Archive for May, 2013

IMD releases its 25th anniversary World Competitiveness Rankings

May 30, 2013

By Professor Stephane Garelli, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center

Competitiveness and austerity: the divorce?

The good performance of the US (1), Switzerland (2), Hong Kong (3), Sweden (4) and even Japan (24) – while the euro zone stagnates – calls austerity into question.

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (May 30, 2013): IMD, a top-ranked global business school based in Switzerland, today announced its 25th anniversary world competitiveness rankings. In addition to ranking 60 economies for 2013, the IMD World Competitiveness Center also looks at the winners and losers since its creation.

Professor Stephane Garelli, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, said: “While the euro zone remains stalled, the robust comeback of the US to the top of the competitiveness rankings, and better news from Japan, have revived the austerity debate. Structural reforms are unavoidable, but growth remains a prerequisite for competitiveness. In addition, the harshness of austerity measures too often antagonizes the population. In the end, countries need to preserve social cohesion to deliver prosperity.”

Highlights of the 2013 ranking

The US has regained the No. 1 spot in 2013, thanks to a rebounding financial sector, an abundance of technological innovation and successful companies.

China (21) and Japan (24) are also increasing their competitiveness. In the case of Japan, Abenomics seems to be having an initial impact on the dynamism of the economy.

In Europe, the most competitive nations include Switzerland (2), Sweden (4) and Germany (9), whose success relies upon export-oriented manufacturing, diversified economies, strong small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and fiscal discipline. Like last year, the rest of Europe is heavily constrained by austerity programs that are delaying recovery and calling into question the timeliness of the measures proposed.

The BRICS economies have enjoyed mixed fortunes. China (21) and Russia (42) rose in the rankings, while India (40), Brazil (51) and South Africa (53) all fell. Emerging economies in general remain highly dependent on the global economic recovery, which seems to be delayed.

In Latin America, Mexico (32) has seen a small revival in its competitiveness that now needs to be confirmed over time and by the continuous implementation of structural reforms.


Povl Tiedemann
May 2013


Global patterns of PhD growth and postgraduate mobility

May 22, 2013

Extracts from University World News release of specal report

They number in the hundreds of thousands and many are the Tuareg of higher education, forever on the move, following knowledge “like a sinking star beyond the utmost bound of human thoughts…”

They are PhD students and postdocs, often the spear carriers if not the heavy load haulers of research projects in universities around the globe. Too often their crucial contributions are overlooked in the journal papers their supervisors publish, yet they aim to be at the pinnacle, to become professors or leaders of business or industry or government, wherever they end up.

Universities in most countries are turning out PhD graduates by the score. Denmark has increased its enrolments in doctoral education by 70% since 2006 and Europe overall by 40% over the past decade.

China is said to be boosting its numbers by 40% a year. Yet ever-increasing numbers of students from developing countries are heading to campuses in the Western world for their doctoral studies – and staying on afterwards.


Povl Tiedemann
May 2013

Sharp rise in foreign PhD enrolments in Scandinavia

May 21, 2013

By Jan Petter Myklebust, University World News

Almost 17,000 foreign students are studying for PhDs in the five Nordic countries. These students comprise a significant proportion of the more than 70,000 foreigners enrolled in higher education, and their numbers have more than doubled since 2005.

Foreign students accounted for 37% of newly enrolled doctoral candidates in Sweden in 2011 and 24% in Denmark, both representing steep rises over the previous decade.

The proportion of foreigners awarded a doctorate in 2011 was 33% in Norway, 29% in Denmark, 22% in Sweden and 14% in Finland. Iceland awarded 51 doctoral degrees that year: 19 to foreigners, or 38% of the total.

Across Scandinavia, the overall number of doctoral degrees conferred increased by 32% between 2002 and 2011, whereas the number of foreigners awarded a PhD jumped by an astonishing 121% in the same period.

Altogether, 51,500 doctoral degrees were awarded in the Nordic countries over that time, and nearly 12,000 were presented to foreign students. More than half (54%) of the latter, however, did not remain in the country where they had earned their doctorates.

As is the situation in many other European countries, the story of foreigners enrolled in doctoral studies in Scandinavia parallels the expansion in the number of foreign students undertaking lesser degrees.


Povl Tiedemann
May 2013

U-Multirank works to improve quality of indicators

May 18, 2013

By Carmen Paun, University World News

The consortium running the European Commission-backed U-Multirank is working to ensure the quality and reliability of the indicators it will use to measure universities, University World News has been told in an exclusive interview.

Jordi Curell, director of higher education and international affairs in the commission’s directorate general for education and culture, said assessments were weakened by universities failing to monitor the professional success of their graduates.

