Sunday, 4 April 2010

University World News 118 - 5th April 2010

This is the second in our two-part series of reports from the British Council's Going Global conference in London on 26 and 27 March. The event attracted 1,200 delegates from 75 countries as well as 200 speakers and 60 poster presentations. Our correspondents report. To see the previous reports, click here.

CHINA: More autonomy for universities
Yojana Sharma Moves to give China's universities more autonomy under far-reaching education reforms will mean they have more say in enrolment and international exchanges, Chinese officials told the Going Global conference.
Full report on the University World News site:

GLOBAL: Internationalisation or westernisation?
Yojana Sharma
A new awareness is emerging among policy-makers and university heads that a headlong rush towards internationalisation is not always best for students, universities and the countries involved. This year's Going Global conference debated whether internationalisation was just a euphemism for the 'westernisation' of higher education.
Full report on the University World News site:

UK: Is the private sector necessary?
Diane Spencer
Can governments deliver their higher education policies without the private sector? In the session devoted to this question at the Going Global conference, all three speakers agreed that they couldn't although Lord (John) Tomlinson, former Labour minister and chair of the UK's Association of Independent Higher Education Providers, said: "Yes, but not very well."
Full report on the University World News site:

GLOBAL: Finding the best economists and engineers
Yojana Sharma
As the subjective nature of international university league tables becomes more widely recognised, the OECD is making an ambitious attempt at more objective international comparisons of what students actually learn at universities.
Full report on the University World News site:

HONG KONG: Reforms challenge academic standards
Yojana Sharma
When Hong Kong first proposed shifting from a three-year undergraduate degree to four years while reducing upper secondary programmes by a year so students could begin university at age 17, it was seen as a move away from an education system inherited from the British colonial era to a more politically neutral American-style education.
Full report on the University World News site:

GLOBAL: Lectures to go in a Web 2.0 world?
Yojana Sharma
As the learning content in universities is rapidly 'commoditised', with lectures cheaply or freely available on the internet, the question posed at the Going Global conference session on higher education in a Web 2.0 world was: "What value do institutions bring when everything is on the web?"
Full report on the University World News site:

IRAQ: Rolling back the years of isolation
Brendan O'Malley
International partnerships are being used to expose Iraqi education leaders to current global thinking on policy and practice after years of academic disengagement, the Going Global conference was told. The UK is funding two schemes to encourage partnerships with technical and higher education institutions as a means of rebuilding capacity and helping the education sector to contribute to prosperity, peace and security.
Full report on the University World News site :

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

EUROPE: New ways of ranking universities
Jan Petter Myklebust
An expert group on the assessment of university-based research was established by the European Commission in July 2008. The main objective was to "identify parameters to be observed in research assessment and to analyse major assessment and ranking systems in order to establish a more valid comparative methodological approach". Now the group has delivered its final report proposing wide-ranging changes in the world ranking of universities and calling for a more fine-tuned assessment methodology.
Full report on the University World News site:

GREECE: Owners attempt to exploit state sector cuts
Makki Marseilles
One would not have to be a guru to predict that the recent austerity measures affecting the state sector, and imposed by the government at the behest of the European Union, would inevitably have an impact on the private one. Private education institution owners have been accused of attempting to apply the state sector's severe reductions in wages and salaries to their own employees.
Full report on the University World News site:

SOUTH AFRICA: Fewer doctors graduate
Alison Moodie
The number of doctors graduating from South African universities has dropped in recent years despite a pressing need for more medical practitioners. A more than 6% decline in medical graduates between 2004 and 2008 - from 1,394 to 1,306 - has been blamed on lack of funds, staff shortages and poor facilities.
Full report on the University World News site:

EGYPT: Academics threaten pay strikes
Ashraf Khaled
A recent admission by Egypt's Minister of Higher Education that the salaries of lecturers at public universities are "paltry" has not mollified them. Indeed, academics are angrier than before and have threatened more protests to pressure the government to substantially increase their salaries.
Full report on the University World News site:

INDIA: US$1 billion grant for education
The World Bank has approved two education projects worth US$1 billion to improve the quality of engineering education across India and boost the number of children enrolling in and completing primary school.
Full report on the University World News site:

ISLAMIC STATES: Science and technology innovation
Wagdy Sawahel
Islamic states have given the green light to the establishment of a science and technology innovation organisation to maximise utilisation of the scientific talent and technological potential of the Muslim world by pooling the resources of the private and public sectors for research and development.
Full report on the University World News site:

NEWSBRIEFS

GERMANY: Government funding for research decade
Michael Gardner
In the wake of the failed Copenhagen climate summit, Germany has stressed the need to step up efforts to counter threats to sustainable development and secure the world's natural resource base. A new government initiative will promote sustainable development research.
Full report on the University World News site:

NORWAY: Largest donation for medicine
Jan Petter Myklebust
A NOK800 million (US$136 million) donation to the Bergen Medical Foundation, probably the largest given in Norway, for science and other social benefits has been made by the heirs of Nowegian ship-owner Kristian Gerhard Jebsen who died in 2004.
Full report on the University World News site:

SPAIN: Big loan to ICAF
The European Investment Bank has granted a EUR75 million loan to the Instituto de Finanzas de Cantabria, or ICAF, for investment in education in the region. The finance contract was signed by the Vice-President of the Cantabrian government, Dolores Gorostiaga Saiz, bank Vice-President Carlos da Silva Costa, and the region's Finance Minister and Chair of ICAF, Ángel Agudo San Emeterio.
Full report on the University World News site:

EUROPE: Boosting research ties with the East
A grant of €600,000 (US$809,000) has been allocated to build better research relations between the European Union and nations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia known as the EECA. The grant to the EECAlink project comes under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme.
Full report on the University World News site:

FEATURE

GLOBAL: Private education and development
In the past decade, private education has had an increasingly significant impact in the developing world, with many countries promoting private sector growth to expand educational capacity and access at all levels, an international education conference was told last week. The conference heard that more entrepreneurs were investing in the private sector in developing countries and "bringing fresh approaches and perspectives".
Full report on the University World News site:

BUSINESS

INDIA: Eco-friendly university in US partnership
Leah Germain
A new model giving universities a shot at generating valuable overseas student fees has been shown by an agreement between an environment-friendly university in India and Bradley University in Illinois, US. The agreement will give students the chance to begin their academic career in India and graduate in the United States.
Full report on the University World News site:

UK: Sustainability education needs radical change
Leah Germain
In a recent poll, 78% of students studying construction industry-related courses think their industry will play one of the most important roles in global efforts to tackle climate change. But if graduates are to help the building sector go green, leaders in the sector say a more radical approach to teaching sustainability is required.
Full report on the University World News site:

SAUDI ARABIA: A holistic approach to business
Leah Germain
A new programme designed to develop management and leadership skills for business leaders in Arab and Muslim countries has taken an alternative approach to relaying important business techniques to its participants. The Programme for Advanced Leadership and Management, or PALM, has been designed by a Saudi Arabia college to develop intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual relations in the Middle East business sector.
Full report on the University World News site:

UNI-LATERAL: Off-beat university stories

AUSTRALIA: Can politicians stop repeating mistakes?
The Alfred Deakin Research Institute at Deakin University in Geelong, near Melbourne, claims its new website will help politicians avoid reinventing the wheel and repeating the errors of the past.
Full report on the University World News site:

US: Field trip or I'll sue, says 13-year-old prodigy
Colin Carlson is the kind of student every university loves: bright and engaging, he boasts near-perfect grades and a 100% attendance record during his first year-and-a-half studying for a bachelor's degree in environmental biology at the prestigious University of Connecticut. He also happens to be just 13 years old, writes Guy Adams for The Independent. That factor lay behind the institution's recent rejection of his request to take part in a summer field trip to the exotic wilds of South Africa.
More on the University World News site:

CHINA: Hamburger University opens in Shanghai
China's newest university has no football field or fancy library, writes Elaine Kurtenbach for Associated Press. For inspiration it looks not to Confucius, but to Ronald McDonald. But Shanghai's Hamburger University aspires to be a leader in higher learning for ambitious Chinese managers.
More on the University World News site:

US: To scientists, laughter is no joke
So a scientist walks into a shopping mall to watch people laugh. There's no punch-line, writes Seth Borenstein for Associated Press. Laughter is a serious scientific subject, one that researchers are still trying to figure out.
More on the University World News site:

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WORLD ROUND-UP

UK: Climate science must be more open, say MPs
MPs investigating the climate change row at the UK's University of East Anglia have demanded greater transparency from climate scientists, writes Roger Harrabin for BBC News. The science and technology committee of the House of Commons criticised the university authorities for failing to respond to requests for data from climate change sceptics. But it found no evidence that Professor Phil Jones, whose e-mails were hacked and published online, had manipulated data.
More on the University World News site:

UK: Majority of young women in university
A watershed in university participation has been reached - for the first time a majority of young women in England are going to university, Sean Coughlan reports for BBC News. Provisional figures, showing university entrance for 2008-09, reveal that 51% of young women entered higher education, up from 49% the previous year.
More on the University World News site:

US: Obama signs higher-education measure into law
President Barack Obama signed into law on Tuesday a package of revisions to his new health-care overhaul that includes a measure aimed at making higher education more affordable, writes William Branigin for The Washington Post. The provision ends what Obama called a long-standing 'sweetheart deal' for banks in federally guaranteed student loans.
More on the University World News site:

CANADA: Ontario universities cash-starved: report
The contrast between the past and the present at Ontario universities lies at the heart of a report released last week by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, the voice of 15,000 professors and academic librarians across the Canadian province, writes Matthew Pearson for The Ottawa Citizen. The Decline of Quality in Ontario Universities calls on the province to inject millions more dollars more into universities so today's students can enjoy what previous generations did - without going deeply into debt.
More on the University World News site:

CHINA: Shanghai to attract more foreign students
Shanghai plans to improve its higher education resources to attract more foreign students, and to spend more for college students to study overseas, reports Liang Yiwen for the Shanghai Daily. The goal is for the percentage of overseas students in local colleges to grow to 15% in 2020 compared with 5.9% in 2008, according to the city's 10-year education development outline.
More on the University World News site:

MALAYSIA: Not a 'dumping ground' for foreign students
Malaysia is not a 'dumping ground' for foreign students who have problems and are under-qualified, Parliament was told on Wednesday, reports the official agency Bernama. Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Dr Hou Kok Chung, said the government did not compromise on the quality of foreign students it allowed to study in higher education institutions.
More on the University World News site:

ZIMBABWE: 33 students arrested during protests
Around 33 students were arrested countrywide on Monday after they staged a series of demonstrations against high tuition fees and the political deadlock in Zimbabwe, reports Lance Guma for SW Radio Africa. The Zimbabwe National Students Union, Zinasu, said the protests also commemorated the March 2008 elections which marked "Zimbabwe's closest ever shot at democracy".
More on the University World News site:

AUSTRALIA: Universities want residency for post-grads
Australia's top universities have called for a new visa to be established that would clear the way for postgraduate students to gain permanent residency, reports ABC News. The federal government is reviewing its points system for skilled migrants ahead of changes to the list of preferred skills that will come into effect later this year.
More on the University World News site:

THAILAND: Concern over quality of doctoral degrees
If you wish to pursue a PhD in Thailand, there are now at least 1,000 programmes to choose from, writes Chularat Saengpassa for The Nation. But top educators admit they are worried that quality may be being compromised.
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DUBAI: Half of all students on business programmes
Dubai's education bouquet just got bigger with 112 new programmes introduced by higher education institutes in 2009-2010. Business-related courses are again a big draw, enrolling half of all students in higher education, writes Afshan Ahmed for the Khaleej Times.
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US: University cancels William Ayers speech
The University of Wyoming last week cancelled a speech by former 1960s radical William Ayers after it raised hundreds of objections from citizens and politicians over the man who became an issue in the 2008 presidential campaign, writes Bob Moen for The Associated Press. Ayers had been invited to speak on Monday about social justice issues and education by the university's Social Justice Research Center, which studies oppression and inequality.
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US: Planned Palin speech stirs California protest
A controversy is erupting over Sarah Palin's June speaking engagement at a campus of California State University, writes Daniel B Wood for the Christian Science Monitor. A student protest group and other critics want the university to reveal how much they're paying her, which they suspect might be more than $100,000. A professor has started a Facebook gripe group. And a state senator is pressuring university officials to disclose Palin's compensation or be prosecuted under state law.
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US: Seven Texas universities submit Tier One strategies
The University of Texas at Arlington will offer doctorate degrees in sustainability and globalism. UT-Dallas will bring more diversity to its student body and faculty. UT-San Antonio will continue raising admissions standards, writes Holly K Hacker for The Dallas Morning News. Those are among the strategies of some state public universities for becoming so-called Tier One campuses, which are considered the country's top research universities and carry national clout.
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MALAYSIA-CHINA: Degree recognition discussed
A delegation from China's Education Ministry has visited Kuala Lumpur for discussions with Malaysia's Higher Education Ministry on recognition of university degrees from both countries, reports the official news agency Bernama.
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US-CHINA: Universities pledge US$6 million for research
The University of Michigan and China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University have each pledged US$3 million over the next five years for a series of grants to fund renewable energy and biomedical research projects in Michigan and Shanghai, Ryan Beene reports for Crain's Detroit Business web news service.
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