recent article by Richard Hall titled "The profit motive is threatening higher education" published on 18 November 2012. Our team of editors at CollegeTimes witnesses the corrupt and destructive influence of money on the higher education system on a daily basis.
William Patrick Leonard
Thanks for your story in the excellent University World News newsletter, which I read every Sunday. I wanted to let you know my utter confusion as to this new '4ICU' ranking which seems even more biased and useless than other rankings. My observations concern the position of French institutions in this ranking system.
With regard to Alison Moodie's piece "Universities prepare for a nuclear future", I should like to correct the impression that the Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa) is a research body. Rather, it is an industry organisation established to champion the cause of nuclear power here in South Africa.
Having started my career in the higher education sector as a professional staff member, and as a current member of the Association of Tertiary Education Management that Maree Conway and Giles Pickford contribute to, I agree with Maree and Giles in their comments in the last two editions of University World News that the distinction between different staff in universities is nonsense.
Maree Conway is right in her comment on Professor Marcia Devlin's article: the energy and creativity of professional staff are vital to the university. Thirty years ago, they used to be called the menial staff, then the downstairs staff, then the general staff, and now the most demeaning of all names, the non-academic staff - defined by what they are not.
I refer to last week's article on student job prospects in France. It seems to me that such a measure will have no effect whatsoever on unemployment; if nine out of 10 engineering students get a job quickly, and only seven out of 10 economics students, that does not mean that if far more young people take engineering companies will hire more people!
I refer to Professor Marcia Devlin's article last week and would offer a few comments: One, nowhere in this article is there a reference to the majority of staff in institutions - the professional staff - and how their roles and functions may change over the next 20 years.
In regard to the article, GLOBAL: The global crisis of capitalism, I lost track of how many times the word "capitalism" was used but each one was jarring because each one was inaccurate.
I refer to last week's news story: SWEDEN: Fees for foreign students possible from 2010, University World News, 27 September 2009.
US: I'll never teach online again, the University of Sydney's Mary-Helen Ward says things are not as bad as might appear:
I refer to the article, US: I'll never teach online again, by Elayne Clift and her statement that online teaching is not for her.
With reference to the article ISLAMIC STATES: Network to improve quality assurance, Hassanuddeen Abd Aziz, head of the Quality Assurance Unit said that out of 1,700 universities in the Islamic World, only Istanbul University of Turkey was included in the top 500 in the last academic ranking of world universities.
From Professor Leodegardo M Pruna
I appreciate and laud Professor Mala Singh for her report on the UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, which outlined issues and concerns in higher education and research as analysed during a 10-year period. It is recognised that there exists a large gap in research and education undertakings between developed, developing and less developed countries. This gap results from the disparities in income, from where support and inputs to development in education and research come.
US: No job if you only have an online degree by John Richard Schock continues to attract comment. Here is the latest:
No jobs for online degrees, by Dr John Richard Schrock drew a strong reaction. We publish two of the responses in this edition, along with Dr Schrock's reply while a selection of others can be seen as comments with the web story.
Congratulation on your article, FRANCE: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité - but not yet. I am afraid, though, that the French concepts of "égalité" and "Grandes Ecoles" are not well understood.
Reading the ongoing debate about big research versus small universities, I sometimes wonder whether the truth is that Gavin Moodie and Simon Marginson are both right, while appearing to be in furious disagreement.
Egypt computerising the university curricula. I have just completed a degree that was half-earned through online classes and I strongly agree that professors need more face-to-face communication. Online education also does not give the university a chance to see the quality of the person or not, and online education allows cheating if a person so desires to do so. Professors are often given more students than they would have in person and they are not reading all the assignments students turn in.
Universities embrace lifelong learning of 2 November 2008, in which your correspondent states that while an estimated 4% to 5 % of over-30s in the US are involved in lifelong learning of some kind, the European figure is less than 2%.
To a large degree I agree with David Jardine when he says in his article, Indonesia: Obstacles to university reform: "Structural reforms may take place piecemeal but corruption remains a problem for the higher education system. For this reason among others, Indonesia will continue to lag behind its assertive neighbours, Singapore and Malaysia." However, I believe that initial and very significant reform can be achieved as long as this reform is initiated by universities that are looking for, and ready to embrace change. These universities may well be those that are finding expansion under the current circumstances difficult.
Education consultant and webpage developer
University World News entered the world unheralded a year ago and has quickly established itself as the indispensable source of information about the global higher education community. There are excellent university centres and stand-alone institutes that follow and study international issues in higher education policy, but they do not provide the scope or frequency of reporting UWN offers. On Sunday mornings when it arrives, the newspaper takes precedence in my reading over the Sunday New York Times! May it have many more anniversaries.
Thomas D Parker
Senior Associate and Director
Global Center on Private Financing of Higher Education, Institute for Higher Education Policy, Washington DC.
Regarding your article last week, Romania: Investment boost for higher education, as a consultant who helped design and shake down Romania's competitive grants system, I am encouraged by this report. But that corruption, 'academic clans' and lack of self-criticism continue to be problems is unfortunately no surprise.
I refer to your article on higher education in Malaysia, Foreign student numbers soar. We value the contribution Malaysia is making to the rest of the world, especially to Africa, in providing a cheap western-equivalent level of education. However, one issue has remained unattended and of late has evolved into a catastrophe.
Regarding your recent article Study into training for the oil and gas industry (click here), we at Cavendish University Uganda - a new university - are interested in starting courses in oil and gas exploration and management to take advantage of oil discovery in Uganda. (Click U-Say above for more.)
www.universityworldnews.com). John Banzhaf, a lawyer who has arguably made millions from promoting smoking bans and suing tobacco companies, said: "I don't think any reputable organisation today will accept tobacco industry money."
14 September 2008) and to the previous week's report on Indonesian universities' poor world ranking. Go through a list of university world ranking and you will not find a Nigerian university in the top 600. Of course, the Nigerian government, unlike its Indonesia counterpart, is unfazed about this as are our university administrators.
It was good to read Diane Spencer's report, UK: Fears over privatisation (University World News, 13 July 2008). Very little attention has been given to the extensive relations that Australian and British public universities have with private for profit vocational and higher education providers. Yet these relations have developed remarkably strongly over the last two decades and seem to be expanding apace. Three questions occur to me.
I refer to the article about Nigerian lecturers without PhDs losing their jobs (UWN 30 March 2008). The idea of issuing a unilateral proclamation that all university lecturers must possess a PhD for continued employment in their present positions is ill-advised. It is tantamount to pursuing the shadow instead of the substance.
Ban contacts with University of the Free State. As a South African living in Canada, I was moved to write and thank him for taking a firm and principled stance on this issue. After following the story for the past few weeks, I have found that his analysis does not stray from the matter and he also proposes concrete measures to address the obvious shortcomings at UFS.
"Warnings of impending doom subside" – 9 March 2008). Over the past two years, Melbourne has been moving to a 3+2 model similar to, though not an exact replica of, the Bologna model.
"Bologna about to take root" – which mentions that Russian universities and degree awarding colleges will offer three-year bachelor degrees from 2009. Actually, since 1992 four-year bachelor degree programmes have existed in Russia. From 2009 we are going to adopt a new generation of State Educational Standards. The main innovation concerning bachelor degrees is that the programme will be developed in ‘units’ (equivalent to ECTS credits) instead of academic hours. A bachelor programme will be 240 units – equivalent to four years of full-time study. Three-year programmes will be possible only where credits are transferred from previous tertiary level studies.
Karen Cardenas, Executive Director, South Dakota World Languages Association. Brookings, South Dakota.