World in brief - 7 August 2014

August 7, 2014

Source: Alamy

United States
Women under-represented at the top

Only 40 per cent of vice-presidents and deans of admission at US universities are female, despite the fact that 70 per cent of admissions counsellors and assistant or associate directors of admissions are women, a survey has found. According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, women make up only 53 per cent of directors of admission, despite the fact that they are in a much larger majority for lower-ranked roles.

Arabian nights venture

The University of Edinburgh is to link up with an initiative known as the “University of the Desert” in Oman that helps young people from Europe and the Arab world to explore their cultural similarities and differences. The Connecting Cultures programme takes “potential future leaders and opinion formers”, aged 17 to 24, on a five-day journey to the Omani mountains and desert for “undisturbed face to face dialogue”. Edinburgh, which already has an informal relationship with the scheme, will help to design its curriculum and try to evaluate its impact.

After the scandal comes the scrutiny

The Chinese government has stepped up its scrutiny of universities after a series of bribery and corruption scandals. A circular released by the Ministry of Education told 75 ministry-affiliated universities that they must provide more information in a range of areas, including “recommended candidates for college admission, public bidding for construction work and university leaders’ off-campus posts”, according to state news agency Xinhua. The agency added that recent scandals had “made the public doubt the purity of the ivory towers, including bribe taking in admissions and corruption in construction projects”.

Industry research gets South Korean boost

Colombia is investing in three of its technology parks in collaboration with South Korea to help improve innovation and move its research towards international markets. The Ps5 billion (£1.6 million) project will identify priority areas for research that can help develop Colombian industry. Delegates from the collaboration are due to visit universities, research institutes, technology parks and government ministries as part of the project, according to an announcement on 23 July. Colciencias, the Colombian government research agency, signed an agreement on the project with the Korean International Cooperation Agency in 2013.

The Netherlands
Minister announces international policies programme

Jet Bussemaker, minister for education, culture and science, has announced a major programme of initiatives designed to “mainstream internationalisation” within Dutch educational policy. “Internationalisation…potentially makes people smarter, more creative and more enterprising,” she said in a recent letter that sets out the government’s plans. New scholarships, jointly funded by universities and the government, are designed to reposition Dutch higher education abroad, “attract international talent” and encourage the “outbound mobility of Dutch students”.

Graduate employment rates down in wake of lifting of undergraduate recruitment cap

Australia’s recent removal of the undergraduate numbers cap may have contributed to the lowest employment rate for recent graduates in 20 years. The 2013 Graduate Destinations Survey shows that the proportion of students who find full-time work within four months of graduation has fallen to 71 per cent, down from 85 per cent in 2008. The numbers cap began to be lifted in 2009. Nearly 11 per cent of 2013 graduates were unemployed, a rise of two percentage points since 2012.

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