|29 March 2015||Issue 0360||Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week||Advanced Search|
NEWSLETTERClimate change activists
challenge universities to
clean up investments
This week in News Mary Beth Marklein reports on the growing number of campaigns by students, academics and alumni in the United States and worldwide challenging universities to drop investments in industries they believe are contributing to global warming.
In Features, Munyaradzi Makoni reports on the heated debate over whether the statue of Cecil John Rhodes at the University of Cape Town in South Africa – seen by black students as a symbol of white supremacy – should be moved.
In the World Blog, Rahul Choudaha says if Asian universities are to compete for international students they must learn to differentiate themselves in innovative ways.
In the Commentary section, Kurt Deketelaere, says the European Commission’s plan to pay for the European Fund for Strategic Investments by taking money out of the Horizon 2020 budget requires a complete redraft. Sarah Jane Aiston says Hong Kong universities should not assume that just because the proportion of undergraduates who are women is growing that women are getting their fair share of leadership positions. Steve Nerlich says study abroad data must capture all student experiences overseas, not just those studying full-degree courses, to show the true value of international education.
In our Special Report, from the International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Nicola Jenvey reports on the power of social entrepreneurship to engage students with real life issues.
Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
GLOBALMary Beth Marklein
Student activists in the United States and worldwide are ramping up pressure on universities to drop fossil fuel holdings from endowments, garnering support from alumni and faculty as they organise sit-ins and other forms of protest.
The number of Russian students applying to study abroad has dropped by between 25% and 30% this year, according to a leading consulting agency on foreign education. In some disciplines, especially languages, the numbers have dropped by 40%.
Against a backdrop of tense Sino-Japanese relations in recent years, a Chinese university will launch a branch campus in Tokyo in April – the first Chinese government funded higher learning institution in Japan, with officials expressing the hope that ‘education diplomacy’ will help mend bridges.
UNITED KINGDOMDavid Jobbins
Would-be university students recognise the potential educational benefits of studying alongside international students even before they embark on their higher education, research from an independent UK think tank suggests.
The annual contribution of the physical sciences to the Australian economy has been estimated to be worth A$292 billion (US$230 billion), according to a report released on 25 March.
ARAB STATESWagdy Sawahel
Most Arab universities are failing to produce graduates with the skills they need to find work, and they need to strengthen innovation capacity by building links with industry, two conferences were told.
DENMARKJan Petter Myklebust
Danish university colleges are developing a plan to raise the proportion of staff having a PhD tenfold, from 5% to 50%, by 2022.
Recent pictures of men clambering school walls to pass cheating sheets to school-leaving exam candidates in Bihar have highlighted a national problem affecting access to university.
A technology wave is sweeping Kenyan higher education, changing the ways universities are run. Since mid-February more higher education institutions and groups supporting the sector have tapped technology to ease operations and open new competitive frontiers.
Amid growing concerns over higher education standards in Bangladesh, a significant number of students are opting for off-campus distance education programmes provided by UK universities rather than the on-campus courses of Bangladesh’s universities.
The UK’s first research Centre for Global Higher Education is being established by the UCL Institute of Education, in partnership with Lancaster University and the University of Sheffield. It will open its doors in October.
INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
The rise of social entrepreneurship was fostering an increasingly engaging approach among students entering competitions that solved real-life issues rather than merely entertaining competitions on theoretical cases, research from the Denmark-based Aarhus University has revealed.
SOUTH AFRICANicola Jenvey
South Africa has the lowest level of entrepreneurship education in Africa, driven by the conviction that entrepreneurship was not a ‘decent profession’. At the International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship held in Durban, there were calls for South Africa to introduce entrepreneurship in schools and universities.
SOUTH AFRICAMunyaradzi Makoni
The statue of Cecil John Rhodes has a commanding presence. Sitting at the focal point of the University of Cape Town campus, Rhodes – heroic 19th century politician and businessman, or cold-blooded capitalist imperialist, depending on your point of view – gazes out over the rugby fields, eyes set on the African interior. The statue has torched a storm of controversy in recent weeks, with students insisting that it must go.
A team of international researchers has shed new light on the origins of some of the most widely spoken languages in the world. The results raise questions about existing views of their relationships.
Asian universities will only attract more foreign students if they align student needs with innovative approaches that emphasise student learning and a supportive policy environment.
Attempts to push through the European Fund for Strategic Investments and its raid on Horizon 2020 money have met with opposition from university bodies and now the court. The battle has just begun.
HONG KONGSarah Jane Aiston
Women are under-represented in senior positions in academia in Hong Kong and fears of feminisation, or complacency that change will come eventually with no action being taken, are holding back progress.
Recording and publishing data on all forms of student mobility, including short-term courses, would help to democratise study abroad and encourage more students to reap the benefits.
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Japan's military is prying open long-closed doors at university research labs, boosting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's US-backed effort to cast off some of the country’s pacifist constraints, write Eric Pfanner and Chieko Tsuneoka for The Wall Street Journal.
International students are being forced to queue in their thousands to collect visas from post offices, writes Rebecca Ratcliffe for the Guardian. Speaking at a Guardian higher education panel debate, Julia Goodfellow, vice-chancellor of Kent University, warned that Indian students’ belief that they are not welcome is not perception but a reality.
Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the police are working with public and private universities to prevent students from joining and supporting the IS militant group, especially via social media, reports Bernama.
A new report has found that despite the rapid growth of universities in the Arab world, the social sciences are only offered by 55% of them, reports Rasha Faek for Al-Fanar.
The grip on vice-chancellor salaries is tightening after ministers agreed to monitor senior pay and awards in Wales’ university sector, writes Gareth Evans for Wales Online. It follows a report by the University and College Union that found that all but one of Wales’ eight vice-chancellors was last year paid more than £200,000 (US$298,000).
The Turkish Higher Education Board, YÖK, has launched an inquiry into allegations that about 450 students, most of whom are relatives of government officials, were enrolled at Istanbul University’s open and distance education faculty even though they did not meet the enrolment criteria, reports Today’s Zaman.
Delhi University has seen a steady rise of late in the number of foreign students, especially women candidates, enrolling for courses. University officials claim that, despite perceptions that Delhi was the 'rape capital' of India in the wake of the 16 December 2012 gang-rape here, women candidates consider it to be a safe destination for pursuing higher education, reports the Press Trust of India.
Afghan authorities announced recently that more than 130,000 students, a third of them female, had passed exams to enter university in the upcoming academic year, bringing into focus Afghanistan's challenge to rebuild its education system, reports World Bulletin.
Spurred by the rebound of the economy and strong research results by universities, the United States remained the world’s top inventive country in 2014, accounting for 28.6% of all international patent applications, up from 27.9% a year earlier, writes John Zarocostas for McClatchy DC.
Scottish universities which use zero-hours contracts to employ staff have been urged to outlaw the controversial practice, writes Andrew Denholm for Herald Scotland. Union leaders have written to institutions north of the border calling on them to improve terms of conditions of employees.
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