|4 March 2012||Issue 0211||Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week||Advanced Search|
Fuzzy thinking around terms, learning gains and the future of universities?In World Blog, Hans de Wit wonders whether higher education is in danger of overusing and neutering the term ‘global’. In Commentary John Aubrey Douglass, Gregg Thomson and Chun-Mei Zhao argue that properly designed student surveys might produce more useful information than a one-size-fits-all test to measure learning gains, which the OECD is planning at the international level.
In the UK, Sir David Watson says that to succeed in a challenging climate, higher education needs to stop confusing the terms of the debate and become messier, less precious, and more flexible and cooperative. Susan Young and Stephen Riter describe a partnership between an Australian and an American university that has led to new approaches to international learning, including through the use of modern technology.
In Features we talk to Neal King, secretary general of the International Association of University Presidents, about it and Microsoft’s first Academic Summit aimed at helping university leaders to better understand the benefits of technology. Naw Say Phaw Waa reports on growing concern about graduate unemployment ahead of a looming election in Myanmar, and in Botswana Sheldon Weeks writes that a recent student strike has exposed weaknesses in the national university.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
A major World Bank report on China has called for universities to be given more autonomy by the state. This is key if they are to make a substantial contribution to innovation that would drive economic growth and enable China to leap the difficult hurdle from being a middle-income to a high-income country by 2030.
Australia faces significant challenges to its scientific future, according to a report commissioned by the nation’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, and released on Wednesday. While the rate of increase in university science enrolments has almost kept up with other disciplines, Chubb says the figures offer little relief for concerns about the future of science and technology.
A call to shift enrolment from the current April to September, made by the prestigious University of Tokyo and supported by at least 30 other universities, has turned the spotlight on higher education internationalisation in Japan and reviving universities’ depleting revenue. But a changeover would also have an impact on broader recruitment practices.
Greece’s universities, deeply embroiled in the general crisis that has plagued the country for at least two years, are only reluctantly implementing key reforms to the way they are run, in the face of opposition from academics and students.
Aiming to provide state-of-the-art laboratory facilities to all science and engineering institutions, India has introduced its first virtual science and engineering laboratory. The virtual lab will enable students, even in smaller institutions with dismal infrastructure, to perform experiments online.
The Spanish government is to slash funding for its Campus of Excellence programme, a further blow to universities that are already dealing with cuts and a harsh economic climate.
A landmark ruling by Germany’s Constitutional Court will improve basic salaries for professsors across the country, according to representatives of higher education lecturers.
Within five years the number of private universities in Africa is likely to outstrip public institutions, according to Professor Olugbemiro Jegede, secretary general of the Association of African Universities, or AAU.
African universities need to better support early career researchers if they are to build a thriving research environment and boost the continent's number of PhD-qualified staff, according to a joint report by the British Academy and the Association of Commonwealth Universities launched last week.
The attempt by the United Arab Emirates to move away from reliance on oil and towards a knowledge economy has been led by the larger oil-rich emirates. But now a smaller and less affluent emirate is staking out its own research role.
European universities are going to work more closely together to beat the energy problems of the future, following the first meeting of the European Platform of Universities Engaged in Energy Research, Education and Training.
Open and distance learning and higher education access in Sudan have been given a boost by the launch of the country’s first educational television channel.
MYANMARNaw Say Phaw Waa
When Than Myint (47) took a tricycle rickshaw from the bazaar to her home in Yangon, she fell into conversation with the driver, who turned out to have graduated from university last year. The 22-year-old told her that jobs were hard to find, even with a degree.
Next week in Redmond, in the US state of Washington, leaders of universities in Mexico will gather to learn about uses of new technology in higher education. It is the first of a series of Academic Summits to be held worldwide by Microsoft in partnership with the International Association of University Presidents, IAUP.
Starting in the last week of January, students went on strike at the University of Botswana. Studies were stopped and the university nearly closed. Surprisingly, the demonstrations had the support of students in two faculties famous for carrying on business as usual: science and medicine.
GLOBALHans de Wit
The word global has taken off in a big way recently, but what does it mean? Is it in danger of being neutered of meaning by overuse? With regard to higher education, we should be careful of using ‘global’ to describe an outcome when it is actually about a process.
GLOBALJohn Aubrey Douglass, Gregg Thomson and Chun-Mei Zhao
The OECD is looking for a one-size-fits-all test to measure learning gains, but in the US the Collegiate Learning Assessment, which attempts to do the same, is seen by many as a blunt instrument producing questionable data. Properly designed student surveys might produce more useful information.
UNITED KINGDOMDavid Watson
If higher education wants to succeed, particularly in the current challenging climate, it will have to become messier, less precious, more flexible and significantly more cooperative. To do so it needs to stop confusing the terms of much of the debate around the future of university education.
GLOBALSusan Young and Stephen Riter
A partnership between Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia, and the University of Texas at El Paso has won international recognition for its innovative approach. Over five years the relationship has deepened and led to new approaches to international learning, including through the use of modern technology.
University World News has a new Facebook group: facebook.com/UniversityWorldNews. If you are not a member, do consider joining to see our regular updates, post on our wall and communicate with us and other University World News fans. You can also follow University World News on Twitter @uniworldnews
CZECH REPUBLICPrague Daily Monitor. Students carried banners against Education Minister Josef Dobes, the planned introduction of tuition fees and other reform steps.
KOREAYonhap News Agency.
UNITED STATESThe New York Times.
UNITED KINGDOMThe Telegraph.
UNITED KINGDOMThe Herald Scotland.
UNITED KINGDOMThe Scotsman.
AUSTRALIASydney Morning Herald.
FRANCEThe Jerusalem Post. CRIF, the representative body of French Jewry, called the closure of the University of Paris VIII “a victory in the fight against the boycott campaign”.
SOUTH AFRICABusiness Day.
SOUTH AFRICAThe Chronicle of Higher Education.
INDIADeccan Herald. Last Monday, the university opened an India office in Bangalore to engage students, academics, businesses and others on educational opportunities in Japan.
UNITED KINGDOMMail Online.
UNITED STATESThe Los Angeles Times. The group of Harvard students, alumni and faculty has been urging the Ivy League school to award honorary posthumous degrees to seven students expelled more than 90 years ago for being gay or for being perceived as gay.
Terms and Conditions / ISSN 1756-297X / © University World News 2007-2012