Sunday, 9 October 2011

University World News 0192 - 9th October 2011

This week's highlights

In Features, BRENDAN O'MALLEY reports on a 10th anniversary event held by Scholars at Risk in New York last week, and the targeting of academics in Syria for assassination. In India, ALYA MISHRA previews this week's meeting between India's education minister and the US secretary of state that will use education diplomacy to build relations between the two countries, and HIEP PHAM looks at quality problems facing non-formal higher education in Vietnam. In Commentary, DARIA LUCHINSKAYA says Russia's efforts to modernise higher education by developing world-class universities and attracting top international academics could work, Canada's MARY CATHARINE LENNON says there is a need to develop financial literacy programmes and strategies that focus on access to higher education, and in Egypt SHERIF KAMEL argues that business schools need to be agents of change rather than mere objects of change if they are to influence real-world situations.

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

GLOBAL: How to create a world-class university
Yojana Sharma
Although some of the world's top-ranked institutions such as Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford are hundreds of years old, a series of case studies of successful world-class research universities, prepared by the World Bank, shows that a faster and more effective approach to achieving world-class status is to establish a new institution.
Full report on the University World News site:

SOMALIA: Students killed in Mogadishu car blast
Ahmed Mohamoud Elmi
A truck bomb exploded in a government compound in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Tuesday, killing at least 70 people - most of them students waiting for examination results and hoping for scholarships to study in Turkey. The compound, which houses eight ministries including education, was targeted for an attack described as the deadliest in months.
Full report on the University World News site:

GLOBAL: Some surprises in new THE university rankings
Karen MacGregor
The California Institute of Technology has edged Harvard out of the global top slot in the just-published Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011-12. The new ranking places Hong Kong as best in the world in university performance relative to gross domestic product, which tries to normalise the rankings for country size and wealth.
Full report on the University World News site:

LATIN AMERICA: Brazil leads new regional ranking
David Jobbins
Brazil has more universities in a new top 200 ranking for Central and South America than any other country in the region. The lusophone nation hosts 65 of the top 200 universities in the QS University Rankings: Latin America, with the University of São Paolo topping the table.
Full report on the University World News site:

ITALY: Billion euro boost for southern universities
Lee Adendorff
The Italian government is to pump more than EUR1 billion (US$1.3 billion) into universities in the south of the country as part of a regeneration plan for the region. The decision was announced last week by Raffaele Fitto, minister for regional relationships and territorial cohesion, and Mariastella Gelmini, the education minister.
Full report on the University World News site:

DENMARK: New premier to expand higher education
Jan Petter Myklebust
Denmark's new government has set ambitious targets for increased access to university education but has yet to outline how it will fulfil its election pledge to end DKK1 billion (US$180 million) underfunding to higher education.
Full report on the University World News site:

ISLAMIC STATES: Ministers back university actions
Ameen Amjad Khan
Ministers of higher education and research from 57 countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation agreed to a "fresh look" at university systems in their countries, at an IOC meeting in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh on Wednesday. There was a need to reexamine higher education quality and relevance "in view of the demands of the market forces of knowledge economies," the ministers said, and to implement key performance indicators.
Full report on the University World News site:

PAKISTAN: Bank loan to rescue higher education plan
Ameen Amjad Khan
Pakistan's five-year higher education development plan, which has been languishing in the doldrums for lack of funding, is now expected to be implemented after the World Bank agreed to release US$300 million to the country's Higher Education Commission.
Full report on the University World News site:

GERMANY: Lifeline for dropouts and left-outs
Michael Gardner
A number of German universities and colleges are to benefit from around EUR400 million (US$536 million) of federal and European funding for tailor-made programmes to increase access to higher education for people who have dropped out of or missed out on university or vocational training.
Full report on the University World News site:

AUSTRALIA: Science under siege
Geoff Maslen
The very basis of science and of an informed, progressive and enlightened society are under siege, Australia's Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb told a conference on Thursday. Chubb said scientists were caught up in a rearguard action against critics who sought to question and tear down "the very ideals, the values, the principles and the practices of science".
Full report on the University World News site:

EGYPT: First African business school round-table
Ashraf Khaled
Leaders of business schools in Africa and elsewhere gathered in Egypt last week to discuss effective ways to enhance their institutions' roles in helping the continent grapple with food security challenges, and to forge academic collaborations aimed at tackling African problems. Full report on the University World News site: http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20111009095654421 See also the article by Sherif Kamal in Commentary

