ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0149 28 November 2010
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HE Events Diary

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The UK government is tightening up rules on international students staying on to work when they graduate. See the News section. Credit: British Council

The global financial crisis is one of the reasons why the planned Botswana International University of Science and Technology is in limbo.

Wafaa Bilal, a New York University arts professor takes the phrase "eyes in the back of your head" to a whole new level. See our Unilateral 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

YOJANA SHARMA reports further on the 6th QS Asia Pacific Professional Leaders in Education (APPLE) conference in Singapore. In Features, DAVID HAWORTH covers a conference on the future of science and technology in Europe, MUNYARADZI MAKONI looks at an expanded scholarship scheme aimed at promoting student mobility in Africa, and SHELDON WEEKS discovers why Botswana’s planned second public university is in limbo. In Commentary PHIL BATY, editor of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, argues that measuring the teaching environment makes the THE exercise the world’s most comprehensive, and SIPHO SEEPE reviews the first book on one of South Africa’s new millennium university mergers.

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

UK: Foreign students face curbs on jobs and visas
Brendan O’Malley
The Home Secretary has signalled that she intends to clamp down on the number of international students entering the UK labour market when they graduate and dramatically cut the number of pre-tertiary students coming to the country to study.
Full report on the University World News site

JAPAN: University internationalisation scaled back
Suvendrini Kakuchi
The future of Japan’s Global 30 project, established by the government just last year to internationalise universities, is in doubt as it is running out of money. The Education Ministry reported that the budget for universities wanting to be part of the project from April 2011 would not be forthcoming. If and when funding comes available, it will only support the 13 universities already selected.
Full report on the University World News site

ASIA: Regional University Networks developing
Ameen Amjad Khan
Four new regional higher education networks are to be set up in Central and South Asia, it emerged from a high-level research and education policy dialogue held in Islamabad, Pakistan, last week.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA-EU: Universities want role on political agenda
Munyaradzi Makoni and Karen MacGregor
The role of universities in Africa and cooperation between universities in Africa and Europe have been politically sidelined, according to associations representing more than 1,000 universities on the two continents. They have called on leaders at the 3rd Africa-EU Summit, starting in Tripoli tomorrow, to place higher education centrally on the political agenda.
Full report on the University World news site

DENMARK: Linking immigration to university rankings
Jan Petter Myklebust
New immigration rules for reunited families should favour candidates who graduate from the world’s top 20 universities, the Danish government has proposed.
Full report on the University World News site

US: International students pay nearly $19 billion
Sarah King Head
A study released last week by NAFSA: Association of International Educators estimated that international students and their families contributed an impressive $18.78 billion to the US economy during the 2008-09 academic year – an increase of $1 billion over the previous year.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Foreign student rights overlooked
Geoff Maslen
The Australian Human Rights Commission has criticised the federal and state governments over a strategy they released relating to international students, arguing that it failed to tackle significant problems including affordable housing and safety.
Full report on the University World News site

EAST AFRICA: Publications available but not accessed
Alison Moodie
East African universities have more journals and scholarly research available to them than ever before, yet staff and students do not appear to be accessing these resources enough, according to a recent study.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA-INDIA: New ties to strengthen higher education
Munyaradzi Makoni
India’s plans to support a string of higher education and training institutions in Africa will help to push student mobility, add to graduate numbers and nurture a development-centred approach, say African Union Commission officials.
Full report on the University World News site

INDIA: Higher education survey will inform policy
Alya Misha
India will for the first time undertake a comprehensive survey to map access, equity and quality in higher education in order to better inform higher education policies and debates. The pan-India census will plot the lives and performance of all attached to the higher education sector and will map who is in college and who has been left out and why, which students earned a scholarship, which candidates graduated and from where, and how many students are studying abroad.
Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE: Funding criteria ‘hamper innovation’
Ian R Dobson*
Funding regimes that prevent universities from turning knowledge into innovative products and services need correction, the League of European Research Universities (LERU) says in its response to the European Union’s call for Europe to become a more innovation-friendly continent.
Full report on the University World News site

NEW ZEALAND: University to merge with polytechnic
John Gerritsen
New Zealand's smallest university is to merge with one of its smallest polytechnics next year. The government has approved the union of Lincoln University and Telford Rural Polytechnic – both spec ialists in the rural sector and both located in the country’s South Island.
Full report on the University World News site

