30 January 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
GLOBAL
Report lists six key technologies for higher education
Virtual assistants, flipped classrooms and the ‘quantified self’ are three of the six technological developments that will have a significant impact on higher education within the next five years, according to the NMC Horizon Report: 2014 higher education edition, released by the New Media Consortium and Educause, writes David Nagel for Campus Technology.
UNITED KINGDOM
‘Education technology fears may retard change’
Not enough is being done to allay the fears of education professionals who see developments in education technology as intimidating, the chancellor of the Open University has warned, writes Josie Gurney-Read for The Telegraph.
PHILIPPINES
Two universities align calendars with overseas partners
The Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines last week announced that they were shifting their academic calendars from August to May, aligning their schedule with overseas partners and ensuring that graduates would have a global outlook, reports GMA News.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities accused of scrimping on staff pay
Scotland’s universities are spending a smaller proportion of their money on staff costs despite seeing their overall income rise to £3 billion (US$4.9 billion) last year, according to a new report, writes Chris Marshall for The Scotsman.
UNITED KINGDOM
University applications hit record high
The proportion of British 18-year-olds applying to university has reached its highest-ever level, according to figures for undergraduate applications in 2014 – thanks to a surge in applications from London and among women, write Richard Adams and Libby Page for the Guardian.
WALES
Researchers perform above the UK average – Report
Researchers in Wales are performing above the UK average and productivity is better than most countries of a similar size, according to a new report published last week, reports Wales Online.
SOUTH AFRICA
Funding aid for higher education falls short
Half of the students in South Africa who qualify for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme will not be funded because of a shortage of money. The scheme’s CEO Msulwa Daca told parliament’s standing committee on appropriations that despite funding increasing significantly over the past five years, it still fell short, writes Bekezela Phakathi for Business Day.
UNITED STATES
Hard times at Howard University
Historically black colleges and universities once held a monopoly. Today they struggle to compete with elite colleges that have stepped up recruiting for the best and brightest black students. Last week Howard University announced that it was cutting about 200 staff positions, writes Charlayne Hunter-Gault for The New York Times.
UNITED STATES
College endowments show strong growth
The nation’s college and university endowments – often used to fund scholarships and professorships – had strong growth last year, according to a report released last week. That’s a bit of good news for higher education institutions under pressure to hold down tuition costs amid some enrolment declines, writes Kimberly Hefling for AP.
UNITED KINGDOM
Survey highlights university staff discontent
Nearly a third of university employees are looking to leave their current jobs, and a similar proportion feel insecure in their employment, an in-depth analysis of the sector suggests, writes Chris Parr for Times Higher Education.
CANADA
Tenured Ottawa professor’s dismissal upheld
Denis Rancourt has lost his bid to reclaim his job as a professor at the University of Ottawa. In a 32-page decision dated 27 January, arbitrator Claude Foisy concluded he had no reason to intervene in the university’s 2009 decision to fire Rancourt, then a tenured physics professor, for defying its orders to grade his students objectively, writes Don Butler for Ottawa Citizen.
UNITED KINGDOM
Indian students want international recognition
Latest figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show an alarming 25% reduction in Indian students recruited to the UK. Some groups have blamed the government's reforms to post-study work opportunities, not to mention restrictions on part-time work during study. But it does a gross disservice to the complex ambitions and motivations of Indian students, and the attractiveness of the UK's higher education sector, to attribute such a big drop solely to the ability to work after study issue, writes Richard Everitt for the Guardian.
CHINA
Western universities avoid tough questions about China
No scholar interested in promoting knowledge could argue against some kind of educational exchanges between China and the West. On the other hand, the architects of most of these exchanges – primarily academic administrators and trustees – have avoided asking tough moral questions about the repression of freedom of thought and expression in China, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that such repression is intensifying under the new regime, writes Thomas Cushman for The Conversation.
UNITED KINGDOM
Independence means university fee refugees
Education Secretary Mike Russell has claimed that 80% of university places in an independent Scotland will be taken up by “fee refugees” from the UK unless they can be charged for the cost of their tuition, writes Chris Marshall for The Scotsman.
EGYPT
Universities crackdown continues
Student demonstrations have become a daily occurrence at Egyptian universities. Reports estimate that a monthly average of 230 protests were staged on 24 campuses in the first part of the current academic year. By and large, student mobilisations have grown in recent months in response to the unprecedented, forceful suppression of civil rights expressed through traditional channels of political activism, writes Safa Joudeh for Al-Monitor.
PAKISTAN
Ex-education watchdog head guilty of plagiarism
A former head of the country’s higher education watchdog has been found guilty of academia’s greatest crime – plagiarism, writes Riazul Haq for The Express Tribune.
VIETNAM
Lecturer shortage prompts axing of 207 majors
Up to 207 majors in 71 universities in Vietnam will not be allowed to enrol students in 2014 because of a lack of permanent lecturers, according to a dispatch signed by Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bui Van Ga, reports VietNamNet Bridge.
FRANCE
New group to help close gap between work and study
The French Ministry of Higher Education and Research is trying to bridge the gap between universities and the corporate world. But its latest venture, an advisory group on curriculum reform, headed by business leaders, is rubbing some academics up the wrong way, writes Clea Caulcutt for Times Higher Education.
SOUTH KOREA
Samsung shelves recruiting reforms
Less than two weeks after Samsung Group announced an overhaul in its recruitment methods to focus on the quality of its hires rather than standardised test scores, the company said last week it shelved the plan because it would be hard to achieve a “social consensus” on such a radical shift, writes Lee Eun-Joo for Korea JoongAng Daily.
GLOBAL
Indian origin scholars reap leadership rewards
It was a wave of sorts and SP Kothari was part of it. The year was 1982, and Kothari, armed with a degree in chemical engineering from BITS Pilani and a management degree from IIM-Ahmedabad, felt the West calling, write Kala Vijayaraghavan and Rica Bhattacharyya for The Economic Times.
INDIA
Technology institutes may compete as unit in rankings
All 13 Indian institutes of technology may compete as a single unit at the global level for a place among the best in rankings, reports Firstpost.India. Higher education secretary Ashok Thakur said the idea was to position the institutes as a single unit much like their brand.
MYANMAR
Universities come to life
Once a hotbed of political subversion, the old foundations of the Rangoon Student Union now sustain a grove of trees that sway sleepily in regimental rows. Half a century and a name-change later, the leafy avenues of Yangon University are crawling with the first crop of undergraduates to study a curriculum free from the interfering hand of the military, reports Aljazeera.
UNITED STATES
Nuclear deal opens doors for Iranian students
Among the beneficiaries of the interim nuclear agreement with Iran that went into effect recently are Iranian students abroad and the Western educational institutions which are already seeing rising interest from Iran, reports Voice of America.
UNITED STATES
Obama encourages economic diversity in HE
More than 100 American colleges and universities have promised to try to attract more low-income students by strengthening relationships with high schools and community colleges, increasing access to advisors and offering more remedial programmes, writes Jason Song for the Los Angeles Times.
CHINA
Authorities detain dissident Uighur scholar
Chinese authorities have detained a dissident scholar and member of the country's Uighur minority who is well known for calling on Beijing to address one of its most complex ethnic challenges, writes James T Areddy for The Wall Street Journal.