University World News Global Edition
26 June 2016 Issue 419 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Consternation in UK universities as Britain votes to exit the EU

Following the momentous Brexit vote in favour of the UK leaving the European Union, Yojana Sharma reports on the consternation and incomprehension among staff and students in British universities, with grave concerns about the future status of EU funding, faculty and students and the standing of UK research in the world. In Commentary, Alan Ruby contends that the unfortunate repercussions of the Brexit vote will be that the UK will be perceived as insular and unwelcoming, with English academic life becoming poorer for the losses in mobility, diversity, exchange and reciprocity.
Other Commentaries this week focus on South Africa, China, Europe, Latin America and Saudi Arabia. Zenobia Ismail says protesting South African students who set fire to university buildings need to reflect on the costs and benefits of making the university the frontline in another struggle as there is little victory in the ashes. Catherine Montgomery looks at what drives transnational partnerships in top Chinese universities, from aiming to partner with elite Western peers to seeking partnerships based on local social and cultural factors. Andrée Sursock says few European universities have so far linked up e-learning with internationalisation to help enhance internationalisation at home. And Angel Calderon gives pointers to Latin American universities on ways to improve their ranking positions in the wake of the release of the QS Top 300 ranking for the region.
In our series on ‘Transformative Leadership’ in which University World News is partnering with The MasterCard Foundation, Mary Beth Marklein interviews US journalist and author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon about women and leadership and the impact of higher education.
In Features, Nicola Jenvey reports that, despite massification of access to universities in Latin America, students from poor families still do not have access to the same quality of higher education as those from wealthier families.
Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Yojana Sharma

A momentous vote in the United Kingdom’s EU referendum in favour of leaving the European Union – popularly known as Brexit – has been greeted with consternation in British universities with many concerned about what it will mean for research funding, staff and students from the EU and the general standing of UK research in the world.
Brendan O'Malley

Days before the United Kingdom's EU referendum vote, vice-chancellors of 103 universities wrote a joint letter voicing their “grave concern” over the impact of a United Kingdom exit from the European Union on UK universities and students, warning that it would undermine the country’s position as a global leader in science and innovation and “impoverish our campuses”.
Brendan O'Malley

The Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 to uphold the University of Texas’ admissions policy that allows consideration of applicants’ race as a factor in deciding which applicants to award places to, as part of an effort to increase the diversity of the student body.
Wagdy Sawahel

The Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie has launched a virtual repository of educational resources called ‘meta-portal IDNEUF’ to provide free access to Francophone university resources. The global launch was held in Mali – Africa is the continent with the largest number of French speakers, 96.2 million.
Brendan O'Malley

Four Turkish academics have been released from jail in Istanbul on the first day of their trial for spreading terrorist propaganda pending a reduction in the charges against them. They were accused of inciting hatred because they signed a petition – backed by 1,400 academics in Turkey and internationally – criticising military operations against Kurdish rebels in civilian areas.
Christabel Ligami

An East African Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency has been launched at Makerere University in Uganda to address energy issues faced by the five East African Community nations of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It joins the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres, coordinated by the United Nations.
Michael Gardner

Germany’s federal and state governments have opted to continue the Excellence Initiative funding programme for top-level research. The agreement now reached enables 11 institutions to be funded as 'Universities of Excellence' with a total of €533 million (US$593 million) a year over a seven-year period, starting in 2019.
Gilbert Nakweya

A new World Bank initiative has been launched to help young Tanzanians improve the quality of their skills and tap into key economic sectors. At least 30,000 people will benefit from training under the US$120 million programme designed to eradicate deficiencies in workforce skills.
Arielle Martinez, The Chronicle of Higher Education

It has been 20 years since Congress effectively barred the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from funding gun-violence research. Now advocates for such research say a proposed centre in the University of California system will "fill the gap" left by those restrictions.
Jan Petter Myklebust

Denmark is making headway in its efforts to reduce the number of students who do not complete their degree in good time. The average time to degree has fallen significantly in the past 10 years. The sharpest fall came in the number of students delayed by two years or more, which has more than halved from 26.3% in 2000 to 12.4% in 2013.
Mushfique Wadud

The Bangladesh government has rowed back on a previous decision to shut down three private medical colleges for their failure to fulfil conditions set for obtaining a licence, following protests by students and guardians.
Mary Beth Marklein

United States journalist Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana about a young woman who built a business under the Taliban and Ashley's War, the story of 20 women recruited to carry out missions for the US Army in Afghanistan, talks to University World News about women and leadership and the impact of higher education.
Alan Ruby

The “leave” vote is just another way of saying “they are not the same as us”, not equal, not to be trusted. It will be perceived as insular and unwelcoming. As a result, mobility will falter, classrooms and laboratories will become less diverse, co-operation will become a little rarer, and exchange and reciprocity will be replaced by sales and barter.
Zenobia Ismail

