Monday, 25 June 2012

University World News Issue 0227

Is ‘foreign education outpost’ a better concept than branch campuses?

This week Carmen Paun interviews Elizabeth Thompson, executive coordinator of Rio+20, on the role of universities in the Earth Summit and the implications for higher education of its outcomes. In World Blog, Rahul Choudaha forecasts that by 2015 trends in international student mobility may reverse, with more Chinese students staying home while more Indian students travel abroad.
In Commentary, Kevin Kinser and Jason E Lane argue that research into universities operating in more than one country has tended to focus on international branch campuses, ignoring other, more prevalent types of cross-border collaboration.
Tara Cookson contends that tuition fee hikes and civil disobedience in Quebec and elsewhere raise questions about equitable human development in developed countries. And Phil Baty writes that global university rankings are important, but are a crude measure of excellence and need to be handled with care.
In Features, Jan Petter Myklebust investigates the flood of maths, physics and technology students into the finance industry, including top candidates for academia, and Wagdy Sawahel reports on a United Nations plan to improve access to higher education for refugees.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

More than half of teaching done by casuals 
Geoff Maslen

The National Tertiary Education Union will use a forthcoming higher education enterprise bargaining round to call for the creation of 2,000 new ongoing jobs for casual academics, or 20% of their total numbers. The union says more than half of all academic teaching in Australian universities is undertaken “by people paid by the hour”.

New higher education law passed, but sparks criticism
Hiep Pham

Vietnam’s national assembly has voted to adopt a wide-ranging Law on Higher Education, which was approved by almost 85% of the assembly this week – the first time the country has promulgated a law dedicated specifically to the higher education sector.

Vice-chancellors vow to undertake governance reforms
Ameen Amjad Khan

Some 200 heads of universities from 39 member countries of the Jeddah-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation agreed to bring about governance reforms in higher education and increase the number of women university leaders, during a meeting in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad this month.

Universities aim to clear up tuition fee confusion
Alison Moodie
Parents will be finding some relief from the confusing assemblage of notices, bills and receipts involved in paying for college. Nearly 100 private and public colleges and universities, including the New York and Texas tertiary state systems, will provide parents and students with a one-page ‘shopping sheet’ detailing what they can expect to pay for a year of studies.

Five more universities win elite status
Michael Gardner
Five additional German institutions can now call themselves 'elite universities', among them Humboldt University in Berlin and the University of Dresden, both in what used to be East Germany. But the University of Karlsruhe was among the institutions that failed to retain elite status in the second round of the Excellence Initiative.

Academics feel the pinch of parliament’s dissolution
Ashraf Khaled
A recent court ruling invalidating Egypt’s Islamist-dominated parliament has dashed hopes among academics that their status will be improved any time soon.

Research elite warns against ‘bean-counting’ culture
David Haworth
The growth of research assessment driven by obsessive measurement and monitoring fosters a global “bean-counting culture” in tertiary education that can detract from the real quality of university research, experts have warned.

London university students face worst crime risk
Brendan O’Malley

Universities in the Greater London area are exposed to the highest rates of crimes that are most relevant to students, with London Metropolitan University faring worst and Kingston best, according to the latest ranking of institutions in England and Wales.

Fears that government wants to ban student federation
Dinesh De Alwis

Student groups in Sri Lanka are in uproar over fears that the government wants to ban their main union, the Inter University Students’ Federation. Students said this would be a step towards destroying the education system and would pave the way for private universities.


Rio+20 was held last week. University World News reports on ways in which universities are involved in sustainable development and environment debates and research, and their role after the summit.

Higher education sustainability in Rio+20 declaration 
Carmen Paun

In an exclusive interview the executive coordinator of the Rio+20 conference on global sustainability, Elizabeth Thompson, told University World News why higher education is key to the international strategy she hopes will flow from agreements made at the event.

