HE News Brief 18.1.11

by Abby Chau

  • An academic paper entitled Ivies, Extracurriculars, and Exclusion: Credentialism in Elite Labor Markets is about to tell us what we assumed all along – elite businesses only recruit from elite institutions. A new study by a Northwestern professor says that top firms and investment banks only hire from the top five – Harvard, Wharton, Princeton, Yale, and Stanford. According to the report, applicants not from the top five go into the ‘black hole’ and are subsequently dismissed. The professor also found that it is not important how applicants from the big five perform whilst in the institution but rather the perceived prestige is what really counts.
    Full Story: Examiner

  • President Hugo Chavez has announced that he would veto a controversial new education law which would have given the government more control over universities. President Chavez’s supporters introduced several new laws last December before the newly elected parliament was due in office. The educational reform law would make universities comply with national development plans in all decision-making processes as well as changing the power structure for budgetary decisions. President Chavez said that his government was willing to recognise and amend mistakes. Critics are saying that the president’s hand was forced as opposition to the measure grew in recent weeks.
    Full Story: BBC News
    More: Wall Street Journal

  • Universities in Algeria are facing uncertainty, scandals, and in-fighting, according to a new expose in La Tribune. The Bologna Process has also instilled a state of instability, ever since its inception in 2003-04.  The implementation of this controversial process has caused enrolment delays, cancellation of masters courses, and hiccups in the bachelorette system. Protests has broken out across the nation with students decrying the state of the HE system in Constantine, Tizi Ouzou, and Boumerdes. Many, including teachers, have questioned whether the process should be implemented in non-EU countries.  With the national conference of university managers convening soon, many are calling for better organisation within management to curtail growing discontent.
    Full Story:  University World News

  • According to a new report by the Graduate Management Admission Council, the United States is still a popular destination for MBA students, but they are continuing to lose ground to their European cohorts. Internationally, there has been a 30 percent increase in business school applications but in Europe there has been a dramatic 90% increase in applications particularly in Germany, Sweden, Italy, Greece, and Switzerland. Employment prospects for b-school graduates is also back on track, after a year of decline.
    Full Story: Chronicle of Higher Education

  • Long queues at the University of Johannesburg saw 30,000 students waiting in line to register for courses. Public outcries are asking why authorities were not prepared and urging for more places so that no one misses out on higher education. Groups are calling on President Zuma’s promise to widen participation and allow free education for all. HE director-general Gwebs Qonde said that those who are unable to find a place this year must enrol instead at a FET college. In addition, the government has also announced proposals for two new universities to meet the growing demand. In June, the government will consider the applications for the creation of universities in Mpumalanga and Northern Cape.
    Full Story:  Primedia Broadcasting