University World News Global Edition
17 August 2014 Issue 0330 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Who should protect mobile students conducting risky transnational research?

In World Blog, Grace Karram Stephenson argues that the recent arrest of a Tajik research student linked to Canadian and UK universities highlights the need to support international students engaged in transnational and sometimes risky research.
In Commentary, Christine Ennew writes that Myanmar has an opportunity to fundamentally reform higher education, but will need to get investment right and support university autonomy.
Joanne Gaudet proposes hitting the reset button on peer review to take into account how the process is conceived and to question the boundaries of knowledge. Alejtin Berisha charts the remarkable expansion of higher education in Kosovo but finds challenges in funding, staffing and collaboration with industry.
In Student View, Jarmo Kallunki contends that arguments for charging international students in Finland fees are based on fallacies, and that fees may actually prove costly.
In Features, Naw Say Phaw Waa describes confusion surrounding Myanmar’s new national education bill, which some claim does not sufficiently reform higher education, and María Elena Hurtado finds that Peru’s new university reform law has become a political hot potato.
Jan Petter Myklebust outlines an intense debate in Norway over the value of the masters degree, and Reuben Kyama looks at the Rwandan campus of America’s highly ranked Carnegie Mellon University, which has just graduated its first students.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Geoff Maslen

American universities have again outranked more than 1,250 other higher education institutions around the world in the annual Shanghai Jiao Tong listing of the global top 500 universities. And for the 12th year running, Harvard was placed number one.
Geoff Maslen

Tens of thousands of foreign students have become permanent residents in Australia as a result of widespread fraud and corruption within the federal Immigration Department. Investigations by academics and journalists have revealed that foreigners have avoided federal regulations and been granted illegal permanent residency visas – and that the huge numbers involved has led directly to rising unemployment levels among young Australians.
Suluck Lamubol

Rectors from nine of Thailand’s top public universities have joined the junta-picked lawmaking assembly established three months after the military staged the country’s 13th coup d'état on 22 May.
Karen MacGregor

A global quality platform to review non-institutional education providers is to be piloted by America’s Council for Higher Education Accreditation and its International Quality Group. The platform is aimed at protecting students and is a response to the explosion of non-traditional provision – including MOOCs – and increasingly international higher education.
Ashraf Khaled

Dozens of lecturers and students recently held a protest at Cairo University against the public institution’s decision to expel 94 anti-government students. The action by Egypt’s top institution follows the expulsion of 160 students from the University of Al-Azhar.
Peta Lee

A study of trends in student digital use has confirmed the need for universities to deploy a range of tools in communicating with prospective students. Laura Bridgestock, author of the report just published by university rankings body QS, warned institutions not to “underestimate the importance of traditional communication methods even in the Web 3.0 era”.
Tunde Fatunde

At a Lagos State University graduation ceremony this month, the state’s Governor Babatunde Fashola – who is also the university visitor – ordered a sharp rise in tuition fees to be reversed. The announcement was unprecedented in the annals of higher education fee regimes in Nigeria and is bound to have far-reaching effects.
Gilbert Nganga

Kenya’s higher education regulator has raised a red flag over growing inequality in the sector that it worries could reach crisis levels in the next four years, locking out thousands of women and vulnerable groups.
Gosia Kaszubska

A five-year agreement between the United Nations Global Compact and RMIT University in Melbourne will strengthen efforts to tackle the world’s urban challenges.
Karen MacGregor

The just launched Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network is calling for case studies that use “innovative and transformative open processes in generating knowledge and actions” aimed at tackling challenges in the Global South. The broad aim of OCSDNet is to see whether and how open and networked research could support development.
Wagdy Sawahel

In an effort to provide African learners with greater access to higher education opportunities, the African Virtual University, in partnership with the African Development Bank, is launching 29 new open, distance and e-learning centres in 21 African countries.
Naw Say Phaw Waa

A national education bill passed by Myanmar’s parliament on 30 July has been criticised for maintaining centralised control of universities and for not going far enough in reforming higher education. But student groups said the exact content of the bill covering all sectors from primary to tertiary is still shrouded in mystery, leaving many citizens perplexed.
María Elena Hurtado

Peru’s new university law, promulgated by President Ollanta Humala on 8 July, has become a political hot potato in this South American country. The president called it a “fundamental step” on the road to quality higher education.
Jan Petter Myklebust

In the past year there has been intense debate about masters degrees in Norway. The debate was launched by Professor Linda Lai at the BI Norwegian Business School, who introduced the concept of mastersyke – which in Norwegian means ‘masters degree illness’, with criticism of the degree supported by major surveys by Lai and Norwegian business.
Reuben Kyama

