HE News Brief 28.9.10

by Abby Chau

Here are this week’s news stories:

    • In 2005, the German government allowed universities to compete for extra funding by proving that they are top-notch in research, strategy, and quality of teaching. The universities that performed the best were designated  with the title of “elite university.” Aachen’s RWTH university for instance, did extremely well and have now seen their stock raised – as a response to this new standing they are offering companies the opportunity to set up research clusters on campus. The move is aimed to foster more collaboration between businesses and higher education. An estimated 10,000 people will be employed because of this initiative.
      Full Story: FT
       
    • The build-it-and-they-will-come philosophy hasn’t seemed to work when it comes to postgraduates studies in Japan. The number of professional graduate schools have soared since 2003 but students don’t seem to be interested in getting a postgraduate degree. The problem, says Kenichi Yoshida, a consultant at the Japan Research Institute, is that institutions don’t do their market research before initiating postgraduate programmes. In addition, there does not seem to be a system in the workplace which financially awards people like teachers for instance, who have postgraduate degrees. Some say there is also another factor which is the Japanese culture, and its supposed reluctance to single out individuals.
      Full Story: New York Times
                                                                  
    • MENA Director of Edexcel Mark Andrews has called on Arab colleges and universities to adopt some of the Bologna Process’ educational reforms. 20 percent of the population of the Middle East region are between 15-24 years old. There is an imperative he says to educate this group of people and to teach them life-long learning. The French educational system has been adopted by Morocco, Tunisia, and Lebanon and because each Arab countries’ educational system varies, there needs to be a harmonising process which will adopt a mutual recognition of degrees, among other standardising initiatives.
      Full Story: Al Bawaba
      More: University World News
                                                 
    • It was widely reported that some 180,000 British students won’t get a place this year, due in part to the government’s restrictions on enrolment numbers. Those who are looking elsewhere for higher education studies are looking across the pond to the US. This trend, according to Andrew Halls, headmaster of King’s College School, is most likely to continue if the government decides to hike tuition fees. Lord Browne’s highly anticipated report on the state of the UK higher education is due out next month.
      Full Story: Telegraph
    • The Chronicle offers a sober report on the Bologna Process, a higher education standardisation process involving 47 European countries. Robert Wagenaar, director of undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Groningen, says that even simple definitions of terms such as “mobility” has not been agreed. The compulsory three-degree cycle (bachelor’s, master’s, and PhDs) is also negatively impacting some universities, particularly those in Germany and the Netherlands.
      Full Story: Chronicle of Higher Education