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Massive Open Online Courses:

Massive open online courses are free online courses that offer you flexibility and the opportunity to obtain a certificate in a program online from some of the best global universities. Read our blog for more information.

Morocco:

Ph.D. Candidates Now Need To Be Proficient In English:

The country of Morocco, being a predominantly Arabic and French speaking country, has now introduced requirements that moving forward, all Ph.D. candidates must pass the TOELF and DALF language test. This shift in focus to English is to enable citizens of the country be more competitive in the global education and job markets. Over the years the country has gradually being making a lot of courses available in English and is now determined to introduce English in its drive to be globally competitive.


Ireland:

Universities Demand End To Artificial Grade Inflation:

Irish universities are demanding a return to the traditional spread of grades in the Leaving Certificate, after a third year of grade inflation.

The exam is predominately written and is taken at the end of secondary schooling and is used by universities to select for entry.

Inflated grades do not give students a true sense of their ability. In the year 2022, exams, students papers were marked in the traditional way, but their grades were bumped up by 5.6% on average. This did not reflect the true abilities of the students and the universities are demanding that this practice end. 

Germany:

Students Welcome Living-costs Relief Grant But Want More:

A one-off living-costs relief grant to all students (including international students), has been welcomed, but the students say this does not go far enough to address their financial predicament. They request for more.

Euros 200 for students is meant to help them cope with the cost of living in general over the coming winter. Gas prices have surged in Germany as a result of gas being cut off by Russia. 

Sri Lanka:

Study Abroad Demand Surge:

According to the countries department of immigration and emigration data, there has been a massive increase in the issuance of the country's passports. In this year 2022, Sri Lanka has issued 600,000 passports so far as against 382,000 for the whole of 2021. Currently the department is issuing 3,000 passports daily as against 1,000. This is as a result of students wanting to leave the country to further their education abroad because of the dire economic situation in the country. Most of the departing students say the economic situation in the country is likely to last for a long time.

Uganda:

Government To Introduce Patriotism Lessons In Universities:

The Government of Uganda has finalized plans to introduce "patriotism lectures" in all universities and higher educational institutions in the country. This was disclosed by the Minister for Presidency, Milly Babalanda during a meeting with Mwangaza African Revolutionary Study Group. This group has been charged with the responsibility of teaching ideological principles among university students.

Philippines:

Students Shun Loans That Require Settlement Before Graduation:

Students in the Philippines have refused to collect student loans that require that full payments must be made before graduation. The country changed to the loan arrangement under the new Unified Financial Assistance System For Tertiary Education (UniFast). This scheme now requires student loan beneficiaries to fully pay for their loan before they can graduate; this replaced the previous scheme 'Study Now, Pay Later" program.

Canada:

Universities Take Divergent Paths On Covid-19 Mandates:

Universities across Canada are taking divergent approaches to the COVID-19 mandates, as students and faculty return to classes. Universities are making individual decisions based on relaxed provincial public-health guidelines.

South Africa:

Over 50,000 Sign Petition For Increased Student Allowance:

Over 50,000 people, mainly university students have signed a petition imploring the government and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to increase their monthly allowance from the current ZAR1,500 to ZAR2,000; they argue that the current allowance can no longer take care of the students basic costs of living.

Kenya:

Court Order Limits Penalties On Outstanding Student Loans:

A High Court in Nairobi, Kenya has barred the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), from imposing interest, penalties or fines that exceed the principal amount of the loan owed to the agency.

A petition filed by three applicants arguing that HELB was charging exorbitant interest penalties which often grew beyond double the principal amounts owed, thereby making repayment extremely difficult was upheld. The petitioners had taken student loans from HELB over different dates to support their undergraduate studies but the hefty interest and penalties had the made the loan amount almost impossible to repay.

U.S.A:

Student Loan Cancellation:

President Biden has made good on his campaign promise by issuing an executive order cancelling student loans for borrowers who earn less than US$125,000 a year. Also to benefit are low income students who qualify for federal for Pell Grants, as they will receive US$20,000 in relief. About a third of US students receive Pell Grant.

More than 45 million Americans owe a combined US$1.7 trillion in federal student debt. Almost a third owe less than US$10,000. The main beneficiaries of the student loan cancellation will be Black and Hispanic students, who are generally at the bottom of the economic and social strata.

China:

China Sees An Upsurge In African Students Numbers:

There has been been an upsurge in African students numbers according to the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China. In 2018, the student numbers were 81,562, as against 1,000 in 1996 (770% increase). This is almost twice the number of African students in the U.S, in the same period. China is now the second largest African students-hosting country behind France.

The China state-sponsored scholarships approach might be the main reason for this upsurge, as against the U.S approach in which scholarships are awarded by educational institutions based on the availability of funding resources.

Another reason for this upsurge, is the fact that; because of the very strict visa policy in China, African students have to return home immediately after their studies. This has been encouraged by African countries, as it guarantees them that their students will return to add value to their countries on the completion of their studies.

UK:

University Regulator To Crack Down on Institutions Offering Poor Quality Courses:

The Office for Students (OfS) has published a consultation detailing its minimum acceptable outcomes for students, which sets thresholds for drop-out rates, course completion and graduate employment that universities and colleges will have to pass to avoid further investigation. The document from OfS noted that 60,000 students on full-time undergraduate courses are currently or recently enrolled at institutions in England that could fail to meet the minimum standards, as have more than 150,000 part-time undergraduate students. The proposed new regulations , provides that institutions will be sanctioned if fewer than 80% of students studying full-time for their first degree continue past their first year, or if fewer than 75%complete their degrees,  over the previous four years.


UK:

Universities Call For Return of Student Maintenance Grant:

Vice-chancellors have called for maintenance grants to be re-introduced for undergraduates in England, warning that otherwise there will be a significant impact on student health and well-being as well as their education. With the huge increase in the costs of living in the UK, student education has been significantly impacted.


Universities Twinning Initiative with Ukraine Institutions Underway:

Universities in the UK are to be matched with 28 institutions in Ukraine as part of the proposed twinning initiative. This scheme is being organized by the Cormack Consulting Group with the support of Universities UK. The aim is to support academics, students and university leaders who have been impacted by the conflict in the Ukraine.

