ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0120 18 April 2010
Support University World News - Click here to donate

HE Events Diary

Opportunities Jobs

Higher Education Marketing

Struggles over the Nile’s water could threaten peace in Africa, say researchers with the Nile Basin Research Programme. See the Feature section.
Official documents from Dezhou University in China reveal that it has been recruiting informants for the secret police. See the News section.
India NL
India is seeking guidance from world-class institutions in setting up 14 innovation universities announced last year by President Pratibha Patil. See the News section. Wikimedia.


University World News was the official media partner to the Unesco World Conference on higher education, held in Paris from 5-8 July 2009.


NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

CHINA: Spies among lecturers and students
China’s political police recruit and maintain a vast network of informants among the nation’s university students. A report, DSD Police Recruit and Maintain Informant Networks Among University Students , in China Digital Times describes how the Domestic Security Department or DSD has recruited intelligence agents to spy on people across the country for many years.
Full report on the University World News site

POLAND: Rector killed in presidential plane crash
Daria Drabik
Professor Fr Ryszard Rumianek, Rector of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, was among those on board the presidential plane that crashed near Smolensk in Western Russia on 10 April. The 96 passengers and crew who died on the 20-year-old, Soviet-designed Tupolev plane were en route to a ceremony to honour the 20,000 Polish officers killed by Soviet troops in the Katyn forest during World War II 70 years ago. Smolensk is not far from Katyn.
Full report on the University World News site

FRANCE: Record number of students from abroad
Jane Marshall
The number of foreign students enrolled in French higher education in 2008-09 was 266,400, the highest ever and an increase of 2.3% over the previous year, according to research from the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. Moroccans remained the biggest national group, though the number of Chinese students continued to rise rapidly.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Impact of background on post-college performance
Sarah King Head
Students likely to benefit most from a university education are not those from socially advantaged backgrounds. Instead the opposite appears to be true, according to a report in the American Sociological Review.
Full report on the University World News site

INDIA: Innovation universities need foreign help
Alya Mishra
Decades after India sought foreign assistance to establish its first premier technical institutes – the Indian Institutes of Technology or IITs – it is again seeking guidance from the world’s top institutions to set up 14 innovation universities.
Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE: Countries can restrict non-resident students
The European Union’s Court of Justice has found that while EU law prevents countries limiting non-resident student enrolments in certain university courses in the public health field, this was legitimate if the restriction involved protection of public health.
Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE: Bologna magazine sums up progress
Jan Petter Myklebust
The Hungarian and Austrian Ministers for Science and Research, Education and Culture who were responsible for the 2010 Bologna ministerial meeting have released a magazine summing up the Bologna achievements and capturing many of its dimensions.
Full report on the University World News site

BULGARIA: Urgent need for higher education reform
Eugene Vorotnikov
Higher education in Bulgaria needs radical change and modernisation, says Education Minister Sergey Ignatov. Speaking on national television last week, Ignatov said that over the next several years the higher education system should be able to achieve the highest European standards. Reform would be implemented through a new higher education law to be developed by the Bulgarian Council of Rectors.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: A brave digital future
Diane Spencer
Higher education institutions have a tremendous wealth of research knowledge and in this digital age how should this be preserved? Several sessions at the eighth annual conference organised by the UK Joint Information Systems Committee addressed this theme. Around 750 academics, consultants and ICT experts gathered in central London last week to learn more about keeping pace with the latest innovations and exchange ideas.
Full report on the University World News site

CANADA: Tuition fees discriminatory say students
Cayley Dobie
A report by one of the provincial chapters of the Canadian Federation of Students says a “visible minority” of students, those from Asia, the Middle East and Africa, are experiencing higher-than-average debt levels for a university education. The student lobby group has called the province of Ontario’s system “racially discriminatory” and its report says struggling visible minority students continue to make sacrifices to attend university.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Academic salaries experience deflation
Sarah King Head
Just as students are finding it harder to keep up with escalating higher education costs, a new study has shown that their professors are also being squeezed by the economic downturn.
Full report on the University World News site

YEMEN: Lecturers strike over conditions
Wagdy Sawahel
Teaching staff at Yemen-based Sana’a University began a partial strike on 5 April over their work conditions and employment regulations. Staff said the deterioration of the country’s higher education system was affecting efforts at building a knowledge-based society and meeting the needs of development and job markets.
Full report on the University World News site




