University World News Global Edition
26 August 2012 Issue 0236 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Universities produce more graduates – But where will the jobs come from?

In World Blog, Curt Rice urges universities to do more to include gender-based information in research. In Commentary, Vangelis Tsiligiris argues that universities have failed to focus on how the changing financial system will result in fewer jobs for graduates, even if the economy picks up, and Thierry Claudien Uhawenimana writes that outreach-based activities should form part of the core curriculum in African universities.
In the latest of our African university leaders series, Gilbert Nganga interviews Olive Mugenda of Kenyatta University, the first female vice-chancellor of a public university in Kenya. And in People, Yojana Sharma speaks to Budd Hall, co-holder of UNESCO’s new chair on Community-based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education.
In Features, Yojana Sharma and Suluck Lamubol investigate a court finding of criminal forgery against the head of Thailand’s National Innovation Agency, who has had his PhD revoked for plagiarism, and Chrissie Long looks at the campaign against ethnic studies in schools in Arizona and asks whether universities will be next. Wagdy Sawahel reports on Kuwait’s new strategy to widen access to post-secondary education, and probes the issue of higher education provision for the world’s nearly 10 million prison inmates.
Karen MacGregor Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Dinesh De Alwis

Sri Lanka’s Higher Education Ministry last week shut down all state universities and several other higher education institutions. The decision was taken after a two-month strike by university academics reached a critical stage. Fifteen universities and six other institutions were closed indefinitely.
Naw Say Phaw Waa

In a major upset, the Education Ministry’s higher education bill was rejected during the final stages of its passage through Myanmar’s Hluttaw, or parliament, after opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other legislators criticised it. It is the first time that the lower house has scrapped an entire bill rather than amending it.
Jan Petter Myklebust

Student numbers in Sweden could be cut by 15,000 in three years, according to a senior official. Reductions in student numbers follow on from government cuts to higher education funding, among other developments.
Wagdy Sawahel

The African Union's new High Level Panel on Science, Technology and Innovation has recommended actions to support higher education and research, and to move the continent from resource-based to knowledge-based economies.
Reuben Kyama

Private universities play a critical role in advancing the higher education goals of Africa, as the world’s least developed continent grapples with a burgeoning youth population seeking quality, globally competitive skills, a pan-African forum held in Ethiopia agreed.
Jane Marshall

In the run-up to the new academic year, France’s two biggest student organisations have condemned rises in students’ living costs and demanded that the government reverse increases in university registration fees and other compulsory charges.
Karen MacGregor

As part of its policy to expand enrolments in post-secondary education, to reach 1.5 million students in universities and four million in colleges by 2030, the South African government last week outlined actions towards opening two new universities in 2014.
Ashraf Khaled

Professional associations in Egypt have begun clamping down on graduates from private universities who gained admission to higher education with school-leaving marks far lower than those set by state-run institutions.

With youth unemployment rates reaching dramatic levels, internships have become increasingly common in developed countries – as has controversy over the practice – according to the International Labour Organization.
Yojana Sharma and Suluck Lamubol

Thailand’s National Innovation Agency Director Supachai Lorlowhakarn was found guilty of criminal forgery on 8 August, just weeks after the council of Chulalongkorn University revoked his PhD in science because of plagiarism.
Chrissie Long

In late January in the United States, hundreds of books on Mexican-American studies were removed from Arizona high schools, packed into boxes and taken to storage units. There has been concern that the campaign against ethnic studies in schools will affect universities next.
Wagdy Sawahel

Kuwait’s strategy for urgently widening higher education access includes strengthening post-secondary paths into vocational and higher education, developing world-class, independent universities in different regions, encouraging the creation of private universities and providing scholarships for study abroad.
Wagdy Sawahel

Universities and governments must not lose sight of the higher education needs of the world’s 10 million detained people. Access to education should be improved and technology harnessed to deliver cost-effective, quality programmes, to enhance prisoners’ chances of rehabilitation, employment and reintegration into society.
Gilbert Nganga

Olive Mugenda is vice-chancellor of Kenyatta University, Kenya’s second largest institution by student numbers. For years she knocked on the doors of management, quietly but very persistently. When they opened, she entered enthusiastically – and made a major impact.
Yojana Sharma

