In Features, Yojana Sharma investigates admissions turmoil at Delhi University, which is being forced by India’s higher education regulator to switch back from four-year to three-year degrees. Peta Lee outlines an Australian study that advises universities not to take too seriously what students say on social media sites.
Jan Petter Myklebust looks at the 2014 Thomson Reuters list of the world’s 3,215 hottest researchers by citation, and Matt Krupnick attends a forum at the UN headquarters in New York on the pros and cons of MOOCs in the developing world.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Moves by the regulatory body the Medical Council of India to scrap almost a third of medical degree places across the country in order to improve the quality of medical education have thrown this year’s admissions into disarray.
UNITED KINGDOMPeta Lee
Tens of thousands of foreign students with invalid language test scores have been exposed in an investigation in Britain, while 57 private colleges have been stripped of their licences. Three universities have been prohibited from sponsoring new international students, and some 750 bogus colleges have been removed from the list of those entitled to bring foreign students to Britain.
Control over dissidents opposing the military coup that took place on 22 May has been increased, as Thailand's Junta ordered the Higher Education Commission to monitor student activities that express hostility to the regime. The order came after dozens of student activists held sporadic symbolic protests in the past month.
Transnational higher education providers in Vietnam are having to work harder to attract students and some international investors are bailing out as cross-border education appears to be losing favour after almost a decade of exponential proliferation.
In Greece, 2014 has been an election year par excellence
. Earlier this year deans in all universities were elected. On 25 May triple elections – local, district and European – were held. The election of rectors is currently under way. And the possibility of a national election later this year has not been discounted.
EUROPEJan Petter Myklebust
The 2014 EuroScience Open Forum – Europe’s biggest scientific gathering attended by more than 4,000 researchers, students, policy-makers and media – was held in Copenhagen last week. The theme was “Science Building Bridges” and the main message was opening up science to society, business and the young – and opening access to scientific research.
Few people are more knowledgeable about rethinking development than world renowned Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells, who recently presented a public lecturer on his forthcoming book Reconceptualizing Development in the Global Information Age
, co-edited by Pekka Himanen and due to be published by Oxford University Press in August.
High numbers of new HIV infections are being recorded in tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe. It has become commonplace at graduation ceremonies for students to be awarded degrees or diplomas posthumously, after having succumbed to HIV-Aids.
The recruitment season at Delhi University – India’s top university – has been thrown into chaos. A number of its constituent colleges were forced last week to defer undergraduate admissions in a highly politicised row over the university’s attempt to switch to four-year degrees from a three-year British-style model.
GLOBALJan Petter Myklebust
Meet Stacey B Gabriel, the high-flying director of the genomics platform at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in the United States. She’s a global scientist with multiple hot papers – 23 in all – and tops the latest list of the world’s 3,215 highly cited researchers, published by Thomson Reuters.
An Australian study of whether or not universities should censor students’ social media activity has thrown up some interesting findings. There was a resounding ‘no’ from students on whether universities should monitor student-run sites, and the main message for universities was not to take too seriously what students say on personal sites.
Massive open online courses – MOOCs – have brought education from top universities to armchair scholars across the globe. Could they help elevate developing nations? Advocates say MOOCs could deliver quality instruction to poverty-stricken places where university attendance is a fantasy, but critics worry that the largely Western courses could equate to a new form of imperialism and push out more effective forms of education.
UNITED STATESEric Kelderman, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Lawyers representing universities and colleges in the United States have a host of worries about if and how their institutions can possibly meet a burgeoning list of federal rules for dealing with s exual violence on campuses. The new, and still evolving, laws and guidelines have set off a scramble at institutions across the country. Colleges that can afford it are hiring staff members to investigate and help resolve s exual assault complaints.
A new programme is seeking to understand what can help Chinese postgraduate students make a more successful transition to study abroad.
EUROPEMarcel Gérard and Silke Uebelmesser
The increasing mobility of students means many end up studying in countries other than their own and often working in a totally different country. How does the home country reap the rewards of such students’ education and should a new funding system be set up that recognises a changing world?
