The House of Lords of the UK Parliament has voted against the government on two hot topics for international higher education: the inclusion of international students in the net migration figures and the use of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) to determine universities’ ability to recruit students from abroad.
In recent years, Italy has been making itself more appealing to the international student market. English-medium degree courses are springing up all over the Boot, from Ca’Foscari University in Venice to Federico II University in Naples, and even in Florence, known as the ‘cradle of the Italian language’.
At the end of January the US state of Washington was the first to file a lawsuit against President Donald Trump in a bid to stop his executive order barring entry to the United States from seven countries. About a week later, over seventeen states had filed an amicus brief to support the lawsuit.
The American College Testing (ACT) exam board has announced it will provide support to English language learners (ELLs) taking its college admission test, also named ACT, starting from the 2017–18 school year.The ACT was taken by 64 per cent of high school graduates in 2016, about two million students, according to figures on the exam board’s website.
Claudia Civinini writes
Students in the Republic of San Marino – a micro-state with 32,000 residents surrounded by central Italy – are protesting after being excluded from subsidised First Certificate of English (FCE) preparation courses, according to local press reports.
Demand for these courses far exceeds the limited number available for secondary school students.
In March a survey by Intead and FPP Edumedia of more than 40,000 prospective international students revealed that 60 per cent were less likely to study in the US should Donald Trump (above) be elected president, rising to 80 per cent among Mexicans, Claudia Civnini writes.
Ben Waxman of Intead told the Gazette the survey results were ‘speculative’ and that more research was needed.
Monash University and Curtin University, two Australian institutions with campuses in Malaysia, are facing criticism for advising their students not to participate in rallies against the Malaysian government. The registrar of Monash University issued a warning via email to all students, with the prospect of possible ‘disciplinary proceedings’ for any students arrested as a result of their participation in ‘illegal gatherings’. It seems this is the first time that private universities in the country issue such warnings to their students.
Primary school teachers in the state of Karnataka, India (which includes the mega-city of Bangalore) will participate in special training for English language teaching. The programme is organised by the state’s department of public instruction, and aims to involve 5,100 teachers before the end of the academic year.
Language school association Education South Africa (EduSA) has successfully challenged the South African government over a strict immigration policy which it claimed was damaging the country’s EFL industry. EduSA chair Johannes Kraus said that the association had now reached an ‘amicable’ settlement with the Department of Home Affairs and Higher Education and Training.
Claudia Civinini writes
In the city of Ancona, Italy shop owners, sales assistants and waiting staff in the local shops have recently gone through an unusual English language test. In a bid to discover whether the city is ready to welcome and help foreign tourists, teachers at language school International House TVC, also known as the Victoria Company, went around the city pretending to be tourists and asking for directions and advice in English.