US: Writers sue universities over digital books plan
Alison Moodie
A controversial plan involving a host of prominent American universities to digitise thousands of copyrighted books suffered a setback last month as a number of organisations that represent authors sought to halt digitisation efforts and an 'orphan works' initiative.
Full report on the University World News site:

UAE: Universities face tougher accreditation
Wagdy Sawahel
New accreditation standards for higher education institutions in the United Arab Emirates are being introduced as part of a government strategy aimed at achieving a first-rate education system and competitive knowledge economy.
Full report on the University World News site:

SOUTH AFRICA: Uproar over Dalai Lama visa mess
Munyaradzi Makoni
Outraged over South Africa's failure to give the Dalai Lama a visa, academics and students at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) took to the streets on Wednesday. The Tibetan spiritual leader was due to speak at two universities, and to attend former Archbishop Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday celebrations.
Full report on the University World News site:

ZIMBABWE: Water woes and strike hit higher education
Kudzai Mashininga
Zimbabwe's government has appointed a ministerial team headed by its deputy prime minister to deal with a water crisis at two of its universities. Meanwhile, lecturers at polytechnics and teacher colleges have gone on strike for better pay on the eve of examinations.
Full report on the University World News site:

FEATURES

GLOBAL: Academics facing death for their ideas
Brendan O'Malley
Professors and students are being singled out for assassination, according to a leading scholar in the Syrian opposition movement who last week addressed the Human Rights Council in Geneva. "We have fears for scholars on the ground. More than 10 professors have been killed, mostly at Homs, in the past two weeks," said Radwan Ziadeh, a visiting scholar at the Dubai Initiative in the Kennedy School, Harvard. "The situation is escalating and we expect more killings."
Full report on the University World News site:

INDIA: Indo-US higher education initiative set to fly
Alya Mishra
India and the US will soon cement collaboration in higher education, with India's Education Minister Kapil Sibal meeting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on 13 October in a high-profile visit to use education diplomacy to build relations between the two countries.
Full report on the University World News site:

VIETNAM: Non-formal sector faces quality crisis
Hiep Pham
Hong Loan, a teacher of English at a high school in Hanoi, holds an associate bachelor degree. Every afternoon she travels 20 kilometres by motorbike to an adult education class at the University of Foreign Languages and International Studies. "This equips me with more knowledge but, more importantly, a bachelor degree will help upgrade my salary," she said.
Full report on the University World News site:

COMMENTARY

RUSSIA: Modernising the higher education system
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently called for the urgent modernisation of higher education. Strategies include the development of flagship universities as world-class institutions and inviting key foreign academics to work in Russian universities. This could work, writes DARIA LUCHINSKAYA, but only if the plans also extend to the development of other, non-status universities and improving working conditions for teaching and research staff.
Full report on the University World News site:

CANADA: Low financial literacy hampers access
Despite the increasing complexity of financing higher education and concerns about widening access, there are few financial literacy programmes and strategies in the world that focus on the particular issue of access to higher education for low-income youth, says MARY CATHARINE LENNON. A forthcoming conference will address the issue.
Full report on the University World News site:

EGYPT: Business schools need to be agents of change
Business schools need to be agents of change rather than mere objects of change, says SHERIF KAMEL. They need to alter both their curriculum and the way they teach in order to be more proactive in the community and influence real-world situations, particularly the kind of social and political upheavals that have been occurring in the Middle East and North Africa.
Full report on the University World News site:

ACADEMIC FREEDOM

GLOBAL: Academic freedom reports worldwide
Noemi Bouet*
In Syria, a nuclear physicist who was shot in the head has become the latest victim of a series of murders targeting scientists in the city of Homs. Iranian Omid Kokabee, the Texas University doctoral student detained in Tehran's Evin prison on espionage charges, went on trial last week. And in China, the authorities have cancelled the classes of a prominent Uyghur professor at the Beijing Minorities University, and 20 Uyghur professors have been dismissed from a teaching college in the northwestern region of Xianjiang for failing to be fluent in Mandarin.
Full report on the University World News site:

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WORLD ROUND-UP

CHILE: Striking students break off talks
Leaders of Chile's striking students broke off negotiations with the government last week, complaining of official intransigence over their demands for free public education, writes Eva Vergara for Associated Press. Hours after the talks collapsed, a student march for free education was broken up by police, using water cannons and tear gas.
More on the University World News site:

US: The University of Wherever
For more than a decade educators have been expecting the internet to transform that bastion of tradition and authority, the university, writes Bill Keller for The New York Times. Digital utopians have envisioned a world of virtual campuses and 'distributed' learning. They imagine a business model in which online courses are consumer-rated like products on Amazon, tuition is set by auction services like eBay, and students are judged not by grades but by skills they have mastered, like levels of a videogame.
More on the University World News site:

GLOBAL: Battle of the knowledge superpowers
Knowledge is power - economic power - and there's a scramble for that power taking place around the globe. In the United States, Europe and in rising powers such as China, there is a growth-hungry drive to invest in hi-tech research and innovation, writes Sean Coughlan for the BBC.
More on the University World News site:

AFGHANISTAN: Kabul University terror cell broken up
Afghan officials said last week that they had broken up an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist cell at Kabul University that was planning to assassinate President Hamid Karzai and carry out attacks in the United States, writes Habib Zohori for McClatchy Newspapers.
More on the University World News site:

FRANCE: Sarkozy's reforms herald French 'Ivy League'
Radical plans to create a French 'Ivy League' are gathering pace as the first winners of a new elite universities scheme worth EUR7.7 billion (US$10.1 billion) start to receive cash, writes Jack Grove for Times Higher Education.
More on the University World News site:

NEW ZEALAND: Canterbury University staff asked to quit
Canterbury University is calling on staff to consider taking voluntary redundancy as it struggles to balance the books after losing students because of the earthquake that struck the city earlier this year, reports TVNZ.
More on the University World News site:

UK: Thousands of university places may go to colleges
Up to 6,000 undergraduates will be taught at colleges instead of universities from next year as part of a UK coalition government plan to drive down student tuition fees, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
More on the University World News site:

UK: Lecturers threaten strike over pension changes
Lecturers at half of Britain's universities have threatened to stop marking students' work unless a battle over their pensions is resolved, writes Jessica Shepherd for the Guardian.
More on the University World News site:

UK: Oxford head warns cuts could lead to brain drain
Cuts to government funding of universities mean the UK is now "treading water" and risks losing top academics and students to its international competitors, the vice-chancellor of Oxford University has warned, writes Jessica Shepherd for the Guardian.
More on the University World News site:

WALES: Calls to wind up University of Wales
The vice-chancellors of five Welsh universities have called for the University of Wales to be wound up following highly damaging revelations in a TV programme last Tuesday, writes Martin Shipton for Wales Online.
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JAPAN: University mulls change to academic calendar
Discussion on starting in the autumn and graduating Japanese students in the late spring or autumn has been around since the 1980s, but the debate has moved up a gear with news that the University of Tokyo, known as Todai, is mulling the move. An internal panel is expected to report by the end of the year, reports David McNeill for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
More on the University World News site:

SOUTH AFRICA: MBA plan 'not a downgrade'
The debate in South Africa over the academic status of a master of business administration degree was about a 'technical issue', rather than downgrading the qualification, Council for Higher Education CEO Ahmed Essop said last week, writes Karl Gernetzky for Business Day.
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AUSTRALIA: Push for research funding overhaul
A leading scientist says Australia is squandering its intellectual wealth through a federal system of short-term grants rewarding publication of academic papers ahead of long-term research to develop and manufacture new products, writes Rosslyn Beeby for The Canberra Times.
More on the University World News site:

CANADA: Intellectual centre of gravity 'shifting west'
Ontario universities are lagging behind their counterparts in Alberta and British Columbia, a higher education expert said last week in a bleak forecast made just days before voters were to head to the polls, writes Matthew Pearson for The Ottawa Citizen.
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EGYPT: Mubarak-era university president resigns
Maged El-Deeb, president of Ain Shams University, has officially submitted his resignation letter to Egyptian Minister of Higher Education Moataz Khorshed, writes Nada Hussein Rashwan for Ahram Online.
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MALAWI: Students accuse council of contempt
The president of Malawi's Chancellor College students union, Patrick Phiri, said last week that students would file contempt charges against the university council. Students said the council, charged with running the University of Malawi, had refused to reopen two of its college campuses despite a high court ruling, reports Peter Clottey for Voice of America.
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PAKISTAN: Turkey to help set up technology parks
Turkish experts will assist Pakistan's Higher Education Commission in establishing technology parks in Pakistani universities, writes Peer Muhamamd for The Express Tribune.
More on the University World News site:

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