UK, Japan, China: Education News | Top Universities

UK, Japan, China: Education News

By Staff Writer

Updated March 5, 2016 Updated March 5, 2016

The guide to the latest higher education news from around the world, on 22 March 2013.

UK: Fewer state school students admitted to elite universities

Almost half of the UK’s elite universities recruited fewer students from state-school backgrounds last year, The Telegraph reports. Of the 24 Russell Group universities, 11 members saw a decrease in the proportion of places given to state-educated applicants – including the Universities of Cambridge, Durham, Warwick and Imperial College London. In addition, all but five Russell Group universities failed to meet official targets for state-sector recruitment. Overall, however, the proportion of state-school applicants gaining university places increased last year, reaching 88.9% of all places compared to 88.7% in 2011.

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Japan: More universities offering ‘international dorms’

A growing number of Japanese universities are introducing ‘international dorms’, with the aim of promoting integration and cultural exchange between domestic and foreign students, The Japan Times reports. Education commentator Hiroshi Kobayashi says this is beneficial for Japanese students, as the regular contact with students from other countries allows them to “acquire a cosmopolitan outlook” without having to study abroad themselves. International dormitories typically set a quota of half Japanese and half international students.

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China: MOOC platforms targeting mainland Chinese market

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are continuing to grow in popularity in mainland China, South China Morning Post reports. Major MOOC platform edX reports 6,000 mainland Chinese students enrolled so far, and says it’s looking for solutions to issues such as YouTube being blocked. Meanwhile rival platform Coursera, which recently signed up the Chinese University of Hong Kong, plans to offer more courses in languages such as Chinese. Consultancy launched the first MOOC platform based in China in October, and already has 350,000 enrolments for 200 courses.

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Canada: Research budget prioritises commercial opportunities

Canada’s budget for the coming fiscal year appears to prioritise applied research and commercial opportunities, Nature reports. For example, the additional CA$37 million (US$36m) which is allocated to the three main national granting agencies is marked for research based on industry partnerships. The National Research Council will also receive an extra CA$121 million (US$118m) over two years to “help the growth of innovative businesses”. While this focus was expected, the budget has attracted some criticism for not placing enough emphasis on basic research.

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Russia: Government focusing on developing student sports

Russia’s government is planning to strengthen and expand national infrastructure for student sports, with the aim of making the sector more ‘spectacular’ and more influential, Russia Behind the Headlines reports. Sergey Kryukov, executive director of the Association of Student Basketball (ASB), says: “Student sports teams will become the main platform for the development of mass sports. The teams will be used to popularize certain sports, raise extra-budgetary funds from sponsors and create fan clubs.”

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This article was originally published in March 2013 . It was last updated in March 2016

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