ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0143 17 October 2010
Support University World News - Click here to donate

6th Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning

Online Educa Berlin

HE Events Diary

Higher Education Marketing

Higher Education in the UK receives its biggest shake in 50 years by Lord (John) Browne.

Miguel Beltrán_NL2
Online petition launched to free Miguel Beltrán, who was arrested by the Colombian government on charges of 'rebellion' and ‘breaking the law for terrorist purposes’.

Business professor Allan P.O Williams has released his book The History of UK Business and Management Education.


This week’s highlights

University World News celebrated its third anniversary last week. We take readers behind the news to tell the story of how it all began, how the newspaper has grown and what it is today. Prominent figures in higher education across the world took the time to comment on our weekly international publication. The anniversary is also marked with a bumper edition.

There are loads of breaking stories and we introduce a new section, Student View. In the first column HUMA MOHYUDDIN explains why she supports the freedom of Muslim students to wear the veil. In Features JAN PETTER MYKLEBUST looks at Europe’s new innovation agenda while SARAH KING HEAD describes capacity-building partnerships between universities in the US and Africa. From South Africa, SHARON DELL reports on proposals to boost the number of PhDs and CRAIN SOUDIEN explores where responsibility lies for racism in universities. Wrapping it all up, GEOFF MASLEN writes about ground-breaking research by a masters student in Melbourne into plumage patterns and the mating of birds.


GLOBAL: The University World News story
Karen MacGregor
Every newspaper has its own story and ours began in early 2007, when a few dozen higher education correspondents scattered around the world found themselves with knowledge and skills but no newspaper to write for. Mostly freelance journalists, we had been fired en masse by Times Higher Education as it contracted its global coverage, retaining correspondents only in the US and Brussels.
Full report on the University World News site

I am glad to see the efforts by University World News to monitor global higher education developments worldwide. I am specifically pleased to see that you do so for Saudi Arabia and its higher education revolution. As we learn from other countries’ experiences, we are pleased that other countries are learning from ours. UWN is a powerful platform to share such experiences. I find it very interesting and educating. Keep up the good work.
Abdulkader Alfantookh
Professor and Deputy Minister of Higher Education for Planning and Information
Ministry of Higher Education, Saudi Arabia

University World News is an invaluable source of independent information and comment on universities worldwide.
Professor W John Morgan
Unesco Chair of the Political Economy of Education, University of Nottingham
Chairman of the UK National Commission for Unesco

University World News fills a major gap in knowledge. It provides up-to-date, truly global and in-depth coverage of developments in higher education. It is not subject to sensationalism nor to parochialism, as besets so much in the mainstream media. Instead, it has clear and constructive editorial standards that ensure it provides in one place so much that is worth knowing about the modern university and the policies and activities affecting higher education. University World News has become indispensable reading for all who value systematic insight into the role and contribution of universities.
Dr Glenn Withers
Chief Executive, Universities Australia

There is only one web news source that provides a truly global picture of the fast moving policy world of higher education, and that is University World News. I reference it often, and encourage others to do the same – particularly my American colleagues who need the reference point of the pursuits of other nations and economic competitors.
John Aubrey Douglass
Senior Research Fellow, Center for Studies in Higher Education
University of California – Berkeley

University World News is an invaluable up-to-date resource on current issues internationally in higher education. It provides those of us interested in keeping abreast with developments in the field with researched information. The Africa Edition is an added bonus we all need for information on developments on the continent. It helps keep African academics in the diaspora connected to the debates on higher education in Africa.
Teboho Moja
Professor of Higher Education, New York University.
Former adviser to the Minister of Education in South Africa.

University World News is a trusted source of information on higher education issues around the globe. Congratulations to UWN on three years of quality reporting.
Paul Davidson
President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

University World News has become the most important single source of information about global higher education. Its editors and reporters do a superb job. We have quickly come to take for granted the sharp reporting, reports and documents in depth, and the remarkable coverage across all higher education systems. Congratulations UWN – and don’t stop doing what you do!
Simon Marginson
Professor of Higher Education, Centre for the Study of Higher Education
University of Melbourne

