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19 October 2014 Issue 0339 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
`We Will Stop Here and Go No Further': Syrian students and scholars in Turkey

While more than 200 representatives from universities, national ministries and funding agencies from 30 European countries were meeting in Italy under the auspices of the European University Association earlier this month to consider university funding issues, tens of thousands of displaced Syrians and Kurds were fleeing the wars in Syria and Iraq to Turkey, where scholars and students feel abandoned.
In this edition, the Institute of International Education and the Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis report on the conditions and educational needs of Syrian university students and scholars in Turkey.
We also list the winners of this year’s Nobel awards, while in Denmark, Jan Petter Myklebust notes that some universities there have stopped admitting foreign students and in Kenya, Gilbert Nganga describes an angry universities’ dispute with the government over a directive banning them from offering diploma and certificate courses next year.
In Features this week, US public policy analyst Art Hauptman proposes financially sustainable approaches for Ireland’s higher education system, while in Commentary we publish Simon Marginson’s fourth Clerk Kerr lecture, plus a series of key essays delivered at the Salzburg Global Seminar on “students at the margins”.
Geoff Maslen – Acting Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

More than 200 representatives from universities, national ministries, funding agencies, EU institutions and student bodies from more than 30 countries across Europe met earlier this month to consider university funding issues.

The crisis in Syria continues to have a devastating impact on academics, students, and the education sector – not only in Syria but also in the neighbouring countries hosting large numbers of displaced Syrians. In a new report, the Institute of International Education and the Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis review the conditions and educational needs of Syrian university students and scholars in Turkey.

This year’s Nobel prizes for science, literature, peace and economics have been awarded to a range of notable individuals from countries around the globe. Among them is the youngest recipient of the peace prize, Malala Yousafzai, and the fifth married couple to win an award in the history of the Nobels, May-Britt and Edvard Moser from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Jan Petter Myklebust

Copenhagen University and the University of Southern Denmark have announced they will not sign the annual ‘development contract’ with the Education Ministry, effectively refusing to enrol new foreign students.
Beckie Supiano, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Campuses’ career counsellors have been seeing encouraging signs, and now a major survey of employers backs them up: The coming year looks to be a much better one for new graduates seeking jobs.
Alexandra Hansen

Bachelor-degree graduates from Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight and technology universities earn more over their lifetime than those from the lesser known and regional universities, according to a new analysis that found their total income was 6% more over a 40-year career.
Gilbert Nganga

A showdown is looming in Kenya’s higher education system following a government directive that universities should stop offering diploma and certificate courses from next year.

A Polish entrepreneur and data scientist, Marcin Wojnarski, has launched what he says is the first multi-disciplinary aggregator of open access journals and papers. Wojnarski says that his website Paperity will connect authors with readers, boost dissemination of new discoveries and consolidate academia around open literature.
Wagdy Sawahel

Although the foreign-born population from Africa in the US is small relative to other foreign-born groups, a higher proportion of Africans are graduates than the overall foreign-born population and their numbers have grown rapidly over the last 40 years.

King’s College London is launching a major cultural inquiry into the role partnerships play in enabling publicly funded cultural institutions to enhance the quality and diversity of their work across Britain and around the world.
Yojana Sharma

National and regional groups of universities that promote community engagement have been increasing around the world – some of them at breakneck speed – while university engagement organisations are also connecting globally to learn from each other.
Art Hauptman

The biggest issue facing Irish higher education may not be the level of national investment but the mix of public and private funding. Ireland has a modest level of public investment when compared to other OECD countries and a very low level of private investment in the form of privately-paid tuition fees. The key then for achieving sustainable policies in the future is for Ireland to increase its level of private investment while stabilising and maintaining public investment levels in higher education.
Geoff Maslen

An academic’s reputation plays a key role in generating increases in a scientific paper’s citation count early in its citation life cycle, before a tipping point, after which his or her reputation has much less influence relative to the paper’s citation count. This is the intriguing finding from a study by a team of collaborating social science analysts in Belgium, Finland, Italy and the US.
Simon Marginson

Clark Kerr’s Multiversity has spread across the world, but at home it is fraying at the edges. A rethink on tuition fees and on the wider benefits of higher education is needed to ensure its model of balancing excellence and access continues to impact international higher education.
Ita Sheehy

Higher education is severely impacted at times of conflict with the risk of displacement affecting studies being much higher than that for schools. Yet graduates are necessary for any national rebuilding programme. Initiatives to help refugees continue their studies are therefore vital.
William New

The best way for universities to improve the education of Roma children is through better teacher training. But because of ethnocentrism, universities in post-communist countries are not prepared for the teaching of minority students.
Suellen Shay

To achieve more equal access to higher education in South Africa, it is not enough to discriminate solely on the grounds of race, and support is needed throughout the university experience to ensure students from marginalised communities succeed.
Gad Yair

Ultra-orthodox and Israeli-Palestinian Arab students require support to succeed at Israel’s elite universities. The Hebrew University has initiatives that target both groups of undergraduates, but further support is needed for postgraduate education.
Rahul Choudaha and Richard J Edelstein

Transnational education is booming, but quality assurance is lagging behind in many countries. A concerted international effort is needed to establish an improved quality assurance regime for transnational education.
A series of special reports on the changing climate by science editor Geoff Maslen

Assessments of the amount of heat being stored in the world’s oceans have been far too low in the past. Now a team of Californian scientists report that estimates of the ocean’s heat content should be boosted by up to 152%.

