09 janvier 2012

Kill peer review or reform it?

By Scott Jaschik, for Inside Higher Ed. Inside Higher Ed“Blind peer review is dead. It just doesn’t know it yet.” That’s the way Aaron J. Barlow, an associate professor of English at the College of Technology of the City University of New York, summed up his views on the future of the traditional way of deciding whose work gets published in the humanities.
Professor Barlow did not dispute that most of the top journals in the humanities continue to select papers this way. But speaking in Seattle at a session of the annual meeting of the Modern Language Association, he argued that technology has so changed the ability of scholars to share their findings that it is only a matter of time before people rise up against the conventions of traditional journal publishing.
While others on the panel and in the audience argued for a reformed peer review as preferable to Professor Barlow’s vision of smashing the enterprise, and some questioned the practicality of simply walking away from peer review immediately, the idea that the system needs radical change was not challenged. Professor Barlow said that the system might have been justified once when old-style publishing put a significant limit on the quantity of scholarship that could be shared. But in a new era, he said, the justifications were gone. (Reflecting the new technology era, Barlow and one other panellist spoke via Skype to an audience that included two tables and wireless internet access to allow bloggers, Twitter users and journalists to write about the proceedings as they were taking place.)
To many knowing nods in the room, Professor Barlow argued that the traditional system of blind peer review – in which submissions are sent off to reviewers, whose judgements then determine whether papers are accepted, with no direct communication with authors – had serious problems with fairness. He said that the system rewards “conformity” and allows for considerable bias.
He described a recent experience in which he was recruited by “a prestigious venue” to review a paper that related in some ways to research he had done. Professor Barlow’s work was not mentioned anywhere in the piece, and he realised that the journal editor figured that he would be annoyed by the omission. And although he was, Professor Barlow said he did not feel that assigning the piece to him to review was fair to the author. “It was a set-up. The editor didn’t want a positive review, so the burden of rejection was passed on to someone the author would not know.”
He refused to go along and declined to review the paper when he realised what was going on. This sort of “corruption” is common, he said.
Professor Barlow has a long publishing record, so his frustrations with the system cannot be chalked up to being unable to get his ideas out there. But he said that when one of his papers was rejected recently, he simply published it on his blog directly, where comments have come in from fans and foes of his work.
“I love the editorial process” when comments result in a piece becoming better, he said, and digital publishing allows this to happen easily. But traditional peer review simply delays publication and leaves decision-making “in the dark”. Peer review – in the sense that people will comment on work and a consensus may emerge that a given paper is important or not – does not need to take place prior to publication, he said.
“We don’t need the bottleneck or the corruption,” he said. The only reason blind peer review survives is that “we have made appearance in peer-reviewed journals the standard” for tenure and promotion decisions. That will change over time, he predicted, and then the traditional system will collapse.
Peer review plus
While Professor Barlow noted the ability of digital publishing to bypass peer review, the idea of an intense, collaborative process for selecting pieces and improving them came at the session from the editor of Kairos, an online journal on rhetoric and technology that publishes work prepared for the web. Kairos has become an influential journal, but Cheryl Ball, the editor and an associate professor of English at Illinois State University, discussed how frustrating it was that people assume that an online journal must not have peer review. “Ignorance about digital scholarship” means that she must constantly explain the journal, she said.
Kairos uses a three-stage review process. First, editors decide if a submission makes sense for a review. Then, the entire editorial board discusses the submission (online) for two weeks before reaching a consensus that is communicated to the author with detailed letters from the board. (Board members’ identities are public, so there is no secrecy about who reviews pieces.) Then, if appropriate, someone is assigned to work with the author to coach him or her on how to improve the piece before publication.
As Professor Ball described the process, thousands of words are written about submissions, and lengthy discussions take place – all to figure out the best content for the journal. But there are no secret reviewers, and the coaching process allows for a collaborative effort to prepare a final version, not someone guessing about how to handle a “revise and resubmit” letter.
The process is quite detailed, but also allows for individual consideration of editorial board members’ concerns and of authors’ approaches, Professor Ball said. “Peer reviewers don’t need rubrics. They need good ways to communicate,” she said. Along those lines, Kairos is updating its tools for editorial board consideration of pieces to allow for synchronous chat, the use of electronic “sticky notes” and other ways to help authors not only with words, but also with digital graphics and illustrations.
Learning from law reviews

Allen Mendenhall, a PhD student at Auburn University who is also a blogger and a lawyer, suggested that humanities journals could take some lessons from law reviews. Mr Mendenhall is well aware of (and agrees with) many criticisms of law reviews, and in particular of the reliance for decisions on law students who may not know much about the areas of scholarship they are evaluating.
But he offered law reviews as an example of how a new web service could challenge the traditional ways of doing things. Many law reviews now use ExpressO to allow authors to submit a paper to multiple law journals at the same time. Once a journal accepts a piece, the author has a set time to reply – and during that time can notify other law reviews that participate of the chance to accept the piece on an expedited basis, in which case the author will place the piece there.
“The author is rushing journals the way college students rush a fraternity or sorority,” he said.
Obviously this system deviates in all kinds of ways from the norms of humanities scholarship, Mr Mendenhall said, in that most journals expect to be the only place considering a piece. But he argued that this system forces journals to stop sitting on pieces. “Everyone is competing, and that speeds up the publication process,” he said.
Recently, Mr Mendenhall had four pieces published in journals – one through ExpressO and three through the traditional peer-review system. The traditionally vetted pieces appeared seven months, nine months and two years after he submitted the articles. The ExpressO article appeared two and a half months after he submitted it.
A speedier process, he said, helps scholarship by getting ideas out there. But it also helps junior faculty members – and that is a legitimate reason to consider changes, he said. “Why should we wait months or years for a response?” he said. “Speed can help untenured professors add to their CVs and build a reputation. It’s more power for authors.”

