ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0132 11 July 2010
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HE Events Diary

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Higher Education Marketing

One of India’s best engineering colleges, the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, already has a campus in Dubai. It is ready to open another in Mauritius.
Blaming MBAs and business for the current global recession is an “over-simplification”... See our Business section.
The electronic age may now start suppressing girls with texting. See our Unilateral section.


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

ITALY: ‘The best shoes in the world’
Fabio Santelli*
Italian universities say they will be unable to pay their staff wages next year as the ramifications of €1.3 billion in government spending cuts hit home. Yet Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi seems not to care, declaring: “Why do we need to pay scientists when we make the best shoes in the world?”
Full report on the University World News site

US: Degree shortfall will hit economy hard
Geoff Maslen
America will need 22 million new degree-holders over the next eight years but will fall short by at least three million, according to a new report. The nation will also have vacancies for at least 4.7 million new workers with post-secondary certificates and the shortfall will mean lost economic opportunity for millions of American workers, the report says.
Full report on the University World News site

THAILAND: Danger in airing political views
Yojana Sharma
Thai academics are well-known voices on television and radio as analysts and commentators providing lively debate on politics. But broadcasting freely is no longer a simple and safe matter since the government crackdown against Red Shirt protesters in May.
Full report on the University World News site

INDIA: Universities opening foreign campuses
Alya Mishra
While the Indian government is trying to lure foreign institutions with its Foreign Education Providers Bill, Indian universities are opening campuses abroad and aiming for a global presence.
See also Dr Tim Gore’s views in our Research and Commentary section
Full report on the University World News site

HUNGARY: Order, work and fulfilling duties
Anna Csonka*
Reducing bureaucracy was an election promise of the right-wing conservative party Fidesz, the Alliance of Young Democrats, which replaced the Soc ialists as leader of Hungary’s new government on 29 May. The first step in the reform was a cut in the number of ministries from 12 to eight and merging the formerly autonomous Education Ministry into a new Ministry of National Resources.
Full report on the University World News site

NETHERLANDS: Call to invest in knowledge economy
Frank Vanaerschot*
Higher education stakeholders want their sector to be internationally competitive to tackle the economic crisis and play a leading role in realising a competitive, knowledge-based economy, a central goal of the European Union’s 20-20 strategy.
Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE: IP a major concern in innovative medicine
Eleven pan-European organisations representing universities, research centres and biopharmaceutical organisations have called for an urgent revision of the intellectual property rights in the EU Innovative Medicines Joint Technology Initiative policy and the Innovative Medicines Initiative funding model.
See also our Feature this week: Scary IP control measures
Full report on the University World News site

MAURITIUS: Minister sets out ambitious plans
Jane Marshall
Rajesh Jeetah, the minister responsible for higher education in Mauritius, has spelt out ambitious plans for the next few years. They include raising the student enrolment rate to 70% – more than four times the participation rate of any other Sub-Saharan Africa country – increasing the number of foreigners studying in the country and building a new campus at Réduit. He also intends to lengthen the opening hours of the University of Mauritius.
Full report on the University World News site

NORWAY: Give universities more autonomy
Jan Petter Myklebust
Norway’s present system of financing universities is destructive because having to fight for money to meet the cost of additional activities while running their normal operations often creates a deficit that has to be financed by external income, says Swedish Professor Sverker Sørlin. He has called on Norway to break radically with its present system of university funding.
Full report on the University World News site

ABU DHABI: US$1 billion higher education plan
Wagdy Sawahel
The government of Abu Dhabi has launched its first higher education strategy reform. This aims to build research capabilities to help sustain a shift from Abu Dhabi’s oil-based economy and establish an innovation-based and knowledge-producing society.
Full report on the University World News site


EU: Italy told to end student discrimination
The European Commission has requested Italy to end discriminatory conditions in competitions for university students to have access to low-rent apartments in Milan.
Full report on the University World News site

SWEDEN: Targeting fee-paying foreigners
Jan Petter Myklebust
Sweden will introduce tuition fees for non-European students next year and will identify likely countries to highlight its attraction as a study destination.
Full report on the University World News site


