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NEWSLETTERCybermetrics can help polish a university's image and attract top students
In Commentary, Enrique Orduña-Malea argues that universities should make more use of information available to them through cybermetrics to grow their online presence, improve their images and attract international students.
Anne Corbett finds that free movement is all very well, but wonders whether the European Union needs more than that to encourage greater intellectual enrichment. Hans de Wit, Patti McGill Peterson and Jamil Salmi were in Boston recently to honour Philip Altbach for his outstanding contribution to international higher education.
In World Blog, Serhiy Kvit contends that Ukraine needs a modern, progressive university system, not one that harks back to the Soviet era.
This week we launch a partnership with The Chronicle of Higher Education, which will bring readers one article a week from the American higher education publication. Jennifer Howard reports on a major US survey, which revealed how scholars are increasingly accessing material via digital channels.
Also in Features, Geoff Maslen reports on a lecture by Cambridge University Vice-chancellor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, who argues that leading universities have an obligation to assist the world’s poorest – and that they can. Ishmael Tongai reports on a harassment scandal at a top South African university, which has brought the problem under the spotlight countrywide, and Alecia D McKenzie speaks to L’Oréal-UNESCO award-winning Nigerian scientist Francisca Nneka Okeke on women in science.
And in the latest in our article series “Thoughts and experiences of African university leaders”, Tunde Fatunde interviews the vice-chancellor of Nigeria’s premier research institution, the University of Ibadan, Isaac Folorunso Adewole.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Japan is Asia’s top country for higher education and research, according to the ‘inaugural’ Asian top 100 university rankings unveiled last week by Times Higher Education magazine, which also produces annual global university rankings.
PAKISTANAmeen Amjad Khan
Following an order from the top court in Pakistan, lower courts have started convicting former members of parliament who contested the 2008 elections using fake degrees. Several politicians have been given jail sentences, and there are numerous cases now before lower courts, with judgments due soon.
UNITED STATESAlison Moodie
After nearly a decade of impressive growth, international graduate student applications at American colleges and universities grew by just 1% this year, against rises of 9% in 2012 and 11% in 2011, says a new report from the Council of Graduate Schools. The slowed growth was mainly due to a 5% drop in applications from Chinese students.
A new report by the European University Association on global rankings confirms what most higher education leaders will have known or suspected for some time – the dramatic growth in the number and scope of rankings tables in recent years has begun to shape the ways in which higher education is developing worldwide.
Europe’s universities are already relatively international in character and most have strategies in place to step up their international efforts further, according to a new survey of members by the European University Association.
Ireland has the most higher education graduates per head of population of all 27 countries of the European Union, a report from EU statistical agency Eurostat has revealed.
Australia’s universities are groaning under the weight of excessive government regulations and are demanding that regulatory demands be reduced or eliminated. The 39 public universities estimate that they spend A$280 million (US$292 million) a year complying with requirements set down by various federal and state departments.
NEW ZEALANDJohn Gerritsen
New Zealand's latest evaluation of tertiary institutions' research has thrown up an unexpected winner. The results published last Thursday show that Victoria University of Wellington has the highest average score for researchers, with the University of Auckland second and the former top University of Otago dropping to third.
Russia’s student community appears to be on the verge of mass protests, due to ongoing attacks on university autonomy and controversial reforms that could result in the closure or merging of nearly a third of higher education institutions, as well as new disciplinary measures.
UNITED KINGDOMPeta Lee
In a welcome move, London Metropolitan University has reopened its doors to foreign students. Last August, in a controversial decision, the UK Border Agency stripped the institution of its right to sponsor the visas of international students, affecting several thousand students.
Administrators and students at Egypt's private Misr International University are locked in a dispute following protests that turned violent, forcing the suspension of classes.
Kenyans are among many African students whose dreams of a quality education in Cyprus might have been shattered. Internal politics have spilled over into the international higher education scene, fuelling confusion among parents and students attracted to opportunities for top-notch education in the divided country.
Priority for science, technology, engineering and mathematics was among 78 proposals made at a conference of the National Consultation on the Future of Higher Education held in Dakar, Senegal, this month. Another of the recommendations – to increase student fees – led to violent demonstrations in the capital.
Do the world’s leading universities have a role to play in alleviating the plight of the 1.3 billion people living with extreme poverty and hunger on incomes of less than US$1.25 a day while a further five billion people live on less than $9 per day? The question was raised last Thursday by Cambridge University Vice-chancellor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz.
UNITED STATESJennifer Howard, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Scholars continue to get more comfortable with e-only journals, and they increasingly get access to the material they want via digital channels, including internet search engines and more specific discovery tools provided by academic libraries.
GLOBALAlecia D McKenzie
When Nigerian Francisca Nneka Okeke was a child, she would wonder about the changing colour of the sky and the ability of aeroplanes to fly in the atmosphere without plummeting back to Earth. Today she is a laureate of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Award For Women in Science.
SOUTH AFRICAIshmael Tongai
It is rare for students to speak out about s exual harassment at South African universities and so the problem often goes unrecognised. But investigation into a s ex scandal that has rocked the University of the Witwatersrand has brought the subject under the spotlight.
