University World News Global Edition
13 December 2015 Issue 394 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Please note that as before, University World News will take a publication break during the southern hemisphere summer holidays. The next e-paper will appear on 10 January. Meanwhile, breaking news stories will appear on our website.
Christmas is over for journal publishers, says statement on open access

In Commentary, Paul Ayris says that the League of European Research Universities' Statement on Open Access has the power to change the way research is published and disseminated across the globe. Lucy Shackleton warns that the United Kingdom, in turning its back on the European Union, would be putting up barriers to international collaboration, limiting its own competitiveness in the process. South African Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor welcomes the publication of a new book on doctoral education in South Africa, which reveals new approaches the country can take for a ‘radical rethink’ to meet its PhD targets. Elizabeth Nixon warns that the intensification of marketisation that results from giving more power to students as the sovereign consumer is likely to have profoundly damaging consequences for higher education. And Nader Habibi says the 2016 US presidential candidates are all promising to make a college education more affordable, but are they overlooking the poor job market conditions for graduates and are other countries also falling into the overeducation trap?
In our World Blog, Grace Karram Stephenson is optimistic about the newly elected government in Canada offering new hope as it promises to strengthen academic freedom and public science.
In our Q&A section, Brendan O'Malley discovers in an interview with the Ukrainian Minister for Education and Science Serhiy Kvit how the country is struggling to shake off the Soviet era mindset. And in Features Nicola Jenvey reports on a study which outlines the main factors influencing international students in their choice of study destination.
In a Special Report on student mobility, Simon Ngalomba looks at the gains in higher education due to growing Africa-China relations, which have resulted in an increase in the number of African students studying in China, while other writers focus on Saudi Arabia, Germany and the Ukraine.
Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Brendan O'Malley

The Australian government has announced a National Innovation and Science Agenda backed initially by A$1.1 billion (US$790 million) over four years, signalling the start of an era of systematic ongoing – rather than stop-start – funding for science. The agenda will include a flexible funding stream for university research and support for training of the next generation of researchers and innovators.
Jan Petter Myklebust

The European Commission has proposed a mandatory exception for research in the European Union copyright legislation in order to give European researchers and innovators the explicit right to process on a large scale the content to which they have legal access.
Brendan O'Malley

The United Kingdom is the global leader in high-quality undergraduate education for international students, with international undergraduate students rating the UK number one for student satisfaction, ahead of the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany and New Zealand, the research found. It also "excels in teaching and learning”.
David Jobbins

The world’s most 'influential' universities appear in a global university ranking that smooths out linguistic and cultural differences. And it offers good news for Cambridge and Oxford universities in the United Kingdom, which beat their US rivals Harvard, Columbia, Princeton and MIT to first and second places.
Karen MacGregor

Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced 10 major plans to boost cooperation with Africa in the next three years, including 40,000 training opportunities in China and 30,000 government scholarships. In total, China will provide US$60 billion in funding support across the continent.
Jan Petter Myklebust

Europe must increase efforts to invest in and channel research towards tackling the grand societal challenges, according to the Lund Declaration 2015, agreed at a conference in Sweden this month, which will require clear political commitment to step up efforts to align strategies, instruments, resources and actors at national and European level towards this goal.
Munyaradzi Makoni

A new body started this year with the ambition to raise the quality and quantity of Africa’s research output, the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa, is launching a new initiative to develop continental standards and transparency in managing donor research funds in universities, research institutions and governments.
Wagdy Sawahel

Al-Azhar University – considered the ‘Oxford’ of the Islamic world – is to open its first branch campus outside home country Egypt. The branch in Al Ain, the second largest city in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, is expected to open in September next year.
Kate Stoltzfus and Ellen Wexler, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Days after a bloody rampage in California, Donald Trump seized on the killers' religion to demand that no more Muslims be allowed to enter the United States. The remarks were widely condemned internationally but for Muslim students on US campuses they raised fears for their safety to a new level. Here Muslim campus leaders reflect on an increasingly charged atmosphere.
Michael Gardner

Germany is becoming more and more attractive for students from the United States, with numerous courses held in English being introduced, while German students appear to be losing interest in studying stateside.
Paul Ayris

The League of European Research Universities' Statement on Open Access calls for changes to include moves to ensure universities are not charged twice for the same journal articles. The LERU statement has the power to change the way research is published and disseminated across the globe.
Lucy Shackleton

The European Union may fund a lot of British research, but it also plays a vital role in facilitating the kind of international research collaboration that is a key factor in its economic and research competitiveness.
Naledi Pandor

The just-published Doctoral Education in South Africa by Nico Cloete, Johann Mouton and Charles Sheppard reveals new approaches South Africa can take for a ‘radical rethink’ to meet its PhD targets. Government efforts have supported the doubling in a decade of doctoral graduate numbers to 2,200 a year, and the new research will play a key role in transforming the PhD in the coming decade.
Elizabeth Nixon

Plans to give more power to students over their time in higher education could create an adversarial climate where they are less likely to be intellectually challenged.
Nader Habibi

The oversupply of students in many fields is forcing graduates – often with huge debts – to take jobs for which they are overqualified or to face unemployment. And it's not just a problem in the United States.
Simon Ngalomba

