Foreign students’ tuition fees are a double-edged sword

The existence and level of tuition fees are among the most hotly debated issues in current higher education policy discussions. At least 10 OECD countries have implemented reforms in this area since 2010. 

However, striking the right balance is not easy. On the one hand, higher tuition fees contribute to better funded tertiary education systems, especially in times of tight public budgets. On the other hand, higher fees can put a burden on families whose children enrol in tertiary education, especially those with limited financial means. 


In many countries, however, international students are regarded as a group for which higher tuition fees are less politically controversial. Indeed, in about half of the OECD countries, public education institutions charge different tuition fees for national and foreign students enrolled in the same programmes.

In Australia, Austria, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, foreign students pay on average twice or more the tuition fees paid by national students, while in Denmark and Sweden tuition fees are charged exclusively to foreign students who come from outside the European Economic Area.


Continue reading on University World News. 

International school students considering a wider range of study abroad destinations

Two reports about to be released by ISC Research highlight that an increasing number of families from non-English-speaking countries are selecting education for their children in the language of English from the very earliest age to increase their success through higher education. Coupled with this, many parents throughout Asia are choosing Western-style schools that study towards Western qualifications for their children to prepare them well for university in the West.

Wealth and aspiration fuelling demand

The ISC Research 2018 Global Report on the world’s international schools market, published this month, will show that the number of schools delivering learning in the language of English (English-medium) and following an international curriculum has grown by 29% from September 2013 to September 2017 (and a staggering 255% since the year 2000). Even more significant is the number of students attending these schools which has increased by 33% over the same period (406% in the last 17 years). There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, “Globalisation has provided the stimulus for much of the development in the international schools market,” notes the report. “Massive investment by Western businesses, especially in Asian economies, has resulted in substantial growth in the number of highly skilled and well-paid expatriates. As a consequence, there has been a large rise in demand for international schooling from expatriate communities.”

Secondly, the report adds, “The rapid growth of many economies, especially in Asia, has generated a vast increase in the amount of individual wealth among local families in those countries. For example, 2017 reports suggest that there are around 1.6 million USD millionaires and nearly 650 USD billionaires residing in China. Many families have high aspirations for their children and want them to receive the best education, which usually means enrolling them abroad for their schooling or at international schools in their home countries, followed by undergraduate studies at Western universities. The scale of the increase in individual wealth has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of local families who can afford international school tuition fees, leading to a comparable increase in demand for places at international schools.”

The growth of the international schools sector, 2000–2017, with projections through 2027. Source: ISC Research

The growth of the international schools sector, 2000–2017, with projections through 2027. Source: ISC Research.


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Singapore Asia’s #1 in Startup Mobility and Education in Asia: Youth Mobility Report

Singapore has been ranked Asia’s number one country for Start-up Mobility and in the Education sector according to a recent Youth Mobility Report (YMI) from the team behind the .asia top level domain.


Singapore scored well with its highly educated workforce and ranked well in nurturing start-up talents. Singaporeans also enjoy a high degree of travel freedom according to the annual Henley Passport Index in which the country’s passport ranks the world’s second most powerful. This is also reflected in YMI.Asia, which ranks Singapore as number one in Inbound-Outbound Student Force, ahead of Hong Kong. Its competency in Education Mobility and an outstanding score in English Proficiency also helped Singapore to the number one position.

Continue reading on DomainPulse.

A global recognition convention for academic mobility

The 39th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO last month gave the green light to continue the work on UNESCO’s academic mobility convention, the Global Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications, with the aim of formally adopting the new convention by UNESCO’s next general conference in November 2019.

Why should this be of interest to the academic community? Over the past generation, there has been an explosion in international student mobility worldwide. According to the OECD, the number of international students in higher education has risen from 0.8 million in the late 1970s to 4.6 million in 2015.

This increase has been accompanied by a growth in interregional student mobility, with 2.5 million international students studying in a country outside their region of origin, according to UNESCO in the preliminary report on a potential global convention.

Continue reading on University World News. 

New Zealand visa office closures shift emphasis to online processing

In a series of related announcements over the past year, the New Zealand government has set a clear course toward a much more centralised processing model for visas, including student visas. The new approach will rely heavily on online and telephone access to visa applications and related services, with much of the processing occurring “on shore” – that is, within New Zealand itself.


The government began closing public service offices for visa processing across New Zealand late last year. Four offices were shut down at that time, and the process of winding up public counters continues this year. Another office in Wellington was closed on 17 November, the Christchurch location will close on 21 December, and the one remaining office, the central branch in Auckland, is scheduled to shut its doors by June 2018.

On the closure of the Wellington office, as in all other such cases this year, those requiring visa services within New Zealand are being directed to alternate channels. “Apply online if possible using our Online Services, or send your completed application by post or courier to the address provided for your application type on our Office and Fees Finder,” says an accompanying statement from Immigration New Zealand. “If you are in the Wellington area and require any assistance with your current or upcoming immigration application, call the Immigration Contact Centre.”

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