ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0085 19 July 2009
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The University of Tokyo has done well in the latest world ranking of universities produced by a French institution. See the story in our News section.

A committee headed by Professor Yash Pal (pictured above left) has called for significant reform of India's higher education system. See the story in this week's Feature section.

A blueprint for the future of European nuclear energy research has been released – see this week’s Business section. Photo: United States Regulatory Commission.


University World News was the official media partner to the Unesco World Conference on higher education, held in Paris from 5-8 July.


NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

UNESCO: Was the world conference a success?
See our special report in the Features section of this issue as David Jobbins reflects on the Paris talkfest.

AUSTRALIA: Has the export education bubble burst?
Geoff Maslen
Changes to Australia’s immigration rules affecting foreign students who apply for permanent residency could cause a collapse in the booming export education market. The tighter restrictions are likely to have a profound impact on the number of students from India and China whose main purpose in coming to Australia is to obtain permanent residency. Take that lure away and the main reason why tens of thousands are prepared to outlay up to $20,000 (US$16,000) every year disappears.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Rankings rate success in getting top jobs
Jane Marshall
Japan’s University of Tokyo and the US universities of Harvard and Stanford retain their leading places in the third annual Professional Ranking of World Universities compiled by the French grande école Mines Paris Tech.
Full report on the University World News site

GREECE: Soft measures and harsh fines
Makki Marseilles
Although the Greek government is doing its best to back favourable legislation for private colleges that have sought a licence to operate from the new academic year in September, the European Court of Justice has put Greece on the spot once again – this time for failing to follow directives relating to the recognition of professional qualifications of graduates from colleges cooperating with EU universities.
Full report on the University World News site

CANADA: Scholarship includes international students
Philip Fine
There are many emails about funding opportunities that flow through Elsayed Ali’s inbox but, as an international student in Canada, the PhD student from Egypt finds himself eligible for too few of these grants. That’s why an email this past autumn caught his eye.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Detecting plagiarism and collusion
Geoff Maslen
A Melbourne educationist has developed a free plagiarism and collusion detection tool called DOC Cop that can be used to check files against one another or against material on the web. The system does not retain any material submitted for investigation.
Full report on the University World News site

GERMANY: Promoting excellence for development
Michael Gardner
Five German universities and their partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America are to receive up to €5 million each over the next five years to boost their joint activities. The institutions have come out the winners in a competition involving 44 projects in all. The Excellence for Development initiative is being run by the German Academic Exchange Service, known as DAAD, and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development to promote cooperation with developing countries.
Full report on the University World News site

ZIMBABWE: Confronting a credibility crisis
Higher education qualifications in Zimbabwe are suffering a credibility crisis following the withdrawal of international recognition in some fields arising from plummeting standards, according to a series of working papers commissioned by the UN Development Fund.
Full report on the University World News site

ALGERIA: New policy to curb violence on campuses
Wagdy Sawahel
With violence rising on campuses in Algeria – including a spate of shocking murders – the Education Ministry and the National Council for Higher Education are preparing a charter to prevent acts of aggression within the university community. While the charter will be implemented at the start of the next academic year in October, violence is also happening on campuses in other Arab countries.
Full report on the University World News site

EGYPT: More engineers, fewer doctors move slammed
Ashraf Khaled
Egypt’s Higher Council for Universities, a governmental agency that oversees academic institutions, has decided to increase the number of students attending public engineering institutions and cut enrolments at medical schools in the new academic year. The move has been scathingly criticised as impractical and counter-productive.
Full report on the University World News site


AFRICA: Universities do not meet industry needs
The African Commission has found a weak link between the demands of industry and what is provided by Africa’s institutions of higher education, especially with regards to agriculture – the continent’s dominant industry. In a report, the commission says Africa’s universities are not geared to meet the needs of industry.
Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE-RUSSIA: New guide to science collaboration
The first Compendium on Science & Research Cooperation between the European Union and Russia was jointly presented in Moscow last week. The publication presents what it says are “all the most important elements of the vast EU-Russia science landscape in one place”.
Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE: Euroscience open forum in 2010
Euroscience is an independent grassroots association of scientists from 40 countries. Membership is open to researchers, science managers, policy-makers, politicians, teachers, PhD students, engineers, business people and citizens in general who are interested in science and technology and its interaction with society. The association will hold its next forum in Turin in Italy next July.
Full report on the University World News site

ZIMBABWE: HIV-Aids ignorance among female students
Zimbabwe’s female university students are mainly ignorant of HIV-Aids as well as their sexual and reproductive health rights, a new survey has concluded.
Full report on the University World News site

ALGERIA: Minister announces funding boost for science
Scientific research has received funding of 100 billion dinars (US$1.4 billion), the first allocation to be made under a five-year government plan to boost the sector, according to La Tribune of Algiers.
Full report on the University World News site

MALAWI: Plans for third public university
The government has announced plans to start construction of a science and technology university in the commercial and administrative capital Lilongwe. It will be the third state-run institution of higher learning in the Southern African country.
Full report on the University World News site

