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NEWSLETTEREmerging international HE themes and the looming end of Western dominance
In World Blog, Hans de Wit looks at articles in the Journal of Studies in International Education and finds that the emerging themes are intercultural and global competencies and learning outcomes, online learning and the use of technology, employability, immigration and competition for talent.
In Commentary, Simon Marginson contends that the West’s domination of global higher education is coming to an end more rapidly than many realise, as Asia’s massive investment in the sector begins to pay off. Neal King outlines achievements of the International Association of University Presidents and challenges ahead for universities.
Chidi Oguamanam describes Africa’s dismal experience with intellectual property rights and the need for more independent and less suspect capacity building on IP, and Qiang Zha argues that China’s efforts to attract back top academic talent may falter as returnees can face social barriers to career progress.
In Features, Geoff Maslen unpacks a new report that has identified the Western Pacific's top 100 universities in 21 fields. David Jobbins finds that ethnicity has a greater impact on the performance of students in England than gender, background or school type. Alya Mishra looks at possible implications of India’s impending general election for higher education, and Raghavendra Verma reports on the fierce battle between academic publishers and students in India over textbook piracy.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
American universities and science institutes dominate the latest ranking of the world’s leading research institutions, taking 50 of the top 100 places in the Nature Publishing Index released last Thursday.
TAIWANMimi Leung and Yojana Sharma
Taiwan students broadened their protests against the government’s controversial handling of a trade-in-services agreement with China as their occupation of the legislature entered its second week. However, police forcibly evicted students from a separate building housing the government’s cabinet offices, amid violent scenes.
China has announced a new round of inspections of science and technology departments in universities, the third ‘special inspection’ tour to be sanctioned by the Communist Party in recent months in its bid to clamp down on research fund embezzlement and other corrupt practices plaguing high-spending research departments.
The European Commission will double the reach of the Harmonisation of African Higher Education and Tuning activities in the next three years, expanding the Tuning work and adding an extra support strand covering quality assurance and accreditation.
PAKISTANAmeen Amjad Khan
Despite the Pakistan Supreme Court’s judgment of April 2011 declaring higher education a federal jurisdiction, provinces are setting up their own commissions that, academics believe, will reduce the federal Higher Education Commission to a non-entity.
An unprecedented case of mass s exual harassment at Egypt’s biggest public university has sent shock waves across the conservative country. A video, which went viral online, showed a woman being harassed by dozens of male students on the campus of Cairo University.
Universities and research centres in African nations once ruled by the British are much more scientifically productive than those in former Belgian, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish colonies, according to a study.
Although Bangladesh’s higher education enrolment has increased substantially in recent years, it has not been to the benefit of the poor. Indeed, proportionately, higher education opportunities for the poor are declining, according to the World Bank.
In the biggest project of its kind in the southern hemisphere, RMIT University in Melbourne will spend A$98 million (US$90 million) to cut energy and water use as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
A unified model for the governance of Arab universities has been proposed, as part of efforts to improve their operation and development. The 22 Arab states have more than 500 universities in eight countries in Africa, six in the Arabian Gulf and eight in Asia.
The latest attempt at negotiations between Benin’s president and leaders of striking public sector workers and lecturers has ended in deadlock. University students and school pupils are disappointed with the outcome of the two-month strike, as institutions remain closed.
The nine African countries involved in the Square Kilometre Array, or SKA – the huge international astronomy research project – met in Pretoria last week and gave the green light for a readiness plan that will include developing a community of scientists to undertake radio astronomy studies across Africa.
Zimbabwe’s Presidential Scholarship Fund has been suspended for lack of money. It currently owes South African universities more than R11 million (US$1million) in fees for hundreds of students, many of whom have been suffering hardship.
UNITED STATESSteve Kolowich, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Coursera – the educational technology company offering massive open online courses or MOOCs – has won powerful allies in higher education by persuading them that it plans to behave more like a university than an investor-backed Silicon Valley company. Now Coursera has taken another step to bolster its academic bona fides.
The government has drafted a bill seeking to form a Kenya Qualifications Authority, which will be charged with regulating and standardising all qualifications awarded by universities and colleges.
A new report has identified the top 100 universities across the Western Pacific region in 21 fields. It describes the extent of international collaboration among the leading institutions – which is strikingly higher than anticipated – and provides a detailed analysis of their research performance.