NIGERIA: Six new universities to meet student demand
Tunde Fatunde
The Nigerian government has announced the creation of six new federal universities, aimed at improving access to higher education for the hundreds of thousands of qualified school-leavers who miss out on opportunities each year because of the limited number of places in existing institutions.
Full report on the University World News site

ALGERIA: Universities expanding but problems remain
Jane Marshall
As the new academic year started, La Tribune of Algiers reported on the state of affairs at universities around the country, finding considerable expansion but also instances of overcrowded or sub-standard student housing, inadequate or corrupt management, unsatisfactory transport – and some disruption in the introduction of the Bologna higher education structure.
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 in Singapore from 17-19 November. APPLE is one of the region’s biggest international higher education conferences, and this year it attracted 120 higher education experts and university leaders from over 85 institutions in the Asia Pacific. In a second set of stories this week, University World News reports on the conference.

ASIA: Going for world-class research universities
Yojana Sharma
Asian countries with growing economies and high tertiary enrolment rates now want to push on to build world-class research universities. But developing a ‘research culture’ will take time, a conference of Asia Pacific Professional Leaders in Education (APPLE) heard in Singapore this month.
Full report on the University World News site

ASIA: A plea for university ratings, not rankings
Yojana Sharma
World university rankings criteria are not reliable enough and universities are too diverse to make accurate comparisons, a conference of Asia Pacific Professional Leaders in Education (APPLE) heard in Singapore this month.
Full report on the University World News site


DR CONGO: Nearly 100 ‘non-viable’ universities shut
A total of 98 higher education instituions have been closed in five provinces following an audit and an inquiry into their ‘viability’, reported Infos Plus of Libreville, Gabon.
Full report on the University World News site

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: Violence in run-up to election
Just days before this weekend’s second round of the presidential election, students in Cocody were attacked by young activists from the RHDP political grouping because they did not support the right candidate, according to press reports. Meanwhile, the US Ambassador warned there would be no future scholarships under its Hubert H Humphrey programme “without a democratic election”.
Full report on the University World News site


UK: Overseas students question university cuts
Alya Mishra
International students already at universities in the United Kingdom have looked on in astonishment as the government proposed a three-fold increase in domestic tuition fees and swingeing cuts to university funding in England which will hit the social sciences and humanities especially hard.
Full report on the University World News site


EUROPE: Basic and applied science crucial to success
David Haworth
Too few universities teach about turning science into specific products that can be sold on the markets, and too many lack entrepreneurship departments to instruct on how ideas can be turned into money, Dr Bernd Huber, President of Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, told some 300 researchers at a conference in Brussels on the future of Europe’s science and technology.
Full report on University World News site

AFRICA: Continental student mobility scheme expanded
Munyaradzi Makoni
The major expansion of a pan-African student mobility scheme was announced in Cape Town last week. The European Union has committed EUR35 million (US$46.5 million) to the Mwalimu Nyerere African Scholarship Scheme, which is aimed at promoting student exchange and stemming the African brain drain. It will provide scholarships for 250 postgraduate students to study in another African country.
Full report on the University World News site

BOTSWANA: New science university languishes in limbo
Sheldon Weeks
The new Botswana International University of Science and Technology, BIUST, at Palapye 260 kilometres nort-heast of the capital Gaborone, faces further delays and a reduction in its vision to be a world-class university. New decisions by the government could alter its scope and direction, and it looks very unlikely that BIUST will be able to open before August 2011.
Full report on the University World News site


GLOBAL: Crucial to measure teaching in rankings
Since being published in September, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings have come in for criticism from some quarters, and praise from others. Rankings editor, PHIL BATY, says lessons have been learned but argues that the new ranking responds to a major global survey and extensive consultation, examines performance across all core university missions and – crucially – is the only ranking to measure the teaching environment.
Full report on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: Reflections on a major merger
At the start of the new millennium South Africa began a radical restructuring of the higher education sector. The number of universities was cut from 36 to 23 through incorporations and mergers – some creating huge universities – aimed at breaking down apartheid’s racial divides and transforming the sector. SIPHO SEEPE reviews the first book published on one of the major mergers, the creation of the 40,000-student University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Full report on the University World News site