BURKINA FASO-SENEGAL: Expat students call for help
Trainee teachers from Burkina Faso studying in Senegal have written an anguished plea for help to the newspaper Le Pays of Ougadougou, complaining about extortionate demands for rent, late or no grant payments and lack of ‘compulsory’ work placements.
Full report on the University World News site

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Reports from the Frontier: A global view of the key issues confronting higher education

Reports from the Frontier is the first in a planned series of electronic books to be published by University World News. The initial volume comprises eight chapters that range from the impact of the global financial crisis on universities, declining funding, and the Bologna process, to women in higher education, international rankings and e-learning. The 337-page e-book includes an index listing the chapters and article headings, and is available as a special offer to University World News readers. To see the contents page and to order your copy click here.


MEXICO: Student kicked unconscious by police
Jonathan Travis*
Amnesty International has condemned police in Chiapas State in southern Mexico after a 16-year-old student activist was beaten unconscious last month. Jose Emiliano Nandayapa Gomez was reportedly attacked because of his ‘subversive haircut’ although he has been involved in promoting the rights of young people.
More Academic Freedom reports on the University World News site


EUROPE: Big boost to research spending
Keith Nuthall
A €3.2 billion programme of research spending that will try to pull Europe out of recession and into a sustainable economic recovery has been launched by the European Commission.
Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE: Nuclear research objectives agreed
Alan Osborn
A blueprint for the development of European nuclear energy research, based on contributions from 200 industrial and academic professionals collected over the last 18 months, has been accepted by a group of nuclear power industry representatives.
Full report on the University World News site

FRANCE: Millions in funding for artificial heart
Jane Marshall
The European Commission has authorised state funding of €33 million by the French government to the Carmat artificial heart research and development programme. The commission ruled the award complied with the European Union’s fair competition rules.
Full report on the University World News site


GLOBAL: World conference a success? Yes and no
David Jobbins
Was that it? The three-plus days of UNESCO’s 2009 World Conference on Higher Education flashed past in a flurry of plenaries, round tables and parallel workshops. Those with memories of the first conference in 1998 were not surprised to discover that some debates had barely altered in tone and content in the intervening decade. Others were disappointed the harsh new realities of economic and fiscal meltdown passed largely ignored, other than in ritual references to the need to invest in higher education and research as well as in neutralising toxic assets.
Full report on the University World News site

INDIA: Call for massive overhaul of higher education
Kanika Tandon*
The problems facing higher education in India are manifold and demand effective and immediate action. Mushrooming of ‘deemed’ universities, poor governance of institutions, lack of funds, difficulty in providing speedy accreditation to colleges and universities, insufficient teachers, want of a revived syllabus and the necessity to encourage research are some that are ailing the nation’s higher education system. But a new report has set out an ambitious plan to tackle the problems.
Full report on the University World News site


GLOBAL: The new dynamics of higher education
Angel Gurría*
We face the most highly synchronised recession ever which has left no corner of the globe untouched. Fiscal stimulus packages have helped mitigate its worst effects but the crisis is not over yet. The world economy heads for zero growth in 2009 bringing with it an employment and social crisis that will affect higher education.
Full report on the University World News site

UNI-LATERAL: Off-beat university stories

GREECE: In vino veritas
Makki Marseilles
Throughout the centuries, people everywhere found solace in the reasonable consumption of wine. In ancient Greece, the wine producing vines had their own deity – Dionysus – while Christianity found in wine a worthy symbol and a substitute for the blood of its founder. It is no wonder then that sooner or later a university survey would examine the importance of wine and its role in Greek social life.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Campus cuisine
Once upon a time, eating in a college dorm meant soup in a hotpot or getting pizza delivered. The most interesting thing about the campus dining hall was often the salad bar, writes Beth J Harpaz for Associated Press. No more. These days, students have gourmet palates and a growing interest in preparing their own food. Mini-refrigerators and microwaves in dorm rooms are as essential as laptops. Chefs drop by dorm kitchens to give lessons, and dining halls provide take-out containers and ingredients for kids who want to cook their own meals.
More on the University World News site


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US: Obama unveils ambitious community college plan
Last week US President Barack Obama unveiled a multibillion-dollar proposal to boost enrolment in community colleges. His plan seeks to graduate five million more Americans from two-year colleges by 2020, and follows a more sweeping goal announced during his first address to Congress in February – for America to once again have the highest number of college graduates in the world by 2020 – writes Joseph E Aoun in The Boston Globe.
More on the University World News site

US: California university furloughs hit 140,000 staff
A University of California regents panel approved an emergency plan last Wednesday for most faculty and staff to take 11 to 26 unpaid furlough days next academic year to offset deep cuts in state funding, reports Larry Gordon for the Los Angeles Times. But the furlough proposal, which was endorsed despite protests by labour unions, would be only part of a broad retrenchment across the 10-campus university system, officials said.
More on the University World News site

