Minister responsible for higher education has told public universities that they must take part in the country’s rankings.
Source: Times of India
A recent clarion call to the Union Government aimed to increase funding for science and education in the upcoming budget.
Innovation in schools, mapping of learning outcomes and school assessments are expected to find mentions in the 2018 budget.
The Indian government reportedly plans to turn 20 universities into world-class institutions. Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced in February that “enabling regulatory architecture will be provided to 10 public and 10 private institutions to emerge as world-class teaching and research institutions” and that a not-for-profit Higher Education Financing Agency would be created to “leverage funds from the market” to support improvements. While the announcements were “encouraging” to Boston College Center for International Higher Education Director Philip Altbach, he dubbed the plan a “tall order” and expressed wariness due to a historical lack of success in India’s previous efforts to achieve similar goals.
Reactions to Canada’s budget from the PSE sector were mainly positive, with some exceptions. Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) applauded federal investment in research infrastructure and in programs designed to foster close relationships between business and industry associations and PSE partners. Polytechnics Canada, meanwhile, welcomed the expanded adoption of the Blue Seal Certification program and Canada’s investment in a one-stop national labour market information portal. Universities Canada (formerly the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada) said that Canada’s $1.33 M investment in research infrastructure will yield significant benefits for Canadian researchers. Jonathan Champagne, Executive Director of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) said that his organization was “extremely pleased” with the budget’s commitments to student aid. However, the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) said that by making loans more accessible, the budget will lead to greater student debt.
Canada unveiled its new federal budget on Tuesday. The budget’s highlights include $1.33 B over 6 years, beginning in 2017–18, for the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI); $105 M over 5 years, beginning in 2015–16, for CANARIE; an additional $46 M per year, beginning in 2016–17, of targeted funding for Canada’s granting councils; $119.2 M over 2 years, beginning in 2015–16, for the National Research Council’s industry-partnered research and development activities; a one-time investment of $65 M for business and industry associations to work with PSE institutions to align curricula with employer needs; and $56.4 M over 4 years, beginning in 2016–17, to Mitacs for graduate-level industrial research and development internships. The budget will also reduce the expected parental contribution and remove the penalty for in-study student income for the Canada Student Loans assessment process. Furthermore, the budget provides for the expanded adoption of the Blue Seal Certification program and the creation of a one-stop national labour market information portal.
The Alberta government last week tabled its 2014 budget, which restores $50 million in funding to colleges and universities under the Access to the Future Fund. The fund was frozen last year, when the government announced a $147-million cut to the PSE operating budget. The budget also maintains the separate $50 million it put back into the system in November to ease budget restraints. The government says it will add another $32 million for enrolment in targeted programs, which are not yet specified. The Manitoba government also tabled its 2014 budget last week, and has committed base grant increases of 2.5% to universities and 2% to colleges. Manitoba’s budget will also establish a Research Manitoba initiative “to target funding to strategic priorities under the guidance of researchers and entrepreneurs.”
TCS Insights: The province of Alberta will increase funding to the operating budgets of post-secondary institutions in 2014 as well as specific programs. Manitoba will also increase financial contributions to colleges and universities while farthing their commitment to research programs. These acts should not only benefit institutions but their students as well.
Source: Government of Canada Release | February 11, 2014
Canada’s 2014 federal budget tabled on Tuesday includes a new Canada First Research Excellence Fund, which will provide $1.5 billion over 10 years for university research, starting with $50 million in 2015-16. Universities and PSE associations from across the country are welcoming the new funding. The budget also pledges an increase of $46 million annually to research granting agencies such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and $40 million to support up to 3,000 full-time internships for PSE graduates in high-demand fields. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is applauding the budget measure that will see the value of a student-owned vehicle removed from the student loan eligibility consideration, which will add an estimated $8 million in aid for students each year. The budget also includes a Canada Apprentice Loan that provides apprentices registered in Red Seal trades access to over $100 million in interest-free loans each year, and the Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project that will expand the use of innovative approaches for apprenticeship technical training. The government has also pledged $10 million over 2 years for colleges to do social-innovation research with community organizations.
TCS Insights: The Canadian government has ensured that post-secondary institutions will have the opportunity to make significant strides for years to come. Students entering Canadian educational facilities, from abroad or domestically, will be able to benefit from increased financial aid as well as funding for research grants and apprenticeships.
Source: Ottawa Citizen
Tenfold increase in recent budget wins plaudits from cash-poor universities
The Canadian government is hoping to corner the market on foreign students by making a significant investment into Canada’s education brand.
The recently tabled federal budget directs $10 million over the next two years to the effort – a large increase from the funding it set aside for marketing education from 2007 to 2012, when it budgeted $1 million each year.
Efforts will focus on strengthening the “Imagine Education au/in Canada” brand, a program that aims to promote the high quality of a Canadian education to international students.
Foreign Affairs spokesman John Babcock said the extra funding is a “very positive signal,” and that the federal government will continue cooperating with the provinces to strengthen the international education strategy.
Canada is already a top destination for foreign students. According to the budget, some 239,000 students in 2010 contributed $8 billion to the economy, making them a rich vein for colleges and universities to tap.
The University of British Columbia, for instance, has almost 4,000 students from 120 different countries. Foreign students’ tuition is, on average, five times higher than what Canadian students pay.
“It’s a lot more than about economics,” said UBC president Stephen Toope. “They really bring a richness to the educational experience that all Canadian students benefit from.”
Jennifer Humphries, vice-president of membership, public policy and communications for the Canadian Bureau for International Education, said the Canadian education strategy to attract these students has several facets.
“The brand is all the things Canada does,” said Humphries, adding that immigration regulations, tourism campaigns, the schools themselves and even the Vancouver Winter Olympics are all a part of the marketing effort.
