Universities in England have hit out at government plans to rank their academic teaching according to how much their graduates earn. Vice-chancellors warn they may be forced to cut vital degrees including nursing, social work and policing, because of these courses’ lower earnings potential. Nursing academics say they are still “reeling” from the significant drop in applications since the government replaced nursing bursaries with loans. They are urging ministers to think hard about the impact of their education policies on the future workforce in NHS hospitals. The government’s controversial teaching excellence framework (Tef), launched last summer, already gives universities a gold, silver or bronze ranking. Ministers plan to assess teaching quality at subject level, placing new emphasis on graduate salaries. It says this will reward excellence and expose universities and courses where teaching isn’t up to scratch. – Anna Fazackerley, The Guardian. Read more

Pressure on universities to re-examine their partnerships with Confucius Institutes and whether they are allowing undue Chinese government influence on campus has been raised by the introduction of legislation in both the United States House of Representatives and the US Senate, aimed at curbing the political influence of foreign institutes and organisations on college campuses by requiring greater transparency. The companion bills were introduced by Representative Joe Wilson in the House, and jointly by Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Tom Cotton in the Senate. Although the bills do not mention the Chinese-funded Confucius Institutes, which operate on more than 100 American college campuses, both Wilson and Rubio made it clear that these were the prime intended target. “The goal of this legislation is to increase transparency between foreign governments, universities, and communities,” said Congressman Wilson. – Brendan O’Malley, University World News. Read more

EU Business School’s MBA programs have been ranked top in CEO Magazine’s Global MBA Rankings for the fourth consecutive year. EU’s programs were chosen out of a total of 270 from business schools across North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Since its launch in 2012, CEO Magazine’s rankings have become a global reference tool for MBA candidates worldwide. In 2018, business schools from across the world were evaluated according to factors including quality of faculty, international diversity, class size, accreditation, faculty-to-student ratio, and professional development. EU’s on-campus MBA was ranked in the top tier both in Europe and globally for the fourth year running. The school’s Executive MBA program, in addition to being ranked in the European and global top tier, was ranked eighth out of all schools participating worldwide. – Kerrie Kennedy, The PIE News. Read more

The Canadian government recently announced the selection of 24 internationally based academics who will assume new positions at Canadian universities as Canada 150 Research Chairs, seven-year academic positions that come with annual government funding of either 350,000 or 1 million Canadian dollars. What the Canadian government is proclaiming in a press release as a “brain gain” is arguably a brain drain for the US, where just over half of the new Canada 150 Research Chairs are currently working. The one-time funding for the program was announced last year to coincide with Canada’s sesquicentennial celebration. Forty-two per cent of the selected chairs are expatriate Canadians returning home, and 58 per cent are women, according to a government press release. Thirteen of the 24 chairs are currently based at US universities, while the others work at institutions in Australia, Austria, Britain, New Zealand and South Africa. – Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed. Read more

German Chancellor Angela Merkel isn’t known for political surprises. But she managed a big one recently when she tapped Anja Karliczek, a 46-year-old lawmaker little known outside of party circles, as Germany’s next minister for education and research. Even long-term observers of Germany’s science landscape were left asking, “Anja who?” Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), will have six ministers in a proposed new coalition government with the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Current Minister of Education and Research Johanna Wanka had announced months ago that she intended to drop out. Hermann Gröhe, who had served as minister of health in the last Cabinet, was seen as a strong contender for the research post, but was shut out of Merkel’s fourth Cabinet. Instead, the chancellor chose the little-known Karliczek. Trained as a banker, she worked as a hotel manager before being elected to the German Parliament in 2013. Unlike her three predecessors, all women, Karliczek has had little contact with research or education policy and has no PhD. – Kai Kupferschmidt, Science. Read more


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