Posté par pcassuto à 21:38 - - Permalien [#]


Universités et IES: 20 propositions

Blog Educpros de Pierre Dubois. http://blog.educpros.fr/pierredubois/files/2012/01/duboismanifnovembre-copie.jpg“Histoires d’universités” fête aujourd’hui son troisième anniversaire. La première chronique a été publiée le 6 janvier 2009: ”voeux 2009”; ce 6 janvier 2012, c’est la 1.551ème.
Le projet politique du blog pour l’enseignement supérieur de premier cycle est né du mouvement universitaire de l’hiver et du printemps 2009. Il a été précisé au fil de mes réflexions, des initiatives assassines de Valérie Pécresse et de Laurent Wauquiez, des résistances des lobbies professionnels et politiques, des commentaires critiques déposés sur le blog… et des fort rares soutiens. Les Instituts d’enseignement supérieur (IES) ne seront pas au coeur des campagnes des mois à venir, campagnes pour les élections présidentielles dans les universités, campagnes pour les élections présidentielle et législatives nationales.
Il me faut donc suivre le conseil de Nicolas Boileau: “Hâtez-vous lentement, et sans perdre courage. Vingt fois sur le métier remettez votre ouvrage. Polissez-le sans cesse, et le repolissez. Ajoutez quelquefois, et souvent effacez”. “Effacez”: ce sera le temps de le faire en juin prochain!
Les Instituts d’enseignement supérieur constituent quatre défis pour la France: faire progresser l’accès et le succès des enfants des classes populaires dans l’enseignement supérieur; permettre à une majorité de jeunes diplômés du supérieur et aux jeunes enseignants de commencer à travailler plus tôt et avec un contrat stable; donner la chance à une quinzaine d’universités, résultant de fusions entre les universités actuelles, d’être compétitives, attractives et lisibles dans le monde; utiliser mieux l’argent public, actuellement gaspillé dans un enseignement supérieur de premier cycle éclaté et moribond.
Plaidoyer pour la création d’Instituts d’Enseignement Supérieur en vingt propositions. Celles-ci feront l’objet de développements dans les mois qui viennent sous la forme de “chapitres” reprenant, modifiant, élargissant les 91 chroniques de ce blog sur les IES, et se fondant sur les données statistiques disponibles. Ces chapitres tenteront également de répondre aux critiques qui ne vont pas manquer de naître à la lecture des 20 propositions qui suivent!
1. Les missions d’enseignement supérieur sont mises en oeuvre d’une part par les universités (dénommées “universités de recherche”), d’autre part par les Instituts d’Enseignement Supérieur (IES).
Les universités prennent en charge les seules formations de master et de doctorat et en délivrent le grade; les IES prennent en charge les seules formations de licence et en délivrent le grade. Les universités et les IES constituent des établissements publics juridiquement distincts ; ils disposent de l’autonomie statutaire, financière, pédagogique et administrative, dans le cadre des réglementations établies par l’Etat en concertation avec les Régions.
Pour parvenir à ces deux types d’établissements, 1. Il faut poursuivre le processus de fusion pour parvenir, à partir des universités actuelles, à une quinzaine d’universités de recherche, universités multi-sites, de 20 à 25.000 étudiants, et localisées dans les grandes régions (une grande région - de taille européenne - est issue elle-même d’une fusion; exemple: fusion de la Basse et Haute-Normandie). 2. Pour créer les IES, il faut ”sortir” des lycées leurs classes supérieures (CPGE et BTS) et il faut “sortir” des universités actuelles leurs licences et leurs DUT. Les formations de CPGE, de STS, d’IUT, de Licence sont restructurées au sein des IES (proposition 7). Universités de recherche et IES participent d’une nouvelle phase de la décentralisation.
2. Les IES ont pour mission principale la formation initiale et continue
des étudiants inscrits en premier cycle de l’enseignement supérieur, i.e. dans le cycle Licence en 3 ans. Ils n’ont pas de mission de recherche fondamentale; ils peuvent avoir une mission de R & D, de diffusion de l’innovation sur le territoire régional, en coopération avec les centres de recherche des universités et avec les entreprises.
3. La création des IES est une chance pour la France.
Elle a la même valeur historique que la création des lycées par Napoléon, institutionnalisant une réforme dont les prémisses se situent dès le début de l’ère moderne. La préparation au baccalauréat s’est progressivement faite en dehors des universités. La préparation à la licence doit aujourd’hui être faite en dehors des universités, mais dans des établissements appartenant clairement à l’enseignement supérieur et non à l’enseignement secondaire. La France pourrait être ainsi le moteur d’une révolution du Supérieur en Europe.
4. Les IES ont pour mission de porter à 50% le taux de jeunes
obtenant un diplôme de l’enseignement supérieur, la licence. Ce taux passe prioritairement par la poursuite d’études d’une partie plus importante des bacheliers professionnels. Les IES permettent la démocratisation de l’accès et de la réussite dans l’enseignement supérieur. La faillite du 1er cycle actuel, illisible et éparpillé entre les universités, les IUT, les STS et les CPGE, rend impossible la réalisation de l’objectif des 50%, fixé par la loi sur l’Ecole de 2005.
5. Le gouvernement des IES,
établissements publics d’enseignement supérieur, reproduit en partie celui des universités de recherche: conseil d’administration et conseil des études élus, président élu par un collège électoral large. IES et université(s) de la Région coopèrent et mutualisent certaines activités dans le cadre d’un Pôle Régional d’Enseignement Supérieur (PRES). 
6. Les étudiants inscrits dans les IES ont le statut d’étudiant,
i.e. qu’ils bénéficient de tous les droits sociaux, culturels et politiques des étudiants des universités de recherche (dont les oeuvres universitaires, la sécurité sociale étudiante, les complémentaires Santé, les activités associatives…).
7. Les IES préparent à l’obtention de la licence en organisant deux voies d’études:
une voie longue préparant aux études universitaires de master et de doctorat, s’appuyant sur les points forts des CPGE et des licences, et une voie professionnelle, préparant à l’insertion sur le marché du travail et s’appuyant sur les points forts des IUT, des STS, des licences professionnelles.
8. Tous les bacheliers ont le droit, immédiat ou reporté, de poursuivre des études supérieures.
L’orientation vers telle ou telle voie du cycle licence est soumise à un examen sur dossier et sur projet. Le nombre de places dans les voies longue et professionnelle de Santé et paramédical est fixé conjointement par l’Etat et chacune des grandes Régions.
9. L’offre de formation des IES met fin à la pléthore et à l’illisibilité des formations post-bac actuelles (plus de 11.000 proposées par Admission post-bac). La voie longue, préparant aux études post-licence, et la voie professionnelle, préparant à l’insertion sur le marché du travail, sont organisées au sein de 5 parcours, de 5 parcours seulement: sciences et techniques; économie, gestion et commerce; lettres, langues, sciences humaines et sociales; santé et paramédical; droit, sciences politiques et administratives. Chaque IES organise au moins deux voies longues et deux voies professionnelles.
10. Les programmes des formations dispensées en IES sont fixés au niveau national.
Ils sont spécifiés au niveau régional pour les formations de la voie professionnelle, dans la limite de 25% des heures de formation. La spécialisation est progressive au fil des 3 années de licence. Pour les voies longues, des doubles licences, des parcours différenciés peuvent être organisés par co-décision des IES et de l’université de la Région.
