Home Office look at migration "from an entirely different lens", Thomas said. In China and India the UK's first and second biggest markets for overseas students Britain is seen as "putting up barriers to entry", he said. "The UK seems to be telling the world that it doesn't welcome international students.

Collection of Articles/Education 2012

"Meanwhile, a number of other countries, such as Australia and Germany, are looking at making themselves more welcoming. The soft power of overseas students for our country is considerable. These students go back to their countries and become serious players." On Monday, MPs were told that universities and colleges are spending millions of pounds to navigate the government's "Kafkaesque" student visa rules. An institution such as the London School of Economics spends 250,000 a year trying to understand regulations governing the entry of non-European Union students, the public accounts committee heard. This month the Guardian revealed how students enrolled on degrees at private colleges were being left penniless and stranded as institutions closed because visa restrictions made their businesses unviable. The Institute of Public Policy Research thinktank has argued that ministers have included overseas students in the government's net migration count because they are more interested in playing the numbers game than in long-term migration.

Collection of Articles/Education 2012

Book says many U.S. universities are waste of money
| Reuters | July 31, 2010 06:48 AM

Spending as much as $250,000 on a bachelors degree from world-renowned U.S. universities such as Harvard University and Yale is a waste of money, a new book asserts.

Political science major Paul Fabsik wears a price tag hanging from his mortarboard estimating the cost of his education, May 24 during commencement ceremonies at Boston College in Newton, Masachusetts. REUTERS/Brian Snyder "Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money And Failing Our Kids - And What We Can Do About It," urges parents and students to consider colleges that spend on teaching instead of sports and which encourage faculty to interact with students instead of doing research, taking sabbaticals and sitting on campus committees.

"Undergraduates are being neglected," author Andrew Hacker, who co-wrote the book with Claudia Dreifus, told Reuters in an interview.

"Higher education has become the preserve of professors ... (who) really have lost contact with the main purpose of higher education, which is the education of students."

Hacker and Dreifus are critical of many U.S. universities, noting the cost of a 4-year degree has doubled in real dollars compared to a generation ago. But education, they say, has not become twice as good as many colleges lost their focus.

Collection of Articles/Education 2012

Many Ivy League professors don\'t teach undergraduates at all and at many colleges teaching is largely farmed out to low-cost adjunct teachers, Hacker said.

And, he said, many undergraduate degrees are vocational -- from resort management to fashion merchandising -- and vast sums of money have been spent on deluxe dining and dorm facilities and state-of-the-art sports centers. As the number of administrative staff has risen, he said, $1 million annual salaries for college presidents have become common place.

"Bachelor\'s level vocational education is, I don\'t want to say a fraud, but close to it," Hacker said.

"Undergraduate business classes ... are just a charade; 19-year-olds play as if they are chief executives of General Electric. It is a waste of time and money."


Among the examples of unnecessarily vocational degrees listed in the book -- due to be published on August 3 -- are ornamental horticulture, poultry science and ceramic engineering.

"All undergraduate education should be a liberal arts education where you think about the enduring ideas and issues of the human condition," Hacker said. "After that, go on to law school or study dentistry -- you have plenty of time."

Hacker said the high price of tuition often has little to do with teaching.

Collection of Articles/Education 2012

"Prices got to where they are because both universities and administrators spent like drunken sailors," Hacker said, noting Ivy League graduates often have average careers.

As well as drawing on their experience -- both teach in New York, Hacker at Queens College and Dreifus at Columbia University -- the pair, who are also domestic partners, traveled across America to find the best and worst colleges.

They list 10 colleges they like, where teaching is the priority and where students get value for money. No Ivy League college makes their list.

They recommend Arizona State University for its vibrancy and Kentucky\'s Berea College for its free tuition and 10-1 student-faculty ratio. They praise Notre Dame for promoting concern for the common good and Massachusetts Institute of Technology for treating part-time teaching staff well.

The book recommends colleges focus on education and strip away sports programs, trim bloated administrative budgets and spin off research and medical facilities. The authors say tenure should be abolished, that there should be fewer sabbaticals and that more attention should be paid to getting students intellectually engaged.

Hacker said the tragedy of U.S. universities is how many graduates now have six-figure loans, doled out with little regard to the students\' ability to repay them.

"This is not only unique to the United States but it is new. Ten years ago students were not taking out loans this way," Hacker said, predicting a high rate of default among student loans in the coming years.

Collection of Articles/Education 2012

Hacker said that to keep costs down, many Americans should consider attending a college close to home to avoid paying as much as $30,000 annually for out-of-state living expenses

Collection of Articles/Education 2012

School is in for summer

Many parents have been signing up their children for summer schools, some of which have an even more rigorous schedule than the normal school year.

