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13 July 2014 Issue 0328 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
British exit from the EU would be disaster for HE, research – Universities

In World Blog, Yegor Stadny celebrates the passing of new legislation reforming higher education in Ukraine. Now universities must focus on implementation.
In Commentary, Diana Laurillard proposes capitalising on MOOCs to train teachers and improve primary education in developing countries. Sherif Halawa looks at how data recorded by MOOCs might enable interventions to avoid drop-outs.
Thomas Ekman Jørgensen argues for more structured approaches to doctoral mobility in Europe, to provide greater protection for PhD students and boost quality, and Danilo de Melo Costa charts the extraordinary expansion of higher education in Brazil.
In Features, Nic Mitchell reports on growing concern among British universities over a potential exit from the European Union, which would be ‘disastrous’ for higher education and research. Suluck Lamubol finds little difference between being ‘summoned’ or ‘invited’ to talks with Thailand’s junta – critical academics are still being detained and threatened.
Peta Lee outlines a European Commission international study that stresses the crucial need to balance rises in tuition fees with student financial support, and Andrew Cotterill and Anjana Selvanathan look at reforms sweeping through French higher education.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor

The Programme on Research, Higher Education, Development and Innovation – RHEDI – has launched an online community site in partnership with University World News. RHEDI conducts research and training and the community platform among other things features policy-relevant articles, a repository of resources and an open forum for sharing research, policy and management practice.
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Yojana Sharma

Some of China’s top universities are coming under scrutiny as part of the country’s anti-corruption drive, with Shanghai’s prestigious Fudan University last week named and shamed by anti-graft watchdog the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
Shafigeh Shirazi

Nearly 900 professors in Iranian universities have issued a statement in support of embattled Science Minister Reza Faraji Dana who is facing an impeachment vote in parliament. In a letter to the parliamentary speaker, the academics expressed dismay that conservative MPs were trying to remove the “rational” minister who is also responsible for higher education.
Karen MacGregor

An Institute of International Education study has confirmed a rapidly growing number of international students enrolling in United States schools to boost their competitiveness ahead of entering higher education. American universities might need to turn more recruitment attention to foreign students on their doorsteps.
Ashraf Khaled

Egypt’s recently elected President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has controversially scrapped a long-fought but short-lived policy that allowed academics to elect the leaders of public universities, replacing it with a system giving him the right to appoint leaders to top positions.
Wagdy Sawahel

Heads of state adopted the 'Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa – 2024' at an African Union assembly in Equatorial Guinea late last month. The continental framework is aimed at accelerating transition to innovation-led, knowledge-based economies.
Mushfique Wadud

A recent study by the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International’s Bangladesh chapter looking into private universities’ alleged ‘monetary irregularities’ has triggered a heated public debate, with education authorities disputing the claims.
Wachira Kigotho

A high-level forum hosted by the Senegalese government in collaboration with the World Bank has recommended training 10,000 new PhD holders in applied sciences, engineering and technology in the next 10 years, in a bid to boost Africa’s capacity for socio-economic transformation and development.
Steve Kolowich, The Chronicle of Higher Education

The University of Zurich says it has cleared up the bizarre case of the MOOC – massive open online course – that went missing. But the university is offering few clarifying details to the public, which has been left to piece together theories from the university’s statements and from cryptic tweets by the course’s professor about an unspecified experiment he might have been trying to conduct.

A record 270,000 students obtained European Union grants to study or train abroad in 2012-13, according to statistics released by the European Commission last Thursday. The most popular destination countries were Spain, Germany and France.
Nic Mitchell

Universities have warned that a British exit from the European Union would be “potentially disastrous” for higher education and the wider research community. Britain would not just lose access to billions of euros worth of research grants, but also the power to influence the European regulatory framework with an impact on research and higher education.
Suluck Lamubol

Thailand’s military regime pledged to bring ‘peace and order’ when it assumed power on 22 May, summoning more than 500 politicians, academics and activists and detaining them for up to seven days under martial law to ensure ‘cooperation’ and ‘attitude adjustment’.
Peta Lee

A European Commission international study of nine countries has found that when balanced with student support, increased tuition fees do not have an overall negative impact on higher education enrolments. But it stresses that grants or loans are “crucial” in offsetting negative consequences of fee increases, particularly for vulnerable groups.
Andrew Cotterill and Anjana Selvanathan