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

IRAN: Hardliners tighten grip on moderate university
Yojana Sharma and Ramin Namvari
Deep divisions in Iranian politics are playing out in the battle for control over Iran’s semi-autonomous Islamic Azad University, which is seen as a berth for moderate politicians. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week issued a decree declaring the university’s endowment to be ‘religiously illegitimate’.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Universities face funding crisis
Geoff Maslen
A collapse in income from foreign student fees has begun to hit universities across the country with Monash University, the nation’s biggest, facing a A$45 million (US$44.8 million) drop in revenue next year and the loss of 300 jobs. In an email to staff last week, Monash Vice-chancellor Professor Ed Byrne announced that overseas student numbers were expected to fall by 10% “at best” in 2011. Byrne said foreign student fees accounted for more than 20% of Monash’s annual income, “so the drop will have a significant adverse impact upon the university’s budget”.
Full report on the University World News site

PAKISTAN: Funding for students abroad suspended
Ameen Amjad Khan
Some 400 Pakistani students admitted to foreign universities with prior assurance that their studies would be financed by the government, will not be able to go after the government ordered the Higher Education Commission to stop scholarship payments.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: Browne lifts tuition fee cap
Diane Spencer
In the biggest shake-up of higher education in 50 years, Lord (John) Browne has recommended removing the cap on tuition fees which could rise threefold from the current charge of £3,290 (US$5,200) a year. Liberal Democrats in the coalition government are threatening a revolt as they made an election pledge to phase out tuition fees.
Full report on the University World News site

ITALY: Strikes delay start of academic year
Lee Adendorff
The beginning of the Italian academic year has been delayed in dozens of universities as the ricercatori or assistant professors stage a series of protests throughout the country. An estimated 10,000 – around half – of the country’s assistant professors are refusing to teach non-obligatory classes to protest against budget cuts and reforms currently under scrutiny in parliament.
Full report on the University World News site

FRANCE: Priority for higher education and research
Jane Marshall
Despite an austerity budget aimed at cutting at least €40 billion (US$55.75 billion) from total state spending, for the fourth year running higher education and research remain a French government priority having been spared the deep cuts and job losses made in other areas of the 2011 budget. Minister for higher education and research Valérie Pécresse says the budget for her sector was “exceptional in the context of a reduction of the public deficit”.
Full report on the University World News site

IRELAND: European Commission angry over cut awards
John Walshe
The Irish Government is in danger of losing up to €10m (US$14 million) a year in EU funding because it imposed pay cuts on leading university researchers who are funded entirely by Brussels. Around 70 Marie Curie scholars, mostly from overseas, have had their awards reduced in line with cuts in salaries throughout the Irish public service. But the decision has angered the European Commission, which has accused the government of breach of contract.
Full report on the University World News site

NEW ZEALAND: Universities win more funding
John Gerritsen
New Zealand’s government has announced extra funding for universities just days before publication of a report claiming big economic benefits from such spending. The independent report commissioned by Universities New Zealand concluded that a $40 million (US$30.2 million) increase in annual government spending on universities would, after five years, result in a permanent increase in gross domestic product of $370 million by 2025.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRIA: EU pressure over foreign student jobs
Michael Gardner
The European Union is putting pressure on Austria to allow non-EU students to work in the country to pay for their studies. The EU’s executive, the European Commission, says Austrian authorities have failed to comply with an EU directive stipulating corresponding laws, regulations and administrative procedures. Now the commission has referred the issue to the European Court of Justice.
Full report on the University World News site

ARAB STATES: Saudis lead Gulf to nanotechnology
Wagdy Sawahel
Saudi Arabia is consolidating its leading role in Arab efforts to enhance nanotechnology research and education and has announced plans for the Middle East’s first international centre for research and innovation in nanotechnology applications.
Full report on the University World News site

COLOMBIA: Groups rally to free imprisoned professor
Eileen Travers
Education International, a Belgium-based global teachers’ federation, has ramped up its protest against the incarceration of Colombian professor and trade unionist Miguel Beltrán by launching an online petition to free him. The petition went online after its launch on 10 September at the International Conference on Higher Education and Research in Vancouver, Canada.
Full report on the University World News site

INDONESIA: Natural sciences lag behind
David Jardine
Indonesia’s new academic year, just beginning, has again exposed the inadequacy of the country’s higher education provision in the natural sciences. Few universities are offering such undergraduate courses, and the paucity of undergraduates in the natural sciences is reflected further up the higher education ladder in a lack of research students.
Full report on the University World News site