11. La charge d’enseignement pour les étudiants d’IES est de 2.250 heures
(750 heures par an, volume horaire proche de celui des DUT et des BTS, inférieur à celui des CPGE, supérieur à celui des licences). Les enseignements sont annuels pour permettre un meilleur apprentissage des étudiants: la semestrialisation est donc supprimée. Un contrôle continu est organisé au cours des 2 premières années; le passage dans l’année supérieure est déterminé par la moyenne obtenue au contrôle continu. La licence est délivrée à l’issue d’un examen terminal, commun à tous les IES de la même grande Région. L’examen terminal comprend une soutenance orale portant sur la réalisation d’un projet (mémoire de stage ou d’alternance dans la voie professionnelle, projet de recherche dans la voie longue).
12. La carte des formations, i.e. la localisation des IES, est établie par la grande Région,
dans le cadre des contrats de projet Etat-Région (schémas directeurs de l’enseignement supérieur). Etablissements de 600 à 2.000 étudiants, les IES pourraient être 600 au terme de leur création.
13. La dépense par étudiant dans les IES est portée à 14.000 euros par an,
i.e. au niveau actuel de la dépense moyenne par étudiant de CPGE et de STS. Elle permet une amélioration des conditions d’études par un meilleur encadrement de tous les étudiants, dans des formations de proximité moins coûteuses pour les étudiants et leurs familles. Des passerelles sont organisées pour permettre une éventuelle réorientation - sans recul en arrière - en cours de licence. Il s’ensuit une progression du taux d’obtention de la licence en 3 ans. 14.000 euros par an signifie une dépense de l’ordre de 3 milliards d’euros par an (cf. infra le financement des IES).
14. Le corps professoral des IES est constitué d’agrégés recrutés sur concours national,
les candidats ayant déclaré lors de leur inscription au concours leur souhait d’exercer dans telle ou telle grande Région. Le corps des maîtres de conférences est mis en extinction. Les agrégés des IES sont des fonctionnaires d’Etat. Ils ne sont pas soumis à l’obligation de faire de la recherche; ils peuvent y être incités par des primes ou des congés de recherche. Leur charge d’enseignement, leur salaire et leur carrière (celle-ci commence donc beaucoup plus tôt que celle des maîtres de conférences actuels) font l’objet d’une négociation et d’une réglementation nationales, sur la base du statut actuel des agrégés exerçant dans les classes supérieures des lycées. La liste des agrégations prend en compte la création des voies longues et professionnelles structurant les IES. Le concours d’agrégation prend en compte la capacité des candidats à faire de la recherche.
15. Les agrégés des IES constituent le vivier du corps des professeurs des universités.
Les centres de recherche, en fonction de la stratégie de recherche de leur université, appellent au recrutement de doctorants parmi les jeunes agrégés des IES. Les agrégés recrutés au terme de l’appel y préparent leur doctorat; ils y travaillent en situation de délégation à plein temps (ils sont donc rémunérés); les contrats doctoraux, les postes d’ATER sont supprimés. Le doctorat obtenu, les agrégés docteurs sont recrutés comme professeurs stagiaires pour une durée de cinq années. Au terme de cette période, ils sont titularisés comme professeurs des universités ou sont réaffectés en IES.
16. Les IES, établissements publics d’enseignement supérieur, sont financés principalement par la puissance publique. Leurs enseignants sont fonctionnaires d’Etat et sont donc payés par lui. Les IES, et en particulier leurs formations professionnelles, ont aussi une mission de développement économique et social régional: leurs dépenses d’investissement et de fonctionnement (hors-salaires) sont donc prises en charge par leur grande Région, dans le cadre de compétences déléguées et dotées par l’Etat, inscrites dans les contrats de projets Etat-Région. Les communautés de communes et les communes, sièges d’un IES, contribuent au financement des oeuvres universitaires (restauration, logement, transport, vie culturelle et associative…); elles sont en effet fort attachées à posséder un enseignement supérieur sur leur territoire (contribution de la Fédération des Villes Moyennes).
17. Le coût de la création des IES est de l’ordre de 3 millards d’euros par an
aux fins de porter la dépense annuelle par étudiant à 14.000 euros (ce montant de dépenses inclut le recrutement d’enseignants pour améliorer l’encadrement des étudiants). A ce coût, s’ajoute celui-ci de la “logistique” (création “physique” des IES dans les locaux actuels des lycées qui ont des classes supérieures ou dans les universités): estimons ce coût à 500 millions d’euros par an durant 7 ans.
18. Le financement de 3,5 milliards d’euros par an ne doit pas impliquer de hausse de la dépense publique.
Il est assuré par la réduction et le redéploiement de dépenses actuelles, et par la progression de ressources propres. Réduction des dépenses: simplification et réduction de l’offre de formation (moins de filières en IES qu’aujourd’hui en licence, fusion des BTS et des DUT) et donc économies d’échelle (forte baisse du volume des heures complémentaires); service d’enseignement égal à celui en vigueur pour les agrégés des classes supérieures des lycées et donc plus important qu’en licence universitaire et qu’en IUT; progression du taux d’obtention de la licence en 3 ans (baisse des taux de redoublement, de réorientation avec recul en arrière, d’abandon = accélération du “flux” de passage et diminution du “stock”); forte diminution des coûts directs et indirects de l’orientation (diminution du nombre de salons…); diminution du taux de poursuites d’études en master. Redéploiement des dépenses: affectation aux IES d’une partie des crédits du Plan Campus et des Investissements d’Avenir.
19. Progression des ressources autres: droits de scolarité calculés selon les revenus des parents et globalement augmentés, développement de l’alternance dans la voie professionnelle des IES et obligation pour les employeurs d’apprentis de verser aux IES une taxe d’apprentissage.
20. Calendrier pour l’ouverture progressive des IES:
celui des prochains contrats de projets entre l’Etat et les Régions (2014-2020). Pour tenir ce calendrier, les grandes Régions devront dès l’automne 2012 élaborer la carte d’implantation des IES et planifier les travaux nécessaires dans les locaux des lycées ou de l’université régionale, locaux qui seront affectés aux IES. La Région Alsace me semble prête à se lancer dans la révolution des IES (carte des IES en Alsace).
Blog Educpros Pierre Dubois. http://blog.educpros.fr/pierredubois/files/2012/01/duboismanifnovembre-copie.jpg "Príbehy univerzity" sa oslavuje svoje tretie narodeniny. V prvom stĺpci bol zverejnený 06.01.2009: "Pozdrav 2009", 06.1.2012 To je 1.551ème.
Politický blog pre vysokoškolské bakalárske hnutia univerzity sa narodil v zime a na jar 2009.
Bolo objasnené, vďaka svojej myšlienky, vražedné iniciatívy Valérie PÉCRESSE a Laurent Wauquiez, odpor odbornej i politickej lobby, podala kritické komentáre na blogu... a len veľmi málo priaznivcov. Vysokých škôl (IES), nebude v srdci prírody na mesiacoch, kampane pre prezidentské voľby na univerzitách, kampane pre voľby do národných prezidentské a parlamentné.
Tak som musel riadiť sa pokynmi Nicolas Boileau: "Ponáhľaj pomaly, a bez straty odvahy.
Dvadsaťkrát dajte na ručné práce. Prepíšte sa zastaví, a repolished. Niekedy pridávať, mazať a často." "Delete" je čas urobiť tento rok v júni! Viac...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:09 - - Permalien [#]

