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ANNOUNCEMENTUniversity World News is taking a southern hemisphere summer break, and would like to wish readers all the best for the New Year. We will be back on 12 January with Special Reports on what 2014 may hold for higher education worldwide, and on a major study of science councils in 17 Sub-Saharan African countries.
NEWSLETTERInternationalisation off to a slow start in Japan; New round in Chile debate
In Commentary, Jeremy Rappleye finds that despite Japan’s plans to hire researchers worldwide and rise up the rankings, there is little change in hiring practices. True internationalisation will need wholesale transformation in the way universities operate.
Emilio Rodríguez-Ponce joins the University World News debate on higher education in Chile, arguing that the large private sector offers choices only for the wealthiest few and that most Chileans want bigger and better public higher education.
Diya Nijhowne unpacks the report of the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, and contends that strengthening university security and autonomy could help reduce attacks on institutions, students and staff around the world. Ariane Utomo and colleagues maintain that growing inequalities in internet access in Indonesia have implications for university online policies.
In World Blog, Robert Coelen charts a shift of focus in higher education internationalisation, from programmes and practices to what students learn and the skills they acquire.
In Features, Kirk Perris describes a grassroots MOOC on “Mobiles for Development” delivered by an Indian institute of technology and the Commonwealth of Learning, which could be a model for the developing world. We look at a study of South African graduate destinations by the Cape Higher Education Consortium, and Maina Waruru investigates the harsh living conditions faced by many students at Kenya's new universities, as institutions struggle to cope with rapid expansion.
Nic Mitchell reports on The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education’s conference, titled “The International Higher Education Revolution: Impacts on mobility, qualifications, networks”.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editorjljkljljlj
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Universities in Egypt have witnessed a remarkable upsurge in student protests since the start of the academic year in September, in response to educational issues and in support of the country’s first elected civilian president – former professor Mohamed Morsi – who was ousted by the military last July.
The new Austrian government is integrating the country’s Ministry of Science and Research into a Ministry of Economics and Family Affairs. The move has met with a storm of protest among academics and students.
An interim report from the European University Association on the pattern of public funding for universities has highlighted how the character of higher education funding is changing – largely but not entirely as a result of economic pressures facing governments. The key to getting adequate funds these days is efficiency, says the report.
Global journal publisher Elsevier has joined forces with China Science Publishing & Media company to set up an international publishing platform for English-language journals. The announcement comes at a time when China is emerging as a major contributor to the international scientific community and is the second most prolific publisher of research articles after the US.
Students and parents across Nigeria have welcomed the news that the Academic Staff Union of Universities has called off its five-month strike. Pressures on President Goodluck Jonathan persuaded him to meet some of the lecturer demands – and academics had also come under immense public pressure to reopen campuses.
Two Kenyan universities will not hold end-of-semester examinations ahead of the Christmas break after they were shut down following protests that left two students dead. The student riots were both linked to the examinations.
Russia’s government plans to more actively connect employers to the activities of national universities, in accordance with a special resolution signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Employers will be involved in the process of monitoring efficiency at national universities and the formation of admission quotas for state-funded places.
UNITED KINGDOMPeta Lee
The British government’s announcement on 5 December that the cap on student numbers in higher education would be abolished, has had a lukewarm response from the influential Higher Education Policy Institute.
DENMARKJan Petter Myklebust
A major investigation by Denmark’s high-level Productivity Commission has proposed an overhaul of higher education funding, the introduction of tuition fees for students, quality improvements and degrees of greater relevance to the labour market. Universities are prepared to constructively debate the recommendations but want a “more thorough analysis”.
The International HE Revolution
The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education held a conference in London this month titled “The International Higher Education Revolution: Impacts on mobility, qualifications, networks”. University World News was there.
The former education advisor to Tony Blair's Labour administration told an international higher education conference in London that higher prices for a university degree should not be seen as any guarantee that students were getting better quality education.
Huge new markets for international students are opening up in Asia and the Middle East as parents search for affordable, quality higher education for their offspring and question the wisdom of sending them to Western universities for three of four years of study.
Higher education is still grappling with how to determine a successful outcome from the explosion of interest in massive open online courses – MOOCs – this month’s conference of The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education heard. One international higher education expert said the generic term MOOC was part of the problem.
The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, in conjunction with the Commonwealth of Learning in Vancouver, recently completed the delivery of its second MOOC, “Mobiles for Development”. For the millions who aspire to acquire knowledge through MOOCs – massive open online courses – and for designers who seek such an audience, the model is worth consideration.
SOUTH AFRICAKaren MacGregor
As tens of thousands of new graduates poured out of South Africa’s universities to hopefully enjoy the summer holidays, an important question for the country is whether they will find jobs next year and where they will go. A major graduate destination survey published earlier this year found that one in 10 is likely to end up abroad – “a significant loss”.
The room has only three simple beds and a roughly hewn coffee table with an overflowing ashtray, some A4 notebooks and a lot of dust. It is one of 16 student rooms built in a block on a minute piece of land surrounded by a barbed wire fence at Chuka University, until a year ago a former constituent college of Kenya’s Egerton University.
UNITED STATESJack Stripling, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Robert J Zimmer is a man of few peers. The University of Chicago president, who heads one of America’s wealthiest institutions and gets free housing in a major metropolis, earned almost US$3.4 million in 2011, making him the highest paid private university leader in the United States that year, a Chronicle analysis has found.
