ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0010  16 December 2007
HE Events Diary

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University World News is the first high quality, truly international newspaper dedicated to providing news, features and commentary on higher education issues around the globe. Our network of dozens of correspondents include many of the world's most experienced higher education journalists.

Piggybank Newsletter 1
University income streams are the focus of this week's special report from University World News. Our correspondents cover changes, trends and challenges facing universities around the world. See the stories in our Special Report section.

College Statue Newsletter 2
The Collège de France was founded in 1530 and maintains a tradition of providing free lectures to all comers. Now it is adopting modern technology in order to reach even more people. See the story in this week's Uni-Lateral section.

Following its highly successful launch in October, University World News has now reached its 10th issue. We thank you all for your support as we take a break over the Christmas recess. Publication will resume on Monday 14 January 2008. Meanwhile, we wish all our readers a happy, peaceful and safe festive season.

SPECIAL REPORT: University funding

Few if any of the world’s 17,500 universities are in the fortunate position of America’s Harvard – easily the richest higher education institution on earth – with its overflowing endowment fund amounting to almost US$35 billion. That huge sum is more than double the endowments of two of Harvard’s equally famous competitors, Princeton and Stanford, and more than the gross domestic product of half the countries around the globe.

A startling feature of American higher education is the way university endowments have grown rapidly in recent years. In the early 1980s, Harvard was the only university with an endowment of more than $1 billion. Today, the number of billionaire institutions is close to 50 and it continues to expand year by year. One of the reasons is the way donors can claim their gifts back immediately as tax deductions but another is because of the close links US universities retain with their alumni.

But while the richest American private universities cream off the most able students from the wealthiest homes, many public institutions remain poor cousins. As is the case around the rest of the globe, they rely on parsimonious governments for much of their income, rather than private benefactors or other sources.

Increasingly, though, as if driven by some herd instinct, governments are forcing their higher education institutions to turn to the private sector – and to their students – to make up the shortfall that they themselves have created. This cost-recovery way of generating revenue by making students pay higher and higher fees to get a degree is a form of privatisation and worries many academics who believe a nation’s wealth is based on its young people and their intellectual development. Our correspondents report.

US: Room for improvement
The United States spends more on its colleges and universities than any other country on earth yet is still far from achieving the ‘American dream’ for a majority of its young people. “Over the years, we've invested tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer money and just hoped for the best. We deserve better," said US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.
Full report on the University World News site

JAPAN: Government committed to higher education
Charles Jannuzi
The national government directly funds and indirectly subsidises Japan’s higher education system of some 1,300 degree-awarding institutions, including 726 universities, in multiple ways. But change is occurring as the government sets out to create 30 elite, world class universities.
Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE: Boosting philanthropic-backed research
Alan Osborn
The European Commission has announced the creation of a forum to increase philanthropic contributions for research – an area where Europe has traditionally lagged behind America. It is estimated that less than 3% of total research spending in Europe is financed by philanthropic organisations compared with as much as 5% in America.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: Public purse the main source of income
Diane Spencer
The government of the day is the largest provider of funding for higher education in Britain, with the money distributed by funding councils for England, Wales and Scotland.
Full report on the University World News website

UK: Peers champion ELQs
Diane Spencer
The great and the good of the higher education world, who now sit in the House of Lords, last week united in opposition to the government’s plan to cut funding for students who register for a qualification equivalent to or lower than one they already hold – ELQs.
Full report on the University World News website

SOUTH AFRICA: Change is the only constant
Karen MacGregor
The only constant in South Africa is change. Everything is new and entails muddling through, including university funding. But the tensions are the same as the world over: autonomy and the ‘market’ versus state steering as the government tries to influence the rate and cost at which universities produce the skilled graduates the economy needs – and is decreasingly able to do so as top universities garner their money from other sources.
Full report on the University World News website

NEW ZEALAND: International student boom boosts income
John Gerritsen
New Zealand universities have dramatically reduced their reliance on government subsidies over the past decade, thanks in large part to a boom in international student numbers.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: More please sir, say vice-chancellors
Geoff Maslen
During the recent election campaign, Australian vice-chancellors sent out call after call to the nation’s political parties for more spending on higher education. Both the two major parties offered new funding deals and universities are now waiting to see if the Labor government, having won, lives up to its promises.
Full report on the University World News website

GREECE: More money to boost development
Makki Marseilles
Greek universities are funded entirely by the Greek state. They supplement their income from EU programmes and the more successful ones from private research and surveys. But, to all intents and purposes, the state is the financial mainstay.
Full report on the University World News site

NEWS: Our journalists worldwide report

GERMANY: Support for women academics
Mike Gardner
The German government is to create 200 additional positions for women university professors over the next five years from an allocation of €75 million ($110 million). The German states will provide an equal share of the funding.
Full report on the University World News website

ISRAEL: Lecturers’ strike remains unresolved
Helena Flusfeder
Efforts by senior university academics and Finance Ministry representatives to resolve a dispute behind a 45-day-old stalemated lecturers’ strike over salary increases that has crippled Israel’s universities since October, have failed despite some progress.
Full report on the University World News site

GREECE: Militant students prevent democratic process
Makki Marseilles
University students are determined to prevent the implementation of higher education legislation introduced last summer by the Greek government against strong and bitter opposition.
Full report on the University World News site

