University World News Global Edition
26 February 2012 Issue 0210 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Indians say no to foreign campuses, but students abroad aren’t going home
In World Blog, Geoff Hall says there is no shortage of critical thinking among students of English at the UK’s University of Nottingham Ningbo in China. Philip G Altbach writes in Commentary that despite talk of ‘brain exchange’ and the rise of the BRICs, large numbers of international students are not returning home after graduating.
In the United States, Diane Ravitch warns against the extension to universities of test-obsessed policies she says are destroying the school system, and Adam Peck says that in an age of information overload, universities should intensify efforts to teach students the critical thinking skills they need for the future.
Protests against foreign universities entering India erupted this month, targeting the UK university dubbed as the ‘first’ foreign campus, writes Shuriah Niazi in Features. Grace Karram outlines debates around a government plan for three new campuses in Ontario, Canada’s most populace province, and Eileen Travers reports on an Occupy Student Debt Campaign rally against New York University’s $6 billion expansion project.
Also this week, we kick off a media partnership with the upcoming International Finance Corporation "Making Global Connections" conference in Dubai, with a look at IFC's expanding investments in private higher education around the world.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
David Jobbins

OECD analysts have found the combination of tuition fees and financial support that seems to lead to the best outcomes for universities, students and society. They suggest systems that charge moderate fees supported by means-tested grants and income-contingent repayments successfully promote access, equity and completion for students.
Wagdy Sawahel

Up to a quarter of the fatalities in protests in Syria since they began in March 2011 have been students, according to the Union of Syrian Free Students, USFS. It has launched a campaign of civil disobedience in universities, calling on the country’s 800,000 students to support the anti-government uprising.
Jan Petter Myklebust

Europe’s research ministers have voiced concern that social sciences and humanities should be given a more prominent role in Horizon 2020, the next European Union framework programme for 2014-20. The fears already expressed by academics were reflected in discussions between research ministers from European Union member states in Brussels last week.
Brendan O’Malley

The number of full-time undergraduate courses on offer at UK universities has fallen by more than a quarter (27%) since 2006, according to a new report published by the University and College Union. Of the four UK countries, England has suffered the greatest reduction in choice at a time when tuition fees are about to rise to as much as £9,000 (US$14,000) a year.
Yojana Sharma

As Hong Kong shifts from a three-year to four-year degree structure and school-leavers enter university a year earlier, students are applying to study abroad in large numbers to escape a squeeze on university places and amid fears over recognition abroad of the new untried school exam.
Geoff Maslen

When the University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest and one of the wealthiest, sold a Picasso painting last June for nearly A$21 million (US22 million), few staff would have believed that six months later their jobs would be on the line.
Jan Petter Myklebust

Europe’s graduates are finding jobs twice as quickly as non-graduates, according to a EURYDICE report presented to EU education ministers this month. But its claim that one in five are "overqualified” for the jobs they take has been challenged by analysts.
Robert Visscher

Independent investigations into journalism diplomas awarded at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands have found that one in four students should not actually have been awarded one.
Gilbert Nganga

Kenya plans to bar its universities from offering diplomas and certificates, starving them of a key income stream as it seeks to streamline higher education to boost quality. Universities must now concentrate on their core business – degrees – leaving colleges to handle lower qualifications, in a move that should help government regulate the college subsector.
Tunde Fatunde

Nigerian academics at home and in the diaspora have strongly condemned recent bombings and destruction by Muslim extremists in the north of the country, with some calling the attacks a “declaration of war”. Scholars have put forward solutions to religious and inter-ethnic conflicts, including calling for a national conference on the crisis.
Michael Gardner

The University of Cologne has faced accusations of management irregularities at its Institute of Anatomy. Apparently, officials lost track of the identities of bodies for dissection courses for medical undergraduates.
Karen MacGregor

Reflecting the extraordinary growth of private education worldwide, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has built an investment portfolio of US$400 million involving 69 projects in 33 countries, many of them in higher education.
Shuriah Niazi

Often dubbed the first foreign campus in India, the UK’s Leeds Metropolitan University has been established on the outskirts of the central city of Bhopal since 2009 on 15 hectares of lush, sprawling land. But earlier this month the university was rattled by the cries of enthusiastic protestors: “Leeds-Met University, Quit India!”
Grace Karram

Debates about the need for more university charters in Ontario were heard this month at a symposium hosted by the University of Toronto. It followed the latest throne speech in which the provincial government promised to create 60,000 new spaces for students by building three new undergraduate campuses.
Eileen Travers

Just when the world thought the Occupy Wall Street movement would fade into the shadows of the New York Stock Exchange, a robust rally organised by its Occupy Student Debt Campaign herded groups of students and non-students alike to protest on Tuesday against a $6 billion New York University expansion project.
Geoff Hall

Chinese students are stereotypically thought to be reluctant to question authority, but this is not the case for English students studying at the University of Nottingham Ningbo. They are taught to question and challenge existing ideas. These critical skills will be vital in an increasingly interconnected world.
Philip G Altbach

Despite the rise of the BRICs, large numbers of international students are choosing not to return home after completing their studies. Research suggests that this could be for a number of reasons, among them the fact that salaries and facilities in developed countries continue to outpace those at home, and developed countries are keen to maintain their advantage.
Diane Ravitch