EUROPE: Is an EU patent on the way at last?
Alan Osborn
The European Commission – the executive of the European Union – has published proposals that could eliminate one of the most tiresome and costly of the obstacles to successful exploitation of innovation in the union: the lack of an EU-wide patent. Commission officials say if the EU Council of Ministers accepts proposed new arrangements for text translation, the costs of patenting inventions and technical advances across the EU could fall drastically.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Future MBAs must consider long term
Cayley Dobie
The global economic recession may appear to have been the direct result of negligent MBA graduates working for a quick buck. While this is not true these courses need to change, a senior business school academic argues.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Ethics not a priority for MBA students
Cayley Dobie
A tiny proportion of MBA students feel ethics courses are a necessary part of MBA programmes and qualifications, according to a recent survey by London based business education spec ialists CarringtonCrisp.
Full report on the University World News site


BOTSWANA: Academic leader, historian, diplomat dies
Sheldon G Weeks*
Obituary: Thomas Tlou – 1 June 1932 to 28 June 2010
Botswana’s Professor Thomas Tlou – historian, academic, vice-chancellor and diplomat – died on 28 June 2010 after a long illness. He will be remembered for positive attributes including humour and an ability to turn words around so that new insights were gained. He was a consummate negotiator, a modest man who accomplished a great deal, a democrat, a man of integrity who stood up for the rights of others, a researcher and an author.
Full report on the University World News site


INDIA: Key elements of a university
Dr Rajeev Shorey is President of NIIT University, a not-for-profit institution in Rajasthan sponsored by NIIT Limited. He has worked variously for General Motors India, IBM, GM Research and as an academic at IIT Delhi and the National University of Singapore. Dr Rahul Choudaha spoke with him for University World News.
Full report on the University World News site


GLOBAL: Scary IP border control measures
Anna George
In the wake of the recent Goldman Sachs revelations, it is clear we are still working our way through the financial and ethical wreck imposed by investment bankers who were ‘too big to fail’. But the phenomenon of over-reach of corporate influence over the economy is not confined to the banking sector. Another industry that has increased its influence, to the extent that it can now be seen as an alternative private ‘tax collecting’ agency, is the complex intellectual property industry.
Full report on the University World News site

HE Research and Commentary

INDIA: Connecting universities with the world
Tim Gore*
The progress of the Foreign Universities Bill in the Indian parliament has been regarded with great interest over the last few years because it could significantly affect the dynamic between India and its foreign educational partners. The recent impetus and direction given to the bill’s development by current Human Resources and Development Minister Shri Kapil Sibal is laudable.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Futures thinking for academic librarians
“For academic librarians seeking to demonstrate the value of their libraries to their parent institutions, it is important to understand not only the current climate. We must also know what will be valued in the future so that we can begin to take appropriate action now.” So begins a new report by the Association of College & Research Libraries, which presents 26 scenarios based on an assessment of current trends that may impact on academic and research libraries over the next 15 years.
More on the University World News site

UNI-LATERAL: Off-beat university stories

US: Texting: the teenage girls’ addiction
John Richard Schrock*
While many boys have dropped out of academic life over the last 15 years of video game development, leaving girls to excel at school, in higher education and jobs, the electronic age may now start suppressing girls with texting.
Full report on the University World News site

JAPAN: Monkeys’ daring escape from laboratory
A group of 15 monkeys at Kyoto University’s primate research institute in Aichi Prefecture, which are the focus of a string of high-profile scientific studies, escaped from their forest home which is encased by a more than five metre high electric fence, writes Danielle Demetriou in Japan for the Telegraph.
More on the University World News site

UK: Lobby group rates gay-friendly universities
Club scene. Reputation for research. Proximity to parents’ washing machine. All issues prospective students will be weighing up over the next few weeks as they make final decisions about which university to choose. But some will be asking another question, too – which institution will allow them to feel comfortable about who they are? – writes Harriet Swain for the Guardian.
More on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: University students most hit by depression
University students are four times more likely to be anxious and depressed than other people their age, a study of almost 1,000 students in Australia has found, writes Sarah-Jane Collins for The Sydney Morning Herald. The research found that 48% of participating students from the medicine, law, mechanical engineering and psychology faculties at the University of Adelaide showed significant levels of anxiety and depression.
More on the University World News site


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DUBAI: Michigan shuts most of its branch campus
Michigan State University’s branch campus in Dubai International Academic City says it is terminating all of its undergraduate programmes immediately, after losing millions of dollars since opening two years ago, writes Melanie Swan for The National. The move affects more than 100 undergraduate students and 24 staff and faculty in five subjects including business, media management and research, and computer and electrical engineering.
More on the University World News site

