ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0007  25 November 2007
HE Events Diary

University World News is the first high quality, truly international newspaper dedicated to providing news, features and commentary on higher education issues around the globe. Our network of dozens of correspondents include many of the world's most experienced higher education journalists.

Brain Newsletter1
Brains - good ones are in demand. In this edition, our correspondents report on brain drain and gain around the world.

RussCom Web Left
Politicademics! Nobel prize-winning physicist Zhores Alferov (pictured) is helping Russia's Communist Party run for power. See the Uni-Lateral section at right.

SPECIAL REPORT: Brain drain versus brain gain

Highly skilled people are nomadic, moving from job to job and country to country to advance their careers. America, of course, is the great vacuum cleaner, sucking in talent from across the globe. But for developing countries, losing their brightest scholars is a serious blow – and, unlike the rich West, they are not easily able to attract academics and professionals from elsewhere. Our correspondents report on a situation that in many countries is dire.

UNITED NATIONS: Losing many of a country's best minds
The world’s least developed countries are losing significant numbers of their few skilled professionals, according to a United Nations report. Some of the poorest nations on earth, including Haiti, Samoa, Gambia and Somalia, are among those to have lost more than half of their university educated professionals while in Bangladesh, 65% of newly graduated doctors seek jobs abroad.
Full report on the University World News site

GREECE: Brain drain still flows
Makki Marseilles
Since time immemorial Greece has been a net exporter of culture and talent. The country is small, the population restless. Naturally clever and inventive, when unable to realise their dreams in the restricted space of the country's boundaries they did not hesitate to seek wider horizons for their talents – not only in Europe but worldwide.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: Future fears over brain drain
Diane Spencer
British universities overall gain more academics and researchers than they lose to foreign institutions, says Universities UK, the body representing the majority of higher education institutions in the country. But the picture is different at the elite level.
Full report on the University World News website

AFRICA: Governments to tap the diaspora
Karen MacGregor
The brain drain from Africa is continuing apace, according to a new study, and 10 of the continent’s 53 countries have lost more than 40% of their tertiary educated labour force. Now African governments are getting serious about tackling the problem – and using the rich skills of the diaspora to promote African development.
Full report on the University World News site

NEW ZEALAND: Balancing brain drain with gain
John Gerritsen
Isolated at the bottom of the world with a population of just 4.2 million people, New Zealand has long worried about the loss of its best and brightest to bigger countries with bigger opportunities.
Full report on the University World News site

CANADA: Brain drain is so 1997
Philip Fine
A Canadian brain drain seems to be a bygone issue after the government invested heavily to help staunch the flow of academics southward. Just last decade one leader declared that Canada had become “a training ground of great researchers for the US and other countries”. Now the nation is repatriating lost academics and attracting new stars.
Full report on the University World News website

AUSTRALIA: Brain gain not drain
Geoff Maslen
Far from losing its brightest minds to better-paying places on the other side of the globe, Australia is attracting a greater number of skilled people than leave the country, especially those with PhDs.
Full report on the University World News website

NEWS: Our journalists worldwide report

EU: Expansion of Erasmus Mundus programme
Keith Nuthall
Ministers representing the European Union’s 27 member states have backed expansion of the EU’s global Erasmus Mundus exchange programme.
Full report on the University World News site

INDIA: Parents not spending enough on higher education
Suchitra Behal
Indians may be among the biggest spenders on education for their children, but when it comes to higher education their outlays fall by half.
Full report on the University World News site

DUBAI: Quality assessment for Arab universities
Paul Cochrane
The universities of the Arab world will receive a thorough check-up by education spec ialists from the United Nations Development Programme in a joint venture with the largest private foundation in the Arab world.
Full report on the University World News site

EU: Researchers lag in salary stakes
Alan Osborn
An international survey of researchers’ salaries carried out for the European Commission shows that average salaries in the EU are more than a third less than those in the US and also significantly below the rates for Australia, India and Japan. But other factors as well as pay could be holding back Europe’s research effort.
Full report on the University World News site

UK: Boost for poorer students
Diane Spencer
“Thinking about uni? Don’t let money get in your way. Going to uni could be the best investment you ever make. So don’t let finances get in your way.” This is the hard sell from Britain’s Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills in a new campaign aimed at highlighting the financial support available to students entering university next September.
Full report on the University World News site

NEW ZEALAND: Tertiary unions plan merger
John Gerritsen
New Zealand's two largest tertiary education unions are set to follow in the footsteps of their counterparts in Britain and Australia by merging in order to increase their industrial muscle.
Full report on the University World News site

FRANCE: Lycée pupils join anti-reform protests
Jane Marshall
Students joined hundreds of thousands of school teachers and other civil servants last week in a day of protest against government reforms.
Full report on the University World News site

FEATURES: Rankings analysis

AUSTRALIA: Ethics and the university
Steven Schwartz
An ethical framework brings an institution’s values to the fore and helps it fulfil its social duty. This is why the Joint Committee on Higher Education, currently reviewing Australia’s national protocols, has canvassed adding provisions to encourage accountability and ethical behaviour.
Full report on the University World News site