Confucius institutes offer a window into Chinese culture and should not be seen as a threat. To withdraw from engagement with them would be a blow to relations with China and would show that Western universities are as guided by ideology as those they seek to criticise.
SOUTH AFRICAMax Price
After years of highly charged debate over affirmative action, the University of Cape Town has formulated a new ‘hybrid’ admissions policy using three mechanisms for selection: one part of the class chosen just on marks; a second component selected on performance and ability while taking account of school and home background; and a third part driven by achieving demographic targets based on an applicant's race and performance.
To understand the current different challenges facing public and private higher education in Brazil, an understanding of the historical development of the sector is necessary.
Universities trying to recruit Chinese students are using social media sites. Is it better to use an agency or stay in-house? And if you stay in-house what is the best way of reaching your target audience?
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University professors in the United States have joined their Canadian counterparts in urging universities to cut ties with Confucius institutes unless the agreements that bring them to campus are re-worked to guarantee academic freedom, reports Associated Press
Israeli forces, last Sunday at dawn, stormed Al-Quds University in occupied East Jerusalem, as well as Polytechnic University in the West Bank city of Hebron, writes Chris Carlson for International Middle East Media Centre
A draft law the Turkish government recently submitted to parliament has drawn the ire of academics and administrators at private universities, who argue that the bill seeks to end the autonomy of private universities by giving more authority to the Higher Education Board, reports Cihan
There is a serious threat to the employment of lecturers and other staff working in higher education institutions when the full implementation of the ‘K to 12’ programme comes two years from now. College staff are starting to realise the real implications of what is deemed the single most important education reform in the country, writes Ina Hernando Malipot for the Manila Bulletin
At least eight people were killed and 20 wounded by an explosion at a college campus in the heart of the northern N
igerian city of Kano last Monday, reports Reuters
Students and professors at the University of Toronto are concerned about the fate of a student detained in Tajikistan and accused of spying. More than 100 professors from around the world signed an online petition expressing concern for Alexander Sodiqov, a citizen of Tajikistan and a PhD candidate in the University of Toronto’s department of political science, writes Paul Clarke for the Toronto Star
A survey shows that leaders of higher education institutions are unsure about a proposal by the Rectors' Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences to abolish the dual structure of higher education in Finland, write Marjukka Liiten and Aleksi Teivainen for Helsingin Sanomat
Surging interest in Australian bonds is encouraging the country’s top universities to enter the market, as they seek to boost their ability to compete for overseas students, writes James Glynn for The Wall Street Journal
Despite relatively high pay rates, Sweden lags behind other European nations when it comes to making university education economically worthwhile, reports The Local
. Swedes who have graduated from higher education do not earn much more than those who only graduate from high school, and women are at a particular disadvantage.
Scottish ministers have been accused of interfering in the running of universities in a survey of key sector officials, writes Andrew Denholm for The Herald
. The study found senior university staff believe the Scottish government has "centralising tendencies" with recent legislation "threatening their autonomy" and "likely to impede their effectiveness".
Half of Britain’s universities should be closed and others merged in sweeping reforms to the “messy, muddled” higher education system, a leading academic has said, writes Stephanie Linning for Mail Online
Three years ago the University of KwaZulu-Natal implemented a controversial language policy centred on the bilingual use of isiZulu and English. Rhodes University and the University of Cape Town also actively pursued multilingual policies promoting an indigenous language. Claims that such policy would damage the universities and result in untoward consequences for students and staff have proved false, writes Robert J Balfour for the Mail & Guardian
Rwandans seeking to pursue doctoral studies will be able to do so at the University of Rwanda with effect from the next academic year, writes Jean de la Croix Tabaro for The New Times
. The university is finalising curricula for eight PhD programmes in line with the government's objective to make the country's development knowledge-based.
The scholarship portion of a new education programme offered by Starbucks in the United States to help workers pay for an online degree consists of a discount from Arizona State University, not money from the chain, reports Associated Press
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