Few US universities make required reports to the government about the financial conflicts of their researchers - and even when such conflicts are reported, university administrators rarely require researchers to eliminate or reduce these conflicts - government investigators found, writes Gardiner Harris for The New York Times.
Recalibrating the puzzle pieces of support for public universities to include more financing from the federal government as state contributions wane might offer the best solution for public universities' economic woes, a panel of university presidents concluded at the Association of Public and Land-grant University annual conference held in Washington last week, writes Jennifer Epstein for Inside Higher Ed.
Hiring levels for college graduates across America are at their lowest level in decades and are not expected to improve in 2010, a new survey from Michigan State University has found, writes Sven Gustafson for MLive. The survey also found that graduates must be flexible and entrepreneurial to compete for fewer jobs with lower salaries and benefits.
Three-quarters of universities in England have had to bail out students with emergency funding because of delays to loans and grants, a BBC survey has found. Tens of thousands of students are still waiting for their first maintenance payments as the Student Loans Company struggles to cope with demand.
Taiwanese universities aim to admit Chinese students for the first time next year, an official said last week, reports AFP. Chinese students from 41 of mainland universities recognised by Taiwanese authorities are expected to start enrolling as early as the autumn term of 2010, an aide quoted Education Minister Wu Ching-ji as saying.
The University of Johannesburg's goal of raising its throughput rate from 76% to 78% next year would be an "uphill challenge" because of the change in students that has come from the new school curriculum, Vice-chancellor Ihron Rensburg said last week, writes Sue Blaine for Business Day.
Saudi Arabia's Minister of Higher Education, Dr Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Anqari, last week signed a SR1.9 billion (US$0.5 billion) contract for the Medical City Project at the Abha-based King Khalid University, reports Zawya.
One of China's top higher education institutions, Peking University, last week released a list of 39 high school principals nationwide recognised to recommend students to be enrolled without taking college entrance examinations, reports the Shanghai Daily. Recommended students could be given offers of places after interviews rather than taking the exams.
Iran has protested to an Oxford University college over a scholarship in memory of the slain Iranian student who became an icon of mass street protests sparked by the disputed June election, writes Ali Akbar Dareini for Associated Press. In Tehran, a small group of hard-line women demonstrated on Wednesday against the scholarship in front of the British Embassy. The women chanted "Death to Britain", the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
India will introduce by March legislation to increase the quality and reach of higher education, Human Resources Minister Kapil Sibal said last week, writes Bibhudatta Pradhan for Bloomberg. The government will seek to create an independent accreditation agency that will set benchmarks for all universities and colleges in the country, Sibal said. It will also draw up laws to govern the entry of foreign institutions and a regulator for higher education.
More than 27,000 additional institutions of higher learning would be required to meet the targeted gross enrolment ratio of 30% for 2020, India's Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said last weekend, reports Sindh Today. "This figure includes 14,000 colleges of general higher education, 12,775 additional technical and professional institutions and 269 additional universities," he told the Ministry's consultative committee.
Having advanced the gross enrolment ratio in higher education to a highly ambitious 16% by the end of 11th Plan, India's Human Resource Development Ministry has set up a task force to find a solution to deal with an acute shortage of academics and to work out an incentive plan aimed at better remuneration and greater societal respect, writes Akshaya Mukul for The Times of India.
An academic boycott of Israel by the Trondheim-based Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU, was averted on Thursday when its executive board unanimously rejected the controversial move, writes Cnaan Liphshiz for Haaretz.
Scrambling to address revenue shortfalls, the hardest hit public universities in the US most often chose to delay deferred maintenance projects, cut staff and reduce contingent faculty positions, according to a survey released last week by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. But those institutions still have plenty of "strategic" thinking to do about long term solutions, the survey found, writes Jack Stripling for Inside Higher Ed.
Academics are often characterised (and caricatured) as pompous, confident that they are the smartest people in the room and eager to prove it. But arrogance and insecurity are sometimes flip sides of one coin, and the professoriate has seen a rash lately of scholars expressing dismay at their perceived marginalisation. But when it comes to a field with an inferiority complex, few have it over scholars who study higher education, writes Doug Lederman for Inside Higher Ed.
China has announced it will award scholarships to 1,021 foreign applicants for a masters programme in Chinese language teaching, in an effort to cultivate teachers able to meet increasing overseas demand to learn the language, the official Xinhua news agency reports. Statistics show that around 40 million people overseas are learning Chinese. The figure is estimated to reach 100 million by 2010, creating a high demand for teachers.
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou pledged to increase the international competitiveness of the country's universities and said he expected more colleges to offer courses taught in English, Mo Yan-chih reports for the Taipei Times. Ma said the government expected to double the percentage of foreign students to 2.6% in the near future.
In his first year at San Marcos University in Peru, Hermenegildo Espejo barely spoke, and certainly not in class, writes Frank Bajak for Associated Press. His Spanish was rudimentary, his accent an embarrassment. Classmates in Lima, a two-day trip from his Amazon home town, laughed at his grammatical stumbles. Six years later, Espejo is a thesis away from a degree in linguistics at Peru's top public university. While his Spanish is now excellent, it is not his priority. He aspires to produce the first unified grammar of Awajun, his native tongue.
Student leaders have promised to name and shame every MP who refuses to sign a pledge to oppose a rise in university tuition fees, the Guardian has learned, writes Jessica Shepherd. In a letter to the Guardian last week, the student leaders of more than 85 universities and higher education institutes in the UK pledged to break the two main political parties' "cosy consensus of silence" on fees.
Mandy has been on a study trip to the Sistine chapel without going to Italy. Tina, while working as a full-time carer, has been taking a free university course in psychology on another continent. And Scott has recently secured a degree from an online university on the basis of learning, largely acquired at work. New web technologies are driving a revolution, not only in the way students consume and institutions deliver higher education, but in the very idea of what makes a university, writes Harriet Swain for The Guardian.
At Bahrain Polytechnic, a lecturer displays a controversial Ralph Lauren advertisement in which a model's waist appears smaller than her head and asks students how they would avoid a similar marketing debacle, writes Abeer Allam for the Financial Times. For further education in the Arab world, this is a fresh approach. Formal lectures and rote learning are the dominant teaching methods in public universities rather than the development of problem solving skills or practical knowledge.
The University of Ghana at Legon is holding discussions with oil companies in the country about training human resource people for the sector, reports Joy Online. Some programmes relating to the oil sector have already been approved by the university council and others are being planned, in close collaboration with the industry.
In an effort to cut their carbon footprints, a handful of universities around America are turning to ground-source heat exchangers and geothermal heating - sometimes with the help of federal financing - writes Kate Galbraith for the The New York Times Green Inc blog.
Facing rising criticism over the quality of schools and a crush of jobless college graduates, China's legislature announced last Monday that it had removed Minister of Education Zhou Ji after six years on the job and replaced him with a deputy, writes Michael Wines for The New York Times. His dismissal follows a corruption scandal involving a university in Wuhan, where Zhou had been mayor and, before that, president of another university. Zhou has not been publicly linked to the corruption charges, which remain under investigation.
Chinese researchers have more than doubled their output of scientific papers and now are second only to the United States in terms of volume, according to a report from Thomson Reuters released last Monday. Chinese researchers published 20,000 research papers in 1998. This ballooned to nearly 112,000 in 2008, with China passing Japan, Britain and Germany in terms of annual output, according to Reuters. During the same time US researchers increased output from 265,000 to 340,000 publications a year, a gain of around 30%.