Sunday, 4 October 2009

University World News 0095 - 4th October 2009

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

AUSTRALIA: Universities face staffing crisis
Geoff Maslen
An ageing workforce, low satisfaction levels among academics and rapid rises in student numbers are confronting universities with a staffing crisis, a new study has found. A report released on Friday at the LH Martin Institute for Higher Education's international conference in Melbourne says Australian higher education is in danger of losing the best and brightest young academics to the private sector or to other nations.
Full report on the University World News site:

US: How to win the global competition for talent
Sarah King Head
The United States should aim to double its overall international student enrollments from 625,000 in 2008 to 1.25 million in 2020. This key recommendation is made in a new report, The Global Competition for Talent , published last week by the Centre for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) at the University of California, Berkeley.
Full report on the University World News site:

US: Alert to policy-makers over university rankings
David Jobbins
A warning by the influential Washington think-tank, the Institute for Higher Education Policy, that university rankings should be viewed with caution by decision-makers received little media attention in the US.
Full report on the University World News site:

GERMANY: Merkel government faces tough HE decisions
Michael Gardner
Following elections on 27 September, Angela Merkel of the Christian Democrats (CDU) remains Chancellor of Germany. She can now form a new coalition with the Free Democrats (FDP). Whether Annette Schavan will remain Education Minister or junior partners FDP will provide a new education head is uncertain. But with both parties eager to cut taxes, any minister will struggle to find money to fund an expansion of higher education.
Full report on the University World News site:

SPAIN: Universities race for excellence
Rebecca Warden
Fifteen public and three private universities have made it through the first round of the race to become Spain's super campuses of the future. This is the first result of a government competition called Campus of International Excellence, which was launched last July and aims to inspire universities to improve quality through the promise of extra funding and a new brand of excellence.
Full report on the University World News site:

GREECE: Students may inspect marked papers
Makki Marseilles
Students who have written university entrance examinations but harboured doubts about their subsequent results now have the opportunity to inspect their papers. This follows a much-welcomed decision by the Greek Education Ministry that should help dispel suggestions of favouritism or of tampering with candidates' papers.
Full report on the University World News site:

NEW ZEALAND: Tougher university entrance possible
John Gerritsen
New Zealand's universities want the standard required for university entrance from school to change and at least one vice-chancellor says it should be tougher. The country's universities are currently under pressure with more enrolments than they are funded for by the government, and some suggest that a different entry standard could help them manage enrolment applications better.
Full report on the University World News site:

AFRICA-SOUTH AMERICA: New university partnerships
Wagdy Sawahel
Africa's 53 states and South America's 12 countries plan to deepen their alliances by cooperating in areas of mutual interest, including higher education, science and technology. The plan was approved by heads of state at the second Africa-South America Summit held on Venezuela's Margarita Island from 26-27 September.
Full report on the University World News site:

KENYA: University closed indefinitely after violent protest
Dave Buchere
Moi University's main campus in Eldoret in western Kenya remains closed indefinitely, leaving students uncertain of their academic calendar. The closure follows violent protests which left one student dead, several others injured and another eight facing robbery charges.
Full report on the University World News site :

FRANCE: Lyon schools form engineering-business alliance
Jane Marshall
Engineering school Centrale Lyon and EM Lyon business school, two grandes écoles based in France's third largest city, are jointly planning to create the Yin Yang Project, a multi-disciplinary international centre of higher education.
Full report on the University World News site:


UK: Dreams and football support foreign student drive
David Jobbins
Three international challenges are seeking to capture the benefits of a UK university education, attracting teams from universities and institutes in China and South Korea. The separate competitions range from designing an earthquake-resistant hospital to managing a top international football team and an exploration of sleep and dreaming.
Full report on the University World News site:

CHINA: Minister logs education progress since 1949
Vice Minister of Education Hao Ping last week announced that China has more than 20 million students studying in 2,263 higher education institutions, compared with only about 120,000 students when 'New China' was born six decades ago.
Full report on the University World News site:

FINLAND: Helsinki re-appoints current rector
Ian Dobson*
The University of Helsinki's 13-strong board has re-appointed its current Rector, Thomas Wilhelmsson, for another five-year period from January 2010. He is the university's first rector to be appointed in the 'brave new world' of university reform in Finland.
Full report on the University World News site:


SOUTH AFRICA: For future reference
Sue Blaine
This year art publisher Thames & Hudson, celebrating its 60th birthday, reissued the 20 books it believed to be "groundbreaking works of art history". Number 14 was written by South African archaeologist David Lewis-Williams, emeritus professor of archaeology at the University of the Witwatersrand and senior mentor at the university's Rock Art Research Institute. First published by The Weekender.
Full report on the University World News site:

CANADA: In defence of university teachers
Clifford Orwin*
In autumn, a professor's fancies turn to thoughts of teaching. Well into my fourth decade of teaching, I still never sleep the night before my first class. To hear some critics tell it, professors don't do much, and what they do accomplish is short on what matters (teaching) and long on what doesn't (research).
Full report on the University World News site:


IRAN: Students protest on first day of new term
Jonathan Travis and Daniel Sawney*
Students at Tehran University have staged protests against the government of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad as the university opened its doors for the new academic year. BBC News reports that the demonstrations occurred after the students were denied entry to an opening ceremony attended by a government minister.
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EUROPE: Brussels guessing game over science advisor
Alan Osborn
One of the first major appointments by the newly re-appointed President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, will be that of a chief scientific adviser - a post that has not existed before. The adviser and his or her office will form part of a major review of the way scientific advice is developed and communicated to the Commission, but it is not yet clear what authority the new post will carry or who candidates for the job might be.
Full report on the University World News site:

US: Hyenas prove value of team work
In the animal world, chimpanzees are regarded as the brainboxes. But new research shows that they can't touch spotted hyenas when it comes to cooperative problem-solving.
Full report on the University World News site:

AFRICA: Dried blood spots for HIV monitoring
Wagdy Sawahel
Scientists have shown that dried blood spots could be used under field conditions in rural Africa to detect levels of human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, in the blood of patients on antiretroviral treatment, providing a simple and reliable tool for virological monitoring in resource-limited settings.
Full report on the University World News site:


From Niklas Traneus
I refer to last week's news story: Sweden: Fees for foreign students possible from 2010 , University World News, 27 September 2009.

In fact, any type of fees for students applying to study in 2010 are unlikely as the Swedish Agency for Higher Education Services, which administers the online application system, has recommended that the government does not introduce application fees until the following year - that is, applications for the academic year 2011-12.
Full report on the University World News site:

UNI-LATERAL: Off-beat university stories

RUSSIA: New MBA programme tackles real-world hassles
A handful of top Russian business figures have created an MBA programme that tackles the issues they faced themselves - bribery, relentless bureaucracy and imperfect laws - reports Associated Press. Supporters of the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo say it will fill an important niche by getting students ready for the unpredictable, sometimes corrupt world of emerging market economies.
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CHINA: Postgraduates lose free tuition
Most Chinese postgraduate students will be forced to pay their own tuition fees at Beijing's top universities from next year, writes Wang Wei for China Daily. The Ministry of Education will cancel government-funded postgraduate programmes at all 36 universities affiliated to ministries in the capital. It said the move is designed to enhance the quality of postgraduate education and encourage competition among students.
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US: 'The Chinese are coming'
Carleton College has 18 new students from China this year, and they are paying about half of their own expenses. A handful of them don't need any financial aid at all. While Chinese graduate students are no shock on university campuses, significant cohorts of undergraduate applications from China are a new phenomenon at most colleges, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed.
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PHILIPPINES: Classes suspended following typhoon
Classes at all levels of education were suspended last Monday in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, officials said a day after a tropical storm hit the Philippines. Bar exams scheduled for last Sunday were postponed, and teaching in higher education institutions was suspended in six provinces, Emmanuel Angeles, chairman of the Commission on Higher Education, told The Manila Times.
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UK: Universities face fines over defying students cap
UK universities face multi-million pound fines after evidence suggested they broke a government-imposed cap on student numbers by up to 22,000 places after a 10% surge in applications, writes Polly Curtis for The Guardian.
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SOUTH AFRICA: Provinces to get new universities
Two of South Africa's provinces are to get new universities, Department of Higher Education and Training director-general Mary Metcalfe said recently, reports Sue Blaine for Business Day. Northern Cape and Mpumalanga are currently the only two of nine provinces that do not have public universities.
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MALAYSIA: Official ranking extended to private universities
All higher education institutions, both private and public, must take part in the Rating System for Malaysian Higher Education Institutions (Setara) to further improve the quality of education, the New Straits Times reports.

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INDIA: Professors must work 40 hours a week
Professors and university lecturers must clock up 40 hours a week, reports The Times of India. It is also mandatory for them to be 'physically' available on campus for at least five hours a day. India's University Grants Commission has set the academic workload at all universities in new regulations.
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SAUDI ARABIA: King's co-ed university slammed
A prominent Muslim cleric has criticised a new Saudi university launched by King Abdullah for allowing men and women to take classes together, reports Associated Press. Sheik Saad Bin Naser al-Shethri, a member of the powerful government-sanctioned Supreme Committee of (Islamic) Scholars, was quoted last week in the Al-Watan daily as demanding an end to co-ed classes at the newly opened King Abdullah Science and Technology University.
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US: A journal's second thoughts
Caterpillars and butterflies continue to vex the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, a prestigious journal that has found itself criticised for a publishing a paper that many say makes a mockery of evolutionary biology, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed.
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US: New York universities fail to turn research into jobs
New York's universities and hospitals excel at winning federal grants but flunk at turning their research into job-creating start-ups, says a new report released last Monday, reports Reuters. While the New York metropolitan area led the nation in spending on research and development in 2006, at US$2.9 billion, it lags on business development.
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VIETNAM: Higher education cooperation deal with US
Vietnam's Ministry of Education and Training and the US Embassy in Hanoi on 30 September signed an agreement to cooperate in education, the radio station VOVNews reports. Under the agreement, both parties will step up cooperation through a training programme between Vietnamese and US colleges and universities before establishing a Vietnam-US University in Vietnam.
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