The Tempinis diaries

August 18, 2008

The Globalisation of Higher Education

Filed under: Uncategorized — toru @ 2:57 pm
Interesting story in Newsweek. China, Singapore, Korea and the Middle East are mentioned as the places to watch.
Build It And They Will Learn

The geography of higher ed is changing fast, with Asia and the Mideast coming on strong.

Zvika Krieger
Updated: 2:21 PM ET Aug 9, 2008

Drive down Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai’s main thoroughfare, and you’ll pass the world’s only seven-star hotel, its tallest building and its largest man-made resort island. But head off into the desert and you’ll hit a modest-looking set of office buildings and construction cranes that promise to be just as superlative. This is the site of Dubai International Academic City: the future home of a Michigan State University campus and the center of the local effort to make the emirate into a new global hot spot for higher education. “There is a war out there for talent,” says Abdulla al-Karam, director-general of Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority, “and we’re not going to let everyone else take the best.”

Dubai, along with its neighbors, is leading a rush of countries trying to erode the dominance of Harvard, Yale and a handful of other, mainly American or British, schools. As of 2005 (the last year for which numbers are available) there were about 138 million students worldwide seeking university degrees, according to UNESCO—up 40 percent in seven years, reports the London-based Observatory on Borderless Higher Education. Traditional academic destinations—English-speaking countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia—are finding it harder and harder to meet that demand. Post-9/11 U.S. visa complications have also helped create a massive pool of international students looking for new places to learn. According to the Washington-based Association of International Educators, the market of postsecondary students studying outside their home countries grew 49 percent between 1999 and 2004, even as foreign enrollments in U.S. schools increased only 10 percent. That’s created an enormous opportunity that will only grow, as the number of students seeking education abroad triples by 2025 to 7.2 million, as the Australian testing company IDP Education projects.


August 8, 2008

Shanghai Jiaotong Rankings 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — toru @ 4:13 pm

Shanghai Rankings 2008 out. As expected, Malaysian universities are no where in the top 500
August 7, 2008
American Universities Maintain Dominance in Latest Shanghai RankingsThe Academic Ranking of World Universities, published annually by China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University, has been posted online.

American institutions continue to dominate the top echelons of the influential list: 54 percent of the top 100 universities are in the United States, according to an analysis, with Harvard retaining the top spot, followed by Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley.

The only three non-American universities in the top 20 are the University of Cambridge, at number four, the University of Oxford, at number 10, and Tokyo University, in the 19th spot.

Chinese universities continue to be outperformed by other Asian institutions in regional powerhouses like Japan, but have improved their showing since last year and now occupy 18 spots in the Top 100 Asia Pacific Universities.

The list is not due to be published officially until August 15, but the new compilation has already generated a flurry of headlines in France, where the highest-ranking institution, Université de Paris VI (Pierre et Marie Curie), comes in three places down from last year at number 42.

Education minister Valerie Pecresse used the relatively weak showing of French institutions to underscore the need for reforms championed by the government.

The French Senate last month “proposed developing a new European university ranking system to counter the powerful Shanghai world ranking, which is said to favor English-language institutions.”—Aisha Labi

Posted on Thursday August 7, 2008 | Permalink

June 28, 2008

Big Plans at Surrey University

Filed under: Uncategorized — toru @ 1:22 pm

I confess I have not heard much of Surrey University. But the story below sketches out a pretty impressive and ambitious picture. Malaysian universities should take note and study some of these initiatives in this story.


Surrey University’s new China institute will help to put it on the international map

By Lucy Hodges
Thursday, 26 June 2008

Going places: students taking a study break at the Guildford campus

At which university did Led Zeppelin perform their first gig in 1968, the year that the university was establishing a 74-acre campus on the outskirts of a prosperous south-eastern town in the shadow of a great red-brick cathedral?


June 23, 2008

Paris-Sorbonne Opens in Abu Dhabi

Filed under: Uncategorized — toru @ 2:02 pm

There are many reputable institutions opening up in the Middle East these days. I just found out Paris-Sorbonne is opening a branch campus in Abu Dhabi.

June 22, 2008

Studying in Taiwan Part II

Filed under: Uncategorized — toru @ 3:08 pm

A very interesting insider’s perspective of studying in Taiwan here.

