University World News Global Edition
20 October 2013 Issue 0292 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Smoke got in the eyes of international educators in Istanbul

In World Blog, Hans de Wit, Fiona Hunter and Laura Rumbley reflect on the European Association for International Education’s conference in Istanbul, and ask whether international educators should engage more with the realities facing colleagues in countries where peace, human rights and academic freedom are under threat.
In Commentary, Mark Angelson and Allan Goodman of the Institute of International Education report on a panel discussion that highlighted ways of tackling the higher education crisis in conflict-torn Syria.
John Aubrey Douglass argues that a fundamental question awaits Janet Napolitano, newly appointed president of the University of California. The huge university system is at a crossroads following funding reductions – does it go for growth or stay on a path of cuts and potential shrinkage?
In Australia, Steve Nerlich outlines a new international collaboration of data personnel under the Project Atlas® survey, which will help countries to count how many of their citizens are studying abroad for full degrees.
In Features, Carmen Paun reports on a seminar in Brussels on MOOCs, where participants agreed that massive open online courses are not a threat to traditional universities, partly because of the different kinds of students they attract.
Ard Jongsma attended a workshop in Mozambique that discussed what had been achieved by the Africa-European Union Harmonisation and Tuning Pilot initiative. Now that African higher education has been ‘tuned’, will it work better? We interview Damtew Teferra on a new book he edited on funding of higher education in Africa. And as African universities struggle to produce the next generation of academics, Nicola Jenvey describes a survey of postgraduate students aimed at identifying ways to retain them.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Yojana Sharma

A shift is underway in China from making a mark globally as a research power, towards an increasingly strategic ‘innovation diplomacy’ that is shaping “the spread and intensity of its global research and innovation relationships”, according to a new study.
Shafigeh Shirazi

A spate of student protests against oppressive measures on campuses and lack of basic rights for students have continued across Iran, despite a call by President Hassan Rouhani for more freedom in universities.
Peta Lee

The Association of Commonwealth Universities celebrated its 100th anniversary with a three-day conference at the University of London last week – and looked to the future with a campaign called “The World Beyond 2015: Is higher education ready?”
Peta Lee

Developing countries worldwide are to benefit from an agreement signed last Tuesday by the World Bank and Coursera, a leading provider of MOOCs – massive open online courses. The collaboration aims to help meet the demand for solutions-oriented learning on pressing issues in targeted countries.
Carmen Paun

Rectors of Greek universities asked the European Parliament in Brussels last Thursday to put pressure on the Greek government not to implement an order that would see 1,349 administrative staff laid off in the months to come.
Jan Petter Myklebust

Up to 70,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 30 have completed a four-hour aptitude test on the internet to compete for a place at ‘42’ – a grand educational experiment in France to recruit talented, often underprivileged, youths to the informatics sector. Self-made billionaire Xavier Niel and a group of incubator entrepreneurs are behind the initiative.
Geoff Maslen

One of Australia’s wealthiest men, mining billionaire Andrew Forrest, last week announced that he and his wife Nicola would donate A$65 million (US$62 million) to Western Australia’s five universities, the largest gift made to Australian higher education to date.
Michael Gardner

A major university in North Rhine-Westphalia has resorted to an unusual measure to cope with high enrolment levels in Germany this semester. Security staff at the Technical University of Dortmund have been instructed to prevent student stampedes in corridors and lecture halls.
Tunde Fatunde

The executive governor of Yobe state in north-east Nigeria, who is also a visitor at Bukar Abba Ibrahim University, has approved the employment of 35 professors from India and the Philippines. They were recruited ostensibly to teach and research desert encroachment, which is threatening the environment in parts of the state.
Ashraf Khaled

A recent decision by Egypt’s military-installed government to scrap monthly fees for students staying in university dormitories has added to the financial woes of the country’s public higher education institutions.
Wachira Kigotho

The rising tide of mobile telephony in Kenya, which currently stands at about 30 million subscribers, is becoming a significant source of e-waste. Obsolete computers, televisions and electronic equipment are exacerbating the problem. Now a university has stepped in to help clean it all up.
Fortune Sylivester

The Chinese influence in Tanzania seems to be growing by the day. The University of Dar es Salaam is to start offering courses in the Chinese language through a new Confucius Institute, and China is building a state-of-the-art library and a secondary school.
Kudzai Mashininga

Three constituent colleges of the University of Malawi have been closed indefinitely due to a strike by lecturers, which began late last month. Students have threatened protest action if classes do not resume soon.
Wagdy Sawahel

Algeria plans to set up innovation centres consisting of mixed research groups from higher education institutions, science and technology centres and the industrial, economic and social sectors, in an effort to boost the role of research in developing a knowledge-based economy.
Carmen Paun

Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are not a threat to bricks-and-mortar universities as some in Europe fear, a seminar held in Brussels by the Academic Cooperation Association and the European University Association heard. One reason is the difference between on-campus students and those who choose to study through MOOCs.
Ard Jongsma

