- 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,”
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
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.
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.