UAE: University-industry partnership boosts economy
Wagdy Sawahel
The United Arab Emirates University, a leading national university, has officially launched an education programme ‘Ta'awon’ in partnership with the Dubai Aluminium Company and other leading businesses. The programme aims to promote the role of the university in leading scientific and engineering research for the UAE, allowing students to work with companies on real-life science and engineering challenges.
Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE: ‘Talking’ car technology to make roads safer
Cayley Dobie
Innovative ‘talking’ car technology, developed with the assistance of various European research institutions, was unveiled last month at a Cooperative Mobility showcase in Amsterdam. The new technology is designed to improve road safety by communicating hazards to drivers, and is due to hit the markets by 2015.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: HSBC wins TARGETjob Award
Cayley Dobie
University students and graduates have voted international bank HSBC as the most popular graduate recruiter at the United Kingdom’s TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards 2010. The online poll indicates the bank – which performed relatively solidly during the credit crunch – is a favourite choice of employment for graduating students.
Full report on the University World News site




NORWAY-AFRICA: Nile Basin research programme
Bĺrd Hekland and Jan Petter Myklebust
From the southernmost source in Burundi to the outflow in the Mediterranean, the river Nile stretches over 6,600 kilometres, draining its water from 10 countries – Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, the DR Congo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Egypt. More than 370 million people make up the population of these tributary countries, a number estimated by the UN to rise to 635 million by 2030.
Full report on the University World News site

HE Research and Commentary

US: Increasing time to baccalaureate degree
The time students take to complete a baccalaureate degree in the United States has increased markedly over the past three decades, even as the wage premium for college graduates has continued to rise, write John Bound, Michael F Lovenheim and Sarah Turner in a working paper published this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Their research indicated that the primary reasons could be declines in resources in less-selective public sector colleges, and increased hours of employment among students.
More on the University World News site

US: DIY university
In the age of constant connectedness and social media, it’s time for the monolithic, millennium-old, ivy-covered walls of universities to undergo a phase change into something much lighter, more permeable and fluid, according to Anya Kamenetz, author of a new book called DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education.
More on the University World News site

UNI-LATERAL: Off-beat university stories

UK: Cambridge offers pole-dancing lessons
The newest way to beat stress at high-pressure Cambridge University in the UK? Pole dancing lessons, writes Rosemary Black for the New York Daily News. For the first time, Cambridge students in the throes of rigorous final exams will be offered the saucy, sensual sessions, according to the Cambridge Union Society. No previous experience is necessary, and the “pole-fitness” sessions are advertised for women only.
More on the University World News site


The Facebook group of University World News is the fastest growing in higher education worldwide. More than 2,050 readers have joined. Sign up to the University World News Facebook group to meet and communicate directly with academics and researchers informed by the world’s first truly global higher education publication. Click on the link below to visit and join the group.
Visit the University World News group on Facebook


GLOBAL: Unesco Director-General appoints senior staff
Unesco Director-General Irina Bokova last week informed the members of Unesco’s Executive Board of her choice for the senior management team. Bokova, whose mandate began on 15 November last year, said that she had chosen a “strong, competent, coherent and motivated team” to lead the organisation. The education sector will be headed by Qian Tang of China, who is currently its interim Assistant Director-General.
More on the University World News site

UK: Research intelligence – proof is in the numbers
Jonathan Adams cuts a rather dashing figure in his multicoloured designer silk scarf as he hurries to catch the train home from London to Leeds, writes Zoë Corbyn for Times Higher Education. The 56-year-old co-founder of Evidence treated himself to the Paul Smith accessory after he and his business partner Karen Gurney sold the firm to multinational data provider Thomson Reuters in January 2009. Evidence, which spec ialises in analysing research performance using citations, has grown from scratch in 2001 to become a common name in university management circles.
More on the University World News site

US: New force behind Agency of Wonder
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is different from other US federal agencies, writes John Markoff for The New York Times. For one thing the agency, known as Darpa, created the internet (really). For another, it is probably the only agency ever to offer a $40,000 prize for a balloon hunt, a contest that was inspired by Regina Dugan, a 47-year-old expert in mine detection, who took over last summer as its director.
More on the University World News site