France:

It is estimated that about 2 million students in France have turned to digital education as a result of school closures caused by the pandemic. There was a five-fold increase in digital learning within a period of 3 weeks. The digital platform, CGI OpenENT is designed to benefit the entire educational community and is used by 2 million pupils and students in France at more than 1,700 schools.

Germany:

DAAD Launched Online Platform To Help Ukraine Students And Researchers:

It is estimated that about 100,000 Ukrainian students and researchers will benefit from the online platform, as it will help them continue their studies or academic careers in Germany. 

India:

Major Step Taken To Attract International Students:

India has proposed 25% extra places for international students in its higher education institutions. This was outlined in the country's National Education Policy 2020 report by University Grants Commission (UGC), the regulatory body for higher education.

The policy also waives entrance exams for the international students and admission will be based on "equivalency" of the international students qualifications with that in India. The equivalency is to be determined by the UGC or another body recognized the the UGC. However, the number of available places will be determined by the universities and colleges themselves. The additional increase will not include international students on student exchange programs; between different educational institutions and those under MOU between the Government of India and another country.

Nigeria:

IELTS's Palaver:

There has been a lot of anger and agitation in Nigeria in recent months over the requirements of foreign countries that students from Nigeria take the IELTS English language test conducted by the British Council. This test is usually required when applying to relocate to Canada, applying to study in most Canadian, UK, Ireland and some USA universities and colleges.

The test itself can set an applicant back Naira 90,000; each time it is taken, and there are no guarantees. In order to pass with the requisite grades, applicants also need to take preparatory courses which is on average another Naira 45,000. All these additional costs is adding to the anger and frustration of parents and students from Nigeria.

However, it is unlikely foreign governments will accede to the requests of Nigerians with respect to waiving the need for them to take the IELTS test. Furthermore, the British Council is definitely not interested in backing down on this, as fees paid by Nigerians is a major cash cow for the Council.


Nigeria:

Public Universities Lecturers Union Agree To Call-Off 8 Month Strike:

The Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU), have agreed to call-off their strike action which they commenced on February 14, 2022, over welfare and unpaid allowance. After a series of unfruitful negotiations with the Federal Labour and Employment  Minister, the dispute was taken to the Industrial Court. The court made an interim order that the unions return back to classes while the matter was being litigated. However, this was not obeyed and they appealed to the Appellate Court. 

The Appellate Court ordered the unions to immediately obey the earlier ruling of the lower court and immediately return to their classes. The Appellate Court also granted the unions a conditional leave to appeal the ruling of the Industrial Court.

While the negotiates between the Federal Government and ASUU was deadlocked, the Government registered two new factional unions; Congress of Nigerian Universities Academics (CONUA), a rival union to ASUU and National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA).

UK: Surge in International Students Numbers:

The recently released report by the Home Office show a remarkable surge in International student numbers for the period June 2019 to June 2022, in spite of the lockdowns of the pandemic. The main increases come from students from India, Nigeria and Pakistan. The overall growth rate is +77%. There was a slight decline in the student numbers from China.

Nationality    Year ending 2019            Year ending 2022             Difference         Percentage Difference

India                37,396                               117,965                              +80.569              +215%

China             119,825                               115,056                              - 4.769                -4%

Nigeria             8,384                                   65,929                              +57,545              +686%

Pakistan           4,927                                   23,490                              +18,563              +377%

United States 14,837                                   16,137                              +1,300                +9%

Indonesia

Country ponders the establishment of foreign universities:

The government has announced that it anticipates the first agreements between foreign education providers and local private-sector partners to be established later in 2018. It is expected that between five and ten foreign university campuses will be established in Indonesia.

Nigeria:

Smart Schools Standards Globally Acceptable:

According to the Executive Secretary of the country's Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Hamid Bobboyi, the standards of the recently established "smart schools" were comparable to those of developed countries. He made this remark during a study tour in South Korea. During the tour, the delegation from Nigeria visited some smart schools in South Korea to find out how these schools are run. The Executive Secretary stated that the schools being established in Nigeria were of "exceptionally high standards" in terms of 


Australia

Country post 22% growth in international student number for 2017:

The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that the contribution of international education activity to the Australian economy rose by 22% from 2016 to 2017, the most significant annual growth since 2008. International students personal expenses (tuition and living costs) made up the bulk of that expenses, accounting for AUS$1.6 billion of the overall contribution. Australia is currently the third most popular study abroad destination in the world after the US and UK. It jumped to second place in terms of destination most favoured by Indian and Chinese students.

In 2017, the total number of international students in Australia is 624,000, with China (30%), India (11%), Nepal (5%) and Malaysia and Brazil (4%) being the major sending countries.

Kenya

Country's academic research nears a crisis:

Kenya's university education is in dire straits. According to the Commission for University Education (CUE), one of the drawbacks is scarce research funding. In the absence of research funding lecturers have opted for survival tactics, including part-time and all manner of moonlighting. Compared to peers, Kenya fares dismally in post-graduate education. According to a 2016 CUE report, completion rates at the postgraduate level are low, and the quality of research supervision wanting. The country has a severe shortage of PhD-level researchers, standing at 40% of the teaching staff in universities.

Ghana

Over 5,000 Students From Nigeria Studying In Ghana in 2022:

The High Commission of Ghana in Nigeria has revealed that there are presently over 5, 000 Nigerian students in their country and that they are seeking for more students from Nigeria to study in Ghana. They explained that the students from Nigeria and safe and welcome in Ghana and can decide to stay behind in Ghana at the expiration of their study.


India

India set on becoming a major regional study destination:

India has set a goal to quadruple its foreign student numbers, and to host 200,000 international students by 2023. In support of that goal, the Indian government has launched a new Study in India campaign complete with a web portal, an international marketing campaign, and full or partial fee waivers for up to 15,000 international students.

Presently, there are about 47,500 international students in India. Key sending countries are Nepal (24%), Afghanistan (9%), Bhutan, Sudan and Nigeria (4%). Key target countries are Nepal, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Malaysia, Egypt, Bangladesh and Nigeria. 

