ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0052  University World News - 09 Nov
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What impact might Barack Obama's victory in the US presidential elections have on higher education? See the lead story in our News section. Photo: (C) Wendy Piersall,

American university scientists have developed a portable artificial kidney that will be of great help to renal patients. See the story in this week's Science Scene. Photo: AWAK.

This week we report on the results of a new study which examines how much academics are paid around the world.



NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

US: Obama and higher education: promises and problems
Arlene Cherwin
With a "Yes we can" attitude and a five point platform for higher education, President-elect Obama represents a changing face for higher education and Americans are hopeful. Obama's platform targets loan programmes, access to higher education, community colleges, science and technology, and affirmative action.
Full report on the University World News site
More articles on Obama's election and higher education in World Round-up

CANADA: Benefiting from Bologna
Philip Fine
The Bologna process, the initiative that tries to smooth the jagged edges off Europe’s differing degree and credit structures, has caught the world’s attention in a big way. From the Caribbean to Canada and from China to Australia, the plan designed to solve a European problem and that then brought in bordering countries, now has nations far beyond those borders looking at some academic retooling.
Full report on the University World News site

IRAQ: Killing academics is a war crime
Brendan O’Malley
The international community should directly recognise crimes against educators as crimes against humanity or war crimes, a conference of 150 Iraqi ministers, MPs, university presidents and international experts was told last week. Hosted in Paris by Unesco, in collaboration with the Qatari Foundation, the conference heard that more than 250 academics had been killed in a “campaign of terror” since the fall of Saddam Hussein, in targeted attacks.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Saudi Arabia pays academics best, China worst
Karen MacGregor
Academics in Saudi Arabia are the best paid on earth while scholars in China are the worst off, according to a just-published global study of salaries conducted by the Boston College Center for International Higher Education in the US. The average academic salary across 15 countries surveyed is US$4,050 a month in purchasing power parity dollars – and lecturers can expect to earn triple their country’s per capita estimate – reports International Comparison of Academic Salaries: An exploratory study.
Full report on the University World News site

NEW ZEALAND: Final Maori tertiary institution claim settled
John Gerritsen
The New Zealand government has settled the last of the claims made against it by Maori tertiary institutions for capital funding that will put them on an equal footing with other public tertiary institutions. At $50.6 million (US$29.8 million), the figure agreed with Te Wananga o Raukawa last month adds to nearly $10 million already paid to the institution and brings the total value of settlements for the three public wananga to $169 million.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: IFC opens private education forum
The International Finance Corporation has established an online discussion on what it calls “the evolving regulatory context for private education in emerging economies”. Dr Svava Bjarnason, a senior education spec ialist with the IFC, says the purpose of the online discussion is to provide a forum for stakeholders to discuss key questions relating to the evolving nature of regulation of private education.
Full report on the University World News site

ZIMBABWE: Student ‘bonding’ to stem brain drain
Clemence Manyukwe
Zimbabwe’s government has introduced a student ‘bonding’ system in a desperate attempt to stem the brain drain as people flee the ruinous policies of President Robert Mugabe. Under the cadetship scheme, students will not receive a qualification on graduating but only after working for the state for a stipulated period.
Full report on the University World News site

EGYPT: Disqualifications, apathy mar student elections
Ashraf Khaled
Hassan Abbas, an arts student at Cairo University, did not know there were student union elections until he saw Islamist students staging a protest against their disqualification from candidate lists. In recent weeks the country’s 18 public universities have held student polls marked by widespread apathy as well as fiery protests by ineligible students, particularly from the Muslim Brotherhood – said to be the largest opposition group on Egypt’s campuses. Political or religious student groups have been banned from student leadership.
Full report on the University World News site

The world’s top 1,000 business schools
See our exclusive supplement for a report on the top business schools around the globe. Click here for more.


