Sunday, 6 November 2011

University World News 0196 - 6th November 2011

This week's highlights

This week University World News reports on the World Innovation Summit for Education, held in Doha from 1-3 November. In Features, GEOFF MASLEN looks at research in Australia and Spain aimed at devising a test that can measure the intelligence of a computer or an animal, and JULIA FAN LI describes a prize in Rwanda that is supporting students to become entrepreneurs and is spreading to other African countries. In Commentary, Oxford Vice-chancellor ANDREW HAMILTON says the government's visa policy and lack of attention to graduates could undermine the ability of British universities to attract top global student and academic talent. TYRELL HABERKOM writes that despite increasing censure, academics on the left in America must risk saying what they think if they are to teach their students to take a stand, and ERIC WEINBERGER argues against the liberal arts college being created jointly by Yale and the National University of Singapore.

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

THAILAND: Floods expose system failures: Academics
Suluck Lamubol
Thailand's worst floods since the 1940s have claimed nearly 400 lives during the past two months. Universities were closed in October for the semester break. The start of the new semester, due to begin on Tuesday, has been postponed to 14 November and national university admissions examinations have also been delayed.
Full report on the University World News site:

MALAYSIA: Landmark court ruling on campus freedom
Yojana Sharma and Honey Singh Virdee
Malaysia's controversial Universities and University Colleges Act, which restricts student involvement in politics on campuses, was last week ruled unreasonable and unconstitutional by an appeal court for violating freedom of expression.
Full report on the University World News site:

SWEDEN: Councils propose plan to improve research
Jan Petter Myklebust
Six research councils have urged the Swedish government to adopt a five-point plan for improving research and innovation and have voiced concern over a sharp decline in private sector research. The heads of the councils, which have a total portfolio of SEK9.3 billion (US$1.4 billion), presented their common position to Minister of Education Jan Björklund last week.
Full report on the University World News site:

HONG KONG: China looms over vice-chancellor's exit
Yojana Sharma
The surprise decision by Hong Kong University's respected Vice-chancellor Tsui Lap-chee not to stay for another term of office at one of Asia's top institutions has highlighted new pressures on the autonomy of Hong Kong's institutions.
Full report on the University World News site:

NETHERLANDS: Dean may face data fraud charges
Jan Petter Myklebust and Brendan O'Malley
A Tilburg University inquiry has recommended that details of forgery of documents and fraud committed by Diederik Stapel, a leading social psychologist, should be passed to the Dutch public prosecution service.
Full report on the University World News site:

FRANCE: Foreign student rules a threat to image
Jane Marshall
Nine out of 10 past, present and future students from abroad would recommend France as a study destination, according to new research carried out before the introduction of controversial tightened restrictions on foreign graduates working in France.
Full report on the University World News site:

KENYA: Lecturers threaten strike over broken promises
Gilbert Nganga
Kenya is facing fresh threats of a lecturers' strike over delayed implementation of new salaries and allowances, which could jeopardise learning in public universities from 9 November. Lecturers are also up in arms over government's decision to double the student intake in the absence of increased staff and infrastructure.
Full report on the University World News site:

PAKISTAN: Higher Education Commission in trouble again
Ameen Amjad Khan
Academics are divided over government moves to break up Pakistan's Higher Education Commission, ostensibly to give it representation in parliament by distributing its core functions among ministries. Some academics want a dedicated ministry of higher education, while others see the HEC's demise as detrimental to the sector.
Full report on the University World News site :

SOUTH AFRICA: 'Bankrupt' university taken over
Munyaradzi Makoni
Walter Sisulu University in South Africa has been placed under administration in a bid to save it from complete collapse. Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, who has tasked a top-level academic with taking over the running of the institution, said the aim was to redeem the troubled university within the next two years.
Full report on the University World News site:

TANZANIA: Golden jubilee for Dar es Salaam
Sylivester Ernest
There was both pomp and protest at the University of Dar es Salaam's 50th anniversary celebrations in late October, which were attended by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, both alumni of the flagship institution.
Full report on the University World News site:

World Innovation Summit for Education

The third World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) was held in Doha
from 1-3 November, with the theme "Changing Societies, Changing Education". University World News reports.

