ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0189 18 September 2011
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HE Events Diary

The changing global pool of higher education graduates is one of many trends uncovered by the OECD's Education at a Glance report, published last week.

The European Association for International Education held its annual conference last week, at the Copenhagen Business School. University World News was there.

Senegal's Minister of Higher Education, Amadou Tidiane, spoke to University World News about sweeping university reforms. See Focus on Senegal.

US biologists have been studying the use of tools among bottlenose dolphins. See Science Scene. Credit: Eric M Patterson.


University World News was a media partner to the Talloires Network Leadership Conference in 2011, the OECD’s Institutional Management in Higher Education Conference in 2010, and the Unesco World Conference on Higher Education in 2009.


This week’s highlights

ARD JONGSMA reports from the European Association for International Education annual conference held in Copenhagen last week, and conference speaker HANS DE WIT says there is a call for a more comprehensive, less revenue-based approach to international higher education. YOJANA SHARMA looks at the world’s shifting pool of graduate talent, revealed by the OECD’s just-published Education at a Glance 2011 report. In Focus on Senegal JUDITH RITTER and MAMADOU MIKA LOM investigate sweeping higher education reforms and the country’s growing graduate unemployment problem. And in Commentary, DAVID POST argues that Ecuador’s free higher education policy is widening the gap between rich and poor, and WILLIAM PATRICK LEONARD urges universities and colleges to publish indicators highlighting the value-added of their courses and quality of their graduates, since rankings ignore the core teaching function of higher education.


European Association for International Education

The European Association for International Education held its huge yearly conference in Denmark last week. University World News was there.

EUROPE: Crisis? EAIE beats all records
Ard Jongsma
Last week a massive 4,200 participants flocked to Copenhagen to participate in the 23rd annual conference of the European Association for International Education. From its small, first meetings in Amsterdam in 1989 and 1990, the organisation has managed to make its annual gathering the single biggest networking event for international higher education professionals in Europe. And now beyond.
Full report on the University World News site

MIDDLE EAST: Higher education needs its own revolution
Ard Jongsma
What does the unrest in the Arab world mean for higher education? In a new session type at the annual European Association for International Education conference, the EAIE took on the challenge of trying to find answers to great challenges beyond Europe.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Internationalisation moves into a new phase
International higher education began as a development issue, has become more commerc-ialised and is now moving into the mainstream, says HANS DE WIT, who spoke at a ‘Perils and Pitfalls of International Education’ session at last week’s EAIE conference. There is a call for a more comprehensive, less revenue-based approach.
Full report on the University World News site

OECD: Education at a Glance 2011

GLOBAL: The world’s talent pool is changing – OECD
Yojana Sharma
Unabated expansion of higher education in developing countries and emerging economies has meant that the global graduate talent pool is no longer predominantly in the US and Europe, according to the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: What do international students study?
Yojana Sharma
International students prefer to study social sciences, business and law when they go abroad. But in non-English speaking countries a higher proportion of international students are enrolled in education, humanities and the arts, according to figures just released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Full report on the University World News site

GERMANY: Poor marks for higher education, says OECD
Michael Gardner
The Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation maintains that Germany’s contribution to the worldwide pool of highly qualified people is shrinking. Figures suggest that this could be due to too little money being spent on education.
Full report on the University World News site

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

GLOBAL: Rapid growth in joint and dual degrees – IIE
Alison Moodie
Universities and colleges are increasingly looking beyond their own campuses to keep pace with a rapidly globalising world, according to a new study from the Institute for International Education. More and more institutions are launching joint and dual degree programmes in an effort to internationalise their campuses, increase global visibility and foster greater collaboration with partner institutions.
Full report on the University World News site

CHINA: Huge research grant for overseas branch campus
Yojana Sharma
In its bid to raise its global research profile, China has awarded research grants worth more than US$19 million to the overseas branch campus of a British university to produce “at least 100 new scientists”.
Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE: UK universities win most ERC grants
Jan Petter Myklebust
British institutions will benefit most from the European Research Council’s distribution of 480 young researcher grants worth EUR670 million (US$924 million), just as European Union politicians are calling for research funding to be distributed more widely to build capacity.
Full report on the University World News site

CHILE: Government rejects student demands
María Elena Hurtado
A conflict in Chile over significant reforms to education, that has already reached the three-month mark, is now showing fewer indications that it could end. The popularity of President Sebastián Piñera has plunged to an historical low of 27%, but despite being under pressure to resolve the problem, the government on Thursday rejected most of the conditions demanded by students.
Full report on the University World News site

