U.S. Higher Education News for September 25, 2015, Part 2

And here are some other items of possible interest from newspapers published outside of the U.S.:


Child, Katharine. “Free Varsity ‘a Waste.’” Times [South Africa] 25 Sep. 2015.

LEADING economists believe that increasing enrolment in preschools in sub-Saharan Africa is a better use of resources than giving free education at high school and university.

The Danish think tank The Copenhagen Consensus made its findings public as world leaders descend on New York to decide on UN targets for the reduction of poverty, hunger, violence and inequality by 2030.

The Danish economists were trying to find the most effective use of the investments necessary to meet the UN targets.

Their analysis suggests that increasing preschool enrolment in sub-Saharan Africa from the present 18% to 59% would return $33 for every dollar spent.

World leaders meet today at the UN to ratify global development goals expected to cost $2.5-trillion between next year and 2030.

The head of The Copenhagen Consensus group, Bjorn Lomborg, contends that it is time to give up the idea of free education for all–a UN target since 1960–because it is not financially feasible.

The evidence is that children who attend preschool tend to earn more as adults, Lomborg said.

“It appears to give them a boost in both social skills and emotional development [but this is] not easy to quantify.”

But on Tuesday Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande again suggested that higher education be free for poor students.

“[The government is] committed to free higher education for the poor who are deserving to get it.” . . .


Exley, Stephen. “’I don’t know anything about education…’” Times Educational Supplement 25 Sep. 2015.

Earlier this year, Ian Pretty broke his usual rule of ignoring headhunters and agreed to take a call about an intriguing job opportunity. The resulting discussion did not go quite as he had been expecting.

“I asked, ‘Who’s your client?’,” he recalls. “They said, ‘The 157 Group.’ I said, ‘Come again?’ ‘157 Group.’ ‘Never heard of them. Who are they?’ ‘They’re in the education sector.'”

By now, Pretty was getting rather confused. “You do know I know nothing about education?” he asked the headhunter outright. “Yes. That’s why they want you,” came the reply.

But a quick glance at Pretty’s CV (see panel, above left) explains why he was so sought after for one of the top jobs in the sector, representing 26 of the largest colleges across the UK.

After joining the civil service fast stream recruitment programme, the qualified tax inspector enjoyed a meteoric rise to senior positions in government, holding roles in the Cabinet Office, Prime Minister’s Office and HM Revenue and Customs while also gaining a strong reputation for managing transformational change.

In 2007, he was headhunted by Capgemini, a multinational firm offering management consultancy and IT services. Pretty had to adapt his approach to thrive in a private sector environment, but again rose through the ranks, eventually landing the role of senior vice-president.

“It brought me into new way of working and took me completely out of my comfort zone,” he explains. “But it’s about the same skill sets: how do you manage organisational change? How do you talk to clients? How do you create good relationships?”

And for the 157 Group, which was looking to replace retiring executive director Dr Lynne Sedgmore, Pretty’s expertise from working with ministers and in the commercial sector was exactly what was required.


Hongyi, Wang. “DKU– A Strategic Sino-US Educational Initiative.” China Daily 25 Sep. 2015.

Over the past decade, China has been actively looking for more effective ways to transform and upgrade its higher education system. The Chinese strategy is designed to emphasize quality enhancements rather than simple quantitative expansion. To help achieve its goals, the Chinese government has approved establishment of a number of independent Sino-foreign universities across the country. It is hoped that these joint-venture universities will help facilitate the transfer of international education experience, high-level management know-how, advanced teaching methods and sophisticated approaches to curriculum development and execution.

Among these new model institutions is Duke Kunshan University, which is rooted in the soil of China and jointly founded by prestigious universities–Duke University in the United States and China’s own Wuhan University.

Located in Kunshan’s Yangcheng Lake Science and Technology Park of Jiangsu province, DKU is regarded as an active and ambitious exploration in the country’s higher education. With the goal of producing a high-quality, research-oriented, comprehensive and international world-class university, it has vowed to build a high-quality higher education platform in China through an innovative approach that blends liberal arts education with Chinese tradition.

“DKU is designed to serve as an innovative educational platform for the delivery of a liberal arts academic program that will enable our graduates to live and work effectively and ethically in the globalized world of the 21st century. We hope to provide relevant skills and knowledge while at the same time offering a learning environment that will allow each and every student a chance to realize their own potential,” said Denis Simon, executive vice-chancellor of Duke Kunshan University. . . .


Matenga, Moses, and Richard Chidza. “’Childish’ Jonathan Moyo under Fire.” NewsDay [Zimbabwe] 25 Sep. 2015.

In one of the clearest examples yet that factional tempers were soaring, Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena on Wednesday castigated Moyo on Twitter, describing him as a “spiteful political crook, charlatan and low-life devil incarnate.”

“Your habit of twisting words to suit certain agendas is childish and obviously meant to sow seeds of dissent among Zimbabwean youths,” he blasted.

“A lot of spiteful political crooks, charlatans and low-life devil incarnates [are] abusing the First Lady’s [Grace Mugabe] name.”