Universities want more say in recruiting, enrollments

http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/Styles/VietnamNews/images/logo.jpgHCM CITY — Education experts have asked the Ministry of Education and Training to create conditions for universities to have more autonomy in making decisions regarding administration, recruitment and enrolment quotas.
These tasks should not be the responsibility of the ministry, according to Asso Prof and Dr Dao Cong Tien, the UEH's former rector, who spoke at a recent workshop on education reform held at University of Economics HCM City (UEH).
Only by having more autonomy could universities make better decisions, according to Tien.
The ministry should also not dictate the enrolment quota for each university, he said, adding that it should be based on the number of facilities and lecturers.

Posté par pcassuto à 21:04 - - Permalien [#]

International student choices changing

http://www.universityworldnews.com/layout/UW/images/logoUWorld.gifBy Sarah King Head. Not only are more students than ever before travelling abroad to realise their higher education ambitions, they are also increasingly gravitating away from traditional educational hotspots in order to do so - and this trend looks set to continue, with competition for international students growing worldwide.
Over the course of a decade, the number of tertiary students enrolled in programmes outside their home countries has almost doubled, from just over two million in 2000 to nearly four million in 2011.
This staggering increase may among other things be a testament to successful implementation of governmental higher education strategies and policies. But emerging patterns of distribution, belying general global economic and social trends, are perhaps even more worthy of note.
Project Atlas
A key finding of the Institute of International Education's (IIE) recently published Project Atlas report, Student Mobility and the Internationalisation of Higher Education, is a continued shift from the dominance of a few countries to the emergence of many host destinations around the world.
Thus while the top hotspot for mobile students in 2010 remained the United States, which attracted more than 720,000 of the 3.7 million international students worldwide, this total represented a decline in the US total market share from 28% in 2001 to 20%.
Rather than charting the ascendancy of one or more other leading host countries, the Project Altas data demonstrated that mobile students are increasingly dispersed across more countries.
Peggy Blumenthal, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of the IIE, related this phenomenon to an emerging "proliferation of educational hubs" around the world. What this means is that students are pursuing higher education in locations other than just "traditional hotspots like the US, UK and Australia".
NAFSA: Association of International Educators' recent International Student Enrolment Survey confirmed the same trend for American students.
Said Ursula Oaks, senior director of media relations and strategic communications: "In general we have been seeing a gradual increase in students heading to 'non-traditional' destinations." But, she added: "The biggest statistical take-away is the paltry overall number - less than 2% - of American college students [who] study abroad in any given year."
UNESCO and the OECD
Regional averages from UNESCO's Global Education Digest 2011 offer insight into directional patterns of mobile students. Notably, it revealed that while nearly 60% of all students travelled to North America and Western Europe in 2009, the majority of these students came from within the region.
Moreover, global international educational exchange balance statistics suggest that North American and Western European students are globally among the least 'internationalised' insofar as they are not likely to travel outside their home region in pursuit of higher education. Indeed, the ratio between inbound and outbound students was about four to one in 2009.
By contrast, the numbers of students sent by and received by most other countries and regions is more evenly apportioned. The exception is Sub-Saharan Africa, where countries are more apt to send rather than to receive students - at a ratio of about three to one.
OECD statistics for 2009 in its Education at a Glance 2011 report revealed an added dimension to these statistics: that is, the number of foreign students enrolled in the OECD area was nearly three times the number of students hailing from OECD member nations. Indeed, 83% of all international students were enrolled in G20 countries and 77% in OECD countries in 2009.
Exploring the alternatives
What the data cannot chart, or anticipate, are dramatic shifts in numbers.
Nowhere is this better exemplified than in the migratory patterns of Indian students. Indeed, the number of Indian students attending institutions in the US dropped by 1% between 2009 and 2010, according to the IIE's Open Doors 2011 report. But more striking was the 77% decline in those attending institutions in Australia over the same period.
Visa restrictions and racial intolerance are among the direct causes of these declines, and Blumenthal characterised the response as "individual scholars voting with their feet" and going elsewhere to study. For Indian students this has not been difficult, when presented with attractive offers from countries like Singapore and Canada.
Are Chinese trends sustainable?
China continues to send more students to study abroad than any other country in the world: its more than half a million students in 2009 represented slightly more than 15% of the entire global share of mobile students and more than double that of the next biggest sender, India.
But with China achieving the status of fourth top host country (after the US, UK and France) in 2010, countries that have pegged growth in their tertiary sectors on a sustained influx of Chinese students would be wise to rethink strategies.
The managing director of the international academic consulting firm Illuminate Consulting Group, Daniel Guhr, concurred. Relying on 1.9 million data points and 120 variables, the firm analysed the impact of changing economic circumstances in China on the future of student flows.
Cautioning traditional host countries not to place quite so much stock in the sustainability of recent growth figures, Guhr pointed to several factors including high numbers of self-funded students, an inflated real estate boom tying up family resources, an estimated 22% underemployment rate among Chinese graduates, and the availability of more affordable tertiary opportunities in China and other Asian countries.
With these impacts certain to limit the number of students travelling for education, institutions will face hyper-competition dynamics.
That said, Guhr added: "It would be as wrong to say that levels of Chinese students seeking educational opportunities worldwide are about to decline as to say that this group is on an unhindered upward trajectory."
For this reason, he urged higher education policy-makers to "build multi-modal, multi-channel, diversified and risk-balanced recruiting strategies" in their efforts to attract the best and the brightest in the coming years.
English as the academic language
Another interesting trend, noted Blumenthal, is the growing popularity of English instruction programmes in non-English countries. Indeed, increasing numbers of mostly graduate engineering and business courses are being conducted in English in order to attract a wider range of students.
"Global English is becoming the lingua academica - a good command of the English language is becoming a precondition for excellence in higher education," she observed.
Although Germany is usually cited as the case in point, this strategy can be said to account for the large increase in American students taking full degree courses in China over the past few years. More notably, not only are international students opting for English-language instruction, but more and more native students are also doing so.
Higher education is big business
With international student education estimated to generate between US$80 and US$90 billion in revenues for host countries, it is hardly surprising that governments are working hard to garner as large a share of the pie as possible.
Indeed, huge dividends can be realised by adopting policies that combine effective recruitment strategies with investing in the internationalisation of domestic students.
Recent notable examples include Brazil's scholarship programme Science without Borders, which intends to send as many as 75,000 Brazilian students to study at the world's top universities by 2014. Many countries are planning to cash in on newly mobile Brazilian students.
Similarly, in endeavouring to make Saudi Arabia a knowledge society, the government has invested heavily in scholarships for as many as 120,000 of its citizens to study around the world. In total, 12% of the national budget has been allocated to higher education initiatives.
The facts speak for themselves, said Guhr: "International education has become a very large global industry." But for countries seeking to capitalise on this, the only problem is that the industry's shape and major players are constantly evolving.