UK: ‘Climategate’ scientists cleared of dishonesty
The climate scientists at the centre of a media storm were cleared in the UK last week of accusations that they fudged their results and silenced critics to bolster the case for man-made global warming, writes David Adam for the Guardian.
More on the University World News site

CANADA: Universities see India as land of opportunity
In a rocky field dotted with mango trees, five minutes from southern India’s gleaming new Hyderabad airport, Dezso Horvath sees a solution for Canadian universities struggling with limited public dollars, writes Elizabeth Church for The Globe and Mail. The York University business dean has struck a deal with a developer to build an outpost for the Schulich School of Business, making it one of the first foreign campuses in the world’s fastest growing market for higher education.
More on the University World News site

TAIWAN: University improvement to continue: President
Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou said on Monday that the government would honour its commitment to provide additional funding to upgrade the quality of local universities and enable them to join the world’s top institutions, reports Channel News Asia.
More on the University World News site

PUERTO RICO: Student victory unleashes backlash
As many Americans geared up for Fourth of July fireworks last weekend, the US territory of Puerto Rico roiled from a brutal civil rights showdown unleashed by a right-wing government seemingly hell-bent on destroying the recent, unprecedented victory of a two-month long student strike against privatisation of higher education at the University of Puerto Rico, writes Dr Maritza Stanchich for The Huffington Post.
More on the University World News site

BRAZIL: University growth eroded by drop-out rates
The average cost of tuition at Brazil’s private universities has fallen by almost a third over the last 10 years, and the number of students has risen above five million for the first time, according to research by Semesp, an organisation of higher education institutes in the state of São Paulo, writes Andrew Downie for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
More on the University World News site

UK: Thousands of academic jobs on the line
Thousands of people working for universities in England could lose their jobs if ministers press ahead with 25% funding cuts, a union has warned, reports BBC News. Analysis by the University and College Union concluded that 22,584 jobs – academic and otherwise – would be lost. It warned that the quality of students’ university experience would be reduced.
More on the University World News site

UK: Graduates warned of 70 applicants for every job
UK graduates are facing the most intense scramble in a decade to get a job this summer, as a poll of employers reveals the number of applications for each vacancy has surged to nearly 70 while the number of available positions is predicted to fall by nearly 7%, writes Jeevan Vasagar for the Guardian.
More on the University World News site

US: What happened to studying?
They come with polished resumes and perfect SAT scores, writes Keith O’Brien for The Boston Globe. Their grades are often impeccable. The perception is that today’s over-achieving, college-driven kids have it – whatever ‘it’ is. They’re not just groomed; they’re ready. There’s just one problem. Once on campus, the students aren’t studying.
More on the University World News site

US: Stopping student cheats by learning trickery
The US frontier in the battle to defeat student cheating may be at the testing centre of the University of Central Florida, writes Trip Gabriel for The New York Times. No gum is allowed during an exam: chewing could disguise a student’s speaking into a hands-free cellphone to an accomplice outside.
More on the University World News site

ETHIOPIA: Half of lecturers have only a first degree
Around around a half of lecturers in public universities in Ethiopia have only a bachelor degree, according to a new government report, writes Binyam Tamene for Capital. In the last five years there has been a 137% increase in student enrolments in higher education, and government institutions enrolled 185,788 students this year.
More on the University World News site

INDIA: More quality research in science needed: PM
Pitching for greater collaboration between universities such as the institutes of technology and the corporate sector, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said last weekend that the country urgently needed to increase quality research in science and technology to meet newer challenges like climate change, reports NDTV.
More on the University World News site

US: NASA, universities in spill prevention coalition
NASA, the University of Houston and Rice University will be part of a coalition of scientists, policy experts, oil and gas engineers and state officials focused on preventing future oil spill disasters, Governor Rick Perry said in Houston on Tuesday, writes Joe Holley for the Houston Chronicle.
More on the University World News site

CAMEROON: Higher education rewards excellence
Some 60,000 students in Cameroon earmarked for the academic achievement bonus granted by the country’s head of state, began collecting the money from the financial departments of their universities last week, reports Brenda Yufeh for the Cameroon Tribune.
More on the University World News site
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