University World News Global Edition
19 April 2015 Issue 0363 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Do the values of ancient universities still apply?

Professor Jandhyala BG Tilak begins his commentary in this edition with a quote from Jawaharlal Nehru: “A university stands for humanism, for tolerance, for progress, for the adventure of ideas and the search for truth... If universities discharge their duties adequately, then all is well with the nation and the people.” Tilak goes on to point out that excellence, equity, justice, compassion, caring and harmony were the underpinning values of the ancient universities in countries like India – as they should be today.
In her commentary, Laura E Rumbley argues that one of the most important issues facing higher education around the world is the need for “intelligent internationalisation”. As a response to globalisation, as a strategy for enhanced quality or visibility, Rumbley says internationalisation can be included among the most significant issues.
And finally, in a response to the draft declaration and action plan from last month’s African Higher Education Summit, American futurist and strategic planner, Dr Tom Abeles, says if the summit’s aims are to be achieved, there should be less focus on building traditional universities and more on expanding high-speed broadband internet. Abeles says this would enable global cutting-edge knowledge to be delivered to Africa’s students cost-effectively.
Geoff Maslen – Acting Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Eugene Vorotnikov

The number of Russian universities will be cut by 40% by the end of 2016, according to Minister of Education and Science Dmitry Livanov. In addition, the number of university branches will be slashed by 80% in the same period.
Kelly Field, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Over the past few weeks, four candidates have officially announced that they are running for president. Democrat front-runner, of course, is Hillary Rodham Clinton, while the Republican field includes three US senators: Florida’s Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants who is pitching himself as the fresh face of the GOP; Texas’ Ted Cruz, a conservative Christian and Tea Party hero; and Kentucky’s Rand Paul, a libertarian who is positioning himself as the candidate for young people.
Wachira Kigotho

One student died and 141 others were injured in a stampede at the University of Nairobi’s Kikuyu campus on Sunday 12 April after a transformer exploded – the result of an electrical fault that caused an underground cable to burst. Students jumped from hostels to the ground after mistaking the 04h00 explosion for an attack by al-Shabaab Islamist militants.
Emilia Tan

Many of Malaysia’s private universities, including foreign branch campuses, are facing financial and managerial problems and more than half will experience financial distress as a result of recent changes to the national student loans scheme, according to a new report.
Jan Petter Myklebust

The University of Amsterdam board called in the police on 11 April to forcibly remove protesting students and staff who had spent the previous six weeks occupying the university’s senate house – Maagdenhuis. More than 500 academics who supported the students are now calling on the board to resign.
Geoff Maslen

The federal government has launched a draft strategy in an effort to boost Australia's chances of attracting more foreign students and encouraging local students to look outside the country. But, faced with a massive budget deficit and falling mineral prices, the government is unable to guarantee it will actually achieve any of what it says is necessary.
Jan Petter Myklebust

Minnesota-born Professor Curt Rice has been appointed rector of the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, the largest university college in Norway aspiring to become a university. Although a foreigner taking up a top post at a university in northern Europe is extremely rare, Rice told University World News that his origins were not an issue at the interview.

More than 400 university leaders and representatives from the European higher education sector met at the University of Antwerp in Belgium on 16 and 17 April at the annual conference of the European University Association, where Professor Rolf Tarrach, former rector of the trilingual University of Luxembourg, was elected president as the sole candidate for the position.
Jan Petter Myklebust

“Fantastic, professional, fun and inspiring! A great thanks to you! I will continue watching Crosstalks and spread the word!” That was Nina Kirchner, a senior lecturer in numerical ice sheet modelling at Stockholm University, telling the Crosstalks team what she thought after taking part in one of its monthly programmes called “Into the deep: The unknown territories and resources of the sea”.
Tunde Fatunde

Nigeria’s recent general election witnessed high involvement of vice-chancellors as returning officials and new graduates as polling officers. The election was judged to be free and fair, but the participation of the university community has been enmeshed in controversy.
Munyaradzi Makoni

Ten South African universities collected a total of R659 million (US$55 million) in philanthropic income during 2013 from 4,355 donors, with nearly half from international organisations. But there were major disparities, a new survey has revealed – two universities attracted half of the funding while five received less than R23 million between them.
Ashraf Khaled

Egypt’s Islamic Al-Azhar University has unveiled a plan to revise its curricula as the country cracks down on violent militancy. Al-Azhar is the world’s oldest, and a highly respected, Islamic seat of learning that attracts students from around the world.
Maina Waruru