GHANA: Qualifications crunch for private universities
Francis Kokutse
The fate of hundreds, possibly thousands, of final-year students at private universities across Ghana hangs in the balance because they may not graduate, after the National Accreditation Board revealed that they were admitted without the requisite qualifications. The board suggested that some private universities have lowered entry requirements to bolster their numbers.
Full report on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: Free education to boost skills levels?
Munyaradzi Makoni
A mismatch between the supply of and demand for certain skills needed by South Africa’s labour market has led Deputy Minister of Basic Education Enver Surty to call for extending provision of free education to cover students in further education and training and in higher education institutions – not just the compulsory seven- to 15-year-old category.
Full report on the University World News site

ZIMBABWE: Students send protest messages to leaders
Kudzai Mashininga
Zimbabwean students have launched a 45-day campaign during which protest message will be sent to the government. The aim is to pile pressure on the authorities to turn the struggling higher education sector around.
Full report on the University World News site


UK: Imperial College produces most 'spinout' firms
Bill Holdsworth
London's Imperial College has produced more 'spinout' companies than any other UK university in the past decade, according to a new survey.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Funding to strengthen debate
Following the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States, the Open Society Foundations on Wednesday announced US$20 million in funding to strengthen debate programmes for students around the world.
Full report on the University World News site


Higher education in Senegal is undergoing sweeping reforms. The government is creating new universities and colleges, restructuring institutions and degrees to align the sector with the Bologna process in Europe, and offering non-traditional learning. It is hoped that the reforms will help to ease the growing national problem of graduate unemployment. University World News takes an in-depth look at what’s happening in higher education in this important West African country.

SENEGAL: Radical reforms for higher education
Judith Ritter
Lamine Ndao, a graduate student at Senegal’s University of Cheikh Anta Diop, is clearly uncomfortable talking about his participation in recent well-publicised campus demonstrations. He is a serious student and more interested in his future career than in youthful protest. But, while ambivalent about what he sees as some of the excesses of the demonstration, he still found reason to participate.
Full report on the University World News site

SENEGAL: Push to strengthen research
Judith Ritter
Senegal’s government believes one of its most crucial goals is to create and nurture research initiatives that address challenges particular to the country and Africa, many of which demand technical or scientific solutions.
Full report on the University World News site

SENEGAL: Plight of thousands of jobless graduates
Mamadou Mika Lom
Graduate unemployment in Senegal continues to increase, and has become such a critical issue that it could be the major theme of the campaign for the presidential election in February 2012. Since March unemployed graduates have been demonstrating in protest against their plight.
Full report on the University World News site


ECUADOR: Who benefits from free higher education?
Ecuador’s free higher education policy advantages the middle-class and widens the gap between rich and poor, argues DAVID POST. The money would be better targeted at improving basic education, so that more disadvantaged students are able to qualify for free university studies.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Time for rankings to reflect value-added
While many tertiary institutions embrace a research ethic, their core mission is instruction. But high-profile university ranking systems ignore this key function. WILLIAM PATRICK LEONARD urges institutions to break out of the pack and publish measures that suggest the value-added of their courses and the quality of their graduates. Providing relevant output data will boost their profiles with parents and students searching for a return on their investment.
Full report on the University World News site


GLOBAL: Sunlight the answer to MS?
Geoff Maslen
More than 250 researchers in 15 countries, along with 10,000 patients, have taken part in one of the longest and largest human genetic studies ever undertaken into the cause of the devastating neurological disease, multiple sclerosis or MS.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: ‘Loose’ versus ‘tight’ countries
Estonia, Hungary, Israel and the Ukraine are among cultures that may be considered to be quite ‘loose’ in terms of socially accepted behaviours and tolerance whereas the ‘tightest’ countries – those that have many strong norms and a low tolerance for deviant behaviour – include Pakistan, Malaysia and India, according to a group of researchers.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Hopping into history
The Australian tammar wallaby is the first member of the kangaroo family to have its genetic makeup sequenced. An international research collaboration, led by Australian scientists, has provided many insights into the genetic makeup of the iconic Australian kangaroo, including the genes behind its unusual reproductive system and how some genes control the development of the kangaroo’s spec ialised toes that allow them to hop.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Dolphins use tools to hunt
A team of biologists from four US universities have discovered that use of tools among a group of bottlenose dolphins varies between individual females in the population. Dolphins appear to be the only mammal in the sea to regularly use a sponge as a tool to help catch fish.
Full report on the University World News site


