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21 June 2015 Issue 372 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Turkey’s election outcome could erode university access for Syrian refugees

This week in Commentary, James King analyses the possible negative implications for Syrian refugee students and academics of this month’s elections in Turkey, and calls on the international community to support the country’s commitment to refugee education.
Alex Usher finds several structural reasons why Russian universities are unlikely to shoot up the global rankings, despite heavy investment in Project 5-100. Roger Chao Jr maintains that Canada’s international education strategy is too market-driven and needs a broader vision as well as input from experts on internationalisation, and Peter Halligan argues that small countries such as Wales need ongoing investment and long-term strategy to build research capacity and win more competitive research funding.
In World Blog, Margaret Andrews calls on business schools to respond to the demands of employers around the world who want graduates with ‘soft skills’.
In Features, Mary Beth Marklein describes how Venezuelan students abroad are suffering following a change in their country’s currency control policy. Peta Lee unpacks a study showing that lack of support for the study-to-work transition of international students in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden is undermining their ‘model immigrant’ strategies, and Esther Nakkazi attends a meeting in Uganda of Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa, or DRUSSA, which aims to build capacity in universities to improve Africa’s research usage.
Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Yojana Sharma

Students in China are being recruited in large numbers by their universities as an ‘army’ of online contributors to bolster the official party line, in a new drive by the Communist Youth League of China that will draw universities squarely into the country’s attempts to control the internet within its borders.
María Elena Hurtado

Chilean students from more than 20 public and private universities are on strike, pressing the government and universities to agree to a long list of national and internal demands. This year is witnessing a new phase of paralysing student unrest, which started with the massive protests that rocked the country in 2011.
Suchitra Behal

Some of India’s premier universities that receive international funding are on a government blacklist for non-compliance with the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. In a crackdown against ‘misuse’ of foreign funds, the licences of more than 9,000 non-profit organisations have been cancelled, including universities such as Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Panjab, and some Indian institutes of technology.
Nic Mitchell

Under the Erasmus+ Master Loan Guarantee Scheme launched last week, up to 200,000 postgraduate students are in line for loans of up to €12,000 (US$13,700) to help them study for a one-year masters degree in another European country or €18,000 for a two-year masters.
Ashraf Khaled

A state-run university has sacked Egypt’s deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi from his job as an engineering lecturer – the latest in a tough crackdown on Islamist academics.
Jan Petter Myklebust

There has been a surge in applications for Horizon 2020 research funding, but the low success rate may be a cause for concern because of the time and effort invested in applying.
Keith Nuthall

The League of European Research Universities has attacked a European Parliament committee for weakening a copyright reform statement, which had earlier clarified academics’ rights to data-mine and publish extracts from copyright protected material.
Wagdy Sawahel

Tunisia is planning a 10-year reform initiative for higher education and research that will kick off this year and will focus on improving the employability of graduates and revitalising research.

A survey of higher education leaders in the United Kingdom has concluded that universities are falling behind in educational innovation. “UK universities risk losing their world-leading reputation,” said the seventh annual PA Consulting Group survey published last Thursday.
Guillaume Gouges

Leading scientist Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim was sworn in as the first female president of Mauritius this month. Although not politically active, she was selected by the Indian Ocean island’s new Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, to hold the position of head of state.
Maina Waruru

Alarmed by the negative impact it may have on the United States president’s visit to Kenya next month, the authorities have hurriedly moved to shut down the private Barack Obama University, saying it does not have Commission for University Education authorisation.
Mary Beth Marklein

An abrupt change last autumn in Venezuela’s currency control policy has left potentially thousands of Venezuelan tertiary students worldwide without funds they had earmarked for education abroad, putting them at risk of dropping out and of violating immigration laws.
Peta Lee

International students are increasingly seen as ‘designer’ or ‘model immigrants’ for the labour markets of their host countries – perfectly positioned to alleviate future talent shortages, particularly in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. But while most would like to stay and work after graduation, many cannot find employment.
Esther Nakkazi