Following the election of François Hollande, a tidal wave of reform has been ploughing through the French higher education landscape. Academics have criticised former higher education minister Geneviève Fioraso for her reform, which they believe will lead to a more restrictive and bureaucratic legal system that is ultimately less representative of universities.
Yegor Stadny

The struggle for higher education reform in Ukraine has been long and the passing of new legislation is by no means the end of the process. Now universities must focus on the reform’s implementation.
Diana Laurillard

Massive open online courses – MOOCs – tend to be taken by qualified professionals. Why not capitalise on this? A new MOOC directed at primary school teachers could contribute significantly towards training more teachers and improving primary education standards in developing countries.
Thomas Ekman Jørgensen

Universities tend to prefer ad hoc arrangements on doctoral mobility, but more structured approaches could provide greater protection for doctoral students and boost quality.
Sherif Halawa

What causes students to drop out of massive open online courses, or MOOCs? The fact that MOOCs record enough data to allow a detailed analysis of the reasons will help to fuel effective interventions.
Danilo de Melo Costa

Brazil has invested heavily in widening access to higher education by expanding places at public institutions and also funding places at private institutions. However, there is room for improvement.
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Academic freedom is not something Turkey is known for, and recent legislation on higher education makes sure that it will stay that way for years to come, writes A Kadir Yildirim for Al Jazeera. The government of the Justice and Development Party, in a push to exert greater control over higher education, has proposed legislation undermining the autonomy of private universities and the academic freedom of professors.

The Delhi University undergraduate imbroglio appears to have speeded up the government's decision to restructure the higher education regulatory set-up, writes Urmi A Goswami for The Economic Times.

Private universities will have to offer the same curriculum as state-run universities under a new education law, according to a senior official from the Department of Higher Education, writes May Thinzar Naing for Myanmar Times.

This last decade of the music industry presages the coming decade of education. Choice is expanding at every level, from pre-school to graduate school. The individual course, rather than the degree, is becoming the unit of content. And universities, the record labels of education, are facing increased pressure to unbundle their services. So what will the future of education look like? asks Martin Smith for The Atlantic.

The presidents of the Royal Society, the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences have warned that Scottish independence would damage UK-wide research, and research in Scotland in particular, reports Times Higher Education.

Higher education in Australia shares similarities with the United Kingdom, but its relationship with China sets it apart, writes Simon Marginson for the Guardian.

The changing nature of research evaluation in higher education in the United Kingdom is creating perverse and damaging consequences. Higher education research is increasingly characterised by ‘McDonaldised’ audit cultures that reduce complex issues of quality to quantified assessment measures, writes David Collinson for the Financial Times.

The Committee of University Heads in Israel announced last week the establishment of a forum to counter academic boycotts against Israel, writes Lidar Gravé-Lazi for The Jerusalem Post. Professor Zvi Ziegler, professor emeritus at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and chair of the Inter-University Senate, will head the panel.

Turkey is increasing its international scholarships in an effort to become a global education hub, according to officials. There are more than 54,000 international students from around the world enrolled in Turkish universities with over 13,000 of them funded by government education programmes, reports the Daily Sabah.

The share of foreigners among teaching and research staff employed by Finnish universities has increased from roughly 10% to 20% over the past few years. Today, Finnish universities provide employment to approximately 3,000 foreign lecturers and researchers, roughly 1,000 more than in 2010, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

Malaysia’s Ministry of Education always ensures that public universities screen all would-be lecturers to ensure that none are involved in militant and negative activities, reported Bernama as police hunted an Islamic studies lecturer for alleged militancy.

When Elliot Sperling, an American professor, landed in Beijing after a 12-hour flight from the New York area last weekend, he found himself dragged by border officers into a back room in the airport for an interrogation. They then marched him back to the same United Airlines jet that he had flown in on, despite the fact he had arrived with a valid one-year tourist visa, writes Edward Wong for The New York Times.

Graduates with higher degrees in China are feeling the pinch in the job market as competitors with lower education levels rise on par and catch up as magnets for employers, reports Xinhua.

Newly crowned as Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria is the latest developing country to rapidly expand the number of international students it sends to Australia, writes Tim Dodd for the Financial Review.

Leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has entered into a strategic partnership with Computer Warehouse Group to deploy Nigeria’s first research and education network, reports This Day.
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