Earth’s future in hands of business, education, society
Stephen Eisenhammer

The Rio+20 conference on sustainability ended on Friday in widespread disappointment and the sense that an important opportunity had been missed. The outcome document was agreed before leaders even arrived, giving the event the feel of a photo moment rather than a real attempt to push forward the sustainability agenda.

Sustainable energy budgets must increase, says report
Smriti Mallapaty

Global investments in sustainable energy must increase by US$500 million a year to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, according to a report launched in Rio last week – the culmination of six years of research by 500 contributors.

Science academies call for action on sustainability

The world’s 105 science academies last week called on world leaders to take decisive action on global challenges of population and consumption. And the Global Young Academy said that Earth’s problem was not science. “It is leadership”.

University-led sustainable projects face obstacles
Ria Nurdiani

The final document of the UN conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro underscores the importance of universities in carrying out research and innovation for sustainable development. But many universities in developing countries say it is not easy to get the necessary support.


IAUP president J Michael Adams dies
Yojana Sharma

J Michael Adams, president of the International Association of University Presidents, has died in the United States after being diagnosed last year with a rare blood disease and cancer. He was 64.


Robot traders ‘are raiding our maths talent’
Jan Petter Myklebust

Norwegian universities are fighting an uphill battle to hold onto talented mathematics, physics and technology students due to demand from the finance industry, academics have warned.

Improving access to higher education for refugees
Wagdy Sawahel

In commemoration of World Refugee Day, universities and governments have been urged not to lose sight of the higher education needs of the world’s 43.7 million forcibly displaced migrants, by improving their access to higher education as a tool for the economic development of both home and host countries.


Looming shift in student mobility from China and India?
Rahul Choudaha

A variety of factors, including changing demographics and investment in quality higher education, could see more Chinese students staying at home by 2015, while more Indian students travel abroad. Universities need to prepare now.


Seeing the forest beyond the branch (campus)
Kevin Kinser and Jason E Lane

Cross-border higher education research has tended to focus too much on international branch campuses. But many collaborations don't fit this model. In fact, branch campuses represent a minority of cross-border higher education activity happening today, and ‘foreign education outposts’ might be a better concept.

Higher education's role in equitable development
Tara Cookson
Protesters against university fee hikes in Quebec, Canada, and against cutbacks in other countries raise questions about equitable development for developed countries. Privatising higher education shows that our priorities as countries are skewed against future development.

Rankings don't tell the whole story
Phil Baty

University rankings are being used to determine international partnerships, but we need to be honest about their weaknesses as well as their strengths. No university ranking can ever be exhaustive or objective.


Granite helped give rise to multi-celled organisms

It is one of the world’s toughest rocks, used to create buildings and monuments across the globe and famously linked with one of Scotland’s main cities. Now scientists have discovered that granite played an important role in a major episode more than 1.5 billion years ago – an episode that eventually led to human life on Earth.

GPS technology improves weather forecasting

The satellite-based Global Positioning System technology that guides modern in-car navigation systems is now being used to improve weather forecasts. Researchers at RMIT University’s SPACE Research Centre in Melbourne and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology are using GPS and low Earth-orbiting satellites to provide an additional type of temperature profile observation for use in weather forecasting computer models.

Domestic dogs respond to human distress

Researchers from Goldsmiths College at the University of London have found that domestic dogs express empathic behaviour when confronted with humans in distress. Dr Deborah Custance and Jennifer Mayer developed an innovative procedure to examine if domestic dogs could identify and respond to emotional states in humans.

