ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0148 21 November 2010
Support University World News - Click here to donate

NYU Steinhardt - Vacancy online schools

Online Educa Berlin

HE Events Diary

Higher Education Marketing

A spate of Taliban kidnappings and killings of vice-chancellors has put universities under attack. See our Features section.

University leaders from around the world respond to the radical funding cuts and fee hikes in higher education in England, which sparked huge student protests this month. See the Special Report. Credit:

For the past 13 years the For Women in Science Programme has highlighted scientific excellence and encouraged talent. 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 this week’s edition YOJANA SHARMA reports on the 6th QS Asia Pacific Professional Leaders in Education (APPLE) conference held in Singapore. In a Special Report compiled by BRENDAN O’MALLEY, university leaders around the world respond to funding cuts and tuition fee hikes in England, and our journalists report on student reactions, the brain drain of French researchers to the US, Germany’s efforts to attract foreign students, a proposal for a Europe-wide student loan scheme, and student mobility to and from America. In Features, AMEEN AMJAD KHAN talks to vice-chancellors in Pakistan about Taliban attacks on universities, and PHILIP FINE reports on a recent visit to India by 15 Canadian university presidents. In Commentary, JAMES DEVANEY argues that mutual value exchange and benefit will remain at the core of sustainable global higher education partnerships.

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

GLOBAL: UN forges world partnership with universities
Yojana Sharma
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week inaugurated the new United Nations Academic Impact, UNAI, which seeks to generate ideas in partnership with higher education institutions that can help solve global problems.
Full report on the University World News site

ITALY: Mass protests against ‘cuts’ and reforms
Lee Adendorff
Thousands of students and temporary teachers have taken part in protests in cities across Italy against education cuts and a university reform package under scrutiny in the Italian parliament, despite an eve-of-protest amendment to a budget ‘stability’ bill that will restore €1 billion (US$1.4 billion) to the higher education sector.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Government defers standards bill
Geoff Maslen
An outcry from Australia’s universities has forced the federal government to hold off until next year introducing legislation to parliament that would establish a new and powerful quality and standards agency. The legislation was to have been tabled last week but Education Minister Chris Evans announced it would be deferred to the autumn session of parliament in 2011.
Full report on the University World News site

SINGAPORE: Yale partnership to go ahead, NUS says
Stanislaus Jude Chan
Despite protests from some academics and political observers over the trial and sentencing of British author Alan Shadrake last week, a tie-up between America’s Yale University and the National University of Singapore for a liberal arts college in Singapore looks set to go ahead.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Re-imagining California higher education
Sarah King Head
A report from the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley, has analysed the challenges faced by tertiary education in California and its relationship to economic growth – and proposes some radical solutions for rejuvenating a faltering public higher education system that was once the envy of the world.
Full report on the University World News site

GREECE: Opposition to higher education reform grows
Makki Marseilles
Greece’s largest university has called for the government’s consultation paper on reform to be rejected on the grounds that its proposals would add to higher education’s problems rather than solve them. At another institution, staff held a two-day strike against the proposed reforms.
Full report on the University World News site

ASIA: The 6th QS APPLE conference

The 6th QS Asia Pacific Professional Leaders in Education (APPLE) conference was held from 17-19 November in Singapore, preceded by a QS university rankings evaluation workshop. APPLE is billed as the region’s biggest international higher education conference. It attracted 120 higher education experts and university leaders from over 85 institutions in the Asia Pacific. University World News reports on the conference here, and will publish more articles next week.

GLOBAL: Future top universities below ‘rankings radar’
Yojana Sharma
Younger universities – those less than 50 years old, which are proliferating in emerging economies in Asia, Africa and the Middle East – may become leading research institutions of the future. However, these potential ‘stars’ are not being reflected in international university rankings tables.
Full report on the University World News site

ASIA: Universities’ rise beginning to eclipse US
Yojana Sharma
Asia’s higher education institutions are emerging from the shadow of top universities in the US, Britain and continental Europe and may be on the way to overtaking them, a close analysis of major international rankings tables has shown.
Full report on the University World News site

SPECIAL REPORT: Shuffling the global higher education deck

Decisions by the British government to cut university funding and triple the cap on tuition fees have sparked student protests, anger in England’s higher education sector and warnings that UK universities could lose quality and global competitiveness. As the second most popular destination in the world for international students, and a top research nation, repercussions will also be felt internationally by students hoping to study in England and academics involved in research and collaboration agreements with English institutions.

