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NEWSLETTERWorldviews 2013: Global trends in media and higher education
In the first of a two-part Special Report, we cover the “Worldviews 2013: Global trends in media and higher education” conference, held in Toronto last week and co-hosted by University World News.
In Commentary, Alex Bols argues that internationalisation is good for everyone and allows universities to tap into a global pool of excellence.
John Aubrey Douglass finds that a US Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action has much wider implications, particularly for the private sector, and Mitch Leventhal contends that America’s international education policy is broken and that institutions need to be more transparent about commission-based recruitment.
In World Blog, Abu Kamara suggests that letting students know about the processes involved in creating lectures will help them become more independent learners.
In Student View, Ozan Demirer writes that many students have been involved in the Turkish protests – and they want a more modern country. And in Features, Andrew Green reports that less than two years into independence, South Sudan’s higher education system is falling apart.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Not enough emphasis is placed on teaching as opposed to research in many of Europe’s top universities, concludes the European Union’s High Level Group on the Modernisation of Higher Education. Its central recommendation is that by 2020 “all staff teaching in higher education institutions should have received certified pedagogical training”.
PAKISTANAmeen Amjad Khan
Pakistan’s new government has announced a 22.84% rise in the higher education budget by allocating Rs18.5 billion (US$185 million) compared to last year’s Rs15.1 billion for the sector’s development.
The United Kingdom has more universities than any other nation in the top 100 of the annual Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 ranking – 18 compared to 13 for its nearest competitor, Australia. But the 2013 rankings show that the UK figure is down two compared with 2012, and the disappearance of one of the universities foreshadows an almost total wipeout for the UK over the next two years.
DENMARKJan Petter Myklebust
Denmark’s Minister of Higher Education Morten Østergaard is on a drive to boost the number of Danes studying abroad. Increased Insight through a Greater Global View is the title of a newly published plan that includes 31 measures to swell from 17% to at least 50% the proportion of Danish students taking a study period or work-practice abroad.
France carries out high quality research but does not get full value for the large amounts of public funding it currently spends on the sector, mostly because of weakness in transferring its inventions to the economy, according to a report by the Cour des Comptes, the national audit office.
UNITED KINGDOMDavid Jobbins
England’s top universities are failing to recruit across all classes and backgrounds, the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission said last week.
The University of Leipzig in Saxony, east Germany, has taken an unusual step to promote women’s equality in academia. Its constitution now refers to all university staff members in the feminine form.
The University of Helsinki confirmed its position on the top rung of the Finnish research ladder by being appointed as the coordinating university for seven of 14 centres of excellence in research being funded by the Academy of Finland.
Nine academics, including six professors of medicine, are vying for the presidency of Cairo University, which is Egypt’s most prestigious state-run institution. The 27 June election for a new leader will be the second since a 2011 revolt toppled Egypt’s long-standing president Hosni Mubarak.
SLOVENIAJan Petter Myklebust
Slovenia has been asked to respect rules in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union regarding the freedom of establishment and free provision of services in education.
The “Worldviews 2013: Global trends in media and higher education” conference was held in Toronto last week, co-hosted by University World News, Inside Higher Ed, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Intersections between the media and higher education were debated at a lively gathering attended by 275 academics, journalists and professionals from around the world. There will be more articles next week.
The democratisation of higher education requires widening access to studies that lead to useful qualifications, and giving people more opportunities to select study programmes themselves and easily design their own courses from the rich pool of material freely available, Sir John Daniel told the “Worldviews 2013” conference last week. The question is whether massive open online courses, or MOOCs, will help or hinder that process.
As universities recruit more international students, they need to work out their media messaging about the benefits for local and national communities, as well as their campuses, the “Worldviews 2013” conference in Toronto heard.
Singapore’s first US-style liberal arts college in collaboration with Yale University, set up at the National University of Singapore, has selected its first cohort of 157 students to start in August – after sifting through 11,400 applications from over 130 countries – the college announced last week.
Universities determined to rise up international rankings are increasingly ‘playing’ the methodology, Shaun Curtis of the University of Exeter in the UK told the “Worldviews 2013” conference last week. One way is to seek support from colleagues in other institutions who are answering rankings questionnaires, and another is to game the data.
SOUTH SUDANAndrew Green
Frustrated students at one suspended South Sudanese university are threatening to burn their place of learning down if classes do not resume soon. Across the country, the vice-chancellor at another of the country’s five officially open national universities said he is prepared to resign because he does not have the money to keep the institution running.
UNITED STATESKaren Fischer, Chronicle of Higher Education
If New York University expected to be putting out news releases related to China during the sleepy summer months, it would probably have boasted about the academically outstanding inaugural class on its new Shanghai campus.