GLOBAL: Citizenship prize for student leaders
The MacJannet Foundation, in partnership with the Talloires Network, last Thursday announced the first MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship. The prize will recognise university-based programmes around the world that demonstrate active citizenship and student leadership at the local level on an issue of global importance.
Full report on the University World News site

DAKAR: Multi-discipline doctoral reform
The University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar has created seven doctoral schools, with a multi-discipline emphasis, under reforms introducing the Bologna Process which the university started planning in 2003, reported Le Soleil of Dakar.
Full report on the University World News site

WEST AFRICA: Universities agree on regional strategy
The University of Bamako, Ouagadougou University and University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, together with the French Conference of University Presidents, have agreed on a coordinated strategy for higher education and research, to promote a regional partnership between African and French universities and contribute to development of West African scientific communities.
Full report on the University World News site

CAMEROON: Crowded start for new year
The academic year has started with record numbers of new students in Cameroon but several universities have experienced problems including overcrowding, lack of teachers and even cancellation of a new faculty of medicine just before it was due to open. Newspapers reported that some universities were coping better than others.
Full report on the University World News site


US: Science important in US relations with world
John Gerritsen
Science and technology should have a key role in the next US administration's attempts to rehabilitate the reputation of America around the world, says the director of the online Science Development Network, David Dickson.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: First hydrogen racing car unveiled
Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne last week unveiled Australia’s first hydrogen-powered racing car. The pioneering project demonstrates the incredible possibilities of hydrogen as the clean, renewable fuel of the future. The car will be aiming for the title of world’s fastest hydrogen-powered racer when it attempts to break the Guinness World Record's mark for speed by a vehicle of its class early next year.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Wearable kidneys invented by LA scientists
Monica Dobie
Californian researchers are planning to help nurses in renal wards do something they have rarely done in their careers as nurses – work less hard. No, this is not a joke despite recent reports suggesting the number of renal patients needing traditional dialysis will double by 2018. Sure, more people will need dialysis because of our bulging and aging population but, thanks to a new invention, patients may in future have access to portable dialysis by ‘wearing’ artificial kidneys.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: Scientists identify brain's “hate circuit”
John Gerritsen
Show an individual a picture of someone they hate and it will stimulate parts of their brain associated with aggressive behaviour, planning physical action and predicting other people’s actions, research by University College London academics shows.
Full report on the University World News site


GLOBAL: Education under attack
Brendan O’Malley
A noticeable rise in targeted attacks on education staff, students and institutions in a number of countries constitutes a highly damaging assault on the provision of and access to education in the places worst affected. The dramatic increase in deliberate attacks in recent years and the subsequent loss of life are the result of an abhorrent tactic of sacrificing the lives of innocent young people and those trying to help them develop their potential for the sake of political or ideological aims.
Full report on the University World News site

GREECE: Far-reaching European Court ruling
Makki Marseilles
A controversial decision by the European Court of Justice is likely to have far-reaching effects on higher education in Greece. The court’s decision, based on the 89/48 EC directive, held that the Greek rules on recognition of diplomas are contrary to community legislation. Moreover, the court ruled that only member states where a diploma was awarded may verify its basis, thereby denying any form of control, academic or administrative, to the host member states.
Full report on the University World News site


GLOBAL: Is internationalisation on the right track?
“As we progress into the 21st century, the international dimension of higher education is becoming increasingly important and at the same time, more and more complex. There are new actors, new rationales, new programmes, new regulations, and the new context of globalisation,” writes respected internationalisation scholar Professor Jane Knight in the latest edition of the Canadian journal Academic Matters, titled The Global University.
More on the University World News site

GLOBAL: International graduate student challenges
Globalisation has embraced the university, as it has other sectors. Many academics appreciate the benefits that cross-cultural exchange allows as the ivory tower turns global. Knowledge now belongs to a worldwide arena in which we are all connected, writes Dr Fengying Xu in the latest edition of the Canadian journal Academic Matters. But “there are enormous challenges for teaching, studying and research inside this globally-interdependent context”.
More on the University World News site


I refer to your article, Universities embrace lifelong learning of 2 November 2008, in which your correspondent states that while an estimated 4% to 5% of over-30s in the US are involved in lifelong learning of some kind, the European figure is less than 2%. Statistics for lifelong learning are often partial and the territory is contestable and contested but we question this figure.

Alastair Thomson
Senior Policy Officer
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (England and Wales)
More on the University World News site


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US: America gets a Professor in Chief
The 2008 presidential election has broken so many political barriers that historians may overlook one unusual fact: When Barack Obama takes the oath of office next January alongside his running mate, Joe Biden, it will be the first time in history that the President, Vice President, and both of their spouses have worked in higher education, writes Richard Monastersky in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
More on the University World News site

UK: Obama win could hit foreign student recruitment
Barack Obama's historic election could hit the ability of British universities to recruit lucrative overseas students, reports The Guardian. Universities in the UK have benefited from the negative perception of America around the world since the 11 September terrorist attacks and the tightening of visa requirements that followed. But it is thought ‘4/11’ could be just as significant as ‘9/11’ in terms of its impact on international student recruitment, with many now choosing to attend American universities.
More on the University World News site

