University World News Global Edition
24 April 2016 Issue 410 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Competition can’t raise quality for all: we must collaborate to innovate

This week in our World Blog, Hans de Wit wonders if our higher education leaders are really interested in true innovation, change and social responsibility if they are only focused on rankings.
In Commentary, Tom P Abeles warns that education globally is in transformation and the traditional university cluster as the centre of knowledge is changing. Sigal Alon suggests that reforming affirmative action in college admissions is not about choosing between the race and class models but about determining what aspects to target to achieve the broadest diversity dividends. Ararat L Osipian says if allegations are confirmed against the president of Russia’s flagship Far Eastern Federal University, who has been arrested on suspicion of financial fraud, this will be one of the largest corruption scandals in Russian higher education in the past few decades. And Alejandro Caballero says universities need to find ways to develop cross-cutting skills in students like problem-solving, teamwork and leadership which will withstand turbulences as automation and technology put workers at risk of being substituted by machines.
In our six-month series on ‘Transformative Leadership’ in which University World News is partnering with The MasterCard Foundation, Brendan O'Malley tells the story of how leadership training supported by scholarships helped one young refugee’s quest, with his friends, to challenge the despondency in his camp in Uganda by building an effective education programme and starting a host of anti-poverty projects.
In Features, Jan Petter Myklebust reports on a 20-year-old from the Netherlands studying at Stockholm University in Sweden who has become the youngest PhD holder in Scandinavia.
Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Munyaradzi Makoni

The African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education – the body responsible for accreditation in Africa’s French-speaking countries – has signed a partnership agreement with UNESCO to promote higher education quality across the continent.
Yojana Sharma

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was touring major universities in China last week to promote the country’s strategy for science and innovation-fuelled economic growth under a new five-year plan announced last month that will triple funding for basic research by 2020. Li called on universities and research centres to collaborate more closely to build critical mass in the research sector.
Karen MacGregor

Amnesty International has called for an urgent investigation into the killing – allegedly by intelligence agents – of a student during a peaceful march at the University of Kordofan in Sudan. Up to 27 students were wounded in an attack related to student elections.
Yojana Sharma

A scholar of Chinese studies at Hong Kong’s Lingnan University whose writings are said to have inspired Hong Kong’s student-led 'localism' groups has said he is about to lose his university post. The university’s decision is seen as making him “the first academic casualty” of those supporting Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests known as the Umbrella movement, led by students in 2014.
David Jobbins

A powerful United Kingdom parliamentary committee has warned that Britain could lose high-level strategic influence over not only European but more widely international science policy in the event of a Brexit after the June referendum on continued membership.
Sudarto Svarnabhumi

A number of Asian governments – among them Indonesia and Malaysia – are concerned their citizens who study abroad in the Middle East could become exposed to Islamic State doctrine, or, due to the proximity of Turkey to Islamic State strongholds in Syria, could be recruited from Turkey. But new research suggests these fears are misplaced.
Michael Gardner

German university heads have welcomed proposals by the Stifterverband – a network of foundations, businesses and individuals supporting the country’s higher education and research – for improved transparency in collaborations between universities and industry.
Tunde Fatunde

Protests in cities across Nigeria and widespread condemnation followed this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, the national university entrance test sat by 1.5 million would-be students. Computers froze, multiple results were issued and tens of thousands of candidates were relocated to different exam centres without being properly told.
Brendan O'Malley

Four members of the Washington DC-based American Studies Association have announced that they are jointly suing the organisation for its boycott of Israel, arguing that it amounts to a blatant politicisation of an academic organisation in violation of District of Columbia law governing non-profit organisations.
Esther Nakkazi

Dr Stella Nyanzi, a research fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research, stripped off her clothes in public last Monday in protest against being locked out of her office. Videos of the nude University of London-trained medical anthropologist went viral and sparked a national controversy.
Tom P Abeles

The way we learn and what we learn is changing, but there is still resistance to that change and a clinging on to traditional ways of doing things.
Sigal Alon

Affirmative admissions policies must target criteria like class and race simultaneously to achieve a more diverse package overall.
Ararat L Osipian

The arrest of the president of Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University on suspicion of financial fraud raises questions about the flagship university’s future.
Alejandro Caballero

With automation and technology eliminating more and more jobs, education systems, including universities, need to develop the more creative and interpersonal skills needed to weather labour market turbulences.

