University World News Global Edition
09 March 2014 Issue 0310 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
The World Beyond 2015. Is higher education ready?

Universities did not feature in the Millennium Development Goals. This week we run a Special Report, in collaboration with the Association of Commonwealth Universities, on the role of higher education in responding to global development challenges post-2015 – and how universities can prepare themselves.
There are articles by Ad Boeren on the need for higher education to be integrated into programmes that aim to achieve new development goals, Mitch Hartman on how the University of the West Indies is diversifying funding to counter declining government support, Najma Najam on balancing local needs with pressures to be internationally visible, and Hala Sabri on how international partnerships can help meet development goals.
Also, our journalists Wachira Kigotho and Alya Mishra look at thinking around education development imperatives in Africa and India.
In Commentary, Leonard Engel of the European Association for International Education – endorsed by other associations – responds to a critical article in University World News by Hans de Wit and Nico Jooste. Engel argues that international higher education groups are indeed striving for a more equal and truly international agenda.
In World Blog, Grace Karram finds students at branch campuses in Dubai excelling in business competitions inspired by the dynamic financial environment.
And in Features, Crystal Tai looks at plans by South Korea to radically cut the number of university places over the next decade because of a declining population, and Mimi Leung and Yojana Sharma report on the controversial appointment of Jiang Mianheng, the millionaire businessman son of China’s former president Jiang Zemin, to head a new university.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Yojana Sharma

Graduate competition for jobs in China will be even tougher this year as large numbers of students are expected to return from overseas studies, according to Chinese officials. They will join a record 7.27 million local students who graduate in June – an increase of almost 280,000 from last year’s record of 6.99 million.
Karen MacGregor

The Institute of International Education last week launched a major Generation Study Abroad initiative that aims to double the number of American students overseas to 600,000 by the end of the decade. It said more than 150 higher education institutions had already committed to “specific, measurable actions” that would help the campaign reach its goal.
David Jobbins

Australia, the United Kingdom and mainland Europe are the losers in the latest Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, in the face of consolidated strength in the United States and sustained performance of leading Asian universities.
María Elena Hurtado

Launching a far-reaching investigation into profit-making by private universities will be top priority for Nicolás Eyzaguirre, who is due to become Michelle Bachelet’s education minister when she is sworn in as Chile’s President on 11 March.
Peta Lee

A study by Leeds Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom has shown that female students with high resilience levels are likely to outperform male peers academically. The researchers say its findings have implications for student support services in a higher education system that now favours female students.
Gilbert Nganga

Kenya has kicked off its long-awaited plan to have private universities admit government-sponsored students, potentially easing the admissions pressure on state universities, with the first cohort expected to join private institutions this year.
Kelly Field, The Chronicle of Higher Education

The maximum Pell Grant for students in the United States would increase by US$100, and states and colleges would get billions of dollars in incentive grants, under President Barack Obama’s 2015 budget proposal, released last Tuesday.
Wagdy Sawahel

Three North African states and four European and Middle Eastern countries are to benefit from a new three-year European Union-funded Tempus initiative aimed at enhancing the employability of university graduates in the Mediterranean region.
Maina Waruru

African-born scholars living and working in American and Canadian universities are now able to apply for fellowships to undertake academic projects in African universities under a diaspora initiative supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Crystal Tai

South Korea has unveiled plans to drastically cut the number of university places over the next decade because of a declining population. But the policy is causing disquiet, with higher education already facing major restructuring including university closures and mergers.
Mimi Leung and Yojana Sharma

Jiang Mianheng, son of China’s former president Jiang Zemin, has been named head of ShanghaiTech University – a new university modelled on the California Institute of Technology in the United States. But the appointment has raised eyebrows in some academic circles and prompted questions around how university presidents are appointed.
HE and ‘The World Beyond 2015’
In this Special Report, produced in collaboration with the Association of Commonwealth Universities, we look at the role of higher education in responding to global problems and how universities might engage with post-2015 international development goals.
Karen MacGregor

Reconciling the wish to prioritise societal and development goals with growing pressures to perform on other core missions has emerged as a major dilemma for universities in “The World Beyond 2015”, a campaign of the Association of Commonwealth Universities to raise awareness of why and how higher education should respond to global challenges.
Ad Boeren

The importance of higher education to achieving the old and new Millennium Development Goals is evident. As such higher education should feature in post-2015 development agendas and be integrated in programmes that aim to achieve the goals.
Mitch Hartman

Universities are facing growing constraints on their budgets following the 2008 recession. The University of the West Indies is looking at a range of ways to diversify its funding to make up for the projected shortfall in government funding.
Najma Najam

Can universities balance local needs with the pressure for international visibility? Is it possible to do both to the benefit of all?
Hala Sabri

