University World News Africa Edition
20 July 2014 Issue 135 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Top diaspora scientists join Nigerian initiative to boost HE and research

In Africa Analysis, Mesele Araya and Habtamu Adane investigate why African universities are failing to impart the knowledge and skills economies need.
In Africa Features, Tunde Fatunde describes an initiative to engage top Nigerian scientists in the diaspora in developing postgraduate training and research back home. Munyaradzi Makoni outlines a book edited by Trish Gibbon on the South Africa Norway Tertiary Education Development Programme, whose success was based on shared principles and values.
In World Blog, Hans de Wit argues for a renewed focus on the reasons for doing higher education internationalisation and greater consideration of the changing global context.
In Commentary, Philip G Altbach writes that universities are engaged in a global publications ‘arms race’ with academics the shock troops – but a ‘one size fits all’ approach to measuring academic productivity is not working.
Lesley Wilson finds universities in Europe with practices stuck in national traditions facing challenges in attracting and retaining talented staff and researchers. Vangelis Tsiligiris suggests strategic investment in transnational education by British universities, including as a hedge against declining international student flows.
Damtew Teferra maintains that in a competitive global economy, knowledge workers – academics – should be given more leadership and freedoms instead of being squeezed by corporate managerialism. Yves Gingras highlights new statistics that suggest a link between highly cited researchers having more than one affiliation and the position of certain universities in world rankings. Roger Y Chao Jr proposes that as the ASEAN region has matured, it is time to revisit the idea of an ASEAN University.
In Features, Yojana Sharma probes plans for a new university in Kashgar in Xinjiang, as part of government efforts to stem rising discontent. We speak to Michael Gaebel about the second Arab-Euro higher education conference, where the need for Erasmus-like mobility for the Arab region was agreed. And Robert Coelen describes The Netherlands' new vision for international higher education.
Karen MacGregor – Africa Editor
University World News is taking a northern hemisphere summer break for the next three weeks. Do keep visiting our website, though, as it will be updated with news and other articles.
Karen MacGregor

In the wake of 20 years of democracy celebrations, two occurrences in universities starkly reminded South Africans of how far the country has yet to go to overcome apartheid. The death of popular Stellenbosch Vice-chancellor Russel Botman sparked accusations that he had been ‘killed’ by Afrikaner conservatives, while Cape Town was fiercely attacked by black intellectuals after unveiling a new student admissions policy.
Francis Kokutse

The German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, has signed an agreement with the Association of African Universities, Ghana’s National Accreditation Board and the Nigerian National Universities Commission to promote internal quality assurance in higher education in a new project for the West African region.
Wagdy Sawahel

A new strategy to promote higher education training in the field of renewable energy across Africa has been unveiled. The roadmap was the outcome of a workshop held in Rwanda from 10-11 July, organised by the European Union Energy Initiative and attended by participants from more than 20 African countries.
Maina Waruru

Kenyatta University has become the first in East Africa to have a fully-fledged digital school, offering a wide range of courses through virtual and open learning. A free tablet uploaded with course materials for every student is expected to be a huge drawcard.
Maina Waruru

Kenya’s Higher Education Loans Board is to transform into a major ‘development financing institution for human capital’, with an expanded mandate to lend money to all students wishing to pursue post-secondary education in local or foreign institutions.
Jane Marshall

With publication of results of the baccalauréat school-leaving examinations in francophone Africa, newspapers in some countries have reported problems of low pass rates and instances of fraud.
Wagdy Sawahel

In an effort to boost quality at French language centres in universities, HERACLES – the World Forum of Language Centres in Higher Education – plans to open a regional office in the Middle East to provide support services for countries including Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti, Lebanon and Jordan.
Jane Marshall

The professional body representing engineers has conceded to demands by protesting students of the JSS Academy, an Indian offshoot located in Mauritius whose qualifications were deemed invalid after the Indian government withdrew its recognition of diplomas awarded by Indian institutions abroad.
Tunde Fatunde

Top Nigerian scientists based in the United States have entered into a formal agreement to assist universities back home, with a view to boosting research and postgraduate programmes. Academics in Nigeria have welcomed the move because of its potential positive multiplying effects.
Munyaradzi Makoni

