ISSN 1756-297XAFRICA: 0059 08 August 2010
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Higher Education Marketing

This World Bank mine of information has 60,000 words in five chapters spread over 200 pages. See the Features section.
Does everyone really need an MBA from Mumbai or Delhi? See our Commentary section.
Ten European research teams have been allocated over 320 million core working hours on the European Union's JUGENE supercomputer.

University World News is a media partner at the OECD's upcoming Institutional Management in Higher Education conference in Paris in September 2010. The newspaper was also media partner to the Unesco World Conference on Higher Education held in Paris in July 2009.


AFRICA: News from across the continent

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Lack of science hampers development
Sharon Dell
A recent study that measures the scientific performance of Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries over the past 15 years throws doubt on the capacity of the region to meet its own development goals.
Full report on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: Universities raise admission standards
Munyaradzi Makoni
Several universities in South Africa, worried that continuing high failure rates among students will erode their global competitiveness, have raised admission requirements for 2011. Not surprisingly, students are unhappy.
Full report on the University World News site

EGYPT: Government axes ‘non-regular’ student system
Ashraf Khaled
A recent decision by Egypt’s Ministry of Higher Education has landed Fathi Mokhtar, a 45-year-old employee at a telecommunications company in Cairo, in a dilemma. Over the past two years, Mokhtar has been studying commerce at Cairo University, a prestigious public institution. He was registered under a ‘non-regular’ system, which allows students to pursue studies without having to attend classes regularly.
Full report on the University World News site

KENYA: Students warned against some foreign colleges
Gilbert Nganga
Kenya’s higher education authorities have cautioned students against enrolling in five international universities purporting to offer degrees and diplomas without government approval. There is growing concern over declining quality in higher education and the mushrooming of institutions offering un-vetted courses.
Full report on the University World News site

NIGERIA: Controversy over student dress codes
Tunde Fatunde
A debate in Nigeria over student dress codes rages on – running the gamut from student academic achievement, discipline, professionalism, conformity with social mores and clothes-as-political-statement to consumerism. While some university authorities argue that mode of dress is an important factor in determining student success or failure and should thus be subject to rules, others – especially in the humanities and social sciences – remain unconvinced.
Full report on the University World News site

ZIMBABWE: Brain drain initiative draws academics
Kudzai Mashininga
An initiative to fight the brain drain from Zimbabwe is beginning to pay off, with 31 university lecturers having returned to the African country ravaged by a skills flight to teach in health faculties at higher education institutions and in hospitals on a short-term basis.
Full report on the University World News site

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: Unesco bioethics chair installed
Jane Marshall
The official installation of Unesco’s first francophone Africa chair of bioethics has taken place at the University of Bouaké, based in Abidjan.
Full report on the University World News site


AFRICA: Higher education is financially unsustainable
Geoff Maslen
As a doorstop for one of the minor entrances to Valhalla, Financing Higher Education in Africa could serve nicely. This weighty tome is published by the World Bank and, with 60,000 words in five chapters spread over 200 pages – plus 25 figures, 26 tables and 29 boxes of summaries – the report is a mine of information. But its conclusion is gloomy.
Full report on the University World News site

KENYA: MBA programme competition hot as demand grows
Gilbert Nganga
Kenya’s universities are expanding their facilities and seeking collaborations to tap into a rapidly growing Masters in Business Administration market. The MBA has increasing currency among the working class of East Africa’s biggest economy.
Full report on the University World News site


TUNISA: Initiatives tackle graduate unemployment
Wagdy Sawahel
Tunisia has launched a plan to help university graduates face the challenges of finding a job in their own field. This is in a context of widespread unemployment and intense competition in a job market ravaged by the global economic crisis. Students also have few academic choices and university autonomy is limited.
Full report on the University World News site

SENEGAL: Students refuse to pay fees increase
PhD students at the Humanities and Social Sciences faculty of UCAD, the Université Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, are under pressure from the authorities because they are refusing to pay “ridiculous” increases in fees introduced last year, reported Wal Fadjri of Dakar.
Full report on the University World News site

ANGOLA: Adventists to build university
The Seventh Day Adventist Church is to build a US$10 million university campus for 3,000 students in Huambo, reported Angola Press of Luanda.
Full report on the University World News site

