Wednesday, 21 March 2012

University World News Issue 0212

Reputation of UK universities slips as East catches up
David Jobbins
The United Kingdom’s reputation as a centre of excellence for university education second only to the United States is beginning to slip and could be falling victim to the impact of government policies, the results of Times Higher Education’s 2012 World Reputation Rankings suggest. Meanwhile Asian universities are on the rise.

Marginal higher education budget rise thwarts ambitions
Alya Mishra
India has allocated only marginal increases to higher education in its 2012-13 budget announced by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee last week, despite a stated aim to dramatically increase the higher education participation rate from 17% now to 30% by 2025.

Academic becomes education minister in reshuffle
Makki Marseilles
Greece has a new education minister as Prime Minister Lucas Papademos prepares for an expected general election by reshuffling his cabinet.

Quality concerns over burgeoning private universities
Jonathan P Dyson
A rapidly growing number of students in Mexico are attending private universities, but there are increasing concerns about the quality of many of the new institutions. The government is introducing a quality assurance system and expanding access to student loans and grants – but critics say this will not stop the demand for inexpensive courses, which are often of low quality.

Africa may win Square Kilometre Array
Geoff Maslen

A final decision on whether South Africa or Australia will host the world’s biggest radio telescope may be made as early as 4 April. An expert scientific panel has narrowly recommended a consortium of eight African nations over a joint bid by Australia and New Zealand to build the massive telescope, the US$2 billion Square Kilometre Array or SKA.

Government slams vice-chancellors and councils
Tunde Fatunde
The findings of visitation panels to federal universities in Nigeria have been released, along with a white paper responding to them. The reports have accused leaders and councils in most of the 26 universities of abusing autonomy, and some vice-chancellors may lose their jobs for deliberately flouting university statutes.

University initiatives melt borders with Brazil
Eileen Travers
Prodding for an exact definition of the elusive term ‘internationalisation’ triggered hearty chuckles from a range of educators gathered to provide a report card on recent United States-Brazil higher education initiatives, at the Institute of International Education in New York.
British Council – Going Global
The British Council held its annual “Going Global” international education conference in London from 13-15 March, attended by more than 1,000 delegates from around the world. University World News was there.

Fast pace of enrolment growth predicted to slow
Yojana Sharma
A combination of demographic and economic changes will resize the global higher education landscape by 2020, according to a new report by the British Council. The largest higher education systems are likely to be China with some 37 million students, India with 28 million, the US with 20 million and Brazil with nine million.

IAU sets out global agenda on internationalisation
David Jobbins
For almost a decade, the International Association of Universities has been conducting global surveys on internationalisation to monitor trends. IAU Secretary-general Eva Egron-Polak, who led a series of discussions at the "Going Global" conference, told University World News about the latest state of play and the costs and benefits of internationalisation.

Europe to open up mobility scheme globally
David Jobbins
Officials in Europe are pressing on with plans to expand its flagship student mobility programme beyond the borders of existing eligible countries despite the economic crisis, the British Council's "Going Global" conference heard on Thursday.

Should Africa de-internationalise to internationalise?
James Otieno Jowi
Africa might need to cast off the impact of external forces on it higher education system in order to properly internationalise, the “Going Global” conference heard last week. And universities need to participate more in international forums on higher education to highlight what they are doing.

Not all foreign partnerships are good quality – Official
Yojana Sharma
China wants to welcome in foreign universities and branch campuses as part of its drive to grow enrolment in the next decade and in line with plans for increased internationalisation. But it is tightening up the rules on what kinds of universities and programmes it will allow in, the official in charge of auditing overseas university partnerships has said.
IFC – Making Global ConnectionsThe International Finance Corporation held its fifth private higher education conference in Dubai from 6-7 March, titled “Making Global Connections”. University World News produced a special report on the conference last week, and this week we wrap up the reporting.

Defusing a ticking time bomb by getting graduates jobs
Yojana Sharma
With graduate unemployment recognised as a ticking time bomb in many countries, innovative ways to get graduates into jobs were presented at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) conference held in Dubai this month.

Indian university expands overseas branch campuses
Yojana Sharma
Two years ago it was just a patch of desert around Dubai, but now a new, state-of-the-art Manipal University campus has arisen out of the sands with its own laboratories, lecture theatres and classrooms in purpose-built facilities.

Public, private or public-private higher education?
Yojana Sharma
Colombia is experimenting with more public-private partnerships in higher education in an effort to increase student enrolments through private sector expansion. But allowing for-profit universities is still highly controversial and opposed by students and university rectors alike, according to the country’s former education minister Cecilia María Vélez.

Employability in a time of change
Yojana Sharma
Duoc UC, whose name derives from the Spanish acronym for ‘university department for workers and peasants’ – Departamento Universitario Obrero y Campesino – provides affordable professional and technical education to more than 70,000 low- and middle-income students on more than 40 campuses around Chile.
Bianka Siwinska
While the growing worldwide shortage of engineers has become a threat to global development, students have been flocking to technical universities in Poland to such an extent that they are now more popular than traditional universities.

Many students living in ‘appalling’ conditions – Report
Sharon Dell
A significant portion of South African students are living in “appalling” conditions which are jeopardising their academic endeavours and creating health and safety risks. Some are also starving, according to a report on student housing released recently by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

World Blog
Rahul Choudaha
Commission-based agents can increase international student numbers fast, but not without risks and challenges. Should universities use them or consider alternatives such as social media or regional consortia, which might not deliver such high numbers in the short term but won’t run the risk of damaging an institution's reputation?
Vangelis Tsiligiris
The economic crisis has resulted in neo-neoliberal economic policies guiding higher education strategies. This means less focus on government funding of higher education and more focus on monetary objectives. Higher education planning has in effect been given over to economists.

Private higher education in Russia: The way forward?
Vladimir Geroimenko, Grigori Kliucharev and John Morgan
The growing number of private higher education institutions in Russia fulfil an economic need in a growing economy for more student places and more courses that are closely linked to industry. They will help create an innovative educational environment and drive up quality.

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