Recently the Russian government announced far-reaching plans to support 15 leading research universities in their efforts to achieve international competitiveness and have an impact on global university rankings.
Selected universities will receive special state grants for development after rigorous analysis of their current positions and in exchange for a number of institutional transformations in governance and academic systems. (...) - University World News, by Igor Chirikov, 30 March 2013, Issue No:265
he true cost of a university degree will rocket to up to £100,000 (US$161,000), writes Paul Gallagher for The Independent. Thousands of current students will end up paying that amount in the course of their careers because of interest charges and other fees – several times the £27,000 or £36,000 in fees that most three- and four-year courses charge. (...) - University World News, The Independent16 December 2012 Issue No:252
A few days ago, I visited a high school in a poor urban area in Western Santiago and met with the junior and senior classes to discuss the student movement of 2011 in Chile. “What were the mobilized youth demanding?” I asked the students in the San Alberto Hurtado School. “Did they succeed?” The questions were relevant enough to keep the students engaged. They voiced their opinions and argued for a while, beating the somnolence induced by the heat and the preceding lunch. As I left, my thoughts went to Pink Floyd: these kids, many of whom had joined the protest the previous year, did not want to become just another brick in the edifice of a market economy. (...) Academic Matters, By Andrés Bernasconi | From the November 2012 Issue
On March 30, 2011, Quebec Minister of Finance, Raymond Bachand, announced that students would have to pay more for their university education, and that the funding of universities would require a greater contribution from students. Following this announcement, Quebec student associations decided to speak for all students, as if magically all students were of the same opinion. (...) - Academic Matters, By Arielle Grenier | From the November 2012 Issue
A National Union of Students protest against tuition fees and youth unemployment ended in ugly scenes today when a splinter group forced the union's president from the stage during the closing rally. (...) - Times Higher Education
Government investment yields academic-research hires.
Recruitment of academic researchers is under way at Queen's University Belfast (QUB), the University of Manchester and University College London (UCL) in connection with around £1 billion (US$1.6 billion) in awards from the UK government's Research Partnership Investment Fund and associated philanthropic donations. QUB will use its £32-million share to help hire 500 researchers and clinicians for its health-sciences institute, which includes a new research centre for eye disease and diabetes slated for completion in 2016. Manchester will hire about 20 senior academics in 2013 for cancer research, and UCL expects to create more posts at a new centre for rare paediatric diseases scheduled to open in 2018. - Naturejobs, 14 November 2012
Pour tous ceux qui pensent qu’on peut augmenter les frais d’inscription en créant des emprunts étudiants "à la française"… et qui vont le dire bien fort lors des Assises fin novembre… - Sauvons L'Université! 5/11/2012
Ukrainian universities do not take part in global rankings. The reason is quite simple – the paradoxical structure of universities, implemented by the Soviet government in the early 1920s, still holds sway: academic research takes place outside universities.
Research is formally conducted within the institutes of the National Academy of Sciences, while the university is reserved for teaching. (...) - University World News, by Serhiy Kvit, 11 November 2012, Issue No:247
I’ve recently come full circle to where I started my academic life: I am once again working as an adjunct professor. Last December, I left my full-time, tenured position at a small liberal arts/ professional college. I was ready for an early retirement from my institution (even if it didn’t come with an enticement package) -- but I wasn’t ready to stop teaching. Just lately, I’ve been contemplating putting together a proposal offering my services for a new position, which I will unveil here. But first I need to explain how I reached this point. (...) - By Carolyn Foster Segal, Inside Higher Ed, October 18, 2012
La prestigieuse université est désormais cotée à la Bourse de Londres, après avoir effectué sa première émission d'obligations de son histoire avec succès. L'établissement britannique diversifie ainsi ses sources de financement, et compte notamment investir dans des logements étudiants et la recherche. - e-orientations, Vendredi 12 Octobre 2012
Are confidence and real world knowledge the key to impacting on government? Mariell Juhlin, Puay Tang and Jordi Molas Gallart find that academics working with government benefit from an ‘expert’ effect as having an academic background enhances credibility when dealing with policy colleagues.
The good news for anyone with a PhD or studying for a PhD is that having a doctoral degree equips social scientists in Government with both greater confidence and ability to apply a whole range of methods and solutions to real world problems. In addition to this “expert” effect, having a PhD did also enhance the credibility of the holder in interactions with policy colleagues as well as with external academics. The fact that social scientists with a Masters or a PhD also had higher positions within the Civil Service (controlling for age, gender and years in service) suggests that higher qualifications, and the skills associated with these, are valued by Government employers. (...) Blog Impact of Social Sciences, Oct 12, 2012
Quelques îlots d’excellence sauvent la réputation de la seule université publique du Liban.