Wadyajena is seen as a staunch ally of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his outburst could be an indicator that factionalism has got to a head in President Robert Mugabe’s party.

Contacted for comment, Wadyajena said he would not speak beyond Twitter as what he had said was enough.

Wadyajena’s Twitter account only has three tweets–all directed at Moyo. . . .

The Higher Education minister has been accused of taking potshots at some top officials using his Twitter account, with Mnangagwa largely being seen as his target, forcing his rivals to demand his censure by the ruling party’s national disciplinary committee.

On Wednesday, another Zanu PF youth and former student leader, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, took a dig at Moyo, describing him as a “dangerous successionist”, ironically a term that Moyo has used to attack others.

“The worst and dangerous successionist in our party, Zanu PF, is none other than himself, the one always writing about succession on his notorious Twitter account, the one who thinks that everything that Vice-Presidents or the First Lady do in their capacities should be interpreted in the stakes of succession politics, the one who has made clear his intentions from the outset summed up simply and regrettably as ‘destroying the party from within’,” Mugwadi wrote on Facebook, in an undisguised attack on Moyo. . . .


Mkhwanazi, Siyabonga. “Fraud Register Set Up in Bid to Clamp Down on Fake Qualifications.” Pretoria News [South Africa] 25 Sep. 2015: 2.

The government is clamping down on fake qualifications amid the latest furore over the massive pay hike by SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng from R2.8 million to R3.7m.

In its annual report before Parliament, tabled this week, the Department of Higher Education confirmed it had set up a fraud register to name and shame people with fake qualifications.

The department had asked the SA Qualifications Authority (Saqa), a body that develops the National Qualifications Framework, to set up the register in a bid to crack down on academic fraudsters.

Saqa said in its report that there had been huge public interest for the government to clamp down on fake qualifications.

The revelation by the department on the establishment of the fraud register comes as rage continues against the latest inflation by Motsoeneng of his salary by 31 percent.

This is the second time there has been a backlash against Motsoeneng over his massive pay hike, as he now earns more than President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma’s salary now sits at R2.7m, following an increase in June, while Motsoeneng’s jumped from R2.8m to R3.7m in one year. . . .

However, Motsoeneng defended his latest increase saying it was not a sin for a black man to get a decent salary.

Saqa said in its report in Parliament that it was cracking down on fake qualifications.

During the 2014/15 financial year Saqa verified 10 563 cases of national qualifications and 6 940 cases of foreign qualifications. The body registered 222 qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework.. . .


“U.S. to Help Provide Skills Training to 400 Million Indians.” Tangerine Zee News 25 Sep. 2015.

Washington, Sept. 25 — In a boost to India’s ambitious skill development programme, the US will collaborate with it on a number of education-related projects to help the country achieve its goal of providing such training to 400 million people in the next decade.

“We recognise that higher education and vocational training are essential to economic development, and we remain committed to strengthening our exchanges of students, scholars, and technical knowledge,” the State Department on Tuesday said.

The new six-week Community College Administrator Program, sponsored by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, started on September 20 this year, the US said.

Through this programme, Indian administrators from post-secondary vocational and technical institutions and Indian officials with higher education planning responsibilities intend to complete a program of professional development with Florida State University and Santa Fe College.

The US has also announced a study tour for officials from Indian state-level skills development entities to study the US network of community colleges with the objective of developing expertise and contacts to help the state build a more effective vocational education system.

Building on its long-standing partnership and support for the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has said that it intends to partner with Duke University and Research Triangle International to support the Indian Institute of Technology-Gandhinagar.

By convening the expertise of US higher education institutions, USAID is advancing the goal of the January 2015 bilateral Joint Declaration of Intent on Providing Support to IITs to intensify collaborations in research and development and its engagement with industry and entrepreneurship, the State Department said.


Posts in This Daily Series from the Last Seven Days:

September 18, 2015: https://academeblog.org/2015/09/20/u-s-higher-education-news-for-september-18-2015/

September 19, 2015: https://academeblog.org/2015/09/21/u-s-higher-education-news-for-september-19-2015/

September 20, 2015: https://academeblog.org/2015/09/21/u-s-higher-education-news-for-september-20-2015/

September 21, 2015: https://academeblog.org/2015/09/22/u-s-higher-education-news-for-september-21-2015/

September 22, Part 1: https://academeblog.org/2015/09/25/u-s-higher-education-news-for-september-21-2015-part-1/

September 22, Part 2: https://academeblog.org/2015/09/25/u-s-higher-education-news-for-september-21-2015-part-2/

September 23, Part 1: https://academeblog.org/2015/09/26/u-s-higher-education-news-for-september-23-2015-part-1/

September 23, Part 2: https://academeblog.org/2015/09/26/u-s-higher-education-news-for-september-23-2015-part-2/

September 24, Part 1: https://academeblog.org/2015/09/28/u-s-higher-education-news-for-september-24-2015-part-1/

September 24, Part 2: https://academeblog.org/2015/09/28/u-s-higher-education-news-for-september-24-2015-part-2/



5 thoughts on “U.S. Higher Education News for September 25, 2015, Part 2

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