Germany and Malaysia open to higher education

A new study regarding national policies on openness towards international higher education has named Germany and Malaysia as the two best performing nations.

The British Council study, published today and titled the ‘Shape of Global Higher Education: National Policies Framework for International Engagement’, examined policies in 26 countries, assessing them against 37 qualitative indicators.

Although the British Council did not compile an overall ranking, such a list can be produced by tallying scores in the three broad categories of indicators – openness to international mobility for students and academics; domestic and cross-border education quality assurance and recognition of overseas qualifications; and fair access and sustainability in terms of countering potential negatives such as brain drain.

Michael Peak, the British Council’s research manager, was quoted by Times Higher Education saying: “Two countries above any others have the most balanced portfolio of providing high-level support for international engagement – and those countries are Germany and Malaysia. They perform consistently across all of the three categories.”

Australia, the UK and China also scored highly across all categories and would have made up the top five, had countries been ranked.

Other key findings from the research are that financial support from governments is “mainly focused on student mobility and policies aimed at ensuring equitable access and brain drain prevention”; that nations such as Australia, Germany and Russia have widened access to their labour market for international students; and that quality assurance is “an area of weakness”.

The report concludes that there is a need for greater co-ordination between policies with a view to achieving greater impact, given the growing prominence of government engagement in international higher education, and the interdependencies between national higher education systems.

Article by David Fuller