ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0203 8 January 2012
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HE Events Diary

This week we look into what lies ahead for higher education in 2012. iStock.

Hans de Wit writes that while international student numbers continue to rise, there are signs that all is not well in many countries.

China, which launched its first space lab last September, is looking to forge scientific exchanges and cooperation in space research. See the News section


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.



The new University World News website will be launched later this month, along with a blogs section written by academics and a new article series titled “Thoughts and Experiences of African University Leaders”. These are among several initiatives planned for this year and designed to improve and strengthen our truly international higher education news and analysis service as we head towards the fifth anniversary of University World News.

After a short News section, this week’s edition is dedicated to a Special Report forecasting issues and trends for higher education globally, regionally and nationally.


NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

FRANCE: New circular to clarify foreign student rules
Jane Marshall
Interior Minister Claude Guéant is to issue a new circular next week specifically to cover employment of highly qualified foreign students. The move follows criticism from academics, employers, students and politicians over tightened restrictions on professional immigration that led to many non-European Union graduates being refused permission to stay and work in France.
Full report on the University World News site

SOUTH KOREA: Foreign student ban on 11 institutions
Han-Suk Kim
In its latest measure to crack down on sub-standard higher education institutions, South Korea’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has named 11 institutions that will be banned from admitting foreign students this year.
Full report on the University World News site

CHINA: Space ambitions boost research cooperation
Yojana Sharma
China will boost international scientific exchanges and cooperation in space research as part of its five-year strategy to increase investment in space.
Full report on the University World News site

ZAMBIA: Boost investment in higher education, says UN
Zambia’s latest United Nations human development report has urged significantly greater investment in the higher education sector. It recommends that decision-making be decentralised and universities be allowed to charge economic fees, among other actions.
Full report on the University World News site

SINGAPORE: Doubts about fifth public university
Adele Yung
Singapore’s plans to establish a fifth public university are in doubt after Minister of State for Education Lawrence Wong said during an end-of-year speech that places could instead be expanded at Singapore’s existing four high quality public research-intensive institutions.
Full report on the University World News site


In this first 2012 edition of University World News, academics and our journalists around the world look ahead at what is in store for higher education. They investigate global issues around student mobility, funding and branch campuses, analyse major trends in world regions and provide perspectives on the future of higher education in selected countries.

LOOKING AHEAD: Global issues

GLOBAL: Confusion, contradictions in student mobility
What does 2012 hold for student mobility? The statistics suggest an ever-increasing number of students opting to study abroad, but there are disturbing signs that all is not well in many countries, says HANS DE WIT. Added to that is the cloud of economic uncertainty. Those who prosper are likely to have to combine an entrepreneurial spirit with a critical assessment of the risks involved in any expansion plans.
Full report on the University World New site

GLOBAL: International student choices changing
Sarah King Head
Not only are more students than ever before travelling abroad to realise their higher education ambitions, they are also increasingly gravitating away from traditional educational hotspots in order to do so – and this trend looks set to continue, with competition for international students growing worldwide.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Brave new world of higher education funding
Several university funding issues have combined in recent years to make access to higher education less equitable, argues ROGER BROWN. Research and teaching being funded separately in many countries has entrenched the university hierarchy, the imposition of co-sharing means students and their families have to pay towards their education, and the debate around tuition caps could promote greater competition between institutions.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Are branch campuses serving students well?
International branch campuses have filled a gap in the market and are meeting the demand for foreign higher education that exists in many countries, write STEPHEN WILKINS and MELODENA S BALAKRISHNAN in the current edition of International Higher Education. The sector is not free of problems, and more institutions are likely to fail, but surviving institutions will grow further and become even stronger.
Full report on the University World News site

LOOKING AHEAD: Regional perspectives

EAST ASIA: Demographic decline impacts on universities
Yojana Sharma
Late last year the prestigious Fudan University accused its city rival Shanghai Jiao Tong University of “vicious fraud”, saying its staff were attempting to persuade students to abandon their applications to Fudan and opt for Jiao Tong instead. The allegations were denied, but the scandal attracted the attention of education authorities and was seen as a reflection of new cutthroat competition for top students.
Full report on the University World News site

LATIN AMERICA: Pressure on marred systems to continue
Chrissie Long
Higher education systems in Latin America continue to lag behind much of the rest of the world in quality, graduation rates and coverage, and most analysts do not expect those issues to go away in 2012.
Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE: Student unrest in an era of economic crisis
European governments are cutting back investment in higher education and passing more of the burden onto individual students. They are failing to see the long-term benefits of higher education and students will respond with increasing anger and protests, says ALLAN PALL, chair of the European Students’ Union.
Full report on the University World News site

