international

'Associate Dean of Eureka Moments'

A job ad for a position at the University of Bristol, in Britain, is capturing attention with its headline: "Associate Dean of Eureka Moments." (The first Eureka moment is illustrated at right -- but today's deans may be inspired in other locations.) The ad is actually for associate dean for the university's Faculty of Health Sciences. The position -- detailed here -- is for an "inspirational educational leader, who can build on our established reputation as a pioneering powerhouse of global medical research and education."

Jonathan Sandy, the dean of health sciences, said via email that the person who is hired won't actually hold the title associate dean of eureka moments. "This was to attract interest," he said. "The idea was from the advertising company and we are getting some interest even this early."

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Analysis of class size in European universities

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A new analysis from Times Higher Education of student to instructor ratios in European nations.

Call for Academics at Saudi University to Speak Out

Eighteen Nobel laureates have written to Saudi academics, urging them to publicly oppose the jailing and caning of a blogger who has called for political reform in the country, Times Higher Education reported. The letter was prompted by the case of Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to repeated public caning during a long prison term. While Saudi actions against political reformers are hardly new, the Badawi case has drawn particular outrage.

The letter from the Nobel Laureates is addressed to leaders of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, known by its acronym KAUST, which has recruited numerous Western professors in a push to become a leading global university. "We write out of concern that the fabric of international cooperation may be torn apart by dismay at the severe restrictions on freedom of thought and expression still being applied to Saudi Arabian society," the letter says, in urging academics to speak out about the Badawi case. "We are confident that influential voices in KAUST will be heard arguing for the freedom to dissent, without which no institution of higher learning can be viable," the letter adds. "The undersigned friends of KAUST will be there to support you in asserting the values of freedom that we are all agreed are essential to the future of a University in this twenty first century, and that will determine the success of the extraordinary venture which you lead."

 

 

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Study examines how overseas Chinese students respond to criticism of their country

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With the growth of Chinese students on U.S. campuses, the impact of geopolitical tensions on interpersonal relations can't be ignored, a new study suggests. 

King's College London Drops Rebranding Campaign

King's College London has dropped a rebranding campaign that would have, in part, encouraged people to call the institution King's London, Times Higher Education reported. Many students and alumni rallied against the plan, questioning its cost and purpose since, in their view, King's College London enjoys an excellent reputation.

 

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A Basketball Team's Expensive Trip to the Bahamas

The University of Kentucky spent nearly $800,000 on a trip to the Bahamas for the basketball team to play exhibition games, The Louisville Courier-Journal reported. While other colleges spend big on exhibition games in the Bahamas, the Kentucky travels cost much more than similar trips by other universities' teams that the newspaper found cost $154,000 or $38,000. Why were the Kentucky costs so high? The university didn't only pay for its own travel, but for the travel and expenses of the three teams it played: national teams of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, and Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket, a French professional team. The Courier-Journal reported that this practice of paying for opposing teams' travel was a new one for American college basketball.

There were other costs as well. Coach John Calipari, for example, had a $1,550-per night hotel suite.

 

Scottish universities start to embrace three-year undergraduate degrees

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Scottish universities start to move toward three-year undergraduate degrees.

Study: Digital Learning Effective for Health Professions

A review of 108 studies has concluded that digital learning is likely to be as effective as traditional in-person education in undergraduate health professions education worldwide. The review was conducted by Imperial College London on behalf of the World Health Organization. The review's examination of digital learning included online learning and offline digital learning, such as that provided through CD-ROMs ot USB sticks.

 

 

Dutch universities fight publishers over open access

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Universities "unbending" on fee-free demand as talks with Elsevier resume.

Israeli Universities Oppose Government Admissions Plan

Israel's universities are objecting to a government plan to require that one in three students be admitted based only on their high school grades, and not on national admissions tests, Haaretz reported. University officials say that the tests are crucial, particularly in evaluating applicants in the sciences. One official told Haaretz: “If everyone wants to study the humanities that might be true, but in those departments there was never a problem getting accepted.”

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