QSIU HE Digest – China Targets Academic Fraud

  • China: Targetting Academic Fraud
  • Brazil:Affirmative action in Higher Education
  • UK:Research promotion in Universities
  • Somalia:First Foreign Branch Campus

New penalties for academic fraud went into force across China on 1 January. The Ministry of Education has announced its intention to crack down on students,faculty members, and other academics who commit plagiarism, fabricate research results, or engage in the widespread practices of purchasing or dealing in academic papers, dissertations, or other academic writings produced by the country’s thriving composed-to-order trade. Under the new rules, plagiarism on theses can result in denial of degrees at all levels, as well as withdrawal of degrees awarded in the past. Misconduct could also lead to the expulsion of students and banning them from reapplying for a period of years, as well as the dismissal of university faculty and staff members. Chinese experts believe that their country’s “academics need to be trained in ethics and how to properly cite other people’s work,”

Full Story: Science

In August 2012 the Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, signed a bill making it mandatory for all federal universities in Brazil to reserve 50% of the places in each degree program for students coming from public schools according to their family incomes and their ethnic profile (self-declared descendants of blacks and Brazilian natives), and giving them 4 years to implement the programs. Not to be undone, in December of 2012 the governor of the State of São Paulo, Geraldo Alkimin, announced his own affirmative action project for the state universities, calling it a program of “social inclusion with merit”. Differently from the federal government that enacted the legislation without any consideration for how to address the low educational qualifications of most students coming from public schools, the São Paulo project introduced two innovations: first, students entering through the quota system would have to attend two years of a preparatory college, after which they would have access to university degree programs according to their achievements. Second, those students would also get a stipend of
half the Brazilian minimum wage, about 140 US dollars a month

Full Story: Inside Highered

Research is fundamental to a university’s reputation, ranking and future funding, but are UK universities really doing enough to promote and inform the public of the research they do?When scouring through university websites in search of their latest developments and projects for the launch of our new research round-up, Research in brief (RIBS), it became increasingly apparent this information was not always easily accessible – to those outside the realm of academia at least.Where is this research information to be found online? University webpages that do publicise their institution’s latest research are often uninviting orunimaginative in format, listing titles of research papers that have not been updated for months, or even years in some instances. Some universities fail to
provide access to online information about their research at all.

Full Story: The Guardian

The horn of Africa’s self-declared state of Somaliland may get its first foreign university by mid-2013, if plans by a private university in Kenya to open a branch campus there come to fruition.The rapidly expanding though relatively new Mount Kenya University, headquartered in Thika in central Kenya, is planning to open a campus in the Somaliland capital Hargeisa.Mount Kenya has been on an ambitious regional expansion trajectory barely 10 years after being founded,and has in the past year opened campuses in Kigali, Rwanda, and in Juba, the capital of South Sudan. The university also has a virtual campus in Nairobi.Somaliland – a stable region in turbulent Somalia – is becoming an attractive investment destination, including in the field of higher education.



QSIU HE Digest – International Trends for Branch Campuses

  • Trends:5 Trends for Branch Campuses
  • N Africa: Maghreb Countries to Launch Joint University
  • UK/EU HE will suffer if UK withdraws from EU
  • China: Foreign universities find it hard in China

5 trends that can potentially affect international branch campuses in 2013.

  • Greater push-back from home campuses
  • A shift from expansion to quality
  • Global competition to be education hubs
  • Focus on economic development
  • Increasing diversity of programs
Full Story: Chronicle

A new pan-Maghreb university and science academy will soon be established, MAP quoted Libyan Education Minister Mohamed al-Faitouri Soualem as saying Wednesday (December 26th) in Rabat.The announcement came after an Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) ministerial committee meeting with Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane. Education ministers from AMU member states Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia discussed ways to harmonise basic education methods and facilitate student and teacher mobility in the Maghreb.

Full Story: All Africa

The British attitude to Europe often seems sad and unnecessarily destructive.The idea of withdrawing from the European Union is profoundly mistaken, promoted by a ragtag of interests and members of the national press who often seem to confuse Europe with immigrants and run stories with two variants: “They’re taking our money” and “it’s just a crazy bureaucracy.” The result is clear enough: Britain has become more and more marginalized within Europe, a stance that can only make it more and more marginal to the world at large.

Full Story: Chronicle

Britain’s Lancaster University, New York’s Juilliard School, which specialises in music, and Duke University in North Carolina, are just the latest foreign institutions to pile into an already crowded marketplace. Other co-operative and exchange programmes in higher education are being announced almost every month.None of them finds it easy to work with an academic system whose standards and values are so different from those in the West. Not least of the hurdles is maintaining scholarly independence in China’s restrictive political environment. The collapse of a Beijing-based undergraduate programme jointly run by two elite institutions—Yale University in America and Peking University—has highlighted some of the difficulties

Full Story: The Economist


2012/13 QS World University Rankings

HE News Brief 10.12.2012

  • US: “downward mobility” in HE is pose major challenge
  • UK: HEFCE analysis of strategically important and vulnerable subjects (SIVS)
  • Africa: Open access to address the developmental challenges
  • US:Tertiary education declining in value for money

An integral part of the American Dream is under threat – as “downward mobility” seems to be threatening the education system in the United States.The idea of going to college – and the expectation that the next generation will be better educated and more prosperous than its predecessor – has been hard-wired into the ambitions of the middle classes in the United States.But there are deep-seated worries about whether this upward mobility is going into reverse.Andreas Schleicher, special adviser on education at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), says the US is now the only major economy in the world where the younger generation is not going to be better educated than the older.

