Sunday, 8 May 2011

University World News 0170 - 8th May 2011

This week's highlights

This week University World News reports on the 1st QS-MAPLE (Middle East and Africa Professional Leaders in Education) conference held last week in Dubai Knowledge Village, and on the first QS global life sciences subject rankings. In Features, YOJANA SHARMA writes that branch campuses being set up in China could flounder because students are unwilling to pay overseas fee levels for degrees obtained in their own country, and AMEEN AMJAD KHAN reports on growing concern in Pakistan that the dismantling of the Higher Education Commission will place international research collaborations in jeopardy. In Commentary, WILLIAM PATRICK LEONARD suggests that marketing universities as vacation resorts could be a reason behind falling academics standards in America, and CHRISTIAN HELMERS argues that it is not enough to create science parks near universities and throw money at them - to succeed, they need to be actively managed.

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

INDIA: Science and research spending to double
Alya Mishra
The Indian government has said it will double its spending on science and technology research and development over the next five years, in a bid to keep up with other major developing countries such as China and Brazil.
Full report on the University World News site:

PAKISTAN: Local students fear Bin Laden backlash
Ameen Amjad Khan
A 45-minute operation by US Special Forces on a mansion in Abbottabad, which resulted in the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, has triggered fear and alarm among those who take pride in sending their children to the city for quality education.
Full report on the University World News site:

COTE D'IVOIRE: Campuses cleared of militia
Tunde Fatunde
With ousted Ivoirian president Laurent Gbagbo arrested by forces loyal to Dramane Allasane Ouattara, who was on Friday sworn in as the country's president, the new democratically elected government has ordered the military to clear universities of militia. But with campuses long embroiled in the political conflict, this task is far from simple.
Full report on the University World News site:

GERMANY: Top Euro politician accused of plagiarism
Michael Gardner
German politician and European Parliament Vice-president Silvana Koch-Mehrin is alleged to have used plagiarisms in at least a quarter of her doctoral thesis.
Full report on the University World News site:

UK: Private higher education needs legal framework
David Jobbins
Growth of private higher education in the UK will not necessarily be at the expense of the public sector, a report published by a leading think tank says. The report, from the Higher Education Policy Institute, calls for new legislation to regulate the growth.
Full report on University World News site:

CANADA: New government could commerc ialise HE
Sarah King Head
During the week after Stephen Harper's Conservative Party won its third consecutive election and was set to form it first majority government, questions remained over whether pledges to higher education articulated in the March budget that prompted a return to the polls - or those articulated on the electoral trail - would be honoured.
Full report on the University World News site:

MALAYSIA: Foreign students could counter brain drain
Honey Singh Virdee
Allowing in more international students could counter Malaysia's intensifying brain drain, which may become "a major stumbling block" to the country's aspiration to become a high-income nation, a just-released World Bank report has said.
Full report on the University World News site:

EGYPT: Minister calls for fees at public universities
Ashraf Khaled
A recent call by Egypt's Minister of Education Gamal Eddin Moussa to charge fees at public universities has triggered sharp criticism from academics. The minister said continued free education at governmental universities violated social justice.
Full report on the University World News site:

ZIMBABWE: Students under financial, political pressure
Kudzai Mashininga
Forty percent of Zimbabwe's students have been expelled from examination rooms for failing to pay their fees, and some have resorted to crime to raise funds. The crisis comes amid reports that President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF foot soldiers are moving around some campuses forcing students to sign an anti-sanctions petition.
Full report on the University World News site:

DR CONGO: Inquiries into violence after fees hikes
Jane Marshall
Violence between students and police in the Democratic Republic of Congo last month resulted in two deaths and several injuries, and has led to parliamentary inquiries. The angry students were principally demonstrating over sharp increases in university charges.
Full report on the University World News site:

SENEGAL: Second postgraduate maths institute to open
Munyaradzi Makoni
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences based in South Africa is on course to create a coordinated pan-African network training postgraduate students and promoting research in mathematical sciences within five years. A second AIMS centre is to start operating in Senegal in September.
Full report on the University World News site :

First QS MAPLE conference

The 1st QS-MAPLE (Middle East and Africa Professional Leaders in Education)
conference was held from 1-2 May in Dubai Knowledge Village, followed by a rankings and evaluation workshop. The event brought together international educators from across the world to discuss the development of higher education in the Middle East and Africa, to stimulate international partnership and to support evaluation and upgrading processes that could lead to greater worldwide recognition of universities in the regions. University World News reports.