SCANDINAVIA: Private funding key to autonomy drive
Jan Petter Myklebust
Will the success of university reforms in Scandinavia depend on how thoroughly university presidents adopt the role of fundraiser, like their counterparts in the United States? University reforms in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland have made mergers of institutions an instrument for greater autonomy, and diversification of the resource base by attracting more private funding has been encouraged to underpin reform strategies.
Full report on the University World News site

ARAB STATES: Higher education after the uprisings
Wagdy Sawahel
The Arab world needs to focus in the coming years on higher education quality and entrepreneurship education to bridge the gap between education supply and labour market demand, as well as tackling graduate unemployment, which was a factor driving the 2011 uprisings, according to a draft Arab research strategy.
Full report on the University World News site

LOOKING AHEAD: Selected countries

AUSTRALIA: A step into the unknown
Geoff Maslen
Australia’s public universities face an uncertain year in 2012 when, for the first time, the government will lift its quotas on how many undergraduate students each can enrol. How this ‘demand-driven’ policy will play out is unknown but it seems likely that in this and coming years, some universities will face significant enrolment increases while others will see their numbers fall away to an alarming extent.
Full report on the University World News site

INDIA: New focus is on quality in higher education
Alya Mishra
Improving quality and providing more funds to state universities will be the focus of India’s higher education policy in the coming year.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Funding cuts, tuition hikes likely to define 2012
Alison Moodie
The higher education sector in the United States grappled with immense challenges in 2011, namely the deepening funding crisis and steep tuition hikes plaguing public colleges and universities. Bad as it was, the situation is likely to get worse as further cuts are expected this coming year.
Full report on the University World News site

FRANCE: Election year – Change or more of the same?
Jane Marshall
Presidential and general elections take place in France this year. Candidates have yet to publish their policies for higher education and research until 2017, but Nicholas Sarkozy will be judged on his promise to ensure France's top universities compete with the world's best.
Full report on the University World News site

POLAND: Elite research centres to lure top talent
Bianka Siwinska
Poland is embarking on two major challenges in 2012: the creation of élite research centres to compete internationally in science, and the implementation of a national qualifications framework.
Full report on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: Integrating post-school education
Sharon Dell
The launch in January 2012 of a cabinet-approved green paper on post-school education and training will intensify efforts to create a coherent higher education and training system in South Africa and set the tone for much of the work of the Department of Higher Education and Training for the rest of the year.
Full report on the University World News site


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ECUADOR: Possible closure for 26 universities
Ecuador’s Board of Assessment, Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Higher Education (Ceaaces) has reported that it will study 26 universities by April to determine whether they can eliminate their deficits or should be closed, reports Prensa Latina.
More on the University World News site

CZECH: Universities reject higher education reform
Twenty out of 26 university senates last week rejected a draft reform of Czech universities and called for protest petitions and strikes, Daniel Feranc, secretary of the Charles University Academic Senate, told CTK. Work on the reform, which will introduce tuition fees, has been under way for years.
More on the University World News site

ISRAEL: State acts to plug brain drain
Israel is known as a hotbed of high technology, the home of 10 Nobel prize winners and of cutting-edge start-up companies. But over the last decade the country has been losing some of its best scientists to the US and Europe as funding to universities dropped. Now, Israel is determined to plug the brain drain, and the centrepiece of its strategy was formally launched last Tuesday, writes David Rosenberg for The Media Line.
More on the University World News site

UK: Universities body reassures Indian students
Universities UK, the representative body of universities in Britain, last week sought to reassure Indian and other international students that the country is “safe and tolerant”, with low levels of violence and street crime, reports the Press Trust of India.
More on the University World News site

MALAYSIA: Students warned over illegal protest
Staging demonstrations that breach the laws of Malaysia is not the proper way to learn about politics. Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said university students, like everyone else, must observe the law, write Jaspal Singh and Roy See Wei Zhi for New Straits Times.
More on the University World News site

US: Relief greets minimal changes to Pell Grant
Recent federal budget debates in the US have routinely included threats about slashing higher education freebies. But in the latest round of congressional compromising, the rhetoric produced only a few nibbles around the edges of financial aid, writes Tim Barker for
More on the University World News site

