ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0100 08 November 2009
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This week, University World News publishes its 100th edition. We celebrate this milestone with a message to readers, a retrospective look at some of the best images we have published, and comments from notable readers.

If Socrates were alive today, would he be a vice-chancellor? In a new book, Socrates in the boardroom, a British academic contends that brilliant scholars should lead universities, our correspondent reports.

Vietnam's atrocious traffic means multi-campus institutions are no easy ride for students. See the story in this week's news section.



Dear Reader

We launched the first issue of
University World News on 15 October 2007 with a mere 13 news stories, two features and two off-beat stories in the Uni-Lateral section. As we publish our 100th edition, the weekly paper regularly has more than 30 news stories, features and commentaries from our writers and contributors across the world, along with fortnightly Business, Science Scene and Academic Freedom sections. Then there is the Round-Up section that provides brief reports with links to higher education stories in other papers dotted around the globe.

The idea of producing an online newspaper arose more than two years ago after a group of journalists spec ialising in higher education realised there was a gap in an increasingly internationalised higher education world not filled by niche publications such as Britain’s
Times Higher Education or America's Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed. The former, with its new magazine format, had cut its global coverage while the latter were largely focused on the US.

So, with more optimism than cash, we formed a limited company based in London but with our writers and readers now located on every continent. Our website is operated from Cape Town and our journalists are scattered from the Antipodes to Europe, Africa to North and South America while the editors are based in Melbourne and Durban.

Such was the initial success of the global edition of
University World News that the Ford Foundation agreed to fund a fortnightly Africa edition which was launched in March last year and has now reached its 40th edition. The Centre for Higher Education Transformation in South Africa also supports the production of special Africa editions.

As well as producing the first volume in our e-book series comprising a collection of articles on some of the key issues facing higher education globally
, University World News was also selected to be the official media partner for the Unesco World Conference on Higher Education in July.

The online newspaper now has more than 19,000 registered readers located in 152 countries, with significant numbers in the US, South Africa, Britain, Canada, Australia, France, Egypt, India, Nigeria and Germany. Visitors to our website have increased dramatically since the newspaper’s launch, as have the number of pages viewed per month. On average, 41,500 visitors log on to our website each month and the average number of pages viewed is 376,000.

To record this 100th milestone, picture editor John Gerritsen presents some of the best photographs we have published over the last two years. We also have a selection of comments from some notable readers on the occasion of our centenary issue. Finally, we turn to our usual role of reporting on what has been happening in universities around the globe. We hope you will stay with us while we press on to the 200th edition!

The Editors


Picture editor John Gerritsen has selected some of the top photographs published in University World News over the last two years. You can see the collection he has compiled here.


Here is a small selection of letters from our readers commenting on the advent of University World News’ 100th edition:

From Lesley Wilson
Secretary General
European Universities Association

As international collaboration becomes increasingly important in a competitive global higher education arena, it has never been more important for universities to keep abreast of key international developments. This is why an internationally focused publication such as University World News has an important role for higher education institutions everywhere.

From Sir Peter Scott
Kingston University
Former editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement, 1976-1992

The 100th issue of University World News offers an opportunity to consider, and celebrate, its already very considerable impact. In its brief life, the paper has managed to tick two boxes: the first can be labelled ‘comparative higher education’, and the second ‘policy borrowing’.

Sadly many comparative studies of higher education policy tend to be rather superficial, mainly because it is not a well supported field. Often they are not truly comparative either, because typically there is still a dominant ‘home’ perspective against which ‘other’ higher education systems are assessed.

Policy borrowing is an even more risky sport; politicians and their acolytes not only cherry-pick policies to suit their own agendas but they also frequently radically misunderstand the context in which these policies have been developed.

There are too many examples of damaging policies justified by half-baked accounts of what has been tried, and succeeded / failed, in other countries, by unreliable anecdotes gathered on rushed study visits and by half-remembered memories of out-of-date (if they were even in-date) personal experiences.

