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Early demographic data hints at what type of student takes a MOOC | Inside Higher Ed

Do American MOOCs threaten disruption for international universities?


"The preponderance of international students taking MOOCs, if it persists, could have implications for the strategic directions of their providers. For example, Udacity recently made a deal with Pearson that will enable the young company to use Pearson’s testing centers to administer in-person exams to far-flung students. Pearson owns testing centers in 170 countries


It may turn out that MOOCs from elite U.S. institutions might pose the greatest disruptive threat to foreign universities, says Paul LeBlanc, the president of Southern New Hampshire University. 'It’s a bigger play, perhaps, in Asia than in the U.S.,' he said."

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Keith Hampson Interviews William Lawton, Director at The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education

Keith Hampson Interviews William Lawton, Director at The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

Interesting interview:


"KH: Your most recent report, and the subject of an upcoming conference, is international branch campuses (IBCs). What are the factors driving the growth of IBC's?


WL: The main drivers identified in our 2009 were: access to a portion of the international student market that do not wish to or cannot afford to study abroad, the revenues associated with that new market, prestige: visibility as an international institution with global ambitions, opportunities for student and staff mobility between campuses, international teaching experience for academic staff, ability for academic staff to maintain research output while working abroad, increased knowledge and understanding of other cultures on the home campus opportunities to develop new curricula, access to local institutions, including government and industry, a competitive edge in the international higher education market. To these we can add what might be a deciding factor in many cases: financial support from the host government. There are governments, notably in east and southeast Asia, that see IBCs as an integral part of their ‘regional education hub’ aspirations."

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2012 SCUP Excellence in Planning Merit Award to Universidad de Istmo, Guatemala

2012 SCUP Excellence in Planning Merit Award to Universidad de Istmo, Guatemala: "Universidad del Istmo, Guatemala for Universidad del Istmo Master Plan with Sasaki Associates, Inc."

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Four-fifths of UK institutions set to spend at least £5m on estates ‘wow factor’

32 percent are considering large-scale commercial "tie-ups' and 43 percent do not believe they are making good use of current space.


“Students are being asked to pay more than ever before for a university degree. That means they expect a quality of experience that reflects the high price they are paying.


'In order to remain competitive, universities are therefore looking to deliver modern facilities that have the ‘wow factor’ while also encouraging more efficient and collaborative use of space.'"

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In conversation: UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau – Macleans OnCampus

In conversation: UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau – Macleans OnCampus | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

UC Berkeley chancellor stepping down. He's a former U of Toronto president. He's interviewed in Macleans On Campus, covering a broad range of issues about the UC system, Canadian higher education, and the challenges of the chancellor's roll. Planners will find it worth a quick read.


"Q: Just how bad did it get at Berkeley?


A: When I arrived there was a commitment from the government that our funding for paying faculty and staff salaries would go up four to five per cent a year. If that compact had held we would have $600 million this year. In fact, we have $240 million. So in five years, we’ve lost more than half of our money from the government to pay those salaries.


Q: How did you bridge that shortfall?


A: We were not naive about the budget. We whined somewhat, but we also knuckled down and said, “Okay, we need a comprehensive financial strategy.” I was president of U of T for four years, and I learned a lot. Some of the good management practices we introduced at Berkeley we had already introduced in Toronto.


Q: What did you borrow from U of T?


A: One thing is that every large institution like Berkeley and the U of T always has a large amount of money sitting waiting to be spent. Typically these amounts were of the order of [$750 million] to a billion dollars, and they’re sitting in accounts yielding the lowest interest rate. In Toronto we realized we were wasting money and began aggressively investing about half—$400 million or so. We introduced that at Berkeley and ended up generating an additional $30 million to $40 million a year in income."

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Should Yale College Faculty Approval be Needed to Build a New Campus in Singapore?

Even if that campus will not be granting Yale College degrees. From the Dean of Faculty: "It is true that the Yale College faculty have never recorded an official vote on the project. Technically that's appropriate since Yale-NUS will not be giving Yale College degrees."


From the Yale College Faculty (YCF) "Yale held a series of “town meetings” prior to finalizing the agreement to create Yale-NUS -- an undergraduate, residential liberal arts college -- and dozens of individual faculty members have served on planning committees. But there has never been a formal Yale College faculty vote on the matter. "The Yale College Faculty is not a 'town,' " said Miller. "We are the constituted body of the professors of arts and sciences at Yale; Yale's reputation comes from us -- not from the corporation" ("the corporation" being the name for Yale’s governing board).


“When Yale went co-ed, the YCF [Yale College Faculty] voted. When, last year, there was a decision about bringing ROTC back, the YCF voted. But when there was a question about setting up the first sister campus bearing Yale's name in 300 years, suddenly it was 'not a project of Yale College,' and we were not allowed to vote; the corporation acted on its own," Miller said.