Nigeria

Hundreds of new universities planned in Nigeria as demand soars:

Almost 300 new universities could be created in the country in the next few years as a rapidly growing youth population has made demand outpace university space. According to the executive sectary of the National Universities Commission there are presently 292 applications from institutions that hope to become private universities. If all applications are approved, this will almost treble the number of higher education institutions in the country which presently stands at 163, for a population close to 200 million. Nigeria hopes to recruit and retain an extra 10,000 university lectures by 2023, above the the current total of 62,000, which is 30% short of what is required.

New Zealand

International student enrolment dipped in 2017:

International student numbers fell off 7% in 2017, mainly as a result of a 29% decrease in Indian students enrolment and also by a 30% drop in registrations for unfunded private training centres. China and India together account for 50% of all international students in New Zealand.

However, the country saw increasing numbers from a wider field of sending markets including the US, Colombia, Chile, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Most of these countries grew from a small base from 2016.

South Africa

Country seeks mutual qualification agreement with France:

The South African department of Higher Education and Training is seeking to boost outbound and inbound student mobility with a mutual recognition of qualifications agreement with France. The country currently has such agreements with Germany, Russia, Brazil and the SADC region.

United Arab Emirates

UAE announces five-year student visas and residency opportunities:

International students studying in the UAE will now be eligible for a five-year student visa, replacing the one-year visa term in place. In addition, plans are being finalised to allow students performing exceptionally well to apply for a 10-year residency and students who live as dependants of their parents in the UAE to apply for a visa extension after graduation. 

USA

Country introduces restrictions for some Chinese visas:

The Us government is moving to limit the period of validity for visas issued to some Chinese students and researchers. The new practice is due to take effect on June 11, 2018, and will mark a departure from the current approach of issuing visas for the maximum allowable term of up to five years. This is designed to limit the amount of time that some Chinese visa-holders will be able to stay in the US.

Ireland

Ireland to create new technology universities:

he Irish government has passed legislation that will lead to the creation of a new category of higher education institution within Ireland's post-secondary system. The Technological Universities Act was passed into law on March 21, 2018, and provides for merging of two or more exiting institutes of technology. There are currently 14 institutes of technology (IOTs) in Ireland, nearly all of which were initially founded as regional technical colleges beginning in the 1960s. The strategy to create new technological universities out of the IOT system is enshrined in Ireland's National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030. The government envisions that these new institutions will be based in different regions of the country and will focus on science and technology programs that are vocationally and professionally oriented.

USA

Graduate schools report decline in enrolment:

Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) figures show a decline in international graduate enrolments in US graduate programs between fall 2016 and fall 2017. Application volumes fell by 3% year over year while commencements were off more marginally with a 1% fall. This is the first time in over a decade that both of these key indicators have declined for the US graduate schools. Foreign applications for US graduate schools have been slowing for the past two years.

United Kingdom

Notable improvement in international students application in 2018:

There has been a substantial increase in non-EU students' applications to UK undergraduate studies with 11% growth in 2017. This is the first time in five years that this has grown; EU application volumes have also increased by a little more than 3%. The total number of foreign applications to UK universities surpassed 1000,000 for the first time this year.

Japan

Country set to hit target of 300,000 international students:

For the fifth consecutive year, international student numbers have grown in Japan. The latest statistics from the Japan Student Services Organisation (JASSO) indicate that as of May 2017, 267,040 foreign students were studying in Japan, an increase of 11.6% over 2016.

Virtually all foreign students in Japan come from other Asian countries, with China and Vietnam accounting for much the growth. The number of Chinese students in 2017 was 107,260 (up 8.9% over 2016); Vietnamese students (61,670 up 14%); Nepalese (21,500 up 10.4%) and Taiwanese students (8,950 up 7.7%). However, the most notable growth is from Sri-Lanka, 6,610 representing 66.7% increase from 2016.

Germany

Country ranked as most attractive study destination in Europe:

Germany has been ranked as the most attractive study destination in Europe by Study.Edu. This is the second consecutive year the country has been so ranked. The ranking measures a range of education, cost, career, and quality of life factors among 30 European destinations. It should also be noted that Germany has made considerable improvement in the number of courses offered in English and boast the lowest unemployment rate for university graduates in Europe.

South Korea

Country records growth in international students enrolment:

After experiencing a period of decline from 2012 to 2014, South Korea has bounced back and has now recorded three consecutive years of steady growth in international student enrolment numbers. 2017 was a particularly good year with record enrolment increase of 19% over 2016. This puts the country well on track to reach its longer-term target of 200,000 foreign students by 2023.

China remains the most important market for South Korea, with 68,180 students enrolled in South Korea in 201; the country accounts for 55% of international students in South Korea.

Canada

Universities Respond to Gender Imbalance:

Canadian universities have acted on redressing gender imbalance in the headship of science related faculties; this is coming six months after the Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan threatened that failure to rectify this will lead to cuts in their research funding. She had earlier described the gender ratio as "dismal", but now says the universities have heard her message and have responded positively.

More than half the scientist submitted by universities for Canada's 150 chair jobs are now women as well as 41% of the people nominated for the latest round of Canada Research Chair appointments; this is the highest in the 17 year period of the program.

South Africa

Government Says It Can Not Afford Free Education:

The government of South Africa has stated that it can not afford free education for all; which is contrary to the Liberation Charter of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). The party had over the years declared that free education for all was one of its cardinal principles. However, the Heher Commission which submitted it's report recently stated that this was not possible considering the present economic situation in the country.

The commission recommended that Technical Vocational Education and Training be free but that university education be available only to those who can afford it. The commission suggested a "cost-sharing model" known as an income contingent loan in which the private financial makes funding available through loans to students, which will be backed by government guarantees. The private sectors did not warm up to this scheme and it is not known how students will react to this recommendation; considering their earlier position that "fees must fall".

Nigeria

Kaduna State Set To Fire 20,000 Teachers Who Failed Tests Designated For 10 Year Old Children:

The government of Kaduna state in northern Nigeria is set to sack over 20,000 state teachers who recently failed competency tests designed for 10 year-old children. The president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari while backing the proposed action of the sate government, has described the teachers performance as "shocking' and "tragic". He said the tests outcome is reflective of the decay in the education sector in Nigeria. The state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, had recently tweeted the tests results of the primary school teachers and had asked. "would you allow someone like this to teach your child".