EAST AFRICA: Moves to harmonise higher education
Gilbert Nganga
The East African Community’s five member countries have inched closer to harmonising and standardising their university education systems, potentially boosting student access and mobility. But the improvements will require major changes to individual countries’ education systems.
Full report on the University World News site

RWANDA: No more bursary loans for students – cabinet
Alexandrine Mugisha
Last week the Rwandan cabinet approved a decision to cancel bursary loans used to support government-assisted students through their academic life. There is also talk of terminating merit-based college scholarships.
Full report on the University World News site

EGYPT: Universities reconsider borderline marks
Ashraf Khaled
Egyptian Minister of Higher Education Hani Hilal has announced the planned cancellation of a decades-old system that helps under-performing university students to pass year-end examinations. “The borderline mark system or what is known as ‘mercy grades’ is illegal and encourages students to be under-achievers,” Hilal told academics at Beni Sueif University in southern Egypt earlier this month.
Full report on the University World News site




EUROPE: Think about market, say research universities
Alan Osborn
Europe’s top research universities have urged the European Union to take finance, competition and entrepreneurship fully into account when charting a future for the proposed EU ‘Innovation Union’. Universities have an important role in innovation: “They do not operate in isolation but are an intrinsic part of a larger innovation ecosystem,” said the League of European Research Universities, LERU.
Full report on the University World News site

EU: Let scientific research be for all – digital chief
Alan Osborn
A powerful plea to open up the fruits of scientific research for the betterment of everybody’s life has been made by Neelie Kroes, EU commissioner for the digital agenda.
Full report on the University World News site

SENEGAL-HAITI: Welcome for quake-stricken students
Some 160 young Haitians were due to arrive in Senegal last week to start higher education studies, under a scheme proposed by President Abdoulaye Wade following the earthquake that devastated the Caribbean state in January.
Full report on the University World News site


EUROPE: New innovation agenda launched
Jan Petter Myklebust
When she became the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn added ‘innovation’ to her portfolio, helping bright ideas from academia make the commercial light of day. Now she has launched a new innovation agenda, aiming to create what she calls an EU Innovation Union.
Full report on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: Study abroad to boost PhDs – proposal
Sharon Dell
An expert study has recommended that a large number of South African students be sent abroad to study for doctoral degrees over the next 10 years, as one way to scale up the number of PhDs produced and boost the country’s knowledge and innovation system. The proposal is one of 10 contained in a report launched last week by the Academy of Sciences of South Africa, Assaf.
Full report on the University World News site

US-AFRICA: Higher education development partnerships
Sarah King Head
Poverty alleviation and economic stimulation on the world’s poorest continent are problems the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Higher Education for Development intend to help solve. Last month the agencies announced strategic capacity-building partnerships between 22 universities in Africa and the US.
Full report on the University World News site


SOUTH AFRICA: Puzzling through university transformation
Challenging developments in South Africa, particularly in universities, have led to confusion around position-taking on political and other issues. Every now and then events in society bring position-taking to a point of crisis, and one such crisis is unfolding in the ‘resolution’ of the crimen injuria case against four former Reitz hostel students from the University of Free State who were at the centre of a racism controversy nearly three years ago. Who is to take responsibility? asks CRAIN SOUDIEN in an article in the South African Journal of Science.
Full report on the University World News site


UK: Muslim Veil: Why are we not accepting each other?
Burnley in Lancashire, England, is a city of simmering ethnic tension that burst into violent riots between Muslims and non-Muslims in 2001. Yet Burnley College has become the first in Britain to ban the veil or ‘items of clothing which cover the face’ ostensibly for security reasons. Britain has prided itself on being more tolerant than other European countries such as France or Belgium that have banned the veil in schools, colleges or public buildings. So what is it like to be a Muslim student from Burnley? Find out from HUMA MOHYUDDIN.
Full report on the University World News site




US: California vetoes university transparency bill
Roisin Joyce and Ramin Namvari*
California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have required foundations and other auxiliary groups tied to California’s main universities, California State University and the University of California, to open their list of donors to the public, Inside Higher Education reported on 1 October.
More Academic Freedom reports on the University World News site


