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NewsletterDemand for postgraduate training of international higher education leaders
In World Blog, Hans de Wit says the changing nature of international higher education requires new types of leadership, and training is needed for the next generation of managers. Simon Marginson writes in Commentary that Latin American universities face particular challenges in moving up the global rankings, and suggests alternatives for the region.
Responding to criticism of the Canadian Association of University Teachers’ censure warning against Balsillie School of International Affairs, CAUT Executive Director James L Turk argues that universities should not surrender independence over academic matters in order to secure funding. Piyushi Kotecha suggests strategies to revitalise higher education across Southern Africa, and in the United Kingdom Paulo Charles Pimentel Bótas contends that many academics need to revise their jaundiced view of international students as second class and only there as cash cows.
In Features, Alya Mishra reports on growing concern in India over the lack of research and innovation in universities. Sarah King Head looks at the new Global Research Council, which will foster collaboration between research funding agencies worldwide and establish principles to guide multinational research projects, and Jan Petter Myklebust uncovers a challenge by two Swedish students against fees charged under an Erasmus Mundus programme that has sparked international interest.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
India’s higher education regulatory body has announced new rules that will allow only the top 500 globally ranked institutions to partner with leading Indian universities, as legislation to allow foreign institutions to set up branch campuses in India remains stalled in parliament.
France’s parliament will debate a new framework law for higher education in early 2013. While universities will retain autonomy, their governance will be radically reformed. An action plan aimed at cutting the high student first-degree failure rate will also be given priority.
SOUTHERN AFRICAAdeagbo Oluwafemi
Southern African higher education ministers resolved to establish a technical committee to drive the implementation of policies aimed at developing higher education across the region, at an extraordinary ministerial meeting held in Johannesburg last week.
DENMARKJan Petter Myklebust
A professor of international politics at Copenhagen University has been jailed for five months after being convicted of espionage for passing documents to Russian diplomats. The sentence imposed on Timo Kivimäki has raised fears over its implications for the conduct of research.
Seventeen human rights organisations and education groups have called on Iran to uphold the right to education and to immediately address the alarming state of academic freedom in the country.
Indian institutes of technology have announced the opening next year of a branch campus in Mauritius. The Indian Ocean island had sought the help of the prestigious institutes to set up a research-oriented academy of international standard.
Leading Russian universities, facing a lack of capital investment and plans to reduce state funding of higher education, are considering additional sources of finance for their activities, including bank borrowing.
The Vietnamese government has continued a crackdown on unauthorised foreign-linked institutions operating in the country by blacklisting another seven colleges. The move follows the closure and fining of a number of foreign-affiliated institutions in the past six months.
SWEDENJan Petter Myklebust
An attempt to ease restrictions on foreign doctoral students from outside Europe remaining in Sweden after graduation, and to allow students the right to work during their PhD studies, was rejected by parliament last week.
CHILEMaría Elena Hurtado
A high failure rate in recently released test scores of primary school teachers has compounded the concern Chileans already feel about the state of public school education.
Environment Minister Jayaram Ramesh, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, sparked controversy last year when he said the elite government-funded institutes of technology and of management were excellent only because of the quality of students, not the quality of research or faculty.
GLOBALSarah King Head
Last month 47 leaders of research funding agencies from 44 countries met at the headquarters of the National Science Foundation in Arlington, US, for a two-day summit of the newly minted Global Research Council.
EUROPEJan Petter Myklebust
Two Swedish students are challenging Uppsala University’s decision to charge domestic students tuition fees for a masters offered with seven European universities under the Erasmus Mundus programme. The issue has sparked international interest because a number of countries have introduced or raised fees either for international or for all students.
GLOBALHans de Wit
Leadership and management in international higher education has received little attention. There is a new generation coming up that wants the experience necessary to do the job properly, but it will take time for them to move up the pipeline. In the meantime training courses are needed to plug the gap.
Latin American universities are hampered from climbing up the global rankings by several factors, including the bias towards publication in English. A greater emphasis on regionalism could help, as could a regional ranking system similar to Europe’s U-Multirank.
CANADAJames L Turk
Universities that badly need money to maintain their programmes cannot allow outside interests to shape what they do and whom they hire without losing the very integrity that makes them unique and valuable public institutions. The Balsillie School of International Affairs is a case in point.
SOUTHERN AFRICAPiyushi Kotecha
Southern African countries must urgently develop and implement higher education policies aimed at expanding student enrolments, strengthening quality and the qualifications of academics, at least doubling the production of postgraduates, developing research capability and changing how universities work including improving governance and planning.
UNITED KINGDOMPaulo Charles Pimentel Bótas
A major challenge for universities is how to address the behaviour and attitudes of academics towards international students in order to make them feel accepted and supported in the teaching and learning process. In a world where international students are becoming more discerning, universities that still only see them as cash cows will lose out.
The first global analysis of carbon stored in seagrass meadows in the world’s oceans shows they can hold as much carbon as the world’s temperate and tropical forests. Researchers also estimate that, although seagrass meadows occupy less than 0.2% of the world’s oceans, they are responsible for more than 10% of all ‘blue carbon’ stores buried annually in the ocean.