Kenya

Academic Staff of Universities Boycott:

Academic staff of public universities have commenced a boycott of universities over salary disagreement with the government. Universities which had been closed before the October 26, 2017 election rerun have not resumed as a result of this disagreement. The academic staff went on strike to push for a US$50 million salary agreement; this has resulted in the withdrawal of service of 27,798 academic staff workers.

Denmark

Tertiary Institutions Move to Cut International Student Numbers:

Enrolment in Danish business academies and professional universities fell by nearly 28% in 2017 following action taken by the institutions to reduce international student numbers; according to the country's Ministry of Higher Education and Science. There was a reduction of 1,765 international students admitted in 2017 and this was mostly from Eastern Europe.

Ireland

Government Threaten to Link Gender Equality Target to Funding:

Universities have been warned that funding will be withheld if they fail to promote more women in the academia and close the considerable gender gap. Although more than half of all lecturers in Ireland are women, they nevertheless account for just 29% of associate professors and 21% of professors and to date there has not been a woman appointed president of a university.

Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Minister of State for Higher Education said this state of affairs is unacceptable and if universities do not make progress on rectifying this gender inequality, they will lose access to research funding and state funding.

Nigeria

Eight Universities May deny 143,000 Students Admission:

Due to the worsening infrastructural challenges, unavailability of adequate manpower, inadequate teaching aids, regulatory uncertainties between the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board and the universities; 143,000 students will not gain admission to eight universities in the 2017-18 academic session.

Spain

Catalonia Education Crisis:

The Spanish government has taken over responsibility for higher education and research in Catalonia, following the region's unilateral declaration of independence on October 27, 2017. This move by the Spanish government has been criticised by the League of European Research Universities, as it is considered to threaten institutional autonomy.

United Kingdom

Drive to Encourage Domestic Students to Study Abroad:

Universities UK International has launched a three-year campaign to increase the number of UK students studying, working and volunteering abroad for two or more weeks as part of their studies.

The push, titled 'Go International: Stand Out', is an attempt to address the low proportion of UK students; visa-verse other developed countries, in studying abroad.Currently just 6.6% of students complete a placement of studying abroad; the main reasons given being, cost, fear of isolation and interruption to friendships.

Kenya- Germany

Bilateral Applied Science University Agreement About To Be Finalised:

The bilateral agreement to establish an applied science university in Kenya is in its final stages of ratification. This is according to the head of the German Cultural Affairs in Kenya. If all goes as planned the university should open by 2018, what is outstanding is the legal wording of the bilateral document.

Kenya

Kenya Tighten Rules for International Student Admission:

Following mounting security concerns after the recent terror attack carried out at a Kenya university in early October 2017, the authorities have tighten the rules for admission of foreign students into Kenyan universities with the additional requirement of security clearance. Starting in January 2018, all foreign students admitted to Kenyan higher education institutions must be cleared by Kenyan security.

Russia

Deputy Prime Minister Veto Plans to Limit the Number of Universities in 5-100 Project:

The Deputy Minister of the Russian Federation, Olga Golodets has veto the planned reduction of the number of participating universities in the proposed 5-100 Project earlier recommended by the Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilyeva. The Education Minister had earlier suggested removing funding from 15 of the 21 recommended universities on the grounds of financial constraints. However, the Prime Minister in a statement said, "All of the 21 universities participating in the program will continue to be participants. The formula presupposes that all of the universities will be funded."

Israel

Report Card Show Sacrifice Of Quality For Quantity:

A recent report card on Israel's Higher Education System conducted by Shoresh Institution For Socioeconomic Research show that they has been a marked increase of Israelis with college degrees over the past decade, with nearly half of men and about 60% of women graduating with a college degree. However, this has come with decreased quality of education, which needs to be corrected in order not to comprise the nation's work force in future years.

Nigeria

Government Suspends NDDC Scholarship Program:

The Minister for Niger Delta Affairs Usani Usani, has ordered the immediate suspension of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), scholarship program in order for the commission to clear the massive backlog of payments to awardees that has remained outstanding for as long as two years. The Nigerian Senate recently commenced investigation on the factors causing the failure to pay awardees of scholarships offered by Nigerian institutions their payments.Several awardees of these scholarship had become destitute in foreign countries as their tuition and upkeep have not been paid for years. 

Australia

Australian Education Export Close to AUS$29 Billion:

The latest education export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show a substantial growth in the country's international education sector in 2017. ABS estimates the export value of international students in Australia at AUS$28.6 billion (US$22 billion) for 2016-17.This represents a 16% increase over the year before and reflects student spending on tuition, accommodation, living expenses and travel during their studies.  

India

Students Hit By Tax Hike On Higher Education:

India's new Goods and Services Tax (GST) will mean students applying to foreign universities will find this more expensive as educational events organised by foreign entities, which includes universities recruitment fairs, information events will be obliged to pay taxes under the GST recently introduced. Also affected are test and examinations for admission to overseas universities. Local students are not exempted, as they will have to pay more for accommodation and other essential campus services such as laundry, housekeeping, canteens, catering, security, transportation, food supply, general shops as third party providers have seen their tax increase from 15% to 18%.

United Kingdom

Universities Generate Pound Sterling 100 Billion and Add One Million Jobs:

The universities in the United Kingdom now generate a knock-on-impact of nearly US$131 billion for the UK economy and support close to a million jobs. This is according to figures published by Universities UK. According to Universities UK, the universities support 940,000 jobs and added 95 billion pounds to the UK economy in 2014-15. This represents 3% of all employment in the UK. 

Nigeria

Senate Raises Alarm Over Nigerian Students Stranded Abroad:

According to a report in The Nation Newspaper of October 25, 2017 the Nigerian Senate has raise the alarm over Nigerian students stranded outside the country due to non-payment of their scholarship awards. Senate Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye said that urgent action should be taken to salvage the situation in the interest of the students and the nation. The Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki said the situation was unfortunate as some of the students have not been paid for over two years. This has exposed them to criminal activities out of desperation. He promised to call a meeting of all concerned ministerial bodies in order to find a lasting solution to this recurring problem.