GLOBAL: America, UK dominate life sciences rankings

David Jobbins British and North American universities lead a new global ranking of life sciences, with a sprinkling of universities from continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Far East barely breaking their near-monopoly. No university in South Asia, Africa or South America features in the top 50 for any of three disciplines covered in the first QS World University Rankings for Life Sciences in Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology.
Full report on the University World News site:

MIDDLE EAST: Branch campuses face leadership issues
Yojana Sharma
Branch campuses set up by Western institutions in the Middle East face leadership problems, with political and cultural issues posing the biggest challenges when the head of the university comes from the home institution, the QS-MAPLE (Middle East and Africa Professional Leaders in Education) conference in Dubai heard last week.
Full report on the University World News site:

MIDDLE EAST: Online education is vital for the region
Raj Kapoor
With economic imperatives rising and the demand for a more skilled workforce, now is the time for expansion of online higher education courses in the Middle East. However, there are still some challenges and perceptions to overcome.
Full report on the University World News site:

AFRICA: Higher education internationalising - slowly
Karen MacGregor
Higher education in Africa has been internationalising, driven by student mobility, the growth of English and an array of initiatives including the creation of regional bodies and networks and improved internet connectivity. But outside of South Africa, lack of strategies and the many challenges facing higher education are hampering its growth.
Full report on the University World News site:

NEWSBRIEFS

CHILE: Universities to strike over reforms
MarĂ­a Elena Hurtado
Chilean universities are going on strike on 12 May to press their demands regarding a major reform of higher education announced by the government. The strike follows an 8,000-strong march in downtown Santiago last week.
Full report on the University World News site:

VIETNAM: New state-of-the-art S&T university
Analena Batista-Mercado
Vietnam is to invest some US$315 million in a new state-of-the-art university of science and technology to be established in Hanoi with the help of a US$190 million loan from the Asian Development Bank, it was announced at the bank's headquarters in Manila last week.
Full report on the University World News site:

FEATURES

CHINA: Students against US prices for 'branch' degrees
Yojana Sharma
New overseas branch campuses being set up by US, British and other Western universities in China could flounder or rack up huge additional costs to the parent university because Chinese students are not willing to pay overseas levels of tuition fees for degrees obtained in their own country.
Full report on the University World News site:

PAKISTAN: Devolution jeopardises university research
Ameen Amjad Khan
The future of international research collaborations and other research initiatives are in doubt as a result of the Pakistan government's attempts to dismantle the federal-level Higher Education Commission and devolve responsibility to provinces that lack the capacity and financial resources to run these major projects, academics say.
Full report on the University World News site:

HERANA - Universities and development in Africa

AFRICA: Developing students as democratic citizens
African countries should initiate dialogue between government, student leaders, and university managers and professionals on student development as a pathway to democratic citizenship-building on the continent, new research has proposed.
Full report on the University World News site:

COMMENTARY

US: Selling universities as resorts affects quality
Why are academic standards falling in US universities? Could a reason be the fact that they are increasingly marketed on the basis of amenities - as four-year vacation resorts - rather than for their academic qualities and rigour? asks WILLIAM PATRICK LEONARD. Are universities and colleges unconsciously telling prospective students that academics and the requisite study time are at best secondary?
Full report on the University World News site:

GLOBAL: What makes science parks successful?
There has been a lot of focus on science parks being drivers of innovation in applied research, but what is their recipe for success? CHRISTIAN HELMERS argues that it is not enough to create parks near universities and throw money at them. They need to be actively managed to ensure firms residing in them have the right profile and are from the same industry.
Full report on the University World News site:

SCIENCE SCENE

US-SWITZERLAND: A healing polymer
A team of researchers in the United States and Switzerland have developed a polymer-based material that can heal itself with the help of a widely used type of lighting. The discovery could solve the problem of overcoming scratches on cars and other precious objects without repainting.
Full report on the University World News site:

UK: Plants use grandfather clock to flower
Scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London, have found that plants use a mechanism similar to a grandfather clock to activate a gene that regulates when they flower. The discovery has implications for crop productivity.
Full report on the University World News site:

SWITZERLAND: Saving lives by SMS
A new study by Professor Donald A Marchand of the Swiss business school IMD explains how an 'SMS for Life' project used text message technology to save lives by dramatically improving the supply chain for anti-malaria drugs in Tanzania.
Full report on the University World News site:

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WORLD ROUND-UP

MALAYSIA: Industry hails education deal with China
Veteran industry players have applauded the signing of an agreement between the Malaysian government and China to facilitate mutual recognition of higher education qualifications, which is expected to accelerate industrial growth, writes Lee Kian Seong for The Star.
More on the University World News site:

US: Prestigious universities group ousts Nebraska
For the first time in its 111-year history, an organisation made up of the nation's leading research universities has voted to oust one of its members, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. The ouster by the prestigious and prominent group, the Association of American Universities, was particularly painful to Nebraska since the university was one of its earliest members, admitted in 1909, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.
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CANADA: Wikileaks alleges anti-US university bias
A US Embassy official studying at the University of Ottawa apparently experienced first-hand what American officials describe as the 'anti-American biases' of Canada's universities and academics, writes Keith Bonnell for Postmedia News.
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US: Head of shuttered Tri-Valley University arrested
The president of Tri-Valley University, which has been called a 'sham' by federal prosecutors, was arrested last week after being indicted on 33 counts for what authorities call a student visa fraud scheme, writes Sophia Kazmi for Contra Costa Times.
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UK: St Andrews dismisses Syria centre criticism
St Andrews University has dismissed claims that it received funding negotiated through people connected to the current Syrian regime, reports BBC News. The Fife university launched a review into its Centre for Syrian Studies following the uprising in Syria.
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US-AFRICA: Gbabgo offered position at Boston
Dressed in a sagging white tank top and wearing a forlorn gaze, Cote d'Ivoire's deposed leader Laurent Gbagbo was dragged from his bunker after four months of refusing to step down from the presidency. But he had been offered another, less painful, end to his 11-year rule by US President Barack Obama - a teaching position at Boston University, writes Elizabeth Haggarty for the Toronto Star.
More on the University World News site:

MALAYSIA: Freeze placed on new medical courses
Malaysia's Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said last week that a temporary freeze had been imposed on higher education institutions from offering new medical courses, effective from this month. The freeze would be for five years, reports the official agency Bernama.
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US: Discord in Harvard's education school
The recent denial of tenure to a prominent Harvard scholar whose work focuses on grassroots organising has sparked student protests over the direction of one of the nation's most influential education schools, writes Tracy Jan for the Boston Globe.
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US: School blocks Kushner honour over Israel
For the second time in just six months, the City University of New York has become embroiled in scandal over the politics of the Israel-Palestine conflict. This week, the CUNY board of trustees blocked an attempt by one of its member colleges to award an honorary degree to the celebrated playwright Tony Kushner, who is also a prominent Jewish critic of Israel's treatment of Palestinians, writes Justin Elliot for Salon.com.
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UK: Applicants in the dark over at-risk universities
Students are being left in the dark over seven at-risk universities that face closure. Those applying for courses have no way of knowing if their chosen destinations are on the Higher Education Funding Council for England's secret list of imperilled institutions, writes Kate Loveys for The Mail.
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WALES: Calls for universities to unite on plagiarism
There have been calls for Welsh universities to be more consistent in dealing with students who plagiarise, writes Polly March for BBC News, as new figures show that between 2008 and 2011, 927 students from six Welsh universities copied work.
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AUSTRALIA: Record numbers of students enroll
A record number of students have enrolled in Australian universities this year, 50,000 more than in 2009. Minister for Tertiary Education Chris Evans said that in 2011, more than 480,000 undergraduate places were being funded, an increase of 10% since 2009, reports PS News.
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SINGAPORE: Four universities get private funding boost
Singapore's four public universities have each received at least S$1 million (US$810,000) in aid from Prima Limited, the republic's first flour miller. Nanyang Technological University, the National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University were each handed a cheque for S$1 million on the occasion of the Prima group's 50th anniversary, writes Lois Calderon for Channel News Asia.
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INDIA: Business schools face faculty crisis
While academics of Indian origin such as Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria, and Chicago Booth dean Sunil Kumar, are scaling the professional ladder in the West, business schools within India are struggling to find the same calibre of talent to fill faculty positions, reports Cool Avenues.com.
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US: Stanford creates stem cell PhD programme
Stanford University's faculty senate has approved the creation of what officials believe is the first stem cell science PhD programme in the nation and, perhaps, the world. The new doctoral programme in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine is also the first interdisciplinary doctoral programme created by the school of medicine in recent years, reports News Medical.
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