Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Outward Student Migration in Saudi Arabia

By Celia White and Jonathan Thomas

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, officially recognized as a country as of 1932, is a Middle Eastern nation accounting for the majority of the Arabian Peninsula’s landmass.  It is the only country to be bordered by both the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf; its neighboring countries are Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Yemen, Oman, and the UAE.  Some of the KSA’s major cities include its capital, Riyadh; Jeddah, Al-Dammam, Yanbu, and Mecca, the birthplace of Islam.  Its governmental system is a hereditary absolute monarchy under Islamic holy law.  As it does not allow tourists within its borders, the only visitors to the nation are there on matters of business, and only as of 2016 has the king extended the option of permanent residency to a select group of outsiders.

Saudi school systems
Because of its strict regulations regarding foreign residents, only a handful of international schools exist in the KSA.  Those that do are run according to the educational system of their country of origin, or in collaboration between nations, such as the USA and the United Kingdom. Of these small number of schools, almost none admit native Saudi students due to the vast differences in culture.  Saudi Arabian law, for example, does not permit women over the age of twelve to appear in public with skin exposed below the neck or above the wrists and ankles, and Saudi Arabian schools adhere to this as well as being gender-segregated.  These regulations do not apply in international schools, which deters Saudi citizens from attending.  In fact, up until around the 1990s, international students of expatriate workers were not permitted to remain in the country after the 9th grade, and thus often attended boarding schools in nearby countries such as Turkey, Jordan, or Cyprus.
Saudi Arabian primary education is divided into three categories: male education, female education, and Islamic education for males.  Education for boys and girls falls under different organizations (the Ministry of Education and the General Presidency for Girls’ Education, respectively).  Both systems encompass general education and include typical examinations as well as stressing Islamic and Arabic studies.  Secondary education is also split into three possible school systems, including general education, religious education, and technical schools.
The modern higher education system in Saudi Arabia is quite young, about 63 percent of public universities were created in the last 20 years. Since higher education in Saudi Arabia is fairly new and developing, Saudi’s Universities implement westernized curriculum content and institutional structure. Higher education in Saudi Arabia is categorized as university and non-university higher education or teacher training.  Most universities remain gender-segregated, though several co-ed institutions have been recently introduced (and Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh is the largest women’s university in the world).  All offer a traditional Bachelor’s degree with the option of further study to obtain a Master’s degree or a Ph.D.  These universities follow the general global university program of study.  Non-university education is offered in a variety of technical institutes, which most often grant certificates or licenses for specified careers.  Teacher training, while completed separately from regular university education, requires only a traditional Bachelor’s degree. The ministry of Higher Education wants to shift focus from social sciences and humanities to increasing the quality and quantity of job training fields such as engineering, hard sciences and vocational training. The aim of this change is to address the lack of diversity in the economy which is dominated by oil, as well hire more natives in public sectors instead of private sectors which are controlled by foreigners.

Primary Education

3 - 5 years old (optional)
Primary school
6 - 12 years old
Intermediate school
12 - 15 years old

Secondary Education

General secondary school
15 - 18 years old
Religious secondary school
15 - 18 years old
Technical secondary school
15 - 18 years old

University Higher Education

Baccalaureus (Bachelor’s degree)
4 - 5 years
Darajat al Majisteer (Master’s degree)
B.A. + 1- 3 years (mostly 2)
Doctoorah (Doctorate)
M.A. + 3 years
Women’s colleges
B.A. + occasional M.A. or Ph.D.

Non-University Higher Education

Technical colleges
3 years
Higher technical institutes
1 year
Higher technical institutes for financial and commercial services
2 years

Teacher Training

Primary, secondary, and higher education
B.A. (4 years)

Saudi students studying abroad
Until the establishment of the KSA’s first university in 1957, students wishing to receive a degree in higher education had no choice but to complete their studies abroad.  Now, however, with the rapidly increasing quantity and quality of local universities, the majority of students choose to remain in their home country.  Saudi Arabian students studying abroad are almost exclusively university students, as anyone under the age of 18 is not permitted to leave the country unaccompanied.  The male-to-female ratio of students studying abroad is roughly 3:1 since women (even those over the age of 18) are not permitted to leave the country unless accompanied by a male relative.
Popular destinations for international study include English-speaking countries (USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia), continental Europe, Asia, and some (but fewer) Arab countries.  Of those, the top four choices are China, India, South Korea, and the USA.  Students typically study at the B.A. level (60%), with 24% receiving their M.A. and only 5% going abroad to receive a Ph.D.  The most common degree at the B.A. level is Business Studies, with Engineering as a close second.  Health-related sciences and Informatics are also popular fields.  

