University World News Global Edition
10 May 2015 Issue 0366 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Could LinkedIn provide
a better alternative
to existing rankings?

In Features this week, Rahul Choudaha considers whether LinkedIn, with its focus on career outcomes rather than research citations, might be a game changer among university ranking systems.
From South Africa Munyaradzi Makoni reports on the ‘violation of the values’ of the leading University of the Witwatersrand by student representative council president Mcebo Dlamini, who professed to love Adolf Hitler and who lost his post, though for earlier charges of misconduct.
In World Blog, Margaret Andrews wonders if Arizona State University’s initiative to offer the entire first year of an undergraduate programme online marks the start of a changing market for higher education.
In Commentary, European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics reviews the successes of the Bologna Process and hopes for renewed focus at an imminent Bologna policy conference in Armenia.
Jon Gluyas explains why the fossil fuel divestment campaign at universities against multinational oil companies is misdirected – it is governments that really have the power to deliver lower carbon societies. And Roopa Desai Trilokekar, Amira El Masri, Sheila Embleton, Zainab Kizilbash and Neville Panthaki say that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Canada was a missed opportunity to strengthen higher education collaboration.
Brendon O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Brendan O’Malley

The United Kingdom general election in which Prime Minister David Cameron swept back into power – this time with a majority – could have far reaching consequences for universities due to a manifesto pledge to hold an in-out referendum on membership of the European Union in 2017.
Yojana Sharma

The growth rate in the number of students from India heading to universities abroad has outpaced China for the first time, according to a new report on Indian student mobility trends to the main English-speaking countries – the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Munyaradzi Makoni

The decision by Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza to stand for a third term in office, despite a constitutionally established two-term limit, has sparked street protests that have disrupted almost all universities in the capital Bujumbura.
Suchitra Behal

Attempts to ensure that universities adopt a Choice Based Credit System by September are meeting stiff resistance. The system would make it easier for students to move between universities in India or study abroad.
Jeffrey Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign plans to start a low-cost online MBA programme in partnership with Coursera, the Silicon Valley-based MOOC provider, hoping to meet its land-grant mission of improving access and also to create a new stream of revenue at a time of shrinking state support for higher education.
Gilbert Nganga

Kenya’s public universities will have to tighten their belts following a decision by the Treasury to cut funding by 6% in the coming financial year, which begins in July – despite 28% expansion in student numbers.
Jan Petter Myklebust

A new study comparing Danish doctoral students with those at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden has found that Danish candidates spend considerably less time on research. The findings have sparked a national debate on how doctoral training should be structured.
Marja Grill and Jan Petter Myklebust

Health professionals from outside Europe are having to wait an average of four years to get a licence to practise in Sweden, despite pleas from universities to allow them to speed up the education needed to meet requirements.
Esther Nakkazi

Makerere University in Uganda is reintroducing a postgraduate diploma in education to train scientists to become science teachers. The move comes in the wake of President Yoweri Museveni slating the humanities as ‘useless’ and asking universities to focus on sciences.
Wagdy Sawahel

Mauritania is to set up a national council for higher education and research and will develop a monitoring and evaluation system and performance indicators as part of efforts to promote a knowledge-based economy.

The New York-based Institute of International Education has published a first guide to study abroad for parents, containing critical information needed to inform and support their children as they embark upon the study abroad experience.

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Tibor Navracsics

The Bologna Process has come a long way, but the upcoming Yerevan conference needs to bring fresh impetus to push it forwards and reconfirm European higher education’s shared values.
Jon Gluyas

The fossil fuel divestment campaigners, who are persuading universities and other organisations to join their ranks, are aiming at the wrong target by focusing their energies against multinational oil companies. It is governments that have the power to deliver lower carbon societies.
Roopa Desai Trilokekar, Amira El Masri, Sheila Embleton, Zainab Kizilbash and Neville Panthaki

Little was said during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Canada about the importance of international collaboration through higher education. Yet such collaboration is vital for building a strong bilateral partnership.
Margaret Andrews

Arizona State University and edX have announced plans for undergraduates to be able to study remotely for their first year. Could this be a game changer for the future of higher education?
Rahul Choudaha

