HE News Brief 6.12.10

by Abby Chau

  • The Bologna Process, a declaration of higher education cooperation between 47 countries, is still chugging along despite the controversies surrounding implementation and overall efficacy. Now on course to feel the brunt of new reforms are business schools, particularly those that previously offered five-year business degrees. 10,000 new programmes in economics and business are to be implemented and positioned as competition for an emerging Asian higher education market. Some are saying that countries like the US must start accepting three-year bachelor programmes in order to adjust to Bologna’s new three-year standardisation plan for an undergraduate degree, or they may be left behind as other countries like Australia are quickly adjusting their educational system to a changing European standard.
    Full Story: FT

  • As the UK economy has taken a substantial hit, many people, particularly in parliament are reiterating the need for universities to produce the next generation of entrepreneurs. Statistics from the Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education produced by HESA show that the percentage of graduates who categorise themselves as self-employed or entrepreneurs has jumped from 4,190 in 2002-03, to 6,120, in 2008-09. Buckinghamshire New University Vice chancellor Ruth Farwell says that league tables should include this statistic in their indicators as it would give students a clearer picture of which institution promotes enterprise and business acuity. UCL Professor Tim Barnes concurs and says that if the government was serious about developing students for the job market, then statistics such as this should be measured and recorded.
    Full Story: the Guardian
  • Academic collaboration and outreach can be difficult, particularly if you reside in China, where Google and social-networking sites are blocked or censured. A new online platform called Anianet, with 6,000 registered users, seeks to fill the gap in order to link Chinese academics with their foreign counterparts. A relatively new venture, Anianet chief executive Greg Tananbaum says that the enterprise was developed to give Chinese scholars a platform to link up with research being produced in the West.
    Full Story: Chronicle of Higher Education

  • Last week the Welsh Assembly government announced that Welsh domiciled students will not have to pay more for higher tuition fees. The government will be subsidising the extra costs by utilising funds allotted for teaching grants. The relief granted to Welsh students is in complete juxtaposition to their English counterparts who have been taking to the streets, or muses this Economist journalist, to polite sit-ins at UCL,  to protest the £9,000 tuition fee hike proposal set to go through Parliament this week.
    Full Story:  BBC News
    More: Economist

  • Many accuse league tables of English-language bias. To obtain a fairer playing field, Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian nations are promoting the development of regional research journals. Secretary General of Thailand’s Higher Education Commission points to the Thai Citation Index which was introduced ten years ago and has had success in growing Thai research publications. League tables grade universities by the number of papers and citations they receive in international research journals but do not take account of local journals. Scopus head of marketing alliances in Singapore, Inn Beng Lee, says that research quality varies in ASEAN universities however a coordinated effort to boost its regional citation and paper output can have a positive effect on global perception.
    Full Story: University World News

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