ISSN 1756-297XAFRICA: 0019 07 December 2008
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Leadership is the focus of this week's Special Feature. Our correspondents report on what it takes to run a modern university.

Our correspondent reports on the collapse of the University of Zimbabwe.

Cairo University - an Egyptian court has banned police from its grounds. Find out why in this week's edition of University World News.

AFRICA: News from across the continent

EGYPT: Court bans police from campus
Ashraf Khaled
In a ruling applauded by academics as historic, an Egyptian court has banned the presence of police guards on the campus of Cairo University, the nation’s most prestigious university. The Administrative Court also obliged the university administration to set up a security unit of civilians, saying the presence of police on the campus was a violation of the Egyptian constitution and university independence.
Full report on the University World News site

ZIMBABWE: Cholera greater threat than police
Clemence Manyukwe
“Police stop beating students” demands a sign across one of the main gates of the University of Zimbabwe, the country’s oldest university. The sign has been there for close to five years, says Wadzanai Rugare, a vendor who sells fruit and sweets to students outside the gate. It is a plea from students who are routinely harassed, arrested and tortured by a notorious police force determined to subdue a restive population fed up with President Robert Mugabe’s 28-year-old autocratic rule. But the greatest threat they currently face is cholera.
Full report on the University World News site

N IGERIA: Law lecturers reject new faculties
Tunde Fatunde
Professor Funsho Adaramola, dean of law at Lagos State University, frowns on the establishment of law faculties in newly created public and private universities in N igeria. He believes the move breaches legal provisions regulating setting up new law faculties, and other law lecturers have supported him. Meanwhile, there are fears among members of the councils of new universities that the National Universities Commission (NUC) might not accredit their faculties, and they are making moves to prevent possible closures.
Full report on the University World News site

WEST AFRICA: Universities discuss quality assurance
Jane Marshall
The Bologna higher education structure and systems for classification, evaluation and support of universities were among issues discussed by academics, researchers, directors and managers from French-speaking higher education establishments of West Africa and Madagascar last month during a conference on quality assurance.
Full report on the University News World site

ANGOLA: Cuba, Brazil offer study and science support
Cuba will send teachers to Angola to train personnel in a variety of fields, and 1,000 Angolan students will go to the Caribbean republic to study during the next five years, it was announced during a five-day visit to Angola by the Cuban Minister for Higher Education, Juan Vela Valdęs. Angola has also entered a partnership with Brazil for technological cooperation.
Full report on the University World News site


ZAMBIA: MPs slam exam leakages and interference
Clemence Manyukwe
Leakages of examination papers are threatening to have a negative impact on educational standards at Zambia’s institutions of higher learning, a parliamentary committee has claimed. The committee also decried political interference in the running of institutions of higher learning in the African country.
Full report on the University World News site

TUNISIA: World Bank approves progress on reforms
Representatives of the World Bank were in Tunis last month to discuss cooperation with the government in the fields of higher education and research. On the agenda were evaluation and quality systems, closer links with needs of business, development of courses responding to employment needs and reforms to bring university programmes into line with international criteria, reported Tunisia Online.
Full report on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: Academic freedom at risk
South Africa needs to have a proper, open discussion about academic freedom, say academics. The international and South African academic community is outraged over the way the University of KwaZulu-Natal has treated two of its academics who criticised vice-chancellor Professor Malegapuru Makgoba in the media, writes Sue Blaine in Business Day.
More on the University World News site

EU-AFRICA: African participation in Erasmus Mundus
Since its launch in 2004, 866 African students have benefited from Europe’s Erasmus Mundus programme, with a strong increase in the past two years. The participation of African scholars has also risen each year, from four in 2004 to 51 in 2008. Last week, at a gathering of major African and European universities, experts and Erasmus Mundus alumni students in Brussels, an African Chapter of the programme’s alumni association was launched.
More on the University World News site


Leadership is the theme of this week's University World News special report. More than ever before, effective leadership is required of the world's universities, as our correspondents report. Search companies go through exacting selection processes as institutions search for vice-chancellors and presidents with near super-human qualities. In some instances they match their requirements with super-salaries exceeding US$1 million, but there is concern that the demands of the job deter many from even considering the role.

