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18 November 2012 Issue 0248 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Bologna shows Europe how to build structures via consensus, not law

Hans de Wit argues in World Blog that political arguments against teaching in English ignore the real issue – the quality of how English is taught. In Commentary, Anne Corbett writes that the Bologna process is winning recognition for building new European structures through consensus.
Abu Kamara contends that universities in Canada should do more to promote internationalisation, including teaching intercultural competence and working with the off-campus community, and Richard Hall complains that everyday scholarly activities in the United Kingdom are increasingly being affected by the profit motive.
Erin Millar reports on the 2012 World Innovation Summit for Education – WISE – held in Doha last week and attended by 1,200 thought leaders and decision-makers from across the globe.
Japan’s Minister of Education Makiko Tanaka back-tracked on her controversial decision to reject three new universities, but promised a review of a policy she says is lowering standards, writes Suvendrini Kakuchi in Features.
Carmen Paun speaks to academics at an international conference on how universities can promote financial stability in crisis-hit Europe, and Paul Rigg outlines trends debated at the annual “Reinventing Higher Education” conference in Madrid.
Karen MacGregor Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Yojana Sharma

Tisch Asia, a graduate film and creative arts school in Singapore that is a branch of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, this month announced that it would close, possibly in 2014. There are important implications for Western-style fine arts education’s transferability to Asia, and more specifically the viability of branch campuses in Singapore.
Alison Moodie

International students continue to flock to American colleges and universities, two new reports have revealed. The number of overseas students at US tertiary institutions jumped by 6%, to an all-time high of nearly 765,000 in 2011, according to a just-published study from the Institute of International Education.
Nick Holdsworth

A Russian physicist who was jailed for 14 years in 2004 after being convicted of passing missile secrets to the Chinese has won early release after a surprise decision by a court in Siberia. Krasnoyarsk regional court ordered the release on parole of Valentin Danilov on grounds of of good behaviour and ill health.
Jane Marshall

Geneviève Fioraso, France’s minister for higher education and research, has announced plans for restructuring public research to make transfer of its personnel, expertise and technology to industry easier, and thus promote innovation, competitiveness and employment.
Jan Petter Myklebust

Danish Minister of Science, Innovation and Higher Education Morten Østergaard last week published three new law proposals aimed at increasing the number of Danish students studying abroad.
Alan Osborn

It is not clear where the money will come from, or when, but the word from the European Commission to thousands of European students planning to study abroad in the near future is: don’t change your plans. It is much-needed advice as the budget for the Erasmus student exchange programme is again under threat.
Wagdy Sawahel

Academics in Tunisia have launched protests against poor pay and working conditions, employment regulations and lack of university reforms since the 2011 revolution, arguing that the Ministry of Higher Education is not responding to their demands.
Wagdy Sawahel

Makerere University in Uganda and six American universities have been selected by the US Agency for International Development to join a US$130 million five-year project called the Higher Education Solutions Network, which will use research to support development.
Michael Gardner

A Centre for Islamic Studies has been opened at the universities of Münster and Osnabrück. It is the latest of four such institutions in Germany, the others having commenced activities over the past two years.
World Innovation Summit for Education
The 2012 World Innovation Summit for Education – WISE – was held last week in Doha, Qatar, attended by around 1,200 thought leaders and decision-makers from across the globe. University World News covered this important annual international event.

Erin Millar

Irina Bokova, director general of UNESCO, signalled that her organisation’s focus on primary education was expanding to include more work supporting higher education, at the World Innovation Summit for Education held in Doha last week. But insiders suggested otherwise.
Erin Millar

Education institutions are so focused on getting students in the door, that they lose sight of how to prepare young people to succeed in today’s tough labour market, argues Mona Mourshed, partner and director of education at McKinsey and Company. She called for the private sector to get deeply involved in developing curricula and providing work experience.
Suvendrini Kakuchi

Japanese education experts say they are unable to support the controversial rejection of applications for three new universities by new Minister of Education Makiko Tanaka, who said too many universities would erode higher education standards.
Carmen Paun

Academics attending an international conference on how their work can promote financial stability have stressed how universities can play an important role in helping the world recover from the recession.
Paul Rigg

For the first time, the annual international conference on “Reinventing Higher Education” gave prominence to the rapidly transforming Arab world. Changes in the higher education landscape – driven by new technologies, shifting global forces and funding cuts – were other trends debated.
Hans de Wit

Recent objections to teaching in English in an Italian university are more about politics than anything, but they disguise genuine issues about quality, which apply equally to English-speaking countries with an increasingly diverse faculty and student population.
Anne Corbett

