HE News Brief 2.08.10

by Abby Chau


Here are this week’s news stories:

  • More than five years after the Labour government made studying languages optional after the age of 14, the new Coalition government is looking to plug the hole in the second language gap by offering undergraduates and postgraduates up to two years studying abroad. Universities Minister David Willetts says that developing cooperation with countries like India, where a reported 40,000 Indian students study in the UK whereas only 500 UK students travel to India for academic studies, would make students more competitive in the diversifying job market.
    Full Story: Telegraph
  • As Britain has just approved its second private university recently, the U.S is delving deeper into its disillusionment of for-profit universities like the behemoth University of Phoenix which takes an astonishing 1 billion of government money this year in the form of grants. This op-ed argues that for-profits like the American Public University (who will be teaching Wal-Mart employees) and Kaplan University are here to stay as long as the accreditation process and the impotence of legislators continue to dominate the educational landscape. These issues no doubt will come to a head as President Obama is set to launch his highly anticipated “Race to the Top” educational programmes.
    Full Story: Chronicle of Higher Education
    More:  New York Times
  • Recently vice chancellors and rectors from 17 African countries spoke at a leadership seminar about the obstacles facing African universities. It was revealed, according to UNESCO, that only 10% of young people in Africa participate in higher education. Many complex issues plague these universities such as lack of infrastructure, inadequate teaching staff, and the fact that governments control institutions to such a degree that it leaves local leadership without the power to harness meaningful change.
    Full Story: Inside Higher Ed
  • Back in June, the second International Meeting of Universia Presidents culminated in the Guadalajara Declaration, which calls for cooperation on several higher education initiatives including promoting student mobility, enacting quality assurance, and ensuring knowledge transfer. The 24 Ibero-American countries which includes Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Cuba which are seeking to combine efforts in the next ten years is bankrolled by Santander Bank who is investing 600 million euros in the initiative.
    Full Story: University World News
  • Centenary College in the United States has pulled the plug on a MBA programme in China, claiming rampant plagiarism of 400 students who are currently enrolled. Academic misconduct in China has been widely covered in recent months but it is unusual for a foreign institution, which traditionally rakes in money by offering these satellite programmes, to make such a dramatic move.
    Full Story: USA Today
    More: The Economist
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