June 12, 2008

Qatar’s Education City

Filed under: Uncategorized — toru @ 5:22 am

Even Qatar seems to be overtaking Malaysia in the education stakes nowadays.

Campus in the sand
Keen to develop its higher education, Qatar has enticed US universities to set up stall in its capital city. Ian Wylie reports
Tuesday May 27, 2008

Even by the surreal standards of Doha, this ceremony took some beating. A convocation event for 122 graduating students serenaded with arias by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli – flown in at a reported cost of £1m – and our own Royal Philharmonic concert orchestra, interrupted only by the evening call to prayer. In attendance, the emir and his wife, the sheikh of neighbouring Dubai … oh, and South African president Thabo Mbeki, who just happened to be passing through.The campus of palm trees and plastic grass in the Qatari capital is home to Education City, a collection of (so far) American universities lured to the Gulf by Qatar’s petrodollars and an opportunity to engage in some overseas expansion after post-9/11 visa restrictions stemmed the flow of foreign students to the US. And these students, mostly young Qataris, were the first cohort to graduate from Education City.

The world’s third biggest source of natural gas, Qatar has the highest GDP per capita in the world bar Luxembourg, plus zero income tax rates. It is home to al-Jazeera and the US’s regional central command military bases. Still, Qatar labours in the shadow of the neighbouring emirates and Saudi Arabia, but, like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the city of Doha wakes and sleeps to the sound of pneumatic drills. Skyscrapers rise from the sand almost overnight, built by low-paid workers from the Indian subcontinent. The economy is growing at more than 30% per annum, but like its larger rivals, this small desert peninsula is seeking to diversify out of fossil fuels and invest its billions in more sustainable sectors.

Qatar has its own sovereign wealth fund – the Qatar Investment Authority – which has bought London’s Chelsea Barracks and has been building stakes in Sainsbury’s and the London Stock Exchange.

But the Qatar Foundation is a sovereign wealth fund of a very different kind. Chaired by the emir’s wife, Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser al-Missned, the non-profit foundation exists primarily to overhaul education within the state and prepare its small indigenous population for life beyond oil and gas-dependency.

It’s a huge job. Around 80% of Qatar’s 900,000 people are foreign workers with temporary residence status, with nine out of 10 young Qataris seemingly content to push paper in the country’s heavily bureaucratic public sector.

Higher education is a hot topic around the Gulf. In Abu Dhabi, New York University is bringing an entire campus to town. North of Jeddah on the Red Sea coast, the Saudis have just begun hiring academics for Kaust, their version of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

In contrast, Qatar has adopted a multi-billion-dollar pick-and-mix approach. Virginia Commonwealth University brought its design courses, Georgetown its liberal arts programme, Texas A&M its engineering courses, Carnegie Mellon its business and computer science, and Weill Cornell its pre-med and MD programmes.

Typically, the universities have signed a contract to run their campuses for 10 years. But the cost of running each campus – estimated at around £10m a year – is met by the foundation. The salaries paid to academics teaching in Qatar are comparable with the US, but bonuses and housing allowances can push earnings well into six figures.

It could have been a very costly white elephant. But the arrival to this 2,500-acre site of Ivy League Cornell and, from September, the well-regarded schools of journalism and communication from Northwestern, are encouraging. And Oxbridge is in the sights of Dr Abdulla Ali al-Thani, vice-chair of the Qatar Foundation and the man charged with finding new partners. “We would like a law programme,” said Thani, who holds an engineering doctorate from Southampton University. “Northwestern and Georgetown both have strong law programmes, and we have a strong relationship with Duke University. Discussions with Oxford and Cambridge are ongoing, but whether that will flourish or not, I don’t know. Dealings with European institutions happen more slowly, but we would very much like a European institution to be here.”

The foundation came close to signing up Insead in 2006, but pulled the plug when it discovered the French business school was also chatting up authorities in Abu Dhabi. Carnegie Mellon, which currently offers a graduate certificate in entrepreneurship, might be one of a handful of business schools asked to offer MBAs and executive business education.

“We will invite different schools to provide different executive education modules, according to their strengths,” said Thani. “So Northwestern might teach media management, Wharton finance and Kellogg marketing. No single school could offer all those strengths, but we could, by providing a platform for all these schools to offer modules here in Qatar.”