GLOBAL: e-Store opens for genome research tools
Jane Marshall
Biomedical researchers working in the fields of drug discovery, protein production and gene function can now buy research kits online from French spec ialist in genome customisation Cellectis Bioresearch – wherever in the world they are based.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Hult International opens campus in California
Cayley Dobie
Hult International Business School has opened its newest campus in San Francisco, California, in the hope that local businesses will see this as an opportunity to recruit business graduates from their own community.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: New book examines history of UK business schools
Cayley Dobie
Business professor Allan PO Williams has released his book The History of UK Business and Management Education, which says the strong growth of business schools in Britain has boosted the country’s economy.
Full report on the University World News site


GLOBAL: S exy secrets of birds’ signals
Geoff Maslen
Thanh-Lan Gluckman’s discovery that birds have s exy secrets, never divulged before, has startled zoologists around the world. Then again, it’s not often a masters student in Melbourne uncovers something that not only changes zoologists’ fundamental beliefs about
s exual communication among birds but which also gets her into a PhD programme at Cambridge University.
Full report on the University World News site


The Facebook group of University World News is the fastest growing in higher education worldwide. More than 2,400 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


GERMANY: Group to audit university rankings
University rankings organisations could soon find themselves on the receiving end of the kinds of evaluations that have made them so newsworthy and influential, writes Aisha Labi for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
More on the University World News site

CHINA: Hong Kong to raise higher education rate
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive Donald Tsang said last week the city was likely to raise the higher education participation rate among young people to about 65%, from around 30% in 2000, reports The People’s Daily.
More on the University World News site

TURKEY: Campuses defy lifting of headscarf ban
In defiance of a recent attempt by the Higher Education Board (YÖK) to lift the controversial ban on the use of the Muslim headscarf on university campuses, some institutions continue to refuse to allow covered students to attend their courses, reports Today’s Zaman.
More on the University World News site

IRAQ: Exiled professors stage virtual return
Some of the hundreds of Iraqi academics who fled their homeland over the past several years have begun to reclaim a role in their former universities through a new e-learning project, even though they remain in exile, writes Aisha Labi for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
More on the University World News site

CHINA: Chinese students ‘drive US university market’
Along with the increasingly broad educational exchanges between China and the United States in the last 30 years, Chinese students have become a powerful ‘engine’ for the US higher education market, reports People’s Daily Online.
More on the University World News site

US: Big oil money can influence research, study claims
Research universities that accept millions of dollars from oil companies have failed to shield themselves from corporate influence, according to a new study that faults the University of California, Berkeley, UC Davis, Stanford and seven others, writes Nanette Asimov for The San Francisco Chronicle.
More on the University World News site

UK: ‘Pay universities to admit poor students’
Universities could be paid to take in more students from poor backgrounds under a controversial £7 billion (US$11.2 billion) Coalition plan to improve social mobility, write Graeme Paton and James Kirkup for The Telegraph.
More on the University World News site

UK: Immigration cap may damage higher education
As cabinet ministers consider controversial plans to cap the number of skilled workers coming to the UK, university heads warned that the restrictions, which come in the wake of steep funding cuts, will create a damaging “perfect storm” for British higher education, writes Anthea Lipsett for The Guardian.
More on the University World News site

INDIA: Faculty object to book withdrawal
Faculty members of the University of Mumbai have protested Vice-Chancellor Rajan Welukar’s decision to withdraw Rohinton Mistry’s Booker-nominated novel Such a Long Journey from the English syllabus, reports the Hundustan Times.
More on the University World News site

GERMANY: Course for Imams aims at integration
Osnabrueck University is paving the way for a growth in Islamic studies with the aim of better integrating Germany’s four million Muslims into German society, reports Deutsche Welle.
More on the University World News site

US: Gates seeks new technologies to boost success
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced last week that US$20 million is up for grabs for education innovations in a new push to prepare high school students for college, writes Jenara Nerenberg for Fast Company.
More on the University World News site

ROMANIA: Turkish entrepreneurs open ‘model’ university
Lumina University, established in Bucharest by Turkish entrepreneurs with the goal of becoming the best in the region, has celebrated the start of its first academic year with a ceremony attended by Turkish and Romanian officials, reports Today’s Zaman.
More on the University World News site

MALAYSIA: Perks for selected business faculties
Business faculties that are selected into the Malaysian government’s special programme for top business schools will enjoy some flexibility not offered to other institutions, writes Lee Yen Mun for The Star.
More on the University World News site
Copyright University World News 2007-2010