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25 August 2013 Issue 0284 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Research fraud case shows how individual greed has infiltrated HE

In World Blog, William Patrick Leonard argues that America needs to tackle the misalignment between school and tertiary education that is resulting in costly remedial classes – and that a long-term solution might lie with accrediting organisations.
In Commentary, Anna Ciccarelli and Grant Kennett outline a framework developed at the University of Queensland in Australia that helps measure the benefits delivered by university partnerships and assess the potential of future agreements.
Igrene Ogrizek uses the case of Dutch social psychologist Diederik Stapel to illustrate how an ethos of individual greed is creeping into education – and will result in greater inequality.
Allan De Guzman finds tension between quality and access in the rapidly expanding higher education system in the Philippines, and Mike Harvey contends that universities in Britain need to pay greater attention to the student experience and make more use of mobile technology to attract students.
In Features, Yojana Sharma looks at lingering university policies limiting women student numbers in China, despite recent government regulations against gender discrimination. David Macfarlane unpacks a damning Council on Higher Education report on student performance in South Africa, and Hiep Pham investigates the proliferation of degree mills in Vietnam, where fraudsters have begun producing fake qualifications from international as well as local universities.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Emilia Tan and Yojana Sharma

South East Asian countries with large numbers of students in Egypt started evacuating their citizens from Egypt last week as the situation in Cairo and other cities began to worsen. Concerned officials had been assessing the situation for the past two weeks.
Brendan O’Malley

A fact-finding mission in Turkey by the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies has concluded that criminal charges brought against eight leading academics and scientists are not supported by evidence. It also expresses “deep concern” over violations of academic freedom and the loss of university independence.
Carmen Paun

More academic papers are now available for free than in paid-for peer-reviewed journals in many scientific fields, according to a study released last Wednesday by the European Commission’s directorate general for research and innovation.
Ian Wilhelm

American graduate schools are showing continued interest in students from overseas, but there are signs that the feelings aren't mutual. A report released last Thursday by the Council of Graduate Schools says offers of admissions to international applicants grew at a steady pace of 9% from 2012 to 2013, making it the fourth consecutive year of growth.
Jane Marshall

In 2013-14 students in France face a cost of living increase one-and-a-half times that of inflation, and a 2% rise in expenditure at the start of the new university year, according to inquiries by the two biggest student organisations. Meanwhile, under a new scheme the government is to act as a rental guarantor for students who have difficulties raising a deposit.
Michael Gardner

As universities once again brace themselves for huge numbers of first-year students, the German Student Welfare Service has warned that studying itself is becoming increasingly difficult. There is mounting concern about overcrowding, lack of accommodation and the impact of the Bologna reforms.
Jan Petter Myklebust

Despite a 38% increase in PhDs in OECD countries – reaching 213,000 in 2009 – there is still a premium on people with doctorates, according to a recent analysis of labour market and mobility indicators for doctorate holders.
Ishmael Tongai

South African politicians were told last week that tricky and extended negotiations were under way to work out how much each country involved in the first-phase construction of the massive Square Kilometre Array radio telescope will have to fork out.
Ishmael Tongai

The Commonwealth Students’ Association, which will among other activities conduct research and provide reports on student concerns, has launched a new website and membership recruitment drive.
Fortune Sylivester

More than 5,000 prospective students will not join universities this year after failing to follow new procedures laid down by the Tanzania Commission for Universities. Others were unable to access the Central Admission System, according to the commission.
Ishmael Tongai

The University of the Witwatersrand has set aside R90 million (US$8.7 million) for bursaries as the institution embarks on an intensive drive to attract the finest postgraduate students from across South Africa and Africa. The goal is to enrol 35% of all students at the postgraduate level.
Wagdy Sawahel

Tunisia plans to establish a higher education council and a university ‘pole of excellence’ in the Tunisian-Algerian border zone, in an effort to come up with policies and strategies to tackle higher education challenges, stem the brain drain and boost regional cooperation.
Yojana Sharma

Around two-thirds of China’s top research universities still have policies that can be used to limit the proportion of women students, despite tighter government regulations issued this year against gender discrimination in universities and the workplace.
David Macfarlane

Less than 5% of black African and mixed-race youth succeed at university, and more than half of all first-year entrants never graduate at all. This was revealed in a hard-hitting report released by the Council on Higher Education last Tuesday.
Hiep Pham