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Philip Altbach: A New Twist— In-Country Branch Campuses | Inside Higher Ed

Philip Altbach: A New Twist— In-Country Branch Campuses | Inside Higher Ed | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

We've been following this, most recently with a post in SCUP Email News about Mesa, Arizona promoting itself as a mecca for branch campuses, due to Arizona's relative paucity of small colleges.

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Higher education priorities for developing countries: For Elites or For Everyone | Inside Higher Ed

This is a good question: "Should developing nations expend their money and energy trying to build "world-class" universities that conduct job-creating research and educate the nation's elite, or focus on building more and better institutions to train the masses?"


We think the question doesn't have to be aimed outside of US borders.

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North Dakota and New York Stories Raise Questions About Ensuring International Quality | Inside Higher Ed

Can anyone oversee quality of education at overseas schools with wildly varying connections to American institutions?


"At a time when more and more colleges and universities are pursuing international activities, how does one ensure quality thousands of miles away from the main campus? Whose job is it to ensure the quality of international programs? Are states, accrediting agencies, the federal government, or institutions really equipped to ensure the quality of institutions halfway around the globe?


'No state college oversight agency or accrediting body in the U.S. is really prepared to evaluate these kinds of agreements,' said Alan Contreras, former administrator of the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization, a unit of the Oregon Student Assistance Commission. 'And I don’t mean to dump on accreditors; the fact is states can’t handle this kind of thing either.'”

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Opinion surveys land universities in China in political trouble - University World News

Merely one of many academic issues to be dealt with as China expands its university research.

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University heads deny accusations of elitism - The Irish Times - Tue, Jan 24, 2012

Ireland is considering consolidating a number of smaller technical colleges into one or tso major technical universities. The presidents of the more traditional universities are not happy about this.


"Given Government approval, they say a Border Midlands West Technological University (BMW TU) would create the largest higher education institution in the State with 27,000 students. A steering group comprising senior staff at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT), Dundalk Institute of Technology, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Letterkenny Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology, Sligo, is directing the negotiations.


The move by the BMW colleges raised the possibility of at least two and possibly many more technological universities. TU status for the south-east – which has the strong backing of Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin, who are from the region – is regarded as virtually certain by education sources. This would bring together the institutes of technology in Waterford and Carlow."

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University mergers need to be transparent and inclusive - University World News

University mergers need to be transparent and inclusive http://t.co/2xdDUyF9 #SCUP: based on research...
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International Branch Campuses: One Definition To Rule Them All?

International Branch Campuses: One Definition To Rule Them All? | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

Writing in the Worldwise blog at The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jason Lane and Kevin Kinser share their thoughts on just how you define an "international branch campus." They are writing about a new report (available to members of the Observatory for Borderless Higher Education (OBHE) for free and to others for £550.00. The report is here, titled International Branch Campuses: Data and Developments.


"Here though, we want to comment on what we see as one of the most remarkable aspects of the current effort: the evolving definition of IBCs as indicated by the amount of space the report devotes to the rather important task of defining its subject. Fully five pages of the report explicitly focus on definitions; definitional justifications of choices and changes to their 2009 list of branch campuses run throughout the discussion.


For those who have never had the occasion to try to define IBCs, it is a fairly slippery subject. Colloquially, it is simple enough: IBCs are foreign degree-granting locations of a higher-education institution. But in practice, it’s not so easy to draw the line. There are many ways for universities to establish a presence abroad, and the IBC boundary is far from settled."

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A Houston Community College in University City: '[P]olicies are more prone to abrupt changes.'

A Houston Community College in University City: '[P]olicies are more prone to abrupt changes.' | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

Less than two years after Community College of Qatar opened in partnership with Houston Community College, 11 students became the country’s inaugural community college graduates.

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International Consortia of Universities and the Mission/Activities Question | Inside Higher Ed

International Consortia of Universities and the Mission/Activities Question | Inside Higher Ed | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

If this topic interests you at all, this is a must-read. You'll learn more about internatioinal consortia than you could imagine. This is a really good core source document.


"To facilitate further discussions about the mission/activities question, I have pasted in (see below) the missions of the international consortia, networks, and associations that I know of. I've listed this information in reverse chronological order, in part to see what the newest consortia, networks and associations have decided to focus upon. If you know of any others that I have missed, please email me and I'll add them here. Please keep it in mind, though, that some of these missions are evolving as I write, and the websites I link to are variable in quality and how up-to-date they are."

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SCUP Excellence in Planning for a New Campus Honor Award | Dublin Institute of Technology and Health Services Executive for the Grangegorman Master Plan

2012 Honor Award, SCUP Excellence in Planning for a New Campus.


Congratulations to Dublin Institute of Technology and Health Services Executive for the Grangegorman Master Plan with Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners; also DMOD Architects; School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom; Lützow 7

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The rise of downtown campuses | University Affairs

The rise of downtown campuses | University Affairs | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

It may not let you forget all your troubles and cares, as Petula Clark once sang, but going downtown is proving popular for many universities.