Finland

Universities join forces to attract international students:

As a result of the reintroduction of tuition fees for international students, there has been a considerable reduction in international student numbers, this has compelled five Finnish institutions of higher education to join forces with a education export company Edunation; the aim being to attract 150,000 international students to the country by 2020. Recent figures released by the Finnish Immigration Service show that 23% fewer international students applied to enter the country (4,300), in total by late September 2017.

South Korea

Government set to curtail Private Universities Fees:

A recent government study on 80 private universities show they are collecting too much fees from students; as a result, government is set to curtail their fees in order to alleviate the financial burden of students and their families.

Egypt

Students strike as new campus dress code is introduced:

Students in Egypt's public universities are protesting against new regulations on dress codes that prohibit a range of fashion choices and certain hairstyles that the administration deems "disgusting" and adjudged to be the "root of sexual harassment". The Supreme Council of Universities instructed universities administrators to bring "discipline" back to Egyptian campuses.

Cameroon

Anglophone Universities shut indefinitely:

The two main public universities in Anglophone Cameroon have been shut down indefinitely following months of partial closures by the government. Protest had been on for sometime in these regions against the cultural colonisation of the regions by the majority Francophone country. Unconfirmed reports suggest that as many as 17 protesters were killed by government troops on October 1, 2017; reports by Amnesty International stated that government forces used live bullets on protesters who were demanding that educational institutions in the region use English Language as the means of instruction, and that courts use the English Common Law as against French Law. 

Russia

Minister aims to refocus Elite Universities Program:

The Minister of Education and Science, Olga Vasilyeva is proposing a drastic reduction in the number of participants in the states's "Project 5-100". This is in order to enhance the project's chance of success, however, this will need the approval of the Russian parliament. She is seeking to reduce the initial 21 institution to six domestic universities. The objective of the project is to have 5 Russian universities in the top 100 ranking of global universities by 2020.

Nigeria

Turkey Pressures Nigeria To Close Down Educational Institutions Linked To Fethullah Organization (FETO):

According to a report in the Vanguard Newspaper of Nigeria, the government delegation of Nigeria which attended the D-8 meeting in Istanbul has accepted offers from the Turkish government to support a new group known as, Maarif Organization which is interested in setting up schools and specialist hospitals in Nigeria, as the new investors are not tainted by the accusation of subversion. Malam Garba Shehu the Senior Special Assistant Media to President Buhari of Nigeria stated that, "a delegation from the foundation will visit Nigeria to commence the process of registration as well as following the procedures of establishing the new schools".

At the meeting in Istanbul, the two countries also agreed to expand cooperation in the exchange of scholars, exchange of students and exchange/share ideas, education technology and to improve scholarships for Nigerians to study in Turkey. Turkey also agreed to help ease the problems being faced by Nigerian students in Turkey.

USA

International Students Key to US lead in Innovation:

The USA dominance in innovation is as a result of contributions by international students; it is therefore essential that the country is seen to be more welcoming of them, this is the finding of National Foundation for American Policy or NFAP.

This comes as the present administration is seeking to roll-back the former administration's policy of Optional Practical Training work visas for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Egypt

Student Hug prompts Call for Return of Campus Police:

An Egyptian government university-run university has requested for a return of campus police guards on its campus more than six years after a court order paved the way for their removal from the country's campuses. The request was made public after an online video went viral showing a man and woman hugging at an unauthorised party on campus.

Rwanda

African Leadership University Opens Second Campus:

On September 29, 2017 the African Leadership University opened the second campus on the continent (the first was established in Mauritius in 2015). The goal is to establish 25 such campuses by 2060; these universities adopt a unique approach whereby students are not mainly prepared for the labour market but instead, are taught leadership skills. ALU aims to mould leaders who will take up the mantle of solving some of the greatest challenges facing the continent.

Nigeria

Islamic Scholars Clamour for more Universities for Muslims Globally:

Islamic scholars have called for the establishment of more universities to cater for the learning needs of Muslims students globally. The call was made in a communique issued at the end of a four-day International Conference on Islamic Universities in Osogbo, Nigeria.

According to the participants, the current number of Islamic universities across the globe was grossly insufficient to cater for the learning needs of approximately two billion Muslims all over the world. The participants also said the number of such universities was inadequate to cater for the spiritual needs of such students across the world.

Australia

International Students To Take English Language Test:

International students will from 2018 take English language test before they can gain admission to Australian universities. English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students or ELICOS will assess students at the point of direct entry to a tertiary course in Australia.

Nigeria

US Promotes STEM Education in Nigeria:

The US government in collaboration with US-based robotics education, RoboRave International Education Academy has begun a robotics training workshop for 460 elementary, secondary, and university students, as well as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), teachers, robotic enthusiasts and scientists are their main target.

China-Africa

Increasing number of Chinese students head to Africa:

There has been an increase in the number of Chinese students heading to Africa for studies. There are basically three categories of students going to Africa for studies: 1. Language students who major in local African languages 2. Those who major in law, economy, culture, education or agriculture (they usually go for short term programs of 6 months to a year) who go for more knowledge for their research and 3. Chinese nationals who choose to develop their career and build a life in Africa.

Tanzania

Commission stops new enrolments into 19 Universities:

The Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU), will not withdraw its decision to bar 19 universities from admitting new students for the 2017-18 academic year starting in September as a result of poor quality. the TCU has also stopped the admission of 75 bachelor degree programs in 2017-18 from 22 universities and colleges.

Nigeria

Universities reject lower admission standards:

Universities have insisted that they have no intention to lower their admission standards to accommodate students who score 120 marks in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination. This is in response to the August 22, 2017 decision by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) announcement pegging the minimum cut-off for admissions to universities to 120 marks and 100 marks for polytechnics. JAMB however concede that the final decision on admissions lies with the individual university senates. 

China

China to push 42 Universities to World Class Standard:

The government announced on September 21, 2017 a new drive that will enhance the prospect of 42 Chinese universities entering into the elite group of world class universities by 2050. The program tagged, "Double World Class Project" is a follow-up of a similar program introduced many years ago in China.

Nigeria

Government shuts 21 illegal Universities:

The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye stated at a meeting in Kebbi State on September 28, 2017 that the commission closed 21 illegal degree awarding institutions and fake NYSC camps across Nigeria, "we closed 21 illegal degree awarding institutions and fake NYSC camps across Nigeria. We are prosecuting their proprietors now." 

