By Matt Salusbury
Japan's ministry of education announced in January the start of a six-year mission leading up to the 2020 Olympics which will see English language classes taught exclusively through the medium of English starting from the age of thirteen or fourteen. The plan will also lead to primary school students starting English earlier, from the age of ten or eleven. And the English proficiency of secondary school teachers will be periodically tested, with English subject teachers deployed to teach in the last two years of primary school.
The ministry’s Execution Plan for Reform of English Education in Response to Globalisation is aimed at preparing for an expected influx of foreign visitors for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. By the first day of the new school year on 1 April 2020, all junior high school English subject classes will be delivered entirely in English, with some schools expected to implement this change by the beginning of the 2018 school year. An expert advisory panel was due to be set up in February 2014 to ‘study the details of the scheme’, according to the Mainichi newspaper.
English as the medium of instruction was introduced in the 2013–14 school year for
By Melanie Butler
Two million teenagers in India, aged fifteen to seventeen, are to be tested each year in English by assessors trained by Trinity College London in partnership with the country’s Central Board of Secondary Education. It is envisaged that all pupils in the 13,500 affiliated schools will leave with an internationally recognised Trinity/Central Board certificate in speaking and listening.
Four hundred master trainers in India have already
By Matt Salusbury
The Norwegian government is investigating methods of introducing tuition fees for students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Norway is believed to be the last nation in the EEA (EU plus Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein) that provides ‘fee-free’ higher education to ‘visa nationals’ from outside the EEA, following the recent introduction of tuition fees by Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland.
The country’s small population and the proliferation of centres of excellence in neighbouring Denmark and Sweden make it hard for Norway to compete on quality or reputation. The country has only one university in the Times Higher Education Top 200 university rankings – the University of Oslo at 185 – so a lack of tuition fees is the principal draw for many overseas students.
Dr Daniel J Guhr of the Illuminate Consulting Group, which had advised Sweden on the introduction of tuition fees, told World University News Service (WUNS) that
International student numbers to the UK have dropped by nearly a third since 2010, a report by left-leaning think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has revealed. Students from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh are most affected, with 62, 38 and 30 per cent fewer Tier 4 student visas (predominantly for higher education courses) being issued for nationals of these countries since the coalition government took over three years ago.
A main concern of the government has been reducing net migration to the UK, and ‘the reduction in foreign student numbers is being driven’ by it, Alice Sachrajda, IPPR research fellow, told the Financial Times. However, the report showed that even a 30 per cent reduction in migration by student visa holders would only reduce total net migration by 10 per cent, making very little difference in the medium term.
Despite the seemingly hostile environment for Indian students, the UK remains their most favoured destination, chosen by 21 per cent of respondents in a study conducted by the British Council. India and China are the UK’s largest international student markets.