Full Story: BBC

HEFCE came up with a 10 year analysis of the number of students at various levels of higher education in UK and also diced this data by subjects. This will help the understanding of strategically important and vulnerable subjects (SIVS) and to identify where a subject might be at risk.There has been a considerable improvement in the flow of graduates in 3 of the subjects since 2005 – maths, physics and chemistry – but through the next phase will also address the variable patterns in Engineering and Modern Foreign Languages (MFL). At UG level, growth in international numbers has continued in the last three years, and at 20 %, outpaced the growth in home student numbers, which increased by just 6%.In some areas of PG research (i.e., biosciences, and chemical engineering)
international numbers have fallen while home numbers have grown.

Full Story: HEFCE

Africa still at the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index and its research output still less than 1% of the global total. But what is also true is that Africans are doing something about it. Since October 2010, when Stellenbosch University became the first African higher education institution to sign the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, the number of signatories on the continent has grown to 28 – in just two years. The Berlin Declaration dates from 2003 and is regarded as a milestone of the open access movement.It promotes unrestricted access to scientific knowledge and cultural heritage, and more than 400 institutions worldwide have already signed it. The growth of open access on the continent signifies that Africa is ready to lead itself and its sciences deeper into the 21st century.Clearly, Africa has aspirations to grow its share in global knowledge production. And open access is an important tool for realising this aspiration. Knowledge production is important because it drives development, and open access accelerates that drive.

In worldwide rankings more than half of the top 100 universities, and eight of the top ten, are American. The scientific output of American institutions is unparalleled. They produce most of the world’s Nobel laureates and scientific papers. Moreover college graduates, on average, still earn far more and receive better benefits than those who do not have a degree.Nonetheless, there is growing anxiety in America about higher education. A degree has always been considered the key to a good job. But rising fees and increasing student debt, combined with shrinking financial and educational returns, are undermining at least the perception that university is a good investment.Concern springs from a number of things: steep rises in fees, increases in the levels of debt of both students and universities, and the declining quality of graduates.

Full Story: The Economist


world map black

HE News Brief 03.12.2012

  • Chile: OECD advises a tighter scrutiny of university accreditation
  • UK: 10 new universities formed, focus is humanities
  • South East Asia: Greater Mekong region to emulate ERASMUS & Bologna processes
  • India: Waking up to international student recruitment

Read more


Motivations for pursuing an MBA degree

The 2012 Applicant Survey attracted more than 4,500 prospective MBA applicants. The results provide detailed insight into the status, attitudes, goals and ambitions of MBA applicants worldwide and how they, and the employment and education markets for young professionals, are changing. This survey allows valuable insight into the changing trends of worldwide MBA applicants.

Global motivations for taking an MBA are still dominated by the desire for career progression and to learn new skills, followed by attaining a leadership position. However, as we delve into regional responses, the results draw very interesting contrasts. The older demographic of respondents to this year’s survey selected fewer options as they are likely to have a clearer picture of why they want to gain an MBA. Read more


HE News Brief 19.3.12

  • UK: Elite Russell Group of universities announce four new members
  • Mexico: New regulations for private institutions
  • Uganda: Private universities emerge in Uganda

Leaving their 1994 Group membership , Queen Mary, Durham, Exeter, and York have all joined the elite Russell Group, which now has 24 members. The Group represents the UK’s elite group of research intensive institutions including Oxford, Cambridge, and Imperial.  According to the Research Assessment Exercise in 2008, 60% of research in the UK is produced by the Russell Group. Professor Michael Arthur, chair of the Russell Group and the vice-chancellor of Leeds University, says that the four institutions were invited to join the Group because of their innovation and research intensity across a broad range of subjects.

[alert_blue]Full Story: Guardian News[/alert_blue]

The number of private institutions have grown considerably in Mexico, from 995 in 2006 to close to 1,500 in the current year. The number of students attending these universities increased from 400,000 in 2006 to one million in 2012 and come mostly from underprivileged backgrounds. The rapid growth rates are prompting many to be concerned with the quality of education received at private institutions, particularly because there are no quality assurance regulations in place. In order to curb this, the Ministry of Education has announced that private institutions will go through a thorough assessment process by national assessment bodies to ensure standards are up to scratch. The government is trying to balance increasing student enrolment numbers (Mexico (37%) trails behind Chile (56%) and Argentina (71%) for instance) with policing new institutions for quality.

[alert_blue]Full Story: University World News[/alert_blue]

A year after the furore surrounding Makerere University, which was once known as the ‘Harvard of Africa’, many are contemplating the role of private institutions in the country. Makerere, some are saying suffers from overcrowding which may have contributed to the strikes that took place last year. Private institutions, which total 30 in the country, are viable alternatives for many however some worry that the rapid growth in private institutions may contribute to further divisions within society. Mahmood Mamdani, director of Makerere’s Institute of Social Research, says that ‘commericialisation’ of higher education may lead to an even deeper divide between the rich and poor. Private institutions at the moment costs more than public universities and Professor Mamdani worries that only richer students could afford to go to a private institution while poorer students are relegated to overcrowded and badly managed public institutions

[alert_blue]Full Story: RNW[/alert_blue]