Que manque-t-il à l’Université libanaise pour devenir la meilleure université du pays ? « Peu de choses », disent certains. « Tout », disent d’autres. « Rien de plus qu’une volonté politique d’en faire un pôle d’excellence », tranchent les plus avertis. L’Université libanaise est pourtant la seule université publique du pays. Avec ses 74 000 étudiants environ, en 2012, soit 40 % de l’ensemble des étudiants au Liban, elle est l’institution universitaire la plus importante en taille et en potentiel humain. Mais son image ne suit pas, malgré l’excellente réputation de certaines facultés. (...) L'Orient le Jour
Why are you doing what you're doing? What can you do that no one else can do? What gives you the greatest satisfaction? How can you have impact where you think it's important? All these questions telescope into one: What's next? (...) - by Curt Rice, Blog "Thought on university leadership", january 16, 2013
The desires to pursue personal goals, escape university pressures or get off the grant-writing treadmill convince some US professors to leave the security of a tenured post.
At the beach in Mantoloking, New Jersey, in summer 2011, the possibilities of Colin Purrington's sabbatical year stretched out before him. Purrington, then an evolutionary biologist at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, intended to stay on campus and was almost giddy thinking of all the undergraduate research projects he had planned, with no teaching or service duties to interrupt them. And then it hit him like a 600-page textbook. When the year was over, he did not want to return to those duties — duties that had led to miserable all-nighters and family strain. (...) - Naturejobs, by Kendall Powell, in Nature 491,627-629, 21 November 2012
In November, 2012, Maclean’s published its 21st annual rankings of Canadian universities. Indeed, the ranking of universities has become a popular exercise with which to assess and promote higher education in North America. The ranking approach is similar to that used by publications such as Consumer Reports, in which goods or services are assigned scores based on rational parameters, and then assigned relative rank standings. Rankings of universities continue to be advertised annually as required reading for prospective students (and parents)—for example, to locate “top profs.” (...) - Academic Matters, November 20th, 2012 | By Stewart Page, Ph.D
Des milliers d'étudiants britanniques ont défilé mercredi à Londres sous étroite surveillance policière. Ils protestaient contre la hausse des frais d'inscription et le chômage des jeunes. (...) - lematin.ch, 21/11/2012
QB3 held up as example of how to capitalize on research.
Universities should provide scientists with mentorship, business-support services and private-sector connections to help them exploit the commercial potential of their research discoveries, says a study published on 24 October (K. D. Harrison et al. Sci. Transl. Med. 4, 157fs37; 2012). The study cites the 'Garage Network' at the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) as an example of success. The QB3 network is a business incubator that supports entrepreneurs at the University of California's San Francisco, Berkeley and Santa Cruz campuses. (...) Naturejobs -
More than a dozen applications suspected of plagiarism.
Earlier this year, Nature exposed a series of plagiarism scandals in Romania that implicated the country's prime minister Victor Ponta, a former research minister and university leaders. Now evidence is emerging of plagiarism in applications for public grant money. (...) - by Alison Abbott, Nature, 7 November 2012
The past decade has seen Canada’s intake of international students increase by 75%. Perhaps even more impressively, the number of students from India – one of the world’s largest sources of international students – has jumped 220% since 2008.
All of these ‘good news’ items appeared in A World of Learning: Canada’s performance and potential in international education 2012, released by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) on 5 November, in conjunction with its 46th annual conference.(...) - University World News, by Patrick McDonagh, 08 November 2012, Issue No:247
When Academic Disagreement Becomes Harassment and Persecution.
Honest academic debate lies at the core of good scholarship. But what happens when, under the guise of academic freedom, people distort the truth in order to promote their position and discredit someone’s evidence? I have suffered serious intellectual persecution for a number of years and decided it is now time to reveal the details. (...) - Dr Jo Boaler, October, Standford university, 2012
Cambridge, notée triple A par l'agence Moody's, a lancé avec succès mercredi un emprunt de 350 millions de livres pour financer ses investissements.
Si les fondateurs de Peterhouse, le plus ancien des trente-deux collèges de Cambridge (1284), avaient pu imaginer cela ! La prestigieuse université britannique avait déjà l'habitude des levées de fonds et des dons de riches philanthropes, mais elle vient de franchir une nouvelle étape : une entrée sur les marchés financiers. (...) - Le Monde, Par Jean-Michel Bezat , 12/10/2012
university conflict-of-interest committee should review contracts between academic scientists and industry sponsors that are worth US$5,000 or more, concludes a draft report entitled Recommended Principles & Practices to Guide Academy–Industry Relationships. Researchers should never ghostwrite research papers and should retain oversight of intellectual property and a stake in the proceeds from patents, according to the proposal. The report offers 56 guidelines for maintaining academic freedom and upholding ethical conduct in partnerships and collaborations between academics and industrial sponsors. Issued on 18 September, it was written by the American Association of University Professors in Washington DC in response to the increasing number and complexity of such partnerships, says co-author Cary Nelson, a past president of the association. “The corrupting power of money has become much more clear,” he says, noting that issues such as sponsors suppressing data from studies and persuading eminent researchers to add their names to papers they did not write seem to be on the rise.
The number of Dutch students attending universities in Flanders in northern Belgium has increased for the 10th year in a row. Universities and politicians in Belgium are concerned about the trend, particularly because of the costs and the poor performance of Dutch students.
Over the past four years growth in the number of Dutch students in Belgium has been especially high. Their number has increased by 50% to more than 6,000. (...) - by Robert Visscher, 7 October 2012, University World News