Posté par pcassuto à 18:02 - - Permalien [#]

Confusion, contradictions in student mobility

http://www.universityworldnews.com/layout/UW/images/logoUWorld.gifBy Hans de Wit*. The year 2011 was a time of confusing and contradictory signals in the internationalisation of higher education. The OECD published data on increased international student mobility worldwide (3.7 million students) and the Institute of International Education and Council of Graduate Schools in the United States reported 5% growth in the number of international students going to America, with China and Saudi Arabia recording the biggest increases in mobility.
In Europe in 2011, the Academic Cooperation Association published an analysis of international students in 32 countries over the 2006-07 period indicating an all-time high of 1.5 million students. This made Europe the leading recipient of international students, with 50.9% worldwide and a larger number coming from outside Europe than from inside.
Canada also announced an increase in international students in 2011. And China, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia, for a long time primarily sending countries, are likely to become future leading destination countries.
Disturbing developments
But behind these booming figures and the prospect of ever-increasing numbers of students studying outside their home country in the years to come, there have been some critical and disturbing developments.
Australia, a benchmark over the past decades in attracting international students, faced serious threats to its leading position in China and India due to incidents, bad press and restrictive visa regulations.
By adopting, at the end of 2011, the recommendations of the Knight Review of the student visa programme, which addressed these problems, the government of Australia recognised the potential risks for its economy of international education, the country's second biggest export commodity. However, it might take years before the damage is repaired.
As a result of higher tuition fees and more severe visa regulations the UK, another leading country in attracting international students, risks losing a big part of its international student market (both European and non-European) and seeing an outflow of its own students to other countries.
In a third leading country, France, concern is rising about the impact of tighter rules of residence and employment for non-European students and graduates on the future number of international students. These measures are being applied precisely at a time when international student numbers have gone up, following joint initiatives by the government and the higher education sector in the past years. In the United States, an intense debate is taking place about the pros and cons and the ethics of universities and colleges using agents to try to maintain their share of increased international student recruitment.
In Canada, the federal government and provincial governments have taken a more active approach than ever in positioning Canada as a country of destination not only for students but also for skilled immigrants, with Australia as its main competitor and example. There is, however, concern about the risks of such an approach, in particular now that Australia is facing serious problems. And looming above all this, the dark clouds of the global economic crisis and of increasing political tensions in the world generate uncertainty about the future and how it will impact on higher education and student flows worldwide.
Questions for the future
Will higher education need to compensate for budget cuts by raising tuition fees for (inter)national students, a trend that is already taking place and might see higher rises in fees, as the UK's example shows?
Will students and their families still have the means to invest in study abroad when unemployment and study costs are on the rise? Or will governments take a long-term view and invest in higher education and the knowledge economy?
Based on these contradictory signals and the confusing times we are living in, one can ask if internationalisation as we know it is coming to an end, as Uwe Brandenburg and I did at the start of 2011 in a provocative essay in the newsletter International Higher Education, or whether it will continue to boom as the statistics seem to indicate.
Will the emerging economies in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa make an even bigger leap forward in positioning themselves as future higher education providers in the world? The coming year might give an indication.
It is not likely that things will move fast, but there will be a definite trend in that direction. The leading position of North America will not drop that quickly. But Europe and Japan in particular might have more difficulty keeping their leading role than the other players: their economies face bigger challenges, budget cuts in higher education are more likely than investments, and there is more popular pressure against immigration, skilled or not.
Canada might be the country, among the traditional key players, that will benefit most from current developments. Its economy seems less affected by the current crisis, it is open to skilled immigration and attracting top talent, and its national and provincial governments as well as universities - after years of uncoordinated efforts and initiatives - seem to be ready to work together and position Canada as a suitable destination for study abroad.
At the same time, there is enough critical sense in Canada to avoid the danger of moving too far too fast. It might be this combination of a critical assessment of values and ethics and an entrepreneurial spirit that will set the tone for the year to come.
* Hans de Wit is professor of the internationalisation of higher education at the Centre for Applied Research in Economics and Management (CAREM) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Email: j.w.m.de.wit@hva.nl.