As the countdown to India’s 2014 parliamentary elections begins, academics and social experts are cautious about predicting drastic change in education policy by any government that comes to power in New Delhi.
Indian academics and university students are fiercely defending their right to use copyrighted reading material for free as Indian publishers intensify their fight against the photocopying and organised counterfeiting of books.
UNITED KINGDOMDavid Jobbins
Ethnicity appears to have a greater effect on student performance at university than gender, disadvantaged background or the type of school attended, according to research published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England last week.
GLOBALHans de Wit
The Journal of Studies in International Education was launched 17 years ago in response to a need to stimulate research into the internationalisation of higher education. Its evidence-based approach is needed now more than ever.
For decades international higher education has been dominated by the West, but things are about to change as investment in higher education in Asia in particular begins to pay off.
Africa’s experience with intellectual property rights is dismal and in urgent need of re-evaluation. Not many dispute the observation that ‘for more than a century, African states have participated in IPR regimes with little or nothing to show for it in terms of economic development and transfer of technology’.
As a new presidency prepares to take over the International Association of University Presidents, it is a good time to look back at achievements made over the past three years and forward at some of the challenges remaining for universities wishing to create global citizens.
China has launched various programmes to retain or attract back its top academic talent from Western countries that are only interested in exploiting their technical know-how. However, returnees may face social barriers to career progress if they have spent time out of the country where they have not been able to build links with powerful bureaucrats who control the research system.
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Around 45% of university graduates in the United Kingdom will not earn enough to repay their student loans, the government now believes. If the figure reaches 48.6% experts calculate that the government will lose more money than it gained by increasing fees in England to £9,000 (US$14,900) a year, reports the BBC.
The 80-20 Initiative, an Asian-American lobby group, scored its first big success last October when it forced television host Jimmy Kimmel to apologise for allowing a five-year-old boy to suggest on air that America should kill everyone in China in order to avoid debt obligations. Last week the group pulled off a more edifying win, defeating an attempt to allow Californian universities to take account of race when deciding whom to admit, reports The Economist.
A Russian philosophy professor at a prestigious state university has been sacked after comparing Moscow's actions in Ukraine with Nazi Germany's annexation of Austria in 1938, reports Reuters.
A Chinese-born academic at Japan’s Kobe University who has done prize-winning research on ethnic Uighurs in China seems to have vanished into thin air after returning to his homeland for a brief visit, reports The Asahi Shimbun.
In a case that highlighted the growing problem of ‘visa mills’, a federal jury in the United States last Monday convicted the founder and president of Tri-Valley University of dozens of fraud charges related to a multimillion dollar scheme to illegally provide immigration status to foreign nationals, writes Howard Mintz for San Jose Mercury News.
Egypt’s largest university has expelled two dozen students for allegedly taking part in violent protests on campus, the state news agency reported, as supporters of the ousted Islamist president held their traditional weekly rallies in Cairo and other cities around the country, reports Associated Press.
Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour last Sunday reportedly fired the head of Port Said University Emad Khedr after professors staged a protest against him over his alleged affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, reports Anadolou Agency.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has circumvented the process of rector appointments as laid out in the Constitution and Law No 2457 on Higher Education to put certain people in charge of universities, according to a newly leaked audio recording, reports Cihan-Today's Zaman.
Regional universities have defended the uncapped higher education system from claims that it is doing little to boost social mobility, saying figures from non-metropolitan campuses tell a different story, writes John Ross for The Australian.
Universities have called on the Scottish Government to provide "legally-defensible certainty" that institutions will be able to deal with an influx of English students following independence, writes Chris Marshall for The Scotsman.
Perhaps it's the calm before the storm but there is little evidence of controversy raging over Scotland's forthcoming referendum on independence at Glasgow University. No posters, no leaflets; few, if any, of the chatting groups of students around the venerable stone campus seem to be discussing the consequences of the September vote, writes Jackie Kemp for the Guardian.
Minister of Education Ruairi Quinn says he is confident universities will agree to his plan to drastically lower tertiary fees for the children of Irish emigrant families living outside the European Union, writes Rachel Flaherty for The Irish Times.
Coursera, a US-based online education site, plans to reach its already thriving Russian audience by translating its material into Russian, writes Diana Kulchitskaya for The Moscow Times.
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