UNESCO will inaugurate a chair in Community-based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education on 1 September, which will provide new opportunities to build community research capacity in the global South. University World News spoke to co-chair Budd Hall, director of the Office of Community Based Research at Canada’s University of Victoria and secretary of the Global Alliance on Community Engaged Research, about his role.
Curt Rice

Hillary Clinton thinks more specific, gender-based data will promote greater innovation and improve people's lives. Universities could do much more to promote research that takes gender into account, as well as looking at their own gender bias.
Vangelis Tsiligiris

The financial system has altered in the past two decades, meaning fewer jobs for graduates. But universities are still pumping out ever-more graduates. Higher fees mean students will expect more for their money and that 'more' means jobs, which aren't there.
Thierry Claudien Uhawenimana

Community outreach-based activities and research should be at the core of university curricula. Much needs to be done to encourage universities in Africa to adopt this approach and to develop innovative ways of doing so.
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Technology, once a distraction for students, is finding its way into classrooms in a way that is more seamless than ever, writes Sarah Max for Time. Sit in on one of Jeannine Eddleton’s chemistry lectures at Virginia Tech and you’ll see a couple of hundred students hunched over their cellphones, iPads and laptops.

As colleges and universities worldwide wait for India’s lawmakers to approve a bill granting full access to the country’s vast education market, some institutions are reaching Indian students through twinning programmes, writes Vir Singh for The New York Times.

India's recent announcement that it would more closely regulate the many joint- and dual-degree programmes its universities have developed with foreign partners has been met at home with a mix of confusion, annoyance, anxiety and even ridicule, writes Shailaja Neelakantan for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The number of students enrolling for higher education in India appears to have shot up dramatically. According to a recent survey by the Human Resource Development Ministry, the gross enrolment ratio for higher education has risen from 12.4% to 20.2%, reports TNN.

A newly extended alliance between the Group of Eight coalition of Australian universities and the ‘China 9’ universities is helping to build “globally mobile students”, says Go8 Executive Director Michael Gallagher. But competing with elite universities from the US will remain a challenge, says one China expert, as Chinese students choose universities based on reputation and rankings, writes Charis Palmer for The Conversation.

China's labour market has so far proved resilient despite a slowing economy, but that means little to recent college graduate Wu Xiuyan, writes Lilian Lin for The Wall Street Journal. A mismatch between graduates’ skills and job market needs is resulting in underemployment.

Successful university applications by youngsters from Europe are up 3.6% on the same time last year when the previous record was set. The annual £75 million (US$119 million) cost of providing them with ‘free’ degrees appears certain to increase further, writes Simon Johnson for The Telegraph.

Most adjuncts at universities receive their course assignments two to three weeks before an academic term begins. As a result, they have little time to prepare to teach the courses. That finding is part of a survey of adjuncts released last week, focusing on start-of-the-semester issues, writes Kaustuv Basu for Inside Higher Ed.

The presidents of Israel’s universities and one of its larger colleges last Monday petitioned the High Court of Justice to overturn a decision granting Ariel University Center official status as a university, writes Yonah Jeremy Bob for The Jerusalem Post.

When Côte d'Ivoire's five public universities reopen on 3 September, 61,000 students will arrive for the first time after almost two ‘blank’ years since universities were closed in the violent unrest sparked by the disputed 2010 presidential vote. The influx could cause chaos, reports IRIN News.

South Africa’s Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande is considering changing the law to give him more power over the affairs of universities. But this move is likely to be resisted by higher education institutions, which are known to jealously guard their autonomy, writes Denise Williams for the Sowetan.

England's funding council has countered suggestions that the fall in the number of students gaining top grades at A level could lead to fewer higher education places overall as a result of the government's AAB policy, write John Morgan and David Matthews for Times Higher Education.

After a long association with Yale University, noted Indian American writer and journalist Fareed Zakaria has resigned from its governing body to focus on his journalistic career, reports the Press Trust of India.

Former editors at The Red & Black have decided to reapply for their positions following an apology from the paper’s board, although concerns remain over the extent to which the board has reversed the policies that prompted the students to quit in protest, writes Sara Gregory for the Student Press Law Center.

Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has lamented that 60% of lecturers in universities across the country have no doctoral degree, writes Adeola Adeyemo for Bella Naija.

IBM opened its 12th research laboratory, in Nairobi, Kenya, last week “to help universities produce highly qualified and technically skilled graduates”, reports Business Day.
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