Chile

Growth in international student enrolment unimpressive:

There has been very modest growth of 1% in international student enrolment in 2016, with growth coming mainly from neighbouring countries of Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. According to figures released by Servicio de Informacion de Educacion Superior (SIES), degree-seeking international students in the country reached 19,219 in 2016, up by 674 students from 2015 figures.

Tunisia

Steps Up Effort to Attract Students From Sub-Saharan Africa:

Measures are being proposed to reverse the sharp decline in the numbers of Sub-Saharan African students in Tunisia over the next three years. The number of students has fallen from 12,000 to 4,000 for the 2016-2017 academic year. The new measures aimed at growing the number of Sub-Saharan students to 20,000 by 2020 include a greater focus on the internationalisation of Tunisian higher education, promotion of Tunisia as a desirable destination for students from Sub-Saharan Africa and the development of mutual trust between Tunisia and the region.

Tunisia-Africa Business Council (TABC), has highlighted the problem of racism towards Sub-Saharan students in Tunisia, which manifest in the form of physical and verbal violence targeting Sub-Saharan Africans. The Council stated that racism against students is a "situation that ruins the lives of Sub-Saharan students who are often forced to desert Tunisia to continue their studies in Morocco". Presently, the Tunisian government is considering a draft law against racism and discrimination.

Russia

Government Increases Funding For Elite Universities:

The Russian government is increasing funding to the 5-100 program aimed at getting five universities into the global top 100 in international rankings. As a result, funding of the promotion of Russian universities in the global arena will grow from RUB34.8 billion (US$599 million) to RUB43.5 billion (US$749 million) during the period 2018-2020. The aim is to increase the competitiveness of Russian universities in the global market, currently the 5-100 program involves the participation of 21 universities. The government want 5 Russian universities in the top 100 bracket of global education ranking agencies such as QS, Times Higher Education and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).  

Brazil

Brazilian Outbound Continues To Strengthen With A Trend To Longer Stays Abroad:

The number of Brazilian students studying abroad increased by 14% in 2016. Brazilian Educational and Language Travel Association (Belta) recently released figures show a notable 82% increase in average spending on programs abroad between 2015 and 2016. As expected, language programs remain the primary area of demand, but there has been increasing interest from Brizilian undertaking undergraduate programs abroad.

United Kingdom

Government Under Pressure To Take International Students Out Of Migration Target:

The Prime Minister is under pressure to remove international students from the target of cutting immigration from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands a year, following the release of new figures showing that nearly all students leave the country on time. The new data from the Home Office and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), indicate that between 95% and 98% of students leave the country on time, in line with their visa conditions.

Previous official estimates had suggested a gap of close to 100,000 a year between those entering the country and those leaving after their course ended. But the latest figures put the number of students overstaying at 4,600.

Canada

Language Programs Register Modest Growth In 2016:

The annual Languages Canada survey show modest marginal year-over-year growth among the association's 222 member programs for 2016. Members reported total enrolment of 135,425 students for the year, an increase of 1% over 2015. The country's top sending markets remain Japan, Brazil, China, with notable growth from Mexico and Colombia.

India

Country Experience Drop In International Students Enrolment:

International students are not applying to Indian universities according to a report by Study International. There has been a remarkable drop in enrolment numbers. There are only 30,423 international students in India in 2014, according to the Association of India Universities' report. The figure is substantially lower than then 4.85 million available spaces universities are allowed to enrol. This comes under the policy framework which enables universities and colleges to admit international students up to 15% of their total student cohort.

Russia

Government to Implement 40% Cut of Places in State-funded Universities:

The Russian government is about to commence implementation of 40% cut of places in state-funded universities, this is as a result of shortfall in funding of two programs, namely 'Development of Education' and 'Development of Science and Technology'. The cuts will lead to the sacking of about 500 scientists by early 2018 with an overall target reduction of 8,300 scientific workers by 2020. The cuts will see the share of education in the total budget fall from 2.75% to 2.45% in 2020.

United States

New Proposal to Require International Students Yearly Visa Renewal:

There are discussions by the US Department of Homeland Security to have have international students reapply for permission to stay in the US on a yearly basis. The ongoing discussion will attach an end date to a student's program and will require the student reapply for permission to stay in the US if the student change program or up grade from an undergraduate program to a graduate program. Students will also need to reapply if they want an extension of their program.

USA-Nigeria

US Government Awards Scholarships to 140 Nigerian Students:

The US government awarded scholarships to 140 Nigerian students to study in American colleges and universities. According to Aruna Amirthanayagam, US acting deputy chief of missions to Nigeria. He disclosed this at the pre-departure orientation for beneficiaries of the Education USA program, he said the program removed the financial barrier to study in the US for some of Nigeria's talented students. He stated, "Nigeria continues to be the undisputed leader in Africa sending more international students to the United States than any other country in the continent ranking 14 among countries worldwide."

United Kingdom

Student Applications fall by 4%:

Recently released data by Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) show a continued decline in student numbers. As at June 30, 2017 (deadline for submission for Fall applications), there was a 4% overall decline in applications. Of the total figures, EU student numbers declined by 5% from 2016 numbers, to about 2,600 applications; the main declines were from France, Germany, Ireland and Italy. However, the 2% increase from Non-EU countries notably, China, India, USA and UAE, of 1,500 was not enough to offset the overall decline.

China

China is now second most popular destination for African outbound students:

In less than 15 years the African student numbers has grown 26- fold from under 2,000 in 2003 to almost 50,000 in 2015, this is according to UNESCO Institute for Statistics. The U.S.A and U.K host about 40,000 African students a year, while France host 95,000 students, making it the leading destination for African students. The dramatic increase in African student numbers to China can be attributable to Chinese government's targeted focus on African human resource and education development.

China

China announce new regulations concerning international students education:

The Chinese government has announced new rules governing programs and services that Chinese universities provide for international students. These rules effective July 1, 2017 require compulsory Chinese language and culture courses for international students and also prohibit international students participation in political activities, it also set controls for international students support services.

