GLOBAL:Higher education challenges post-2015 – UNESCO

Wachira Kigotho 09 May 2014 Issue No:319   Unequal access to university education is likely to persist in most countries globally despite concerted attempts to expand opportunities by 2030, according to a UNESCO Position Paper on Education Post-2015 . It warns that the problem will not be limited to scarcity of places: there will also be a knowledge divide caused by lack of chances to acquire skills in technology. Notably, considerable disparities will be experienced in most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where the total number of entrants to education declines steeply as students move from primary to higher levels of education, in comparison to other regions of the world. The crux of the matter, says the position paper , is that the quality of schooling in many countries has continued to suffer from limited learning resources, teacher shortages, teacher absenteeism, and distance and safety to travel to and from school. Such factors result in

GLOBAL:The end of academic journal editors?

Jüri Allik 09 May 2014 Issue No:319   The model of scientific publishing where the reader pays for the costs of publishing seems abnormal. It is clear that new knowledge is mainly beneficial to the public. As most science is done with the taxpayer’s money, it would be expected that all scientific results achieved with such support must be publicly available. The United States Congress has taken this seriously and the Federal Research Public Access Act was proposed in 2006, ordering all publications using federal money to be publicly accessible. What does this mean? It means that many US scientists can no longer publish in journals that request money from readers in exchange for access to the content. Right away, publishers smelled the possibility of further profits and made a proposal for those impacted by the act to make their articles publicly accessible by covering not only the publishing costs but the owners’ sturdy profit, too. As a result, some articl

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