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02 September 2012 Issue 0237 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Is the ‘devolution’ of US research universities also happening elsewhere?

In World Blog, Rahul Choudaha describes his survey of prospective international students eyeing the United States, and argues that recruiters need to understand their different aims and motivations.
In Commentary, Angel Calderon charts trends in student enrolment in higher education worldwide over the next two decades, and finds that two in three students will be in Asia, with huge implications for policy.
Glen A Jones writes that the new Canadian government-commissioned report on international education appears ambitious, but is realistic and takes account of growing competition from other countries, and John Aubrey Douglass looks at whether the US trend towards a more tribal mentality in universities is being replicated around the world.
In Features, Geoff Maslen outlines a report from the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, which finds that universities with global brands and those with national prominence will be least affected by MOOCs. Wagdy Sawahel reports on developments in collaborative higher education and research in the Islamic world, and Jan Petter Myklebust and Jacquie Withers look at a recent survey that suggests Norway should boost efforts to internationalise PhD education.
Karen MacGregor Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
David Jobbins

International students facing deportation from the UK after their university was stripped of its ability to admit students from outside the European Union – for breaches of tough new immigration rules – are struggling to find places elsewhere. There has been widespread criticism of the decision.
Adele Yung

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced that the proportion of young people attending higher education will rise to 40% by 2020 compared to 27% now, with two new publicly backed universities planned for the city-state.
Jane Marshall

Around a million students who are about to start the new university year in France have been trying to find a suitable place to live. The new government has committed itself to a big expansion of student housing, but years of promises by state, regional and student-support authorities have not been fulfilled and there is a severe lack of places in university residences.
Maina Waruru

The 18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers held in Mauritius last week saw the launch of a pan-Commonwealth student body and a call for governments to tackle lack of access to higher education, which is entrenching inequalities in society.
Geoff Maslen

More than 700,000 foreign students are enrolled in American higher education institutions, with 160,000 from China and more than 100,000 from India – the two top source countries that, together with South Korea, comprise 46% of the total.
See also World Blog
Alya Mishra

The Indian government aims to attract more teachers into higher education by circulating the results of an international study that found Indian professors are better paid than their counterparts in the other BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa – and even in France and Germany.
Jan Petter Myklebust

The Danish government has announced a dramatic increase in spending on higher education in 2013 as student numbers hit an all-time high.
Alison Moodie

The California State University system has drawn ire over plans to bar California residents from applying to undergraduate and graduate courses in the spring due to state budget cuts. Non-resident and international students, however, are permitted to apply at some campuses because they pay higher fees and don’t receive a state subsidy.
Wagdy Sawahel

A Facebook-based group of Israeli and Arab youth called YaLa Young Leaders is planning in 2013 to launch the first virtual pan-regional academic institution for Middle Eastern and North African youth, to be called YaLa Young Leaders Online Academy, or YLOA.
Robert Visscher

Dutch political parties and student organisations have failed to avert the introduction of a controversial €3,000 (US$3,750) fine for the 2012-13 academic year for students who take more than one extra year to graduate.
Michael Gardner

The German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, has spoken out in favour of an institute at Potsdam University in eastern Germany cooperating with an Iranian centre in Qum, provided that “genuine academic activities” are pursued. The Potsdam institute recently came under fire for maintaining links with alleged supporters of the Iranian regime.

South Africa’s Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor has announced the discovery of an anti-malarial compound that she said was the first clinical candidate researched on African soil as part of a modern pharmaceutical industry drug discovery programme.
Geoff Maslen

Elite universities with global brands – and those with at least national prominence – will be least affected by the sudden onset of massive open online courses or MOOCs, because they will always have markets for people willing to pay for the elite model of education, says a new report by the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education.
Wagdy Sawahel

While the 57 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation are adopting joint measures to promote higher education and research, OIC member Kazakhstan is implementing bilateral agreements and memoranda to establish a Central Asian higher education area.
Jan Petter Myklebust and Jacquie Withers

A recent survey suggests that Norway boost its efforts to internationalise PhD education and includes the recommendation that for PhD dissertation evaluation, at least one member of the three-member committee should be drawn from outside Norway.
Rahul Choudaha

A study of prospective international students at US institutions shows that they can be divided into different groups depending on financial resources and academic preparedness. Recruiters need to recognise that students are not homogeneous and have different aims and motivations for studying abroad.
Angel Calderon

By 2035, the North America and Western Europe region is expected to drop to fourth position in terms of higher education enrolment and participation rates, with East Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America rising up the ranks. The shift will have huge policy implications, including for funding, and will require greater cooperation between countries to ensure sustainable development.
Glen A Jones

A new report is Canada’s first outlining an international higher education strategy. Its target of doubling international student numbers in a decade seems ambitious, but would maintain Canada’s current 5% global market share. The biggest challenge will be coordinating federal and provincial governments.
John Aubrey Douglass

Since the Cold War, American research universities have become increasingly tribal, with the focus on schools, departments and disciplines rather than institutions. Similar devolution can be seen elsewhere in the world, with different root causes. Is devolution part of a natural evolutionary process, and where will it eventually lead?