Internationally respected Carnegie Mellon University became the first highly ranked American institution to operate a fully-fledged campus in Africa when it set up in tiny, post-conflict Rwanda in September 2011. The first batch of students graduated last month.
Steve Kolowich, The Chronicle of Higher Education

John R Barker paces the front of the lecture hall, gesturing at slides with a laser pointer and explaining to a room full of undergraduates how scientists use data to make predictions about global climate change. At the moment Barker, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Michigan, is facing a climate crisis of his own: the atmosphere in this lecture hall is dead.
Grace Karram

The recent arrest and release of a Tajik research student linked to a Canadian and United Kingdom university highlight the need for universities to support their international students in an age of transnational and sometimes dangerous research.
Christine Ennew

Myanmar has an opportunity to undertake major reform of its higher education system. But what type of investment should it seek to attract? Both public and private investment carry risks. The important thing is to get the balance right and support institutional autonomy.
Joanne Gaudet

Peer review needs to be submitted to a thorough review that takes into account all aspects of how we conceive of the process and questions the boundaries of our knowledge.
Alejtin Berisha

Participation in higher education in Kosovo has shot from 15% of the school-leaving cohort in 1999 to over 60% now. But funding has not matched expansion, there are concerns over shortages of academics and there is a need for much greater collaboration between academia and industry in teaching and research.
Jarmo Kallunki

There are two main arguments for charging international students in Finland tuition fees, but both are based on fallacies. Indeed, charging fees may prove more costly than offering tuition-free education.
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The Australian government last week signalled that it is prepared to jettison elements of its reforms overhauling university funding to ensure some of the measures are passed by the senate, writes Justine Ferrari for The Australian.

Britain’s Russell Group of leading universities has called on the government to drop plans for a free-for-all in undergraduate recruitment next year, following publication of a report that suggests the policy could have disastrous financial consequences, writes Richard Adams for the Guardian.

The Ontario government has signed a sweeping set of agreements with universities and colleges that will oblige them to choose areas of specialty and avoid overlapping programmes. The deals are a crucial step in the province’s plan to tailor the postsecondary system more closely to the economy, and save public money by avoiding duplication, writes Adrian Morrow for The Globe and Mail.

American universities are suspending programmes in West Africa in the light of the Ebola outbreak, and taking measures to ensure that no one comes back to campus with the disease, writes Karen Weintraub for USA Today.

All 10 members of ASEAN – the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – have agreed to participate in Australia's New Colombo Plan encouraging Australian students to study at universities in Southeast Asia, reports SBS.

Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has issued a directive about establishing a Crimean Federal University named after Vladimir Vernadsky. The directive was posted on the Russian government's website, reports ITAR-TASS.

A few weeks ago Steven Salaita had reason to be pleased. After a full review by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he had received a generous offer of a tenured, associate professor position there – the normal contract was offered, signed by the institution, he had received confirmation of his salary, a teaching schedule, everything except the final approval of the UIUC chancellor, writes David Palumbo-Liu for Salon.

An associate professor of political science says he will lodge a complaint with Macau's labour authority claiming that his employer, the University of Macau, discriminated against him based on his political beliefs, writes Raquel Carvalho for South China Morning Post.

Just over two years ago, minority Rohingya Muslims and majority Buddhists studied side by side in the capital of Rakhine state in western Myanmar. This symbiotic relationship changed drastically after anti-Muslim violence erupted in the town of Sittwe in mid-2012, when authorities banned hundreds of the mostly darker-skinned Rohingya from returning to university, part of a system of racial segregation imposed in the name of keeping the peace, writes Joshua Carroll for Al Jazeera.

Parliamentarians have warned that it is “highly doubtful” the Scottish government’s position on tuition fees would be legally sustainable if the country became independent, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.

A faculty-led committee at Princeton University is recommending that the institution changes its 10-year-old grading policy which caps the number of A's a department can give, a practice that critics have called ‘grade deflation’, writes Nicole Mulvaney for Times of Trenton.

After more than two months on the job, Smriti Irani, the new Indian government’s minister of human resource development, still has not said publicly whether she graduated from any Indian university. Last weekend the former Bollywood actress reignited a controversy over her academic credentials by saying she had gone to Yale, writes Shanoor Seervai for The Wall Street Journal.

Islamic studies students applying to study at Tashkent University in Uzbekistan have described their university entry exam as a ‘scandal’ after they found questions probing their opinions regarding the Central Asian state's secular laws, reports World Bulletin.

After two months of uncertainty, there's some good news for Indian students studying medicine and other professional courses in eastern Ukraine. They will be transferred to other universities in safer parts of the country, reports The Times of India.
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