Nguyen Quang Vinh, a parent that sends his primary school-aged children to these summer classes, said that his children are learning two languages, maths and computer science, then are home-tutored at night. He said that during the school year his children are constantly busy with exercises, so he wanted them to get into more in depth study during summer to prepare them for entrance exams to good secondary and high schools. The only playtime for Vinh's children comes during breaks between subjects, or while waiting for their tutor. Le An, a parent in HCMC sends her child to advanced math class once a week as well as another advanced study programme and an English class. "My kid clearly has talent but kids are kids. All they want to do is play, so I use both the carrot and the stick to keep them on track," An said. Another reason some parents enroll their children in such classes is as a means of childcare. "I don't think it's a good thing to make my kid study more than what is required during the regular school year, but I need someone to keep an eye on him when I'm at work," one parent said. Le Ngoc Diep, the head of the Primary School Education Division, under HCMC Department of Education and Training, said that attending extra classes during the summer holiday dampens creativity in children. Parents should encourage their children to play sports, read books, become interested in constructive activities and simply enjoy their childhood, he said. "People will not be able to effectively function or form their own ideas if they do not have life experience. You can always study, but have only one childhood." Diep said.

Collection of Articles/Education 2012

MOET says finals took place in earnest, students discovered cheating VietNamNet Bridge After the high school final exams finished, a video clip showing students cribbing from each other appeared on a series of websites. Meanwhile, at a press conference held by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) to review the finals, the ministry affirmed that the finals were serious and fair. The clips shows students asking each other questions, giving each other papers with answers, discussing the way to solve questions right in the classrooms with the witness of proctors. Especially, the proctors closed their eyes on what was happening, and some of them even gave the keys to students for copying.

Director of the Bac Giang provincial Education and Training Department Nguyen Duc Hien admitted that the images in the clip were the ones at the Doi Ngo people founded school in the province. This happened at the chemistry exam on the afternoon of June 2.

Hien said that the education and training department has decided to suspend the president, deputy president of the exam council at the Doi Ngo High School and proctors. The teachers would not be allowed to mark exam papers. Meanwhile, the case has been reported to MOET.

The images about the activities of cheating at the exams do not surprise anyone who believes that the scenes can be seen at any schools and any exam rooms in Vietnam, the education where students try to cheat at exams, while proctors close their eyes to the cribbing, so as to help the

Collection of Articles/Education 2012

students get high school diploma which allows them to get a job later to earn their living.

The thing they are more interested in is who filmed the scenes. The police have found out that the person who filmed the scene was a student, who also attended the final exams. However, the instigator is Do Danh Ngoc, who was once the teacher of the Doi Ngo High School.

And now the fates of the student, who recorded the scene and the teacher instigator, have become the hottest topic in the discussions.

Hien of the Bac Giang provincial education department affirmed that the student examinee violated the exam regulations. Though he took the credit of providing proofs about the wrongdoings, he would be disciplined because he brought camera into the exam room.

Both Ngoc and the student now feel worried about what would happen to them. Ngoc told the press that at first, he intended not to post the clip on Internet before MOET declares the exam marks to be sure that the student passes the exam. However, the clip hit the public sooner than expected. Ngoc sent the clip to Dang Viet Khoa, a former teacher, who was famous for his action of denouncing the wrongdoings at a final exam some years ago. Khoa accidentally let the clip out to the press.

Ngoc said that in previous years, when he worked as the teacher of the Doi Ngo people founded school, students had to pay money to serve the examination activities, which he believed was paid for underground fee.

Collection of Articles/Education 2012

He also said that the exam questions were brought out of the exam rooms and then the answer were brought back to exam rooms to students to copy.

Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan has affirmed that the student violated the regulations when filming during the exam hours. However, he said the ministry would think carefully about how to treat the student. The most important thing educators need to do is to make him understand his violations to help him grow up into a good citizen of the society.

Collection of Articles/Education 2012

New rules to control private kindergartens
Management of private kindergartens will be tightened when new regulations come into effect on August 2. The new rules come after rapid growth in the sector, which has seen about 1,000 new private kindergartens established in the past three years. Private kindergartens will now face more stringent measures on requiring legal document confirming their financial situation before being founded. They will also have to pledge that they will use the money for the schools' regular activities only. The regulations mark the first time that special rules have been drafted specifically for private kindergartens. Previously, private kindergartens fell under general Kindergarten Regulations promulgated by the Ministry of Education and Training in 2010. Phan Thi Lan Anh, deputy director of the ministry's Department of Pre-school Education, said the new rules were drafted as detailed regulations were needed to prevent low-quality kindergartens from being set up. The new rules will better ensure the rights of children and parents. When collecting money for children's meals, the schools must collect enough for meals only, and not be allowed to make a profit from these fees. The rules also regulate that rooms for children must ensure at least 1.5 square metres for each child. Dorm rooms must ensure at least 1.2 square metres for each child, and the toilet must be at least 0.4 square metres for each. Banisters must be 1m in height.

Collection of Articles/Education 2012

Nguyen Thanh Hang, a teacher at Tuoi Hoa Private Kindergarten in Thanh Xuan District, said the regulations were necessary. "Children's safety will be ensured thanks to the strict regulations, and we will better gain the trust of parents," she said. However, a principal at a private kindergarten in Cau Giay District who wanted to remain anonymous, said the regulations were too tight and impossible to comply with. "Spaces for schools are narrow, how can we ensure 1.5 square metres for each student?" she said. The country now has more than 12,300 kindergartens, and about 50 percent of them are private ones, according to statistics from the Department of Pre-School Education. However, only 65 percent of private kindergartens have official permits to do business, and 35 percent of them are totally illegal. At present the number of State kindergartens only meets about 40 percent of demand for pre-school education, according to the department.