University World News Africa Edition
07 September 2014 Issue 137 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
First comprehensive survey of international students in South Africa

In Africa Features we look at the first major survey, by Chika Sehoole and Jenny J Lee, of international students in South Africa. Mandy Garner interviews Ross Anthony about the lack of research on China’s growing influence in Africa, and Kim Cloete reports on moves by the University of Cape Town to offer online postgraduate qualifications across Africa.
In our #scholarAfrica series, Leslie Chan writes that the new Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network – OCSDNet – intends to support researchers in the global South and nurture an interactive community of open science thinkers with diverse perspectives.
In the second of a series of articles ahead of the Talloires Network of engaged universities’ leaders conference in Cape Town in December, Yojana Sharma looks at the hot issue of youth employability, at a time when fingers are being pointed at universities for failing to better prepare students for work.
In World Blog, Hans de Wit wonders why so little attention is paid to service learning, and especially job placement, as part of the international learning experience for students.
In Commentary, Haim Bresheeth kicks off a debate about an academic boycott of Israel, arguing that the case for a united boycott is clear and academics can make a key contribution. Carlos Olivares suggests ways Chile might go about providing the free, quality higher education that protestors have called for.
In Student View Jalessa Caples describes how study abroad in Italy – under a Kent State programme for first generation students – has changed her life. And in Global Features, Jan Petter Myklebust unpacks a new study by the League of European Research Universities that found three tenure models being developed in seven countries.
Karen MacGregor – Africa Editor
Wachira Kigotho

Five cities – Lagos, Nairobi, Accra, Addis Ababa and Cairo – are the home towns of the largest contingents of African foreign students studying in universities and colleges in the United States, according to a report from the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.
Wachira Kigotho

Foreign students from large, fast-growing cities in emerging markets who are enrolled in universities and colleges in the United States contribute significant financial and social benefits and skills to their new metropolitan destinations, according to the Global Cities Initiative, a groundbreaking joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.
Wachira Kigotho

A highly selective system of tracking students into general and vocational secondary education quite early, based on high-stakes national examinations, has significantly contributed to inequities in access to higher education and learning achievement in Egypt, says a new World Bank study.
Tunde Fatunde

Following the massive failure of students in pre-university examinations, Nigeria’s influential daily newspaper The Guardian – in a rare front-page editorial – urged the authorities to declare a state of emergency in education. The vast majority of university lecturers supported the newspaper’s call.
Kudzai Mashininga

Zimbabwean universities are faced with bankruptcy as the government has failed to settle a US$64 million debt, only managing to pay US$20,000 a month. The unpaid money emanates from a cadetship programme in which government is supposed to pay institutions for the studies of children from underprivileged backgrounds.
Gilbert Nganga

Kenya is seeking private investors to set up an ambitious online university to ease an enrolment crisis. After a three-year shortfall in funding – which saw the government raise only US$282,300 for the US$36 million project – it has changed course regarding finance.

Experts from Central African countries have called for the establishment of an international network of researchers and academics who are working on the slave trade and routes from the region, and for a relaunch of UNESCO’s Slave Route Project.
Munyaradzi Makoni

The United Kingdom’s Wellcome Trust has announced a five-year, £40 million (US$65.8 million) fund to strengthen scientific research training and build the careers of talented young health researchers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Leslie Chan

The three-year Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network – OCSDNet – intends to nurture an interactive community of open science practitioners and thinkers who are highly cross-disciplinary and will bring a diversity of perspectives on the role of openness in science and development.
Mandy Garner

For a continent where China is having a huge influence, there is very little awareness in Africa of all the implications, says the new acting head of an independent research centre on China-Africa relations in South Africa.
Karen MacGregor

The first major study of international students in South Africa has found pull factors to be affordable fees, government subsidies for students from the region, proximity to home and cost of living, the strong reputation of higher education and currency of its qualifications, according to the survey’s authors professors Jenny J Lee and Chika Sehoole.
Kim Cloete

The University of Cape Town is sharpening its online learning strategy and is making moves to attract more students across Africa. The university has launched a series of postgraduate programmes that will bring together online education and face-to-face learning.
Yojana Sharma

Around the world the number of graduates is growing, yet the ‘skills mismatch’ is also rising. A degree is no longer a guarantee of a good job, and fingers are being pointed at universities for failing to better prepare students for the real world and the expectations of employers.

Algerian universities are ready to cater for an extra 62,000 students, with nearly 6,000 new lecturers to be recruited and increased provision of student accommodation and services, according to Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Mohamed Mebarki.
Wagdy Sawahel

Morocco is to open its first private, multidisciplinary university for medical students and health professionals. l’Univesité des Sciences et de Santé de Casablanca will be located in Casablanca and will open by 2016.
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Geoff Maslen

Plans by Australia’s federal government for a radical overhaul of the higher education system have been put on hold while a Senate committee investigates the implications of the so-called ‘reforms’.
Yojana Sharma

Students have announced a ‘boycott’ of classes at 11 Hong Kong universities – though with the consent of the universities themselves – as Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement heats up in anger over Beijing’s failure to allow genuinely free election of the city’s leaders.
David Jobbins

Recruitment agents are a logical response to the dramatic rise in demand for higher education around the world – and for cross-border higher education in particular – a comprehensive review of the industry has found.
Emilia Tan

Azmi Sharom, a law professor at the University of Malaya, was on 2 September charged with sedition in a court in Kuala Lumpur. The public galleries were packed with academics and students from the university, and other supporters and rights activists. He pleaded not guilty.
Michael Gardner