JAPAN: Tokyo University – Japan's best?
Charles Jannuzi
Often cited as Japan's best example of a 'world class' institution, the University of Tokyo has long been esteemed for its faculties of letters, law and science. It is also famous for graduating members of ‘old boys’ networks’ who join elite cliques of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen.
Full report on the University World News site


UK: Tarrant to head the ACU
Diane Spencer
Professor John Tarrant, former vice-chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, has been appointed Secretary-General of the 500-strong Association of Commonwealth Universities. He has served as acting Secretary-General since the resignation of Dr John Rowett last May.
Full report on the University World News website

UNI-LATERAL: Off-beat university stories

RUSSIA: Communists target academics
Nick Holdsworth
Russia's Communist Party is targeting university academics and intellectuals in next Sunday's crucial parliamentary elections, with a Moscow party list headed by Nobel prize-winning physicist Zhores Alferov.
Full report on the University World News website

US: New butterfly species names after granny
A winning bid of almost $40,800 dollars in an online auction bought the right to name a newly discovered rare owl butterfly species from Mexico after a grandmother of five who died 35 years ago, the University of Florida announced on Tuesday, reports AFP.
Summary on the University World News site

US: Another ruckus at Rutgers
A reconstituted group of students, staff and alumni at Rutgers University has resumed the battle to stop university administrators from emphasising football over academics, reports Inside Higher Ed.
Summary on the University World News site


US: Report looks at HE overseas
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have published a report comparing higher education in the United States and abroad “in an effort to bring American universities into an international conversation on higher education”, reports the Daily Californian. The report is titled The crisis of publics.
Summary on the University World News site

INDIA: We do need that education
China is re-orienting and investing in its higher education sector to meet the challenges of the future. But India continues to ignore systemic collapse that is crying out for an urgent and drastic overhaul, comments Harsh V Pant, who teaches at King’s College London, on AssamNet.
Summary on the University World News site

UK: Universities – extremist hotbeds?
Universities are coming under the spotlight in the fight against terrorism, with critics calling them a hotbed of extremism while lecturers say any clampdown threatens their freedom of speech, reports Reuters. Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently highlighted universities as one a key area where the authorities needed to “act against extremist influences”.
Summary on the University World News site


US: Breakthrough could boost stem cell research
Rival scientists in Japan and the United States have announced that they successfully turned human tissue, rather than embryos, into cells that behave like embryonic stem cells. The research seems certain to accelerate the pace of stem cell research, and could lead the Bush administration to re-think its virtual ban on funding for this controversial field, reports the Boston Globe.
Summary on the University World News site

US: Man who helped start stem cell war may end it
If the stem cell wars are indeed nearly over, no one will savour the peace more than James A Thomson. Interviewed by the New York Times, he said he had ethical concerns about embryonic research from the outset, even though he knew that it offered insights into human development and the potential for powerful new treatments for disease.
Summary on the University World News site

UK: China the next higher education superpower
While the US is still the global higher education ‘superpower’, China now has the largest higher education system in the world and awards more university degrees than the US and India combined, reports the BBC from the Worldwide Universities Network conference in London.
Summary on the University World News site

UK: Union slams short contact ‘blight’
A University and College Union survey of research jobs in UK universities has shown that short-term contracts remain the norm for staff beginning their careers, report the Education Guardian. No less than 96.5% of the posts were found to be fixed-term.
Summary on the University World News site

SCOTLAND: Hopes raised for extra funding
The Scottish Government has moved to quell the growing storm over university funding by saying that ministers were “sympathetic” towards giving extra money to the sector, reports The Herald. Universities had slated low university funding levels in the new Scottish budget.
Summary on the University World News site

CANADA: Iraqi professors pick up new skills
The University of Alberta is part of a new United Nations project, called the Teacher Training Network for Iraq, that is designed to help rebuild education system in the war-torn Middle Eastern nation, reports the Globe and Mail.
Summary on the University World News site

DUBAI: Business slams higher education
Business leaders have vented their frustration at the region's higher education system, accusing colleges and universities of producing graduates ill-equipped to diversify the region's oil dependent economy, reports Gulf News.
Summary on the University World News site

AFRICA: Knowledge transfer partnerships underway
An Africa Knowledge Transfer Partnerships project, which the British Council is piloting in four African countries, is designed to help businesses improve their competitiveness through access to knowledge, technology and skills available in higher education, reports Business Day. The pilot projects are scheduled for Uganda, Ghana, Kenya and N igeria.
Summary on the University World News site

US: International student at Chicago shot
Students stood in a circle on the campus quadrangle at the University of Chicago and held slender white candles as they remembered a gentle graduate student from Senegal who was killed weeks before he was to receive his doctorate, reports the New York Times.
Summary on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: Campuses hit by crime
The Universities of Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal have been shocked by violent incidents in which a commercial law professor was murdered by robbers and an American international student was r aped in a residence, reports Independent Online.
Summary on the University World News site
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