The impact of UWN on comparative higher education studies has been to provide a comprehensive, reliable and (above all) sustained evidence base which up to now has largely been lacking. Other higher education publications have tended to down-play their international coverage as the cost of providing such coverage has increased and also as domestic agendas have become more dominant; UWN, therefore, has filled a crucial gap.

Its impact on policy borrowing is potentially even more important. Its contributors are experienced journalists, often based in the countries from which they report. Their brief is to explain the complexities of higher education policies to a genuinely international audience – not to simplify them for a particular national audience.

Above all, UWN provides a powerful link between comparative higher education and policy borrowing – by providing a more extensive evidence base and offering more sophisticated, and nuanced, analysis.

A final word – UWN also takes international organisations, such as Unesco and the OECD, seriously (and on their own terms, not to the extent to which they support pre-conceived ideological agendas). Not many other publications attempt to do that; and even spec ialist academic journals are often still rooted in their national environments.

In its own modest way UWN is an example of truly global media. For that reason alone, although there are many others, it should be supported – whatever the difficulties of sustaining a higher education publication at a time when university budgets are being cut. We need it more – not less.

From Professor Goolam Mohamedbhai
Association of African Universities

The Association of African Universities sends its warmest congratulations to University World News on the occasion of its 100th edition.

University World News has now established itself as one of the online newsletters that universites around the world cannot afford not to glance at. We at the Association of African Universities particularly appreciate its Africa edition which keeps us and the world informed about developments in higher education in Africa.

We wish UWN continued success.

From Professor V Lyn Meek
The LH Martin Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Management
University of Melbourne, Australia
My congratulations to University World News on the publication of its 100th edition. I am a regular reader of University World News and find it an invaluable publication for keeping abreast of global issues facing higher education institutions and systems.

I have been particularly impressed with the various special issues and in-depth analysis on various important topics that appear from time to time. I am looking forward to reading the next 100 issues of University World News.

From Dr Carolyn Allport
National Tertiary Education Union

As a long-serving president of the university union, I am always keen when the news and commentary from University World News arrives in my inbox. It is one of the few sources that informs Australian readers of developments across the higher education environment of our world.

There is a real attempt by its contributors to highlight specific individual innovations at the same time as having a strong representation around systemic changes within higher education.

One of the impressive characteristics of University World News is the way that it encourages a focus on student issues as part of broader debates. Since Unesco held its first World Conference, much has changed in universities and higher education.

But the costs to students of higher education studies are increasing, with many universities becoming more commerc ialised. It is critical that debates such as those published in University World News continue to inform staff, students, and governments that higher education remains for the public good and in the public interest.

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

GLOBAL: Break-up means new global rankings
David Jobbins
The UK-based Times Higher Education has ditched its long-term partner in its annual World University Rankings in a move that will expand the number of international league tables published next year to five. A six-year collaboration between the THE and QS, the business education information network, ended last week when the magazine announced a deal with research data spec ialist Thomson Reuters to provide the rankings.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: World’s top business schools
Karen MacGregor
Western Europe and North America share the lead in the latest Eduniversal global top business schools ranking, published online in a special explanatory supplement in University World News on Friday. Both regions have 34 schools in the top 100 followed by Far Eastern Asia with 17 institutions. Only two of nine geographical regions – Eurasia and the Middle East, and Central Asia – have no schools represented among the top 100.
Full report on the University World News site

CZECH REPUBLIC: Degree audit follows corruption claims
Nick Holdsworth
Czech Minister of Education Miroslava Kopicova has ordered a national audit of all university degrees awarded since 2000 after allegations of widespread corruption at a provincial university. The audit will cover 315,000 students who graduated in the past nine years. It follows revelations that a number of students had been awarded law degrees by the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen after only a few months of study.
Full report on the University World News site

