|12 February 2012||Issue 0208||Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week||Advanced Search|
NewsletterThis week we launch “Thoughts and experiences of African university leaders”, a series of interviews with higher education leaders across the continent, starting with Cheryl de la Rey, vice-chancellor of the University of Pretoria. The series aims to promote good leadership in universities, especially in Africa, and will publish an article a month over the coming year.
In World Blogs, Daniel Guhr reports on the rise and impacts of fraud on international education, and steps that can be taken to thwart the problem. In Commentary, Brenda Gourley writes about a high-level symposium in Oxford that focused on higher education in emerging countries – and reached remarkable consensus. In the United States, Jamie Merisotis outlines ways to attain the goals of making higher education more affordable and able to produce the highly qualified workers the economy needs, and Eva Egron-Polak argues for quality assurance in international higher education.
In Features Suluck Lamubol reports on Thai government criticism of international and local scholars supporting a campaign to amend the draconian lèse majesté law, which is curtailing academic freedom, and Sarah King Head describes an award-winning American programme that gives graduates an international edge by combining an engineering degree with a foreign language BA and study abroad.
Karen MacGregor Global Editor
SERIES: African university leaders
Cheryl de la Rey, a professor of psychology, notched up several firsts when she became vice-chancellor of South Africa’s large University of Pretoria in 2009 – the first woman, the first black person and the first English-speaker. It seems the university was ripe for change, as she faced no opposition on any of these fronts. De la Rey spoke to University World News for this first in a new series of articles on African university leaders.
Until recently, it has been easy to ignore the impact of fraud on international education given that little systematic data exists on its breadth and pervasiveness. In addition, raising the issue of fraud is hardly a promising way to gain tenure or to impress a lawmaker who is interested in maximising national income from international students. But once comprehensively surveyed, the magnitude and reach of fraud is becoming clear.
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Students protested at several universities in Egypt yesterday, and there were reports that an American student had been arrested for allegedly bribing people to join a strike. Student unions at around 20 public and private universities had called for a general strike, prompted by anger at continued military rule and post-football match violence at Port Said stadium in which 74 people were killed, including at least two students.
Hungarian students took to central Deak Ter Square in Budapest on Wednesday to protest against dramatic budget cuts and remarkable new legislation that will severely limit the rights of Hungarian graduates to work abroad.
An academic has resigned as dean of the school of communications at Hong Kong’s Baptist University after the institution became embroiled in political controversy over a public opinion survey he conducted in January. The resignation is an indication of the sensitivity of independent public polling in China.
Students across Nigeria expressed joy on learning that the academic staff union had called off its eight-week nationwide strike. The government has promised to implement a 2009 agreement signed with the union, including finalising the retirement age and reviewing issues related to the academic pension scheme.
In a bid to rejuvenate social science research, India has announced several measures targeted at the Indian Council of Social Science Research, or ICSSR. They include establishing a Social Sciences Knowledge and Research Network, a National Social Science Research Innovation Centre and a fellowship scheme to attract young scholars into social sciences.
Implementation of the Bologna process is making good progress in Germany, according to a new government report. The transformation of courses into bachelor and masters programmes is said to have been largely completed – with positive impacts including greater mobility, access and graduate employment.
From 2013, Dutch students will no longer receive a scholarship during their masters studies. Legislation was recently passed to turn the scholarship into a loan. According to the student union LSVB this is the biggest budget cut ever for Dutch students.
CHILEMaría Elena Hurtado
Warnings that Chilean students applying for university places for the 2012 academic year would steer clear of the 20 universities that were paralysed by five months of massive protests last year, have not been realised.
An official report says that a decade of substantial investments in scientific research and higher education in Qatar has yet to meet expectations. Indeed, the nation has gone backwards on some indicators.
PAKISTANAmeen Amjad Khan
The United States has pledged US$15 million to construct facilities at seven Pakistani universities to offer degrees in education. The initiative is considered a confidence-building measure after a NATO raid mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers near the Afghan border at Salala last November.
The Thai government has criticised foreign scholars for supporting a campaign led by Thai academics to amend the country’s controversial lèse majesté law, saying that the international scholars may not understand the unique meaning of the monarchy to Thai society.
GLOBALSarah King Head
The University of Rhode Island’s innovative International Engineering Program (IEP) is designed to give graduates a global marketplace edge – adding to a BSc in an engineering discipline a BA in one of four languages: German, French, Spanish or Mandarin. It recently won a Heiskell Award, one of the Institute of International Education’s highest honours.
A high-powered Emerging Markets Symposium at Oxford turned its focus on post-secondary education in these nations crucial to the world’s future. There was remarkable consensus, including weariness with rankings and concerns about standards and the suitability of Western university models. The importance of mobility, innovation and blended learning solutions became clear. It was agreed that there is no room for complacency at any level – anywhere.
UNITED STATESJamie Merisotis
Top education officials have been travelling across America to raise awareness of the need to make higher education more affordable. The economy urgently needs more highly qualified workers. There are many ways to attain these goals, including rewarding universities for students who graduate rather than for those who enrol.
Quality assurance in international higher education is more than the end result of a set of narrow statistics. The process encourages universities to question what they are doing in terms of internationalisation, and why.
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UNITED KINGDOMTimes Higher Education.
UNITED STATESThe New York Times.
UNITED STATESThe Chronicle of Higher Education.
UNITED STATESAssociated Press.
CANADAThe Globe and Mail.
UNITED STATESInside Higher Ed.
UNITED KINGDOMThe Telegraph.
UNITED KINGDOMThe Telegraph.
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