The Education City limits take in an independent school, a leadership academy, learning centre for children with learning difficulties and, from next year, a music academy for the Qatar symphony orchestra. The city has a science and technology park, run by former Imperial College pro rector Dr Tidu Maini, where tenants include Shell and Microsoft. And 2010 sees the opening of a 350-bed medical care and research centre with a £4bn endowment.

But the flagship project is the university development of buildings designed by architects including Ibrahim Mohammed Jaidah and Arata Isozaki. And to ensure its sustainability beyond the emir’s beneficence, the foundation will operate several commercial interests, including a convention centre and a mobile phone licence.

In most cases, student selection is carried out by the universities’ admissions offices back in the US and according to the same selection criteria. Just over half of the current 1,130 students are Qataris – the aim says Thani is to increase that to 70% once the development is complete and the student population has reached 8,000. The remainder comprise another 46 nationalities: Egyptians, Indians, Lebanese, Syrians, Americans – and even four Brits.

Importing US campuses has helped to break down barriers to co-ed learning. The Texas A&M dean, Marck Weichold, says the percentage of women on its engineering courses in Doha is 38% – double the proportion on its Texas campus.

Typically, half the lectures at Education City are delivered by US-based lecturers, posted to Doha for between six months and three years, or by post-docs. But the other half have been hired specifically to work in Doha. Interior design assistant professor Liam Colquhoun, a graduate of Napier University in Edinburgh, was recruited to Qatar by Virginia Commonwealth in 2003. “When I arrived, the development of Education City was well under way, but it has changed so much since then, it is difficult to imagine what it might be like five years from now,” he says. “The curriculum strictly follows that of the home campus in Virginia. In the west, design students generally enter university with a little more experience of design, but I think working with students who have fewer preconceptions about the field can be a benefit. They haven’t been told what is ‘good design’ and so bring an original perspective to their work.”

Would he recommend academic life in Qatar? “Being here is not for everyone,” he says. “Like any developing country there are growing pains that can be frustrating, but the pros far outweigh the cons as far as I am concerned. Although a bacon sandwich would be nice from time to time.”


June 11, 2008

The Bradley Report: Lessons for Malaysia?

Filed under: Uncategorized — toru @ 2:26 pm

The Minister of Higher Education, Khaled Nordin, should be studying this report closely. Perhaps, there are lessons to be learnt for Malaysia. The Rudd government is treading cautiously and this is merely a consultation phase. I will read the report soon and post my thoughts in an upcoming post.


Two-class university system on agenda

Stephen Matchett | June 10, 2008

SOME universities would lose their research function and be restricted to teaching if the Rudd Government adopted an option set out in the Bradley Committee on higher education reform’s discussion paper.

This would create a two-class university system with funding focussed on institutions with established research reputations and infrastructure.

Universities are set for the severest shake-up in a generation following the release today of the Bradley Committee report.

The committee is charged with advising the Rudd Government on reforms to higher and further education and this paper sets the context for a national debate.


June 4, 2008

New Oxford vice-chancellor: The background

Filed under: Uncategorized — toru @ 1:12 pm

Looks like a pretty good fit for Oxford. Certainly, better than John Hood.


New Oxford vice-chancellor: The background

Donald Macleod on what the appointment of Yale provost Andrew Hamilton might promise for Oxford

Tuesday June 3, 2008

Andrew Hamilton
Prof Andrew Hamilton, the current provost of Yale University. Photograph: Michael Marsland/Yale University
At Yale, Professor Andrew Hamilton’s group of biophysical chemists is working on molecular recognition. When he comes to Oxford to take up the job of vice-chancellor, he will have to discover the peculiar molecular structure of the ancient collegiate university and find ways in which its different elements can bond.After the upheavals caused by the reform attempts of his predecessor John Hood, the dons will be eyeing his arrival with a mixture of scepticism and hope, one imagines.

Whether he turns out to be a reformer or a conservative when it comes to the university and its centuries-old tradition of academic democracy, the main question that concerns everyone is how good he will be at raising money.

While fabulously wealthy compared with most other British universities, Oxford feels a poor relation of the Ivy League in the US. It believes it must raise its income and endowments drastically to compete for the best staff and students and maintain its world-class research.