In this Special Report, University World News gathers the views of vice-chancellors around the world and of students on what the new policies might mean for higher education in the UK and abroad. We also look at a brain drain of French researchers to the US, Germany’s efforts to attract foreign students to fill skills gaps, a proposal for a Europe-wide loan scheme aimed at increasing European student mobility, and student mobility to and from America.

UK: Wrong time to raise fees, say global rivals
Brendan O’Malley
How will plans to slash 40% of the teaching budget in England and allow universities to raise tuition fees threefold affect the competitive edge of UK universities globally? We asked university leaders around the world to tell us what they think. Some of them conclude that the UK is at a critical tipping point.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: Student officers predict exodus overseas
Diane Spencer
International student officers from Britain’s universities fear the country will lose out on the lucrative overseas student market as European students turn to rival institutions in Australia, the US, China and India. Even stay-at-home British students may venture abroad in search of cheaper alternatives in the event of a three-fold increase in the cap on tuition fees proposed by the coalition government and deep cuts to the teaching budget.
Full report on University World News site

FRANCE: ‘More students could turn from UK to US’
Jane Marshall
The planned UK reforms will restrict direct enrolment in English universities to the most privileged French students, as in the US, a French student leader has warned. It could turn more French students towards the US.
Full report on University World News site

FRANCE: Top researchers lost to the US
Jane Marshall
The brain drain of French academics and researchers to the United States has been accelerating in recent years, and although the number is relatively low it tends to be the most talented who choose to move, according to a report from think tank Institut Montaigne.
Full report on the University World News site

GERMANY: Call for foreign students to fill skills gap
Michael Gardner
Recruitment of foreign students offers strong potential to help Germany cope with its shortage of skilled labour, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) says, calling for a 25% increase over the next decade.
Full report on University World News site

EUROPE: EU-wide student credit union proposed
Alison Moodie
With student fees in many European countries rising and a patchwork of different loan systems, it was “only a matter of time” before the European Union considered a region-wide scheme, says French higher education researcher Cécile Hoareau. In a just-published paper she proposes an EU student credit union, starting with the Erasmus exchange programme.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Foreign student numbers up, Americans abroad down
Karen MacGregor
There were nearly 700,000 international students at universities and colleges in the United States in 2009-10 – a 3% increase over the previous academic year, driven mostly by 30% growth in Chinese students – according to the Open Doors survey published last week. For the first time there was a slight decline in US students abroad, but “notable increases” in students going to non-traditional destinations, and especially to Peru, South Korea and Chile.
Full report on the University World News site




PAKISTAN: Taliban steps up university attacks
Ameen Amjad Khan
A spate of Taliban kidnappings and killings of vice-chancellors in the north-western region of Pakistan has put universities under attack, with academics fearing for their lives and many leaving their jobs. University leaders spoke to University World News about the terrifying circumstances in which they find themselves.
Full report on the University World News site

INDIA: Canadian universities stress partnerships
Philip Fine
This month a delegation of 15 Canadian university presidents wrapped up a visit to India where great efforts were made to convince the hosts that they were not in their country simply to try and boost Canada’s international student enrolment numbers.
Full report on the University World News site


GLOBAL: Partnerships thrive on exchange of values
James DeVaney*
As experimentation continues we are seeing an unprecedented number and range of types of global partnerships and educational ventures. But despite the enthusiasm for global expansion, questions about the sustainability of some branch campus models have not yet been answered. To succeed, globally engaged universities must acknowledge the needs of their host communities and communities must acknowledge that foreign universities have their own set of expectations and needs. Regardless of form, mutual value exchange will remain at the core of sustainable partnerships.
Full report on the University World News site


IRAN: Student activist arrested
Roisin Joyce*
Ali Gholizadeh, an activist and member of the Daftar Tahkim-e Vahdat student organisation, has been arrested and detained in Mashad, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported on 5 November.
More Academic Freedom reports on the University World News site


GLOBAL: Women in Science Awards
For the past 13 years, the L’Oréal Corporate Foundation and Unesco have sought to recognise women researchers who, through the scope of their work, have contributed to overcoming global challenges. Each year the For Women in Science Programme highlights scientific excellence and encourages talent.
Full report on the University World News site


The Facebook group of University World News is the fastest growing in higher education worldwide. Nearly 2,460 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: Questionable science behind academic rankings
For institutions that regularly make the Top 10, the autumn announcement of university rankings is an occasion for quiet self-congratulation, writes DD Guttenplan for The New York Times. When Cambridge beat Harvard for the number one spot in the QS World University Rankings this September, Cambridge put out a press release. When Harvard topped the Times Higher Education list a week later, it was Harvard’s turn to gloat.
More on the University World News site

