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NEWSLETTERCan universities be both global leaders and socially inclusive? asks Peter Scott
In World Blog, Curt Rice suggests that open access publishing and social media could help journal editors deal with ethical dilemmas around articles based on unethical research. In Commentary, Sir Peter Scott argues that universities have a responsibility to embrace the apparently conflicting principles of internationalisation and inclusion, and can act as mediators between global and local concerns.
Vangelis Tsiligiris writes that Greece urgently needs public sector reform, but delayed higher education legislation could be abandoned following this month’s election, and Chukwumerije Okereke proposes that Western universities set up campuses in Africa and develop problem-focused curricula to encourage top students to say home and contribute to development.
In Features, Chrissie Long probes what a recent ruling by Brazil’s top court, upholding affirmative action for black students in universities, means for a country where the standard definition of ‘black’ and ‘white’ does not exist. Mike Ives looks at the suspension of some private colleges in Vietnam, which left many students stranded, and we report on the 2012 NAFSA international educators’ conference held in Houston last week.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
The main rivals in the international higher education rankings business went head to head last week to launch league tables of the world’s top newer universities. Hours before Times Higher Education magazine was due to publish its Top 100 ranking of universities under 50 years old with data supplied by Thomson Reuters, QS leapt in with its own Top 50.
A controversial circular that restricted residence and employment rights for non-European students and graduates and led to many highly qualified foreigners being forced to leave France has been repealed by the new soc ialist interior minister, Manuel Valls, a year to the day after it was introduced by his predecessor.
MEXICOMaría Elena Hurtado
Latin American countries have declared that university rankings do not take into account their reality. Critics say the rankings depend too heavily on work published in English-language journals and would prefer to see criteria that include factors such as numbers of professors with postgraduate studies and projects that improve economic competitiveness.
In a move aimed at boosting international efforts to facilitate educational access and enhance knowledge transfer, UNESCO is to ask governments and education organisations worldwide to sign a declaration strengthening their commitment to developing, promoting and making available open educational resources.
MIDDLE EASTWagdy Sawahel
Arab universities are coming under increasing pressure to use Arabic as a medium of instruction and expression in higher education.
GLOBALJan Petter Myklebust
Switzerland has the highest proportion of immigrant scientists – 56.7% – of 16 ‘core’ countries surveyed in the first comprehensive international study of the mobility patterns of scientists, according to a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research in the US.
Degrees from 210 of the world’s top universities in 25 countries are to be recognised in Russia without requiring additional state evaluation, in a move designed to attract highly skilled professionals and the “world’s best minds” to the country.
THE NETHERLANDSRobert Visscher
Three student organisations are suing the Dutch government for introducing a fine of €3,063 (US$3,800) for students who take more than one extra year to graduate.
The German government has proposed new legislation to enable better cooperation between the federal and the state level in higher education. Under current laws, joint initiatives have been restricted to a small number of projects running for a limited period.
Kenyatta University, Kenya’s second biggest higher education institution, could be rocked by a management crisis after several employees went to court seeking to oust Vice-chancellor Olive Mugenda.
More than 10 years after the first edition was published, a revised version of influential guidelines for encouraging greater effectiveness in international research partnerships was released late last month.
The 64th NAFSA – Association of International Educators – conference was held from 29 May to 1 June in Houston, Texas. The world’s largest international higher education gathering attracted more than 8,000 participants from 100 countries this year. University World News reports.
GLOBALBarbara Burgower Hordern
Despite a growing desire to attract and retain the best students internationally, the United States is losing the ability to keep graduates in the country, a senior researcher in international education told the NAFSA conference. Meanwhile, other countries competing for international students appear to be making things less difficult for them.
National policies in areas such as immigration can “massively impact” on the opinions and expectations of international students, a British Council global survey of 153,000 students has found. Students are also concerned about quality and, increasingly, safety.
UNITED STATESBarbara Burgower Hordern
Already-high numbers of South Americans studying abroad will continue to shoot up over the coming year, said a panel at the NAFSA conference held in Houston, Texas, last week. The biggest markets for international education are Brazil, Colombia and Chile, with Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela also sending increasing numbers of students abroad.
The standard definition of ‘black’ and ‘white’ never existed in Brazil like it has in North America or Europe. So what will a recent ruling by the country’s top court that upholds affirmative action for blacks in universities do for a country where racial distinctions blur into the 134 different colour designations Brazilians use to describe themselves?
When Chi, a 22-year-old marketing student at Raffles Vietnam, heard that the government had ordered the college to suspend “advertising, admission and training activities” earlier this year, she wondered what would become of her education.
How should journal editors deal with articles based on unethical research? Open access and social media could provide some solutions, allowing pre- or post-publication discussion of ethical issues raised by articles.