Posté par pcassuto à 17:58 - - Permalien [#]


India: New focus is on quality in higher education

http://www.universityworldnews.com/layout/UW/images/logoUWorld.gifBy Alya Mishra. Improving quality and providing more funds to state universities will be the focus of India's higher education policy in the coming year.
Unprecedented countrywide expansion in higher education institutions has been the priority for the past two years.
But with infrastructure and recruitment of talented faculty unable to keep up with growth, the emphasis in 2012 - coinciding with the beginning of India's 12th Five Year Plan - will be on strengthening new and established institutions, particularly their quality.
Quality is also key to enhancing partnerships with international institutions and preparing for the entry of foreign branch campuses once the much-delayed Foreign Educational Institutions Bill clears parliament, as expected this year. The year could be significant for higher education reform given the number of bills pending in parliament. But officials said that state elections in early 2012 could delay any real progress in enacting controversial legislation in the first half of the year at least.
Focus on quality
During the previous Five Year Plan 2007-12, India announced 51 new publicly funded higher education institutions including eight Indian institutes of technology (IITs) and seven Indian institutes of management (IIMs).
However, construction of only four technology and five management institutes has started and about 40% of faculty posts are still vacant. While half of the announced institutions have been set up, most of them face problems including delays in land acquisition and shortages of administrative and teaching staff.
Adding more institutions is no longer a priority.
"The 12th plan will focus on improving the quality of central and state-funded institutions so that they can compete with the global best. Opening new institutes will be secondary," said an education ministry official who did not wish to be named. Four new IITs but no new IIMs will be built in the medium term.
Fourteen 'innovation universities' and 374 model colleges already announced in the current plan but not yet set up, will be carried forward to the new plan.
Strengthening state universities
Cash-strapped state universities, neglected in central government's recent higher education budgets, will finally get help this year. The 12th plan recognises that state universities and their affiliated colleges, which account for more than 90% of enrolment, suffer from severe funding constraints and poor governance, leading to poor quality.
Strengthening state universities is also important for the government to secure parliamentary support for the foreign institutions bill that will allow international universities to set up branches in India. Describing central support for state universities as a "protective measure", Professor Prakash T Chande, president of the Association of Indian Universities, said: "We have told the government that state universities need to be strengthened if they expect us to compete with foreign universities on Indian soil.
"Foreign universities will come [with] huge budgets, grants and manpower. We object to the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill on the grounds that we do not have a level playing field."
With elections scheduled in five states in early 2012, placating state governments and addressing the concerns of regional (state-based) parties will be a priority for the government, which relies on coalition partners to stay in power.
Legislative delays
The foreign institutions bill, approved by the cabinet in March 2010, is the most controversial of a raft of higher education bills pending in parliament. It faces a tortuous route through the legislative process. In November the parliamentary committee on human resource development recommended that a clause barring repatriation of profits be revised, and suggested that a fixed percentage of any surplus may be sent out of India by foreign institutions.
The draft bill is now with the education ministry, which can accept or reject the recommendation before obtaining cabinet approval for a final draft. It can then be re-introduced in the Lok Sabha, or lower house of parliament. Another important bill aims to reform the higher education regulatory framework. The National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) Bill was cleared by cabinet in December after two years of delays. Once passed by parliament, this bill will promote greater autonomy in higher education institutions.
It establishes a higher education regulatory body that will subsume current regulatory bodies like the University Grants Commission, the All India Council for Technical Education and the Council of Distance Education, which oversee higher education in the country. Other bills aimed at improving the quality and accountability of universities include the mandatory accreditation of all institutions, laws to deal with malpractices by institutions and setting up national education tribunals to resolve disputes.
"We are hopeful that several bills will be cleared this year. Last year was about debate and discussions on the bills and consultation with various stakeholders was needed," the education ministry official said.
But officials have admitted that little is expected in the first half of 2012 with elections in the five states expected in the first four months of the year. "Government, both at the centre and in the states, will take populist stands and try to maintain the [political] status quo. But the bills should move after that," a senior ministry official predicted.
Partnerships
Experts say 2012 will also be about enhancing partnerships with national and international universities and organisations, putting many recent memoranda of understanding (MoUs) into practice.
"Last year we saw several memorandums of understanding signed between India and other countries including the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Scotland," said Dhiraj Mathur, who is responsible for education at PriceWaterhouseCoopers India.
"They all aim at partnerships, joint degrees, research associations and faculty exchange. While these MoUs will be operationalised, I believe many more partnerships will take off in 2012."
But Indian universities with their faculty shortages, outdated curricula, administrative delays, dilapidated infrastructure and an inflexible education system will have to improve quality and infrastructure before they can take advantage of international partnerships. Except for IITs and IIMs, only a handful of private and public Indian universities have the finances and facilities to take advantage of international collaboration.
"Before we can think of expanding and encouraging foreign collaborations, exchange programmes and research initiatives we need to improve our universities and match the standards of leading American and European universities," said PC Jain, principal of Sri Ram College of Commerce in New Delhi.
Private institutions
The 12th Plan also emphasises the need to encourage private participation in higher education. But there is some scepticism about how far this can go, particularly in allowing for-profit institutions, and this debate will continue in 2012.
"While the government is increasingly looking at the private sector, it is also important to note that the nature of private participation has changed over the years," said Jandhyala BG Tilak, a professor at the National University of Educational Planning and Administration.
"Today few speak about private participation, which is based on the principle of philanthropy, charity and educational development of the poor. The private sector of the 21st century (even of the last quarter of the last century) is characterised by a strong profit motive."

