ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0167 17 April 2011
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IREG Forum on National Rankings - 10-11 October 2011

Worldviews Conference

HE Events Diary

Higher Education Marketing

Professor Maria Helena Nazaré, former rector of the University of Aveiro in Portugal, was last week elected as the first female president of the European University Association.

Three Tibetan Monks, including a student, have been arrested by the Chinese authorities following a self-immolation protest against Chinese rule in Tibet. See the Academic Freedom section.

A Special Report this week looks at the global talent trade, and reveals a trend towards more international students returning home to vibrant economies. Credit: The Age

Dr Doris LeRoy has been awarded a PhD at the age of 71. Her thesis describes how Anglican Church leaders covertly supported the Australian government's attempts in the 1950s to outlaw the Communist Party. See the People 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 a special report, University World News investigates issues and trends in the global talent trade, where there are growing signs that the world’s vibrant economies are starting to attract back domestic graduates who have studied in the West. In People, GEOFF MASLEN interviews 71-year-old Australian Dr Doris LeRoy, who was awarded a PhD recently despite setbacks including cancer, hip replacements and the death of her husband. In Commentary, KN PANIKKAR argues that revisions are needed to India’s foreign educational institutions bill, or it could undermine education that promotes nation-building and national identity. In the UK, GIDEON CALDER reports on swelling academic opposition to a research council’s plan to direct research towards the government’s ‘big society’ ideology, and ANNE COBETT writes that the Libyan funding debacle at the London School of Economics should force a rethink on the purpose of an international university.




There has been a lot of talk about the ‘brain drain’ phenomenon in higher education, whereby the brightest students and academics are attracted from East to West and from South to North. But as competition for students and academics has grown in countries such as India and China, there have been reports that this process may be going into reverse. For example a just-published report by the leading business consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan predicts that there will be a steady flow of returning migrants to countries like India to fill vacancies for senior positions – and that they will be joined by Americans and Europeans seeking better prospects.

Universities are already beginning to see this reverse movement and analysts like Peggy Blumenthal and Rajika Bhandari of the Institute for International Education argue that there will be increasing mobility in higher education with ‘brain drain’ being replaced by ‘brain circulation’, ‘brain exchange’ or the ‘brain train’. In this special report, University World News investigates this phenomenon and asks whether economic insecurity and rising tuition fees in the West could be factors influencing the talent trade. We also look at migration of the highly educated from Africa and efforts to counter the 'brain drain'.

UK: Fees and unemployment make mobility attractive
Rising tuition fees and youth unemployment plus a competitive market in international higher education are making many UK and other European students look further afield for undergraduate degrees. This could affect the pipeline of future academics, reports HARRIET SWAIN.
Full report on the University World News site

ASIA: ‘Brain reclaim’ as talent returns from West
Asian universities are rising and this coincides with a downturn in Western economies. The combination could promote greater internationalisation in higher education, but some fear that it could lead to long-term problems for Western universities which may have to do more to tackle what is being dubbed ‘brain reclaim’, reports YOJANA SHARMA.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Reverse brain drain takes off
The brain drain of international students to the US is slowly reversing as more international students opt to return to their home countries and some US students of immigrant parents choose to study abroad. The US may need to adapt its visa policies to compete, but countries in the developing world will also have to ensure they have enough to offer to keep returning students there, reports ALISON MOODIE.
Full report on the University World News site

ASIA: Getting graduates to come home is not easy
There has been a lot of talk about ‘brain exchange’ rather than ‘brain drain’, but brain drain still continues. Countries like China and India have tried a range of programmes to get students to return, but the brightest are still the least likely to return, argue PHILIP G ALTBACH and WANHUA MA in the latest edition of International Higher Education.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA: Limit costs, raise benefits of skills flight
Some 30 million Africans live outside their home countries, and more than a million highly qualified Africans – one in eight – live in an OECD country, a new study by the African Development Bank and the World Bank reveals, reports KAREN MACGREGOR. While migration is a “vital lifeline” for the continent, and is a symptom rather than the root of development problems, governments must act cleverly to limit the costs and maximise the benefits of tertiary-educated migration.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA: Research network project promotes brain gain
UNESCO and Hewlett Packard’s Brain Gain Initiative, based on grid computing and academic networks, is fostering research collaboration between universities in the South as well as between African academics in the South and North, write MARC BELLON and LILIANA SIMIONESCU.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA: Harnessing bright minds in the diaspora
The Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance was set up in 2007 and aims to engage African scholars from the diaspora in development initiatives. Set up by students in the US, it is gaining international recognition for its work, say Harambe members CORINA SHIKA KWAMI and ISABELLA AKINSEYE.
Full report on the University World News site