“There is an issue because some of the indicators are difficult to obtain, for instance when it comes to the tracking of students, because they don’t exist everywhere,” he said of the new global ranking system that was officially launched in Dublin in January.

U-Multirank aims to step out from the crowd of international university rankings by focusing not only on institutions’ research quality, as other rankings largely do, but also measuring teaching and learning, knowledge transfer, and the international orientation and regional engagement of participating universities.

Some of these, such as the quality of teaching, are more difficult to measure, admitted Curell. “That’s done in particular through student surveys, but also in terms of completion rates, dropouts,” he explained to University World News.


Povl Tiedemann
May 2013

Beijing wants more in-depth HE links with Europe

May 13, 2013

By Yojana Sharma, University World News

In a flurry of recent international meetings of education policy-makers and university leaders, China is deepening its higher education links with Europe.

A more in-depth relationship would include a stronger focus on understanding the management and governance of public universities to enable increased international collaboration.

Academics and policy-makers who took part in the European Union (EU)-China people-to-people high-level dialogue in Brussels last month said China and European countries had moved on from mainly facilitating student exchanges, to discussing institutional-level cooperation and creating joint research platforms that would also include partners from outside China and Europe.


Povl Tiedemann
May 2013

IMD – Criterion of the month

May 7, 2013

By Stephane Garelli, Professor, Director, IMD’s World Competitiveness Center

If competitiveness is about doing the right thing, it is also about doing things right. Excellence in implementation is 90% of success and it applies to companies and governments alike. At national level, decisions abound but are not necessarily effectively implemented (hence the criterion of this month).

Competitiveness is built upon predictability.

Government decisions which are not or partially implemented; or even worse that are undone by the following governments; damage not only the competitiveness but also the image of a country. France and India have suffered in the past from this syndrome.


Povl Tiedemann
May 2013

Fees and international students in Nordic nations

May 6, 2013

By Jan Petter Myklebust, University World News

In 2010 there were 68,256 foreign students in the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Foreign student numbers were up by 117% from 2005 and they comprised 5.8% of the total Nordic student population of 1.18 million, according to a recent study.

Denmark had the highest proportion of foreign students – 8.6% of all students – and Sweden had the highest number – 27,859 – among the five nations, which have a combined general population of nearly 26 million.

The Copenhagen-based Nordic Council of Ministers commissioned Oxford Research to undertake a study on Tuition Fees for International Students – Nordic practice.

The study’s foreword said that Nordic higher education was now competing “in a truly global market, where competition is tough and institutions work hard to attract the best students”.

Higher education no longer free.

Until a few years ago, Nordic countries had a long tradition of free higher education financed by taxpayers. The situation has changed.


Povl Tiedemann
May 2013

Changing education paradigms

May 5, 2013

By Sir Ken Robinson on

In this talk from RSA Animate, Sir Ken Robinson lays out the link between 3 troubling trends: rising drop-out rates, schools’ dwindling stake in the arts, and ADHD.

An important, timely talk for parents and teachers.

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.


Povl Tiedemann
May 2013

Improved rankings boost university income (UK data)

May 2, 2013

By Arnaud Chevalier and Xiaoxuan Jia, department of economics at Royal Holloway, University of London – in University World News

League tables ranking higher education institutions are popular, and over the past decade they have gained prominence, as shown by an increase in the number of league tables providers, nationally and internationally.

League tables attempt to summarise the ‘quality’ of an institution or subject into a simple metric in order to help prospective students make informed choices about their educational investment.

But what is the real influence of these league tables on the decisions of applicants?

Using official data on applications to all undergraduate degrees from 2004-11 in the UK, as provided by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and the subject-specific Guardian league tables, we found that a one standard deviation change in subject-specific ranking scores was associated with a 4.8% increase in the number of applications received in that subject.


Povl Tiedemann
May 2013

Know your international student – Global or Glocal?

May 1, 2013

Rahul Choudaha, World Education Services , New York – in University World News

The number of globally mobile international students has been consistently increasing for decades. At the same time, the number of ‘glocal’ students engaged in transnational education – students staying in their home country (region) while gaining a foreign education – has also been increasing.

How are ‘global’ students different from ‘glocal’ students, and how is their mobility likely to take shape in future?

To answer the above question, I am adapting and extending the results of a previous research study published by World Education Services. The research identified four different groups or segments of US-bound international students based on their academic preparedness and financial resources: Strivers, Strugglers, Explorers and Highfliers.

In addition to the findings of the report about differences in the needs and behaviours of international students, I argue that each segment is driven by different primary motivations.


Povl Tiedemann
May 2013