From education to employment

Global Education Times news roundup for August 2019

From Global Education Times (GET News), we look at all the main education news stories from the past month, August 2019.

The month started with big sector news from New Zealand, where NZ Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced that multiple institutions will be facing a merger.  New Zealand’s 16 institutes of technology and polytechnics will operate as one single institution with a national campus network beginning 2020.

The Australian government unveiled a new fast-track tech immigration programme for highly-skilled foreign graduates and global tech talent.

Australia’s Home Affairs department has set aside 5000 immigration visa places within the existing permanent migration programme – capped at 160,000 places – for Australia’s new “Global Talent Independent Program” immigration visa scheme.

Over in Asia, the Singapore government announced plans to introduce changes to the Singapore work permit, the Singapore Employment Pass (EP), to allow more foreigners to work in Singapore.

The minimum qualifying salary for EP would to be set at S$3600, only S$100 higher than the median salary of Singaporean graduates, meaning that the number of foreign students and graduates who qualify could be much higher.

In Morocco, the House of Councillors approved a bill to teach in French, making French the language of instruction in Morocco for scientific and technological subjects in schools. At present, Moroccan education is delivered in Arabic across all subjects.

The switch to a bilingual education system, favouring French for the sciences, is aimed at better preparing Moroccans for the job market.

Staying in Africa, Ghanaian president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo revealed that he expected over one million new students to enrol in the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme promoting free education in Ghana beginning September 2019.

In Europe, a study named Germany as the most popular non-English speaking destination country in the world for foreign students, overtaking France. In 2016, almost 252,000 from abroad studied in Germany, This was an increase of 16,000 compared to the previous year, and 6,000 more than neighbouring France.

A historic change in the law in Estonia will see professional or vocational graduates awarded bachelors degrees, as opposed to receiving only a diploma of higher education. The Higher Education Act, which comes into force this September, will align Estonian tertiary education with Germany and Switzerland.

Finally, in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the government would work with the scientific community to develop a new fast-track UK visa for scientists, a route for ‘the brightest and best’, with a view to launching it later this year.

This came close on the heels of London being ranked as the best city for study abroad students in 2019 by the “2019 QS Best Student Cities Rankings”. This news comes a month after QS ranked the United Kingdom’s higher education system the second best globally, with the United States taking the top spot.

Cities which finish the top five slots include Tokyo, Melbourne, Munich and Berlin (in that order).

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