Quantum computers may someday revolutionise the information world but at distant locations they must communicate with one another and so have to be linked together in a network. Physicists at the University of Innsbruck have constructed an efficient and tunable interface for quantum networks.
Geoff MaslenAnother of Australia’s animal icons, the platypus, has joined the koala and the Tasmanian devil in facing the risk of being wiped out by disease. But the danger for the platypus, at least for the moment, is confined to the animals on two small islands around the south-east coast of Australia although it remains under threat from habitat destruction elsewhere.
Anti-depressive drugs reduce the mortality rate of schizophrenic patients while treatment with bensodiazepines greatly increases it, especially as regards suicide. Giving several anti-psychotics simultaneously seems to have no effect at all on mortality, according to a new study examining drug combinations administered to patients with schizophrenia.
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Japan’s Education Ministry has formulated a policy to promote the further reorganisation of national universities by allowing one independent administrative entity to operate several universities in different prefectures, reports The Yomiuri Shimbun.
Data are strangely absent from most discussions about the inadequacies of science education in the United States. But a new report from the National Science Foundation finds that the number of Americans pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering has risen sharply over the past decade and is at an all-time high, writes Jeffrey Mervis for Science.
Caste discrimination on campuses in India is now punishable, under a new regulation of the University Grants Commission, writes Ritika Chopra for Mail Online India. This is the first time that harassment and victimisation of students from scheduled castes and tribes at the hands of teachers and peers has been clearly defined.
Australia has decided to offer additional work options for Indian students to help them cope with the impact of rupee depreciation. They will also be allowed to work for unlimited hours per week, reports Times News Network.
Australian academics from a dozen universities will be required to explain to industry experts the economic and social value of hundreds of research projects from the past 20 years, under guidelines for a trial designed to measure the wider benefits of taxpayer-funded academic work, writes Justin Norrie for The Conversation.
As Islam takes on a more visible public profile in Turkey, academia is becoming a battleground over the theory of evolution. Scholars who espouse creationist ideas are becoming more assertive in challenging Darwinism, writes Dorian Jones for Eurasianet.org.
South Africa’s large labour federation COSATU wants universities to give priority to local students instead of international ones. It believes the high number of international students blocks access for local students who are more deserving, writes Bongekile Macupe for The Sunday Independent.
Knesset legal advisor Eyal Yinon took the unusual step last week of preventing members of Israel’s house of representatives from introducing a bill that would make holding Nakba Day events at universities illegal, or even a criminal offence, writes Michal Shmulovich for The Times of Israel.
Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has thrown his weight behind the “progressive development” of South African distance higher education as an “indispensable and integral component of our national higher education system”, writes Victoria John for the Mail & Guardian.
They’ve been at it for years now, cramming for China’s annual university entrance exam, some of them hooked up to oxygen canisters and intravenous drips of amino acids during late-night and weekend study marathons, writes Mark McDonald for International Herald Tribune. The whole country is in on it.
More companies are successfully ‘spinning out’ of UK universities, official figures show, as education institutions get better at identifying the commercial applications of innovation. But funding problems remain, writes James Hurley for The Telegraph.
England's universities were fined almost £21 million (US$33 million) for recruiting too many students this year, more than double the £8 million they were fined last year, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education.
Universities that topped up the salaries of senior staff to the tune of €8 million (US$10 million) over a six-year period are being punished, writes Katherine Donnelly for the Irish Independent.
Ten US colleges and universities have committed to providing more information to students about tuition and other costs, including estimated monthly loan payments after graduation, as part of a federal push to improve disclosure, in a bid to help prevent financial-aid recipients from overextending themselves, writes Jim Puzzanghera for the Los Angeles Times.
With a 1 July rate increase on education loans approaching, US President Barack Obama told students in Las Vegas last week that it is Congress’s job to move swiftly to prevent the rise, even as Republicans in Washington accused him of ignoring their most recent proposals and refusing to negotiate, write Rosalind S Helderman and Amy Gardner for The Washington Post.
Manipal University is in talks with Chinese officials to open the first campus of an Indian university in China, writes Ananth Krishnan for The Hindu. The Karnataka-based private university is exploring a tie-up with Tianjin University and Shanghai's Tongji University to provide training in information technology and sciences.
Student leaders have described as "truly awful" the record of Scottish universities on admitting students from poorer backgrounds. They said older universities each typically recruit fewer than 100 students from deprived backgrounds, reports the BBC.
Tel Aviv University announced last Monday that it would not permit a scheduled Wagner concert to take place on its campus, after it had evoked angry protests, write Talila Nesher and Boam Ben Zeev for Haaretz.
The Philippines Commission on Higher Education has repeated its moratorium or ban on undergraduate and graduate programmes in five areas it deems ‘oversubscribed’ because there is very little demand for the students finishing those courses, writes Gigi Munoz-David for Manila Standard Today.
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