|29 January 2012||Issue 0206||Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week||Advanced Search|
Newsletter____The new-look University World News website is up and running and we are continuing to perfect its operation and look. There will be periods in the next two weeks when the site is temporarily down while we work to improve its functionality. Please bear with us during this time.
____This week Serhiy Kvit writes in World Blogs that Ukraine’s draft higher education law is a blast from the past and an obstacle to integration with Europe. In Commentary Georg Krücken argues that European universities are not ‘Americanising’ but adapting to transnational trends, Qing Gu says Chinese students in the UK adapt and develop in ways that enhance their future careers, and Tom Vickers and Lena Dominelli describe the benefits to students and universities of involvement in humanitarian projects abroad.
____In Features, Yojana Sharma says academics in Hong Kong have been landing in hot water with China for opinion surveys probing public attitudes towards the mainland. In India, Alya Mishra describes a Delhi University plan to introduce interdisciplinary four-year degrees, and Naw Say Phaw Waa reports that student activists in Myanmar just released from prison are worried about their future prospects.
Karen MacGregor Global Editor
Given the great importance that most governments in Europe attribute to student and academic mobility in public statements, and the 1.5 million non-Europeans now studying in the region, it is remarkable how few have developed comprehensive and systematic mobility policies, a just-released study for the European Commission has found.
The European Union must make huge efforts to attract research talent from all over the world if its ambitious plans to launch a European Research Area in two years’ time are to be successful, a League of European Research Universities (LERU) conference in Brussels agreed last week.
BELARUSJan Petter Myklebust
Belarus’ bid to join the European Higher Education Area should be turned down, according to the high-level group following up the Bologna process.
America’s Brookings Institution was named the best think-tank in the world for a second year running, according to a University of Pennsylvania ranking report released this month. North America and Europe have 60% of the world’s think-tanks while Asia’s share has grown to 18% and Latin American and the Caribbean’s to 11%.
UNITED STATESAlison Moodie
German media giant Bertelsmann AG is funding half of a $100 million fund called University Ventures. One of the initiative’s key targets will be Hispanic colleges in the US, which it sees as a growing market. It is part of a trend in which private capital helps traditional universities to tackle gaps in the market.
DENMARKJan Petter Myklebust
Morten Østergaard, Denmark's minister for higher education, wants to see all Danish students taking a study period abroad, gathering knowledge and experience outside the country that will enable Denmark to succeed in global competition.
Kenya’s government has moved to quell a financial crisis facing its student loans body with a plan to pump US$5.8 million into the fund. The additional money is expected to give the Higher Education Loans Board, HELB, a ‘war chest’ to finance thousands of new students.
Lecturers at 28 public tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe have gone on strike demanding salary increases. And the new student grant system, which was supposed to be funded from diamond sales, is on shaky ground after America slapped sanctions on local prospecting companies.
Nigeria’s public universities were shut down for a week when trade unions called on all workers to protest against the removal of fuel subsidies. The mass strike action paralysed business nationwide, forcing the government to cave in by partially restoring the subsidy.
The Syrian government has agreed to establish a centre to set national standards and tests for educational qualifications and university admission, and additional tests for examining graduates’ employability skills.
The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, has launched a ‘two languages’ service to provide information and support to people charged with the upbringing and education of children in a language other than their mother tongue.
In an effort to transform the Gambia into an economic success story, the West African country’s President Yahya Jammeh has declared 2012 to be the year of science, technology and innovation. The initiative is to be led by key ministries in partnership with the University of the Gambia.
The new draft law on higher education in Ukraine is a retrogressive step and will obstruct European integration. The country needs to promote autonomy for universities and greater freedom of speech, rather than the current lack of accountability.
HONG KONGYojana Sharma
Opinion surveys, a common source of research information in universities around the world, have become a political minefield for Hong Kong’s universities, with recent surveys landing academics in trouble with the authorities in Beijing.
Delhi University has announced that it will extend its degrees to four years from 2013 to make undergraduate education more broad-based and introduce more interdisciplinary education. It is a trend-setting move recommended by national planners.
MYANMARNaw Say Phaw Waa
Among the 651 political prisoners released by President Thein Sein under an historic 13 January amnesty were some of Myanmar’s most popular politicians and activists including 1988-generation student leaders. There were also some 15 young student activists arrested following the 2007 ‘Saffron Revolution’.
Although the US is a forerunner of many of the transformations taking place in European higher education, it would be a mistake to view this as the ‘Americanisation’ of European universities. Nations and institutions can take on similar changes but adapt them to their own circumstances and history.
UNITED KINGDOMQing Gu
What is the impact of studying abroad on students? UK research suggests the benefits are many, with students subjected to a reflexive process of change, adjustment and development through interaction with a different educational and cultural environment.
GLOBALTom Vickers and Lena Dominelli
Getting students involved in humanitarian projects overseas can provide many benefits, not just for those students who take part but also for the university as a whole.
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UNITED STATESInside Higher Ed.
UNITED KINGDOMThe Telegraph.
UNITED KINGDOMPublic Finance.
CZECHOSLOVAKIAThe Prague Post.
JAPANThe Mainichi Daily News.
CAMBODIAThe New York Times.
IRELANDThe Irish Times. There are also plans for two other new technology universities.
UNITED STATESThe Chronicle of Higher Education.
UNITED KINGDOMTimes Higher Education. The HE Global Integrated Advisory Service, announced by Foreign Secretary William Hague, aims to bolster the competitiveness of UK institutions in the increasingly crowded global education market.
SOUTH AFRICAEngineering News.
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