News & Views Index
December 2005



Malaysia's Ministry of Higher Education has Announced a Major Overhaul of Tertiary Education From 2006 Through 2010.    (25/12/05)
    Malaysia's Higher Learning Management Department director-general Datuk Dr Hassan says, "We want to start [a major overhaul of Malaysia's tertiary education sector] as soon as possible. The impact must be felt by the end of the Ninth Malaysia Plan in 2010." [More]


Legislation Review Committee: Prohibition of Human Cloning Act 2002 and the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002.    (24/12/05)

    In June 2005, the Minister for Ageing appointed a six-member Legislation Review Committee. A number of the committee's 54 recommendations are so striking that Nature has commented: An Australian report on embryonic stem-cell law could pave the way for the creation of one of the world's most permissive research environments. [More]


Academic Research is Key to a Strong Economy Say Bipartisan Group of US Senators.    (23/12/05)

    Legislation, introduced last week by a bipartisan group of senators in the US Congress, The National Innovation Act of 2005, would nearly double the [National Science Foundation] NSF budget, now US$5.5 billion, by 2011. [More]


German Government to Spend Additional 6 billion (A$9.7 billion) in Research and Development Through 2009.    (23/12/05)


    Deutsche Welle reports that German Education and Research Minister Annette Schavan in announcing the additional funding said, "We must secure Germany's future as a place of innovation where outstanding scientists are forged." [More]


Should CSIRO Cry on Its Way to the Bank.    (22/12/05)

The Journal  Nature in one of its December 22 editorials has taken not too kindly note of the publication of The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet. [More]


European Union Research Funding 2007 -2013 Takes a Hit.    (22/12/05)

    The compromise hammered out at the last minute on December 17, by the leaders of the 25 European Union (EU) member nations ended the months-long stalemate by agreeing to an 862 billion (A$1.39 trillion) budget for the years 2007 - 2013. That's a 16% cut to the budget proposed earlier this year. [More


"The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory." Pennsylvania federal district judge John Jones.    (22/12/05)  [More]


The Hand That Taketh Away, Taketh Away.    (21/12/05)

    The preoccupation by the Federal Government, the universities and the media with legislation proscribing the charging of extra academic fees by the universities continues to draw attention from the fundamental problems facing the universities regarding staffing, infrastructure and balanced curricula. But there's more.


FASTS Releases Its Submission Regarding the Federal Budget 2006/07.    (21/12/05)

    The Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS) today released its submission to the Federal Treasurer with regard to the 2006/07 federal budget. [More]


A Vice-Chancellor Under Fire and That $11.5 billion Federal Budget Surplus are Not Unrelated.    (19/12/05)

    Today's editorial in The Age in commenting on the resignation of La Trobe University's Vice-Chancellor, Michael Osborne, points out the predicament of Australian university vice-chancellors who try to balance leading an institution of learning and fundamental research with increasing pressure by governments and the private sector whose priorities are the short term goals... [More]


Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada Addresses and Open Letter Asking Canada's Federal Leaders to Outline Their Higher Education Priorities.    (16/12/05)

    The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) has written an open letter to the four leaders of Canada's principal political parties calling on them to outline their commitments to higher education and asking them to respond to eight specific questions. [More]


Two Voices in the Wilderness -- "Taxwise".    (16/12/05) [More]


The Problem Ain't Just Intelligent Design/Creationism.    (16/12/05)

    TFW reprints in full a "Random Sample" from the December 16 issue of Science. [More]


Monash University's VC Writes a Constructive Op-Ed but are any Parliamentarians Taking Notice.    (16/12/05)

    The 1000 word opinion piece expresses his viewpoint constructively and in some detail. Whether any political heavyweights will listen, let alone deign to act usefully, is another matter. [More]


18 US Universities and Colleges to Participate in National Study of Liberal Arts Education to Investigate Critical Factors Affecting the Outcomes of a Liberal Arts Education.     (15/12/05)

    Wabash College is a private, independent, four year liberal arts college of 850 students, granting Bachelor of Arts degrees. It is in the process of undertaking "one of the most comprehensive national studies ever conducted of the effects of American higher education on student learning and development." [More]


Monash University Vice-Chancellor, Knowing Which Shell Hides the Pea, Makes a Cogent Point.    (14/12/05)

    With the last moment passage by the Senate this past Friday of the Higher Education Support Amendment (Abolition of Compulsory Up-front Student Union Fees) Bill 2005 a predictable tunnelled vision by the media ensued. [More]


Irish Government Announces a 1.2 Billion Package for Tertiary Education.    (13/12/05)

    According Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern future success of the higher education system is crucial to Ireland's national development objectives. [More]


Repercussions from Passage of the Voluntary Student Unionism Act.    (12/12/05)

    The unexpected passage of the bill endorsing Voluntary Student Unionism has thrown into sharp relief the adversarial approach of the federal Coalition Government toward Australia's university sector. [More]


University of California, Berkeley Study Finds $1.00 Invested in Higher Education Will Return $3.00 While $1.00 "Saved" Will Lose $2.00.    (09/12/05)

    The University of California, Berkeley's Survey Research Center has released an analysis entitled Return on Investment: Educational Choices and Demographic Change in California's Future, which opens with the rhetorical question, "Investing in higher education: how much is it worth to California?" [More]


Every Likelihood the Voluntary Student Unionism Debate Will Involve a New Minister Next Year.    (08/12/05)

    Its looking ever more likely that to get a resolution to the form the method for defraying costs of non-academic university services will take, will require the replacement of the current Minister for Education, Science and Training. [More]


European Research Council Moves a Small Step Closer to Parturition.    (08/12/05)

    In January 2002 TFW reported, "The concept of a European Research Area (ERA) has been bandied about in various popular and scientific publications for several years." [More]


Nine US University Presidents Pledge to Put A Diamond Cutter to the Glass Ceiling.    (08/12/05)

    On July 14, 2004 Harvard's President Lawrence Summers spoke to an off-the-record meeting of the National Bureau of Economic Research at Cambridge, Massachusetts. He cited the gender variation in test scores as a possible explanation for the larger number of men at the top of the professional ladder and the balloon went up. [More]


Canada's Ontario Province has C$6.2 Billion Invested in its "Reaching Higher" Plan Over the Next Five Years to Boost Education.    (01/12/05)
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty became Premier of the Canadian province of Ontario in October 2003. He holds a science degree from McMaster University and a law degree from the University of Ottawa. [More]