University World News Global Edition
15 April 2012 Issue 0217 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
European ministers come under pressure to expand student mobility funding

In a scoop this week, Brendan O’Malley and Jan Petter Myklebust unpack a new report by the Bologna Follow-Up Group warning that Europe risks missing its goal of at least 20% of graduates studying abroad, with only four countries exceeding 5% in inward student mobility and outward mobility averaging less than 2%. See the Features section. In World Blog, Curt Rice explains why scientific publishing is unfair and in need of reform.
In Commentary, Madeleine F Green says universities need to be clear and honest about their internationalisation activities and why they are doing them, and Philip G Altbach and Jamil Salmi argue that international advisory groups, which are becoming popular among world-class universities, can add value and prestige.
N Jayaram, in the latest in a series of articles from the new book Paying the Professoriate, writes that improved pay scales and quality measures in India have made professors middle-class – but part-time and private sector academics have not benefited.
Also in India Alya Mishra looks at reforms in the state of Karnataka aimed at strengthening university autonomy, quality and research, that could provide a model for other parts of the country. And Tunde Fatunde reports on an international conference in Nigeria that investigated the under-studied 17-centuries-long trans-Sarahan slave trade.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Brendan O'Malley
Three significant blows were struck this week for the international cause of achieving open access to scientific research – by the European Commission, the World Bank and the Wellcome Trust.
Alison Moodie
Community colleges across America are denying access to hundreds of thousands of students, threatening the nation’s economic future, according to the first report from the Center for the Future of Higher Education, the research arm of a new faculty coalition.
David Jobbins
A study of the impact of austerity-driven policies on universities in 13 countries across Europe shows a divergence between clear winners and losers, with southern European countries generally but not exclusively faring worst. Finland is leading the pack of countries expanding university education budgets while the most savage impacts are being felt in Italy and Portugal.
Alya Mishra
With India facing major challenges in setting up new universities from scratch, existing universities may have to increase student intakes to meet growing demand for higher education and the urgent need for more skilled human resources. Some universities may have to double student enrolment in the next five years.
Honey Singh Virdee and Yojana Sharma
Bills to amend longstanding laws banning students from joining political parties were tabled in Malaysia’s parliament last week, with student groups and opposition parties saying that restrictive university laws should be repealed, not amended.
Adele Yung
Singapore’s Council for Private Education last week published new ground rules on responsible and truthful advertising by private education institutions, to rein in misleading or false claims and provide better protection for students turning to the growing private higher education sector.

High levels of youth unemployment across Africa could be reduced if innovation and entrepreneurship were included in university curricula, participants in a major all-Africa conference on science, technology and innovation heard in Kenya this month.
Geoff Maslen
The battle between South Africa and Australia to win a US$2.1 billion prize – the giant Square Kilometre Array radio telescope – may be resolved by splitting its operations between the two countries. According to a report in Nature last week, the SKA management board is seeking to determine whether the telescope could be divided between the two proposed sites.

Malawi’s new President Joyce Banda has sacked the police chief who was at the centre of academic freedom protests last year. And she has instituted an inquest into the death of a student leader who was critical of the government of the late president, Bingu wa Mutharika.

Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells has won this year’s Holberg International Memorial Prize – the ‘Nobel prize’ for the arts and humanities, social sciences, law and theology. A professor at the University of Southern California and other top institutions around the world, Castells earned the award for four decades of compelling analyses of power.
Paul Rigg
The private for-profit IE University in Spain has turned to 16- to 18-year-olds from 11 countries for advice on the future of higher education. The teenagers – from countries as diverse as America, Colombia, Germany, India, Peru, Romania, Slovenia, South Africa, Turkey, Wales and Zimbabwe – flew to Madrid to give their views.
Michael Gardner
Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, or BMBF, is to provide funding for a new Jewish studies centre in Berlin. Several institutions in the Berlin area are supporting the centre, which launched last autumn.
Brendan O’Malley and Jan Petter Myklebust
Ministers from 47 European countries will be warned that they risk missing their target of at least 20% of graduates studying or training abroad, when they assess progress towards the Bologna goals in Bucharest later this month. They will be asked to sign a pledge to expand mobility funding and enable portability of grants, loans and scholarships provided by European Higher Education Area countries.
Alya Mishra
By separating the academic and administrative functions of the university from its affiliated colleges, the state of Karnataka in southern India has attempted to give two of its oldest universities a new lease on life, with emphasis on autonomy, research and minimal political interference in university governance.
Tunde Fatunde
Scholars from universities in and outside Africa gathered in the Nigerian city of Calabar recently to examine the role of Arab merchants in the trans-Saharan slave trade, which lasted for 17 centuries. For various reasons, the trans-Saharan slave trade – unlike trans-Atlantic slavery – is under-studied.
Curt Rice
Does science publishing need reforming? Although journals aim to publish the best quality research, the processes of selecting which research gets reviewed – and who does the reviewing – are not transparent and could mean that research by groups such as women gets overlooked.
Madeleine F Green
Universities need to be honest about internationalisation activities and why they are doing them. Unless institutions make the effort to be clear about the drivers and to measure the impacts of internationalisation, they will be deluded or uninformed about their success.
Philip G Altbach and Jamil Salmi
International advisory groups are becoming increasingly popular with world-class universities. But do they add anything of value? Having the perspectives of outside experts can bring useful insights and the experience of top academics, industry spec ialists and others can add prestige.
N Jayaram
India has introduced new pay scales and quality measures in higher education to retain the best staff, and professors are now happily middle-class. But these do not apply to private institutions or part-time staff and there are still problems recruiting enough academics to teach in public institutions.
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Hearkening back to Cold War anxieties, growing signs of spying on US universities are alarming national security officials. As schools become more global in their locations and student populations, their culture of openness and international collaboration makes them increasingly vulnerable to theft of research conducted for the government and industry, writes Daniel Golden for Bloomberg.
A long-held wish of many community colleges is on the verge of becoming reality: the US Education Department has announced plans to change how student success is measured in higher education, taking into account students who transfer, part-time students and students not attending college for the first time, writes Libby A Nelson for Inside Higher Ed.
The Iraqi religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr has said that it is better to educate university students with “religion and good morals” rather than segregating the s exes, writes Dina al-Shibeeb for Al Arabiya.
Afghan education officials have become embroiled in controversy after a record number of students failed the national university entry examinations last week, reports Frud Bezhan for Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty.
More people want to be doctors, nurses and dentists, but a new analysis warns that universities are going to struggle to cover the cost of teaching them, writes Emma Macdonald for Canberra Times.
The creative arts have fallen out of favour under the government’s decision to axe the cap on university student places, while the lure of high wages and strong job prospects has led to more demand for engineering courses, writes Misha Schubert for The Age.
Reggie Herndon returned to college because he wanted to change careers. What he didn’t want was another degree, writes Jon Marcus for Time. Herndon, a University of Tennessee graduate, is on his way instead to finishing a nine-month professional certificate in counter-intelligence from Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania, which he hopes will bolster his odds of landing a job as an intelligence analyst.
UK Business Secretary Vince Cable has joined the growing political backlash against Treasury plans to cut tax relief on charity donations, warning that the move could hurt British universities, writes James Kirkup for The Telegraph.
Oxford's Bodleian Libraries and the Vatican's Biblioteca Apostolica plan to digitise 1.5 million ancient texts to make them available online. The two libraries announced the four-year project after receiving a £2 million (US$3.1 million) award from the Polonsky Foundation, reports the BBC.
The Ministry of Higher Education has uncovered 110 offices selling forged degrees from non-Saudi universities, press reports said last week. Under-secretary Muhammad Al-Ouhali said agencies had been supplying bogus degrees for several years, reports Arab News.
Nine suspects stood trial in a local court in Beijing last Monday for selling fake degree certificates from universities in the United States to defraud people of about 3.4 million yuan (US$540,000), writes Cao Yin for China Daily.
Fang Lizhi, whose advocacy of economic and democratic freedoms shaped China’s brief era of student dissent that ended with the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and his exile, died on Friday in Tucson, Arizona, writes Michael Wines for The New York Times.
Though shaken by the shooting deaths of two Chinese students near the University of Southern California, China is unlikely to slow its pace of sending students to US universities. The deaths of graduate students Qu Ming and Wu Ying last week in what police suspect was a bungled carjacking, came amid a big jump in the number of Chinese pursuing higher education in the US, reports Fox News.
University of California – Davis police violated policy and used poor judgment in pepper-spraying student demonstrators in November, while institutional leaders badly bungled the handling of that campus protest, according to a highly critical report released last week, write Larry Gordon and Chris Megerian for the Los Angeles Times.
A new report from the auditor general’s office shows that there is a need for close to 3,000 lecturers and others in more senior positions in four of Uganda’s five public universities. Institutions that urgently need more academics include Makerere, Gulu, Mbarara and Kyambogo, write Conan Businge and Mary Karugaba for New Vision.
In an attempt to cure stagnant enrolments and high failure rates in the humanities and social sciences at universities, the South African government plans to establish an institute that will encourage academics to network, share information and undertake research, writes Tebogo Monama for Sowetan.
In response to the severe financial crisis, Greek academics are seeking collaborations with foreign students and institutions to prove that they are still thriving, writes Marianna Tsatsou for Greek Reporter.
The University of Wales, Newport, has started “emergency discussions” after the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales confirmed that the number of students entering the institution would be cut by more than a fifth in 2013-14, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
A London university is considering establishing alcohol-free zones on its campuses because so many of its students consider drinking to be immoral, writes Jessica Shepherd for the Guardian.
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