Sunday, 2 October 2011

University World News 0191 - 2nd October 2011

This week's highlights

While Australia has made a surprise decision to lift most of its new restrictions on issuing visas to international students, France has decided to slap constraints on students from outside Europe, GEOFF MASLEN and JANE MARSHALL report. In Mauritius, GUILLAUME GOURGES interviews Tertiary Education Minister Rajesh Jeetah about the island country's ambitious higher education plans. In Features, YOJANA SHARMA finds that China is turning to Hong Kong's world-class universities for help in improving medical education, and ALAN RUBY and ADRIANA JARAMILLO offer advice to developing countries on what to look for in a branch campus. In Commentary, RAHUL CHOUDAHA argues that countries that can negotiate the new post-9/11 and recession environment and are prepared for future upheavals will be best placed in the race to attract international students, and SIMON MARGINSON proposes protocols for international education that could create an informal global standard for the future. JOHN HOLMWOOD outlines an Alternative White Paper signed by hundreds of UK academics in response to government plans for universities.

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

AUSTRALIA: Doors open to foreign students
Geoff Maslen
Australia's 39 universities are preparing for a brand new day in 2012: not only will government quotas on the number of local students they enrol be lifted, but they will also be able to recruit as many foreigners as they wish through a new fast-track visa system. In a generous move that surprised even sceptical vice-chancellors, government decided to lift most restrictions on issuing visas to overseas students, opening the way for a likely flood of new applications from China, India, Pakistan and other Asian countries.
Full report on the University World News site:
See also the Simon Marginson article in Commentary

FRANCE: Immigration restrictions hit foreign students
Jane Marshall
Immigration measures that tighten restrictions on foreign students from outside the European Union and are opposed by university presidents, grandes ├ęcoles and students, have been defended by Laurent Wauquiez, France's Minister for Higher Education and Research.
Full report on the University World News site:

EUROPE: Erasmus expands to help Arab Spring
Brendan O'Malley
The European Commission announced on Tuesday that EUR66 million (US$90 million) will be allocated to extending the Erasmus Mundus higher education programme to support European Neighbourhood countries, in response to the Arab Spring.
Full report on the University World News site:

ASIA: Forging regional higher education integration
Suvendrini Kakuchi
Plans to integrate higher education in Asia, a regional challenge that calls for streamlining of university curricula and grading systems, gathered steam at an international symposium held in Tokyo last week.
Full report on the University World News site:

PAKISTAN: Central role for universities in new policy
Ameen Amjad Khan
Higher education's share of Pakistan's overall education budget should double to 20% in the coming decade, according to a new science, technology and innovation policy approved by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. But independent observers doubt the claim will be fulfilled.
Full report on the University World News site:

BAHRAIN: Reinstate sacked staff, says rights group
Brendan O'Malley
Human Rights Watch has called on universities in Bahrain to immediately reinstate hundreds of students, academics and staff who have been dismissed for voicing criticism of the government and royal family or for attending largely peaceful protests in February and March, when civil unrest engulfed the island.
Full report on the University World News site:

SWEDEN: Scholarships to woo back foreign students
Jan Petter Myklebust
The Swedish government has responded to the drastic fall in the number of international students from outside Europe, following the introduction of tuition fees, by increasing funding for scholarships.
Full report on the University World News site:

DENMARK: Masters graduates overseas face study bill
Jan Petter Myklebust
The Danish government intends to make masters students who go on to work overseas for more than five years, repay the cost of their degree. The proposal has led to protests from opponents who claim it is the first step towards introducing tuition fees.
Full report on the University World News site:

NIGERIA: President orders probe into campus r ape
Tunde Fatunde
Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan has ordered a police investigation into an incident at Abia State University in which five students allegedly r aped a female colleague, filmed the o rgy and posted it on the internet, sparking outrage across the country and abroad.
Full report on the University World News site:

KENYA: Double student intake kicks off at Kenyatta
Gilbert Nganga
Kenyatta University has become the first in the country to enrol two batches of freshman students, in a double-intake plan that seeks to ease a biting higher education admissions crisis. Educationists expect the move to be followed by Kenya's other six public universities as they rush to clear a backlog of 40,000 students.
Full report on the University World News site:

GERMANY: Launch of digital campus network
Geoff Maslen
Dubbed the Collaboration Network for Academia, the world's first 'iversity', which has been set up by a team of young entrepreneurs in the small town of Neuenhagen outside Berlin, had its official launch on Monday. Organisers say academics and students now have access to a novel workspace unavailable in other online formats.
Full report on the University World News site:

Q&A

MAURITIUS: Minister outlines knowledge hub plans
Africa's most developed country, the small island state of Mauritius off the continent's east coast, has positioned itself to be a regional knowledge hub. Higher education reforms are underway, new universities and campuses are being built and the government and sector are working to attract 100,000 international students by 2020. University World News correspondent in Mauritius, GUILLAUME GOURGES, interviewed Tertiary Education Minister Rajesh Jeetah about the country's ambitious higher education plans.
Full report on the University World News site:

FEATURES

CHINA: Hong Kong helps to upgrade medical training
Yojana Sharma
Prestigious overseas universities have been hovering in China hoping to forge collaborations in medical education and research. Yet so far none have set up a medical school there, despite the country's huge need to upgrade medical training. It is Hong Kong, with its international medical education standards and world-class health system, that has been quietly helping China with undergraduate training.
Full report on the University World News site:

GLOBAL: A buyers' guide to branch campuses
Alan Ruby and Adriana Jaramillo
Ministers of education in developing economies around the globe are trying to make sense of the growth of university branch campuses. Their neighbors and competitors have them, local citizens seem to want them as an alternative to sending their children abroad, they might be cheaper than large-scale scholarship programmes like the King Abdullah grants, and they could underpin research and development facilities.
Full report on the University World News site:

COMMENTARY

GLOBAL: The future of international student mobility
International student mobility over the past decade has been hugely affected by two events, 9/11 and the 2008 recession. We are now entering a period of increased competition for international students. Those nations and institutions that can negotiate the new environment and are prepared for any event that may change the playing field will be best placed to prosper, writes RAHUL CHOUDAHA.
Full report on the University World News site:

AUSTRALIA: Tackling the fall in international education
Australia saw a huge rise in international students from 1990 but policy changes, prompted by a number of issues including document fraud, have resulted in a dramatic fall-off in recent months. SIMON MARGINSON sets out some protocols for international education that he says could create an informal global standard for the future.
Full report on the University World News site:

UK: In defence of public higher education
Hundreds of academics, including some of the most well-known figures in UK higher education, have published an Alternative White Paper in response to government plans for universities. In it, they put forward their idea of what a public university should be for and draw attention to the wider public significance of the reforms and the threat they believe these represent, says one of the signatories JOHN HOLMWOOD.
Full report on the University World News site:

SCIENCE SCENE

GLOBAL: Humans exhaust nature's budget
Humanity has already surpassed 'nature's budget' for the year and is moving into the ecological equivalent of overdraft, according to data from the Global Footprint Network, an international research organisation with offices in California and Geneva.
Full report on the University World News site:

UK: Playing ping-pong with electrons
Scientists at Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory have demonstrated an amazing degree of control over the most fundamental aspect of an electronic circuit: how electrons move from one place to another. Researchers have moved an individual electron along a wire, batting it back and forth more than 60 times rather like the ball in a game of ping-pong.


Full report on the University World News site :

AUSTRALIA: Aboriginals reached Asia first
A 100-year-old lock of hair from a West Australian Aboriginal man has led to the discovery that Aborigines are directly descended from the first people to leave Africa more than 70,000 years ago. The find reinterprets world history by showing the ancestors of modern Australian Aboriginal people reached Asia at least 24,000 years before other human migrations that produced present-day Europeans and Asians.
Full report on the University World News site:

GLOBAL: Serpentine subduction in transfer
An international team of scientists has provided new insights into the processes behind the evolution of the planet by demonstrating how salty water and gases transfer from the atmosphere into the Earth's interior. Scientists have long argued about how the Earth evolved from the primitive state in which it was covered by an ocean of molten rock into the planet we live on today with a solid crust made of moving tectonic plates, oceans and an atmosphere.
Full report on the University World News site:

UNI-LATERAL

UK: Manchester professor revives Beethoven classic
A lost Beethoven masterpiece has been painstakingly reconstructed by an expert more than 200 years after it vanished, writes Tom Brooks-Pollock for the Manchester Evening News.
More on the University World News site:

NORTH KOREA: Ruler's grandson to study in Bosnia
While Chinese leaders send their offspring to America and Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe sends his to Hong Kong, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il favours…Bosnia, reports Today's Zaman.
More on the University World News site:

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WORLD ROUND-UP

GLOBAL: Professors take academic road to the East
A decade ago most aspiring business professors headed West, to the US. These days they are heading in the opposite direction: Asia is becoming the hotspot for the top management thinkers, writes Della Bradshaw for the Financial Times.
More on the University World News site:

UK: Universities 'over-report' on foreign students
A new report shows that British lecturers and staff have raised concerns over student absence or activities on more than 35,000 occasions in the past two years, writes Tom Whitehead for The Telegraph. The report raises fresh concerns that the student visa system is still open to widespread abuse by those looking to stay in the UK illegally.
More on the University World News site:

US: Harvard endowment rises to US$32 billion
Harvard University has consolidated its position as the richest university in the world, with the value of its endowment rising by 20% to £20.7 billion (US$32.4 billion), reports the BBC. It means the university has added £4.4 billion to the value of its endowment in a single year. As an international comparison, a report last week showed that the annual turnover for the entire UK higher education system is £26 billion.
More on the University World News site:

US: Princeton adopts open access policy
The movement to make research freely available got a high-profile boost last week with the news that Princeton University's faculty has unanimously adopted an open access policy, writes Jennifer Howard for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
More on the University World News site:

US: Too many rules in higher education, study finds
After surveying more than 2,000 higher education officials about which federal regulations they find too burdensome, a federal panel now has its answer: almost all of them, writes Libby A Nelson for Inside Higher Ed.
More on the University World News site:

DENMARK: Online network to recruit Chinese talent
Denmark last week launched the first-ever website to enable talented Chinese students and professionals to connect directly with Danish universities and firms, reports Xinhua.
More on the University World News site:

JAPAN: Universities under-utilise facilities - survey
Many of Japan's most prestigious universities spend huge amounts of money on unutilised and unnecessary facilities, reports the Mainichi Daily News.
More on the University World News site:

NIGERIA: Staff strike cripples universities
There was total compliance last week with the one-week nationwide warning strike by Nigeria's Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which disrupted examinations in the nation's premier University of Ibadan and the University of Jos and paralysed academic activities in others, reports Afrique en Ligne.
More on the University World News site:

ZIMBABWE: Under-resourced universities under threat
The Zimbabwean government has threatened to shut down under-resourced universities, saying the institutions are compromising education standards, according to The Africa Report.
More on the University World News site:

TAIWAN: 'Spying' professor under investigation
Prosecutors in Taiwan last week investigated Wu Chang-yu, an associate professor in the Central Police University's department of administrative management, in connection with passing information on activities of Chinese and foreigners in Taiwan to China, writes Lin Ching-Chuan for Taipei Times.
More on the University World News site:

JORDAN: Displaced medical students to study locally
All Jordanians studying medicine in Yemen and Libya will be accepted at local universities provided that they pass the entrance exams prepared by the medical faculties of the institutions, a senior official said last week, reports The Jordan Times.
More on the University World News site:

SWEDEN: Academics may apply for jobs in Swedish
Three Swedish universities, which had placed job advertisements requiring certain applications to be filed in English, are now being told to change their approach after a recent decision that gives a primary role to the national language, writes Jonathan J Li for The New York Times.
More on the University World News site:

UK: Universities face cuts for not boosting access
Universities have been told to enrol more students from disadvantaged groups or they could be ordered to cut their fees, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.
More on the University World News site:

SCOTLAND: Anger over rush to agree on merger
Two of Scotland's universities are under pressure to agree to merge within weeks in a bid to save money, it has emerged. The Scottish Funding Council, which provides Scottish government cash for higher education, wants Dundee and Abertay to have decided on their future by the end of this month, writes Chris Marshall for The Scotsman.
More on the University World News site:

US: Universities urge freshmen to study humanities
On 21st century American campuses, is there room for Shakespeare, Sartre and Sondheim? A declining number of students think so, a trend that worries leaders at many top universities, where engineers often outnumber humanists, writes Lisa M Krieger for San Jose Mercury News.
More on the University World News site:

US: 'Irvine 11' plan to appeal heckling conviction
A group of Muslim students who were convicted on 23 September of disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador at the University of California, Irvine, plan to appeal as Muslim community leaders call the high-profile free speech case a civil rights moment, writes David Finnigan for Huffington Post.
More on the University World News site:

US: Bake sale: Clever satire or over-the-top stunt?
The bake sale was supposed to be a satire, drawing attention to what organisers feel is a discriminating and racist bill, now on the desk of California Governor Jerry Brown, that would allow the state's university systems to consider race, ethnicity and gender in admission decisions, writes Daniel B Wood for the Christian Science Monitor.
More on the University World News site:

WALES: Plans for super-institution unveiled
A university last week mapped out its blueprint for a new super-institution bringing together partners in southeast Wales. The University of Wales, Newport, talked of a new era for higher education in the region which would leave behind "any competition and rivalry that may have hampered collaboration in the past", writes Gareth Evans for the Western Mail.
More on the University World News site:

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