ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0146 07 November 2010
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Online Educa Berlin

HE Events Diary

Higher Education Marketing

A Singaporean verdict against British author Alan Shadrake has been watched closely around the world. See our News section.

Izhar Ahmed of Islamia University Peshawar has had his bursary withdrawn. See our Feature section.

Could this be a chocaholic’s dream come true? See our Science Scene section.


University World News was a media partner to the OECD's Institutional Management in Higher Education conference in Paris in September 2010, and to the Unesco World Conference on Higher Education in 2009.


This week’s highlights

In the Features section this week AMEEN AMJAD KHAN looks at the plight of scholarship students who have not received funding following radical cuts to the higher education budget in Pakistan, JANE MARSHALL reports on the OECD Education Ministerial Meeting held in Paris last week, and EVA EGRON-POLAK and ROSS HUDSON summarise the findings of a survey into internationalisation that they co-authored for the International Association of Universities. In Commentary, SAEED PAIVANDI compares efforts to Islamise universities in Iran to the ‘cultural revolution’ three decades ago, and MOHAMED ALI ABDUL RAHMAN, a senior official in Malaysia’s Ministry of Higher Education, charts the rise of private higher education.

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

UK: Élite universities laud freedom to triple fees
Diane Spencer
The UK's coalition government is set to allow universities in England to raise their fees up to three-fold, to a maximum of £9,000 (US$14,640) in 2012, providing they take part in a scholarship scheme for poorer students. While universities say there will be no impact on overseas students for the immediate future, the 118,000 students from EU countries studying in the UK, who under EU rules are charged the same rate as local students, will be affected.
Full report on the University World News site

SRI LANKA: Private universities bill sparks protests
Maya D’Souza
Major student unrest at Sri Lankan universities over government plans to allow the setting up of private institutions looks set to escalate, with students stepping up demonstrations last week and more campaigns organised by student groups in the coming days. Dozens of students have been arrested and some 200 suspended from their institutions.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Alarming fall in Chinese student numbers
Geoff Maslen
For the first time in more than 14 years, an Australian minister for tertiary education has gone to China to try to head off a potentially disastrous collapse in the number of young Chinese studying in Australia.
Full report on the University World News website

SINGAPORE: Conviction casts doubt on Yale tie-up
Yojana Sharma
A Singaporean verdict against British author Alan Shadrake has been watched closely around the world, in particular by Yale University in the US, which is discussing collaboration with National University of Singapore. Shadrake was found guilty on Wednesday of contempt of court for casting doubt on the independence of Singapore’s judiciary in a recent book.
Full report on the University World News site

DENMARK: Drive to boost study abroad
Jan Petter Myklebust
The Danish Ministry for Science, Technology and Education has launched a campaign to substantially increase the number of Danish students studying abroad. Charlotte Sahl-Madsen, Minister for Science, Technology and Development, said she wants studying abroad to become the rule rather than the exception.
Full report on the University World News site

JAPAN: Volunteer plan to ease graduate joblessness
Suvendrini Kakuchi
A new plan for university students with state-funded loans to undertake volunteer work is being drawn up by Japan’s education ministry and the Japan Student Services Organisation, JASSO, as rising unemployment rates among graduates make it difficult for students to pay off study debt.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Engineer shortage threatens development
An acute and growing shortage of engineers worldwide has become a threat to global development, a new Unesco report has revealed. It is based on contributions by 120 experts and is the first global report on engineering.
Full report on the University World News site

GERMANY-TURKEY: Joint university founded in Istanbul
Michael Gardner
Germany and Turkey have founded a new university in Istanbul. The Deutsch-Türkische Universität (DTU) is to focus on engineering sciences and engage in intensive cooperation with industry, but will also be providing a platform for cultural exchange.
Full report on the University World News site

INDONESIA: Troubled Aceh celebrates student successes
David Jardine
Aceh, one of several Indonesian provinces beset by separatist conflict, has been sending students abroad for university studies as part of its development efforts in the wake of the devastating 2004 tsunami.
Full report on the University World News site