Israel

Israel propose bill that will increase international students fees by 25%:

The Knesset plenum has passed a bill that proposes allowing universities and colleges subsidised by the state to raise their tuition fees by up to 25% for international students. This will be the first increase the Student Law was passed in 1958, presently international students under taking a first degree program pay the same fees as Israeli citizens.

United Kingdom

University Dons demand return of Post-Study Visas:

University dons, staff and principals at Scotland's universities are calling for the reintroduction of a post-study work visa for international students. They warn that the scrapping of this visa has led to loss of talents as the brightest and the best trained young professionals have no opportunity to work and stay in the U.K after graduation. They argue that the country's higher education institutions attract 31,000 non-EU students yearly and this has generated considerable economic benefit to the U.K.

United Kingdom

Student issues affect election results:

Labour's pledge to scrap university tuition fees resonated with young voters 18 years to 24 years, at the just concluded general elections. Young voters numbers rose to an estimated 72% and they voted massively for the Labour party that promised to abolish tuition fees. This pattern of voting was most noticeable in university towns arose the country, in which the former Conservative chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne described as, "The young are coming out and voting and they are clobbering the Tory MPs in university towns and places like that".

Universities will be keenly watching Brexit talks, especially on negotiations on status of EU staff and participation in EU research programs.

South Africa

Xenophobia fears behind African student enrolment decline:

Fewer African students are opting to study in South African universities and this could affect the future rating of the country's universities. According to professor Maxi Schoeman deputy dean of humanities at the University of Pretoria. The faculty received 200 fewer applications in 2017 for the post graduate studies as against the 1,000 applications per year. This is attributable to the xenophobia in the country and the attack on Africans. Also worrisome is the subtle form of xenophobia in which the country makes it extremely difficult for students to get student visas.

Turkey

Closure of universities:

The Turkish government has since summer of 2016 closed down 15 universities across the country over their alleged links to the faith-based Gulen movement, forcing 66,000 students to look for alternative universities to continue their education. Also more than 120,000 people have been detained over their alleged links to the movement.

Qatar

US universities with campuses in Qatar monitor unfolding event:

The diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf has left the six US universities with campuses in the country in an uncertain situation. For now, they are seeking to reassure their students and faculty members of their continued operation in the country, this is more so as it relates to students from Arab nations that have severed ties to Qatar.

Brazil

Outbound numbers grew in 2016:

The latest survey of education agents in Brazil noted that outbound student numbers rose by 14% in 2016 as compared to 2015 figures. The Brazilian Educational and Language Travel Association (Belta) estimates that more than 247,000 students went abroad, with Canada being the preferred destination. Other countries of choice for Brazilian students are, US, Australia, Ireland, UK and New Zealand.

Morocco

6,000 African students in Morocco universities:

The number of Sub-Saharan African students in the country grew from 1,040 in 1994 to 16,000 in 2017 according to Moulay Ismail University in Meknes. This figure was mentioned during the university's Africa week conference, it also stated that 8,000 scholarships have been granted to these students.

Thailand

Will allow foreign universities in special zones:

Thailand has issued a new decree that allows foreign universities to operate in its special economic zones. Operation of foreign campuses will start from the country's Eastern Economic Corridor which includes the provinces of Rayong, Chonburi and Chachoengsao.

Ecuador

Government invested $13.9 billion in Higher Education from 2006- 2016:

Over the past decade the government has spent a total of $13.9 billion on higher education, which represents 2% of the country's GDP, making Ecuador the country that has invested the most in this area. The government said the country had recovered its culture of excellence and quality within the university system.

Nigeria

University admission reform seeks to help private universities:

Two civil society organisations are planing a joint legal challenge to recent changes to university admissions criteria that require all candidates to list one private university in their application for admission. The Joint Admission Matriculation Board or JAMB's ruling has come under fire from those who accuse the federal and private university owners of trying to force students into more expensive institutions which are struggling to attract sufficient students in a time of recession.

Previously, students had free rein to choose a maximum of three universities from among any of the country's public or private institutions. Students are now unable to apply to study in more than one public university, whether federal or state owned.

New Zealand

Country tightens work visa rules:

The government has introduced new rules that will make it harder for foreign workers, including foreign graduates to qualify for the Skilled Migrant Visa category. This will in turn make it more difficult for foreign graduates who can not meet the new requirements to stay and work in New Zealand for an extended period after their studies or to pursue permanent residency in the country. The new visa rules are expected to impact international student recruitment, particularly for those students in below degree level programs.

India

Country is focusing on STEM to drive world-class universities scheme:

India plans to develop 20 world-class universities with the focus mainly on its institutes of technology. There are presently 23 Indian institutes of technology which are strong in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.The proposed scheme will help the 20 selected institutions to grow into global leaders by the provision of adequate funding and other government support.

Chile

Restrictions eased on postgraduate scholarships abroad:

Recent changes to the country's foreign scholarship program have been welcome by about 2,000 beneficiaries of the Becas Chile the country's largest provider of postgraduate scholarships. The changes are; doubling the period of time allowed after graduating for returning to Chile, from the current 1 year for postgraduate or masters degrees to two years; Doubling the time allowed to finishing a degree to two years for a postgraduate or masters degree and four years for a doctorate; Allowing scholarship holders to receive financial support from foreign entities and to work for money; The possibility of lifting the obligation of returning to Chile if the scholarship receiver carries on studying.

Australia

First quarter 2017 International student numbers up 15% on 2016:

The country has bolstered its popularity as a world class education destination with new data showing international student numbers jumped by 15% in the first quarter of 2017 compared to 2016. The data captured students commencing higher education in the first semester of 2017, as well as students commencing full-year courses in vocational education and training and in schools. 

Canada - France

French as a foreign language agreement:

Canada and France have signed a cooperation agreement to improve professional opportunities for students studying for a degree in French as a foreign language in France. The agreement will pave the way for cooperation between the leaders of 34 French and Canadian universities and increase student mobility between the two countries. The agreement will encourage Canadian students in French-language teaching and francophone programs to study or work in France. The agreement will also encourage students and graduates of 'French as a foreign language' teaching programs in France to come to Canada.

