ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0155 23 January 2011
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HE Events Diary

Higher Education Marketing

Floods in Australia caused tens of millions of dollars worth of damage to the University of Queensland's main campus on the Brisbane River. Credit: Sydney Morning Herald

A graduate at an interview in Japan, where unemployment and a changing market are challenging new graduates. Credit: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

South Korea is proceeding with its foreign higher education park scheme, despite the recession. See our Features section.


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


This week’s highlights

In Features, SUVENDRINI KAKUCHI writes that joblessness in Japan and changing market needs mean graduates must adapt their expectations, mindset and skills. KARRYN MILLER looks at South Korea’s Songdo Global University Campus, where foreign universities are locating in a higher education park, and MUNYARADZI MAKONI reports on South Africa’s new National Skills Development Strategy. In Commentary, ERIC WEINBERGER argues that Yale University should proceed with caution in its liberal arts college venture in Singapore, amid concerns over free expression, and ALAIN HASROUNY writes that a new leadership, vision and mobilisiation are needed for higher education in Lebanon. Responding to last week’s criticism by Philip G Altbach of international student recruiters, board members of the American International Recruitment Council NORM PETERSON, STEPHEN FOSTER and MITCH LEVENTHAL write that many organisations need to be involved in promoting standards in recruitment, and MATTHEW ULMER of IDP Education argues that it would be more effective to sanction unprofessional agents and encourage best practice than to banish proven businesspeople from the field.

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

FRANCE: City universities ‘booming’, says evaluation
Jane Marshall
The French higher education landscape is changing as universities assume greater autonomy, according to the first regional analysis of all France’s universities, published this month by the Agence d’évaluation de la recherche et de l’enseignement supérieur, Aeres. Institutions are forging new alliances with research organisations and businesses, with those based in and around the biggest cities thriving best.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Universities survive record floods
Geoff Maslen
The Queensland floods that have killed at least 20 people and left tens of thousands homeless also caused tens of millions of dollars worth of damage to the University of Queensland’s main campus on the Brisbane River. As with the city of Brisbane, the university suffered the worst flooding since 1974 when all of the lower areas of its expansive campus went under water.
Full report on the University World News site

HAITI: New university to avoid quake devastation
Garry Pierre-Pierre
A completion date of January 2012 for a new university in Haiti has been announced by the Dominican Republic’s President Leonel Fernández. It will be built in the northern city of Cap Haïtien at a cost of $30 million, and will be fully funded by the neighbouring Dominican Republic government and business community.
Full report on the University World News site

ASIA: Pakistan and Afghanistan launch ‘education diplomacy’
Ameen Amjad Khan
A 15-member delegation of vice-chancellors and professors of Afghan universities arrived in Pakistan last Monday for a 10-day visit to local universities to explore areas of cooperation. Hopes are also high that ‘education diplomacy’ could reduce tensions between the neighbours strained since 9/11 as both sides accused each other of supporting terrorism, improve diplomatic relations and enhance the political climate in the region.
Full report on the University World News site

NORWAY: Fears for future of sociology
Jan Petter Myklebust
A high-level panel of sociologists has found that the multidisciplinary research environments in which most PhD students in sociology spend a large part of their training pose a threat of weaker long-term sociological competence in Norway.
Full report on the University World News site

ISRAEL: University heads condemn Ariel boycott call
Helena Flusfeder
The chair of the Committee of University Presidents has spoken out against a petition signed by 155 Israeli university and college faculty members over the past few weeks calling for an “academic boycott of the Ariel University Centre” in the West Bank. Professor Rivka Carmi, who is also the president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, said: “We are totally against academic boycotts.”
Full report on the University World News site

RUSSIA: Falling university quality hits graduate jobs
Eugene Vorotnikov
The prestige of higher education in Russia continues to fall in the face of reduced graduate employment prospects, poor quality of teaching and ever-increasing corruption in many universities.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Colleges ‘need to emphasise global mandate’
Sarah King Head
Most Americans consider international exposure to be an essential part of the student experience, according to a report released last week by NAFSA. The survey by the Washington-based international educators’ association, Educating Students for Success in the Global Economy, made several key observations about American attitudes to international education.
Full report on the University World News site