GLOBALSir Peter Scott
Can universities be both global leaders and socially inclusive, or will the push towards internationalisation create wider gaps between the haves and the have-nots? Universities have a responsibility to embrace both roles and can act as mediators between global and local concerns.
Greece urgently needs public sector reform. But one of the first actions of far-left leader Alexis Tsipras, who could win this month’s election, signalled his plans to cancel legislation that could have modernised the higher education system, with its vested interests and corruption.
Partnerships with African universities need to give something back. If Western universities set up campuses in Africa and developed curricula that focused on real-world problems, they could encourage the best African students to stay home and contribute to development.
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European Union ministers for research and innovation last week reached agreement on the structure of the EU's Horizon 2020 research programme, writes Dave Keating for European Voice. com. The programme, which has a planned budget of €80 billion (US$99 billion) for 2014-20, was proposed by the European Commission in December.
Quebec is bracing for social unrest after talks with the government to settle the tuition fee strike broke down and student organisations vowed massive demonstrations in response to the collapse, writes Rhéal Séguin for The Globe and Mail.
With India’s central government unsure of getting the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill 2010 through the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament, the Human Resource Development Ministry is now trying to allow ‘backdoor’ entry to foreign institutions, writes Aarti Dhar for The Hindu.
Postgraduate research students are increasingly being used as ‘slave labour’ to cut teaching costs at universities across the UK, a London conference heard last week. They warned that teaching conditions were getting dramatically worse as academic cuts bite and universities are under mounting pressure to slash costs, writes Koos Couvée for The Independent.
Anti-corruption efforts are by no means a new concept in Indonesia. But since the 1950s, corruption has been mostly investigated and prosecuted while preventive measures have been overlooked. A new collaboration involving more than 100 universities across the archipelago wants to change that, writes Krissy Dwyer for The Jakarta Globe.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
When oil-rich countries get involved in global education projects, it is easy to be cynical and expect some airbrushed philanthropy and gold-plated business school sponsorships. But the Gulf state of Qatar is providing something more substantial, reports Sean Coughlan for the BBC.
Each year, an estimated 1.7 million US college students are steered to remedial classes to catch them up and prepare them for regular coursework. But a growing body of research shows the courses are eating up time and money, often leading not to degrees but student loan hangovers, reports Associated Press.
Young illegal immigrants, saying US President Barack Obama – despite repeated promises – has done little to diminish the threat of deportations they face, have started a campaign to press him to use executive powers to allow them to remain legally in the country, writes Julia Preston for The New York Times.
More than nine million US students are at risk of increased educational debt, due to bank-affiliated student debit cards that come with high fees, insufficient consumer protections and few options, writes Sheryl Nance-Rash for Forbes.
The Indian government is considering setting up an institutional mechanism along the lines of academic councils in universities that will be the final word on content in National Council of Educational Research and Training textbooks, writes Himanshi Dhawan for The Times of India.
Authorities at the University of Lagos last week ordered its immediate closure after a second day of protests by students over renaming the institution Moshood Abiola University. This came as the federal government insisted there was no going back on the decision, write Ben Agande, Bose Adelaja and Dayo Adesulu for Vanguard.
About 15,000 current and retired university staff in Australia face cuts to their superannuation payouts of up to A$2.9 billion (US$2.8 billion) if details of secret talks about who should pay the bill are revealed, a state government agency has warned, writes Stuart Washington for The Sydney Morning Herald.
Up to 20,000 UK teenagers will be allowed to opt out of mainstream schools to learn a trade under government plans announced last week, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph. Pupils will be given the chance to transfer to new technical colleges at the age of 14 to train in subjects such as engineering, manufacturing, construction, business and computer science.
The UK government has scrapped plans to cap the amount of tax relief individuals can claim from charitable donations, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education. The policy, proposed in the March budget, was expected to hit philanthropy to universities and had drawn criticism from sector groups.
Hundreds of Northern Irish applicants to Dundee University in Scotland are hoping to exploit a loophole and avoid paying tuition fees by switching to an Irish passport, reports The Courier.
The University of Missouri will soon be without a university press. The university announced on 24 May that it would phase out its press, beginning in July. The news was made public in a larger statement about the university's shifting strategic priorities, writes Jennifer Howard for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Sissy Bradford took a public stand – unpopular with many in San Antonio – about separation of church and state. She was briefly in the news and her view prevailed. Since then, she has received e-mail threats because of her stance, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed.
A new website is meant to keep Canadian scholars honest when it comes to research, writes Todd Pettigrew for On Campus. The Little Office of Research Integrity posts news related to research misconduct and calls for action when it notices what it sees as problems with intellectual integrity.
The Chinese government has pledged more support for Tanzania’s education sector through exchange of expertise, in an effort to support socio-economic development, writes Beatrice Philemon for the Guardian.
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