Posté par pcassuto à 17:48 - - Permalien [#]

France: Election year - Change or more of the same?

http://www.universityworldnews.com/layout/UW/images/logoUWorld.gifBy Jane Marshall. Presidential and general elections take place in France this year. Candidates have yet to publish their policies for higher education and research until 2017, but Nicholas Sarkozy will be judged on his promise to ensure France's top universities compete with the world's best.
For Sarkozy, 2012 marks not only the completion of his first (or only?) term as president of France, but also the deadline he set five years ago for radically transforming the higher education and research system and fulfilling his ambition for at least 10 French centres of excellence to rank among the world's top universities. During his campaign leading up to the 2007 presidential election, Sarkozy promised priority for higher education and research to equip the country for the "worldwide battle for intelligence".
In the five years under his presidency, French universities would achieve "real autonomy" over their budgets, human resources, management of their buildings and other responsibilities that were at the time under tight state control. Sarkozy undertook to increase funding for higher education by EUR5 billion (US$6.5 billion), and for research and innovation by EUR4 billion, during his mandate.
He would tackle the nation's poor showing in international rankings, which has always rankled in a country that prides itself on its intellectual and scientific prowess. France would boast internationally competitive institutions high in the charts. Sarkozy promised billions of euro of extra funding for a select few institutions that showed the greatest chance of success. In spite of resistance from lecturers' and researchers' unions Valérie Pécresse, minister for higher education and research for four years, piloted through the reforms, until she was replaced last summer in a reshuffle by Laurent Wauquiez.
As a result, after five years of Sarkozy's administration, the higher education landscape of France has changed profoundly. The objectives of the loi relative aux libertés et responsabilités des universités (LRU), the law transferring autonomy to universities, are almost accomplished. A total of 73 universities, nearly 90%, have already become autonomous and the rest must follow suit by August.
However, a recent report by the European University Association (EUA), University Autonomy in Europe II - The scorecard revealed that the French state still plays a major role, allowing its universities less freedom than many other European countries.
In its comparison of 28 countries, the EUA classified higher education systems in four areas, in all of which France scored only medium-low or low: organisational autonomy (in which France was ranked 16th), financial autonomy (22nd), staffing autonomy (27th) and academic autonomy (28th). Universities are having to adapt to a new competitive approach that has replaced the egalitarian ethos that used to characterise the French university system. Universities must now submit bids for projects to gain greater shares of public investment.
Under Opération Campus, 12 pôles de recherche et enseignement supérieur (PRES) - regional clusters of universities, grandes écoles and research institutions - were selected to become centres of excellence, sharing EUR5 billion of extra funding. Nine other alliances were designated 'campuses of promise' and promised increased state support. The grouping of several institutions together, as in the PRES, is aimed at overcoming one of the supposed reasons for France's mediocre performance in world rankings.
The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), for example, takes the size of institutions into consideration, which does not suit France's dispersed higher education system, within which Paris has 17 universities, Bordeaux four, and several other towns have more than one each. Mergers are another development. The three Strasbourg universities became one institution at the beginning of 2009; and on 1 January the University of Aix-Marseille, also previously three universities, became the largest university in France with 70,000 students, more than 7,500 staff and a budget of EUR650 million.
As another part of its plan to create internationally competitive centres of higher education and research, the government launched Investissements d'Avenir (Investments of the Future), to finance strategic higher education and research projects with EUR22 billion from a EUR35 billion national loan set up in 2009. But some institutions are finding that competitive autonomy is not so straightforward.
Several - the exact number is unclear - are entering the new year with financial problems, after posting deficits for two years running. Their budgetary financial management has been taken over by their education authority; and the ministry and the CPU, the body representing university presidents, have set up a 'committee of peers' to help these universities overcome their financial difficulties. Soon after she became minister in 2007, Pécresse announced that one of her policy aims was to have two French universities in the top 20 world rankings by 2012, and 10 in the top 100.
There is still some way to go. In the latest ARWU rankings, in 2011, France had just three entries in the top 100, fewer than in 2007 when there were four. The most highly ranked, the University of Paris-Sud, was placed 40th. In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Paris Ecole Normale Supérieure, in 59th place, was the highest ranked of the three French institutions in the leading 100.
It will not be known until after the elections whether Sarkozy's ambition to see France triumph in the 2012 university rankings will be realised. But the world will know on 6 May whether he will still be in charge and able to oversee the future of the nation's higher education for another five years.

Posté par pcassuto à 17:43 - - Permalien [#]
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Two Tales of Internationalization: Which One Is True?