Monday, 18 June 2012

University World News Issue 0226

Higher education and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development

This week we publish a Special Report on universities and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio+20 – including an article by world-leading sustainability scientist Walter Leal Filho, who argues that the time for talking about action plans on sustainable development has passed. Now is the time to ensure they are enforced.
In World Blog, William Patrick Leonard writes that higher education institutions in America should better prepare for inevitable swings in the economic cycle. In Commentary Dlawer Ala'Aldeen, a former higher education minister in the Kurdistan regional government in Iraq, writes that Kurdistan has made huge leaps in reforming its higher education system and improving quality.
John Akec argues that private universities in South Sudan should not be closed, as this will not improve quality but will deny access to many people seeking a second chance at education. And Grace Karram reveals a paradox in the OECD’s just-published Economic Survey of Canada, which finds post-secondary education strong but innovation weak.
In Features, Mimi Leung and Yojana Sharma write that China will allow changes in residency rules for the ferociously competitive university entrance examination, the gaokao. And Geoff Maslen reports on the growing numbers of students enrolling for online learning and the doubling of student numbers at Open Universities Australia in the past four years.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor


International student growth rate to decline, report warns 
Brendan O’Malley
The UK is expected to increase its intake of overseas students by 30,000 in the next decade, outpacing the United States, its greatest competitor. But a significant slowdown in the rate of growth means UK universities and policy-makers should rethink their strategies, a new report warns.

Decision looms on West Bank university status
Helena Flusfeder

The University Centre of Samaria in Ariel took a step closer to gaining full status as an Israeli university – the first in the occupied West Bank – by approving the appointment of a future president last week.

Asian languages for students challenges English dominance 
Yojana Sharma

While universities in China have been rushing headlong into teaching in English, Yunnan province in the south-west has announced an ambitious initiative to train students to become proficient in regional languages, in preparation for the Association of South East Asian Nations economic community to be set up by 2015.

Benchmarking tool helps university reform 
Wagdy Sawahel

A screening card for measuring how effectively universities are governed has been endorsed by the World Bank as a means of encouraging institutional reform in the Middle East and North Africa after trials at 41 universities in four countries.

New minister shelves tuition fees and reforms plan 
Jan Petter Myklebust

University reforms in the Czech Republic, including proposals to introduce tuition fees and reduce student influence over decision-making, have been shelved. Instead, new Education Minister, Petr Fiala, says he will negotiate with university representatives over alternatives.

Research delegation strengthens links with Malaysia

A delegation of research leaders from an Australian network known as the Innovative Research Universities began a week-long visit to Malaysia on Monday aimed at forging new research collaborations and strengthening existing links.


The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20, kicks off in Rio de Janeiro next week. University World News takes a look at ways in which universities around the world are involved in sustainable development and environmental debates, research and projects, and their role in Rio+20.

Future challenges for sustainable development 
Walter Leal Filho

Universities have been integral to debates about sustainable development and many action plans have been created at the international level. But implementation has been a problem, so a certain amount of scepticism has set in. This needs to be tackled, and attempts made to take action on a local and regional basis.

New universities partnership on environment launched 
Yojana Sharma

A new Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability was officially launched by the United Nations Environment Programme and participating universities this month, in advance of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio+20 – in Rio de Janeiro on 20 June.

Social scientists push for new UN structure at Rio+20 
Jan Petter Myklebust

The Rio+20 conference will be presented with a demand by leading social scientists from around the world for a new organisation aimed at better integrating sustainable development into United Nations structures, in a move as radical as the international governance reforms that followed World War II.

Universities key to Rio+20 despite strike 
Stephen Eisenhammer

Universities are playing a key role in every part of the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. But with widespread strikes at a number of public universities across the country, some feel an important opportunity is being missed.

University networks tackle sustainable development 
Yojana Sharma
Universities in Asia-Pacific nations have been linking together to collaborate on sustainable development research and projects, and are considered to be more networked than in other world regions in tackling climate change and other environmental issues.

Sustainability at the heart of management education
Wanda Hennig

The demands of the 21st century global economy have spurred the integration of new ideas into the education process at management schools. To this end, and against a backdrop of the Occupy Wall Street movement, a rapidly rising number of universities are walking the talk, adding responsible management to the core curriculum and offering degrees in sustainability and sustainability management.

