- MOOC: Survey of Professors Running MOOCs
- Malaysia: New Education Promotion Agency
- China: Younger Students Going Abroad
- Russia: Gauging Universities by Grad Employment
What is it like to teach 10,000 or more students at once, and does it really work? The largest-ever survey of professors who have taught MOOCs, or massive open online courses, shows that the process is time-consuming, but, according to the instructors, often successful. Nearly half of the professors felt their online courses were as rigorous academically as the versions they taught in the classroom.
The survey, conducted by The Chronicle, attempted to reach every professor who has taught a MOOC. The online questionnaire was sent to 184 professors in late February, and 103 of them responded.The findings are not scientific, and perhaps the most enthusiastic of the MOOC professors were the likeliest complete the survey. These early adopters of MOOCs have overwhelmingly volunteered to try them—only 15 percent of respondents said they taught a MOOC at the behest of a superior—so the deck was somewhat stacked with true believers. A few professors whose MOOCs have gone publicly awry did not respond to the survey.
The government’s aspiration of achieving its target of 200,000 international students by 2020 has been given a boost through the establishment of a dedicated agency to champion and lead the development and promotion of Malaysia’s education and training products and services internationally.The new agency, Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and is operating under the purview of the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). EMGS is also tasked to lead Malaysia’s development to become a leading global hub for education and training by 2020.
Last year, nearly 400,000 Chinese students went abroad, up more than 17 percent from 2011, according to statistics from the Ministry of Education.In addition to the rapid growth, the trend is an increasing number of students going abroad at an early age, and their choices have become more diverse, according to a 2012 report on Chinese studying abroad.The report, jointly compiled by the Center for China and Globalization and an independent consulting firm Mycos, also said the number of the students going abroad with a diploma gained through self study is also on the rise.Those students are usually much clearer about their career goals – to learn professional skills and to gain a job after graduation, the report said. Bai Zhangde, director of the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange at the Ministry of Education, said that the number of students attending vocational schools abroad is on the rise.
The survey found the most popular destinations for Chinese students include Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States.But other countries are also trying hard to attract students from China.
The Russian Ministry of Education has developed new criteria for monitoring the effectiveness of universities. Starting this year, the ministry will calculate the number of out-of-work graduates applying for positions at job centers, in order to identify universities that are producing the most unemployed graduates. Experts take issue with this logic. “We are going to assess the relationship between the education system and the job market,” Deputy Minister Alexander Klimov told Kommersant. “We will factor in the number of graduates who apply to job centers.” According to Klimov, about six percent of recent graduates register with job centers immediately upon graduation.