The government is to abolish visas and special entry conditions for East Africans wishing to study at any university or college in Kenya, in a move that could see the country outsmart other regional states in the race to attract international students.
Conor King

The question of who should go to university is lurking behind Australia’s contentious funding and fees debate that has wracked higher education for the past year. This is also the issue that will determine how well higher education supports the nation’s future.
Jandhyala BG Tilak

Asian universities can lead the way towards the creation of a sustainable, more humane society. Since ancient times, the most important objective of education has been to inculcate universal human values and to prepare the citizens needed for the creation of the global family.
Tom P Abeles

If the goals of the draft declaration and action plan of the African Higher Education Summit are to be achieved, there should be less focus on building traditional universities and more on expanding high-speed broadband internet that will enable global cutting-edge knowledge to be delivered to students cost-effectively.
Craig Whitsed and Wendy Green

The federal government’s Draft National Strategy for International Education narrowly focuses on economic interests and fails to recognise the role of internationalisation of the curriculum in creating a more open, outward-looking country.
Laura E Rumbley

Internationalisation is moving to centre stage, but to do it properly requires a commitment to creating an alliance between policy-makers, researchers and practitioners.
Daniel Kratochvil and Grace Karram Stephenson

A new survey shows the changing nature and rise of university staff responsible for international students. These ‘senior international officers’ have increasingly become central to the running of their universities.
MORE STORIES: From the Africa Edition
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Public colleges and universities used to depend mostly on state funding to keep their doors open, but they are increasingly relying on money from families paying ever-rising tuition, writes Danielle Douglas-Gabriel for The Washington Post.

Dear Foreign National Student
Today I once again hang my head in shame as we continue to threaten, harass and even kill you and your family members and friends on the streets of South Africa. Yet this week many of you will stride across graduation stages in South African universities to obtain degrees. One of you, a student at my university, wrote to tell me that you will achieve the award for top student in economics even though you came here from Zimbabwe without a cent in your pocket, writes Jonathan Jansen.

Around 30 UK vice-chancellors travelled to Brussels to lobby European policy-makers against potential cuts to research funding, writes Jack Grove for Times Higher Education.

Gunmen stormed the headquarters of Somalia’s education ministry in the country's capital, Mogadishu, last Tuesday after a suicide car bombing, a two-pronged attack that killed at least 12 people and injured 16 others, write Omar Nor and Jason Hanna for CNN.

Several Sydney universities caught up in a cheating scandal that includes students using essay writing services say they are responding and cracking down on the new cheating method, writes Jean Kennedy for ABC News.

LinkedIn has become a company to watch in higher education. Earlier this month the job networking site announced it would spend US$1.5 billion to buy, an online course portal, writes Paul Fain for Inside Higher Ed.

The higher education wealth gap is growing – not just between those who do or don’t have college degrees but among colleges themselves, writes Melissa Korn for The Wall Street Journal.

Results of the Chinese language examination in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, or Malaysian Certificate of Education, will soon be recognised by China, marking a success for the Malaysian Chinese Association’s efforts to boost the language, writes Adrian Chan for The Star.

To ensure seamless mobility of students across higher education institutions in India as well as abroad, the University Grants Commission has formulated guidelines for the adoption of a uniform Choice-Based Credit System across all the universities in 19 undergraduate courses, reports Times News Network.

Science in the Republic of Ireland is being destroyed by a “scientific apartheid” that reserves most competitive research funding for 14 priority areas largely chosen for commercial reasons. That is the view of Professor Seamus Martin from Trinity College Dublin, writes Paul Jump for Times Higher Education.

Mountains of student debt, flattening wages and a tough job market have made many people question whether pricey college degrees still lead to good jobs. The answer is yes: job opportunities for college-educated workers have never been greater, according to a new report, writes Akane Otani for Bloomberg.

The cash-strapped Zimbabwean government is planning to completely withdraw financial support to state universities, raising fears this could lead to the collapse of higher learning institutions, reports The Zimbabwean.

Sanskrit fever has gripped Germany with 14 universities teaching India’s ancient language and struggling to meet the demand as students clamour for courses, writes Aditya Ghosh for Daily Mail.

A conference held in Rome, Italy, on 9 April for Vietnamese and Italian universities to explore opportunities for partnerships was attended by representatives from 30 leading universities, reports Vietnam News Agency.
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