ISSN 1756-297XIssue No: 0009  09 December 2007
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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.

Three Students
Students around the world are seeking education in other countries. In this edition, University World News focuses on the movement of international students. See the stories in our special report section.

Leuven Library
The University of Leuven's library looks like a traditional library. But the university has begun creation of a ground-breaking digital library. See the story in our news section.

SPECIAL REPORT: The world’s mobile students

Nearly three million students are now studying for degrees outside their own countries. Over the past 30 years there has been a four-fold increase in international student mobility, with a sharp acceleration in the past decade. As the OECD noted recently, this mirrors the growing globalisation of economies and societies.

There are many factors that influence student mobility, among them geographic proximity, historical ties between countries, shared language and economic opportunity. As China expands its own higher education system and other nations try to establish themselves as ‘education hubs’, western countries are finding it harder to attract students to their shores.

Other influences on student choice include currency variations that make studying in a particular country more expensive, or the SARS outbreak that reduced the flow of Asian students. Decisions by a country can profoundly impact on its attractiveness to students: America, which draws more than one in five of the world’s international students, suffered a severe setback by imposing harsh visa restrictions after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

In this edition, our correspondents report on international student dynamics in several ‘destination’ countries. There are more reports on the topic in the World round-up section.

UK: Foreign student market starting to slide
Diane Spencer
Foreign students make an important contribution not only to British universities but to the national economy. Around 356,000 are studying in Britain, they pay nearly £2 billion (US$4 billion) in fees, and they contribute more than £5 billion to the nation’s wealth. The majority come from China. But the UK is now facing stiff global competition.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Facing a potentially catastrophic fall
Geoff Maslen
Australia’s A$11 billion-a-year education export market, equal to US$9.6 billion, faces a potentially catastrophic decline as the flood of foreign students into the country becomes a trickle. Any collapse in the market would knock a hole in the national economy and leave many of the nation’s universities with a massive fall in revenues that could threaten their survival.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Growth in enrolments welcomed
America is experiencing a turnaround in the number of foreign students enrolling in its higher education institutions. According to a new report, overseas student enrolments increased at more than half of 700 colleges and universities surveyed.
Full report on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: Huge growth in foreign students
Karen MacGregor
With the end of apartheid and sanctions, South African universities opened up to the world. A dozen years later foreign students comprise more than 7% of enrolments at public universities – a proportion in line with the world’s leading ‘destination’ countries – and, among US students, South Africa entered the top 20 most popular study-abroad countries.
Full report on the University World News site

IRELAND: The Green Isle looks overseas
John Walshe
Ireland is becoming an increasingly popular destination for students from overseas but has yet to fully exploit the potential market. Official figures show that almost 12,000 students from 115 countries were studying at Irish universities and other public sector colleges during the last academic year, an increase of 170% over the past decade.
Full report on the University World News site

FRANCE: Adapting to the global battle of intelligence
Jane Marshall
France does not earn large sums of foreign currency from international student fees. Under the present system it would be illegal to make foreigners pay more than French and European Union students.
Full report on the University World News site

NEWS: Our journalists worldwide report

NIGERIA: Researchers want more funding
Tunde Fatunde
Without proper funding from their governments, university-based researchers and scientists cannot undertake meaningful research. And without research, a country cannot make substantial economic and industrial progress, a conference in N igeria was told last week.
Full report on the University World News site

EU: Austria and Belgium to justify study quotas
Alan Osborn
Austria and Belgium have been granted an extra five years to satisfy the European Commission that they are not practising unjustified restrictions in admissions to their universities.
Full report on the University World News site

GERMANY: East-west divide cause for concern
Mike Gardner
Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced a special new programme to boost higher education institutions in East Germany. The east-west divide has long been a source of anger for educationists in the East.
Full report on the University World News site

RUSSIA: Election bounty for universities
Nick Holdsworth
Russian universities have been promised a research bounty following the crushing victory for President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party in last week's parliamentary elections. The landslide – which gave United Russia a clear two-thirds majority in the state Duma – should guarantee that pre-election promises Putin gave to double funding for science and research are kept.

Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE: Digital library under construction
Alan Osborn
The creation of a European digital library has begun at the University of Leuven in Belgium, where a group of doctoral students is using a dome scanner to produce digital images that can be used remotely by researchers. Leuven University, a leader in IT technology in the Benelux countries, is at the forefront of the development of 3D digitisation.
Full report on the University World News site

FRANCE: Students end weeks of strikes
Jane Marshall
French students have been returning to their studies following weeks of protest that closed up to 40 universities. Normality resumed following negotiations with the Higher Education Minister – and a conveniently timed promise from President Nicolas Sarkozy of an extra €5 billion (US$7.38 billion) to upgrade campuses.
Full report on the University World News site

UNI-LATERAL: Off-beat university stories

CANADA: Paris Hilton eases pain in the laboratory
Philip Fine
A Canadian researcher has used a life-size cut-out of Paris Hilton to demonstrate that male mice seem to feel less pain when she is in a laboratory with them. The likeness of the hotel heiress had an analgesic effect on mice after they were injected with an inflammatory substance.
Full report on the University World News site

JAPAN: Humans cannot ape chimps’ memory feats
Young chimpanzees scored better results than humans in a memory recall test, a group of researchers at Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute has found. The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that the test involved recalling the locations of groups of numbers flashed onto a computer screen.
More on the University World News site

JAPAN: Cell phone class on mysteries of the pyramids
There will not be any mobile phone ban in this university, reports AHN. Japan's Cyber University took online education to a higher level by opening a cell phone class on the mysteries of the pyramids. Students use their phones instead of computers.
More on the University World News site


CANADA: Plotting the future of Islamic Studies
In the latest issue of the Canadian journal Academic Matters, Tariz Ramadan – the noted Islamic scholar and Oxford University fellow who was refused entry to the US by the Bush administration – traces the changes and continuities in the West’s interest in Islam. Self-interest still reigns, he argues, and it is time for long term investment in a more serious, more academic, and less ideological framework for university Islamic Studies.
More on the University World News site

US: The state of university publishing
A special double issue of the ARL Bimonthly Report focuses on the state of university publishing and the evolving role for research libraries in the delivery of publishing services, reports OA Librarian. The Ithaka report University Publishing in a Digital Age is the focus of three articles: a summary of the report by its authors, an assessment of its recommendation that research institutions should have “publishing strategies”, and a description of a social commentary on the report.
More on the University World News site


CHINA: The road to China
China is no longer a sleeping dragon when it comes to drawing foreign students as the world shows growing interest in the country, writes Tan Ee Loo in The Star, Malaysia. According to the government-affiliated Chinese Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange, the number of international students in the country is 162,695.
More on the University World News site

MALAYSIA: Courting Chinese students
“Why study in Malaysia” advertisements, and the opening of a Malaysia Education Office in Beijing recently and similar offices in Dubai, Jakarta and Hanoi, show the government’s commitment to promoting the country as an education hub, writes Celeste Fond of Beijing Express. Malaysia hopes to double its current 50,000-strong contingent of foreign students by 2010.
More on the University World News site

UK: Drop in foreign students may hit universities
The head of Britain’s prestigious University College, London, has raised fears about the future of one of the country’s most economically valuable exports – university education – if demand from international students starts “levelling off”, reports the Financial Times.
More on the University World News site

UK: Women miss out on university places
Older women and people from minority ethnic groups are least likely to secure university places, according to research from the university admissions service, Ucas, reports Education Guardian. Some 87,000 potential students who applied to university in 2006 failed to secure a place – up from 84,000 in 2005 and 76,000 in 2003.
More on the University World News site

FRANCE: State sells shares to modernise universities
The French government says it has raised €3.7 billion (US$5.4 billion) to help pay for a plan to modernise universities by selling a small stake in Électricité de France, the giant power company, reports the International Herald Tribune.
More on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Sector slips in international rankings
An overall decline in the higher education sector's international performance highlights the challenge faced by the new Rudd government in achieving its education revolution, reports The Australian Higher Education. In the two big world rankings of university performance, Australia's international standing has slumped despite some strong individual performances.
More on the University World News site

PAKISTAN: Senate committee calls for S&T universities
The Senate Standing Committee on Education, Science and Technology has stressed the need to establish S&T universities in Pakistan to accelerate development and to improve the quality of life of the people, reports the Daily Times.
More on the University World News site

NIGERIA: Union says state is neglecting engineering
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has accused N igeria’s federal government of not encouraging admission into engineering and technology courses in polytechnics, reports the Daily Champion. It called for the development of science teaching in secondary schools.
More on the University World News site

AFRICA: Call to expand space programmes
African leaders have been urged to expand space science, in a drive to meet Millennium Development Goals, reports the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Space experts from around world gathered in N igeria’s capital Abuja this week to attend the first regional Space for Africa conference.
More on the University World News site

MEXICO: Turmoil at university with US ties
Amid years of unrest at a Mexican university known to attract American scholars and students, the rector seen as responsible for the instability has left, and those left behind are wondering what will happen next, reports Inside Higher Ed.
More on the University World News site

US: Colorado in $2.85 million s ex assault settlement
The University of Colorado agreed to pay $2.85 million to settle lawsuits by two women whose allegations of being s exually assaulted by football players led to the departures of the school's president and athletic director, reports Bloomberg.
More on the University World News site
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