PAKISTAN: Tough rules for foreign students in the UK
Pakistani students who want to study in the UK will have to be ‘sponsored’ by colleges and universities that have acquired a licence from the UK Border Agency, reports the Daily Times. New rules were announced by the Home Office on 30 October as part of an Australian-style student tier of the points system that will clamp down on bogus students and enable Britain to select students more carefully.
More on the University World News site

IRAN: MPs sack Minister over fake Oxford degree
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian President, suffered a serious blow last week when parliament sacked his Interior Minister for faking a law degree from Oxford University, writes Ian Black of The Guardian, from Tehran. Ali Kordan, a powerful figure on Iran’s complex political scene, was told by the Majlis that he must face impeachment after he also admitted trying to bribe MPs not to proceed against him.
More on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Agency to protect international standing
A new national accreditation agency should be considered to help private providers expand their territories and protect the reputation of Australian education overseas, a joint committee on higher education has said, reports The Australian. A national agency to regulate the burgeoning private higher education industry is the strongest of four options presented to the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs.
More on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: Crackdown on exorbitant v-c salaries
South Africa’s Education Minister, Naledi Pandor, is to crack down on exorbitant salaries earned by vice-chancellors after they failed to regulate themselves. Pandor announced this to the Mail & Guardian after her department released a shocking breakdown of salaries earned by vice-chancellors at the country’s 23 public universities, which totalled more than R40-million (US$4.1 million) last year.
More on the University World News site

ALGERIA: Lecturers take bribes and harass students
Algeria’s Minister of Higher Education is to meet with all of the sector’s trade unions in an extraordinary meeting to discuss issues including a worsening security situation on university campuses nationwide, reports El Khabar. Student unions have accused lecturers of soliciting bribes from students, and s exually harassing female students, in exchange for better marks.
More on the University World News site

US: Sarah Lawrence College most expensive in the land
In the hyper-competitive world of higher education, a top ranking in national surveys is zealously sought, writes Marc Santora in the International Herald Tribune. But during this moment of deep economic anxiety, Sarah Lawrence College finds itself No 1 in an inopportune category: the most expensive school in the United States.
More on the University World News site

CANADA: Universities eye cuts in wake of crisis
Canadian universities could be forced to cut student aid, scholarships and funding for various programmes as early as next spring because of multimillion-dollar losses in their investment holdings, reports the Globe and Mail. The recent freefall of financial markets, coupled with a wait-and-see attitude of donors, has campus leaders across the country preparing for the worst and hoping for a quick recovery.
More on the University World News site

UK: Universities struggle to afford pay rises
The news that inflation reached 5% in September could not have come at a worse time for universities already licking their wounds after investing more than £77 million (US$123 million) in collapsed Icelandic banks, reports The Guardian. As the final instalment of a three-year pay deal, universities had committed to increase pay from October by the same amount as the retail price index for September 2008 or 2.5%, whichever was greater. With RPI at 5%, this means institutions are facing much higher than expected wage bills. The latest rise means pay will have increased by 15% since 2006.
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UK: MPs to hold universities inquiry
MPs are to investigate some of the most controversial issues surrounding students and universities in the UK, reports BBC News. The Commons’ innovation, universities and skills committee will look at issues ranging from student support to university admissions. It will also examine the balance between teaching and research, degree classifications, the extent to which plagiarism is an issue, and government participation targets and their relevance.
More on the University World News site

UK: Northern Ireland universities’ bullying shame
Northern Ireland’s two universities have been listed among the worst in a survey on bullying of university staff across the UK, reports the Belfast Telegraph. The University of Ulster and Queen’s University feature in the ‘worst’ category for staff being ‘always’ or ‘often’ bullied.
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INDONESIA: Tertiary education reforms by 2009-10
Wide-ranging reforms could be introduced in Indonesia’s tertiary education system during the 2009-10 academic year, according to the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), reports Business World Online. Commission chairman Emmanuel Y Angeles told a press conference last week that a strategic plan will be submitted to the president next month aimed at upgrading tertiary education so that it is on par with neighbouring countries.
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The European Training Foundation (ETF) is seeking to establish a new international Editorial Board for the next three years. The ETF is a spec ialised agency of the European Union based in Turin, Italy. It works with transition and developing countries to apply human capital development strategies to socio-economic development. For details regarding applying to join the editorial board click here

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