If lecturers spent time showing how they put lecture notes and teaching materials together, it would help students become more independent learners and build their study skills.
UNITED STATESJohn Aubrey Douglass
An imminent ruling on affirmative action by the United States Supreme Court could have implications for private institutions whose admissions policies include special treatment for the children of alumni.
UNITED STATESMitch Leventhal
America’s international education policy needs an urgent overhaul. A new report by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling sidesteps the issue of transparency over commission-based recruitment and is a symptom of a system that is not working.
The protests in Turkey are due to frustration with an authoritarian-style government, low levels of opposition and a desire among young people – in particular students – for a more open, more modern and younger politics.
New research suggests that short bouts of intermittent exercise throughout the day may be better than one vigorous workout in convincing your brain that you are full.
The patterns of brain activity that people use to learn to move objects with their minds are similar to neurological activity that occurs when learning to ride a bike or swing a golf club, American researchers have found.
Better land use is the key to preventing further damage to the world’s coral reefs, according to an international team of marine researchers. They say that preventing soil erosion and sediment pollution arising from human activities such as deforestation are crucial to reef survival.
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University officials are understood to be checking their files amid confusion over the Scottish academic credentials of newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, writes Susan Swarbrick for the Herald Scotland.
Britain’s leading science institutions were told last Monday that they will be stripped of many millions of pounds in research grants if they employ rogue researchers who fake the results of experiments, writes John Lawless for The Independent.
Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission last Monday directed all universities to adopt extra security measures following the recent blast at a university in Quetta that killed many female students, reports APP.
A prominent chemical engineer and opponent of political Islam in Turkey attempted suicide recently in Ankara's Sincan prison, according to people close to him. Kemal Gürüz, a former president of the Turkish Council of Higher Education and of the research funding agency TÜBITAK, has been in prison for more than a year on what his supporters say are political charges, writes Michele Catanzaro for Science.
Greece is reeling from six years of recession. GDP has fallen by more than 20% and the official unemployment rate is close to 30%. Among young, well-educated Greeks, joblessness has hit 56.5%. But the most dramatic impact of austerity has been the ‘hostage situation’ it has created for around 750 lecturers still waiting to be appointed to a faculty two to four years after being elected, write academics Varvara Trachana and Stelios Gialis for the Guardian.
The United States' global competitiveness is suffering, in part because recent policies at all levels of education have widened the achievement gap between rich and poor, according to a report released last Monday by the Council on Foreign Relations, writes Cory Weinberg for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
At the height of the financial crisis, it was unclear how diminished 401(k)s, or pension plans, and general economic uncertainty would impact on retirement trends for baby boomer professors. But new data suggest that professors are either significantly – or indefinitely – putting off retirement, and not just for financial reasons, writes Colleen Flaherty for Inside Higher Ed.
Within three years Kazakhstan’s universities will have the authority to decide what academic programmes and courses they will offer, speakers at a recent educational leaders' conference said, writes Hal Foster for Tengri News.
When she meets people off campus, Junko Tsuchiyagaito (23) does not usually let on that she studies chemistry at the graduate level. She said that Japanese women who studied the humanities were seen as being more polished and attractive, especially at Aoyama Gakuin University, which is known for its fashionable student body, writes Miki Tanikawa for The New York Times.
The vast majority of the 1,430 education programmes that prepare America’s school teachers are mediocre, according to a first-ever ranking, which immediately set off a firestorm, writes Lyndsey Layton for The Washington Post.
American lawmakers and educators should strengthen their focus on humanities and social sciences for the advancement of elementary, secondary and higher education, global competitiveness and employable skills, the national Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences said last Wednesday, reports The Herald Sun.
Chinese high school graduates who completed university entrance exams 10 days ago are now faced with solving another question – which university majors offer the best job prospects? writes Wang Wen for China Daily.
The incoming president of the Open University pledged to protect freedom of speech at the institution as he faced a student protest against a selection process that yielded a Beijing loyalist, writes Shirley Zhao for South China Morning Post.
Massive open online courses could prove a distraction to universities and cost them money, according to a consultancy that advises governments, investors and institutions on higher education issues, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
As South Africa waits for the publication of the white paper on post-school education and training, it is worth asking how much the new policy document might relieve the funding pressures on universities, especially insofar as they affect academic staffing and lecturer-student ratios, writes Sheri Hamilton for Mail & Guardian.
A Chinese university has built the world's fastest supercomputer, almost doubling the speed of the United States machine that previously claimed the top spot and underlining China's rise as a science and technology powerhouse, reports Sapa-AP.
Rwandan MPs have endorsed a bill that seeks to have some 10 universities in the country merged to form one institution of higher learning, writes James Karuhanga for The New Times.
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