* Growing up as a third-culture kid in Saudi Arabia (autobiographical article on international student/expatriate life from the 1960s onward)

Section citations:

Impact on the home country/westernization
There is a wide debate in the KSA regarding the benefits and detriments of seeking higher education abroad.  The preferred degrees gained in reputable international institutions result in Saudi citizens returning home with a much broader range of capabilities and qualifications.  After 9/11, there was a significant decrease in the number of Saudi students studying in other countries, but the numbers have been gradually climbing and in recent years have seen a significant increase.  With this growing number of internationally-educated citizens, the KSA has seen a boom in entrepreneurship.  
Currently, the KSA’s economy is almost solely reliant on the expatriate workforce.  Nearly all major industries are managed by foreign firms, and almost no physical labor in large companies such as construction, oil drilling, and petrochemical industries is carried out by Saudi workers.  In fact, such firms often have laws restricting the employment opportunities of Saudi Arabians.  Before the discovery of oil in the 1930s, the KSA mainly consisted of nomadic Bedouin tribes.  At the moment, Saudi wealth and industry lacks the local infrastructure to exist without the presence of Western management.  
However, with the rising percentage of internationally trained Saudi businessmen and engineers, native Saudi citizens are beginning to obtain the qualifications and experience necessary to take over jobs held by Western workers.  As a result, the country is seeing Saudi start to gradually replace the expatriate labor force.  This will promote Saudi to begin severing ties with Western companies, perhaps eventually allowing them to break away and establish themselves as an independent world economy.  
A potential downside to students venturing abroad (from the Saudi perspective) is that the newest generation of workers is being exposed to Western lifestyles.  Students who study abroad experience freedoms that the KSA lacks and come to question the beliefs with which they were raised.  Older generations see this is as a serious issue and a potential threat to Islam when students venture to other countries where they are permitted to drink alcohol and engage in activities prohibited by Islamic law.  The younger generation, as a result of this exposure, is leaving Saudi in greater numbers than ever before, preventing local development.  There are also concerns regarding the harsh treatment and prejudices Saudis often face in the Western world, especially with currently increasing global tensions. However, this is generally seen as a less significant issue since many Saudis generally believe that exposure to other cultures will benefit both Saudis and the international community.  

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Outward Student Migration in India

By Colleen O'Connor and Elena Thompson

India: General Background Information

India is the 7th largest country in the world by area, at 3,287,263 square kilometers, however it is the second largest country in the world in terms of population, with 1,266,883,598 people. The makeup of the population is 72% Indo- Aryan, 25% Dravidian, and 3% Mongoloid. India is a very linguistically diverse country, with Hindi being spoken by 42% of the population, Bengali being spoken by 8% of the population, Telugu being spoken by 7.2% of the population, Marathi being spoken by 7% of the population, as well as Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya and Punjabi. The majority of the population is Hindu or Muslim. The Indian government system is a federal parliamentary republic, modeled off of the British parliament. Indian culture and government has been highly influenced by the British as they were under their rule from the 16th Century to the 20th Century. However, after years of nonviolent rule, the Indian people, led by Gandhi and Nehru, were able to gain independence in 1947. The effects of imperialism have continued to this day, with 1 in 5 Indians living under the poverty line. India had been exploited by Britain for hundreds of years, with the Indian economy fully reliant on British-controlled imports and exports. When the British government removed itself from India, they did not offer support in the transition. The entire governing body in India was gone within 7 months. The new Indian government had to entirely rebuild its infrastructure and economy. They never fully recovered.