US: New York professor embeds 3rd eye in head
This is a teacher who really keeps an eye on things – three eyes, actually – reports The Independent. Wafaa Bilal, an assistant arts professor at New York University, said on Tuesday that a small camera had been put into the back of his head.
More on the University World News site


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RUSSIA: Scientists protest luring foreign researchers
Russian scientists and university researchers are protesting a Kremlin effort to attract scientists from overseas to work in Russia, saying the government should raise the wages it pays to Russians instead, writes Anna Nemtsova for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
More on the University World News site

PHILIPPINES: Protests erupt over university funding cuts
Students, academics and officials of state universities in the Philippines on Thursday protested against a billion-peso (US$25 million) cut to the budgets of state universities and colleges, reports ABS-CBN.
More on the University World News site

INDONESIA: Mixed reviews for private universities
Motorbikes deliver students – some with helmets over their head-scarves, others with laptops slung across their shoulders – down the wide, tree-lined boulevard, past the mosque’s gold dome, around a fenced-off excavation site where a ninth-century Hindu temple was uncovered this year, and onto the campus of the Islamic University of Indonesia, writes Liz Gooch for The New York Times.
More on the University World News site

INDIA: Top universities improve research index scores
At a time when scientific and research agencies are worried about fewer academics taking up research, it comes as a surprise that most of the top 50 Indian universities have remarkably improved their H-index scores in the latest rankings by the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies in New Delhi, writes D Suresh Kumar for The Times of India.
More on the University World News site

INDIA: 44 million higher education students in 10 years
India’s higher education enrolment will increase to 44 million from the current 14 million in a decade, the central government said recently. Private players, distance education and foreign education providers will play key roles in ensuring this growth, reports LiveMint.
More on the University World News site

US: Low graduation rates at for-profit colleges
A new report on graduation rates at for-profit colleges by a non-profit research and advocacy group charges that such colleges deliver “little more than crippling debt”, citing federal data that suggests only 9% of the first-time, full-time bachelor degree students at the University of Phoenix, the nation’s largest for-profit college, graduate within six years, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.
More on the University World News site

US: AIDS-tainted razors sent to animal researcher
The FBI and University of California at Los Angeles police are investigating a new round of threats from anti-animal research activists who claimed to have sent AIDS-tainted razor blades and a threatening message to a research professor, a university spokesman said on Tuesday, writes Michael Martinez for CNN.
More on the University World News site

US: Yale set to return 4,000 Inca treasures to Peru
As Peru counts down to the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Machu Picchu by the American explorer Hiram Bingham, thousands of artefacts taken from the breathtaking lost city of the Incas could soon be returned to the country, writes Stephen Foley for The Independent.
More on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: University divided on affirmative action
The University of Cape Town was once a citadel of white privilege on the majestic slopes of Devil’s Peak. At the height of apartheid, it admitted few black or mixed-race students, and they were barred from campus dormitories, even forbidden to attend medical school postmortems on white corpses, writes Celia W Dugger for The New York Times.
More on the University World News site

UK: Aimhigher brought down by coalition axe
A national programme that aims to widen participation in higher education in the UK is to be scrapped, writes Rebecca Attwood for Times Higher Education. Speaking at a Universities UK conference in London last week, David Willetts, the universities and science minister, said funding for the Aimhigher programme would cease next year.
More on the University World News site

IRELAND: Country looks to academe to re-ignite economy
In an audio-research lab strewn with guitars, Dan Barry and his colleagues at the Dublin Institute of Technology fiddle with a computerised tool that can comb the Irish Traditional Music Archive and locate a jig by its tempo or other traits. An Irish company has already licensed the technology, and the researchers are hoping other companies will follow suit, writes Goldie Blumenstyk for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
More on the University World News site

CHINA: Top universities to use common entrance exam
Seven prestigious universities in China announced last Sunday that they would begin using the same independent examination – besides the national one – to test students hoping to gain entrance to them in 2011, reports the official Xinhua agency.
More on the University World News site

CHINA: Seven universities to assist Tibet University
Seven of China’s inland universities, including Peking University, signed ‘pairing’ assistance agreements in Beijing with Tibet University on 21 November, reports the Chinese government newspaper People’s Daily.
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SWEDEN: Universities suffer enrolment drop
The number of first-time students in Sweden’s universities declined in the autumn session overall, but the number of new students from other countries increased ahead of the introduction of tuition fees for non-EU students next year, reports The Local.
More on the University World News site
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