Sustainable development becoming a university buzzword 
Alya Mishra

Sustainable development is becoming a buzzword in higher education in India, with institutions offering degree programmes and opting for green campuses. But the movement is limited to a handful of enthusiasts and experts say capacity building is needed, along with a deeper understanding of the concept, if higher education is to make a difference.

New approach to science and science funding needed
Michael Gardner

Germany has played a pioneering role in promoting renewable energy and campaigning for green policies internationally. But scientists at a conference in Lower Saxony earlier this year called for a much wider approach given the obvious lack of progress regarding sustainability since the 1992 Rio summit.

New regional research centre to tackle climate change 
Moses Magadza

The recently established Namibia-based Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Use is working with higher education institutions across the region to develop new postgraduate courses on climate change.


University entrance examination rules to be relaxed 
Mimi Leung and Yojana Sharma

China’s Ministry of Education has said it is willing to allow changes in residency rules for the country’s ferociously competitive university entrance examination known as the gaokao. But it has not outlined a timetable for change.

Virtual world expands as universities go online 
Geoff Maslen

A vast and ever-increasing number of the world’s students are studying for degrees without ever setting foot on a campus. Open Universities Australia, the 20-year-old antipodean pioneer of online learning, is a prime example – it has experienced an unprecedented doubling in enrolments over the past four years.

World Blog

Institutional leaders must prepare for the worst 
William Patrick Leonard

Higher education institutions in the United States have had to make swingeing cuts due to the economic crisis. But financial crises are inevitable so why are institutions not better prepared, since they have contingency plans for other, more unlikely emergencies?


Dlawer Ala'Aldeen

Kurdistan in Iraq has implemented a series of reforms aimed at improving the quality of higher education in the region. Despite some opposition from political groupings and vested interests, the determination of reformers has resulted in significant progress.

Closing private universities will not work 
John Akec
Private universities give many South Sudanese a second chance. Closing them will not improve the quality of education, but will restrict access. The government needs to learn from the mistakes other countries have made and focus on quantity as well as quality.

Post-secondary education strong, innovation weak – OECD
Grace Karram
The OECD’s Economic Survey of Canada 2012 was released on 13 June, assessing the nation’s macro-economic trends and making recommendations for the future. The paradox revealed by the report lies in the striking difference between the country’s (weak) innovation and (strong) post-secondary education sectors.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

University World News - Issue 0225

Demand for postgraduate training of international higher education leaders

In World Blog, Hans de Wit says the changing nature of international higher education requires new types of leadership, and training is needed for the next generation of managers. Simon Marginson writes in Commentary that Latin American universities face particular challenges in moving up the global rankings, and suggests alternatives for the region.
Responding to criticism of the Canadian Association of University Teachers’ censure warning against Balsillie School of International Affairs, CAUT Executive Director James L Turk argues that universities should not surrender independence over academic matters in order to secure funding. Piyushi Kotecha suggests strategies to revitalise higher education across Southern Africa, and in the United Kingdom Paulo Charles Pimentel Bótas contends that many academics need to revise their jaundiced view of international students as second class and only there as cash cows.
In Features, Alya Mishra reports on growing concern in India over the lack of research and innovation in universities. Sarah King Head looks at the new Global Research Council, which will foster collaboration between research funding agencies worldwide and establish principles to guide multinational research projects, and Jan Petter Myklebust uncovers a challenge by two Swedish students against fees charged under an Erasmus Mundus programme that has sparked international interest.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor


New regulation allows foreign university collaboration
Alya Mishra

India’s higher education regulatory body has announced new rules that will allow only the top 500 globally ranked institutions to partner with leading Indian universities, as legislation to allow foreign institutions to set up branch campuses in India remains stalled in parliament.

Minister plans more ‘collegiate’ universities
Jane Marshall

France’s parliament will debate a new framework law for higher education in early 2013. While universities will retain autonomy, their governance will be radically reformed. An action plan aimed at cutting the high student first-degree failure rate will also be given priority.