India's System of Education: Background

The system of education in India is divided into three sections: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary education. In 2009, the Indian Parliament legally deemed free and compulsory education a fundamental right for all children ages 6-14 under the Right To Education Act (RTE), so all children in India now go to school for primary education. Primary education ranges from 1st grade to 8th grade and is split between primary (1st to 5th grade) and upper primary (6th to 8th grade). After upper primary, the drop out rate is very high for students in India with a low socioeconomic status. Many of these students who drop out often go on to work for and/or with their parents at this point. For students who do stay in school, the next level of education is Secondary education. Secondary education is broken up into Secondary (9th to 10th grade) and Senior Secondary (11th to 13th grade). After Secondary education, students who still attend school must chose between Higher Education or Vocational Education and Training. For those who choose Higher Education, there are more than 611 universities and over 30,000 colleges in the country to choose from. They also have the option between general education and professional education. General education is similar to a liberal arts degree, as it is a degree in science or commerce arts. The other option for Higher Education is the option to pursue professional education that includes Architecture, Medicine and Engineering. For students who choose to pursue Vocational Education rather than Higher Education, they can choose between traditional vocational studies (a focus on IT) or new and emerging fields such as travel and tourism. The entire system is broken down visually on the graph posted below. 

Tertiary education system in India (Ernst & Young et al.)

India's Colleges & Universities 

Although there is a well-structured system and students in India are provided with a multitude of options for education, the higher education school system in India continues to fail it's population. Out of all of the college graduates in India every year, it is reported that only 10% of graduates are directly employable and 25% of engineering students are directly employable after college. Although India's colleges' and universities are failing, the students in India seeking a quality higher education have the option of migrating to another country and attending school elsewhere.

Photos: The failing system of education in India is constantly up for public debate and receives a lot of mainstream media coverage. (Photos from Youtube)

Student Mobility and Outward Migration

Student mobility describes the act of students studying somewhere away from home. Mobility can be temporary, for example, study abroad or summer programs. Mobility can also be long-term in the case of obtaining a student visa to complete a degree program in a college outside of a student's home country. Outward Migration describes this long term type of student mobility. 

Photos: India's Outward Migration also gets a lot of media attention as it holds high public interest. (Photos from Youtube)

India's Outward Migration

India is the second largest source of international students in the world, second only to China. Approximately 360,100 Indians currently study overseas. The majority of these students go to the United States and the United Kingdom for college. In the United States, India is the leading source of foreign students, with 15% of all international college students admitted to US colleges from India. However, applications from India to American colleges have begun to steadily drop since 2008. Unlike in the United States, where Indian applications have been going down, applications in the UK are rising. This is very likely due to strict American student visa policies in the wake of 9/11. Many of the prospective American university students instead now go to the UK. Indians currently make up approximately 10% of the International University student population in the UK. Outward Student Migration is primarily powered by a lack of places in top Indian universities and a rising purchasing power among the Indian middle class, which has increased the affordability of foreign universities. Many Indian educational programs are highly supportive of opening up new high class universities in India, however strict government policies don’t allow for it. Many politicians in the Indian government are against the idea of foreign universities educating their youth. However, if something is not done to stop the outward migration, the brain drain will continue.

Video: "The Big Debate: Education in India vs. Education Abroad"

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Outward Student Migration in China

Outward student migration in China by Rachel Freeman and Emily Temkin
Brief History of China

China is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Historians have traced the origins of its people back to at least 10,000 BC, but some suspect their roots stretch even further into the past. This expansive period of time is primarily categorized by various dynasties. The Shang and Zhou dynasties are considered formative times in which bronze-working was developed, the wheel was invented, and philosophical thinking was introduced. However, the first unified China only came during the consecutive Qin Dynasty, in third century BC. Through the thousands of years that followed, China faced periods of unity and division. It traversed through the Tang Dynasty, a time when they were thought to be the most advanced civilization, and additionally developed the philosophical thinking known as Confucianism. The Qing Dynasty was the last to stand before China became a republic in 1912. Communism then developed, industry nationalized, and modern China emerged. With the introduction of a market economy in the late 20th century, China had rapid growth and is now predicted to be the world’s largest economy by 2040.

Education in China
This extensive history also includes a long-running education system. Scholars date the beginning of education in China to be between 206 BC and 220 CE. Today, China has the largest education system in the world. This system can be divided into three major parts: primary school (age 6-12), junior secondary school (age 12-15), and senior secondary school (age 15-18). Due to a compulsory education law passed in 1986, all Chinese children are required to go to school for a minimum of 9 years, from age 6 to 15. If a student passes a senior high school entrance examination after this, they may continue to study in either a general or vocational secondary school.
The curriculum of these institutions is predominantly outlined on a national level by the Ministry of Education. Instruction typically occurs in Mandarin, but the local language is used if a school has a large ethnic minority population. Primary schools tend to focus more on general education, including classes such as moral education, Chinese language, and arts. Third grade introduces innovative research and the English language as new topics of learning. The junior secondary schools maintain teaching of general education while also incorporating more subject classes. This includes history, sciences, and a dedicated foreign language class chosen by the school from either English, Japanese, or Russian. The following senior secondary schools are split into two different categories, regular and vocational. Enrollment in regular high schools accounts for 56.2 percent of senior secondary students. At these schools, they continue taking a variety of required subjects and before 11th grade students choose to be in either an art or science stream. At vocational high schools, there is a 4:6 ratio of academic subjects to specialty courses. A student is allowed much more attention to their career interest and is even provided with an internship that lasts for approximately a semester.