Teaching has started at the first German-Russian university in Kazan, capital of Tatarstan. The new institution is being supported by the Tatarstan government and the German Academic Exchange Service.
Jan Petter Myklebust

Denmark’s Quality Commission, which is scheduled to deliver its final report in October, has published a ‘mid-term’ report addressing arguments raised against its recommendations for structural reform of higher education.
Jan Petter Myklebust

Universities in three out of 10 European countries do not have an academic tenure track – France, Spain and the United Kingdom – while in seven countries three basic tenure models have been implemented since the turn of the century, according to a survey by the League of European Research Universities.
Dan Berrett, The Chronicle of Higher Education

In times like these, data points get wielded like cudgels. Student loan debt tops US$1 trillion. As many as half of recent graduates are out of work. Clearly, such numbers suggest, college isn’t worthwhile. At the same time, remedies for what ails the economy often invoke higher education as a solution. Together these sentiments show how deeply intertwined higher education and the economy have grown.
Hans de Wit

Surprisingly little attention is given to service learning and in particular job placements as part of the international learning experience for students. With stress on global citizenship and global professional development, these two strategies are more important than ever.
Haim Bresheeth

The case for a united boycott against Israel for crimes against humanity is clear and academics can make an important contribution.
Carlos Olivares

Chile’s higher education system has been undermined in recent years by concerns over its quality accreditation commission. As protesters call for free, quality education, what can be done to improve the quality of education on offer?
Jalessa Caples

Studying abroad in Italy as part of a programme for first generation prospective university students gave Jalessa Caples a new perspective on her own country and culture and a greater confidence in herself.
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Scotland's top universities are bracing themselves for a brain drain of their most talented scientists if there is a ‘yes’ vote for independence, with some academics already prepared to relocate, writes Severin Carrell for the Guardian.

Education Minister Andreas Loverdos indicated last week that he would go against government policy and refuse to fire any university administrative staff, reports Loverdos said that an evaluation of staff requirements in tertiary education revealed that universities have fewer administrative staff than they need.

The fall-out from Swiss voters’ decision to limit European Union immigration is not just affecting businesses. Uncertainty over grants means up to a third fewer foreign students have registered at Swiss universities this semester, reports

Three top Chinese universities have vowed to tighten ‘ideological’ control over students and teachers as a wider clampdown on free expression in the country intensifies, reports AFP. The comments came from the Communist Party committees of Peking University, Shanghai's Fudan University and Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, which each wrote a statement in the Communist Party theoretical journal Qiushi.

South Korea’s Ministry of Education has designated 19 universities and colleges in the lowest 15% in terms of their operations, restricting government financial support starting next year, reports Korea JoongAng Daily.

Belgium's Ghent University has opened a branch in South Korea's Incheon free economic zone, becoming the first European institution to open a campus here – and a ceremony that marked the opening of a branch of America’s University of Utah was held in the free economic zone in Songdo, also a home to the United Nations Green Climate Fund, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Four out of five university finance directors are planning significant increases in capital expenditure over the next year to fund new facilities, according to a survey which reflects the increasing 'arms race' between British institutions to attract prospective students, writes Helen Warrell for Financial Times.

A British MP has written to University College London urging it to “stamp out unacceptable employment practices” at its campus in Qatar, where there is evidence of forced labour and poor treatment of migrant workers, writes Claire Shaw for the Guardian.

There’s a devil lurking in the detail of the higher education reform bill presented to parliament. As expected, the bill proposes to open federal subsidies for undergraduate teaching to private higher education providers. These will have access to 70% of the per-student rate that universities receive, writes Emmaline Bexley for The Conversation.

In its latest effort to control every part of society, Turkey’s government is seeking to redesign universities with a proposal that will change the Law on Higher Education to increase the authority of the Higher Education Board – YÖK – and make it the only body to decide on academic promotions. In addition, medical faculties will be subordinate to the Health Ministry, writes Abdulkerim Bedir for Today’s Zaman.

Replacing written exams or coursework with oral assessment may help to stop potentially high levels of cheating by students in universities in Gulf states, writes Jack Grove for Times Higher Education.

A court in Dammam has sentenced two Saudi students to one year in prison and a SR5,000 (US$1,300) fine for forging seals on their certificates, reports Arab News.

Campaign groups have criticised the University of Brighton after it admitted to funding a My Little Pony Conference and research on penalty shoot-outs. £400 (US$660) of public money was spent on the day-long My Little Pony conference, with nine hours of talks on the 30-year history of the brightly coloured horse toys, reports The Telegraph.

Hungary's central bank is spending vast sums on an economics education programme, partly funded by printing new money that must be invested in government bonds, raising questions about whether the move represents a form of backdoor government financing, writes Margit Feher for The Wall Street Journal.

In college in America, the best grades are usually considered to be the product of sleepless nights. Now, universities nationwide are setting up designated rooms for napping or expanding existing spaces to show students that they don’t have to sacrifice sleep to do top work, writes Olivia B Waxman for Time.

Politically affiliated student groups and activities will be banned from the Cairo University campus with the start of the new academic year, writes Jihad Abaza for Daily News Egypt.

A vast majority of students at Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences are reluctant to move far from their home towns, suggests a review of the places of domicile of students who started higher education studies last year, reports Helsinki Times.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has bemoaned the slow process of delegating more power to universities to enhance their autonomy, saying the relevant agencies should accelerate the process to improve the quality of education, reports VietNamNet Bridge.

Public and private universities in Kenya must ensure that 25% of their students are at postgraduate level if the country is to achieve Vision 2030, writes Rawlings Otieno for the Standard Digital.
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