New committee to drive higher education development
Adeagbo Oluwafemi

Southern African higher education ministers resolved to establish a technical committee to drive the implementation of policies aimed at developing higher education across the region, at an extraordinary ministerial meeting held in Johannesburg last week.

Espionage professor’s jail sentence sparks fears
Jan Petter Myklebust

A professor of international politics at Copenhagen University has been jailed for five months after being convicted of espionage for passing documents to Russian diplomats. The sentence imposed on Timo Kivimäki has raised fears over its implications for the conducting of research.

International call to stop assaults on academic freedom
Wagdy Sawahel

Seventeen human rights organisations and education groups have called on Iran to uphold the right to education and to immediately address the alarming state of academic freedom in the country.

Indian institutes of technology to open branch campus
Guillaume Gouges

Indian institutes of technology have announced the opening next year of a branch campus in Mauritius. The Indian Ocean island had sought the help of the prestigious institutes to set up a research-oriented academy of international standard.

Bank loans to drive development
Eugene Vorotnikov

Leading Russian universities, facing a lack of capital investment and plans to reduce state funding of higher education, are considering additional sources of finance for their activities, including bank borrowing.

Continued crackdown on foreign-linked institutions
Francis Yu

The Vietnamese government has continued a crackdown on unauthorised foreign-linked institutions operating in the country by blacklisting another seven colleges. The move follows the closure and fining of a number of foreign-affiliated institutions in the past six months.

Bid to improve foreign PhD students' rights rejected
Jan Petter Myklebust

An attempt to ease restrictions on foreign doctoral students from outside Europe remaining in Sweden after graduation, and to allow students the right to work during their PhD studies, was rejected by parliament last week.

New teaching graduates fail competency exam
María Elena Hurtado

A high failure rate in recently released test scores of primary school teachers has compounded the concern Chileans already feel about the state of public school education.


Soul searching as university-led research lags
Alya Mishra

Environment Minister Jayaram Ramesh, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, sparked controversy last year when he said the elite government-funded institutes of technology and of management were excellent only because of the quality of students, not the quality of research or faculty.

Funding agencies establish Global Research Council
Sarah King Head

Last month 47 leaders of research funding agencies from 44 countries met at the headquarters of the National Science Foundation in Arlington, US, for a two-day summit of the newly minted Global Research Council.

Students challenge fees for Erasmus Mundus masters
Jan Petter Myklebust

Two Swedish students are challenging Uppsala University’s decision to charge domestic students tuition fees for a masters offered with seven European universities under the Erasmus Mundus programme. The issue has sparked international interest because a number of countries have introduced or raised fees either for international or for all students.

World Blog

Changing role of leadership in international education
Hans de Wit

Leadership and management in international higher education has received little attention. There is a new generation coming up that wants the experience necessary to do the job properly, but it will take time for them to move up the pipeline. In the meantime training courses are needed to plug the gap.


Improving Latin American universities' global ranking
Simon Marginson

Latin American universities are hampered from climbing up the global rankings by several factors, including the bias towards publication in English. A greater emphasis on regionalism could help, as could a regional ranking system similar to Europe’s U-Multirank.

Academic integrity depends on independence
James L Turk

Universities that badly need money to maintain their programmes cannot allow outside interests to shape what they do and whom they hire without losing the very integrity that makes them unique and valuable public institutions. The Balsillie School of International Affairs is a case in point.

Higher education trends, challenges and recommendations
Piyushi Kotecha

Southern African countries must urgently develop and implement higher education policies aimed at expanding student enrolments, strengthening quality and the qualifications of academics, at least doubling the production of postgraduates, developing research capability and changing how universities work including improving governance and planning.

Attitudes towards international students must change
Paulo Charles Pimentel Bótas

A major challenge for universities is how to address the behaviour and attitudes of academics towards international students in order to make them feel accepted and supported in the teaching and learning process. In a world where international students are becoming more discerning, universities that still only see them as cash cows will lose out.