Several universities and colleges have been set alight as decolonisation protests escalate. Students need to assess the costs and benefits of making the university the frontline in another struggle.
Catherine Montgomery

While China still retains a strong catch-up mentality and aims for its elite institutions to partner with dominant, elite Western peers, local social and cultural factors will continue to have an impact on the choice of partnerships and the ways in which universities develop.
Andrée Sursock

Many European universities have international strategies, but few link them up with e-learning, although it can help enable internationalisation at home.
Angel Calderon

The latest QS regional ranking highlights the areas where universities can make improvements, such as boosting international research collaborations.
Manail Anis Ahmed

Rapid Saudisation of university staff has created significant cultural change. Quality assurance needs to acknowledge the challenges that have arisen to ensure universities can provide the best education possible.
Robert Coelen

Recent advice highlights the need for universities to work with schools on developing an internationalisation programme that is effective and avoids duplication.
Nicola Jenvey

There has been a burgeoning of private higher education institutions as Latin American countries have massified access to university. But students from poor families still do not have access to the same quality of higher education as those from wealthier families.
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his administration seeks strong relations with academic society since it would not be possible to settle the country’s problems without getting the benefit of academics’ views, reports the Tasnim News Agency.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s governing council last week agreed to organise a seminar on whether the city’s leader should continue to be the chancellor of public universities by default, after violence broke out when angry student activists tried to storm the council meeting, writes Shirley Zhao for South China Morning Post.

Every researcher in the Netherlands is to be questioned about whether they have committed research misconduct or engaged in “sloppy science” as part of a major national effort to bolster scientific standards, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.

A high-power committee headed by former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian, tasked with drawing up a blueprint for a new national education policy, has recommended that the law that set up the higher education regulator, the University Grants Commission, be allowed to lapse, writes Vikas Pathak for The Hindu.

When Christine Ortiz imagines her ideal university she sees “no lectures, no classrooms, no majors, no departments”. Students will work on tough practical problems in huge open spaces. If they need to swot up they will consult the internet, not a lecturer. Her vision is far removed from the traditional model of higher education. But it will soon become a reality: in July, after six years as dean of graduate education at MIT, the materials scientist will leave to found a new university. It should open in the next five years, reports The Economist.

A new online service advising how to set up and implement gender balance plans will be available this autumn, writes Éanna Kelly for Science Business.

Indonesia is preparing to set up 10 vocational schools to provide quality training for employees for several strategic sectors in the country, writes Ayomi Amindoni for The Jakarta Post.

The head of the parliament’s education committee Gamal Sheiha said in a meeting last Sunday that the committee will work on amending the provision on appointing university presidents and faculty deans in the universities’ law. The announcement comes after numerous related positions remain vacant at various institutions in the current academic year, reports Daily News Egypt.

Search giant Google said last week that it would give university students free access to some of the software tools available on its cloud computing service, writes Jonathan Vanian for Fortune.

A university in central China has reportedly been using surveillance cameras to monitor virtually every inch of its 73-hectare (181-acre) campus, including its classrooms and dormitories, writes Tom Phillips for the Guardian.

Since the 1970s when Cambodia’s universities were devastated by the civil war and Khmer Rouge era, much progress has been made, and thousands of young Cambodians graduate each year from the country’s 162 higher education institutions. But teaching is still the overriding concern, and scholars say there remain significant obstacles to conducting original research and furthering knowledge, write Hean Socheata and Nov Povleakhena for Voice of America.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has made his strongest comments yet on the Coalition's university fee deregulation policy, mounting the argument for allowing universities to set the fees for a select few courses to bring about flexibility and competition, writes Fergus Hunter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

The universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch have adopted new language policies, reports Thulani Gqirana for News24.

Presidents of the top 10 private universities in Seoul have stressed that local universities should seek changes and present a new vision to embrace challenges arising from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, writes Chung Hyun-chae for The Korea Times.

The Higher Education Ministry and Universiti Malaya will investigate allegations of research fraud involving a group of Universiti Malaya faculty of medicine researchers, reports Malaysiakini.

Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani has announced that six central universities will start new or revamped yoga departments from the upcoming academic year and the number would be raised to 20 within a year, reports Press Trust of India.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bui Van Ga has called for better links between industries and education institutions to enhance the employability of graduates in a more competitive globalised environment, reports VietNamNet Bridge.
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This Week

Transformative Leadership
US author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon on women and leadership, and higher education

Brexit vote will be perceived as unwelcoming with dire consequences for universities

South African students need to reflect on the benefits and costs of burning universities

What drives transnational partnerships in top Chinese universities?

Most European universities have yet to link up e-learning and internationalisation

What can Latin American universities do to improve their positions in regional QS rankings?

Rapid Saudisation of university staff in Saudi Arabia has thrown up challenges

Latin America: Poorer students do not have equal access to HE despite massification

World Blog
Netherlands’ universities and schools should coordinate their internationalisation programmes