Lithuania

Plans to reduce number of universities:

A working group of specialists have proposed a reform of state universities which would see the number of universities shrinking from 14 to 8 in a bid to increase the quality of higher education and save administration costs. The proposal seeks to merge some of the existing universities into those covering a wide range of study programs, technology universities and specialised academics.

Finland

Country feeling the effects of removal of tuition fees for international students:

Finland is facing a sharp drop in applications by non-EU and EU students and an outflow of scientists, as a result of introduction of tuition fees for international students and cuts in university funding.

United States

More International students staying behind:

A growing number of highly skilled foreign workers are finding jobs under a program known as Optional Practical Training, which allows foreign graduates from U.S universities to work in the country on a temporary basis. Students with F-1 visas may apply to OPT and if approved may work for up to 12 months in their chosen field of study. However, for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduates, they are eligible to work for up to 36 months. Unlike other U.S visa programs, OPT has no cap on the number of foreign graduates who can participate.

Algeria

Country will close 25% of its research laboratories:

Algeria's Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research recently announced the country's intention to close 25% of their research laboratories. This will affect 1,259 research laboratories, in what is considered a complete and thorough overall of the country's research system.

Iran

Iran looking to double international students numbers:

Iran is targeting doubling international students numbers according to the country's ministry of science, research and technology. Presently, about 52,000 international students are studying in Iran where a large number of programs are taught in English. Since 2015 when about 35,000 international students were studying in Iran, the country has seen a steady increase in student numbers.

China

China plans to set up 16 top universities by 2030:

Chinese officials have announced plans to set up 16 top universities to be spread across several provinces and regions outside of Beijing and Shanghai.

United Kingdom

Free tuition for EU students in Scottish universities:

Scotland will be extending its free tuition policy for EU students to 2018-2019 according to Scottish Secretary of Education John Swinney. Scotland voted to remain in the European Union and it is expected this policy extension will further cement Scotland's relationship with the EU.

India

Will attacks on African students hit India's inbound African student numbers?

Following the March 2017 attacks on Nigerian students in India, the question is whether this incident will lead to a drastic reduction in numbers of African students going to India for studies. According to Association of African Students in India, about 25,000 Africans study in Indian universities with Nigeria sending the highest numbers, followed by Sudan and Kenya.

United Kingdom

UK government gives EU students pledge on loans and fee status:

The UK government has confirmed that European Union students will continue to remain eligible for undergraduate, masters, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support in academic year 2018-19. The decision means EU students applying for these programs at UK universities or further education institutions in 2018-2019 academic year will continue to have access to student loans and grants, even if the course concludes after the UK exit from the EU.

United States

US government signs executive order targeting H-1B visas:

The signing of the executive order limiting the numbers of issuance of H-1B visas for highly skilled foreign nationals has the potential of decreasing international student numbers to the US. After technology related occupations, higher education ranks third as the largest industry sponsor of recipients of the H-1B visas. The attraction of the US to international students is as a result of students ability to gain work experience post- graduation. Surveys have consistently shown that quality of education and the ability to gain work experience after graduation are some of the main attractions when students make the choice to study outside their home country.

Sweden

Employment status given to nearly all PhD students:

The Swedish government has changed the university law to ensure all doctoral candidates, with the exception of a few on scholarships are made employees of the university with full salary. The change will also benefit international students who account for roughly 40% - 50% of the country's 19,000 doctoral candidates.

Malaysia

Country shift emphasis to home study:

The number of Malaysian students that went abroad to study between 2005 and 2015 did not increase considerably due to the fact that the government of Malaysia has shifted emphasis on their students staying at home. In 2005 nearly 47,000 Malaysian students studied abroad and this figure was marginally increased to 65,000 in 2015. The major destination countries for Malaysian students is UK, Australia and US, but it should be noted that study destination for Malaysian students is fairly distributed among other countries such as, Egypt (Africa), Jordan (Middle East), Russia, Ireland, France and Germany (Europe), India and Japan (Asia). According to UNESCO figures, Malaysia is now the second ranking non-EU sending country to the UK after China with just over 17,400 students enrolled in 2015/16.

Japan

Japan seeing improvement in international students enrolment:

As a result of its drive to increase international students numbers with the implementation of government policies, Japan grew its international students enrolment to reach nearly 240,000 in 2016 according to Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO). Asia provided almost all international students to Japan, with China and Vietnam accounting for half of the numbers. In recent years, Japan had targeted regional markets with attractive policies and commitment to boost employment for international students.

Brazil

Brazil has officially announced the shut down of Science Without Border Program:

Brazil's ministry of Education has officially announced the shut down of the Science Without Borders mobility program which has been of befit to about 100,000 Brazilian students, with overseas scholarships. However, the government has agreed to provide funding for a limited number of students (about 10,000) who get scholarships for research and advanced studies, such as post-graduate studies, post-doctoral fellowships and senior internships abroad.

France

Losing market share:

France has been losing market share and slipping in international students enrolment table, despite recording 3.6% growth in 2015/16 , from 299,000 in 2014/15 to 309,642 in 2015/16. France growth figures are not as impressive as those of it's competitors like Canada, China and Australia. It has now slipped to sixth position having passed by Canada and if the present trend continues, risk being passed by Germany (301,000 students in 2015) and Russia (283,000 students in 2015). Africa remains the home of France's most important education export market, with more than four in ten of all international students coming from the continent.

Canada

Montreal is QS best students city:

Montreal has been named the best world city for students, displacing Paris which has held that position for 3 years. The rankings are based on a basket of measures which include quality of universities, facilities for students, affordability, the "desirability" of the city for students, access to employers, the international nature of a city, levels of tolerance, pollution and safety.

Russia

Russia courts Africa with science scholarships:

Russia through it's nuclear agency (Rosatom) is offering 60 scholarships places to African students from 2017. The students will get the opportunity to study in some of Russia's top universities, ten of the scholarships has been reserved for students from South Africa. According to UNESCO statistics, in 2014 Africa's top student source countries for Russian higher education institutions were Morocco (833), Nigeria (777) and Angola (401).

Russia

More Russian students are choosing to study abroad:

With the growing cost of education in Russian universities, an increasing number of students are opting to study abroad, mainly to Central and East European countries. There has also been an increase in Russian students attending higher educational institutions in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland and with the end of Russia's financial crisis, this trend is likely to continue.