Humans may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages of water, according to a report by the Stockholm International Water Institute.

Astronomers have found the first group of galaxies that is just like the Milky Way, a rare sight in the local universe.

German and American scientists have discovered that there are far fewer microbes on Earth than was previously believed. The scientists say their estimates are as much as 78% lower than previous calculations have suggested.
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The Buddhist monk, staring intently at the smoke rising from an incense stick, said the government was destroying education because it was “easier to control uneducated fools”. Maduluwawe Sobitha is an influential figure among Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhala population. He is also a loud critic of the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, reports The Economist.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff enacted legislation last week that reserves half the spots at federal universities for public school students and gives priority to minorities, reports Channel News Asia.

With the well-kept grass verges and cafés serving paninis and chilled beer and coke, Ariel University resembles any modern campus in Britain or the US. It isn’t: it is Israel’s first settler university, given official status with a great deal of controversy in July, writes Michael Chessum for New Statesman.

As thousands of high-school graduates entered universities on Saturday, a hotly debated bill to reform Russia's education system was inching forward, writes Jennifer Rankin for The Moscow Times.

Malaysia’s Higher Education Ministry is imposing several requirements as part of measures to tighten up on entry of foreign students, reports The Star-Asia News Network.

Oxford University confirmed last Thursday that its online security had been compromised earlier in the day by a cyber attack. The group claiming responsibility said it is associated with Anonymous. The attack came a day after the disruption of Cambridge University's network, writes Ben Weitzenkorn for Security News Daily.

To be caught cheating at Harvard is bad enough. The august university prides itself on incubating America's elite in the world of law, business and politics. But now it has been revealed that scores of Harvard students are suspected of cheating on a single class. And the course's title? “An Introduction to Congress”, writes Paul Harris for the Guardian.

The University of Newcastle in the Australian state of New South Wales has moved swiftly to play down the results of a survey that suggests its Asian and Middle Eastern students are targets of physical and verbal abuse, reports Australia Network News.

Shanghai is encouraging foreign students to study at local universities with a package that includes scholarships and language training programmes. Municipal officials hope the number of foreign students will increase to 70,000 – a 45% gain – by 2015, writes Wang Hongyi for China Daily.

Shanghai universities want to keep more talented university students at home by offering them opportunities to receive a foreign education in the city, local university administrators said at an education forum last weekend, reports Lu Chen for Shanghai Daily.

A class-action lawsuit is being organised by young Quebecers frustrated because they say they were hurt by the province’s student strikes. The motion to sue 25 universities and junior colleges, as well as the Quebec government, was announced last Thursday by students and their lawyers, reports The Canadian Press.

US colleges, holding onto a shrinking lead as the world's biggest educator of international students, are eyeing a promising new market in Brazil, an emerging economy with big hopes for the future but a shortage of skilled labour, writes Doug Palmer for Reuters.

The Republican Party’s 2012 platform has strong words for higher education's alleged failings, on ideological bias as well as unsustainable tuition fee hikes. The lengthy document, approved last week at the party's presidential convention, also draws a hard line on standard party litmus tests affecting colleges, such as immigration, public employee unions and embryonic stem cell research, writes Paul Fain for Inside Higher Ed.

The US-based Carnegie Mellon University on 24 August officially launched its Rwandan campus, where it will be offering a master of science in information technology, reports News of Rwanda.

Indonesia’s creaking university system is failing to keep pace with its booming economy. It is struggling to produce graduates equipped for modern working life in the South East Asian nation, writes Arlina Arshad for AFP.

Many middle-ranking universities in the UK have suffered a drop in new student numbers as a result of controversial ‘market-based’ government reforms to admissions, an Independent survey reveals, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.

When Hsu Chung-hsin went to university three decades ago, he became part of a small elite in Taiwan. Now virtually everyone can enter higher education. That, he thinks, is deplorable. "It's become so easy. As long as you're willing to pay the tuition, you can go to university. That's no good," said Hsu, a legislator with a PhD in law from Cambridge, reports AFP.

Yale University President Richard C Levin, the longest-serving leader in the Ivy League, said he will retire at the end of the current academic year, writes Janet Lorin for Bloomberg.
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