We’re a little late to the party, but it appears that AMIDEAST has begun putting their fantastic newsletter online. In addition, you can sign up to be on the mailing list for the newsletter from their website.
In addition, expect more regular updates as well as new info in the Training section within the next couple of days. We’re still recovering from the NAFSA Region III annual conference; it was wonderful but exhausting, and we hope to have the 50+ page handout (and 80+ slide presentation) on the Nile Basin countries up very soon.
As a result of terrorist attacks at the International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday, all schools in Pakistan have been closed. It was determined that most schools, especially private institutions, did not have the security measures in place to protect their students should another attack occur. Some schools are closed from today (October 21st) until the 25th while others are closed until further notice. The closings are intended to prevent chaos and lawlessness in the region.
More information can be found at http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/21-Oct-2009/All-Pakistan-educational-institutions-closed
The Ministry of Education of the Moscow region has reported that 2,000 blank diplomas and 10,000 blank transcripts for vocational/professional secondary education have been stolen. The link below indicates that the stolen documents have the following serial numbers:
50 БО с N0000001 to N0001000
50 БО с N0002001 to N0003000;
50 СП с N0000993 to N00011000.
http://mon.gov.ru/work/obr/dok/vys/4682 (in Russian)
The Australian Qualifications Framework Council has recently produced a paper, Strengthening the AQF: An Architecture for Australia’s Qualifications, that identifies specific ways to strengthen the higher education framework by streamlining qualifications and standardizing program length. The paper identifies 15 types of qualifications and describes their level of complexity, goals, skills, and application. The qualifications included are Certificates I-IV; the Diploma and Advanced Diploma; Associates, Bachelor, Masters, and Doctoral degrees; and Graduate Certificates and Diplomas.
The fifteen different qualification types are broken down into 10 different levels. Excitingly, the Council identifies a standard duration for each of these qualifications, which may or may not correspond to current conventions and have sparked some controversy. The Council also suggests that some certificate programs and diplomas may need to be restructured to focus on the outcome of employment versus education and not both.
This new framework would be monitored by The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency in the hopes of curtailing widespread infractions that encompass the current system.
The higher education strikes that have crippled Nigeria have been temporarily suspended. The Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have agreed to a two-week suspension of the 4-month-old strike in order to come to agreement on their terms. However, although the strikes went into suspension on Friday, classrooms across the country remained closed yesterday, though students are back on campuses and many administrative offices have re-opened.
Australia’s Monash University is exploring different routes to university entrance, especially to encourage students from diverse backgrounds and those with low income. They have suggested the idea of transition colleges as a way of preparing students with low Victoria Certificate of Education grades and giving them another chance to upgrade their skills before being assessed for their Equivalent National Tertiary Entrance Rank (ENTER) scores. Currently, ENTER scores represent the main route to university entrance, and the transitional system would work alongside it, to give students the opportunity to improve the skills they learned in secondary school and increase their opportunities to be admitted and succeed in university.
Melbourne University, a local rival university, is also currently exploring the ideas of alternative entrance requirements because they recognize that standardized testing may be inadvertently unfair to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The Federal Government has charged universities with increasing their enrollment of students from poorer backgrounds at least 20% in the next ten years.
The city of Cartagena in Colombia has come up with an innovative way of increasing higher education enrollments for its graduating seniors. The Ministry for District Education has established Regional Centers for Higher Education (Ceres), with nearly a dozen centers in Cartagena in various stages of launch. Once all centers are launched next semester, over 2000 places for low-income secondary school graduates will be able to further their higher education, meeting nearly half of the educational demands of the city. The Centers will offer programs in such diverse areas as hospitality management, tourism, and others. Low-income students at the centers will only have to pay a quarter of the tuition, and those high school graduates with high grades will receive full tuition.
Malaysia’s 27 polytechnics will be upgraded to university status to eliminate the negative associations as sub-par institutions. More diploma programs will be implemented, and the diploma program quality will be as good as degree programs, according to the Ministry of Higher Education. Polytechnics will also become involved in research and development. In addition, there will be a rating system to identify strengths and weaknesses. More diploma programs and fewer certificate programs will also reduce the associations of polytechnics as center of skilled training, which should be done by vocational training institutes.
Six new public universities have been opened in Angola, and their principals were sworn in by the Prime Minister this week. The new universities are: Mandume Ye Ndemofaya Univesrity in Huila, Lueji A’Nkonde Univesrity in Lunda Norte, 11 de Novembro University in Cabinda, Katyavala Buila University in Benguela, Kimpa Vita University in Uige, Jose Eduardo dos Santos University in Huambo. Earlier this year, a university decree called for reorganizing public higher education, creating new higher education institutions, and restructuring Agostinho Neto University.
Click here for more information.
Inside Higher Ed posted a fascinating article earlier this week about university enrollment trends since 1970. Their article summarizes a study done for the National Bureau of Economic Research showing how university enrollments have risen worldwide over the last four decades but have shifted away from the US. In addition, the information emphasizes the disparity of science/engineering graduates in the US compared to the rest of the world, especially in doctoral programs. The article also addresses China’s growth as a higher education giant, gender enrollment patterns worldwide, and some interesting insights into graduate programs in the US and the expansion of graduate education internationally.
YouTube recently unveiled “channels’ from 45 universities around Europe, the UK, and Israel to offer, “from science to Shakespeare, university social activities to Globalisation the videos cover a wide range of topics including: Understanding Shakespeare’s sonnets and Globalization & Religious Pluralism.” YouTube EDU will and can obviously be used as marketing material for online tours and commercials, but it also has the potential to showcase classes and excite applicants.
In a similar vein, the mostly-volunteer-run International University of the People provides free, online education to those who are unable to otherwise gain higher education due to geography, poverty, or other prohibitions. The institution is not accredited but launched last month with slightly less than 200 students from roughly 50 countries; during its ‘experimental stage,’ it is offering just two undergraduate programs: computer science and business administration.
These are just two examples of the fantastic application of technology to advance higher education and “the international exchange of people and ideas.”
Brazil’s national university entrance exam was supposed to take place this weekend but has been postponed because of reported fraud. Just days before the scheduled exam, the Ministry of Education found out that genuine, printed copies of the national exam were being sold. The exam has been postponed, hopefully to be re-scheduled so that students can take it in a month to a month a half. The delay and re-printing of the exam will cost the government nearly US$20 million dollars and will complicate university admissions since the entrance exam results are a requirement for most schools. Four million students are expected to take the exams in the coming weeks.
Here’s an update to yesterday’s article about illegal universities shut-down in Uganda. The five universities have been blacklisted because they didn’t meet minimum qualifications, presumably that their programs were not accredited by the National Council for Higher Education. We inadvertently left one of the universities off our list yesterday. Oops! To recap, the illegally-operating institutions are: Latin University of Theology, Luweero University, Nile University, Global Open University, and Central Buganda University.
The National Council for Higher Education in Uganda has released a list of universities that are operating illegally and instructed them to close immediately. The institutions are: Luwero University, Global Open University, Central Buganda University, and Nile University. No details are given as to the nature of their illegal operations (failing to register, failing to meet accredtiation requirements or pay fees, diploma mill status, etc.).