Category Archives: Universities News

International Students in the Netherlands

During the academic year 2016-17 over 112,000 international students studied in Dutch higher education. This is the highest number ever recorded in the Netherlands. 

With almost 2,800 students in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom continued its stable growth (+460 in 2016-17), now taking 5th place.

The recently published report, Update: Incoming student mobility in Dutch higher education 2016-17 by Daan Huberts on behalf of Nuffic (the Netherlands Organisation for Internationalisation in Higher Education) can be found here.

Advertisements

Intersectionality and American Universities

His talk was shut down by organized chanting in its original venue, and disrupted when it was shifted to a nearby room and livestreamed. When Murray and his faculty interlocutor, Allison Stanger, then left to go to their car, they were surrounded by a mob, which tried to stop them leaving the campus. Someone in the melee grabbed Stanger by the hair and twisted her neck so badly she had to go to the emergency room (she is still suffering from a concussion). After they escaped, their dinner at a local restaurant was crashed by the same mob, and they had to go out of town to eat.

This event, described in The Daily Intelligencer, was clearly more controversial than most of those held in Dutch universities! The Intelligencer article explains the students’ reactions in terms of intersectionality, a theory that focuses on the interconnectedness of forms of discrimination. Although the term and the actions it has inspired are fairly recent, literary theory has for a long time insisted that, for example, feminist analyses of texts should take account of, for example, the interlocking differences of class, colour, and sexuality. A quick internet search will throw up all sorts of pro- and anti-intersectionality opinions, along with links to

See the opinion piece in The New Statesman.

Interview with Kimberlé Crenshaw, who first formulated intersectionality (The New Statesman).

The Role of the University: A Chinese Government Perspective

Xi calls for more thought control on China’s campuses‘ – this may look like a hostile newspaper headline, but it is from The South China Morning Post, a major Hong Kong paper that is not considered inimical to the government: ‘Xi’s remarks are part of an ongoing ideological campaign in academia. A year ago, then minister of education Yuan Guiren declared Western values “not suitable for class”, causing an outcry at home and concern overseas.’

‘Xi Calls for Universities to Be Communist “Strongholds”’ from The China Digital Times.

‘China: Xi calls for stricter ideological control of universities’ from the BBC

‘China’s vice president orders more thought control over students’ from The Telegraph: ‘Mr Xi… also told university chiefs to closely monitor lecturers, especially those starting their academic careers. ‘

One of the underlying beliefs of these announcements is the importance of universities in society.

Efficient Learning

The group who studied, slept, then restudied showed better initial test performance in the relearning session, and their relearning of forgotten items at this session was quicker, as compared with the group who’d studied in the morning then had their relearning session in the evening. Moreover, the study/sleep/relearn group outperformed the study/awake/relearn group both at the one-week retest and the six-month re-test.

See the Research Digest of the British Psychological Society

English in Dutch Universities

More than half of Dutch university courses are taught entirely in English, the Volkskrant said on Friday. The paper looked at 1,632 different degree courses at the country’s 13 universities and found 60% are now in English. When it comes to master’s degrees, just 30% are taught in Dutch and three universities only offer master’s degrees in English.

Read more at DutchNews.nl: English takes over at Dutch universities, just 40% of courses still in Dutch http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/08/english-takes-over-at-dutch-universities-just-40-of-courses-still-in-dutch/

Plagiarism

News from the US elections and the findings of the Chilcot Enquiry on Iraq have put the question of plagiarism in focus. Plagiarism may seem to be an issue for universities, but even if you put plagiarism as copyright infringement aside (e.g. cases about people reusing musical themes), it still has an obvious importance outside of academe.

The following sites have basic overviews of some cases and are not the last word on any of them.

The argument about Melissa Trump’s speech (from The New Yorker)

The Iraq DossierOne thing to note here is that paraphrases of the original document were used. There is no problem with doing this once the original is acknowledged.

Anette Schavan, a German education minister has her PhD revoked in 2013.

German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has his PhD revoked for plagiarism.

In a long document such as a PhD it would be unusual to have the degree invalidated if someone forgot only one or two references, but, of course, this would still be academic misconduct.

Prof. Raj Persauld, a broadcaster and popular writer on psychiatry resigned his position as a consultant in the NHS in 2008 having has his work scrutinised by the Church of Scientology. This recent article from The Telegraph charts his life since then and his decision to write a psychological novel.

The Volkskrant, one of the largest Dutch newspapers, apologises for plagiarism in 2015.

‘Professor Lewis Wolpert, the eminent developmental biologist and author, has admitted incorporating unattributed text from a variety of sources in his recent popular science books.’ The sources included Wikipedia. See article in The Guardian.