The recently published Driving Change – The Story of the South Africa Norway Tertiary Education Development Programme, edited by Dr Trish Gibbon, describes a successful development partnership that after 10 years had activities in 16 universities in seven Southern African countries. Why did it work? The reasons start with the shared principles and values of the two country partners.
Mesele Araya and Habtamu Adane

When Nigeria's Dangote Group advertised for 100 truck driver jobs in 2012, six PhDs, 704 masters and more than 8,460 bachelor degree holders were among the 13,000 applicants. Why were the applicants not employed in careers they trained for? We argue that universities are not imparting the knowledge and skills required by Africa’s economies or the world.
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Mimi Leung and Yojana Sharma

Taiwan’s Education Minister Chiang Wei-ling resigned on Monday 14 July over his links to a researcher whose papers were retracted from an international scientific journal because of alleged fraud.
David Jobbins

David Willetts, the United Kingdom universities and science minister in David Cameron's coalition government since 2010, has quit to return to the back benches and will leave parliament at the next general election in 2015. His decision to leave the job coincided with a far-reaching cabinet reshuffle aimed at overcoming Cameron’s perceived problem with women.
Matt Blomberg

The Cambodian government’s Anti-Corruption Unit has been called on to police next month’s national school-leaving exam in a bid to stamp out systemic cheating that has for decades compromised the quality of high school students applying for university places.
Patrick Boehler and Anne Yi

The head of China’s Peking University said plans to build a new élite academy on its picturesque campus were up for debate, constituting a small victory for students and scholars who fear the prestige project will sow divisions and élitism.
David Jobbins

The United Kingdom’s élite universities are failing to attract students from disadvantaged backgrounds despite making “considerable” efforts and offering financial support to offset the impact of higher tuition fees.
Geoff Maslen

Britain’s Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges has signed a three-year agreement with the United Nations Environment Programme under UNEP’s Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability scheme. The partnership will deliver training and networking opportunities and will put the association’s Green Gown Awards for universities before a global audience.
Andrea Small Carmona

Government-funded universities in Venezuela are witnessing a flight of scientists and professors, leaving them unable to fill posts, according to recent reports.
Yojana Sharma

Beijing has rushed through plans for a new university in Kashgar, in Xinjiang – the Silk Road region dominated by the country’s Uyghur Turkic minority – as part of a raft of measures to stem rising discontent and unemployment which is fuelling violence in the region.
Robert Coelen

Dutch Minister for Education, Culture and Science Dr Jet Bussemaker has released a new vision for the internationalisation of education. It positions The Netherlands as a knowledge economy with a quality education system that offers opportunities for talented young people worldwide – who the country would like to attract permanently – and includes all levels of education.
Karen MacGregor

An Erasmus-style exchange programme for the Arab world gained ground at the second Arab-Euro higher education conference held in Jordan last month. “It received substantial support from people who are at universities and also contribute to policy-making in the region,” said Michael Gaebel, head of higher education policy at the European University Association.
Karin Fischer, The Chronicle of Higher Education

The agent debate is dead. Long live the integrity debate. For some time now, the discussion about whether American colleges could use commission-based agents when recruiting students abroad has been the hottest of hot-button issues in international admissions, with each camp staking out fiercely partisan positions.
Hans de Wit

The future of internationalisation will require a renewed focus on the reasons for doing it and will take into account the changing context in which international higher education operates where there are no longer barriers between the global and local.
Philip G Altbach

Universities are engaged in a global arms race of publication; and academics are the shock troops of the struggle. But a ‘one size fits all’ approach to measuring academic productivity does not work and disadvantages certain countries and disciplines. Care needs to be taken when evaluating academic success.
Lesley Wilson

While universities in Europe are increasingly operating in a global environment, their human resource structures, recruitment and promotion mechanisms are still largely anchored in national legal frameworks, traditions and practices. This can pose a major challenge for universities as they seek to identify, employ and keep highly talented staff and researchers.
Vangelis Tsiligiris

International student mobility to the United Kingdom is lessening from Asia due to capacity building in home countries. Strategic investment in transnational education can help this capacity building and should be seen as part of an international business strategy rather than a peripheral issue.
Damtew Teferra