UK: 6,000 lecturers facing redundancy, says union
Up to 6,000 lecturers are being axed by universities to cut costs in the recession, according to a survey by the University and College Union, writes Anthea Lipsett for The Guardian. The findings come as employers offered a final pay rise of 0.5% to staff – far short of the 8% sought by union officials.
More on the University World News site

CANADA: The summer of student discontent
Canadian Laura McGhie was pretty certain by last autumn that her well-paying summer job was history. For the past two years, the McMaster University student had spent her holiday working on the shop floor of US Steel’s Lake Erie works, writes Elizabeth Church in The Globe and Mail. The collapse of Ontario’s manufacturing sector put an end to that. Instead, McGhie is working two jobs on campus now and figures she’s making less than half the money. Still, she counts herself lucky. Students are coping with the worst summer job market in more than a decade, leaving many scrambling to find often low-paying jobs.
More on the University World News site

CHINA-TAIWAN: Student mobility fuels brain drain fears
Will Taiwan’s brightest make a beeline for top universities across the Strait, now that mainland China has opened its doors more widely? This is an emerging concern in Taiwan after Beijing announced, at a high-level forum last weekend, that top Taiwanese students may now get a place in universities without having to take China’s college-entry exam, reports The Straits Times.
More on the University World News site

TAIWAN: Academics against opening doors to Chinese
Opening the doors to Chinese students and recognising Chinese diplomas are a government strategy to accelerate unification with China and will force Taiwanese institutions to close, academics said at a Taiwan Solidarity Union press conference last week, reports Jenny W Hsu for Taipei Times.
More on the University World News site

CHINA: Cheating is common, scientists believe
Nearly half of the science-related workers in China’s research institutes, universities, medical institutes and hospitals think academic cheating is “common”, according to a survey by the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), reports China View. The survey, released last Friday, showed that 43.4% of 30,078 respondents thought plagiarism is “really” or “rather” serious in China. About 45.2% of them were worried about fabrication.
More on the University World News site

INDIA: Call for private investment in higher education
Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said last week that there was a need to expand the education sector, reports The Economic Times. Replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha on demand for grants for the Ministry, Sibal made a strong pitch for greater private investment and allowing in foreign universities with necessary regulatory mechanisms. He said expansion was necessary but the government’s reservation policy had to be followed.
More on the University World News site

INDIA: Tertiary official arrested on bribe charge
A Delhi court on Friday sent the member-secretary of the All India Council for Technical Education, or AICTE, and a middleman to three-day custody for allegedly seeking a bribe of Rupees 500,000 (US$10,300) from a person for doing a “favourable inspection” of an engineering college in Andhra Pradesh, reports The Times of India.
More on the University World News site

SOUTH KOREA: 15 foreign universities join free zone
The idea of the Songdo Global University Campus was first conceived by the city of Incheon in 2006 to let prestigious foreign universities operate extended campuses where students can obtain degrees in the Incheon Free Economic Zone, reports The Chosun Ilbo. Currently, 15 foreign universities are seeking to open branches on the Songdo Global University Campus.
More on the University World News site

US: No gender gap for college victims of violence
Young men and women in college are equally likely to be victims of physical or emotional violence, a new study shows, writes Stephanie Lee for Inside Higher Ed. Published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the study comes from a survey of about 2,000 students who sought treatment at health clinics at five universities in Wisconsin, Seattle and Vancouver in 2006-07.
More on the University World News site

WALES: Collaborative research funding plummets
Levels of funding secured by high education institutions in Wales for collaborative research has fallen sharply, new figures show, reports Sion Barry for the Western Mail. The latest Higher Education – Business and Community Interaction Survey shows that in 2007-08 funding for collaborative research from both public and private sources was down from £67.7 million (US$111 million) a year earlier to just £43.4 million, a fall of 36%.
More on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: Student aid body welcomes review
South Africa’s National Student Financial Aid Scheme, or NSFAS, says it supports a Ministerial Review established by Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, reports the Skills Portal. A government proclamation issued on 1 July officially transferred oversight of the financial aid body to Nzimande, who has asked the review to advise him on how to provide free higher education for poor students.
More on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: University to train traditional healers
The desire of many of South Africa’s 180,000 sangomas – traditional healers – to be absorbed into the mainstream health system was given a boost last week when the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) launched a degree for sangomas. A bachelors or masters degree in indigenous knowledge systems is on offer at the university’s School of Medicine, reports Nkosana Lekotjolo for The Times.
More on the University World News site

ROMANIA: Diplomas of private university illegal
Romania’s Education Minister has labelled as illegal the graduation diplomas of 100,000 students who took low-attendance classes at the country’s largest private university, Spiru Haret, after a scandal over college credentials, writes Oana Dan for Miercuri.
More on the University World News site

US: Australia enters American medical school market
To produce more physicians for Louisiana, a major academic medical centre has joined up with a medical school down under, writes Elizabeth Redden for Inside Higher Ed. The University of Queensland School of Medicine in Australia has opened a clinical school in New Orleans in cooperation with Louisiana’s Ochsner Health System.
More on the University World News site
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