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AUSTRALIA: Universities set to expand
Universities can accept increased numbers of students following senate agreement last week to the Julia Gillard government’s higher education expansion plan, writes Stephen Matchett for The Australian. The bill empowers the government to provide a place for every prospective student who is accepted by any university.
More on the University World News site

SCOTLAND: Universities and colleges face merger wave
Colleges and universities across Scotland are set to be merged under a major shake-up of further and higher education. Education Secretary Mike Russell outlined plans for removing what he called “wasteful duplication” across the college sector, by establishing regional groupings of institutions, writes Chris Marshall for The Scotsman.
More on the University World News site

IRELAND: University defends fee for five-star rating
Two Irish universities have said tens of thousands of euro paid to receive their recent top international ratings was worthwhile for the potential to attract more overseas students, writes Niall Murray for the Irish Examiner.
More on the University World News site

UK: University ‘pathways’ to international students
An increasing number of UK universities are linking with private education companies to offer study and language preparation programmes that aim not just to improve the skills of international students but create new opportunities to promote their courses in an increasingly competitive global student market. However, pressures to enrol are raising concerns, writes Amy Baker for the Guardian.
More on the University World News site

US-AFRICA: Carnegie Mellon to open Rwanda campus
Carnegie Mellon University plans to open a branch campus in Rwanda next year, making it one of the few American colleges offering degrees in Africa, writes Ian Wilhelm for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
More on the University World News site

INDIA: Student loan applications double in five years
The number of students applying for educational loans across India has doubled in the last five years, data compiled by the Indian Banks’ Association has shown, reports The Times of India.
More on the University World News site

GERMANY: Calls for stricter screening of PhD theses
The plagiarism scandals that rocked the political world in Germany this year have led to a period of soul-searching among academics and researchers around the country. They have also prompted calls for stricter controls at German universities, writes Christopher F Schuetze for The New York Times.
More on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Authors sue universities over ‘orphan’ works
Authors have accused five American universities of “engaging in one of the largest copyright infringements in history” over a plan to digitise out-of-print books and provide them online to students, writes Nick Allen for The Telegraph.
More on the University World News site

US: Probe reveals holes in oversight of science
Investigations into a case of alleged scientific misconduct in the United States have revealed numerous holes in the oversight of science and scientific publishing, reports The Economist.
More on the University World News site

US: Association tackles science teaching, again
America’s research universities have long struggled with complaints that they don't do enough to educate undergraduates in science. Their main association thinks the time is ripe to tackle the problem again, writes Paul Basken for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
More on the University World News site

US: Concern over student plagiarism software
Turnitin, plagiarism software released in 1996 and used by more than 10,000 universities and 20 million students, is now common in higher education. But it is Turnitin’s lesser-known student-only sister product, WriteCheck, that has some faculty members feeling betrayed, although the company says that it is only trying to help students and professors, writes Elizabeth Murphy for Times Higher Education.
More on the University World News site

LATIN AMERICA: New EU project aims at integration
While the Bologna process of European integration in higher education may have its critics, it is hoped that a new European Union-funded project will launch Latin America down a similar road towards harmonisation, reports Paul Jump for Times Higher Education.
More on the University World News site

SRI LANKA: Laws to prevent lecturers going private
New laws will be introduced to discourage public university lecturers from joining private universities, writes Ridma Dissanayake for the Daily News.
More on the University World News site

EGYPT: Hundreds protest to elect university leaders
Nearly 700 teaching staff from several Egyptian universities protested last Sunday outside the cabinet building in downtown Cairo, demanding the removal of Higher Education Minister Moataz Khorshid, the replacement of university heads and better pay, writes Omar Halawa for Al-Masry Al-youm.
More on the University World News site

CHINA: Nine in 10 students feel the burden of high fees
An overwhelming 91% of college students in China said in a survey that their tuition fee was higher than expected, according to the Worker’s Daily, writes Zhao Chunzhe for China Daily.
More on the University World News site

MALAYSIA: Ireland offers sweetener to PhD parents
The Republic of Ireland last week agreed to offer free education to the children of Malaysian students who wish to further their studies at PhD level in the country, reports the official agency Bernama.
More on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: Bill approved for transfer of colleges
Parliament’s justice committee last week approved the 18th amendment to the South African constitution, which aims to transfer responsibility for further education and training colleges from provinces to the Department of Higher Education and Training, write Wyndham Hartley and Karl Gernetzky for Business Day.
More on the University World News site

UZBEKISTAN: Students forced to harvest cotton
Thousands of university students in Uzbekistan are being mobilised to help with the annual cotton harvest and some say they are working under abusive conditions, reports the Uzbek Service of Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty.
More on the University World News site
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