GLOBAL: Huge demands on today’s vice-chancellors
Karen MacGregor
It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s Super-scholar! Leadership of universities today, especially large, complex and transforming institutions, is hugely demanding. To succeed, experts say, a vice-chancellor, principal, rector or president must be a strategic visionary, a change-manager and negotiator, fund-raiser, public figure and the bold, jet-setting workaholic chief executive of an unwieldy organisation staffed with critical minds and big egos. Ideally, he or she should also be a respected academic.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: The outsider as university leader
John Gerritsen*
Management is management – does it really matter if the person running a university has not risen through its ranks or has only a passing familiarity with the work of its staff? In the business world, chief executives will move from one industry to another. The same is true of the public service with career managers shifting from one government department to another. But in higher education there is a strong feeling that the heads of the world's universities and colleges – the vice-chancellors and presidents – should come from within the sector. That they should have a track record at least in academia and preferably in university and research management.
Full report on the University World News site

CANADA: Want the top job? Be ready for some scrutiny
Philip Fine
Janet Wright, a Canadian executive-search veteran, says going through the hiring of a new university president means being able to find out everything you can about your candidate. That would mean everything. Whether the potential candidate is a womaniser or a union basher, Wright says she has to know. That translates into several hours of her calling around and talking to many people about that one person who’s being touted for the top job at her clients’ university.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: The price of leadership
Leading a university is a high-profile job but it appears that only in the US does the reward for that work break the US$1 million mark. Pay surveys from English-speaking nations indicate that US university leaders are much more highly paid than their peers in other countries, particularly in private, research-intensive institutions.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Balancing the governance-management seesaw
John Gerritsen*
Tension, trust, power – those are some of the words associated with the relationship between a university's chief executive and the chair of its governing body. Whether the two are known as vice-chancellor and chancellor, president and board chair, the issues are likely to be very much the same around the world. The vice-chancellor or president is charged with running the institution while the chair or chancellor leads the group that looks over his or her shoulder, providing governance and advice, and voting on key decisions.
Full report on the University World News site

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

SPAIN: Protests against Bologna begin to spread
Rebecca Warden
Resistance to the Bologna process is spreading among academics and students in different countries across Europe. In Spain, angry students have stepped up their protests by occupying university buildings, blocking train lines and interrupting senate meetings. The Spanish government has tried to defuse the situation but last week more than 600 students were occupying various buildings at the University of Barcelona while universities in Madrid, Seville and Valencia were also affected.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Online learning not the most popular
Geoff Maslen
Transnational higher education, where students study courses provided by a university in another country, has proved to be one of the fastest growing areas of education exports. The US-based Global Alliance for Transnational Education estimated in 2000 that demand for transnational education would exceed 500,000 by 2020 but the latest research has revealed the usual method of providing transnational education via online courses is not popular with students.
Full report on the University World News site

FRANCE: Life sciences and health research ‘needs total overhaul’
Jane Marshall
The organisation of life sciences and health research in France needs radical and bold reform to streamline and unify its highly fragmented structure, eliminate bureaucracy and give researchers their freedom, according to international experts who also propose creation of a single funding institute for the whole sector.
Full report on the University World News site

GREECE: Tough regulations create more unrest
Makki Marseilles
Tough new measures are being imposed by the Greek Education Ministry on universities and technology institutes. Although the institutions are supposed to be autonomous and self-administering, the government intends to exercise greater control over their operations, restrict academic freedom and trade union activity, and curtail student mobilisation.
Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE: Digital library on track despite launch flop
Alan Osborn
It lasted less than a day and ended in apparent humiliation but, believe it or not, the launch of the European digital library Europeana has been hailed a success story. The site collapsed on 20 November because the servers could not cope with the torrent of demand. Now, all being well, it will be back before Christmas “bigger and better than ever” said a spokesman for the European Commission which is behind the idea.
Full report on the University World News site


GLOBAL: Academic blogging opens new world
Andrew Walker and Nicholas Farrelly
Academic blogs dramatically extend the boundaries of conventional peer review and academic readership. Even in our niche field, the pool of attentive readers and reviewers is huge. With engaging content, regular updates and savvy marketing, academic bloggers can build a community of peers that would fill seminar rooms, lecture theatres and conference venues many times every day. Statistics we have seen indicate that a blog run by a couple of academics can generate as much internet traffic as the conventional websites of an entire faculty.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: Universities offer anti-money laundering advice
Alan Osborn
The world is not overfull of spec ialist academics teaching anti-money laundering methods – but these important experts are out there if you look for them. In this article, University World News continues an occasional series covering subjects where academic experts can be called on to give vital economic, social, legal and other advice to the wider world.
Full report on the University World News site


US: Measuring UP 2008
Measuring Up 2008, the fifth in a series of biennial report cards by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, reveals that America is making some advances in preparing students for college and providing them with access to higher education. However, writes Patrick M Callan, the independent Center’s president, “other nations are advancing more quickly than the United States; we continue to slip behind other countries in improving college opportunities for our residents. In addition, large disparities in higher education performance by race/ethnicity, by income, and by state limit our nation’s ability to advance the educational attainment of our workforce and citizenry – and thereby remain competitive globally.”
More on the University World News site