CANADA: Unmotivated students seem to take more jobs
Elysha Krupp
Financial aid is an important factor in keeping students in university, but attitude may be just as important, according to a recent study that looked at 10,000 low-income first-year students who were receiving government student aid.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Nobel laureates slam Israel academic boycotts
Munyaradzi Makoni
The recent threat of a boycott by the University of Johannesburg in South Africa against Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel has prompted 38 Nobel laureates to issue a statement condemning boycotts and divestment campaigns against Israeli academics and academic institutions.
Full report on the University World News site

ZAMBIA: Presidential degree requirement scrapped
The National Constitutional Conference has scrapped a clause requiring any future presidential candidate to posses a recognised degree. The degree clause had come in for a barrage of criticism, being viewed as an attempt to block some of the country’s political players such as opposition leader Michael Sata.
Full report on the University World News site


PAKISTAN: Scholarship cuts leave students in lurch
Ameen Amjad Khan
Izhar Ahmed, an academic at Islamia University Peshawar, was selected on merit for PhD studies in botany at the University of York in the United Kingdom, encouraged by Pakistan’s Faculty Development Programme to improve his academic qualifications. He succeeded in securing a government scholarship – but has now learned that he will not receive the money, the result of a severe cutback in higher education funding this year.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: OECD ministers debate education for new skills
Jane Marshall
The kinds of skills workers need are changing rapidly, and education and training systems must adapt to equip young people for different kinds of jobs, new technologies and unforeseen problems. Teachers, as the key professionals on the front line, are facing new demands and expectations. Meanwhile, countries are grappling with multiple effects of the global financial crisis.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Internationalisation: past, present, future
A global survey by the International Association of Universities has concluded that future developments and reforms of higher education will give a central place to the internationalisation process, write its co-authors EVA EGRON-POLAK and ROSS HUDSON. But the global economic crisis will most likely slow down – or impose some limits on – certain internationalisation activities.
Full report on the University World News site


IRAN: Second higher education Cultural Revolution?
Saeed Paivandi*
Since the presidential elections in 2009 Iran’s universities have been under attack, with measures brought in to ‘Islamise’ faculty and course content. The ideological campaign eerily echoes moves to Islamise universities after the Islamic Republic was proclaimed in 1979.
Full report on the University World News site

MALAYSIA: Models in private higher education
Mohamed Ali Abdul Rahman*
Malaysia has encouraged the growth of private higher education institutions, including some set up by big business and branch campuses of overseas universities, to complement public universities. But it has also put in place regulations to ensure that private institutions are of quality and respond to the country’s need to produce graduates who can compete globally.
Full report on the University World News site


UK: Mobile networks from human wireless
Humans could form the backbone of powerful new mobile internet networks by carrying wearable sensors, according to researchers at Queen’s University in Belfast. The researchers say the novel human sensors could create new ultra-high bandwidth mobile internet infrastructures and reduce the density of mobile phone base stations.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA: New plant health centre of excellence
Munyaradzi Makoni
Trade opportunities for African countries are set to increase, along with improved cross-border surveillance of pests and diseases, with the creation of a Centre of Phytosanitary Excellence for Africa to prevent the introduction and spread of plant pests.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Dark chocolate and heart disease
Geoff Maslen
Could this be a chocaholic’s dream come true? Research at RMIT University in Melbourne suggests that eating dark chocolate has the potential to reduce the risk factors leading to heart disease.
Full report on the University World News site


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UK: Home secretary promises immigration crackdown
The UK home secretary, Theresa May, is to end the right to permanent settlement for more than 100,000 skilled workers and overseas students who come to Britain each year, writes Alan Travis for The Guardian.
More on the University World News site