TURKEY: Earthquake binds university to its community
Rebecca Warden
A decade ago, a major earthquake hit the Marmara region near Istanbul in Turkey. More than 17,000 people lost their lives, many more were injured and 600,000 were left homeless. In the days and months that followed, Sakarya University near the epicentre of the disaster in Adapazari played a leading role coordinating the efforts of NGOs and international assistance. Ten years on, the experience has changed the university and providing services to the local community is now an integral part of its mission.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: A brave new world for higher education
Diane Spencer
In a wide-ranging set of proposals for the future of higher education, the Labour government includes plans for strengthening Britain’s place in the international student market by promoting a strong ‘UK HE’ brand. Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary who is also in charge of higher education, last week unveiled Higher Ambitions – the Future of Universities in a Knowledge Economy.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: Top scholars should lead research universities
Diane Spencer
Research universities should be led by brilliant scholars and not merely talented managers, says Warwick University fellow Amanda Goodall. It is not sufficient for leaders to have management skills alone, Goodall states in a new book whose publication coincides with the Labour government’s announcement of a new framework for higher education to encourage greater input from the business sector.
Full report on the University World News site

US-PAKISTAN: $45 million for higher education
Following suicide attacks on a major Pakistani university that left at least eight people dead, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the United States would contribute $45 million to Pakistan's Higher Education Commission. Clinton said the money would be used to expand relationships between Pakistani universities and US institutions through increased academic exchanges as well as university and technical education for students displaced by violence.
Full report on the University World News site

University World News at the Canadian International Education Conference
CANADA: Crisis hot topic at conference
Philip Fine
The economic downturn’s effect on the international education activities of universities will be a hot topic this week as a conference that brings together those involved in academic exchanges, international student recruitment and study-abroad programmes gets under way.
Full report on the University World News site

FIJI-AUSTRALIA: Academic deported for criticisms
Geoff Maslen
An Australian National University academic Professor Brij Lal was arrested and then deported from Fiji last Thursday after criticising the military regime during media interviews. Lal teaches at the ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific and, although born in Fiji, he has Australian citizenship, is an expert on Fiji politics and helped draft the country's constitution in 1997.
Full report on the University World News site

GERMANY: Minister vows to defend “education republic”
Michael Gardner
Annette Schavan is to remain Germany’s Federal Minister of Education and Research. Schavan said she would do all she could to maintain the country’s role as an “education republic”, and that this must not be jeopardised by tax reliefs.
Full report on the University World News site

VIETNAM: Life gets harder for students
Dale Down
In a country where even the most patient person can be severely tested, Vietnam’s university students are facing yet another hurdle in completing their studies. Having classes scheduled in different campuses means that constant traffic jams force many students to miss classes because they are unable to reach them in time.
Full report on the University World News site

NORWAY: Oslo should not recruit its graduates
Jan Petter Myklebust
The University of Oslo in Norway has commissioned a report from McKinsey & Co as part of its 2010-2020 strategic plan. One objective is to strengthen research and become a world-class university. But the report, University of Oslo – Towards a leading research university, has angered Norwegians by stating that it should not recruit internal applicants with a degree for scientific positions.
Full report on the University World News site


EUROPE: Scoring university autonomy
Ard Jongsma
Under the supervision of the European University Association, a comparative study to be launched on 30 November will map university autonomy in 34 European countries. The study will form the basis for a scorecard system to benchmark university autonomy after 2011.
Full report on the University World News site

GREECE: Violence erupts at Athens university
Makki Marseilles
Several students were taken to hospital, fortunately with minor injuries, following a weekend of violence by warring factions at the Athens Economic University. The violence occurred for no apparent reason other than a settling of accounts and defence of what teaching staff and students called their “client interests”.
Full report on the University World News site

RUSSIA: Fears over restrictions on foreign involvement
Nick Holdsworth
Fears that St Petersburg University was planning to introduce tight controls on academic foreign involvement were eased after authorities said researchers in areas with no national security implications would be exempt.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA-GERMANY: Funding for research projects
The Group of Eight research intensive universities last week announced funding of 36 new joint research projects worth A$1.2 million (US$1.09 million) under the Go8-Germany Research Cooperation Scheme.
Full report on the University World News site