US: Retooling remediation
Six American states that are trying to revamp remedial education are focusing as much on what happens outside of the classroom – in state policies – as inside, writes David Moltz for Inside Higher Ed. Among the targets for change are state funding formulas and individual course rules.
More on the University World News site

JAPAN: more Japanese students staying home
Takuya Otani would love an MBA from a top US business school, but he won’t apply. When he graduates from college in Tokyo next year, he’ll pass on an American degree and attend graduate school in Japan, writes Blaine Harden for The Washington Post. “I am a grass-eater,” Otani said wistfully, using an in-vogue expression for a person who avoids stress, controls risk and grazes contentedly in home pastures. Once a voracious consumer of American higher education, Japan is becoming a nation of grass-eaters.
More on the University World News site

CHINA: Rampant cheating hurts research ambitions
When professors in China need to author research papers to get promoted, many turn to people like Lu Keqian, writes Gillian Wong for Associated Press. Working on his laptop in a cramped spare bedroom, the former schoolteacher ghost-writes for professors, students, government offices – anyone willing to pay his fee, typically about 300 yuan ($45). Ghost-writing, plagiarizing or faking results is so rampant in Chinese academia that some experts worry it could hinder China’s efforts to become a leader in science.
More on the University World News site

TAIWAN: Chinese universities woo top Taiwanese pupils
The Ministry of Education has said that China’s move to open its universities to top Taiwanese students will not attract many applicants, the Focus Taiwan news channel reports. The ministry was commenting on an announcement by China last week that Taiwanese high school students who score within the top 12% in scholastic aptitude tests can now apply directly to 123 universities in China and will only be required to pass an interview.
More on the University World News site

SINGAPORE: Fee hike unlikely to deter foreign students
Recent news of fee hikes in Singapore’s three public universities is unlikely to deter foreign students because the new fees remain internationally competitive, write Karen Zainal and Luke Vijay for the Straits Times.
More on the University World News site

VIETNAM: Shut poor quality private universities
Priority should be given to the establishment of private universities that have intensive investment or operate on a non-profit basis, while poor-quality ones should be shut down, an education supervisory team has said, reports the Communist Party paper the Saigon Giai Phong Daily.
More on the University World News site

INDIA: For-profit universities not welcome
India plans to shut its doors to international public and private universities that operate for profit, believing that the move will keep the education sector free of commercialisation, writes Hemali Chhapia for The Times of India. So the University of Phoenix of the US, or the expanding Monash University of Australia, or Britain’s first private company-university BPP College of Professional Studies, would not be permitted to set foot in the country.
More on the University World News site

INDONESIA: Government to retain university autonomy
The Indonesian government said on Monday that a new draft law to replace the recently annulled 2008 Law on Educational Entities would retain its provision of greater autonomy for universities in managing their financial resources, writes Erwida Maulia for The Jakarta Post. National Education Minister Muhammad Nuh said the move was in line with requests from heads of universities.
More on the University World News site

US: Palin speech sparks concerns about foundations
An invitation to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin to speak at California State University, Stanislaus’ 50th anniversary gala is generating controversy and raising questions about the foundation that is paying her. The non-profit is refusing to divulge her speaking fees, writes Carla Rivera for The Los Angeles Times.
More on the University World News site

US: Berkeley bloated, wasteful, consultants say
For a world-class university studded with Nobel laureates and innovative research, the University of California, Berkeley, manages its finances a bit like a sloppy undergraduate, a new report suggests, writes Nanette Asimov for the San Francisco Chronicle.
More on the University World News site

CARIBBEAN: Call for regional collaboration
During a two-day Caribbean conference on higher education policy-makers, educators and experts discussed the situation of higher education in the region. The meeting was a joint initiative between the Surinam government, the Organization of American States and Unesco, reports the Office of the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis.
More on the University World News site

ANGOLA: Call for increased higher education cooperation
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Maria Candida Teixeira, said this month that Angola had been working hard to find more feasible ways to increase cooperation with other countries in the higher education sector, reports AngolaPress.
More on the University World News site
Copyright University World News 2007-2010