Monday, 9 April 2012

University World News - Issue 0215

Knowledge economies need academics but don't pay them well

Among our highlights this week, in Commentary, Philip Altbach and Iván Pacheco use a global comparison to argue that academics are inadequately paid compared to other key professionals driving the knowledge economy. Claudia Reyes and Pedro Rosso argue that classifying and comparing types of university is crucial to raising standards. In Features, Jan Petter Myklebust reports on why top Swedish universities are continuing to expand despite the economic downturn. Wagdy Sawahel reveals that newest country South Sudan’s attempts to build a new higher education system are hamstrung by political problems. In World Blog, Tony Chan says European universities are too inward-looking – the big changes in higher education are happening elsewhere.
Brendan O'Malley – Acting Global Editor



Academies reject EU research pledge on social sciences

Jan Petter Myklebust

The European Alliance for the Social Sciences and Humanities rebuts the European Commission's view that their field is adequately covered in the Horizon 2020 research agenda and calls for an added programme to be established.

Top university slashes spending by A$40 million
Geoff Maslen
Another prominent university has warned that it will have to cut jobs following a sharp fall in income. The Australian National University announced plans to slash expenditure this year by A$40 million, including a $25 million cut in staffing costs. The global financial crisis, sharp falls in enrolments by foreign students, wage rises and higher costs are causing universities across Australia to find savings in their budgets.

Court rules on university leadership jobs for retirees
Ameen Amjad Khan
A Supreme Court ruling has given encouragement to academic staff pushing for an end to the appointment of post-retirement age professors as university heads. They believe it could pave the way for merit-based appointments.

US graduate growth is too slow, says report
David Jobbins
The rate of increase in the numbers of US graduates is too small, a report by the Lumina Foundation warns. It suggests that the US must do significantly more to build on the modest gains in higher education attainment to keep up with its global competitors.

Languages and humanities axed due to cuts
Robert Visscher
Nationally, 30 small courses in the humanities will disappear in their current form, including the only Portuguese programme in the country, because of budget cuts and government requests for profiling. All universities have been hit by cuts in government funding and as a result several have cancelled small and expensive courses in the humanities.

More countries are turning to tuition fees
Martin Whittaker
As nation states contribute less and less to higher education amid the fallout from the Eurozone crisis, Europe’s universities are anxiously seeking new, sustainable forms of funding. And increasingly they are looking with interest at England as a model, where the burden of paying for higher education has passed from state to student.

EU and South Korea deepen research cooperation
David Howarth
The European Union and South Korea have agreed a range of initiatives to strengthen research cooperation. South Koreans have also been invited to apply for European research funding under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for research.

A$220 million synchrotron rescued from closure
Geoff Maslen
After nearly five years of operation at a cost of at least A$600 million (US$620 million), the Australian synchrotron faced being shut down as money was about to run out. But an announcement on Wednesday by the federal and Victorian governments of a $95 million injection means the nation’s prized scientific asset will be able to continue.

Three universities in row over donor ‘veto’ 
Erin Millar
Three major universities are facing censure over collaborations with a private think-tank established by Blackberry co-founder Jim Balsillie. The Canadian Association of University Teachers alleges that the universities compromised academic integrity by signing contracts that gave Balsillie influence over hiring decisions, academic programmes and curriculum.

Mubarak-era campus election rules divide students
Ashraf Khaled
Thousands of students at Egypt’s universities have staged protests against a decision by the Ministry of Higher Education to hold student union elections under regulations dating from the era of toppled president Hosni Mubarak.

Civil society demands inquest into student’s death

Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika has come under renewed pressure to reform the higher education sector, with a petition calling on him to set up an investigation into the death of a student activist and to scrap draconian legislation trampling on academic freedom.

Islamic states plan research and education network
Wagdy Sawahel
A pan-Islamic research and education network spanning the 57 countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to enhance collaboration among research and education communities is being planned, alongside a range of ambitious ICT projects approved at the International Telecommunication Union's Connect Arab Summit.

Students say funding priority is better teaching 
Michael Gardner

The German students' union has criticised efforts to improve higher education funding, saying they contribute too little towards improving teaching and focus too much on a research elite.

Philip Altbach and Iván Pacheco

There have been few global comparisons of academic salaries around the world. New research paints a picture of a profession that, in many countries, is not valued as key to the knowledge economy.

Classifying university types is key to success
Claudia Reyes and Pedro Rosso
A reclassification of Chile's universities highlights the importance of proper classification of universities to ensure coherence between mission, human and financial resources and the will to achieve the highest possible quality standards.

Years of neglect put global ranking out of reach
Pramod Bhatta
Rampant political interference, dismal government spending and failure to reform mean Nepalese universities cannot begin to make themselves world class. They must first concentrate on becoming functioning institutions.
Jan Petter Myklebust
Three years after the global credit crunch led to economic downturn, and widespread austerity budgets, cutbacks in resources and staff at many universities, some have been able to swim against the tide and actually expand.

Higher education reform plans for a new nation
Wagdy Sawahel
Academics and policy-makers have produced a vision for higher education in South Sudan, which achieved independence from Sudan last July to become Africa’s newest state. Problems facing universities have been identified, reform initiatives launched and possible ways to upgrade universities recommended.
World Blog

Tony Chan
The recent European University Association annual conference was greatly concerned with Europe's economic crisis, but much of what will affect it in the future is happening outside the continent. It should pay more attention.

1 comment:

Manoj Vyas said...

It seems to a very nice information,
Thanks for letting me know.

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