GLOBAL: Academies have no-one to fear but themselves
John Gerritsen
The director of the Science Development Network has urged science academies in the developing world to engage with the “real world” to influence policy. Writing on the network’s website,*, David Dickson said many scientific academies, particularly in the developed world, were increasingly interacting with governments on science-related issues and encouraging public debates around them. “But all too often, the image of science academies as elite institutions remains uncomfortably close to the truth,” Dickson said.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: Seeds return from space
Native to one of the world’s harshest climates, Australian seeds have to put up with a lot of challenges before they germinate. But it's unlikely any have been through more than a group of seeds that will be propagated after six months orbiting the earth.
Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE: R&D targeted in recession-recovery plan
The European Union last week unveiled an anti-recession plan which includes strong spending on research and development. European Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potočnik, said the European Economic Recovery Plan looked beyond the “short distance” of the immediate recession and took account of the commission’s longer-term plan of building Europe’s future prosperity on the basis of a knowledge economy.
Full report on the University World News site

UNI-LATERAL: Off-beat university stories

AUSTRALIA: Universities not run by ‘lefties’
Australian universities are not controlled by left-wing academics hell-bent on brainwashing students, a Senate inquiry has found, reports The Age. The previous coalition government established the inquiry into allegations of academic bias a week before it lost control of the upper house earlier this year.
More on the University World News site


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CANADA: Lecturers censure First Nations University
Saskatchewan’s First Nations University of Canada is facing yet another crisis after the Canadian Association of University Teachers voted unanimously to censure the institution for failing to insulate itself from political interference and safeguard academic freedom, write Joe Friesen and Elizabeth Church in the Globe and Mail.
More on the University World News site

US: Women abroad and men at home
Across America, fuelled by growth in short-term programmes and increasing diversity in participating students’ majors and destinations, a two-to-one female-to-male ratio of students studying abroad has stayed remarkably stagnant, writes Elizabeth Redden in Inside Higher Ed. In 2006-07, the most recent year for which data are available, 65.1% of Americans studying abroad were women, and 34.9% were men. A decade earlier, when the total number of study abroad students was less than half its current total, the breakdown was 64.9% female, 35.1% male, according to Institute of International Education Open Doors statistics.
More on the University World News site

US: Harvard’s endowment plunges $8 billion
Harvard University’s endowment lost more than $8 billion in four months, a 22% plunge that is the steepest decline at the school in modern history, reports The Boston Globe. The loss brings the endowment from $36.9 billion on 30 June to roughly $28.7 billion by the end of October.
More on the University World News site

US: Graduate students pay and benefits vary widely
When it comes to the financial packages that graduate students receive to pursue their degrees, the devil is in the details. A survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education, conducted in recent months, of the pay and benefits of teaching and research assistants at more than 100 research institutions reveals a dizzying array of variables that students must compare.
More on the University World News site

US: Studies link part-time lecturers to poor quality
It is no secret that colleges and universities are relying increasingly on part-time instructors or other faculty who are neither tenured nor on track for tenure. But a flurry of recent studies draw troubling conclusions about what kind of impact that is having on the quality of a student’s education, reports USA Today.
More on the University World News site

KOREA: Top universities get state research funds
The government has announced a list of universities whose research projects will be funded to support their international competitiveness, reports Korea Times. Eighteen universities will benefit from the World Class University project that will finance 52 research initiatives proposed by the institutions, said the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
More on the University World News site

EAST AFRICA: Minister wants university fees harmonised
Following the recent signing of the inter-university bill by partner states of the East African Community, or EAC, all universities in the five member countries should charge uniform fees, chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers Monique Mukaruliza has urged. But the decision should only be implemented after legislation and ratification of the bill and protocol has been done by member states, reports The New Times.
More on the University World News site

UK: Students fashion their own education
In David Melville’s last year as vice-chancellor of the University of Kent, where he worked until September 2007, he found the style of students’ emails to him had changed, writes Harriet Swain in The Guardian. “Hi Dave, how are you today? Just thought I'd let you know what I'm doing,” they would read. Or: “Sorry you’re going. I’ve had a good time here and that would probably have had something to do with you, so thanks.”
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UK: Are universities hotbeds of Islamic radicalism?
Cambridge researcher June Edmunds has argued that most young British Muslims are not disaffected radicals. But politics Professor Anthony Glees, director of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at Buckingham University, pointed out in a blog in The Guardian that her study is based on just 26 interviews. His article provoked a lively set of reader responses.
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AUSTRALIA: Less cash for more PhDs, say scientists
The flagship grant programme of the Australian Research Council should radically be redesigned, with emphasis on a large number of low-cost grants to train PhD students, a group of scientists has urged, reports The Australian. Their call was inspired by a Canadian programme that funds a high proportion of applicants.
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US: Toledo official fired over column sues
The firing of a college administrator over her criticism of g ay rights has sparked a debate about free speech and whether universities have the right to regulate what employees say outside of their jobs, reports Associated Press. Crystal Dixon filed a lawsuit in federal court last week seeking to be reinstated to her University of Toledo job, which she lost after writing in a newspaper column that g ay rights cannot be compared to civil rights because being
gay is a choice.
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IRAN: Foreign universities to be allowed
The Iranian government is planning to allow foreign universities to establish branches in the country, an official has revealed, reports Press TV.
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