RUSSIA: British Council offices to be shut down
Nick Holdsworth
The British Council is facing closure of its network of regional centres across Russia after the Foreign Ministry declared they were operating illegally.
Full report on the University World News website

UNI-LATERAL: Off-beat university stories

RUSSIA: Alchemist dies in bid for immortality
Helen Womack
A Russian biology student, who believed that taking small, regular doses of poison would make him immortal, collapsed and died in the middle of a lecture after ingesting cyanide the daily Tvoi Den reported.
Full report on the University World News website

FRANCE: Ancient college embraces teaching by podcast
Jane Marshall
The Collège de France claims to be unique. Founded by King François I in 1530, it has no enrolled students and awards no diplomas. Any member of the public, with or without educational qualifications, may turn up to any lecture free of charge and nearly 120,000 students attend its courses each year.
Full report on the University World News website


US: Study explores California university leadership skills
A new paper from the Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) explores the different leadership styles of two prominent former University of California presidents. Clark Kerr and David Gardner “helped to set the trajectory” that made the university system successful, states the paper’s author Dr Cristina González, a faculty member at Davis and a CSHE research associate.
More on the University World News site


CHINA: Four in five students want study abroad
More than 80% of university students in China want to study abroad, according to a new online survey, reports China News. The survey, conducted by the China Youth Daily and involving 2,400 students, showed that the US, Britain, France, Australia and Canada were favourite destinations for overseas study.
More on the University World News site

IRAN: Students detained during protests
Iran detained up to 24 students after a spate of university demonstrations in Tehran, a judiciary spokesman has said, reports AFP. His confirmation came after hundreds of people demonstrated at Tehran University in a major protest calling for the release of jailed students and criticising President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
More on the University World News site

TURKEY: New HE board head wants free speech
The new head of the Higher Education Board, Yusuf Ziya Özcan, wants universities where people can express their opinions freely with no restrictions, reports Today’s Zaman. He said that at autonomous universities that engaged only in science would not “waste time” with issues such as the Islamic headscarf.
More on the University World News site

MALAYSIA: World Bank calls for university autonomy
Public universities in Malaysia need to have more autonomy in the move towards becoming world class, says a World Bank report. According to The Star, the report argues that a balance must be reached between higher education expansion and improving quality, and recommends relaxing the rules public universities have to conform to in their management.
More on the University World News site

N IGERIA: Lecturers must earn doctorates before 2009
The National Universities Commission has warned that lecturers who fail to bag their doctoratal degrees before the 2009 deadline may lose their positions, becoming graded as tutors instead, as well as their authority over academic programmes, reports This Day.
More on the University World News site

N IGERIA: More private universities needed, says Minister
Minister of Education, Dr Igwe Aja-Nwachuku, has called for the licensing of more private universities to cater for an astronomical increase in the number of students seeking higher education, reports This Day. He said a comparative study had shown that N igeria did not yet have the number of universities commensurate with its population.
More on the University World News site

MOZAMBIQUE: Plans for quality assurance
Cabinet has approved a decree to establish a system of higher education appraisal, accreditation and quality assurance, Deputy Education Minister Luis Covane has announced. reports that the move is aimed at ensuring inspection and quality at institutions, and improving graduates.
More on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Higher education groups pulls together
Leading bodies representing research, technical and ‘new generation’ universities, which became divided and ineffectual under the Howard government, have hammered out a unified front to put to Education Minister Julia Gillard, reports The Australian. It is understood that the sector wants to ‘speak with one voice’ to the new Labor government, especially as much of the policy detail of Kevin Rudd's education revolution is unwritten.
More on the University World News site

US: Yale to join Harvard in easing costs
Yale University plans to announce a student aid plan that could rival Harvard's new initiative to ease costs for middle-income families, reports Bloomberg. The governing board for Yale has met to discuss an enhanced programme, in a move it says is occurring “irrespective of any other institution’s announcement”.
More on the University World News site

US: Texas freshmen need remedial help
More than half of freshmen entering colleges and universities in Texas need remedial classes, reports the Houston Chronicle. Now Texas is drawing up elaborate plans to tackle the problem, including directing students who do not meet the required standards to community colleges where they can receive help at a lower cost to themselves and the state.
More on the University World News site

CANADA: Benchmarks urged for higher education
Canada's $36-billion-a-year system of post-secondary education is headed for decline unless the country pulls together to determine whether the sector is providing value for money, including a probe into why a quarter of university graduates earn less than the average school graduate, reports the National Post.
More on the University World News site

CANADA: University buildings in need of repair
The stately old buildings that give many Ontario universities their character are in need of $1.6 billion in repairs and are a resource that needs to be managed more effectively, a report by the province's Auditor-General says. The Globe and Mail reports that empty classrooms, vacant laboratories and faculty with multiple offices were singled out as examples of how space on campus is being underused
More on the University World News site

WEST INDIES: New campus for university
The University of the West Indies will commence operation of its fourth campus, from a temporary site at the Chatwick Centre in Montego Bay, in the 2008 academic year, says principal Professor Gordon Shirley. The university has three other campuses in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and in Kingston, reports the Jamaica Gleaner.
More on the University World News site
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