Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Is education a scapegoat in the economic turmoil?

Britain secara amnya sedang mengalami tekanan ekonomi yang paling teruk pada dekad ini. Hutang yang mencecah trillion pound, pengangguran yang meruncing, lambakan pendatang dari negara-negara sekutu Eropah dan masih lagi dalam proses memastikan kestabilan kerajaan campuran konservatif dan Liberal Demokrat. Adakah keruncingan-keruncingan ini memungkinkan sistem pendidikannnya menjadi kambing hitam dengan kenaikan drastic yuran pengajian tahunan sehingga mencecah 13,000 pounds dan terkini pengetatan pemberian Visa pelajar kepada pelajar dari negara bukan sekutu Eropah.

Britain tengah kepeningan... polisi-polisi yang tidak sinkronise terutama yang berkaitan dengan aspek pendidikan. Memang benar mereka kalut. Puluhan ribu anak muda berdemontrasi mengecam polisi mengenai kenaikan yuran... keluhan akademia tentang visa pelajar luar negara yang diketatkan. Barulah mereka nak mengaku betapa mereka bergantung kepada yuran pelajar asing selama ini... jangan berbangga sangat ya. cuba baca di bawah ni.

Universities warn migration limit cuts won't just hurt their finances

Cuts to migration limits will mean less of the £2.2bn overseas student share, universities warn, and a drop in research staff

overseas students migration limits 
Universities have warned that cuts to migration limits will affect their budgets – and their academic reputations. Photograph: Alamy
Universities fear limits on migration will hit their finances and their academic output and reputation, despite Theresa May's plans to include talented scientists in the number of highly-skilled workers without job offers who can come to the UK.

This is is an expanding market – last year income from international students' fees was worth more than £2.2bn to British universities – a total of 9% of the sector's income. Institutions like the London School of Economics, University College London and the University of Manchester, who all take high numbers of international students, are likely to be worst affected by any changes.

Such students' contributions to the local economies where they are based are also worth billions, according to the vice-chancellors' body Universities UK. In research last year it found that they spent £2.3bn off-campus.

But it is not just about money. Overseas students' academic contribution is also key, vice-chancellors say, with over 40% of postgraduate students coming from overseas, and international students sustaining the teaching and research base in engineering, sciences and mathematics. Universities UK's analysis of staff data has shown that non-EU nationals made up 11% of all academic staff in 2008-9.

Almost half the postgraduate research students studying here are international, compared to one third in the US. University heads fear a cap will make it harder for the UK to attract the world's best researchers and compete against countries like China and US, where investment in higher education continues.

And although May played to public concern about "bogus colleges" by singling out students coming to do sub-degree level courses, legitimate colleges point out that half the overseas degree students recruited by universities start out on these programmes. They warn that cutting the numbers allowed to come in by this route will penalise quality providers and universities who need tuition fee income, while the unscrupulous will carry on looking for loopholes.

Demonstrasi pelajar-pelajar di kota London pada 24 November 2010, klik

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