International partnerships can help meet Millennium Development Goals and reach those marginalised groups, such as girls and people living in rural areas. But they must take into account the local and cultural context.
Wachira Kigotho

With only a year to go before the United Nations Millennium Development Goals initiative ends, academics in Sub-Saharan Africa have been exercising their minds about ways forward for higher education post-2015. They see unfinished business in the education goal.
Alya Mishra

Barring a few initiatives, higher education in India has been the exclusive reserve of the middle-class and has shown little interest in linking itself organically to school, adult or vocational education – thus not doing enough to help achieve any of the Education for All goals.
Grace Karram

Students at Dubai’s branch campuses may not be involved in mountain hikes or nature trips, but they are taking part in extra-curricular business competitions inspired by the environment in which they are set. And, despite stereotypes, many of those taking part are girls.
Leonard Engel

Groups working in international higher education have been trying and continue to try to find ways to establish a more equal and truly international internationalisation agenda. The Network of International Education Associations has just set up a task force to work on action points agreed at the recent Global Dialogue on the Future of International Education.
David Watson, The Conversation

By definition, corruption is any type of deviation from an ideal. Ideals, as well as ideas, are core business for higher education. So when we fall short it matters.

New research by an international team of marine scientists suggests that the global biomass of fish is 30 times more than the accepted estimate, contradicting previous beliefs about the biomass of fish in the world’s oceans.

Climate change has led to more than a third of the world’s oceans becoming inaccessible to species that migrate seeking favourable climates, according to a team of 21 researchers from eight countries around the globe.

A new study by University of the Witwatersrand scientist Dr Kelsey Glennon and colleagues has overturned a long-standing hypothesis about the formation of new plant species in the course of evolution. Glennon’s findings suggest that agricultural crops could be more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought.

An investigation by American researchers into the effect of financial hardship on body weight has found evidence to suggest that people heavily in debt and facing problems paying their bills face a greater likelihood of suffering obesity – especially women.

Newton’s List is an online clearinghouse of active funding opportunities for researchers, students and educators seeking global scientific collaborations. It was launched last year by the US National Science Foundation and CRDF Global, an independent, non-profit organisation, and is open to researchers and students from around the globe.
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Universities were the sector most attacked by cyber criminals across the world in 2013, as hackers abused their large and porous networks to get to intellectual property sometimes vital to national security, writes Hannah Kuchler for Financial Times.

A prominent Chinese dissident who moved to the United States after being fired by Peking University last year has warned of the dangers of academic exchanges with China, saying that Beijing had sent spies as visiting scholars, writes David Brunnstrom for Reuters.

In his budget released last Tuesday, US President Barack Obama proposed setting funding for the National Institutes of Health at US$30.2 billion this upcoming fiscal year. But in a reflection of the angst felt by biomedical researchers across the country, even those who stand to benefit are warning that it is insufficient, writes Sam Stein for Huffington Post.

Colleges and institutes of technology in Ireland will be allowed to describe themselves as a 'university' when trying to attract foreign students, writes Fionnan Sheahan for Education Minister Ruairi Quinn is to change the law to allow non-universities "in limited circumstances" to describe themselves as a university.

More than 150 academics have claimed in a joint letter that universities are acting as an ‘extension’ of government immigration authorities, and eroding the trust of their students in the process, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.

Sweden prides itself on being a country that welcomes immigrants, but foreigners like Chinese engineering student Zhao Shuqi may be excused if they think otherwise, reports AFP. During her years at Stockholm's Royal Institute of Technology, or KTH, she has experienced an abrupt change in policy that has introduced fees for students from nations outside the European Union.

As online courses soar in popularity, a battle is beginning over who should own them, writes Sarah Butrymowicz for The Hechinger Report. Although little noticed, it is a fight that could change longstanding traditions about faculty control of classes they create, and influence the future and success of online higher education.

At the centre of the admissions and financial aid process in American colleges is a massive information imbalance. Institutions make decisions with detailed data about each applicant that goes well beyond test scores and transcripts. Students are not so lucky. Institutions offer comparatively little information about exactly who they are awarding aid to and for what, writes Marian Wang for ProPublica.

In an attempt to increase educational and student exchanges, Russia and India will sign an agreement on the mutual recognition of higher education diplomas, writes Alessandro Belli for RIR.

Indonesia’s Education and Culture Ministry has encouraged researchers to obtain doctoral degrees as part of its efforts to improve the quality of higher education, reports The Jakarta Post.

Sustained research programmes will eventually lead scientists to develop a vaccine for the prevention and treatment of HIV, South Africa’s Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said last week. He was addressing reporters in Johannesburg after the announcement of the discovery of a method to develop antibodies able to kill multiple strains of HIV, reports Sapa.

Students at a British university have demanded that Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan be sacked as their chancellor as he has failed to attend any of its graduation ceremonies since 2010, reports Zee News.
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