African university leaders series
The University of Ibadan is Nigeria’s oldest and premier higher education institution. It produces around 3,000 postgraduates a year – more than any other university in Africa – Vice-chancellor Isaac Folorunso Adewole told University World News. During his two years in the top job, Adewole said, he has moved from being a “strategic” to a consensual leader.
Ukraine is an example of the worst aspects of post-Soviet higher education systems. Trammelled by a hierarchical structure and a governing system that is more about maintaining individuals in power than developing academic quality, it needs urgent reform.
Cybermetrics enables universities – and others – to analyse a host of data, including how international students view their websites. The social evaluation of universities is here to stay. The question is, will universities integrate this information into their evaluation and performance mechanisms, or look the other way?
The European Union is debating how to encourage greater student mobility. But do its policies sufficiently promote the benefits of internationalisation for all, and could China have a more successful model?
GLOBALHans de Wit, Patti McGill Peterson and Jamil Salmi
Colleagues and former students from around the world gathered in Boston earlier this month to honour the career of Philip Altbach, who has been at the forefront of monitoring and evaluating changes and trends in international higher education for decades.
A team of astronomers led by the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research has succeeded in observing the death throes of a giant star in unprecedented detail.
Social isolation in old age significantly increases the risk of an early death and outstrips loneliness as a factor associated with mortality, according to British research. The study found that socially isolated seniors have an increased risk of early death regardless of their health and demographic background.
A dramatic change in the fluctuations in vole numbers is being seen across Europe, according to a major international study. The ‘flattening’ in population numbers has serious implications for other species that feed on the small grass-eating rodents.
Groundbreaking technology to securely store, transmit and share the massive amounts of raw data used in scientific research has led to several high-profile discoveries only two years after it was rolled out.
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Scientific publishing, meet cybercrime. Two reputable European science journals have fallen prey to identity theft by criminals who have created counterfeit journal websites. These online doppelgangers have duped hundreds of researchers into paying author fees, with the ill-won gains being funnelled to Armenia, writes Declan Butler for Nature.
UK security services have warned universities to be more vigilant in protecting themselves against cyber attacks by foreign powers seeking to poach intellectual property at the frontier of science and technology, writes Helen Warrell for the Financial Times.
Margaret Thatcher’s legacy to universities was revolutionary. Her legacy to schools, though, was mixed. And it was as prime minister rather than in her earlier role as secretary of state for education and science (1970-74) that she exercised her greatest influence, writes Terence Kealey for The Telegraph.
President Barack Obama last Wednesday proposed shifting federal student loans to market-based rates rather than the current system in which interest rates are fixed by law and subject to congressional whim, reports Reuters.
A growing wage gap between public and private colleges, coupled with increased reliance on part-time instructors, threatens to degrade academic quality at certain universities, according to a new report from the American Association of University Professors, writes Tyler Kingkade for The Huffington Post.
Which European country sends more students to US universities than any other? Is it Britain, which shares a common language and a reverence for ancient collegiate campuses? Or Germany, whose great research universities did so much to shape US higher education? The answer, it turns out, is neither, writes DD Guttenplan for The New York Times.
The rising influx of foreign students to Swiss universities is bringing more international talent to the country. But the debate on who foots the bill for welcoming such bright young minds is tying academics and legislators in knots, writes Matthew Allen for Swissinfo.
Khalid feels “at home” on the streets of Athens and Sheila sees “encouraging signs” of economic recovery in Greece, but Clemence admits to feeling “overwhelmed” by the “human impact of the crisis”. International students have gathered in Athens to take part in field trips organised by their universities in New York and Paris, reports Agence France Presse.
A late-night meeting between finance ministry officials and student leaders last Monday revealed that the treasury is planning a multi-million shekel cut to the higher education budget, which will lead to a major increase in university tuition costs and likely to department closures and faculty firings, writes Ron Friedman for The Times of Israel.
In a decision viewed as supporting the need for Egyptian universities to be free of government interference, the Alexandria administrative court has blocked an effort by the Ministry of Education to force twice-a-year evaluations of university staff, writes Mohamed Mahmoud for Al Fanar.
As many as nine senior Saudi officials in the department of education in Riyadh are holding PhD degrees from universities not recognised by the Ministry of Higher Education, Al-Hayat newspaper reported last Sunday, quoting a department source, reports the Saudi Gazette.
A proposed compact among US states unveiled by educational organisations and state officials last Thursday would create a kind of common market for online education and make it easier for institutions to enrol students anywhere in the country, reports Associated Press.
Wealthy donors are coughing up record amounts for UK universities as tough economic times force the institutions to become more aggressive in raising funds, writes Alanna Petroff for CNNMoney.
A leading university is to boost its number of overseas students with the creation of a feeder college on campus to prepare them for their studies, reports icScotland.
Overall funding for Welsh universities is set to increase by 13.6% next academic year, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
Students from neighbouring universities joined together under one banner last week in the symbolic launch of Wales’ biggest higher education institution, writes Steffan Rhys for WalesOnline.
The lead author of a report that compared seismic activity caused by fracking to the energy produced by someone jumping off a ladder has insisted that his study was fully independent of big energy companies, writes Jonathan Brown for The Independent.
Siaya county in Kenya is set to benefit from a university named after US President Barack Obama, following a proposed plan by a Kenyan US-based professor, reports Eric Oloo for The Star.
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