“I still think, and the government seems to agree with us, there needs to be more investment and more work on establishing a brand, because we aren’t where we need to be,” she said.
The budget also included $13 million for Mitacs Globalink, a Vancouver-based program that matches international research students with schools.
“We’re unique in being able to make sure that students are being put into labs that will be really interesting to them,” said Arvind Gupta, CEO of Mitacs Globalink. “They know that when they come to us that we will have a good project for them.”
The Imagine Education campaign has only been around a short time, so it remains to be seen how it affects recruitment.
The Harper government boasts that foreign students brought $8-billion into the Canadian economy in 2010. When you consider what’s at stake, and the federal government’s goal to double the international student intake by 2022, it borders on the absurd to think that in promoting Canadian education abroad, the Canadian government is short of funds to serve a glass of water.
Such is the way Canada frequently presents itself as an international student recruiter.
This was on display recently when the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade held a major Canadian education promotion event in Lagos, Nigeria, in January.
In a venue where the air conditioning is hit and miss, it not only wouldn’t provide any food for the university and college representatives who paid thousands of dollars and came all the way from Canada – it said it couldn’t even provide water. It was deemed to be “not in the budget” by DFAIT officials in Nigeria to offer to the parched representatives.
“Put it in the feedback form,” was the best advice and the closest thing offered as relief by junior staffers in Lagos, according to one of my colleagues who attended.
Is a glass of water really a big deal?
It is a canary-in the-coal-mine example of how far Canada has to go to achieve the kind of brand consistency and recognition that befits the magnitude of the opportunity Canada has before it.
When the British Council blows through town promoting Education UK, you know it – advertisements, aggressive school outreach programs, and first-class event venues proclaiming ‘brand Britannia.’
The U.S. State Department regularly sponsors significant cultural and other outreach programs to raise the profile of American culture and education in countries around the globe – often bringing in top artistic and academic talent to work with local high school students.
Juxtapose the February 2013 DFAIT press release trumpeting the success of International Trade Minister Edward Fast’s trade mission to Africa. The minister crossed paths with the Canadian education events on at least one occasion in Nigeria, yet made absolutely no mention of the education outreach events at all. This is the norm for how poorly Canada coordinates its efforts. When we consider that Canada spends a tiny fraction of what its competitors do on promotions, making the most out of a little is critical.
Canada has an excellent global brand, but fails to take advantage of this by attracting enough quality students to its world-class public universities (most of Canada’s recent self-proclaimed foreign-student recruitment success is a result of mediocre students filling classrooms in colleges or in foundation pre-university programs).
Canada’s international student recruitment is akin to Apple computers circa 1990 – a superior product but inferior marketing and hence a miniscule market share (if only Canada had a Steve Jobs to market the Maple Leaf abroad!)
Some relief could be in sight: Last week’s federal budget did pledge additional funds to recruiting international students. Yet the 2011 budget made a similar pledge – of $10-million spread over two years – and there was little evidence of this spending visible abroad. And these funds are miniscule compared to those being spent by our competitors, especially Britain and the United States.
If the doubling of international student numbers is achieved in Canada by 2022, it means an estimated $18-billion contribution to the Canadian economy in that year alone. That’s a big-picture, big-ideas scenario, not one allowing room for the sort of execution that does not provide a glass of water to its participants.
Yet that moment was not an exception. One weekend this winter, when Canada was holding another such no-frills education fair in Nairobi, Kenya, the U.S. State Department flew in top Broadway performers hold a glamorous concert, featuring Academy and Grammy award winners spending the better part of a week working with local high-school musical talents and spreading word about their EducationUSA brand.
Americans have been hugely successful in international student recruitment for generations – and, no doubt, they had plenty of water available during their performance.
Mel Broitman is managing director of the Canadian University Application Centre and the editor of Overseas, Overwhelmed, where this article first appeared
www.indiaeducationdiary.in, Chennai, March 2011
As per the 11th educational budgetary plan, Government of India is working on improving the education sector by increasing the allocation by 19 percent of the gross budgetary support. A conference was held on “Education for Sustainable Development” organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Dr Purandeswari, Honorable Minister of State of the Human Resources Development, Government of India, addressed the audience at the conference. She stated that the education system should respond to the changing needs of the stakeholders and focus on quality of education and the faculty, in addition to infrastructure and curriculum. She urged the state governments to increase funding to the Universities and also enact the Right to Education Act to ensure a holistic development in the education sector.
The Minister mentioned that it is crucial for the private sector to join hands with the Government to provide on-the-job experience for students to develop their vocational skills and employability.
Mr Arun Maira, Member of Planning Commission, Government of India emphasized on three key elements to make education relevant to current scenario which include “innovation in delivery, new methods of learning and job-oriented education.” He stated that it is critical for the education system to align with the emerging economic trends and employment potential.
Mr S Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of CII Southern Region and Managing Director of Infosys Technologies Ltd, stated that “education should be an enabler of sustainable development and aim at developing people with right attitudes, skills and knowledge.” He also mentioned that technology delivery systems should be used in education systems, which would pave a way to open learning platforms reaching a large section of people.
Mr C R Swaminathan, Conference Chairman & Chief Executive of PSG Industrial Institute stated that realigning education to promote awareness, attitudes and skills, changes in the work systems and the use of technology will lead to sustainable development.
In her welcome address, Ms Nandini Rangaswamy, Chairperson of CII Tamil Nadu & Managing Director of Chandra Group emphasized the need to strengthen skills training capabilities to meet the ever growing demand for skilled labor. Furthermore, she added that this could only be achieved through partnerships involving academia, industry and government.
The vote of thanks was proposed by Mr N K Ranganath, Vice Chairman of CII Tamil Nadu & Managing Director of Grundfos Pumps India Pvt Ltd.