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David Helfand’s New Quest

David Helfand’s New Quest | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

"No tenure. No departments. This university challenges typical teaching, and learning." This is Quest University, and its president, David Helfand, will join us to present the concurrent session, "Big Site, Small Classes, Smart Funding: Building Canada's Quest University," about the creation and success of Quest.


More about Quest University:


"You’ve eliminated departments. Why?


Departments are the source of much evil in universities. They waste enormous amounts of time and emotional energy by arguing about space and “faculty lines” and resources, while walling off disciplines from innovative approaches to knowledge and restricting students and faculty alike to narrow, often outmoded paths of inquiry.


What’s Quest’s biggest challenge?


We have to make sure people’s inherent conservatism isn’t allowed to come through. We have to institutionalize revolution, or we’ll end up with departments and semester-long courses."

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Russia Moves to Improve Its University Rankings | Facilities Involved

A brain drain from Russia has been funneling its brightest minds to the West, while the nation’s embattled higher education system struggles to find its place in the post-Soviet world.


“Those involved in higher education have a formidable challenge in this country because the dead weight of the past is enormous,” Dr. Gilman said.


Yefim Pivovar, rector of the Russian State University for the Humanities, one of the most prestigious liberal arts universities, known as R.G.G.U., said that Russian universities were still far behind in physical infrastructure, which, he said, also affected rankings.


He said that R.G.G.U. had been exchanging students with Laval University in Canada for 20 years.


“They have kilometers of underground passageways between buildings,” he said. “We don’t have a single university with such passageways. I’m talking about the material base. I think they have seven rinks for Canadian hockey. That’s what we need to be doing. It’s not a question of ratings, but of the quality of our material base,” he said.

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The Post-Colonial Question - WorldWise - The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Post-Colonial Question - WorldWise - The Chronicle of Higher Education | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

An interesting question about liberal arts education in Hong Kong, just in time for the first-ever meeting of Higher Education Planners Asia (HEPA) occurring, in Hong Kong, in conjunction with SCUP's Pacific Regional Conference iat Stanford University: http://www.scup.org/PA2012-SM.

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The Goldilocks Approach - WorldWise - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Paul Hanstedt, a professor of English at Roanoke College, just finished studying universities in Hong Kong. With a focus on hierarchy and administration.


"[I]n the petri dish of curricular redesign that is Hong Kong, the institutions that seem to be pulling ahead are likely to have found some sort of habitable zone of administrative involvement. That is to say, like the “Goldilocks” planets that occupy the belt in solar system where life is sustainable—not too hot, not too cold—these institutions seem to have found a balanced role for administrators: they are involved, yes, but not so much that faculty creativity and investment is stifled. As a result, these universities have not only developed unique general-education models that match the needs of their students, but have achieved faculty buy-in of those models and are well on the way toward productive implementation."

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University of Birmingham Steam Bridge | Dezeen

University of Birmingham Steam Bridge | Dezeen | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

When your infrastucture has to be right in people's faces, why not make it attractive and symbolic?


"Liz Pride, MJP’s Director of Education and the University’s Development Plan Architect says, 'It’s in a very prominent location at the main West Gate entrance to the University’s campus and right opposite the entrance to University Station. It’s also quite a feature seen from the canal below. The elegant design of the cladding makes an inherently utilitarian feature interesting and attractive: it highlights the University’s real commitment to CHP and carbon reduction.'"

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Capsule lodgings hit Hong Kong

Capsule lodgings hit Hong Kong | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

"Each pod, which measures 1.9 meters (6.3 feet) long, 1 meter wide and 1.15 meters high, is slightly larger than a twin bed. They come complete with bed, air conditioning, light switches, computer tables and power outlets. Wong said he expects his main customers to be tourists. The average hotel room rate was HK$1165 a night in 2010, according to the city's Tourism Commission. But he added that about a dozen local students had expressed interest in a capsule college dormitory near campus, offering pods for HK$3,500 a month. 'Students are affected by a severe lack of space in university housing, so we thought, why not do dorm rooms as well?' Wong said." 


Speaking of Hong Kong:


Pods are probably not coming to a campus near you soon? However, that could be be a topic of discussion at the HEPA (Higher Education Planning in Asia) conference in Hong Kong which is sharing several simultaneous presentations with SCUP’s 2012 Pacific Regional Conference at Stanford University March 25–28.

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JMS1kiddz's curator insight, September 17, 2013 1:16 PM

Reading this made me more appreciative of what Rhodes University Residences offer. Imagine living in a pod as big as a twin bed. This might sound convenient when trying to accomodate many students or tourists however this does not seem like a practical living environment for a couple of years. The design of these pods are very clever just maybe a little bit boxed  up.

-Heather Leigh Arends

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China to evaluate foreign university presence and prepare guidelines - University World News

China to evaluate foreign university presence and prepare guidelines http://t.co/Ybhctypm #SCUP...
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30-story building built in 15 days Construction time lapse

What can you accomplish in 360 hours?


At Dongting Lake, in Hunan Province, China, this construction company built a 30-story apartment building in just 15 days. Watch the video.

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