FOR SALE: University World News e-book

Reports from the Frontier: A global view of the key issues confronting higher education

Reports from the Frontier is the first in a planned series of electronic books to be published by University World News. The initial volume comprises eight chapters that range from the impact of the global financial crisis on universities, declining funding, and the Bologna process, to women in higher education, international rankings and e-learning. The 337-page e-book includes an index listing the chapters and article headings, and is available as a special offer to University World News readers. To see the contents page and to order your copy click here.


GLOBAL: Business schools focus on ethics
Leah Germain
While many countries around the world are fighting to reverse the effects of the global economic meltdown, some of the top international business schools are transferring valuable lessons learned from the global recession into new course curricula. Universities and business schools are developing MBA programmes that provide greater scope for studies in ethical business practices following the spate of scandals that helped fuel the recession.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Vocational education vital
Alan Osborn
If the world is to make a sound and lasting recovery from the recession more attention should be paid to vocational training, even by the better-off countries, says the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Auto makers ranked by sustainability
Keith Nuthall
Experts from three European universities have unveiled findings that some auto makers are wasting billions of euros’ worth of environmental and social resources. The researchers warn this could add unnecessary costs to the auto industry’s already heavy financial burden.
Full report on the University World News site

US: VoiceVerified ensures student authentication
Leah Germain
Universities around the world have long harnessed the power of the internet to provide education online. But, with the advent of web-based learning, higher education institutions are facing a serious issue: how to ensure identity security for students emailing in papers and examinations, thereby preventing cheating.
Full report on the University World News site


GLOBAL: Comparing prominent league tables
Gavin Moodie*
Demand for world university league tables will last for as long as large numbers of students study internationally. All world university league tables have limitations or flaws, and many have both. There should therefore continue to be changes in the league tables until there is a reconciliation of the expectations of them and the rankers’ capacity to meet those expectations.
Full report with comparisons of various league tables are on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Challenges and threats to top institutions
Phil Baty*
Last year, the Times Higher Education magazine asked the heads of some of the world’s top ranked universities: “What makes your university a world leader?” The answers were illuminating and often inspiring. Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal of McGill University in Canada, boasted that her institution was Canada's “most international university”. Munroe-Blum said: “Our 200,000 alumni live in 180 countries worldwide, and our students currently hail from 160 countries”.
Full report on the University World News site


CHILE: Universities in transition
Jorge Katz and Randy Spence*
Major aspects of the structure and performance of Chilean university markets demand careful re-structuring in the years ahead. Although higher education exhibits a successful record of expansion, signs of fatigue can be clearly identified. Future growth of the Chilean economy requires faster productivity growth and the strengthening of international competitiveness, and this can only be attained on the basis of a much better-trained labour force. Chile also demands better political governance, which requires significant improvements in equity of access and quality in tertiary education markets.
First published in Higher Education Management and Policy
Full article on the University World News site

US: Globalization’s Muse – New book from Berkeley
Universities and national higher education systems have become Globalization’s Muse – “in essence, a widely recognised and worshiped route for full participation in the knowledge society”, says a new book from Berkeley edited by John Aubrey Douglass, C Judson King and Irwin Feller. With contributions from 19 US and international authors, the study describes and analyses changes in the global landscape of higher education with focuses on the themes of convergence, competition and congruity of policy and practices.
Full report on the University World News site


AUSTRALIA: Abandon feudal relationships
From Giles Pickford
Maree Conway is right in her comment on Professor Marcia Devlin’s article: the energy and creativity of professional staff are vital to a university. Thirty years ago they used to be called the menial staff, then the downstairs staff, then the general staff, and now the most demeaning of all names, the non-academic staff – defined by what they are not.
Full letter on the University World News site