Could LinkedIn provide a better alternative to existing university ranking systems with more of a focus on career outcomes? LinkedIn rankings will evolve over time and have the potential to be a game changer in helping students make informed choices.
Munyaradzi Makoni

Mcebo Dlamini was president of the student representative council at South Africa’s leading University of the Witwatersrand when he professed to love Adolf Hitler – the fascist German leader who unleashed the worst violence of the 20th century – and made racist comments, sparking a furore. Last week he lost the leadership post, though for earlier charges of misconduct.
Purnamita Dasgupta

As the United Nation’s COP 21 meeting in Paris draws closer, the future of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is under consideration. In numerous consultations from Nairobi to Berlin, countries and scientists are discussing what’s next for the body whose scientific assessments have underpinned the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change since the late 1980s.
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Australia has overtaken the UK as the best represented country in a list of top universities under 50 years of age, write Josie Gurney-Read, Sumant Bhatia and Javier Espinoza for The Telegraph.

Indian universities and higher education institutions which are facing acute shortages of teachers can now fill up to 25% of sanctioned posts with adjunct faculty drawn from industry, non-resident Indians, public sector undertakings, working and retired officers of central and state civil services and even from non-governmental organisations, writes Kanchan Srivastava for Daily News & Analysis.

Five political movements called on university administrations, in a joint statement last week, to allow imprisoned students to sit their final exams, reports Daily News Egypt.

Thailand’s Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment has announced a framework containing four principles that now apply to all institutions of higher education within the 10 ASEAN member countries – a move that aims to create equivalent education standards throughout the region and allows for university credits to be easily transferred, reports The Nation.

Turkish students who study abroad must do so at a top-500 ranked university or take the domestic higher education entrance exam in order for their qualifications to be recognised by the government, under new regulations put in place by the Higher Education Council of Turkey, known as YÖK, writes Beckie Smith for The PIE News.

A Northern Ireland university criticised for cancelling a conference on the Charlie Hebdo murders has announced that the event will now go ahead. Queen's University Belfast will host a symposium in June on the fallout from the massacre at the satirical magazine in Paris and its implications for free speech, reports the Belfast Telegraph.

Student representative councils from five top local universities last week announced the adoption of a resolution to join the academic and cultural boycott of Israel, writes Kennedy Mudzuli for the Pretoria News.

Egypt plans to sharply expand the enrolment of Arab and African students in its higher education system in the next three years, but some analysts say the government’s ambitious plan faces great challenges in light of the unstable security situation in the country, poor university infrastructure and the out-of-date curriculum, writes Sara Mohammed Ibrahim for Al-Fanar Media.

Science industry leaders have said they are “very relieved” by reports that an infrastructure fund that supports more than two dozen research facilities will be given a two-year lifeline in next week’s federal budget, but warned the “short-term reprieve” would not stem the flow of Australian scientists overseas, writes Michael Safi for the Guardian Australia.

Carmen Kok, a 47-year-old Singaporean hairdresser, regrets that she never made it to university and is not letting her daughter make the same mistake, even if she has to send her abroad to get a place. But Singapore's tiger mums are becoming a headache for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is trying to persuade the population that they don't need to go to university to have a good career, writes Sharon Chen for Australian Financial Review.

A new comprehensive metastudy of the role technology plays in higher education urges universities of tomorrow to capitalise on technologies that effectively support student learning, to embrace blended learning environments, and to customise degree programmes to serve the needs of students in a digital age, reports

Even before officially taking office as the vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Sir Hilary Beckles has already inked an agreement to set up a campus outpost of the regional university in Beijing, writes Andre Poyser for The Gleaner.

At least 20 students from the ranks of Syrian refugees in Jordan may be enrolled at Czech universities in the next six years, according to the study programme proposed by the foreign ministry and to be debated by the government, reports CTK.

A growing number of universities around Japan are serving up ¥100 (US$0.8) breakfasts as they seek to promote a healthy diet among students, reports Jiji Press. The budget breakfasts are proving popular, with many students saying their lifestyle habits have improved thanks to the balanced meals.
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