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report

OECD: International students stay on as migrants
Yojana Sharma
Rich countries have brought in measures to encourage international students to stay and work, with this becoming an increasingly important route to high-skilled migration, according to the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: New code to promote academic honesty
Yojana Sharma
New international guidelines and a voluntary code on research integrity are being drawn up as a result of consultations at the Second World Conference on Scientific Integrity held in Singapore on 21-24 July.
Full report on the University World News site

FRANCE: Universities overcharging, claims union
Jane Marshall
A third of French universities are charging students illegal fees, France’s biggest students’ union has claimed. Unef, the Union nationale des étudiants de France, found 26 out of 83 universities were fixing fees higher than those laid down by law, and two more were on the borderline of legality.
Full report on the University World News site

INDIA-UK: Equal partners in education and research
Alya Mishra
Britain’s partnership with India on education, research and innovation should be a partnership of equals in recognition of India’s growing economic importance, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said on a visit to the sub-continent. The second phase of the UK-India Education and Research Initiative was announced.
Full report on the University World News site

IRAN: Students caught up in ‘sanctions’ debacle
Yojana Sharma
Iranian students hoping to sit English language examinations that open the doors to top US and British universities were caught in the crossfire of sanctions imposed by the US and the United Nations when exams were suspended for two weeks.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Regulating student loans
Sarah King Head
Although hailed as an important step towards reining in the ‘wild west’ practices associated with student loans, Congress’ recent financial reform legislation is not seen as going far enough in protecting the interests of the more than 18.2 million students who study in the US.
Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE: Belgian presidency to focus on research
Emma Jackson
The Belgian presidency of the European Union has promised to make research a priority of its six-month period of office, which will run until December. It is calling for a number of changes to make Europe’s research networks simpler, more efficient and more accessible for researchers and investors, promoting scientific breakthroughs.
Full report on the University World News site

EUROPE: EU exports higher education know-how
Alan Osborn
Keen to raise the profile of the European Union’s higher education institutions among neighbouring countries, the European Commission has announced a new round of multilateral partnerships under its Tempus programme for tertiary studies.
Full report on the University World News site

NEW ZEALAND: Vice-chancellors’ body changes name
John Gerritsen
The New Zealand Vice-Chancellors Committee changed its name last week, saying that more than ever before it needed to speak with a unified voice.
Full report on the University World News site




INDIA: Foreign providers: putting national needs first
Rahul Choudaha and Alan Ruby*
As the bill to open up India’s higher education sector to foreign providers wends its way through the legislative process, the government needs to consider what is best for the country. Not everyone needs an MBA from Mumbai or Delhi.
Full report on the University World News site

AUSTRALIA: New election – Universities out in the cold
Geoff Maslen
Only in those countries run by dictators, and where the result of an election is predetermined, could the ‘contest’ be more boring than the one taking place Down Under. With less than two weeks to go before polling day and the outcome now far from certain, the opposing parties have begun offering billions of dollars in sweeteners to the wavering groups likely to determine the result. Left out in the cold so far are universities
Full report on the University World News site


Iran: Campaign to free jailed student photographer
Roisin Joyce*
More than 70 Iranian graduates have launched a campaign calling for the release of their friend and colleague, student photographer Hamed Saber, Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty reported last month. Saber was arrested on 21 June and there had been no communication regarding his whereabouts.
Full report on the University World News site


EU: Researchers given early access to supercomputer
Emma Jackson
Competition is fierce among researchers for some precious time on the fastest supercomputer in Europe available for public research, the European Union’s JUGENE. Last week 10 European research teams were granted more than 320 million core working hours on the computer collectively as part of an early access call for proposals.
Full report on the University World News site

UK-US: New technique estimates past oxygen levels
The proportion of oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere has varied over the millennia, but until now scientists have had to guess at that proportion using geochemical models. Now a team of British and US scientists has found that the amount of charcoal in coal indicates how much oxygen there was in the past.
Full report on the University World News site

SOUTH AFRICA: Rhodes student in nano-tech breakthrough
Munyaradzi Makoni
Rhodes University PhD chemistry student Samuel Chigome has made a major breakthrough by creating tiny fibre filters that would allow scientists to make nano-technology devices that separate unwanted substances from liquid samples.
Full report on the University World News site

US: Orangutans the kings of low-energy use
It’s good to get by on less, but the humble orangutan has taken that virtue to another level. A new study shows the orange apes have lower energy use relative to their body mass than nearly any other mammal ever studied.
Full report on the University World News site


