Issue No:0003 28 October 2007
HE Events Diary

University World News is the first high quality, truly international newspaper dedicated to providing news, features and commentary on higher education issues around the globe. Our network of dozens of correspondents include many of the world's most experienced higher education journalists.

EU Flag Newsletter
Some 22 EU nations face censure over the freedom of movement of academics. See the article from Belgium.

NEWS: Our journalists worldwide report

BELGIUM: European Commission considers action against 22 EU states
Keith Nuthall
European Commission officials may launch legal action against 22 member states of the European Union after they failed to implement key legislation allowing researchers to move between EU universities. The countries could face heavy fines.
Full report on the University World News site

RUSSIA: European-style model for higher education
Nick Holdsworth
Parliament’s upper house has approved a bill to introduce a two-tier bachelors and masters degree system to bring Russian higher education into line with the Bologna accord. The decision has sparked opposition within the country’s notoriously conservative state university sector.
Full report on the University World News site

SPAIN: Universities gain more control under Bologna reforms
Paul Rigg
Spain is to tighten accountability for the quality and effectiveness of higher education courses, but give universities more control over course content. The move is a response to the Bologna reforms and is intended to bring Spain into line with the education systems of other European countries by 2010.
Full report on the University World News site

CANADA: Huge international gains, but but little support
Philip Fine
Canada’s universities have posted impressive growth in recruiting foreign students and sending domestic students abroad – but are being hindered by financial constraints and lack of federal government support.
Full report on the University World News site

ISRAEL: University lecturers strike over salary erosion
Helena Flusfeder
Five months after Israel’s university and college students’ strike was resolved, the country’s university lecturers have launched their own open-ended stop-work, thereby preventing the opening of the academic year last week.
Full report on the University World News site

The lecturer strike reflects only one aspect of their situation, which is steadily getting worse, comments the Haaretz.
Commentary on the Haaretz site

INDIA: A new Indian institute of technology
Suchitra Behal
For the first time, prominent alumni of the seven Indian institutes of technology plan to establish a new institute to tackle overwhelming demand from students.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Student loan boost the biggest in six decades
Judith Ritter
President George W Bush recently signed into law a bill that pumps more money into loans for the 6.8 million students who need financial assistance. The College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 boosts existing loans by almost US$21 billion over the next five years – the largest investment in student aid in the US since 1944.
Full report on the University World News site

SPECIAL REPORT: Student drop-outs

Every year around the world, tens of thousands of students quit their studies. The reasons are often complex and difficult to resolve. In this series of articles, University World News correspondents report on the situation in five countries.

GERMANY: Heavy cost of student drop-outs
Michael Gardner
Students who quit university in their first year may be costing the German community nearly €8 billion (US$11.5 billion) a year, according to a new study.
Full report on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: Student drop-out rates alarming
Karen MacGregor
A shocking 40% of South African students drop-out of university in their first year, a major study has found. Financial difficulties among the country’s large pool of poor black students are, unsurprisingly, largely to blame.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: One student in three fails to qualify
Diane Spencer
As many as one in three British students in some universities drop out or fail to qualify, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
Full report on the University World News site
More statistics on the HESA website

GREECE: Universities expel drop-outs
Makki Marseilles
Greek students who have dropped out, neglected or abandoned their studies over a long period will be asked to renew their interest or face expulsion.
Full report on the University World News site

FRANCE: University selection through high failure rate
Jane Marshall
Nearly half of France’s university students fail to complete their first year of studies successfully and about 90,000 leave every year without a qualification. Valérie Pécresse is the latest minister responsible for higher education to announce plans to cut the failure rate, following efforts by her predecessors since expansion began three decades ago.
Full report on the University World News site


NEW ZEALAND: Education Minister to take on vice-chancellor’s role
John Gerritsen
In one of the world’s more unusual job switches, New Zealand Education Minister and architect of the country's tertiary education reforms, Steve Maharey, will quit parliament to become vice-chancellor of the country’s second-largest university.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: Former lecturers’ union leader appointed Minister for Students
Diane Spencer
Former student activist and lecturers’ union leader Lord Triesman has been appointed Britain’s first Minister for Students. He will be in charge of a “student listening programme to put the voices of 2.3 million students at the heart of government”.
Full report on the University World News site

UNI-LATERAL: The light side of academic life

US: Graduates donate more blood – and more votes
Ard Jongsma
Carpenters and car mechanics may seem to double their fees every second year, but according to the American College Board it still pays to take a university degree.
Full report on the University World News site

BELGIUM: Researchers harness 40,000 computers to fight bird flu
Keith Nuthall
European and Asian researchers have linked more than 40,000 computers across 45 countries to speed studies into developing an anti-viral drug that could defeat bird flu.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Dementia in more educated hits later but harder
Having a high level of education seems to delay the onset of dementia – but once cognitive decline begins, the descent is more precipitous, according to US News and World Report.
Full report on the US News and World Report site

US: Florida police cleared for using stun gun on student
A state investigation has found that University of Florida police were justified when they used a stun gun called a Taser against a student who refused to stop questioning US Senator John Kerry at a campus event last month, reports the International Herald Tribune.
Full report on the International Herald Tribune site


Cyprus University
The University of Cyprus. One of nine universities on the divided Mediterranean island.