For seven years, engineer Dr Albert Rugumayo has been teaching a module on energy policy and planning to masters students at Uganda’s flagship Makerere University. He is now a fellow of Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa, or DRUSSA, which aims to build capacity in universities to improve Africa’s research usage.
Marc Parry, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Late last month, what began as a book review in an obscure publication blew up into a major controversy that tarnished sociology’s most-buzzed-about young star. At issue: whether the sociologist, Alice Goffman, had participated in a felony while researching her ethnographic study of young black men caught up in America's criminal justice system.
Margaret Andrews

Research shows that what employers around the world increasingly want from graduate recruits are ‘soft skills’ such as leadership, communication skills and the ability to work well on a team. Business schools need to reflect those demands.
James King

Turkey’s recent elections could bring an end to initiatives aimed at giving Syrian refugees access to higher education. It is vital that the international community supports and encourages Turkey to maintain and expand its commitment to refugee education.
Alex Usher

Even with the large sums of money being invested in Project 5-100, it is unlikely Russian universities will rise quickly up the global university rankings due to a number of structural reasons.
Roger Chao Jr

Canada’s international education strategy is driven by market-based rationale and needs to embrace a broader view of the benefits of international education as well as incorporate the input of university experts on internationalisation.
Peter Halligan

It’s no good setting ambitious research funding targets for smaller countries unless they have the capacity to deliver on them – and that generally means capacity in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.
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More foreign students started courses in Australian universities, colleges and English schools in 2015 than any year in history, a huge rebound driven by the lower dollar, easier visas and a scheme that allows them to stay for 18 months after graduation, writes Tim Dodd for Australian Financial Review.

British universities are failing to respond to endemic levels of harassment against female students as new evidence raises questions about campus safety, reports Afua Hirsch for Sky News. A survey of female students at universities across the United Kingdom found one in three has experienced discrimination or sexual harassment, with more than half of those instances taking place on a university campus.

Canada could be missing out on billions of dollars in revenue from education exports because the country, which is sitting in seventh place as a destination, could be much higher up the list. But low visa processing times, uncoordinated branding efforts and, according to experts, a general disconnect between academic institutions and all levels of government are hurting the country’s ability to attract international students, writes Daina Lawrence for The Globe and Mail.

This summer, the editing labs and sound engineering stations at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in Asia will fall silent for good. The campus, set upon three-acres of prime property in central Singapore, is closing less than 10 years after opening due to millions of dollars of debts, writes Leisha Chi for BBC.

Israel is experiencing a “dormant boycott” by academics, Council of University Heads President Professor Menachem Ben-Sasson said recently, addressing a Knesset education committee meeting on academic boycotts, reports The Jerusalem Post.

The guidelines do not apply to universities, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a parliamentary committee in April that displaying the Hinomaru – flag – and singing the anthem should be “carried out correctly” at universities operated with public funds, reports The Japan Times.

Two popular United States university entrance exams will soon be offered in Cuba for the first time, a development that signals US education institutions’ appetite for recruiting prospective students in the newly opened communist nation, writes Lindsay Gellman for The Wall Street Journal.

As United States-based for-profit education companies continue to face stricter regulations and slumping enrolments and revenues at home, some are venturing abroad in the name of diversification, with Brazil being a main destination, writes Elizabeth Redden for Inside Higher Ed.

Key figures in Scotland’s universities could face being elected into the job as a result of new legislation published by the Scottish government, reports The Scotsman. The Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Bill puts forward plans for a major shake-up of how universities are governed.

The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi recently approved an education scheme under which loans of up to Rs1 million (US$15,670) will be provided to students pursuing higher education in the national capital, reports Press Trust of India.

One of the world's best universities is planning to hire a professor – of Lego. The lucky candidate will be the head of a research department at the prestigious University of Cambridge. Officials say the role is expected to be created within the faculty of education after the university received £4 million (US$6.3 million) in donations from the Lego Foundation, reports The Telegraph.

A leading academic group voted on 13 June to censure the University of Illinois’ flagship campus over its decision not to hire a professor following his anti-Israel Twitter messages, a vote the university’s chancellor said would have repercussions, reports Associated Press.
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