ISRAEL: Academics warn on dangers of ethics code
Isreal’s Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar has proposed a ‘code of ethics’ on the limits of academic freedom at higher education institutions. But academics say the code would endanger academic freedom, writes Or Kashti for Haaretz.
More on the University World News site

US: University endowments ‘healing’ after crisis
University and college endowments in the United States gained an average 13% in the past year, recouping part of their losses from the global financial crisis, reports Gillian Wee for The Sydney Morning Herald.
More on the University World News site

US: Poll results may mean tighter university budgets
The recent midterm elections in the US – in which the Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives and some key governors’ offices – are likely to add to the financial pressures on colleges and universities, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed.
More on the University World News site

MEXICO: Lack of funds puts top university in crisis
The University of Guadalajara, one of Mexico’s leading universities, said it has been in a “critical” financial situation for several months because of the Jalisco state government’s failure to deliver 701 million pesos ($56.5 million) in funding, reports the Latin American Herald Tribune.
More on the University World News site

SCOTLAND: Universities face thousands of job cuts
Higher Education leaders say funding cuts of more than £150 million (US$244 million) for Scottish universities next year will lead to thousands of job losses, cuts in courses and lasting damage to the sector’s international reputation, reports Andrew Denholm for The Herald.
More on the University World News site

UK: Graduate unemployment rate reaches new high
Unemployment among graduates in the UK is at its highest in nearly two decades as thousands struggle to find work, the Mirror reports. Some 8.9% of those who left university last year (around 21,000) were without a job six months later as graduates suffered from the effects of the recession, according to a study by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit.
More on the University World News site

MALAYSIA: Over-50s targeted to boost PhD numbers
Students pursuing their degree or PhD at higher learning institutions after reaching the age of 50 may enjoy free or reduced tuition fee under a proposal by the higher education ministry, reports the official news agency Bernama.
More on the University World News site

MALAYSIA: Universities in China to be recognised
An agreement is in sight for universities in China to be recognised by Malaysia’s Higher Education Ministry, writes Joshua Foong for The Star. Deputy Minister Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung said the ministry was in the final stages of having several universities and higher learning institutions in China accredited.
More on the University World News site

US: Obama leads universities to India
Yale and Duke universities are among dozens of United States colleges that India is recruiting to help educate its population, which has more than 550 million people under the age of 25, reports Bloomberg.
More on the University World News site

CANADA: University divided over PhD award dispute
A former child prodigy who became a mathematics professor at age 24 has been suspended from the University of Manitoba in Canada for protesting its decision to award a PhD to a student who failed to meet the formal requirements, in part because of an anxiety disorder, writes Joseph Brean for the National Post.
More on the University World News site

INDIA: World-first aviation university to open
The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa) and the Bangalore-based Subramanya Construction and Development Company (SCDC) signed a joint venture agreement to set up the world’s first integrated aviation university and training campus in the Karnataka capital, reports The Hindustan Times.
More on the University World News site

ISRAEL: Students protest funds for Torah study
Dozens of students came out to demonstrate and burn tyres at Ben-Gurion, Tel Aviv and Hebrew universities last week, to protest the bill that would restore income allowances to yeshiva (Talmudic studies) students, writes Asaf Shtull-Trauring for Haaretz.
More on the University World News site

ZIMBABWE: Ministry mulls recalling retired lecturers
The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education is considering plans to call back retired lecturers in a bid to address the shortage of staff at colleges as a result of the brain drain, reports Talk Zimbabwe.
More on the University World News site

ZIMBABWE: Desperate students turn to p rostitution
Desperate students are being forced into p rostitution as the cost of higher education spirals out of reach for the majority of the country’s university and college students, reports New Zimbabwe.
More on the University World News site

US: More high market value courses on the web
Until recently, if you wanted to take Professor Rebecca Henderson’s course in advanced strategy to understand the long-term roots of successful companies, you needed to be a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Henderson taught at the prestigious Sloan School of Management, writes DD Guttenplan for the New York Times.
More on the University World News site
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