http://chronicle.com/img/subscribe_11_2011.jpgBy Francisco Marmolejo. Last December, I had the opportunity to participate in two different overseas meetings on higher-education internationalization within the same week. Since the themes of the conferences were similar, one might imagine that they would generate discussions that were similar. I was quite surprised that these events–held 6,300 miles apart from each other–in Penang, Malaysia, and in Lund, Sweden, seemed to be as distant on the rationale and focus for internationalization as they were geographically. In their own way, both events reflected the important dilemma that higher education faces in today’s world: how to serve the current and future needs of our societies in an increasingly competitive and internationalized knowledge-based economy.
The first of the two events that I attended was the Global Higher Education Forum, hosted on December 12-13 by the University of Sciences of Malaysia (USM), and co-convened by a variety of international organizations including the Association of African Universities (AAU), the International Association of Universities (IAU), and the Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration (CONAHEC), among others. At this conference, more than 400 delegates, overwhelmingly from developing countries, debated future scenarios for higher education in the world as well as threats and opportunities associated with them. Speakers emphasized the need to embed a socially-responsible approach when establishing national policies for higher education and when internationalization strategies are implemented at the institutional level. It was recognized that global growth in higher-education enrollment over the next 30 years will happen mostly in the developing world, that access to higher education continues to be highly selective, that participation in international mobility mostly benefits more well-off students, and that national policies in developed countries aimed at attracting and retaining talent from abroad are harmful to countries with emerging economies.
At the core of the discussions in Malaysia was the question of whether it is possible for higher-education institutions to help create a world with more justice, equality, intercultural understanding, and tolerance, while operating in a highly competitive environment with limited resources, increased accountability, and rankings.
Just two days later, attendees of the Conference on Strategic Management of Internationalization in Higher Education were convened at Lund University by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its higher-education program (IMHE) in collaboration with the Nordic Association of University Administrators (NUAS) with the attempt to address a similar question–the ways in which the role of internationalization in higher education has been shifting in recent years and how institutions are coping with it.
Participants, mostly from European and other OECD market-based economies, largely agreed that higher education has not been immune to globalization, and, in fact, the internationalization agenda has moved from the margins of higher-education policy to a more central role and has become a topic of great interest not only to institutions but also to government policymakers.
In many OECD countries, internationalization of higher education has become an important component of national trade policies. It generates significant resources to institutions and local economies, it helps fill graduate programs and laboratories that otherwise might be languishing, it attracts talented individuals from many parts of the world, and it serves as key strategy for so-called soft diplomacy.
Although the rationale heard in Lund was different to the one being discussed in Penang, it was intriguing to hear speakers warn about the dangers of seeing international higher education as just another commodity, or about the risks associated with linking internationalization of higher education just to prestige and rankings. Some speakers very vocally insisted that higher-education institutions should be a voice for social justice and should not benefit only the elite.
After reflecting on the rationales for internationalization that prevailed at the two events, there seems to exist a split in approaches and expectations in the developing and the developed world in matters related to the goals and means of internationalization of higher education. Nevertheless, the need to find common ground is crucial. At the end of the day, the key challenge faced by higher-education leaders and practitioners in both the developing and the developed world is how to reconcile both perspectives in such a way that future graduates of our institutions will have both the knowledge base and the cultural and linguistic skills that are required in today’s competitive world, as well as a strong sense of social responsibility and commitment towards social justice globally and locally.
Certainly, there is no simple recipe to resolve these apparently competing positions, but comprehensive internationalization strategies like the ones described by John Hudzik at Nafsa have been successfully implemented in a variety of institutions and many valuable lessons can be learned from these cases.

Posté par pcassuto à 17:37 - - Permalien [#]

La formation professionnelle commence par une bonne formation à l’école

http://www.institutmontaigne.org/desideespourdemain/themes/default-3cols-fixes/css/img/top_bandeau.jpgLa minute Montaigne - "La formation professionnelle commence par une bonne formation à l’école" par Henri Lachmann. Véritable levier pour la compétitivité de notre pays, la formation professionnelle doit renforcer l’égalité des chances en développant les compétences de chacun, tout au long des parcours professionnels. La formation professionnelle s’inscrit dans la continuité de la formation initiale et doit commencer dès le secondaire.
Pourquoi le système de formation professionnelle est-il considéré comme peu efficace? Comment en faire bénéficier en priorité les moins qualifiés? Quel rôle les entreprises peuvent-elles jouer?
La minute Montaigne par Henri Lachmann, président du Conseil de surveillance de Schneider Electric et vice-président de l'Institut Montaigne. Voir cette minute Montaigne. Formation professionnelle: toutes les propositions de l'Institut Montaigne.
The minute Montaigne - "The training starts with a good training school" by Henri Lachmann. Real lever for competitiveness of our country, training needs to strengthen equal opportunities by developing the skills of each, at long professional careers. Vocational training is a continuation of initial training and should start at school. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:28 - - Permalien [#]

L’Etat découvre l’intérêt de la formation professionnelle pour les demandeurs d’emplois, tout en agissant en sens contraire

http://www.pays.asso.fr/IMG/jpg/Logo_ARF.jpgLes Régions consacrent plus de 5 milliards d’euros à la formation professionnelle et à l’apprentissage des jeunes et des adultes à la recherche d’emploi.
Agissant sur le terrain, tout à la fois en matière de formation professionnelle, de développement économique et d’aménagement du territoire, elles disposent des leviers pour que les formations mises en place correspondent aux besoins des intéressés, des entreprises et des territoires.
Pourtant,  cette politique manque encore d’un pilotage clair et d’une gouvernance efficace, avec une multiplication des guichets et des structures. De même,  l’Etat empiète sur les compétences des partenaires sociaux en opérant des ponctions systématiques sur le Fonds de Sécurisation des Parcours Professionnels et limite les fonds consacrés à la formation des demandeurs d’emplois.
Dans le même temps, L’Etat a déstabilisé Pôle Emploi.

- La limitation des moyens de Pôle Emploi eu égard à la montée du chômage, l’absence de formation des conseillers sur l’importance de la formation, ont pour conséquence des prescriptions de formation largement insuffisantes
- Le transfert des psychologues de l’AFPA à Pôle Emploi a conduit à les marginaliser dans une très grande structure et à fortement diluer l’impact de leurs actions d’accompagnement des plus fragiles.
- La compétence d’achat de formation confiée à Pôle Emploi  n’a fait que brouiller un peu plus le paysage de la commande publique et a eu des effets pervers: redondance de certains stages, difficultés de remplissage…
Dans ces conditions, les Régions revendiquent plus que jamais un véritable pilotage de la chaîne orientation-formation-emploi, pour une plus grande efficacité des dispositifs.
Voir aussi Pourquoi Sarkozy remet en avant la formation des chômeurs.
http://www.pays.asso.fr/IMG/jpg/Logo_ARF.jpg Regionerne bruger mere end 5 milliarder euro til erhvervsuddannelse og lærepladser for unge og voksne, der søger beskæftigelse. Fungerende på jorden på én gang for erhvervsuddannelse, økonomisk udvikling og planlægning, de har håndtag til at oprette uddannelsen imødekomme behovene i de berørte parter, virksomheder og territorier. Men denne politik stadig mangler en klar kontrol og effektiv regeringsførelse, med en spredning af grene og strukturer. På samme måde, staten griber ind i de beføjelser, som arbejdsmarkedets parter ved at gøre punkteringer systematisk Fund karriere sikkerheden og reducerer midlerne til uddannelse af de jobsøgende. Mere...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:03 - - Permalien [#]