Archive for May, 2010

IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2010

May 22, 2010

Singapore, Hong Kong and the USA come out on top! – and Denmark loses ground…

For the first time in decades, Singapore (1) and Hong Kong (2) have topped the USA (3) in IMD’s World Competitiveness Yearbook rankings. They are so close, however, that it would be better to define them as the leading “trio”.

In the first 10 places: Australia (5), Taiwan (8) and Malaysia (10) also benefit from strong demand in Asia. Switzerland (4) maintains an excellent position characterized by strong economic fundamentals (very low deficit, debt, inflation and unemployment) and a well-defended position on export markets.

Sweden (6) and Norway (9) shine for the Nordic model, although Denmark (13) surprisingly loses ground, in particular due to the pessimistic mood expressed in the survey.

Not surprisingly Germany (16) leads the larger “traditional” economies such as the UK (22), France (24), Japan (27) and Italy (40). Despite a significant budget deficit and growing debt, Germany’s performance is driven by strong trade (second largest exporter of manufactured goods), excellent infrastructure, and a sound financial reputation.

It was also to be expected that China (18) would lead the other BRIC nations, followed by India (31), Brazil (38) and Russia (51). And of course the credit-worthiness storm that affects Southern Europe acts as a drag on the performance of Spain (36), Portugal (37) and Greece (46).

Check: for further actual information.

Check: on 25 May 2009 for 2009-results and for comments on launching of the Stress Test.

Povl Tiedemann

May 2010


Chinese students to dominate world market

May 1, 2010

By Geoff Maslen, University World News

Students from mainland China who go abroad to study far outnumber those from any other country and they will continue to increase their domination of the international student market for decades to come.

This mobile group of young hopefuls is scattered around the world and they contribute an estimated US$6 billion in fees to higher education institutions. Many universities have come to rely heavily on the student fees as a growing source of income.

More than 350,000 mainland Chinese students are believed to be studying for degrees at overseas universities this year and the number is predicted to rise to 645,000 within 20 years.

A report by researchers at IDP Education, Australia’s main student recruiting agency, says that although students from India come second in terms of global mobility, they lag well behind the huge crowd from China.

Fewer than 130,000 Indian students were studying abroad in 2005. By 2025, when India is expected to overtake China as the world’s most populous nation, only about 300,000 Indian students are likely to be going outside their homeland to enrol at a foreign university.

The report says lack of university places in their own countries is the main factor causing students to go abroad. But other elements include opportunities for skilled migration, perceptions of improved employment and career prospects for foreign graduates, and beliefs about better quality education and life experiences overseas.

“With a clear positive relationship between education attainment and future wage earnings, tertiary education is also perceived as desirable,” it states.

The IDP researchers used United Nations, Unesco and Australian statistics to calculate the likely increases in the number of students who leave their countries to study abroad.

While China and India far exceed any other nation in terms of student mobility, within 20 years South Korea will be in third place with 127,000 students expected to be studying outside that nation.

More than 106,000 students from Morocco are predicted to be also enrolled in overseas institutions, placing that country a surprising fourth, while Turkey, with 104,000 of its young people abroad, will occupy fifth place.

“The start of the 21st century marked a dramatic rise in the global number of mobile students,” the report says in a quote from Unesco’s Global Education Digest. “In 2004, at least 2.5 million tertiary students studied outside their home countries compared with 1.74 million just five years earlier, a 43% increase.”

The latest OECD education analysis, as reported in the second issue of University World News, notes that the market in international students continues to grow but at a significantly higher rate outside the European Union. The OECD says America continues to attract nearly twice as many international students as its nearest rival, Britain, which has a 12% share.

Yet it is China with its vast population and booming economy that will remain the most significant for countries tapping into the education export market. Despite the Middle Kingdom pouring billions into building schools and universities, the giant nation cannot keep up with the surging demand from its young for higher education.

The IDP report notes that China expanded its domestic tertiary education places from nearly six million in 1999 to more than 18 million in 2004 – a three-fold rise – and is adding 2.5 million places each year. That represents a staggering compound annual growth rate of 25% yet applications for university places from prospective students continue to outstrip supply.

In contrast, India boosted its tertiary education places from nine million to almost 12 million in the same time – a 33% increase. Although India adds 575,000 higher education places each year, the compound growth rate is still only less than 6%.

This could be good news for those countries relying on India to provide fee-paying students: while the population of 15 to 19-year-olds in China is expected to plummet from 117 million in 2005 to 85 million in 2020, the number in India will explode from 114 million to 127 million.

For further information: Read previous OECD education

Povl Tiedemann

May 2010

Chinese universities fail to tackle plagiarism

May 1, 2010

By Yojana Sharma, University World News

China’s universities are failing to crack down on plagiarism despite an unprecedented education ministry circular sent to them a year ago making them responsible for investigating and dealing with rampant cheating.

Of more than 900 cases of academic corruption highlighted in recent years, only 20 have resulted in punishment by universities.

Full report on the University World News site

Povl Tiedemann

May 2010

Plagiarism prevention without fear

May 1, 2010

Extracts from University World News

Could student plagiarism actually be reduced? And could it be reduced not through fear of being caught, but through…education? asks Scott Jaschik in Insider Higher Ed.

The evidence in a recent study suggests that the answer to both questions is ‘yes’ – which could be welcome news to academics who constantly complain about students who either don’t know what plagiarism is or don’t bother to follow the rules about the integrity of assignments they prepare.

While many instructors have reported anecdotal evidence of the success of various techniques they have used in a few courses, this study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research is based on a much larger cohort, including a control group.

The study found that a relatively short web tutorial about academic integrity and plagiarism can have a significant impact on whether students plagiarise, with the greatest gains (for integrity) coming among student groups that are statistically more likely to plagiarise – which are those with lesser academic credentials. Further, surveys of the participants suggest that it was the education involved – not fear of detection – that led to the differences.


Full report on the Inside Higher Ed site

Povl Tiedemann

May 2010