The 6th QS-MAPLE conference is a forum where the evaluation of Middle Eastern and African universities in a regional and global context is discussed and resolved. In May 2016, the conference will be held on the United Arab Emirates University campus in Al Ain, UAE. The conference promotes the development of higher education and stimulates international partnerships in the Middle East and Africa. Learn more
Hans de Wit

Are university leaders really interested in change and innovation or are they too caught up in a competitive system of internationalisation that only increases existing inequalities in the global education system?
Brendan O'Malley

Joseph Munyambanza was one of only four children in his refugee camp primary school to make it to secondary school. From that point on, he dedicated himself to transforming the lives of young people. With leadership training supported by scholarships at college and university, and helped by his three friends from school, he built an education programme and encouraged a raft of anti-poverty projects in his camp.

Is the growth of transnational education, or TNE, dependent on more flexible standards of quality? Or are we stifling innovation in TNE by putting up too many barriers for experimentation? In a University World News webinar on 24 May, a panel of global experts will debate and discuss the emerging issues.
Mike Young

Universities are retreating from all bragging about their ranking status. Government cuts will bring spending levels down to the same as other developed countries and, as further budget reductions between now and 2020 really begin to bite, as the reductions in staff-student ratios take hold, and as the brightest and most productive students seek places elsewhere, they can almost only go down.
Jan Petter Myklebust

A 20-year-old from the Netherlands studying at Stockholm University has become the youngest doctorate holder in Scandinavia in modern times. The university describes him as “probably the youngest in Sweden ever to complete a PhD” and the same age to the day as the current holder of the Dutch record.
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The National Institution for Transforming India Aayog has submitted a report to the prime minister’s office and the Ministry of Human Resource Development in favour of inviting foreign universities to set up campuses in India, writes Ritika Chopra for The Indian Express.

Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary Education Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said discussions are underway to restrict the establishment of new private universities in the country, writes Afedzi Abdullah for Ghana News Agency.

Students have found a weapon in their battle to stop the government raising tuition fees still further. At a conference in Brighton they have voted to sabotage two key surveys unless the government withdraws its planned reforms, write Alfie Packham and Emma Jacobs for the Guardian.

One of Cuba's most renowned advocates of economic reform has been fired from his University of Havana think tank for sharing information with Americans without authorisation, among other alleged violations, writes Andrea Rodriguez for Associated Press.

Thousands of high school students have staged demonstrations in cities across Spain to protest over the country's education law, changes in the duration of university degrees and university fee hikes, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Government claims that some Russell Group universities are not worth the £9,000 (US$13,000) tuition fees are based on "outdated assertions" and no evidence, the group's head has said after the fears were revealed in a leaked document, writes Ben Riley-Smith for The Telegraph.

The independence of Swiss universities from the corporate world has again been called into question as details of pharmaceutical sponsorship deals were broadcast by a Swiss public television channel. The programme found evidence that one firm may have manipulated academic research data, reports

The Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland has reminded young people that education truly pays off amid its concerns that the ongoing debate over unemployment has blurred public perceptions of reality, writes Aleksi Teivainen for the Helsinki Times.

Australian universities with a higher position in global league tables tend to set higher international tuition fees, writes Natalie Marsh for The PIE News.

The University of California's student association has called on University of California, Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi to resign amid revelations that the university paid to remove Internet references to a 2011 incident in which police pepper-sprayed students, write Sarah Parvini and Ruben Vives for the Los Angeles Times.

Guangzhou Sport University has become the first on the mainland to launch a soccer college after the country unveiled plans to be a superpower in the sport by 2050, writes Zhou Xin for South China Morning Post.

After rejecting his notice to ban the mingling of girl and boy students on and off campus, the Swat University has suspended its chief proctor, Mohammad Bilal, over the “unlawful” move, writes Fazal Khaliq for DAWN.

A small high school in Africa seems to have figured out a formula to get kids into top US colleges and Ivy League universities on full scholarships. Nearly 60 students who studied at Somaliland's Abaarso School have been accepted to American and international universities since 2013, including Harvard, MIT and Carnegie Mellon, writes Alanna Petroff for CNN Money.
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