RUSSIA: Poor rankings performance riles universities
Russian universities are seething after failing to win international recognition in a year when the country has been galvanised by Kremlin calls for modernisation, writes Alexandra Odynova for The Moscow Times. So angry are they that some are calling for the creation of Russia’s own university ranking system.
More on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Science’s fight to win over climate sceptics
This was simply “the worst scientific scandal of a generation” – a bid by researchers to hoodwink the public over global warming and hide evidence showing fossil fuels were not really heating up our planet. These were the dramatic claims made by newspapers, websites and blogs across the globe a year ago, following the hacking of emails from a computer at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, writes Robin McKie for The Observer.
More on the University World News site

AFRICA: Reclaim the African academy
African higher education needs to move away from traditional, and unequal, north-south partnerships and forge ties with new partners to truly counter the African brain drain, writes Professor Johann Groenewald, a flagship projects coordinator for Stellenbosch University’s graduate school and the African Doctoral Academy, in The Sunday Times.
More on the University World News site

US: 30 college presidents topped $1-million in 2008
Nearly four decades after Bernard Lander founded Touro College with a class of 35 students, the trustees decided that he had been underpaid during his tenure as president, writes Andrea Fuller for The Chronicle of Higher Education. To make up for the difference, they awarded him more than US $4-million in deferred compensation in 2008, making him the highest-earning private college president in the 2008-09 fiscal year.
More on the University World News site

US: Big win for undocumented students
The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld a state statute affording some undocumented students in-state tuition status, overturning an earlier decision by an appellate court last Monday, writes David Moltz for Inside Higher Ed. California is one of only 10 American states in which undocumented students are eligible to pay in-state tuition.
More on the University World News site

CROATIA: University legislation ignites stormy debate
Over the past few months, the academic and scientific communities of Croatia have been voicing displeasure with proposed revisions to national legislation governing the country’s universities and science organisations, writes Mico Tatalovic for Science. Critics have argued that the changes would take away university autonomy and freedom of scientific expression because universities and research priorities would come under direct governmental control.
More on the University World News site

INDIA: Plans for major survey of higher education
A country getting younger has decided to map its youth population. From who is in college and who has been left out and why, to which student earned a scholarship, to which candidate graduated from where – a kind of pan-India census would plot the lives and performance of all those attached to the higher education sector – reports The Times of India.
More on the University World News site

UK: ‘Xenophobic’ students shun foreign universities
British students may be shunning foreign universities because of “innate xenophobia”, according to a report, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph. Research published last week suggests that Britain’s “history of colonial mastery and insularity” could be preventing people taking higher education courses abroad.
More on the University World News site

UK: Fees hike ‘will deter most poorer students’ – poll
The UK government’s plans to raise tuition fees to £6,000 (US$9,630) a year will lead to a dramatic fall in the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds going to university, new research suggests, write Rachel Williams and Jeevan Vasagar for The Guardian.
More on the University World News site

SCOTLAND: Students ‘could lose out’ to fee refugees
Scottish universities have warned they could be swamped with thousands of students from England escaping higher fees, writes Andrew Denholm for The Herald. Fears over ‘fee refugees’ pushing out Scottish students were raised at a national summit on future funding of higher education, held in Glasgow and chaired by Michael Russell, the Education Secretary.
More on the University World News site

US: Online enrolments – speeding towards a slowdown?
Online college enrolments in the US grew by 21% to 5.6 million last autumn, the biggest percentage increase in several years, according to a report released last week by the Sloan Consortium and the Babson Survey Research Group, writes Steve Kolowich for Inside Higher Ed.
More on the University World News site

US: There is no college cost crisis
There is no college cost crisis, writes Stanley Fish, professor of humanities and law at Florida International University, in the “Opinionator” blog of The New York Times. That at least is the conclusion reached by the economists Robert B Archibald and David H Feldman in their new book, Why Does College Cost So Much?
More on the University World News site

CANADA: Teaching takes a back seat to research
The current focus on research – and securing research funding – at Canadian universities could be taking away from teaching, writes Jacob Serebrin for Macleans. According to a new survey by the Ontario government’s Higher Education Quality Council only 61% of professors “believe that teaching is important or very important to their institution”.
More on the University World News site

INDIA: UK university to award degree in India
As India prepares to open its doors to foreign universities, at least one British university already has a foot in the door through a joint venture with the University of Madras and several other Indian institutions, writes Hasan Suroor for The Hindu.
More on the University World News site
Copyright University World News 2007-2010