Showing posts from April, 2014

Malaysia cannot succeed unless equal opportunity given to non-Muslims, says Obama

The Malaysian Insider  –  2 hours 33 minutes ago Malaysia must ensure non-Muslims in the country also have equal opportunites as its Muslim majority if the Southeast Asian nation wanted to continue prospering, United States President Barack Obama said today of his landmark visit, 48 years after the last American president paid a visit. "Malaysia won't succeed if the non-Muslims do not have the same opportunity,” Obama said in a townhall meeting for Asean youths at Dewan Tunku Cancelor in University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur today. Obama said non-Muslims in Malaysia are currently facing hostility, and some have felt oppressed. "There shouldn't be reason to discriminate, and you have to make sure that you are speaking out against this in daily life. And as you emerge as leaders, you should be on the side of politics that brings people together rather than drive them apart," Obama said to cheers from the crowd. Obama said this tod

Putin calls Internet 'CIA project'

AFP News  –  Fri, Apr 25, 2014 Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called the Internet a "CIA project" and warned Russians against making Google searches. Putin assured a group of young journalists that the Internet was controlled from the start by the CIA and its surveillance continues today. "That's life. That's how it's organised by Americans. You know all of this started during the dawn of the Internet as a special project of the CIA. And it keeps on developing," Putin said in televised comments. Responding to questions from a young pro-Kremlin blogger, Putin warned that information entered on Google "all goes through servers that are in the States, everything is monitored there".  He also made ominous comments on Russia's most popular search engine Yandex, suggesting it could become more tightly controlled. Yandex is "partly registered abroad and not just for tax reasons, but for other rea

VIETNAM: Too many graduates for too few jobs

VietNamNet Bridge – The number of graduates produced by Vietnam universities every year is 10 times demand. That is the word of the unemployment report released last month by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, which spotlighted the high unemployment rate of workers with higher education. According to the report, over 1.2 million workers were reported as “lacking jobs” by the end of 2013, accounting for 2.63 percent of total laborers. Of this amount, 900,000 laborers had been reported as “unemployed”, which accounted for 1.9 percent of the labor force.  The proportion of unemployed workers finishing junior colleges (3-year training) and universities (4-5 year training) was relatively high, at 20.75 percent. More than 72,000 holders of bachelors and masters degrees are unemployed. However, the figures have not surprised analysts at all. Professor Nguyen Minh Thuyet, former Deputy Chair of the National Assembly’s Committee for Cultu

GLOBAL: Why scientists should stop publishing?

Brianne Kent 25 April 2014 Issue No:317   Earlier this month a Japanese researcher was found guilty of scientific misconduct and two groundbreaking studies published in Nature were retracted. This is a symptom of a broken system. Ask most scientists why they pursued a career in research and the majority will tell you that they had an innate passion for discovery. However, the current 'publish or perish' culture in academia is arguably impeding the discovery process. Even Nobel laureates have spoken out about the negative impact of this culture, including Peter Higgs, who told the Guardian that even he would not be productive enough to compete in the current academic system. To be a successful academic you must publish research in peer-reviewed academic journals, and preferably 'high impact' journals such as Science and Nature . While the intention behind peer review – to maintain standards of quality – is critically important, the implementation

Japan: Riken affair boosts orders for anti-plagiarism software

Kyodo  Apr 17, 2014 KOBE – A growing number of universities in Japan are introducing software systems to detect plagiarism in academic papers amid the evolving controversy over the “STAP cell” papers produced by Riken, the state-backed research institute. Under an ordinance that took effect in April 2013, the education ministry has made it mandatory for all doctoral theses to be published on the Internet, replacing its decades-old rule requiring publication in print. An official at a company selling plagiarism-checking systems said, “I believe more and more universities are introducing the system because if plagiarism comes to light after the theses are published, the credibility of the university’s oversight will be called into question.” One popular product is iThenticate, which was developed by a U.S. company. It uses a database containing 130 million theses published on about 45 billion websites or in academic journals