The arrest of four people on charges of selling fake diplomas, including three in Can Tho in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam, has highlighted the proliferation of degree mills. Racketeers have been shifting from producing fake Vietnamese qualifications to degrees from prestigious international universities.
William Patrick Leonard

The United States needs to take action to tackle the misalignment between high school graduates’ competencies and tertiary-level standards. Many colleges have to supply remedial classes, which is costly to students, parents and taxpayers.
Anna Ciccarelli and Grant Kennett

The University of Queensland has developed a framework for investigating which partnerships deliver most benefits and for assessing the potential of future agreements.
Igrene Ogrizek

A system that promotes individual greed has also infiltrated education and will result in greater inequality, with affordable online courses being promoted to the masses while the elite pay for greater privilege. The case of Dutch social psychologist Diederik Stapel, whose massive research fraud was driven by addiction to success and risk-taking, illustrates the problem.
Allan De Guzman

Attempts to boost the quality of higher education in the Philippines have come up against political reality. State universities and colleges have been allowed to mushroom, with little regard for the quality and content of what they offer. Rationalisation is needed.
Mark Harvey

Universities need to pay more attention to the pre- and post-university experience, and increase their use of mobile technology to attract students.
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Calling growing student debt levels a “crisis”, United States President Barack Obama laid out a plan last Thursday aimed at reining in rising tuition costs by creating a system to rate colleges and eventually tie federal student aid to institutions' performance, write Colleen McCain Nelson and Caroline Porter for The Wall Street Journal.

Next January, the Georgia Institute of Technology plans to offer a masters degree in computer science through massive open online courses for a fraction of the on-campus cost, a first for an elite institution. If it even approaches its goal of drawing thousands of students, it could signal a change to the landscape of higher education, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.

As many as 40% of university language departments are likely to close within a decade, delivering a huge blow to the UK's diplomatic and economic hopes, the former government advisor charged with bolstering foreign language uptake in higher education has warned, writes Daniel Boffey for the Guardian.

The University of Alberta has taken the first steps towards closing 20 arts programmes, suspending enrolment in a range of academic majors such as languages and music in an effort to cope with substantial budget shortfalls, writes James Bradshaw for The Globe and Mail.

Delegates from nine Canadian universities arrived in Delhi last week seeking Indian students to go to Canada as a premier destination for higher education, reports PTI.

Overseas tertiary students in New Zealand – 30% of them from China – are paying more for education while their overall numbers decline, the New Zealand government revealed, reports Xinhua.

BAMA Companies has been making pies and biscuits in Oklahoma since the 1920s. But the company is struggling to find Okies with the skills to fill even its most basic factory jobs. Such posts require workers to think critically, yet graduates of local schools are often unable to read or do simple maths. This is why the company recently decided to open a new factory in Poland – its first in Europe, reports The Economist.

The Sindh assembly last week passed the Sindh Universities Laws (Amendment) Act 2013, aimed at transferring supervisory powers of provincial universities and other degree-awarding institutes from the Sindh governor to the chief minister, writes Razzak Abro for Daily Times.

Irish universities have rejected claims by a business lobby that higher education is delivering graduates ill-prepared to enter business, writes Dick Ahlstrom for The Irish Times.

Kenya’s Higher Education Loans Board is reaching out to the private sector and individuals in a bid to boost the value of its revolving fund. It hopes this will help increase its lending capacity, which has been hard hit by a sharp increase in the number of students enrolled in the country’s higher education institutions, writes Frankline Sunday for Standard Digital.

Ghana’s Minister of Education Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang has called for an immediate end to the phenomenon of quotas in the admission of students to universities and second-cycle schools.

Israel is looking to hire university students to post pro-Israel messages on social media networks – without needing to identify themselves as government-linked, according to officials, writes Daniel Estrin for Associated Press.

A second for-profit institution has been granted the title of 'university' in the UK, writes Katherine Sellgren for BBC News. BPP University College of Professional Studies, based in London with branches nationwide, now becomes BPP University.

An increasing number of higher education finance directors are ready to invest to maintain their competitive position despite the vast majority believing that their institution still faces above normal levels of uncertainty, according to a new survey, reports
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