HE News Brief 8.6.10

by Abby Chau


From a French higher education revolution to a growing American uneasiness about their ranking, here are this week’s news stories:

  • The second Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Higher Education was supposed to take place in April but due to the Icelandic ash cloud, it was postponed.  Stakeholders of this conference, from Southern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern States, seek to establish dialogues and agreements based on the 2007 Cairo Declaration which, akin to the Bologna Process, aims to harmonise higher education and promote knowledge sharing within member states. This editorial argues against the wholesale acceptance of Bologna and cautions against the so-called neoliberalism of internationalisation and privatisation.
    Full Story: Times of Malta
  • According to the Chronicle, France is allowing its 83 universities to become autonomous, cutting off traditional ties to the government.  In a major overhaul, Sarkozy also plans on investing billions of euros  into creating 10 regional “supercampuses” with the view to compete with American Ivy Leagues. The Chronicle posits that the poor performance of French universities in international league tables  has had a hand in ushering in this new system.
    Full Story: The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • As different countries talk about increasing the number of people attending higher education institutions, the U.K is contemplating a move in the opposite direction. This would be a stark policy change from Labour’s pledge of sending 50% of young people to university.  New Business Secretary Vince Cable will be looking into whether a record number of graduates is leading to the devaluation of higher education. A look toward vocational training, which is highly successful in Germany, is on the table.
    Full Story: Guardian
  • The United Arab Emirates ambitious Vision 2030 (based on Singaporean targets) of doubling the amount of higher education levels in the workforce may be a tougher task than anticipated, according to this article. A recent study cites a large high school drop-out rate as a concern, as well as the fear that this Vision may only benefit visiting students rather than UAE residents.
    Full Story: The National
    More: Trade Arabia
  • As the dialogue, and uneasiness, concerning the rise of Asian universities continues, this article looks at the state of higher education in the United States. It argues that U.S professors fleeing from cash-strapped American universities to countries like Saudi Arabia, China, and Singapore who are investing heavily in education, is contributing to Asia’s rise in league tables.
    Full Story: The Christian Science Monitor
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