Sources:Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) at PENANG, 14 April 2014 – Career success depends on graduates with an ability to understand and work effectively with others of different cultures and backgrounds, Professor Dr. David W. Chapman said in his talk Crossing Borders and Bridging Minds in Higher Education. The public talk, the first in a series on higher education organised by the National Higher Education Research Institute (IPPTN), was delivered at the University Conference Hall by Chapman who is a Distinguished International Professor and Birkmaier Professor of Educational Leadership, Policy and Development at the University of Minnesota. He is also a Fullbright visiting professor to IPPTN.   He said that universities have to create opportunities within their curriculum that connect their students and faculty members to their peers in other countries and other c

GLOBAL: Rethinking private higher education

Wachira Kigotho 11 April 2014 Issue No:315   Economic stagnation and high youth unemployment in developed countries have contributed to emerging concerns over whether traditional models of higher education are capable of producing employable graduates, the International Finance Corporation's 6th International Private Education Conference heard in San Francisco this month. The high-level conference had the theme “Rethinking Education, Shaping the Future”, and brought together education experts, and investors and employers in private education. The conference highlighted how technologies, scientific applications and innovations in education could improve the prospects of many graduates who are currently worried that their degrees might not lead to good jobs. Conference sessions covered a wide range of topics “from access and affordability, quality, employability and skills of the 21st century, impact of globalisation, the role of education entrepreneurs and

UNITED KINGDOM: Women in academia – Different views of success

Shima Barakat 18 April 2014 Issue No:316   The last 12 years has seen a plethora of writings on the experiences of women academics, describing how the challenges and barriers they face differ from their male counterparts. However, even earlier Nadya Aisenberg and Mona Harrington wrote in the 1988 study Women of Academe: Outsiders in the sacred grove about the difficulties women were overcoming to access the 'sacred grove' (academia) in the United States. Three decades later, the subject is still being written about because structural and cultural issues across the globe have not been fully addressed, frustrations continue to exist and both men and women are speaking up. The issues are complex and fraught with myths, gross generalisations and mixed emotions. The University of Cambridge commissioned research challenging the notions of success, aiming to address the stereotypes and, most importantly, giving women a heterogeneous voice. Some 196 women were no

GLOBAL: Diversification of tertiary education growing – Study

Wachira Kigotho 18 April 2014 Issue No:316   Non-university technical programmes are the fastest growing forms of post-secondary education, according to UNESCO's International Institute for Educational Planning, or IIEP. Tracer studies coordinated by the IIEP in five countries – Azerbaijan, Chile, Malaysia, Nigeria and South Korea – indicated that increasing job market demand for varied skills is the primary driver of the emerging trend. The abridged studies published this month by the IIEP in the volume The Diversification of Post-secondary Education , edited by NV Varghese, highlight how non-degree programmes are challenging traditional university systems. IIEP Director Khalil Mahshi observed in a statement: “The non-university segment of post-secondary education is becoming a credible alternative to degree courses, especially in developing countries, when it comes to expanding access to employment-related study programmes.” The research for the five count

NIGERIA: French lecturers' conference supports Francophony

Tunde Fatunde 18 April 2014 Issue No:316   The Nigerian state has invested heavily in French language studies in higher education since the country's independence 64 years ago. The various strands of Francophone studies that have subsequently developed were investigated at the recent 16th Annual Conference of the University French Teachers' Association of Nigeria, or UFTAN. The conference was held at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, in Osun state, with the theme “French in the Wider World”. Some 125 members of the association were there, with the event one of the best attended yet, said UFTAN's immediate past president R Adebisi. The French language, in the context of West Africa, is of diplomatic and strategic importance to Nigeria, which is surrounded by French speaking countries. They are members of the international organisation called Francophony – the commonwealth of the world's French speaking states. A participant argued that futu

