http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UWN.jpgBy Philip G Altbach. The rich world is worrying about skills shortages, especially at the upper levels of their economies. The causes are many – such as a ‘demographic cliff’ in Japan and some European countries, significantly reducing the numbers of university-age people, especially too few students enrolling in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields; a levelling off of access; and low degree-completion rates. What is a solution to these problems? Increasingly, it is to boost the ‘stay rates’ of international students – in other words, to convince international students, mainly from developing and middle-income countries, to remain after they complete their degrees. To oversimplify, the rich are stealing the brains of developing countries – or for that matter any qualified brains that can be lured. Read more...