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

UK: Fears over private sector gain from loans hike
Brendan O’Malley
The government has announced plans to extend support and loans to students attending private sector institutions in England, to the same level as for state sector students. But the announcement has stoked fears that private institutions will be able to cherry-pick lucrative courses.
Full report on University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Likely research cuts trigger alarm
Geoff Maslen
Rarely have Australia’s academic and research communities responded so rapidly and vigorously to rumoured threats of a US$400 million cut over the next three years to the major medical funding council. University leaders, education and health unions, medical bodies and science organisations warned of a mass exodus of top scientists if the possible savaging of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s budget went ahead.
Full report on the University World News site

FRANCE: Graduates fare best in recession, says study
Jane Marshall
Three years after completing their higher education in 2007 graduates in France were faring better in the economic crisis than less eduated peers, according to a newly released survey.
Full report on the University World News site

GERMANY: Plagiarism claims mount for ex-minister
Michael Gardner
With an intensive investigation almost concluded, Bavaria’s University of Bayreuth now claims that ex-minister of defence Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg must have copied parts of his doctoral thesis. But zu Guttenberg continues to deny wilful deceit.
Full report on University World News site

EUROPE: Nazaré elected as next EUA President
Members of the European University Association have elected Professor Maria Helena Nazaré from Portugal as the new president of the organisation that represents more than 800 universities and 34 national rectors’ conferences across Europe.
Full report on the University World News site

CANADA: Tool to predict international student trends
Sarah King Head
Predicting more accurately where international students will go to pursue higher education has been taken one step forward with the release last week of the Global International Student Flow Forecasting Model pilot project. The British Columbia Council for International Education released the model for use by the Canadian province where international education is a leading export.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Non-stop learning conference
A non-stop 48-hour online conference spanning the globe began at the University of Leicester in the UK on Wednesday, with the focus on innovation in teaching and learning in higher education. The conference, “Learning Futures Festival Online 2011, Follow the sun”, covered three countries and three time zones.
Full report on the University World News site




SAUDI ARABIA-UK: New centre to tackle global disease
Wagdy Sawahel
Saudi Arabia is to establish an international training and research centre in Jizan to advance global efforts to control infectious diseases, with the cooperation of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the Innovative Vector Control Consortium.
Full report on the University World News site

SWAZILAND: Calm returns to university
Munyaradzi Makoni
The University of Swaziland, forced to close last Tuesday when pro-democratic protests rocked the tiny landlocked Southern African kingdom, has now reopened. Some students reported being coerced by others to participate in the demonstrations.
Full report on the University World News site


AUSTRALIA: Six decades to earn a PhD
Geoff Maslen
Melbourne-born Doris LeRoy dropped out of school when she was 14. Now, almost 60 years later, she has been awarded a doctorate – despite battling cancer, enduring hip replacements and suffering the death of her husband.
Full report on the University World News site


INDIA: Foreign universities bill needs to be revised
India is considering a Bill which proposes to regulate the operation of foreign educational institutions. This is all very well, argues KN PANIKKAR, but it also promotes a more globalised form of higher education when education should be dictated by issues around nation building and national identity.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: Research council slated for bowing to ideology
The UK Arts and Humanities Research Council’s latest delivery plan appears to promote government policy and could endanger academic independence, argues GIDEON CALDER. Academics are mobilising to resist any threat to their freedom.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: The LSE debacle and the role of a university
The furore surrounding the resignation of the head of the London School of Economics should force a rethink about the purpose of an international university, argues ANNE CORBETT. There is a need to return to the basics of what a university is about and guard against becoming what the late Professor Fred Halliday called ‘shopping malls of the mind’.
Full report on the University World News site


GLOBAL: Academic freedom reports worldwide
Noemi Bouet*
The Chinese authorities have arrested three Tibetan monks, including a student, in Beijing following a self-immolation protest against Chinese rule in Tibet, and have banned an inter-college debate on the 1911 revolution. In Iran, a human rights lawyer and law professor at Allameh Tabatabaee University in Tehran has been dismissed, and two student activists have been expelled from Baku State University in Azerbaijan. Student anti-government protests have been held in Damascus and at Aleppo University in Syria.
Full report on the University World News site