AUSTRALIA: Young researchers YouTube their work

18 April 2014 Issue No:316 Each year at its annual conference, the Australian Cooperative Research Centres, or CRC, Association holds a “Showcasing Early Career Researchers” session. This year for the CRC Association's Innovating with Asia 2014 conference in Perth in May*, 48 researchers – two years out from submitting their PhD to five years after submitting – braved the cameras and shot a 30-second video explaining the topic of their research, what they have done and what it means. “It's a really hard thing to do,” says CRC Association Chief Executive Tony Peacock. “The so-called elevator pitch requires a lot of thinking and then great execution to do it well. All the judges were once again blown away that so many researchers had a go. We all wished we could have a much longer short-list.” The short-listed candidates have already won A$1,000 (US$940) each along with participating in the CRC Association's conference in Perth. Each of the five fina

UNITED STATES: Why universities are under attack by hackers 18 April 2014 Issue No:316   Reports of university data breaches are becoming almost commonplace, writes Rick Dakin for . Last month the University of Maryland reported that its system had been hacked for the second time in four weeks. Indiana University's server was breached in February, potentially exposing personal information of 146,000 students and recent graduates. And earlier this month a systems breach at North Dakota State University compromised the personal information of more than 200,000 students, faculty and staff – but the hackers never took any of it. These attacks are probably just the beginning. Cybercrime is not new, but the sophistication and intensity of attacks are increasing at an alarming rate. Universities are easy targets because of their open structure and long information retention periods. For modern hackers, breaching a school's data system is relatively easy. Today's hackers are tightly run

INDONESIA: New scholarships for study at world's top universities

Ria Nurdiani 18 April 2014 Issue No:316   In an effort to increase the number of people with postgraduate qualifications in Indonesia, the government this month launched the Indonesia Presidential Scholarships, which are tenable at the world's top universities. The international scholarships require Indonesian applicants to be accepted at a university abroad before they can apply. They are intended to cover the expense of studying at 50 top-ranked universities in the United States, United Kingdom, China, Canada, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, France, Singapore, South Korea, Denmark, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. World-class universities such as Harvard, Columbia, Cambridge and Oxford are included in the list. Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the scholarship would help “prepare future leaders who can lead the country in the next 10 or 20 years so that our country will not only become an emerging economy, but, in time, an advanced co

ASIA: Student-led migration is part of global talent contest

Yojana Sharma 11 April 2014 Issue No:315   As the global competition to attract skilled and talented workers has intensified, international students have become an increasingly important source of immigrant workers, particularly the most skilled workers in advanced countries. A new report by three major international organisations estimates that 15% to 30% of international students who study in the most advanced countries stay on to work. In the advanced countries of the OECD, the number of international students has grown since 2005 "in virtually all countries", according to Labor Migration, Skills and Student Mobility in Asia drawn up by the Asian Development Bank Institute - the Tokyo-based think-tank linked to the ADB in Manila - the OECD in Paris and the International Labour Organization in Geneva. More than half the recent Asian migrants in OECD countries " are highly educated and they represent an important contribution to the skilled wo

EUROPE: Best practice for preparing PhD students

Meysam Salimi 11 April 2014 Issue No:315   As a plethora of universities across the globe continue to generate increasing numbers of PhDs, governments are beginning to ask if it is time to slow down the production line. China is the world leader in producing PhDs, outnumbering the United States on a per year basis for the first time in 2008. The Asian giant has awarded more than 240,000 doctorates in the past 30 years. Despite an increase in the graduation rate, employers continuously bemoan the lack of creativity and research skills of graduates, but in the same breath continue to recruit them, albeit mainly large firms. Smaller businesses that are thought to benefit more from hiring graduates have alienated themselves from working with universities and cling to the old view that such graduates' focus is too narrow and they have too little to offer. In effect, the employment opportunity for PhD graduates is becoming problematic, and that has led gradua