FRANCE: No impact on joblessness
From John Mullen
I refer to last week’s article on student job prospects in France. It seems to me that such a measure will have no effect whatsoever on unemployment: if nine out of 10 engineering students get a job quickly, and only seven out of 10 economics students, that does not mean that if far more young people take engineering companies will hire more people!
Full letter on the University World News site

UNI-LATERAL: Off-beat university stories

US: Sacked professor reinstated – then reprimanded
A professor who pointed out that his college's s exual harassment policy contained no protection for someone who was falsely accused - and was later fired for s exual harassment himself - has been reinstated but then reprimanded for unspecified "offensive" speech.
Full report on the University World News site


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CHINA: Education minister dismissed
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.
More on the University World News site

CHINA: Second only to US in research – Thomson Reuters
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%.
More on the University World News site

CHINA: The long march
From a near-standing start in 1978, China is now the world’s biggest provider of higher education and the second-biggest producer of academic research papers. Before long, it is expected to become the world’s biggest economy. But higher education is at something of a crossroads, writes Phil Baty for Times Higher Education.
More on the University World News site

IRAN: Crack-down on protestors and students
Iran’s infamous basiji attacked opposition demonstrators on Wedenesady, the 30th anniversary of the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran, reports Asia News. Some people were reportedly killed and at least 35 were arrested, many of them students from Tehran University, as anti- and pro-government supporters clashed at the annual rally.
More on the University World News site

US: Insult to injury
Already wounded by budget reductions that came in July and before, US college leaders are now scrambling to squeeze even more from coffers, daunted by the real expectation that there are further cuts still to come, writes Jack Stripling for Inside Higher Ed. With the academic year in full swing, 26 states have now seen budget shortfalls that total US$16 billion, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
More on the University World News site

US: Ranks of millionaire college presidents up again
A record 23 US private college and university presidents received more than $1 million in total compensation in the 2008 fiscal year, according to an analysis of the most recently available data published last week by the Chronicle of Higher Education. And one in four in the study of 419 colleges’ mandatory IRS filings made at least $500,000, writes Justin Pope for Associated Press.
More on the University World News site

UK: Universities make £60 billion a year for economy
Universities generate almost £60 billion (US$99 billion) a year for the UK economy – more than agriculture and the pharmaceutical industry – a study revealed last week, writes Jessica Shepherd for The Guardian. The report by researchers at Strathclyde University, commissioned by the umbrella group for vice-chancellors Universities UK, will be used by heads of universities to lobby ministers to allow a rise in students’ tuition fees.
More on the University World News site

SCOTLAND: Rectors mount assault against return of fees
Leading figures from Scotland’s ancient universities have grouped together to mount an assault against the possible return of tuition fees to Scottish universities, writes Edd McCracken for the Sunday Herald.
More on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Universities slate infrastructure spending cut
Australian universities last week condemned as misplaced the federal government’s decision to pull A$200 million (US$181 million) of promised infrastructure funding from the sector as Canberra winds back its stimulus spending, write Andrew Trounson and Justine Ferrari for The Australian.
More on the University World News site

UK: Scientist vows to set up new drug body
The drugs adviser controversially sacked by the UK government says he will establish a new scientific committee if the current advisory body disbands, reports BBC News. Professor David Nutt was removed from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs recently after saying cannabis was less harmful than tobacco or drink.
More on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: Students trash Zululand university
Students burned and trashed parts of the University of Zululand in South Africa last week causing serious damage, writes Sinegugu Ndlovu for The Mercury. Security on the campus has been beefed up, with more police deployed. The university has been tense since a student election on 5 October in which a political opposition-supporting student group was penalised for failing to meet the deadline to submit a list of candidates.
More on the University World News site

INDONESIA: Call to not revoke university entry test
The Regional Representatives Council, or DPD, has urged Indonesia’s Education Minister Muhammad Nuh to delay a plan to recruit state university students based on their national final school examination results, writes Hasyim Widhiarto for The Jakarta Post. State universities currently recruit most of their students through admission tests.
More on the University World News site
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