More Americans believe a four-year degree is not worth the financial cost, according to a CNBC All-American Economic Survey, which found the number had increased to 44% from about 40% five years ago. The survey also found that fewer felt a four-year college degree was the best type of training, down to about 50% from nearly 60%. The survey additionally found that more people believe two-year schools may be of greater value. The biggest increase was seen for trade schools, which 26% of Americans felt were a good value, compared to 18% in 2013. The survey is in line with other reports suggesting that Americans are increasingly questioning the value of a four-year college degree. Another report showed that Americans are about evenly split on the question, with 65% of working-class people believing a bachelor’s degree isn’t worth the money, up about 15% from five years ago. At the same time, more high school students, 80%, report that they are concerned about having job skills when they graduate, according to a recent report from the College Savings Foundation, which also found that an increasing number are considering technical schools and community colleges. – James Paterson, Education Dive. Read more

A British parliamentary committee is to investigate how the UK can “help map the way forward” for prospective international students. Led by Lord Karan Bilimoria and Paul Bloomfield MP, the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Students will ask for written and oral evidence from experts in education, business, trade, and local communities. One key aspect of the report will be Brexit and its impact on both international students who are currently living in the UK, and on the sector’s future recruitment, according to Labour MP and the APPG’s chair, Paul Bloomfield. “We must understand the impact that Brexit will have on international students and the consequent effects on communities in every region of the UK,” Bloomfield said. “This new inquiry will get to the heart of concerns from students, institutions and communities, in developing recommendations on how we can ensure a sustainable future in which we can build on our strong position in welcoming international students to the UK.” – Patrick Atak, The PIE News. Read more

More than a fifth of courses established by Sino-foreign partnerships since 1994 have been terminated, according to China’s education ministry when it issued a new list of terminations recently. The ministry says it terminated 234 partnerships between Chinese and foreign institutions, including five jointly managed institutions, without mentioning when the terminations occurred.  The largest number of shutdowns were joint courses with United Kingdom institutions – about 60 on the list, then Australia with 45. About two dozen United States joint courses have been shuttered. Mike Gow, visiting fellow at Nottingham University’s Asia Research Institute and an expert in China’s higher education, noted that almost 30% of 149 Australian joint programs and 25% of the 245 UK joint programs opened since 1994 have now been terminated. Some had only operated for four to five years. – Yojana Sharma, University World News. Read more

In a pre-budget submission, the Irish Universities Association has called for a significant increase in core funding from the State, as well as capital investment of more than €5bn over the next 12 years. In its six-page submission, the IUA details what it calls the “calamitous” fall in State funding for the sector. It said that in 2008 the State spent an average of €8,720 per student, but by last year that had fallen to €4,397. Pointing to the decline of Irish universities in international rankings, the IUA said the next budget must “urgently address” underlying quality issues arising from a decade of underfunding. The association said the budget must also build capacity to enable the sector to cater for the significant growth in student numbers. The universities have called for a €130m increase in day-to-day funding for next year and for €104 million in 2019 for capital upgrades. – Emma O’Kelly, RTE. Read more

Russian universities are expected to face a shortage of applicants during this year’s enrolment campaign due to a sharp decline in the youth population, according to a report of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science and statements of some senior officials of the Russian federal government. Experts say the trend could hit the quality of higher education and force many private providers into bankruptcy. It will also add to pressure to attract more international students. The official report of the Ministry of Education and Science says the number of university students has already fallen 40% between the academic years 2015-16 and 2018-19. “This is mainly due to a significant decline in the number of schoolchildren in Russia, which has been observed since the beginning of the 21st century,” the report said. “The demographic dip from the general education level is now moving to the level of professional and higher education.” – Eugene Vorotnikov, University World News. Read more



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