US schools policy has been all about accountability and measurement. This has led to demoralisation among teachers and a narrowing of what education means. Now higher education is about to be subjected to the same experience.
Adam Peck

Students today are exposed to more information than ever before, but they appear less able to express their opinions. Universities need to ensure that they teach students the critical thinking skills they need for the future, and demonstrate to students that they are the product they are paying to produce.
For the first time, researchers have demonstrated that the effect of obesity on the risk of premature death is seriously underestimated unless a person’s hip circumference is taken into account. An international team of researchers investigated the relationship between waist and hip circumference in a 20-year study of almost 8,000 Mauritians.
Increased exposure to sunlight may reduce the risk of both food allergies and eczema in children, according to a new scientific study. Children living in areas with lower levels of sunlight were at greater risk of developing food allergies and the skin condition eczema, compared with those in areas with higher UV.
In a world first, scientists at the University of Western Australia and Unilever, the multi-national consumer goods company, discovered that drinking three cups of black tea a day lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Scientists at Queen’s University in Belfast have made a major breakthrough in developing sensors that dramatically improve the ability to spot early warning signs of corrosion in concrete. Scientists say they will make monitoring the safety of structures such as bridges and vital coastal defences much more effective.
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Malaysia is morphing into a key destination for foreign universities, with 25 applications received to set up campuses in the country. The latest applicants allowed to set up campuses are the United Kingdom’s University of Reading and Heriot-Watt University, reports New Straits Times.
The mayor of New York faced off with the president of Yale University last Tuesday over an effort by the city's police department to monitor Muslim student groups for any signs that their members harboured terrorist sympathies, write David B Caruso and John Christoffersen for Huffington Post.
University officials from Iraq and the United States pledged last week to deepen their academic ties. But they said there are significant challenges to increasing opportunities for Iraqi students to study in America and creating dynamic university partnerships, writes Ian Wilhelm for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Twenty-five years passed between the decisions of the US Supreme Court in the Bakke and Grutter cases. Both rulings upheld the right of colleges to consider race and ethnicity in admissions, but only in certain circumstances (and a companion case with Grutter rejected the use of race in other circumstances), writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed.
Across the Nordic countries, academics are under pressure to publish in English. While some believe this is a necessary step towards improving standards and attracting international students and scholars, there is a growing backlash against Anglicisation, amid fears for the future of the Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish languages if they cease to be used in academia for critical analysis and the exploration of complex concepts, writes Ed Dutton for Times Higher Education.
The “comprehensive failure” of Australian universities to engage with Asia is rapidly unravelling their appeal to the biggest market of international students, an expert in Asian education, Professor Greg McCarthy, told a conference on higher education last week, according to Justin Norrie writing for The Conversation.
The number of foreign students from outside the EU studying at Scotland’s universities has risen by more than 11% in the past year, new figures show, with the biggest rise in students from China – a 33% rise from 4,680 to 6,145, writes Chris Marshall for The Scotsman.
A rift between East Africa’s legislative arm, the East African Legislative Assembly, and the Council of Ministers could derail the enactment of a bill that seeks to harmonise higher education systems in the region, writes Jeremiah Kiplang’at for The East African.
The campus of the largest university in the world, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in southern Delhi, is surprisingly small and modest. Down the road, however, construction workers heave bricks at a building site, and across the Indian countryside, satellite campuses are cropping up, writes Sarah Garland for The Hechinger Report.
Two teenagers who want to go to university have failed in their High Court bid to overturn regulations introducing the coalition government's proposed increase in tuition fees, writes John Aston for The Independent.
David Willetts, the universities minister, has promised that the new controversial access tsar will be monitored by a parliamentary select committee and "called to account" for his decisions, reports The Telegraph.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal has apologised to its students and their parents for the violent protests that have rocked its Westville campus. It also pledged to look into accusations that its security guards had been heavy-handed in attempting to suppress the mass action, writes Leanne Jansen for The Mercury.
The South African Department of Higher Education and Training has signed an agreement with Cuba that will see both countries undertake exchange programmes among tertiary institutions, reports the official Bua News.
Private universities are lobbying the Ministry of Education to increase efficiency in handling paperwork. The request was made by 10 proprietors and rectors of private universities, under their umbrella body the Rwanda Association of Private Institutions of Higher Education during a meeting with Minister of Education Dr Vincent Biruta, reports Ivan R Mugisha for The New Times.
Bar-Ilan University was fined by the Council of Higher Education last week for admitting students without bachelor degrees to graduate programmes. The council's oversight and enforcement committee rejected Bar-Ilan's appeal of an earlier decision to forbid any special exceptions for students without bachelor degrees from applying to advanced programmes, writes Talila Nesher for Haaretz.
Gujarat University Vice-chancellor Dr Parimal Trivedi was arrested last week in a three-year old atrocity case filed against him by a college professor. A local court later granted him conditional bail after asking him to furnish a Rs25,000 (US$509) bond and surrender his passport, writes Mahesh Trivedi for Khaleej Times.
A company that employs researchers to work on a complex problem can instead outsource it to scientists and researchers from top Indian academic institutions to find a solution. That's what Xerox India Research, the youngest global research lab of the US$22-billion leading company, is doing, writes TE Raja Simhan for The Hindu Business Line.
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