Relations with China have revived Africa’s prospects in diverse ways, with investment, trade and development activities that have helped the continent achieve economic growth of 4.5% in 2015. An increasing focus on higher education and skills training was highlighted at the second summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in South Africa this month.
Manail Anis Ahmed

Scholarships are funding the internationalisation of higher education in Saudi Arabia as increasing numbers study abroad and bring back new ideas.
Bernhard Streitwieser, Jennifer Olson, Simone Burkhart and Niels Klabunde

New debates have opened up about internationalisation in the wake of the arrival of the Syrian refugees, including whether international students should be charged tuition fees.
Ararat L Osipian

Ukraine has little to offer international students. The quality of education offered is low, there is endless red tape and corruption is rife.
Grace Karram Stephenson

Can the new government restore optimism among Canada’s academics or has academic freedom been so undermined over the last nine years that this is now impossible?
Brendan O'Malley

The minister for education and science is attempting to implement widespread reforms in a country where establishing university autonomy requires dismantling the legacy of Soviet-era state control, where raising quality requires overcoming widespread corruption and where conflict has uprooted 28 institutions.
Nicola Jenvey

Currency fluctuations, visa policies and branding strategies are just some of the factors influencing countries' changing ability to attract international students, as new analysis shows.
The South African Technology Network, a grouping of universities of technology in South Africa and Namibia, held its Eighth Annual International Conference 2015 at Vaal University of Technology recently. The theme was “Entrepreneurship Education for Economic Renewal”. This is the second of two special reports from the conference.
Karen MacGregor

Societies need to redefine what creativity is all about, so that it is much more related to people who have good ideas and solve problems, says Brazilian businessman and social entrepreneur Reinaldo Pamponet. “Sometimes a guy who solves the problem of water in your community is much more creative than a guy who can draw a picture or make a movie.”
Karen MacGregor

Despite a climate of massive unemployment, South Africa’s post-school education system remains largely preoccupied with producing graduates who will seek jobs, according to Narend Baijnath, CEO of the Council on Higher Education. In fact, levels of entrepreneurial activity are dropping and the education sector is partly to blame.
Karen MacGregor

“There is an ongoing debate about how to teach creativity and innovation. At the University of Florida we believe it is very closely connected to both research and practical experience,” says Dr Angel Kwolek-Folland, vice-president of an institution that is famously infused with a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation.
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The recent confession to bribery by Cai Rongsheng, the former admissions director for Renmin University, has called into question the integrity of the Chinese college admission system, writes Michael Forsythe for The New York Times.

Members of the US Supreme Court clashed over the value of university affirmative action policies, and pivotal Justice Anthony Kennedy raised the prospect that the court might put off issuing a broad ruling, writes Greg Stohr for Bloomberg.

Millions of Venezuelans voiced their displeasure with President Nicolas Maduro's United Socialist Party by giving opposition parties an overwhelming victory in congressional elections last Sunday. But over the past few years, a flood of disgruntled Venezuelans have been voting with their feet, and college professors are among them, writes John Otis for NPR.

Three Tanzanian universities are offering a new course on female genital mutilation to train health care professionals to deal with victims of the harmful practice that is still widespread although illegal, writes Kizito Makoye for Reuters.

Centralised university governance where those at the top have broad powers to make decisions is the best way to propel an institution to success – but can also lead to “disaster” if the wrong people are in charge, a university head has argued, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.

Some lectures at Dutch universities and Hoger beroepsonderwijs or higher professional education colleges are given in such bad English that no one can understand them, according to research by students’ union LSVb, reports Dutch News.

University student leaders from various institutions countrywide say they won’t guarantee that there won’t be protests at the beginning of the 2016 academic year, writes Tebogo Monama for The Star.

The US military has provided a total of ¥226.46 million (US$1.8 million) in research funds to at least 12 universities and research institutions in Japan since 2000, prompting critics to call for a new set of rules covering connections between academia and military research, reports Kyodo News.

Northwestern University came here to teach journalism and communication, a tough assignment in a country with tight controls on public speech. It was the latest in a series of prestigious US universities the wealthy emirate lured to a monumental complex on the desert’s edge, called Education City. But the Doha experiment, financed with riches from natural gas and oil exports, is also a huge gamble, writes Nick Anderson for The Washington Post.

A Scottish university which awarded Donald Trump with an honorary degree in 2010 has confirmed it is revoking it after the US presidential frontrunner made controversial remarks about Muslims in statements, writes Aftab Ali for The Independent.

Secretary General of the Higher Education Council Professor Yousef Hamzah has met university presidents to launch the national accreditation system for universities. The national accreditation framework, which meets international standards, has been designed in consultation with industry leaders who see higher education as the engine for economic growth, reports News of Bahrain.

Universities across the country have lost their internet connections following a sustained cyber attack on a publicly funded academic computer network, while fire services' networks are also believed to have been affected, writes Rhiannon Williams for The Telegraph.

Top Singapore and Chinese universities signed three memorandums of understanding last Monday to mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, writes Manny Salvacion for Yibada.

The term ‘master’, long used to identify professors who serve as advisers and overseers of academic programmes, is now being dropped from the vernacular at some Ivy League universities due to its evocation of inequality, writes Annika Fredrikson for The Christian Science Monitor.
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