Sunday, 3 April 2011

University World News 0165 - 3rd April 2011

This week's highlights

In Features, YOJANA SHARMA describes growing higher education ties between mainland China and Hong Kong, and ALISON MOODIE reports on research at Boston University into head trauma injuries using the donated brains of athletes. In People, SHARON DELL interviews South African novelist and former vice-chancellor Njabulo Ndebele, and GEOFF MASLEN profiles Bob Birrell, a much-quoted academic whose journal has fallen victim to the Excellence in Research for Australia Initiative. In Commentary, KEVIN DOWNING writes that rankings are enabling Asian universities to emerge from the long shadows cast by those in the West, AREVIK OHANYAN argues that the Bologna process has not accommodated the shared history and soc ialist legacies of post-communist states, and KATE WHITE, TERESA CARVALHO and SARAH RIORDAN argue that new managerialism in universities is having a negative impact on women's ability to climb the career ladder.

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

COLOMBIA: Students resist liberalisation plans
Pacifica Goddard
University students across Colombia are planning a large protest next week over their government's plans to reform the country's higher education sector and allow universities to become for-profit institutions. The proposals seek to expand high education by 608,000 places, to achieve 50% enrolment of undergraduate-age Colombians.
Full report on the University World News site:

INDIA: Medical education may be cut from foreign bill
Alya Mishra
India's Health Ministry and the Medical Council of India have together opposed the government's proposed Foreign Educational Institutions Bill to allow and regulate foreign universities in India, refusing to support the landmark legislation that is being closely watched around the world.
Full report on the University World News site:

GLOBAL: Strong science in Iran, Tunisia, Turkey
Yojana Sharma and Wagdy Sawahel
Iran, Tunisia and Turkey are among a number of countries beginning to challenge the dominance of established powerhouses of scientific research, according to a major new report that has identified rapidly emerging nations "not traditionally associated with a strong science base".
Full report on the University World News site:

GERMANY: Draft legislation recognises foreign degrees
Michael Gardner
With fears mounting over a shortage of specialists to fuel Germany's economic boom, the government has approved draft legislation on the recognition of qualifications and degrees that immigrants have acquired abroad. New regulations would make it much easier for many professionals to find jobs in their respective fields.
Full report on the University World News site:

UKRAINE: Number of universities to be reduced
Eugene Vorotnikov
The number of higher education institutions in Ukraine may be significantly cut in the coming years under an initiative by the Ukrainian government. The reduction will take place in accordance with a new higher education law, which is expected to be adopted by parliament within the next few months.
Full report on the University World News site:

DENMARK: Rector resigns over business school fiasco
Ard Jongsma
Copenhagen Business School Rector Johan Roos tendered his resignation and was sent home last weekend as it emerged that a merger between his institution and private MBA provider SIMI was in conflict with Danish university legislation. The merger had been carried out prematurely, anticipating approval, despite the rector's knowledge that it was contestable. Current MBA students risk ending up with an expensive degree without the accreditation so critical in the world of MBAs.
Full report on the University World News site:

AUSTRALIA: No place for People and Place
Geoff Maslen
The final edition of one of Australia's most oft-quoted academic journals has just been published. The controversial founder of People and Place, Dr Bob Birrell, used his final editorial to savage the federal government's Excellence in Research for Australia initiative, which he believes has led to the journal's demise and is affecting academics in the humanities and social sciences.
Full report on the University World News site:
Read a profile of Bob Birrell in the People section

SINGAPORE: Yale tie-up to proceed despite controversy
Adele Yung
After months of controversy and deliberations over funding, the National University of Singapore and Yale University last week announced that they will establish a new autonomous Yale-NUS college within two years as Singapore's first liberal arts college based on the US model.
Full report on the University World News site:

FRANCE: Projects and campuses 'of excellence' chosen
Jane Marshall
The first 100 projects selected for funding under the government's 'Labex' (Laboratories of Excellence) programme have been announced, together with a preliminary shortlist of seven university federations for 'Idex' (Initiatives of Excellence) status, part of a plan to create internationally competitive centres of higher education and research.
Full report on the University World News site:

GULF STATES: Virtual universities on the rise
Wagdy Sawahel
E-universities are proliferating in the Gulf States with a number of new projects aimed at improved technology transfer, narrowing the digital divide and facilitating access to knowledge.
Full report on the University World News site:

ZIMBABWE: Parliament wants fair student loan scheme
Kudzai Mashininga
Zimbabwe's parliament has recommended an overhaul of higher education including depoliticising the country's student cadet loan system and placing a controversial presidential scholarship scheme under a government department rather than in the hands of loyalists of President Robert Mugabe.
Full report on the University World News site:

NEWSBRIEF

ROMANIA: Diversified university system on track
The European University Association is to collaborate with the Romanian Ministry of Education and universities in the country to support the implementation of a major new higher education reform bill that came into force last month.
Full report on the University World News site:

FEATURES

CHINA-HONG KONG: Thorny issues of higher education ties
Yojana Sharma
One of the little-publicised sections of China's economic plan for the next five years includes Hong Kong for the first time since the former British colony's handover to China in 1997. However, Hong Kong and Southern China have already been forging higher education ties with a view to creating a common higher education space in the not-too distant future.
Full report on the University World News site:

US: Trauma centre studies donated brains of athletes
Alison Moodie
Dave Duerson, a former professional football player, committed suicide in February. His last request was that his brain be donated to Boston University's brain bank. With the knowledge that his injured brain would offer some answers to his deteriorating mental health, he made sure to shoot himself in the chest. Duerson is one of hundreds of athletes pledging their brains and spinal cord tissue to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, CSTE.
Full report on the University World News site:

PEOPLE

SOUTH AFRICA: Njabulo Ndebele on labels and leadership
In an interview with SHARON DELL, South African writer and former vice-chancellor of three universities Njabulo Ndebele highlights the limitations of absolutes and the fine line between universities and the society in which they are located.
Full report on the University World News site:

AUSTRALIA: Bob Birrell, controversial but determined
Geoff Maslen
For someone who has been at the centre of storms of controversy for two decades, Dr Bob Birrell seems remarkably placid. Likewise People and Place, the journal he and colleagues at Monash University's Centre for Population and Urban Research have produced four times a year for the past 18 years, seems a modest, octavo-sized publication. Yet the magazine and its unassuming publisher have probably generated more heated discussions about immigration, population and a host of other topical issues than any other such venture in the country.
Full report on the University World News site:

HERANA - Universities and development in Africa

AFRICA: Coordination and connectedness of universities
While African governments coordinate higher education at the national level, this is largely "symbolic" and most ministries do not have effective steering mechanisms, a three-year study of universities in eight African countries has found. This, along with lack of coordination of and connectedness to external groups, is undermining the potential of universities to contribute to economic development.
Full report on the University World News site:

COMMENTARY

GLOBAL: Rankings bring Asia out of the shadows
The benefits of rankings in encouraging international competition have been neglected as universities focus on the system itself, argues KEVIN DOWNING. He says that while rankings are necessarily imperfect, they are also creating the opportunity for many Asian institutions to emerge from the long shadows cast by those in the West.
Full report on the University World News site:

EUROPE: The Bologna process in the post-Soviet world
The effects of the Bologna process on the post-Soviet world have been treated insufficiently by policy-makers and researchers, argues AREVIK OHANYAN in the current issue of International Higher Education. The Bologna process is poorly positioned to accommodate the shared history of post-communist states and their soc ialist legacies.
Full report on the University World News site:

GLOBAL: Gender, power and managerialism in universities
The new managerialism in universities is having a negative impact on women's ability to climb up the career ladder, argue KATE WHITE, TERESA CARVALHO and SARAH RIORDAN. Their research shows that while women as senior managers have more of an impact on decision-making in managerialist universities, this is mainly related to 'soft' management skills which are not valued in a 'male' managerial culture that is strongly focused on research output.
Full report on the University World News site:

ACADEMIC FREEDOM

GLOBAL: Academic freedom reports from around the world
Noemi Bouet*
Members of a student group in South Korea have been arrested and accused of violating national security by openly supporting North Korea. There has been a furore in the US over a request by the Republican Party for copies of emails of history professor William Cronon, after he wrote articles critical of the party in Wisconsin. Peking University has announced its intention to screen students, including those with 'radical thoughts' and 'eccentric lifestyles', and in Iran nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri has been arrested and charged with treason. In Sudan's Darfur region, police have killed one protesting student and wounded several others.
Full report on the University World News site:

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WORLD ROUND-UP

IRELAND: New book casts doubt on university rankings
In a book published last week, Dublin Institute of Technology professor, Ellen Hazelkorn, expressed severe doubts about the value of international ranking systems and argued that they undermine the broader mission to provide education, writes Dick Ahlstrom for The Irish Times.
More on the University World News site:

LATIN AMERICA: University rankings take root
The growing influence of university rankings has reached Latin America, with governments, news media and private researchers drawing up domestic versions that they say are important for the institutions and students alike, writes Andrew Downie for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
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INDIA: University chiefs back semester plan
The vice-chancellors of state and central universities from across India unanimously supported a semester system at a two-day conference in Delhi, writes Kavita Chowdhury for India Today.
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UK: Fury over order to study the big society
The UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council will spend a 'significant' amount of its funding on the prime minister's vision for the country, after a government 'clarification' of the Haldane principle - a convention that for 90 years has protected the right of academics to decide where research funds should be spent, writes Daniel Boffey for the Observer.
More on the University World News site:

UK: Chinese accused of stealing British inventions
Noted English industrial designer, Sir James Dyson, has accused a section of Chinese students studying in the United Kingdom of infiltrating universities in order to steal intellectual property and technology inventions, reports the International Business Times.
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PERU: Yale returns Machu Picchu artefacts
A first batch of nearly 400 Machu Picchu objects arrived in Peru last week from Yale University, almost 100 years after they were taken away from the Inca citadel by explorer and academic Hiram Bingham, reports The Times of India.
More on the University World News site:

CHINA: Building of Sino-American university underway
The Chinese economic hub of Shanghai began construction of the New York University Shanghai (NYU Shanghai) last week, the first university jointly operated by China and the United States, reports Xinhuanet.
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US: Rutgers joins colleges paying for speakers
On 15 May, Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison will give the commencement address at Rutgers University in New Jersey. For her trouble, she will receive an honorary doctorate of letters - and a cheque for $30,000. Rutgers said the payment would be the first for a graduation speech in its 245-year history, writes Richard PĂ©rez-Pena for The New York Times.
More on the University World News site:

AUSTRALIA: Business takes dim view of academe
Launching its higher education policy, the Business Council of Australia's education taskforce said graduates still lacked essential attributes, especially in leadership, teamwork and communication, but universities were failing to heed the call, writes Julie Hare for The Australian.
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SCOTLAND: Students sue for higher grades
Growing numbers of students in Scotland are taking legal action against their universities for failing to provide adequate support for degree courses. According to the legal firm Ross Harper, six students across the country have taken out cases after receiving lower grades than they expected, writes Fiona MacLeod for Scotland on Sunday.
More on the University World News site:

UK: Failed fees plan may end up costing £1billion
Some of England's worst universities plan to charge students close to the maximum fee of £9,000 (US$14,406) a year and not one of them plans to charge average fees of £6,000 a year or less - the level which ministers said would be the norm when they announced the controversial proposals. This could end up costing the government £1 billion more than budgeted each year as it will have to provide upfront fees to universities, long before students repay them, write Oliver Wright, Lewis Smith and Joe Dyke for The Independent.
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WALES: Universities face up to 'challenging' cuts
Universities in South Wales are coming to terms with a "challenging" funding settlement which has seen their public cash cut, writes Gareth Evans for South Wales Echo.
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UK: A third of students drop out of university - study
Student drop-out rates at former polytechnics range between 30% and 40%, while the Higher Education Statistics authority predicts that more than 76,000 students who started their studies in 2008 will fail to graduate this summer, writes Kate Loveys for the Daily Mail.
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US: Bishops urge Catholic Schools to ban nun's book
A committee of American Roman Catholic bishops announced last Wednesday that a popular book about God by Sister Elizabeth A Johnson, a theologian at Fordham University in New York, should not be used in Catholic schools and universities because it does not uphold church doctrine, writes Laurie Goodstein for The New York Times.
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