NEPAL: Spending increase to benefit university women
Anil Giri
Nepal’s government this month agreed a new annual education budget with large increases to help more women and poorer students gain a university education, as part of its effort to revamp and reform higher education.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA-INDIA: Partners in scientific discovery
Geoff Maslen
The Australian and Indian governments are equally funding an Australia-India Strategic Research Fund scheme with a total of US$130 million. The money is being used to promote innovation in critical areas such as oncology, marine science, agriculture, water management and nanotechnology.
Full report on the University World News site

CHINA: First disaster relief training institute
Linda Yeung
China’s first-ever national training centre for disaster relief and management is to be set up in Sichuan province, which was devastated by a huge earthquake in 2008.
Full report on the University World News site

CHINA: Shanghai sinking under weight of buildings
Yojana Sharma
The city of Shanghai, which is preparing to invite a number of foreign universities to set up new branch campuses or collaborations with Chinese institutions, is already sinking under the weight of its existing buildings.
Full report on the University World News site

UGANDA: International university approved
Wagdy Sawahel
Uganda has approved the setting up of an international university that will partner with institutions from around the world to deliver accredited courses and degree programmes to students in Uganda and other East African countries as well as Southern Sudan and Nigeria.
Full report on the University World News site




DR CONGO: State calls for calm after campus killings
Jean- René Bompolonga
The government has moved to restore calm to university campuses in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, after the killing of two students and a riotous campus protest earlier this month.
Full report on the University World News site




JAPAN: Grim job prospects lead to skills rethink
Suvendrini Kakuchi
Employment rates for Japanese university students have declined for the third consecutive year – a jolting experience for what was once a largely mollycoddled elite group in the country and a trend that some experts believe could be long term. Changing needs in the market also mean that graduates must adapt their job expectations, mindset and skills.
Full report on the University World News site

SOUTH KOREA: Global campus for foreign universities
Karryn Miller
An innovative foreign higher education park scheme in South Korea is set to proceed, even though the worldwide recession has caused some overseas universities to postpone plans to locate branches at the Songdo Global University Campus, or SGUC.
Full report on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: New strategy to produce scarce skills
Munyaradzi Makoni
Universities in South Africa have higher enrolment and participation rates than the further education and training sector, and not nearly enough appropriately skilled and qualified people in disciplines central to socio-economic development are being produced by the post-school system, says the country’s third National Skills Development Strategy.
Full report on the University World News site






US: Academic freedom and Yale’s college in Singapore
Yale University’s announcement that it is in discussions to set up a liberal arts college with the National University of Singapore came amid concerns for freedom of expression. Is Yale kidding itself if it thinks that this will not impact on academic freedom? Alumnus ERIC WEINBERGER thinks the university should proceed with caution.
Full report on the University World News site

LEBANON: Higher education at risk without reform
Alain Hasrouny
If Lebanon is to maintain the reputation of its higher education sector in the Middle East and beyond and meet the requirements of the knowledge economy, a new leadership, vision, and mobilisation are required.
Full report on the University World News site


Last week University World News published an article by American professor Philip G Altbach on the proliferation of third-party recruiters and agents in international higher education. He argued that they have no legitimate role and should be abolished. Here, a standards-promoting non-profit US international recruitment council and a global student recruitment company offer their sides of the story.

US: International higher education needs recruiters
The American International Recruitment Council was founded in 2008 by a group of US colleges and universities to establish and promote high professional standards in international student recruitment. Here, AIRC board members NORM PETERSON, STEPHEN FOSTER and MITCH LEVENTHAL argue that recruitment agencies are firmly established in a global student market where competition is fierce and America is losing market share. Many other US organisations need to be involved in promoting best practices in international recruitment.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Professional vs ethical in student recruitment
The role of recognised international student recruitment companies should be acknowledged, the legality of their compensation affirmed and their practices defined in terms of ‘professional’ rather than ‘ethical’ criteria, argues MATTHEW ULMER of the global student placement provider IDP Education. It is more effective to sanction unprofessional agents and to encourage best practice than it is to banish proven businesspeople working in an accepted and effective field.
Full report on the University World News site


GLOBAL: Academic freedom reports from around the world
Roisin Joyce*
In Britain, police have asked universities to pass them intelligence on planned protests, as students continue their vociferous campaign against education cuts and fee hikes. In Tunisia, universities remained closed last week but are expected to open tomorrow. The University of Tartu has sent the Croatian parliament a letter urging that the final version of a bill impacting on its autonomy be changed. President Barack Obama has announced that educational exchanges between Cuba and the US will be eased, while in China police and campus security at Peking University have issued a ban on copying sensitive materials. Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education Hani Hilal has confirmed that the government will comply with court rulings to end a police presence on campuses.
Full report on the University World News site