Internationalisation of higher education has tended to focus on programmes and practices rather than on students. Recently there has been greater interest in internationalisation of the curriculum and more of a focus on what students learn and the skills they acquire.
Japan recently announced plans to get into the world’s top university rankings, beginning with hiring leading researchers from around the world. Yet there is little sign of any change in hiring practices, and a true internationalisation strategy would require a wholesale change in the way Japanese universities operate.
Chile’s higher education system relies heavily on the private sector. The argument is that this provides choice – but that choice is only for the wealthiest few. Chile can afford a high-quality higher education system if it can put the interests of the many before those of the few.
Strengthening university security and autonomy could help reduce the number of universities, students and staff who are submitted to attack, arrest and violence. This includes not only ensuring adequate security on campus, but also prosecuting anyone who attacks higher education.
INDONESIAAriane Utomo, Anna Reimondos, Iwu Utomo, Peter McDonald and Terence Hull
Research on young adults in Greater Jakarta shows a widening gap between middle-class students who are accessing the internet daily on mobile phones and those who have never had access. The findings have implications for higher education institutions’ online learning policies.
Dust may be rarer than expected in galaxies of the early universe, according to an international research team. In a local dwarf galaxy named I Zwicky 18, the team measured the lowest dust mass of a galaxy that has ever been found.
Archaeological sites and traces of Europe’s landscapes formed at low sea level during the last Ice Age can survive beneath the seabed, but recovering the evidence poses formidable challenges. Now archaeologists, heritage managers, geoscientists and industry have joined forces to research and manage submerged landscapes that tell stories of human evolution.
A team of international scientists that operate the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole has been awarded the 2013 ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ by British magazine Physics World. Last month, the scientists announced the discovery of astrophysical neutrinos, heralding a new age of astronomy.
Everything known about the appearance and behaviour of one of the most populous dinosaurs of the late cretaceous period could be thrown out following a discovery by an international team of scientists.
HIGHER EDUCATION JOBS
Here is a small selection of higher education jobs currently advertised on the University World News Higher Education in Africa Recruitment – HEAR – site. Click here to view all jobs, or click on the links below to go straight to the ad.
Associate Professor: Executive Education at Namibia University of S&T
Vice-chancellor and CEO: Africa University in Zimbabwe
President: American University of Afghanistan
Professor: Business Management at Namibia University of S&T
IT Lecturer: at Varsity College in South Africa
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Proponents of an academic boycott of Israel hailed last week's endorsement by the American Studies Association as a sign that American scholars' attitudes have shifted significantly, writes Beth McMurtie for The Chronicle of Higher Education. In an online poll, 66% of the 1,252 members of the association who voted chose to back a resolution put forth by the group's governing council.
Israeli academia, often seen by the right as a bastion for left-wing, dovish sentiment, has been stung by a vote to boycott higher education in the country by an American academic association in protest against Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, writes Ben Lynfield for The Independent.
The average lecturer around the world has only a bachelor degree because postgraduate study has not kept up with global growth in undergraduate enrolment, according to a leading higher education expert, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
Most college presidents doubt that President Barack Obama's plan to promote affordable higher education will be effective, or that it will lead students to make better informed choices. Further, they expect that the wealthiest colleges and universities will be most successful in the ratings system Obama has proposed, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed.
The Danish government’s decision to postpone implementing university reform aimed at pushing students through studies faster has come under fire from the universities. According to the University of Copenhagen and the Technical University of Denmark, the delay will have no effect, writes Christian Wenande for The Copenhagen Post.
The body that represents Britain's universities has withdrawn guidance on the gender segregation of audiences in lectures and debates after an intervention from David Cameron, write Rajeev Syal and Matthew Weaver for the Guardian.
Irish universities are to lose out on €3.6 million (US$4.9 million) in funding as punishment for making unauthorised top-up allowances to staff – but the pain is to be spread across five years, writes Shane Phelan for The Independent.
University College Dublin had a busy and extremely productive week in China recently. The headline event of the visit was signing a deal to set up UCD Yantai, an international university in north-east China which the Irish institution will operate as a joint venture with the prestigious China Agricultural University, writes Clifford Coonan for The Irish Times.
If the Constitution were written today, universities in Australia would be seen as obviously a national responsibility, says Professor Greg Craven, who leads the multi-state Australian Catholic University. He was commenting on reports that Education Minister Christopher Pyne is discussing a plan for the universities of New South Wales to surrender state governance in favour of federal statutory control, writes Bernard Lane for The Australian.
A partnership between American and Israeli universities, backed by New York City's government, aims to establish the leading technology educational institution in the world by combining the best know-how from academic and commercial worlds, writes Matthew Hall for Sydney Morning Herald.
The National Association of Nigerian Students has set up an 18-person committee to monitor the disbursement of the 200 billion Naira (US$1.3 billion) to be released by the federal government for the revitalisation of public universities, to ensure accountability of the fund, reports Channels Television.
A Harvard University student was named last week in a criminal complaint alleging he was responsible for bomb threats that led officials to delay some final exams – including his – that had been scheduled for last Monday, reports CNN.
University of Colorado officials said last Tuesday that long-time sociology professor Patti Adler might have a chance to teach her popular "Deviance in US Society" course next spring if a review before the start of the semester finds the class appropriate, writes Sarah Kuta for Daily Camera.
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