As the Africa-European Union Harmonisation and Tuning Pilot initiative draws to a close, the question arises whether the work has been a drop in the ocean or a meaningful contribution to the harmonisation of African higher education. Now that it has been ‘tuned’, will it actually run better?
Karen MacGregor

The financing of higher education in Africa is about much more than money, according to a new book. Deep issues include lack of capacity to use resources, mismanagement and red tape, huge expansion that sees more funding but spread more thinly across universities, and the generation of alternative income, says the book’s editor Damtew Teferra.
Nicola Jenvey

A study by South Africa’s University of KwaZulu-Natal has outlined the importance of providing postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows with sufficient administrative support, as a way to boost the numbers willing to continue their education and research at the institution.
Stacey Patton, The Chronicle of Higher Education

A controversy over a blogger for Scientific American who was called an ‘urban whore’ in an e-mail exchange has set off a firestorm of comments on social media and struck a nerve with science bloggers, who say the fracas points to the continuing difficulties facing women who make careers in the sciences, especially women of colour.
Hans de Wit, Fiona Hunter and Laura Rumbley

The recent European Association for International Education conference in Istanbul, held in circumstances coloured by protest and insecurity, should perhaps cause us to reflect on what we stand for as international educators and whether we turn a blind eye to the realities facing many colleagues working in higher education in places where peace is under threat.
Mark Angelson and Allan Goodman

Higher education in Syria is dying. A recent Institute of International Education panel highlighted some ways of tackling the crisis, from providing higher education in refugee camps to encouraging universities around the world to take in Syrian students and planning how to rebuild Syria’s education structure once the war ends.
John Aubrey Douglass

As Janet Napolitano takes over as president of the University of California, it is timely to reflect on what the future holds in an era of reduced government funding. The university has been held up as an international model for its multi-campus approach, but short-term thinking has recently been the order of the day. The university is at a crossroads – does it choose growth and reconstruction or stay on a course of cuts and potential shrinkage?
Steve Nerlich

Full information on how many Australian students study abroad and where they study is lacking. But a new international collaboration of data personnel covering more than 20 countries may soon create a more accurate picture.
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The number of English language-based courses taught in countries such as Germany, France, The Netherlands and Sweden has soared by 38% in just over a year. Masters courses in English – covering the full range of disciplines including science, the arts and humanities – now account for almost a third of those advertised in continental Europe, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.

After weeks of bickering and brinkmanship, the US Congress passed legislation to reopen the federal government and raise the nation's borrowing limit, ending an impasse that disrupted research and education, and averting a debt crisis that could have devastated colleges and the economy at large, writes Kelly Field for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The leaders of American research universities may be well-advised to shift some of their energy away from lobbying Congress and focus more on partnerships with state governments and businesses, several higher education leaders said last week, writes Michael Stratford for Inside Higher Ed.

Criticism of foreign students and their academic standards is passé now that they have begun to outperform domestic students, says researcher Alan Olsen. "No more is it acceptable to say that 'They can't speak English, and I can tell just by looking at them'," he told the Australian International Education Conference in Canberra, writes Bernard Lane for The Australian.

It has been a busy time for the education sector in the Brazilian stock market. In less than a week, two large groups of private universities have filed for initial public offerings, which together could raise as much as R$1.6 billion (US$740 million). This year, three mergers and acquisitions of major education companies also shook up the sector, which is making big bets on online distance learning, writes Patricia Gomes for edSurge.

A Universities UK report on part-time study warns of the potential for “market failure” under England’s £9,000 (US$14,500) fee regime, recommending that such provision be intrinsic to higher education policy instead of an “add-on”, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education.

The British government should create a £1 billion (US$1.6 billion) fund to help university researchers work with small businesses to turn promising ideas into money-spinning inventions, according to GlaxoSmithKline Chief Executive Sir Andrew Witty, writes Jennifer Rankin for the Guardian.

Universities in some Southern African countries are moving towards making it mandatory for all lecturers to have doctorates or PhDs in the next few years. Botswana has already implemented the idea while Zimbabwe has given a 2015 deadline for all lecturers to update their qualifications, writes Theresia Tjihenuna for The Namibian.

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on 11 October to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW, the body overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical arsenal. The spotlight on OPCW underlines the role that science and technology can play in driving diplomatic breakthroughs, reports CNN.

It is hard to know exactly which transgression propelled Xia Yeliang, an accomplished Peking University economist, from opinionated irritant to a marked enemy of China’s ruling Communist Party, writes Andrew Jacobs for The New York Times.

UK Education Secretary Michael Gove’s exam reform will “wreck” the English education system, the head of admissions to Oxford University warned last week, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.

In a few months, Luan will begin classes at the University of Oklahoma's college of architecture. This semester he is one of 36 Brazilians in the university’s 'English as a Second Language' programme. A growing number of students from the Latin American nation are coming to Oklahoma universities, reports Menafn.
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