The World View

A blog from the Center for International Higher Education

A blog from the Center for International Higher Education

March 17, 2013 - 5:17pm
Comprehensive reforms of Polish higher education and research systems started in 2010-2011. Their major part was the 2010 law on a new national research council called the “National Science Centre” (NCN). The rationale behind its establishment was twofold: to leave decisions about research funding for fundamental research to the academic community and to increase the competition for research funding. The competitive funding made available through the NCN will gradually lead to the emergence of a new class of Polish research-intensive universities.
March 12, 2013 - 7:46am
During the past two years, Egypt has embarked on a political transition from autocratic dictatorship to a reform-based democratic system of government. However, after so many years of an autocratic regime, implementing democracy is a challenge. The transformation requires well-designed political institutions, constructive opposition, transparent processes, and educated citizens. Democracy necessitates a systematic change, not just the removal of top leadership figures. Higher education can play an important role as a public voice for democracy and as the source of knowledge needed for political development. Yet it is still unclear how higher education can make a difference and contribute to the democratization process.
February 25, 2013 - 8:48pm
The newest money-making scheme in China involves hiring professors from US universities to teach summer school so that Chinese students can earn US college credit in a short, cheaper class closer to home.  These for-profit schools have been established by US-educated 20-something Chinese familiar with both cultures and both systems.  Cheap US college credit without leaving home— a promising venture with large profit potential.  
February 17, 2013 - 8:23pm
Almost everyone professes to be for national democracy but democracy is a complex concept with different legitimate views of what it is — and with different legitimate views of what it must include and what is appropriate to nourish it. Should a democratic national political system have democratic universities? There’s not just one common answer.
February 10, 2013 - 7:50pm
We are teetering on a very fine line between the right of scholars to express informed opinion and the right of enterprises to be protected from libel. Yet the increasing threats of lawsuits inhibit expression as scholars weigh risks before voicing opinions. There are serious consequences for academic freedom.
February 4, 2013 - 7:31pm
It is difficult to argue that the cross-border programs add much value to the larger institution when students from the home campus are rarely aware that they exist and are not encouraged or (sometimes) allowed to visit or study there.  Although the marketing and public relations departments of institutions operating abroad make reference to the campus in Qatar, Dubai, Singapore or Shanghai as evidence of the global or international character of the whole institution, it is mostly image making and at best aspirational.  Most often the language used is either an exaggeration or an embellishment and not a reflection of reality.  Claims of being a “global university” or a “global network university” are, for example, quite common. 
January 27, 2013 - 5:45pm
Contrary to what Dr. Reisberg implied in her recent blog, successful cross-border partnerships do exist. In fact, the overall percentage of unsuccessful projects is very low. The Observatory for Borderless Higher Education indicates that of over 200 international branch campuses currently in operation around the world, only a handful have “bit the dust.” Some may be surprised by this low rate of failure, considering the steady coverage of failed branch campuses, faculty discontent over efforts to internationalize across borders, etc. Stories of successful cross-border initiatives, though far more common, do not make for sexy headlines.
January 20, 2013 - 7:46pm
Another overseas programs appears to be biting the dust. The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) is not renewing its contract with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). This brings into question yet again why universities pursue these overseas ventures when they are rarely profitable and difficult to sustain.  
January 13, 2013 - 6:45pm
With due consideration and appreciation to all players in the knowledge and discourse domain, universities remain the sole credible bastions of critical inquiry, though they remain largely overlooked and their potential poorly tapped. To be more direct, knowledge, innovation and discourse generated and developed by African universities, albeit meager, remain largely underutilized, and worse, often ignored.
January 6, 2013 - 3:00pm
In August 2012 the Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, signed a bill making it mandatory for all federal universities in Brazil to reserve 50% of the places in each degree program for students coming from public schools according to their family incomes and their ethnic profile (self-declared descendants of blacks and Brazilian natives), and giving them four years to implement the programs. Not to be undone, in December of 2012 the governor of the State of São Paulo, Geraldo Alkimin, announced his own affirmative action project for the state universities, calling it a program of “social inclusion with merit”.

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