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UK: Universities ‘recruiting more foreign students’
Universities are planning a huge increase in foreign students to boost their income following swingeing government funding cuts, it emerged last week, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph. Some top institutions want to almost double the number of undergraduates recruited from outside Europe.
More on the University World News site

US: Foreign graduate student numbers continue to rise
Foreign-student applications to American graduate schools are up 9% over last year, with much of the increase fueled by a double-digit expansion in applications from prospective Chinese students, according to a report released last week, writes Karin Fischer for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
More on the University World News site

US: Big cuts to international programmes
When a chart of all cuts in the 2011 budget passed by the US congress on Thursday was made public earlier last week, international education advocates received an unpleasant surprise: funding for foreign language and area studies programmes within the Education Department could be cut by as much as $50 million, rolled back to levels last seen before 9/11, writes Libby A Nelson for Inside Higher Ed.
More on the University World News site

RUSSIA: Foreigners get right to teach in universities
A new law passed on Wednesday allows the employment of foreign experts as teachers at Russian colleges and universities, reports Ria Novosti.
More on the University World News site

MALAYSIA: Universities must expand internationally
Universities should extend their wings beyond Malaysia’s national boundaries by promoting and contributing to regional and international development, said the Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
More on the University World News site

ISRAEL: Colleges approved for state research funding
An unprecedented agreement signed between Israel’s finance ministry and representatives from local colleges will, for the first time, allow college staff to receive government funding for research, writes Tomer Velmer for YNetNews. Until now, this has been reserved for universities alone.
More on the University World News site

PAKISTAN: Petition filed against plan to dissolve HEC
A petition has been filed in the supreme court against the government’s plan to dissolve the Higher Education Commission, or HEC, which is widely credited with playing a key role in promoting higher learning in Pakistan, writes Mohsin Ali for Gulf News.
More on the University World News site

INDIA: Reprieve for 44 deemed universities
India’s supreme court on Monday gave a reprieve to the 44 ‘deemed universities’ facing de-recognition on the basis of deficiencies pointed out by the Tandon Committee, writes J Venkatesan for The Hindu. The court extended the status quo order: in other words, it restrained the government from taking further action on the basis of the report.
More on the University World News site

INDIA-US: Obama-Singh initiative to fly soon
India and the US will take steps to increase collaboration in higher education in the next few months under an initiative announced during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the US in November 2009, writes Prashant K Nanda for
More on the University World News site

US: California students protest against university cuts
Decrying what they called an assault on higher education, thousands of academics and students at California State University campuses across the state rallied, marched and held teach-ins on Wednesday to protest against steep funding cuts and rising tuition, write Carla Rivera and Larry Gordon for the Los Angeles Times.
More on the University World News site

US: College loans weigh heavier on graduates
Student loan debt outpaced credit card debt for the first time last year and is likely to top a trillion dollars this year as more students go to college and a growing share borrow money to do so, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.
More on the University World News site

SOUTH KOREA: KAIST criticised after student suicides
The president of South Korea’s top science university is fighting to save his job after a string of student suicides sparked fierce criticism of his controversial reforms and a government audit accused him and other officials at the institution of financial and administrative violations, writes David McNeill for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
More on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: Student funding chief sacked
The CEO of South Africa’s National Student Financial Aid Scheme, suspended after the scheme was given an audit report with a disclaimer, has been fired, writes Caiphus Kgosana for The Sunday Times.
More on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Steps to grow indigenous representation
Indigenous Australians have long been under-represented in their country’s universities, but now some institutions are creating leadership posts to help increase the number of indigenous students and academics, writes Liz Gooch for The New York Times.
More on the University World News site

KOSOVO: Higher education challenges
Kosovo has the lowest higher education attendance in the European Union, writes Muhamet Brajshori for the Southeast European Times. While there are 50 students per 1,000 inhabitants in the EU, Kosovo falls short with just 30 students per 1,000 inhabitants, according to the education ministry.
More on the University World News site

MOZAMBIQUE: Budget cuts threaten university quality
Mozambique’s Education Minister Zeferino Martins has warned that cuts to the budgets of the country’s two public universities, Eduardo Mondlane University and the Pedagogical University, will compromise the quality of education in both institutions, reports
More on the University World News site
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