World News – November 2008

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College affordability to be studied across Pennsylvania

College affordability will be the focus of five public hearings across Pennsylvania. The Higher Education Council under Pennsylvania State Board of Education said it is seeking testimony from students, parents, college officials and others about the challenges of paying for rising college costs. The council also wanted to know how students might be able to obtain a degree without taking on massive debt. Officials say Pennsylvania college students graduate with an average of almost US$ 23,000 in student loan debt.

Higher ed task force  in Kentucky

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Saying that no one in Kentucky with the drive and ability to succeed should be denied access to college because of cost, Gov. Steve Beshear formed a 25-member task force to study affordability of higher education. The group will produce two reports with recommendations for Beshear.

The first report, due by January 15, 2009, will look at ways to reduce costs associated with college. The second report, due in September, will take a broader look at the long-term issue of how best to create stable state funding for public higher education.

Harvard tops Times Higher Ed list of 200 universities

America’s Harvard University topped the list of top 200 universities of the world by Times Higher Education-QS University Rankings, followed by Yale University from US. Universities of Cambridge and Oxford from the UK were ranked third and fourth. In addition, nine institutions from Asia, including three based in Hong Kong, were included in top 50. British universities slipped down the ranking with Cambridge and Oxford losing ground to Harvard and Yale. India’s two Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT Delhi and Mumbai) have been ranked 154 and 174, respecti-vely in the list. On the other hand, China has as many five universities in top 200.

SA allocates more funding for science, engineering

An increasing proportion of higher education funding in South Africa was being spent on science, engineering and technology, with the improvement of education remaining a medium-term spending priority, according to the National Treasury’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.

Graduates in the fields of science, engineering and technology had increased from less than 24,000 in 1999 to 35,000 in 2006. Meanwhile, government would increase its average yearly spend on education by 10,4% over the next three years. The Government had budgeted R123,4-billion for education during 2008-09. This would increase to R137,6-billion for 2009-10, to R152,3-billion for 2010-11 and R165,9-billion for 2011-12.

Harbinger Knowledge Products shortlisted for e-Learning Awards 2008

Harbinger Knowledge Products has been shortlisted for eLearning Awards 2008, in UK. The shortlisting is under ‘Best Learning Game, Simulation or Virtual Environment’ category.

The primary objective of the eLearning Awards is to recognise real excellence in the eLearning industry. Harbinger’s short-listing is for ‘Clinical Challenge’, an innovative online learning project with Philips Healthcare, pioneering gaming in healthcare education. The objective of Philips was to create a learning environment that would leverage cognitive benefits of game-based learning, in a manner that is cost-effective and rapid to build.

Campus technology key factor while selecting college by students: Study

Campus technology is a key factor students keep in mind while selecting a college or university as they consider it critical for their professional development. Yet higher education institutions on the whole aren’t keeping up with student needs in this area, according to a new report released by CDW Government (CDW-G). ‘While students are incorporating technology into nearly all aspects of their higher education experience through laptops, the Internet, social networking sites and online course management, the on-campus technology experience is not keeping pace,’ said Julie Smith, director of higher education for CDW-G. ‘We do see, however that colleges and universities recognise campus technology can offer a distinctive competitive advantage as they seek to recruit and enroll the best and the brightest students. As a result, institutions are upgrading their campus technology and its integration into the educational experience a priority, she added.

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