Sunday, 15 July 2012

University World News - Issue No 0230

Action, not words, needed to tackle biases against women’s academic careers

In World Blog, Curt Rice argues that waiting for the increased number of women graduates to convert into more women in top posts will not work, and in Features David Jobbins reports on a pledge by Europe’s leading research universities to overcome the discrimination that prevents female academics from playing a full role in European research.
Helena Flusfeder describes a move by Israel’s Council for
Higher Education to sidestep a political controversy over granting a West Bank centre university status, and in Nigeria Tunde Fatunde writes that recent attacks on churches on and near universities in northern Nigeria could drive an exodus southwards of students and academics.
In a Commentary section focused on the Americas, John Aubrey Douglass finds that for-profit universities and colleges in the United States have done well out of the Great Recession because they plug gaps other institutions cannot fill.
Ernesto Schiefelbein suggests that offering public school students remedial classes could reduce the possibility of student protests in Chile, and Angel Calderon reports that proposed reforms aimed at improving teaching standards in Guatemala are being opposed by students.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor


Four out of 10 graduates from China and India by 2020
David Jobbins
Four out of every 10 university graduates will come from just two countries – China and India – by 2020, according to a report from the OECD. China alone will account for 29% of graduates aged 25-34, with the United States and Europe stagnating at just over a quarter.

Diversify expansion to avoid ‘carbon copy’ graduates 
Adele Yung
Singapore’s university sector no longer needs to catch up with the rest of the world and should not slavishly follow Western models, simply expanding to produce more “carbon copy” graduates, according to a high-level international panel advising the government on its strategic higher education policies.

Controversial higher education bill clears parliament 
Ria Nurdiani
Indonesia’s House of Representatives finally endorsed a controversial higher education bill on Friday, amid criticism of the way important issues such as foreign universities and student access have been handled in the legislation.

Policy paper urges better deal for disabled students 
MJ Deschamps
A European Commission policy paper has encouraged European Union member states to work harder at helping disabled students to gain university places and good degrees, with data showing that their life chances improve considerably with higher education.

Student applications fall by 10% following fee hikes
Brendan O’Malley
Demand for places at higher education institutions in England has fallen by 10%, according to UCAS, the body that manages applications to courses. The new figures offer insight into the impact on applications of the decision to allow universities to triple tuition fees from 2012-13.

Higher education exchange programme launched 
Ameen Amjad Khan
The Jeddah-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has announced a higher education exchange programme that will facilitate scholarships, faculty exchanges, collaboration on distance learning methods and research projects among its 57 member countries.

Publishers say new bill will hamper textbook supply 
MJ Deschamps
Canadian publishers say recently passed copyright reform is stripping away some of their financial incentive to provide books to the country’s universities and colleges.

First doctoral training centre to be set up in UAE 
Wagdy Sawahel
The University of Wollongong in Dubai has joined with the National Research Foundation in the United Arab Emirates to set up the country’s first doctoral training centre.

Study by undergraduates identifies crocodile genes
How many undergraduate students does it take to publish original research in an academic journal? Exactly 100 in the case of faculty of veterinary science students at the University of Sydney, whose study on saltwater crocodile genetics was published in the Australian Journal of Zoology last week.

Terrorist attacks in Kenya impeding scientific research 
Linda Bach
Terrorist attacks and kidnapping of foreigners could cause a serious blow to Kenyan marine research, forcing scientists to cancel projects in fear for their lives, according to participants at the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium held in Cairns, Australia, from 9-13 July.

Top university bans open-air rallies ahead of poll 
Francis Kokutse
In a move to control unruly student participation in politics, the authorities at the University of Ghana have banned all open-air political rallies, congresses and conventions ahead of a December general election. Student leadership is closely aligned to political parties in Ghana.


Universities pledge to take action on gender equality 
David Jobbins
Top universities have committed to leading a drive to secure greater equality for female academics and researchers across Europe. A League of European Research Universities report sets out actions that it says will overcome discrimination against women that prevents them from playing a full part in Europe’s research effort.

New moves in West Bank centre’s university status bid 
Helena Flusfeder
The Israeli Council for Higher Education’s planning and budgeting committee has proposed a new category of funding in addition to the existing ones of colleges and universities – that of a ‘university centre’ – in an apparent attempt to sidestep a political storm over granting a West Bank centre university status.

Academics and students live in fear of terror attacks 
Tunde Fatunde
Repeated attacks on churches on and off university campuses in northern Nigeria, by the Islamic fundamentalist sect Boko Haram, have sparked fear among students and lecturers, especially those who are Christians.


A slow thaw for women in leadership 
Curt Rice
Many people think that increased numbers of female graduates will translate eventually into more women at the top of their professions, but analysis suggests any increase will be very slow. It’s not enough just to wait.


The rise of the for-profit tertiary sector 
John Aubrey Douglass
For-profit institutions have grown in the Great Recession, to some extent because of cuts in the public sector that have meant it is unable to fulfil demand. For-profits need greater regulation to ensure quality, but demand for them is likely to continue to rise.

Closing the education inequality gap to stop unrest 
Ernesto Schiefelbein
Closing the gap between those with and without access to a good school education, through offering remedial classes at university, could reduce social inequality and high student drop-out rates in Chile and prevent the kind of demonstrations seen in the country in 2011.

Stormy times ahead for teacher education reforms 
Angel Calderon
Guatemala's education reforms aim to raise teaching standards, but students fear they will make it more financially difficult to study and could put some off the profession. However, if Guatemala is to improve its standing in the region and develop sustainably, it needs to improve the quality of teaching.

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