Author Archives: PlanetGPA

At Oral Roberts U., smartwatches provide an entry into the ‘internet of things’

Some college leaders are responding quickly to racist and sexist incidents

University colleges to increase staff PhDs tenfold

Jan Petter Myklebust
27 March 2015 University World News Global Edition Issue 360

Danish university colleges are developing a plan to raise the proportion of staff having a PhD tenfold, from 5% to 50%, by 2022. Danish university colleges are developing a plan to raise the proportion of staff having a PhD tenfold, from 5% to 50%, by 2022.

The colleges – which are comparable to universities of applied sciences in other European countries and provide profession-specific higher education in teacher training, engineering, nursing, physiotherapy and many other disciplines – were given the right to undertake research in 2013.

Previously, research and development, or R&D, within the specific professional areas were undertaken solely by universities. In addition to carrying out applied R&D, the university colleges must ensure that the new knowledge is transferrable into practice by delivering more research-based teaching.

Since 2013 university colleges have been receiving independent R&D funding, and to an increasing degree will target external funding in collaboration and competition with Danish universities.

Examples of university colleges include the Danish School of Media and Journalism in Aarhus offering undergraduate programmes in photojournalism, multimedia, PR, communication, and design; and the VIA University College in Risskov, offering 35 higher education programmes.

The University College Capital, or UCC, offers bachelor programmes and postgraduate diploma studies in 16 locations in the Greater Copenhagen area.

Reaching the target

University Colleges Denmark – a secretariat serving administrative and policy-making functions for the university college sector in Denmark – has commissioned a report from DAMVAD socioeconomic and policy consultancy entitled “Investigation and Analysis for the Professional Colleges in the Implementation of a PhD Strategy” (with a summary in English).

The report concludes that almost 1,700 PhDs are needed from now until 2022 to reach the target of one in two teaching staff having a PhD. When taking retirement of the current staff into account, as well as the current number of PhDs among the teaching staff, 400 of the existing teaching staff have to be upgraded to a PhD-level.

DAMVAD estimates that there will be a shortage of between 900 and 1,300 relevant PhDs in 2022. The gaps are found within the three larger bachelor educations: the bachelor degree in social education, didactics and nursing. These three areas combined amount to 60% of the total need for PhD qualifications.

DAMVAD is presenting five different scenarios for delivering 190 new PhD candidates each year. The university colleges will cooperate with universities and hospitals in training of the PhD candidates and the total cost, depending on which model of training is chosen, is estimated to be between DKK1.4 billion and DKK1.9 billion (US$204 million to US$277 million).

Stina Vrang Elias, CEO of the Danish think tank DEA, which is supported by the Danish Society for Education and Business, told University World News: “It is essential that the Danish university colleges maintain their character and preserve the close link between theory and practice that distinguishes them from the academic university studies.

“University colleges’ R&D activities must be something other than the research that academic universities conduct. The quality must be the same – but the focus on retaining the practical approach should be different.”

The head of the Chairmen of Danish University Colleges, Carsten Koch, told University World News that capacity building of R&D within the university colleges should not be an aim in itself.

“I consider it of great importance that the university colleges stick to their raison d'etre, namely, to deliver research which is practice-oriented.”

He said the specific R&D task and field for the university colleges are much too important for them to simply copy universities.


University World News
http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20150326201614849

Foreign students add to campus attraction – Research

David Jobbins
27 March 2015 University World News Global Edition Issue 360

Would-be university students recognise the potential educational benefits of studying alongside international students even before they embark on their higher education, research from an independent UK think tank suggests. Would-be university students recognise the potential educational benefits of studying alongside international students even before they embark on their higher education, research from an independent UK think tank suggests.

A survey on behalf of the Higher Education Policy Institute and the university pathway provider Kaplan found that 87% felt they would gain a “better world view”, 85% said it would be useful preparation for working in a global environment, and 76% that it would help them develop a global network.

The results, collected by research agency YouthSight through its Applicant Omnibus Survey, suggest people are not naïve about the ways in which it can alter the student experience. Some two-thirds of university applicants have studied alongside international students before.