What is Outward Student Migration?
Outward migration is when people leave their native country to enter another country. This could be for several reasons including investments, professional and student migration, and illegal migration (Chung, 2016). Outward migration started in Asia goes back as far as to the colonial period. Outward student migration is the leaving of one’s home country to enter another country for the purpose of receiving education, and one third of these students relocate to either the United States or the United Kingdom. The map to the right shows where migrants entering who are entering the United States from another country tend to reside. The map shows that New York is the most popular destination for migrants. In 2000, the number of foreign students was 1.8 million and doubled to 3.3 million in 2008. This is projected to increase to upwards of 6.7 million students in 2020. China and India are the major source countries sending students abroad to study. As the Table 1 shows, China has more than double the number of students studying in another country than any other nation. In the United States, 31% of all PhD recipients in 2006 were foreign students.

Outward Migration in China

China is the worlds most populated country. China is also the fourth ranked country of emigrants. As of 2010, 8.3 million people who were born in China are living elsewhere. Note that that 8.3 million people includes 3 million internal migrants, who were born in China but now live in Hong Kong and Macao. Southern coastal provinces have the most emigrates within China. Chinese migration is broken down into two categories: old migration which went until the end of the 19th century and new migration that started in the 1980s. During the old migration period, many Chinese migrants stayed within Asia and mostly relocated in Southeast Asia. The people migrating during this time were mostly men who moved to work as indentured laborers. Whereas, in new migration most Chinese migrants relocate overseas, often to English speaking countries like the United States, Canada and Australia. Reasons for migration during the new migration period were often to take advantage of opportunities that existed overseas. Another reason that people opt to relocate in new migration is because of the environmental pollution in China. Unlike during old migration, both men and women are equally represented in the number of migrants. In current times, the migrants who head to Europe tend to go for low-order services, trading, and manufacturing jobs and these migrants are thought to be less skilled than those migrants relocating to North America. At the start of this new migration period, the majority of Chinese migrants were between 20-29. However, currently, most Chinese migrants are 15-24. This is because many Chinese migrants are leaving China for college, and high school to prepare for college.

Outward Student Migration in China

Although the majority of Chinese migrant students leave China for college or university, recently there has been an influx of students migrating as early as junior high, specifically within the United States. As the US’s middle class grows, college acceptances have become increasingly more competitive. As a result, many Chinese students come to the United States to become a more competitive applicant for American colleges. In 2005, Chinese students were 2.3% of international students in the U.S. secondary school system, and in 2015, this number has increased to 50%. This has lowered the average age of Chinese immigrants within the United States. The increase of Chinese students in high schools is most prevalent in New England private schools because there is a hub of private schools. Elite schools boarding schools have noticed this increase and are now limiting the number of Chinese students they accept. However not all schools do that; many day schools need money and accept Chinese students as they are full paying students. This is also the case with many colleges; many universities recruit Chinese students because they pay full tuition. This is why many institutions “very aggressively recruit [Chinese] Students”.  Besides US recruitment of Chinese students, many Chinese students would prefer to study in the United States as the Chinese educational system is extremely competitive and stressful for students. The majority of Chinese graduate students in America had also attended an American university for their undergraduate degree.
Of the Chinese graduate students who studied overseas between 1985 and 1999, only one third returned to China after their studies. A reason so few return to China is because the post-doctoral fellowships offered by many U.S. universities keep students in the states. Another reason many people decide not to return is because they think the work setting in China is subpar to other areas because of bad research facilities and low salaries. Additionally, women are more likely than men to not return. Since so few student migrants return to China, some Chinese cities began to offer incentives for students to return to their native city. Students who plan on pursuing a career that is not research and academics post completion of their graduate degree have a 90% likelihood on staying within the United States. However, students who plan on continuing on with academic and research are more likely to return to their home country; they believe they will be treated better from their colleagues at home.