Science Scene

Threatened seagrasses store as much carbon as forests

The first global analysis of carbon stored in seagrass meadows in the world’s oceans shows they can hold as much carbon as the world’s temperate and tropical forests. Researchers also estimate that, although seagrass meadows occupy less than 0.2% of the world’s oceans, they are responsible for more than 10% of all ‘blue carbon’ stores buried annually in the ocean.

Genetic safety in numbers for the duck-billed platypus
Geoff Maslen

Another of Australia’s animal icons, the platypus, has joined the koala and the Tasmanian devil in facing the risk of being wiped out by disease. But the danger for the platypus, at least for the moment, is confined to the animals on two small islands around the south-east coast of Australia although it remains under threat from habitat destruction elsewhere.

Efficient interface developed for quantum networks

Quantum computers may someday revolutionise the information world but at distant locations they must communicate with one another and so have to be linked together in a network. Physicists at the University of Innsbruck have constructed an efficient and tunable interface for quantum networks.

Fewer suicides among schizophrenics on anti-depressives

Anti-depressive drugs reduce the mortality rate of schizophrenic patients while treatment with bensodiazepines greatly increases it, especially as regards suicide. Giving several anti-psychotics simultaneously seems to have no effect at all on mortality, according to a new study examining drug combinations administered to patients with schizophrenia.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

University World News Issue 0224

Can universities be both global leaders and socially inclusive? asks Peter Scott

In World Blog, Curt Rice suggests that open access publishing and social media could help journal editors deal with ethical dilemmas around articles based on unethical research. In Commentary, Sir Peter Scott argues that universities have a responsibility to embrace the apparently conflicting principles of internationalisation and inclusion, and can act as mediators between global and local concerns.
Vangelis Tsiligiris writes that Greece urgently needs public sector reform, but delayed higher education legislation could be abandoned following this month’s election, and Chukwumerije Okereke proposes that Western universities set up campuses in Africa and develop problem-focused curricula to encourage top students to say home and contribute to development.
In Features, Chrissie Long probes what a recent ruling by Brazil’s top court, upholding affirmative action for black students in universities, means for a country where the standard definition of ‘black’ and ‘white’ does not exist. Mike Ives looks at the suspension of some private colleges in Vietnam, which left many students stranded, and we report on the 2012 NAFSA international educators’ conference held in Houston last week.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Rankings rivals slug it out over new universities
David Jobbins
The main rivals in the international higher education rankings business went head to head last week to launch league tables of the world’s top newer universities. Hours before Times Higher Education magazine was due to publish its Top 100 ranking of universities under 50 years old with data supplied by Thomson Reuters, QS leapt in with its own Top 50.

Restrictions on foreign students eased
Jane Marshall
A controversial circular that restricted residence and employment rights for non-European students and graduates and led to many highly qualified foreigners being forced to leave France has been repealed by the new soc ialist interior minister, Manuel Valls, a year to the day after it was introduced by his predecessor.

Latin Americans challenge international rankings
María Elena Hurtado
Latin American countries have declared that university rankings do not take into account their reality. Critics say the rankings depend too heavily on work published in English-language journals and would prefer to see criteria that include factors such as numbers of professors with postgraduate studies and projects that improve economic competitiveness.

Global declaration to boost open educational resources
Wagdy Sawahel
In a move aimed at boosting international efforts to facilitate educational access and enhance knowledge transfer, UNESCO is to ask governments and education organisations worldwide to sign a declaration strengthening their commitment to developing, promoting and making available open educational resources.

Call for increased ‘Arabisation’ of higher education
Wagdy Sawahel
Arab universities are coming under increasing pressure to use Arabic as a medium of instruction and expression in higher education.