GLOBAL: Change is the only constant - IAUP on WISE

The 2011 World Innovation Summit for Education brought together 1,300 participants to identify and promote innovative solutions to educational challenges. Organised by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, with the objective of pushing education higher up the world's political and social agendas, WISE covers education from kindergarten upwards. International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) Secretary-General Neal King spoke to YOJANA SHARMA about higher education aspects of the summit.
Full report on the University World News site:

QATAR: Arab Spring could mark new higher education era
Erin Millar
The Arab Spring could bring about the momentum and political will needed to improve failing higher education systems in the Arab world, said educators speaking at the third annual World Innovation Summit for Education in Doha, Qatar, last week.
Full report on the University World News site:

AFRICA-EUROPE: New virtual network for PhD students
Karen MacGregor
An initiative to create a virtual network connecting doctoral students in Africa and Europe was launched at the World Innovation Summit for Education last week. Coordinated by the Association of Commonwealth Universities, DocLinks will strive to ease the loneliness of doctoral study and encourage sharing of experiences and resources.
Full report on the University World News site:


AUSTRALIA-SPAIN: A universal intelligence test
Geoff Maslen
'Intelligence quotient', or IQ, tests have long been widely used by psychologists. But what if someone wanted to find out the intelligence of a dolphin, or an elephant, or a computer program and how it compared with a human: what kind of test could assess how smart a machine or a non-human animal is?
Full report on the University World News site:

AFRICA: Practical lessons in business enterprise
To learn how to be entrepreneurial, students need a space to explore the things they learn from their curriculum. Rwanda has a high youth unemployment rate and a need to stimulate new business ideas, and lacks extra-curricular opportunities. A student-initiated prize has helped to give lecture room experiences real-life applications, says JULIA FAN LI. The project is now spreading to other countries in Africa.
Full report on the University World News site:


UK: Government policies hamper efforts to woo talent
The UK government's visa policy and the lack of attention paid to graduates in its white paper on higher education could have a detrimental impact on British universities' ability to attract top student and academic talent, says ANDREW HAMILTON, vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford.
Full report on the University World News site:

AMERICAS: Academics must not be cowed in class
The last few years have seen academics on the left risking formal or subtle censure in North America. But if academics are not prepared to risk saying what they think, how can they teach their students to take a stand? asks TYRELL HABERKOM in the latest edition of the Canadian journal Academic Matters.
Full report on the University World News site:

US: Why Yale should not partner with Singapore
Yale's president claims that the US institution's new partnership with the National University of Singapore continues its tradition of promoting liberal values by encouraging educational progress. But what about Singapore's human rights record? Surely the responsibility for creating great Asian universities lies with Asian countries themselves, argues ERIC WEINBERGER.
Full report on the University World News site:


GLOBAL: Academic freedom reports worldwide
Noemi Bouet
In Turkey, in an ongoing operation against Kurdish political parties, two academics have been arrested and charged under the Anti Terror Law, but there are concerns about fair trial standards. In the Philippines, educators and activists fear for their lives after the brutal killing of a university vice-president and given escalating - seemingly politically motivated - attacks and murders. In Bahrain, concerns have been expressed about the fairness of the trial of a professor arrested and suspended from his position, amid a wider crackdown on academic freedoms. In Laos rights groups are calling for the release of political prisoners, including four student leaders who remain incarcerated 12 years after protests in the country were crushed. And a US climate change scientist has hailed as a victory for academic freedom and science a court ruling to deny access by a pro-industry think-tank to his private emails.
Full report on the University World News site:


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US: A sister's eulogy for Steve Jobs
Mona Simpson is a novelist and a professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. Since 1988, she has held the Sadie Samuelson Levy Chair in Languages and Literature at Bard College. She delivered a eulogy for her brother Steve Jobs on 16 October 2011, at his memorial service held at Stanford University, which was published by The New York Times last Monday. Of all the articles that followed Jobs' death, Simpson's eulogy probably provides the deepest insight into the visionary Apple leader.
More on the University World News site:

UK: Universities body issues warning over visa reform
The Universities UK action group has issued a warning about Britain's reputation in education after new figures revealed that the government's curb on overseas students had reduced their numbers by 11,000 and led to more than 450 colleges pulling out of the market, writes Alan Travis for the Guardian.
More on the University World News site:

SOUTH KOREA: Universities' creative accounting exposed
Private and public universities in South Korea have engaged in creative accounting practices resulting in excessive hikes in tuition fees, writes Kim Eun-jung for Yonhap News Agency.
More on the University World News site:

US: Magic is no solution to education crisis
In the early 20th century, the distinguished philosopher Alfred North Whitehead observed: "The task of the university is the creation of the future..." Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust noted that this creative work is done by educating "those to whom the future belongs, and by generating the ideas and discoveries that can transform the present and build a better world", writes Jonathan R Cole for the Huffington Post.
More on the University World News site:

US: Colleges grapple with Chinese students
Dozens of new students crowded into a lobby of the University of Delaware's student centre at the start of the academic year. With the exception of one lost-looking soul from Colombia, all the students were from China, write Tom Bartlett and Karin Fischer for the Chronicle of Higher Education.
More on the University World News site:

US: Strings attached to Chinese institute offers
When a Beijing organisation with close ties to China's government offered Stanford University $4 million to host a Confucius Institute on Chinese language and culture and endow a professorship, it attached one caveat: the professor couldn't discuss delicate issues like Tibet, writes Daniel Golden for Bloomberg.
More on the University World News site:

CANADA: New statement on academic freedom
Canada's university presidents have jointly adopted a new statement on academic freedom, pledging support for the right of faculty members to follow their ideas in teaching and research, without inappropriate interference, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed.
More on the University World News site:

UK: Students face radical admission reforms
In a report published last week, Britain's Universities and Colleges Admissions Service proposes scrapping the current system in which students apply for courses based on predicted grades. Under reforms that could be introduced in 2016, teenagers will sit exams as early as Easter and A-level results will be published at the start of July, instead of mid-August. Applications would also be limited to just two choices - instead of the current five - and all degree courses would start in October, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
More on the University World News site:

ISRAEL: Education ministry to battle brain drain
No less than 1,500 Israeli scientists and researchers have left Israeli universities in recent years to join top academic institutions overseas. To combat the brain drain, the education ministry will establish 30 special institutes that will offer academics excellent conditions for research and, according to the plan, lure them home, writes Tamar Trabelsi-Hadad for Ynet News.
More on the University World News site:

US: India, Israel universities vie for 'genius' grant
New York's quest to lure a 'genius school' attracted seven applications from 17 top institutions in three states and four countries, writes Erin Einhorn for New York Daily News. "All of the submissions were stronger than anything we could have possibly imagined," Mayor Michael Bloomberg gushed last week as he announced the proposals.
More on the University World News site:

MALAYSIA: Clamp-down on private universities
Malaysia's higher education ministry is amending the Private Institutions of Higher Learning Act to allow for sterner action, including higher fines, against private universities for various offences, reports the official agency Bernama.
More on the University World News site:

INDIA: Government to link higher education institutes
At least 15 million students pursuing higher education will be able to share information, lab experiments and classroom content as the Indian cabinet last week approved a proposal to connect 572 universities, 25,000 colleges and 2,000 polytechnics as part of its mission to promote technology usage in higher education, writes Prashant K Nanda for Livemint.
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MALAWI: Lecturers refuse to return to class
Lecturers at the University of Malawi's Chancellor College say they will only return to the classroom after their concerns over academic freedom are fully addressed, writes Peter Clottey for Voice of America.
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SOUTH AFRICA: Poor response to student debt offer
Poor students who have outstanding debts at universities across the country have responded slowly to the call by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimade to apply for special funding to clear their debt, writes Lesego Masemola for The New Age.
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PAKISTAN: Universities rally to boost social sciences
Five public sector universities in Pakistan will form a consortium to promote social sciences and arts, reports The Express Tribune.
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US: Students urged to seek jobs beyond Wall Street
The financial industry has long concentrated its search for new blood on the well-manicured campuses of America's elite universities, where job prospects after graduation may be the one thing even higher than tuition fees. But that pipeline to talent is facing some push-back, writes Nathaniel Popper for the Los Angeles Times.
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US: Stanford receives $150 million to fight poverty
Stanford University's Graduate School of Business has received a $150 million gift, one of the largest in the university's history, to create an institute to alleviate poverty through entrepreneurship, writes Sue Dremann for Palo Alto.
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US: Wikipedia tops list of plagiarised sources
Where are students finding the materials they plagiarise in their papers? According to a new study, Wikipedia tops the list for both secondary and college students. But as a category, encyclopaedia sites are among the least popular sources, coming in behind four other types of information outlets, including both academic sites and paper mills, writes David Nagel for Campus Technology.
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US: Uproar over university's 'lifestyle' statement
A university in Georgia, US, has people in an uproar over a new document that would rule out g ay people as prospective employees on campus. Adopted by the school's board of trustees, the 'personal lifestyle statement' is a mandatory employee document that could result in termination for those who refuse to sign it, writes Gina E Ryder for the Christian Post.
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