US: G ay university leaders form advocacy group
Chuck Middleton is bearded, bald, g ay – and the President of Chicago’s Roosevelt University. He’s among about 30 g ay and l esbian university leaders who have formed the group LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education to advocate for the advancement of gays to leadership positions, writes Kara Spak for the Chicago Sun-Times.
More on the University World News site


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PUERTO RICO: More violence as student fees imposed
The imposition of student fees is going ahead at the University of Puerto Rico despite violent clashes of striking students with riot police, writes Dr Maritza Stanchich, an associate professor of English at the university, for The Huffington Post. The final date to pay the fee was last Wednesday.
More on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: High scores for internationalisation
The strength of Australia’s quality assurance regime and government transparency have seen it placed second in a new index which rates countries on their policies regarding the engagement and promotion of internationalisation in higher education, writes Julie Hare for The Australian. Germany heads the list of 11 nations.
More on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Ageing academics set university time bomb
Universities face a new crisis: up to 40% of academics and lecturers are expected to retire over the next decade, with no one to replace them, writes Sarah Whyte for the Sydney Morning Herald.
More on the University World News site

KOREA: Stiffer measures to verify foreign degrees
The government will adopt stricter measures to verify overseas academic diplomas and tighten its monitoring of universities hiring staff with such qualifications, reports Bae Ji-sook for the Korea Herald.
More on the University World News site

MALAYSIA: New rating system for private institutions
The Malaysian Quality Evaluation System (MyQuest) will rate all 402 private colleges in the country beginning this year to ensure quality of the courses offered, reports the official agency Bernama.
More on the University World News site

SCOTLAND: University fears over tough new visa rules
Universities warn that Scotland will have one of the most restrictive visa regimes in the world for overseas students under UK government plans to crack down on immigration, writes Andrew Denholm for Herald Scotland.
More on the University World News site

UGANDA: ‘Study in India’ scam exposed
India has been a popular destination for Ugandan students seeking affordable and high quality education in medicine, information technology and business courses. But many of these students end up studying at different institutions from those they set out to join, writes Frederick Womakuyu for Saturday Vision.
More on the University World News site

US: 20-year-old programme scrapped after Niger deaths
Boston University has cancelled its study abroad programme in Niger because of the recent abduction and slaying of two Frenchmen, writes Matt Rocheleau for The Boston Globe.
More on the University World News site

CHINA: Professors among those expelled for absenteeism
It is not rare for teachers to leave their posts without authorisation and not come back from abroad on time in China’s colleges. However Hunan University, according to the Changsha Evening News, is the first to expel a large number of staff members for these reasons, writes Wang Hanlu for People’s Daily. Recently, 26 teachers at Hunan University, including six professors, were notified that they had been laid off because they left their posts without authorisation.
More on the University World News site

CANADA: 13 arrested in crackdown on illegal textbooks
Thirteen people were arrested last Thursday after the Royal Canadian Mounted Policy raided four photocopy stores in Montreal and seized hundreds of counterfeit university textbooks in what they described as an attempt to put an end to the illegal sale and distribution of the photocopied books, reports CBC News.
More on the University World News site

SCOTLAND: Student plagiarism on the rise
Hundreds of cases of academic ‘misconduct’ are being detected at Scottish higher education institutions every year, writes Judith Duffy for The Express. Most of the incidents are related to plagiarism, which has risen in recent years with essays becoming easily available to purchase online.
More on the University World News site

UK: A-level reforms mean results before university
Sixth formers will no longer have to wait for their results before learning if they have secured a place at university under a shake-up of the examination system. Ministers want to move the timing of final school examinations and push the autumn university term back, writes Andrew Hough for The Telegraph.
More on the University World News site

INDIA: Firm to set up vocational university
Staffing company TeamLease Services announced last week it is setting up a vocational education university in Gujarat to help plug an increasing skills gap in India’s labour force, write Prashant K Nanda and Priyanka Pulla for Live Mint.
More on the University World News site

WEST AFRICA: New body to promote university ideals
The University of Ilorin in Nigeria has established the Association of West African Universities, AWAU, as a sub-regional body that will coordinate and promote the ideals of University education in West Africa.
More on the University World News site
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