The Bologna process could be coming into its own amid the European crisis, as its governance by consensus wins wider recognition. Most of Europe has signed up to Bologna’s structural changes, even though there are still some issues on which countries are divided.
Abu Kamara

Efforts to internationalise the curriculum should include teaching intercultural competence, a skill that will be important in the global workplace. Universities should also work with local businesses and leaders to foster a more international off-campus community that will provide a welcoming environment for students from other countries.
Richard Hall

Academics should take note that the private sector, through initiatives such as the establishment of Pearson College, is increasingly seeping into every area of university life and curtailing academic freedom.
Apology for a factual error
In an article in University World News last weekend, I made a claim that Times Higher Education, in its recent World University Rankings, had introduced a methodological change that substantially affected the overall ranking scores. I acknowledge that this claim was without factual foundation. I withdraw the claim and apologise without reservation to Phil Baty and Times Higher EducationRichard Holmes
The article has since been revised and can be read here.
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Starting next autumn, 10 prominent American universities will form a consortium called Semester Online, offering about 30 online courses to their students – for whom the classes will be covered by regular tuition fees – and to students elsewhere who would have to apply and pay fees of more than US$4,000 a course, writes Hannah Seligson for The New York Times.

The American Council on Education has agreed to review a handful of free online courses offered by elite universities and may recommend that other colleges grant credit for them, writes Jeffrey R Young for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Two years ago, I sat in the back seat of a Toyota Prius in a rooftop car park in California and gripped the door handle as the car roared away from the kerb, headed straight towards the roof's edge and then at the last second sped around a corner without slowing down. There was no one in the driver's seat, writes Carole Cadwalladr for the Guardian.

Canada is failing to attract high quality university students from China, India and Brazil, research commissioned by the Foreign Affairs Department concludes. The findings of focus groups conducted in those countries represent a setback for the government's ambitious efforts to broaden Canadian trade and investment in the three emerging markets, writes Mike Blanchfield for The Canadian Press.

Tired of constant rejection emails, an increasing number of graduates are packing their bags and leaving Britain for job opportunities abroad, raising concerns of a ‘brain drain’, writes Stephen Eisenhammer for Reuters.

"Boneheaded" government immigration policy is jeopardising the higher education sector by deterring international students from UK study, former foreign secretary David Miliband has said, writes Chris Parr for Times Higher Education.

The Malaysian Scientific Diaspora Network, which was launched last week, will serve as a key platform to connect Malaysian scientists worldwide and promote collaborative research in their areas of expertise for the country's benefit, reports the official agency Bernama.

Around 500 education experts from 48 Asian countries gathered for a conference in Nusa Dua, Bali, last week to discuss the advancement of universities towards internationalisation, writes Desy Nurhayati for Bali Daily.

Bright students in Britain are being offered financial incentives worth up to £10,000 (US$15,800) to study at ‘lower-ranked’ universities amid a scramble to fill undergraduate places, write Graeme Paton and Alex Binley for The Telegraph.

Northern Ireland could be partially cushioned from a shock jump in the UK's annual inflation rate because of lower university fees, experts have predicted, writes Clare Weir for the Belfast Telegraph.

A target has been set of four million students in further education and training colleges in South Africa by 2030, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said last week, reports SAPA.

A federal appeals court last week narrowly struck down Michigan's six-year-old ban on considering race and gender in college admissions, a ruling that the state intends to appeal in the US Supreme Court, reports CNN.

By next October, every higher education institution in the UK will have to prove its ‘impact’ on public life. And an awful lot of research money is at stake, writes Louise Tickle for the Guardian.

An international alliance of research institutions will try to implement the results of agricultural research and to communicate findings to smallholder farmers in developing nations, writes Jan Piotrowski for SciDev.Net.

Some universities and schools in Phnom Penh will be closed for six days this week to manage traffic issues and any potential security problems that arise during the ASEAN and East Asia summits, write Kuch Naren and Khuon Narim for The Cambodia Daily.

The cancellation of long-distance races at university games has highlighted the issue of declining physical fitness among college students, report Li Yao and Ma Lie for Xinhuanet.

Queen’s University in Canada is facing a backlash from Jewish alumni over its decision to award former US president Jimmy Carter – a strong critic of Israel – an honorary degree next week, writes Sarah Boesveld for National Post.

Edinburgh University's £350 million (US$555 million) fundraising drive has reached its target with support ranging from former students to author JK Rowling, reports the BBC.

Somaliland’s Ministry of Education has instructed bosses of all media houses to coordinate with the department of higher education in order to ensure that they only post advertisements for registered universities, writes Yusuf M Hasan for Somaliland Sun.
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