HE News Brief 7.3.11

by Abby Chau

  • Statistics recently released by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada shows that a growing amount of young people are now entering into higher education. 32,000 more students are enrolled in 2010 which represents a 3.7% increase from 2009. Ontario universities has seen a 49% increase in applications since 2000. Some are warning that the increase in students will be a drain on government funds as numbers continue to expand.
    Full Story: Macleans
  • Sir Howard Davies, director of the London School of Economics since 2003, resigned recently over allegations of acceptance of a £1.5 million donation from a charity foundation run by one of the sons of the controversial and eccentric Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Wikileaks cables show that LSE may not be the only institution connected to the Libyan government and this is just the beginning of a series of revelations concerning universities’ role in legitimizing the government. LSE, for its part, said that it would donate the funds to promote higher education in North Africa.
    Full Story: Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Academic and deputy director of research at Kent Business School Dennis Tourish recently laid claim that journal lists are detrimental to innovative research, particularly pointing out that the Q index used by some institutions such as the University of Queensland is flawed. The Q index measures research income, higher degree completions, research publication, and advisory loads, among others. Tourish says that the emphasis on journal lists is encouraging conformity and academic malaise. Queensland’s deputy vice-chancellor has reputed the claims saying that the Q index is a good tool to assess academic quality but other factors are taken into account such as teaching loads and performance.
    Full Story:  The Australian
  • Mines ParisTech, a French grande ecole, has recently published the Professional Ranking of World University. The rankings has been in existence for five years and ranks institutions based on the number of alums who are CEOs and senior posts of Fortune 500 companies.. Harvard topped the list followed by Toyko and Keio University. In response to criticism of its criterion, Mines ParisTech said measuring CEOs of successful companies is equivalent to using the number of Nobel Laureates as an indicator of institutional excellence.
    Full Story:  University World News


2 replies
  1. Ben Sowter
    Ben Sowter says:

    Interesting defensive position from the Mines ParisTECH people. FIrstly there doesn’t appear to be a ranking out there that bases itself purely on the number of Nobel Laureates. Secondly even the Shanghai ranking embraces Fields medallists as well in the cited measure and thirdly there is comparable criticism of that measure anyway from a statistical validity stand point.

    In reality the top 50 or so in this list are quite interesting, but outside that there is very little data to say much about the institutions in questionn – from 211 onwards each institution scores less than 1 CEO. Why not extend the list to 1000 or 2500 companies – that would provide more data and produce a much more interesting result.

    Of course there are other pitfalls too – partnership organisations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers are not featured and it would be great to get the graduation years of these people so we could see just how long ago the universities in question really achieved their present accolades.


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