In the competitive global economy where knowledge reigns supreme, it is prudent to ensure that knowledge workers – academics – are given more, not less, leadership leverage, managerial space, a nurturing environment and academic freedom. The hot pursuit of managerialism has serious implications for academic productivity, engagement and morale.
Yves Gingras

New statistics suggest a link between highly cited researchers having more than one affiliation and the position of certain institutions in world university rankings.
Roger Y Chao Jr

As the ASEAN region has matured, now is the right time to revisit the idea of establishing an ASEAN University along the lines of the European University Institute.
University World News has a popular Facebook group. If you are not a member, do consider joining to see our regular updates, post on our wall and communicate with us and other University World News fans. You can also follow University World News on Twitter @uniworldnews

The Tony Abbott government's savings drive has taken another hit after the senate blocked A$435 million (US$408 million) in university cuts originally proposed by Labor, writes Matthew Knott for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Russia's state education watchdog, Rosobrnadzor, has added four universities to a list of educational institutions that will be prohibited from enrolling new students from this autumn, the agency said in a statement last week, reports The Moscow Times. The addition of two universities in Moscow and two in Dagestan bring the list of educational institutions blacklisted in recent days to 12.

In a long-running affirmative action case, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit last week upheld the University of Texas at Austin’s consideration of race as one of many factors in admissions, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.

A New York Times examination of a case, based in part on hundreds of pages of disciplinary proceedings – usually confidential under federal privacy laws – offers a rare look inside one college’s adjudication of a
r ape complaint amid a roiling national debate over how best to stop
s exual assaults on campuses, writes Walt Bogdanich.

Just as Alexandros’ examinations were due to start, a strike by administrative workers – with the support of many students and professors – shut Athens Polytechnic for two weeks. That, in turn, threatens the 24-year-old electrical engineer’s chances of embarking on a graduate course in the United Kingdom in October, writes Kerin Hope for AFP.

Rival political parties have agreed to give students of Danwon High School in South Korea special consideration for admission to higher education because they were unable to study after nearly 300 of their schoolmates died during the Sewol ferry disaster, writes Jung Min-ho for the Korea Times.

The rags-to-riches couple who founded Chinese real estate company Soho China are setting up a US$100 million endowment to send underprivileged Chinese children to elite universities around the world, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Universities in Finland are keen to build international profiles as attractive institutions that meet or surpass global standards of teaching and research. But some international academics say they are being bypassed for permanent tenure in favour of Finns – and they're calling for more transparent hiring practices from universities, reports YLE.

India’s University Grants Commission has again cautioned universities against the awarding of degrees in violation of provisions, following the recent controversy surrounding the four-year undergraduate programme of Delhi University, reports PTI.

A university risks “damaging the reputation of higher education in Scotland” by advertising for a new lecturer to join its staff on a zero-hours contract, union leaders have claimed, reports The Scotsman.

It is two years since Coursera began offering massive open online courses, or MOOCs, that threatened the very existence of universities and the increasingly expensive education they offered. Two years on, the avalanche-tsunami-revolution never came and universities are not only still standing, they have, by-and-large, been remarkably unaffected by the free courses now offered by a couple of hundred universities around the world, writes David Glance for The Conversation.

Britain’s Association of Colleges wants further education institutions to enjoy some of the same freedoms as higher education institutions, to help tackle skills shortages and boost the economy, reports the Times Educational Supplement.

The Ghanaian government’s policy of converting polytechnics into technical universities will take off in September 2016, to help reposition them as strategic institutions for training highly-skilled human resource to drive socio-economic development, reports VibeGhana.

Financial hardship among students has increased in the past four years and is a factor in college dropouts, suggests a report from the Higher Education Authority. Drop-out rates from some lower socio-economic groups have increased while students from farming and professional families were least likely to drop out, writes Fiona Gartland for The Irish Times.

The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan have signed a memorandum of understanding to work jointly towards creating a knowledge economy, reports PT.
Subscribe / Unsubscribe / Sent to:
Terms and Conditions / ISSN 1756-297X / © University World News 2007-2014