A minority of applicants have concerns about the implications for their educational experience while at university of the presence of international students from other cultures and with varying language skills. But they are far outweighed by those who are less fearful.

In particular, 67% do not anticipate that the presence of international students will lead to lower quality academic discussions (11% stated this was a risk).

However the margin was narrower on the impact of the presence of students without English as a first language (42% said they would not slow down a class while 29% thought they might) and on the amount of attention they would need from teaching staff (39% said they would not need more against 29% who felt they could need more).

One in five of those questioned positively hoped that some of their lecturers were from overseas, while the vast majority (74%) did not mind either way.

Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said: "UK policy-makers have a tendency to exaggerate the costs and underestimate the benefits of students from abroad. That explains why foreign students remain in the Home Office's target for reducing net migration, despite a growing consensus that this is contrary to the national interest.

“In the future, other government departments should be given a say in setting migration policy too. They understand the educational and soft power benefits of educating people from other countries and could provide a counterweight to the Home Office’s different priorities.”

Linda Cowan, Managing Director of Kaplan International Colleges, said: “An important finding of this research is the extent to which domestic students about to begin their university studies already anticipate benefits of studying alongside students from other countries.”

The fieldwork for the research was conducted between 6 and 7 February 2015. The sample consisted of 500 interviews with applicants, representative of the UK in terms of gender, age and school type.


University World News
http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=2015032506243022

Sharp drop in applications to study abroad

Eugene Vorotnikov
25 March 2015 University World News Global Edition Issue 360

The number of Russian students applying to study abroad has dropped by between 25% and 30% this year, according to a leading consulting agency on foreign education. In some disciplines, especially languages, the numbers have dropped by 40%.
The number of Russian students applying to study abroad has dropped by between 25% and 30% this year, according to a leading consulting agency on foreign education.

In some disciplines, especially languages, the numbers have dropped by 40%.

The economic crisis in Russia and devaluation of the national currency, the ruble, caused by Western sanctions, are behind the decline in demand, according to analysis by the Bureau of International Educational Programmes.

Alexei Surin, CEO of the Bureau, said the drop in applicants may significantly increase if the current economic situation in Russia deteriorates further during the next few months.

The problem is also aggravated by the government’s decision to cut funding from the existing state Global Education programme from 12 March. The programme covered the costs of tuition for 1,500 Russian students studying in foreign universities each year, but from will now only cater for 750 students.

Alexander Klimov, Russia’s deputy minister of education and science, said: “The decision is connected to the significant decline of interest among Russian students in participating in the programme, due to the devaluation of the Russian ruble. At present the maximum amount of the grant cannot cover the costs of tuition and living abroad.”

He said the government decided not to increase the funding of the programme, and instead halved the number of participants covered but more than doubled the size of the grants, from RUB1.3 million to RUB2.7 million (US$22,600 to US$46,900).

According to data of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, the current number of Russian students who study abroad is estimated at 50,000, but due to the current economical instability in Russia these figures may significantly decline.

The Ministry said that although some foreign universities have proposed reducing tuition fees to Russian students, as well allowing them to make payment in instalments, many Russian students abroad are considering leaving their foreign university.

In recent months many Russian students studying in the US have asked the management of some Russian universities and the Russian government about the possibility of transferring to domestic higher education institutions, according to Marina Frolova, head of Assyst agency, an agency specialising in the training of Russian students for studying in American universities.

However, Russian regulations currently do not allow quick transfer from institutions abroad and to those at home.

Some Russian analysts and officials have therefore called on the national parliament, or State Duma, to design a package of amendments to ease such transfers.

Artem Khromov, head of the Russian Student Union and student ombudsman, said his union has urged the State Duma to adopt amendments to the existing federal law on education to allow Russian students to transfer to domestic universities from foreign institutions without having to pass additional exams.

A bill has been drafted incorporating the proposed changes and is expected to be put before parliament in April, with the support of the official spokesman of the Russian Duma Committee on Education.

According to an official spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, the government did consider closing the Global Education programme altogether.

However, it survived because it has strong advocates in the Russian Presidential Administration, in particular Andrei Belousov, presidential aide.


University World News
http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20150325171358454