Public opinion should inform policy decisions about the marine environment, and managerial, scientific and policy priorities should be more responsive to public values, according to a study by Chilean and Australian ecologists.

During 2012-13, parts of New Zealand experienced their worst drought in nearly 70 years, a costly and climatically extreme event that depressed the country’s GDP by up to 0.9%.

Australian, Brazilian, Norwegian and Spanish scientists have discovered that Arctic marine organisms are acting as a reservoir for carbon dioxide. The scientists believe that increased levels of ultraviolet B radiation support the capacity of Arctic marine organisms to sequester CO2.
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Academics welcomed the promulgation of an ordinance by the Punjab governor that provides for the creation of a Higher Education Commission in Punjab for the regulation of provincial universities, writes Myra Imran for The News.

Last spring, Nicholas Anthony graduated as co-valedictorian of Malibu High School with a résumé that included straight As, top marks on nine advanced placement exams, a varsity quarterback and baritone horn in the wind ensemble. But he didn’t get into the top two public schools in his home state. Instead, he is going to Brown University, an Ivy League school that will cost more than US$100,000 over four years, write Erica E Phillips and Douglas Belkin for The Wall Street Journal.

The master of New College of the Humanities says it costs elite universities £18,000 (US$28,000) to educate undergraduates and institutions should be able to "cover their costs", writes Josie Gurney-Read for the Telegraph.

Belarus is ready to train more students from Turkmenistan and provide accommodation for them. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement at a meeting with Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on 8 October, reports BelTA.

American students borrow twice as much as they did two decades ago and the total student debt mountain has increased fourfold over that period. But women appear to be taking on more debt than their male counterparts, writes Quentin Fottrell for Market Watch.

The All Burma Federation of Student Unions is planning to hold an all-Myanmar students’ emergency meeting in November, writes Myat Min for Mizzima.

Scottish Labour’s “direction of travel” is to rule out the introduction of tuition fees north of the border, according to the party’s shadow education secretary. Kezia Dugdale said she was “very hopeful” she would be able to pledge to keep undergraduate study free but cautioned that this would only happen if sufficient funding was also available to widen access and to reduce the student drop-out rate in the country, writes Chris Havergal for Times Higher Education.

China's top education authorities have approved new regulations for nine top universities, which seek to increase their autonomy, while observers have expressed concern about their effectiveness, reports Global Times.

The human resource development ministry has proposed the formation of a committee that will work on developing a framework for India-specific rankings, writes Gauri Kohli for Hindustan Times.

US News and World Report has announced that it will release its first global ranking of universities on 28 October, reports Inside Higher Ed.

Students from major Mexico City universities have called a two-day strike and were set to hold a rally last week at the national attorney general’s office to call for the safe return of dozens of rural students who disappeared after clashes with police in Guerrero state last month, leading to public outrage, write Renee Lewis and Débora Poo Soto for Aljazeera.

Doctors have warned that the federal government's planned changes to university fees could send the cost of six-year undergraduate medical degrees skyrocketing to A$250,000 (US$220,000) or more, writes Julieanne Strachan for The Sunday Canberra Times.

More and more Greeks are moving to Germany to complete their university studies in the hope of improving their chances in the job market. Radical cuts continue to threaten the quality of teaching in Greece, writes Lisa Brüßlerfor DeutscheWelle.

So much for carefree campus life. A new study shows nearly half of Victoria University of Wellington students are an unhappy bunch, writes Ged Cann for

The Australian National University has become the first university in the country to divest from fossil fuels on ethical grounds, gaining support from the public and its students but facing criticism from the country’s powerful industry, writes Ilaria Bertini for Blue and Green Tomorrow.

Japan’s simultaneous embrace of nationalism and cosmopolitanism is generating ambiguous signals from its education policy makers. They are rewriting textbooks along what they call “patriotic” lines, alienating their Asian neighbours in the process. But at the same time, they are promoting Japanese universities as globalised and open, in a bid to compete internationally, writes Michael Fitzpatrick for The New York Times.

The Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, published in Italy, has been called a scam but it appears on the CVs of several professors at Unisa as the publisher of papers authored by them, writes Shaun Smillie for Times Live.

Authorities in China have ordered books by Chinese-American scholar Yu Ying-shih to be removed from sale, as Beijing expresses its displeasure with writers showing support for pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong and elsewhere, writes Didi Tang for AP.

Steven Salaita has been awarded a US$5,000 grant by the American Association of University Professors Foundation’s Academic Freedom Fund on the grounds that he was involved in an academic freedom controversy, reports the Daily Illini.

If Germany has done it, why can’t we? That’s the question being asked by many students around the world in countries that charge tuition fees to go to university, writes Barbara Kehm for The Conversation.

The Committee of Deans of Student Affairs in Nigerian Universities has called on politicians not to extend political campaigns to university campuses, reports the Daily Independent.
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