INDIA: New norms for release of university funds
Getting funds for Indian universities without clearance from the institution’s executive council and mandatory accreditation would become difficult from the next financial year, writes Chetan Chauhan for the Hindustan Times.
More on the University World News site

UK: Who leaked the climate scientists’ emails?
For two years, the mystery has endured: who set out to undercut climate scientists by publishing more than 1,000 of their private emails on the internet? Writing in The New York Times, Leslie Kaufman notes that the original emails, released in 2009 on the eve of the UN climate conference in Copenhagen, sowed doubts about the scientists’ research and integrity and galvanised sceptics who challenge the scientific consensus that global warming is under way. It set off six inquiries, all of which cleared the researchers of scientific misconduct.
More on the University World News site

US: Researchers demand destruction of terror tapes
A controversial US project that contains the testimonies of Troubles-era terrorists should now be wound up, according to the men who founded it, writes Liam Clarke for the Belfast Telegraph. The three men involved in the oral history project have said Boston College's decision to hand over material to the US authorities after requests from police in Northern Ireland has betrayed the trust of those involved.
More on the University World News site

US: Tenure goes on the defensive
It seems that tenure is always in the news in the US. Long an article of faith for most faculty members, tenure is being put on the defensive almost everywhere, including within the academy itself. During the past decade, the numbers of tenured and tenure-track professors have sharply declined from nearly half of academics to about one-third. Does anyone care? asks Milton Greenberg in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
More on the University World News site

US: Trial probes support for black colleges
A trial began last week in Baltimore, US, to settle a federal lawsuit that alleges that Maryland’s historically black colleges receive too little funding and institutional support to fully overcome past generations of state-sponsored discrimination, writes Daniel de Vise for The Washington Post.
More on the University World News site

US: University offers Occupy Wall Street course
Columbia University is offering an Occupy Wall Street course in which postgraduate and senior students can earn a full course credit by getting involved in the movement's projects outside the classroom, writes Mike O’Brien for the Daily Mail.
More on the University World News site

KENYA: Minister directs universities to double intake
Higher Education Minister Margaret Kama has directed public universities to accept a double intake of students from this year to clear a backlog of more than 30,000 students by 2015, writes Mathews Ndanyi for the Nairobi Star. The government, she said, would give universities more funds this year to achieve the goal.
More on the University World News site

PAKISTAN: Sindh University gripped by insecurity
Sindh University in Jamshoro, Pakistan, is currently facing a law and order crisis as alleged criminals who enjoy the support of certain political parties have been on the rampage and have resorted to targeting teachers, writes Jan Khaskheli for The News.
More on the University World News site

VIETNAM: Universities want more autonomy
Education experts have asked the Ministry of Education and Training to create conditions for universities to have more autonomy in making decisions regarding administration, recruitment and enrolment quotas, reports Viet Nam News.
More on the University World News site

CAMBODIA: Poor quality drives us abroad – Students
Corruption, funding shortages and an obsession with profit are plaguing the quality of university education in Cambodia, students say, driving them overseas in search of masters and PhD programmes, write Shane Worrell and Chhay Channyda for The Phnom Penh Post.
More on the University World News site

SCOTLAND: Christian college head claims unfair axing
A college principal has claimed he was dismissed from the post for being a white Christian. Professor Malory Nye, 47, is reported to have claimed he was dismissed from his job at the Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education in Dundee because its hierarchy viewed his race and religion as a threat to its Muslim values, writes Brian Donnelly for the Herald Scotland.
More on the University World News site

CHINA: Peking professor says China reform a dead end
A professor at Peking University, one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in China, has gone out on a limb in recent remarks in Taiwan, denouncing the Chinese political system and saying that he and his colleagues have given up hope in the Communist Party, writes Zhong Yuan for The Epoch Times.
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US-INDIA: Outspoken professor returns fire on Harvard
Subramanian Swamy is an outspoken man. That is what got him into trouble last July. While teaching economics at the Harvard University summer school, he penned a sharply worded column for a newspaper in India, where he is a prominent right-wing politician. Many readers thought his proposals would deny Muslims basic rights and incite riots. Some 40 Harvard professors called for his dismissal, writes Mary Carmichael for The Boston Globe.
More on the University World News site

INDIA: Technology institutes to share content with MIT
Indian institutes of technology (IITs) have agreed to a proposal by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to join their OpenCourseWare community. This move will enable MIT students to access classroom content of the IITs online at the click of a mouse, reports The Times of India.
More on the University World News site
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