First major survey of mobility patterns of scientists
Jan Petter Myklebust
Switzerland has the highest proportion of immigrant scientists – 56.7% – of 16 ‘core’ countries surveyed in the first comprehensive international study of the mobility patterns of scientists, according to a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research in the US.

Foreign degrees to be recognised, to attract talent
Nick Holdsworth

Degrees from 210 of the world’s top universities in 25 countries are to be recognised in Russia without requiring additional state evaluation, in a move designed to attract highly skilled professionals and the “world’s best minds” to the country.

Legal challenge to penalty for late graduation
Robert Visscher
Three student organisations are suing the Dutch government for introducing a fine of €3,063 (US$3,800) for students who take more than one extra year to graduate.

Law to promote state and federal cooperation
Michael Gardner
The German government has proposed new legislation to enable better cooperation between the federal and the state level in higher education. Under current laws, joint initiatives have been restricted to a small number of projects running for a limited period.

Employees go to court to oust Kenyatta vice-chancellor
Gilbert Nganga
Kenyatta University, Kenya’s second biggest higher education institution, could be rocked by a management crisis after several employees went to court seeking to oust Vice-chancellor Olive Mugenda.

Guidelines on research partnerships updated
Jan Piotrowski
More than 10 years after the first edition was published, a revised version of influential guidelines for encouraging greater effectiveness in international research partnerships was released late last month.

NAFSA 2012

The 64th NAFSA – Association of International Educators – conference was held from 29 May to 1 June in Houston, Texas. The world’s largest international higher education gathering attracted more than 8,000 participants from 100 countries this year. University World News reports.

US not linking international students with immigration
Barbara Burgower Hordern
Despite a growing desire to attract and retain the best students internationally, the United States is losing the ability to keep graduates in the country, a senior researcher in international education told the NAFSA conference. Meanwhile, other countries competing for international students appear to be making things less difficult for them.

Policies ‘massively’ influence student destination choices
Karen MacGregor
National policies in areas such as immigration can “massively impact” on the opinions and expectations of international students, a British Council global survey of 153,000 students has found. Students are also concerned about quality and, increasingly, safety.

South America a red-hot study abroad market
Barbara Burgower Hordern

Already-high numbers of South Americans studying abroad will continue to shoot up over the coming year, said a panel at the NAFSA conference held in Houston, Texas, last week. The biggest markets for international education are Brazil, Colombia and Chile, with Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela also sending increasing numbers of students abroad.
Chrissie Long

The standard definition of ‘black’ and ‘white’ never existed in Brazil like it has in North America or Europe. So what will a recent ruling by the country’s top court that upholds affirmative action for blacks in universities do for a country where racial distinctions blur into the 134 different colour designations Brazilians use to describe themselves?

Crackdown on foreign-linked colleges has many baffled
Mike Ives

When Chi, a 22-year-old marketing student at Raffles Vietnam, heard that the government had ordered the college to suspend “advertising, admission and training activities” earlier this year, she wondered what would become of her education.


Is it ethical to publish unethical research?
Curt Rice
How should journal editors deal with articles based on unethical research? Open access and social media could provide some solutions, allowing pre- or post-publication discussion of ethical issues raised by articles.


Internationalisation and inclusion – Principles in conflict?
Sir Peter Scott
Can universities be both global leaders and socially inclusive, or will the push towards internationalisation create wider gaps between the haves and the have-nots? Universities have a responsibility to embrace both roles and can act as mediators between global and local concerns.

Grexit – Another lost opportunity for universities?
Vangelis Tsiligiris
Greece urgently needs public sector reform. But one of the first actions of far-left leader Alexis Tsipras, who could win this month’s election, signalled his plans to cancel legislation that could have modernised the higher education system, with its vested interests and corruption.

Universities must be mended and brain drain stemmed
Chukwumerije Okereke
Partnerships with African universities need to give something back. If Western universities set up campuses in Africa and developed curricula that focused on real-world problems, they could encourage the best African students to stay home and contribute to development.