For success in this field Oxford will certainly forgive Hamilton his Cambridge doctorate (his first degree was from Exeter).

As provost of Yale since 2004, Hamilton has controlled an endowment worth $22.5bn (£11.45bn, compared with Oxford’s £3.4bn), which now accounts for the largest share of the Ivy League university’s income. This is enabling Yale to increase financial aid for students, to expand undergraduate numbers to 6,000 (still small compared with Oxford’s 12,000) and to make courses and some historic collections available online, free to the public.

The job of Yale provost has proved a springboard to academic stardom. Cambridge led Oxford in appointing Alison Richard, a previous provost, to its vice-chancellor’s post. Susan Hockfield, who headed Yale between Richard and Hamilton, went on to become president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

At Cambridge Richard has certainly made an impact on fundraising, diverting the tensions left by previous attempts at reform into a £1bn appeal – something everyone could agree on.

Last week Oxford launched its own £1.25bn appeal in a bid to keep up with the Yales and Harvards of the university world.

While the president of Yale, Richard Levin, is the public face of the university, the provost runs the place. As the university website explains: “All deans report to him and he is an ex-officio member of every faculty and governing board and of all committees or other bodies concerned with educational policy or with faculty appointments or promotions… and chairs the university budget committee.”

Today Levin applauded Hamilton’s proposed appointment as the next vice-chancellor of Oxford and his “remarkable” impact on Yale. Hamilton helped create Yale’s thriving Center for Genomics and Proteomics and the Yale Institute for Nanoscience and Quantum Engineering, he said.

“He is a warm, sympathetic, and supportive friend of faculty throughout the university, with a deep and sincere respect for the academic mission and the people who carry it out. His fellow officers admire him for his unfailing support of their efforts, and we all appreciate his balanced judgment and wise counsel,” added Levin.

May 4, 2008

University of Malaya Appoints 78 Year Old Surgeon as Visiting Professor

Filed under: education, malaysia, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — toru @ 1:55 pm

It’s nice to see that the VC of University of Malaya, Rafiah Salim, trying to get things done. But I am not sure of the wisdom of appointing a 78 year old surgeon as a visiting professor. Sure, he seems like a superstar. But he may be way past his prime. Contrast this with NUS’ recent appointment of Harvard’s Daniel Tenen. It is better to appoint someone below 70 instead of a superstar who is past his prime.

UM Appoints Sir Roy Calne As Visiting Professor
KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 (Bernama) — Universiti Malaya Sunday announced the appointment of Prof Emeritus Sir Roy Calne of Cambridge University as Visiting Professor of University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) to strengthen the centre’s transplant team.

UM Vice-Chancellor Datuk Rafiah Salim said Roy, a pioneer in solid organ transplant, has been instrumental in consolidating the rapid expansion of transplant services at the UMCC since late 1990s.

“Roy had added further dimension to our transplant programme by including us in international clinical trials on the use of new immunosuppressive agents to reduce the risk of rejection of transplant organs,” she told a public forum on Donors and Organ Transplant in Malaysia.


April 27, 2008

Something good to report about Higher Education in Malaysia

Filed under: Uncategorized — toru @ 1:45 pm

For once, it is great to have something positive to write about.  It is heartening to note that Khazanah is making a generous donation to University of Malaya to endow a chair.  Hopefully, University of Malaya will make a colour blind appointment and get a world class professor like Danny Quah from LSE or Woo Wing Thye from University of California.


Funds for new chair

KHAZANAH Nasional has given RM30mil to fund a chair at the newly-established Malaysian Centre of Regulatory Studies at Universiti Malaya (UM).

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, who announced this at the official launch of the centre on April 21, said the new centre would help to reduce the lack of trained personnel in the regulatory field.

“There is a need for the establishment of a centre of excellence for law and economics to enhance the regulatory environment as the 1997 Asian financial crisis showed the importance of having a sound regulatory framework to achieve greater economic stability,” he said.

Mohamed Khaled added that there were currently about 100 centres of excellence in local public universities. However, only a handful, he said, had achieved world recognition.

Mohamed Khaled (third from left) witnessing the exchanging of documents between Rafiah (left) and Khazanah Nasional board member, Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof. Looking on is UM board chairman Tan Sri Arshad Ayub (second from left). — Bernama pic


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