CYPRUS: Politics puts brake on university cooperation
Tabitha Morgan
Cyprus – an island of fewer than a million people – has nine universities. Six are in the north of the divided island and three in the south. But the political animosity that sustains the island’s division has put a brake on educational contact across the line.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: The smart money is on Australia
Brendan O’Malley
The academic world is becoming a smaller place, with ever increasing numbers of students studying overseas and staff collaborating across continents. Andreas Schleicher talks about why some countries are able to turn higher education into a leading export and others struggle to compete with them.
Full report on the University World News site


KOREA: Law school dissent engulfs 36 universities
Plans to introduce US-style law schools face a tough road ahead amid increasing disagreement between the Education Ministry and universities over a nationwide law student enrolment quota, reports Yonhap News. Now 36 of the country’s 41 universities are threatening to boycott the plan.
Full report on the Yonhap News site

CHINA: Desperate shortage of property rights experts
China is facing a damaging shortfall in the numbers of professionals working in the field of intellectual property rights, leading academics claim. According to China View, a Forum on Intellectual Property Rights in Higher Education heard that the country’s booming economy will need up to 60,000 experts in the field by 2010.
Full report on the China View site

UGANDA: Foreign student numbers rising
The number of international students at universities in Uganda is growing by 7% a year, according to the National Council for Higher Education. Kampala’s New Vision reports that education has become Uganda’s fourth highest external earner. Most foreign students are from Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
Full New Vision report on the site

NIGERIA: State approves two new private universities
The Federal Executive Council has approved the establishment of two new private universities in Abuja and Owo, reports Leadership. Education Minister Aja Nwachukwu said one of the institutions was being sponsored by an investment company, and the other was an institute of science and technology.
Leadership article on the site

INDIA: Four new private universities for Rajasthan
The governor of Rajasthan has passed an ordinance enabling the opening of four private universities: Amity University and Jaipur National University in Jaipur, Sir Padampad Singhania University in Udaipur, and Singhania University in Jhunjhunu. The Economic Times reports that the state government will pass individual Acts for each university.
Full report on The Economic Times site

INDIA: Lack of HE quality fuels skills shortage
Lack of quality in higher education is hindering efforts to produce the skills needed by India’s growing economy, reports India Edunews. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry called for greater private sector involvement in higher education and joint ventures between Indian and foreign universities.
Report on the India site

AUSTRALIA: State stifling research, says Sydney v-c
The vice-chancellor of the University of Sydney, Gavin Brown, has attacked the federal government for stifling academic freedom, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. He said that government aggression towards researchers who had been critical of its workplace agreements, was the latest in a series of assaults on independent inquiry and research.
Full report on the Sydney Morning Herald site

CANADA: Experts to study campus safety
Ontario universities have propelled the long-neglected issue of campus safety to the top of the agenda by appointing an expert panel to study ways to improve emergency preparedness, reports The 20-member panel plans to boost campus security and improve response to threats such as a Virginia Tech-style shooting.
Full report on the site

SWITZERLAND: English makes inroads at Swiss universities
Switzerland already has four languages, but as far as its universities are concerned is fast acquiring a fifth one: English. Swiss Info reports that the rise of English reflects Swiss universities' more global outlook, as well as the effects of the Bologna reforms.
Full report on the Swiss Info

UK: Employers draw up national pay code
The Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association is drawing up two ‘codes’ aimed at making pay negotiations clearer and easier to deal with, reports Education Guardian. The codes are aimed at averting the clashes between university employers and unions that resulted in strike action last summer.
Full report on the Education Guardian site

UK: Breaking free – Improving access for the deprived
A groundbreaking study by the Higher Education Funding Council for England reveals how tough it is for young people from deprived areas to get to university, reports the Guardian. The authors call for new forms of partnership between universities, schools, further education, local authorities, business and families in deprived communities.
Full report on the Guardian site

UK: DNA scientist resigns after race row
Nobel laureate James Watson has quit his job as chancellor of the prestigious Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York following a row over his remarks about the intelligence of black people, reports the Education Guardian. The DNA pioneer apologised profusely and repudiated recent comments, but the Science Museum in London cancelled his speaking engagement and his institution suspended him.
Full report on the Education Guardian site


CANADA: Collaborative engagements
E Lisa Panayotidis and Paul Stortz, of the University of Calgary, ponder the pros and cons of working with academic spouses, in Canada’s Academic Matters: The Journal of Higher Education. Combined interests and research help to promote inter-disciplinary approaches, challenge and recast assumptions, strategise around work constraints – and double brain power. But they can also impede relaxation, for instance while “deconstructing the postmodernist implications of the Sunday comic strip”.
Article on the Academic Matters site

US: UCLA report explodes myths about Asian American students
More Asian American students are experiencing obstacles to academic success than in the past, according to a new report by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California in Los Angeles. Beyond Myths: The Growth and Diversity of Asian American College Freshmen, 1971–2005 is based on data for 361,271 full-time college students over 35 years, and does not support popular claims that these students are enjoying unprecedented success in higher education.
Report on the UCLA Higher Education Research Institute site

FRANCE: Latest International Handbook of Universities out
The latest edition of the International Handbook of Universities has been published by the Unesco-based International Association of Universities. The 19th edition provides detailed data on more than 9,200 institutions worldwide.
More on the International Association of Universities site
Copyright University World News 2007