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non-European students and graduates and led to many highly qualified foreigners being forced to leave France has been repealed by the new soc ialist interior minister, Manuel Valls, a year to the day after it was introduced by his predecessor.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
MarĂ­a 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.

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