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INDIA: World’s oldest university is reborn after 800 years
During the six centuries of its storied existence, there was nothing else quite like Nalanda University, writes Andrew Buncombe for The Independent. Probably the first-ever large educational establishment, the college – in what is now eastern India – even counted the Buddha among its visitors and alumni. At its height, it had 10,000 students, 2,000 staff and strived for both understanding and academic excellence. Today, this much-celebrated centre of Buddhist learning is in ruins.
More on the University World News site

BRAZIL: University affirmative action faces crucial rests
When Rio de Janeiro became the first Brazilian state to adopt quotas for Afro-Brazilian students in institutions of higher education in 2002, black activists hoped that the country was finally coming to terms with the bitter legacy of slavery, write Andrew Downie and Marion Lloyd for The Chronicle of Higher Education. But eight years later affirmative action policies, which have since been adopted by scores of other universities on behalf of the country’s most disadvantaged groups, could be ruled unconstitutional by the Federal Supreme Court.
More on the University World News site

US: Fraud found in for-profit education recruiting
A new US government report on recruiting techniques in the for-profit higher education industry has found instances of college officials urging applicants to invent children and to hide their savings as a way to leverage more federal aid, writes Daniel de Vise for The Washington Post.
More on the University World News site

UK: Minister to stop ‘abuse’ of student visa system
Damian Green, the UK immigration minister, has promised a “thorough evaluation” over the coming months because of what he called “significant abuse” of the student visa system, write Hélène Mulholland and Jessica Shepherd for The Guardian. He stressed the government’s commitment to a review of the points-based system after figures showed that the number of students going to the UK from outside Europe to study increased by more than 75,000 in the 12 months to March.
More on the University World News site

UK: More British students ‘to study abroad’
British students are to be offered up to two years at universities abroad amid government warnings that poor language skills are crippling graduates’ job prospects, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph. Joint undergraduate and postgraduate courses will be developed between British universities and those in countries such as India under new coalition government plans.
More on the University World News site

SCOTLAND: Universities spread to Middle and Far East
Scottish universities are breaking new ground this summer – literally – as work begins on Heriot-Watt’s bespoke £35 million (US$55.7 million) campus in the Middle Eastern state of Dubai, writes Jackie Kemp for The Guardian. Glasgow Caledonian has opened a campus in London to help it to attract international postgraduates and, also this year, a nursing college in Bangladesh. Napier University has opened a biofuel research centre in Hong Kong within the last few months and an office in India last year.
More on the University World News site

ECUADOR: Controversial higher education law approved
Following months of acrimonious debate, the Ecuadorean congress last week narrowly approved a controversial new higher-education law, according to Ecuadorean news reports, writes Marion Lloyd for The Chronicle of Higher Education. The legislation seeks to increase regulation of universities while bringing their programmes in line with the country's development needs. But it does not go as far as President Rafael Correa had wanted.
More on the University World News site

US: California dreamer
Much of the news surrounding the University of California system has involved whether the network of universities will be able to survive its current budgetary crisis without shrinking in size or quality, writes Steve Kolowich for Inside Higher Ed. In that context, it is no surprise that Christopher Edley Jr’s plan to use online education to expand the university’s footprint “from Kentucky to Kuala Lumpur” has turned some heads – and churned some stomachs.
More on the University World News site

US: Getting into medical school without hard sciences
For generations of pre-med students, three things have been as certain as death and taxes: organic chemistry, physics and the Medical College Admission Test, known by its dread-inducing acronym, the MCAT, writes Anemona Hartocollis for The New York Times. So it came as a shock to Elizabeth Adler when she discovered that one of America’s top medical schools admits a small number of students every year who have skipped all three requirements.
More on the University World News site

BANGLADESH: VAT withdrawn from students’ tuition fees
Bangladesh’s Finance Minister AMA Muhith last week ruled out the possibility of exempting non-government universities from 15% income tax and other taxes in the current fiscal year, reports The New Nation. The tax charges sparked student protests late last month.
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ICELAND: Probe into role of universities in recession
Icelandic Minister for Education and Culture, Katrin Jakobsdottir, has provided a small grant to help investigate the role of Icelandic universities in the country’s economic collapse, reports Ice News.
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