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Are MOOCs becoming mechanisms for international competition in global higher ed?

Now that universities in the UK have a platform of their own for creating MOOCs, one commentator raises the question of whether MOOCs have brought about a new form of international competition. The UK’s Open University is the latest company to join the MOOC arena, and it is pitching a “distinctively British” platform that will tap into online educational content from iconic institutions like the British Library, the British Museum, and the BBC. A recent Times Higher Education article referred to this platform as a potential rival to U.S. MOOC providers. The implication is that countries may be entering something of an arms race for the best online education offerings. However, because many of the American MOOC founders have global backgrounds (e.g. Daphne Koller is from Israel; Andrew Ng is from England and has lived in many parts of the world), and because some of these American platforms have already enlisted non-U.S. partner universities, it is unclear whether MOOCs will stir competition or collaboration among nations. Olds, Kris. “Are MOOCs becoming mechanisms for international competition in global higher ed?” 16 Dec. 2012. Read article »

Open University launches British MOOC platform to rival US providers

Twelve UK institutions have joined a newly launched MOOC platform called Futurelearn. The new platform will be backed by The Open University, a distance learning and research university founded by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom. British universities, with the exceptions of the Universities of Edinburgh and London (both of which partnered with the existing American platform Coursera), have remained quiet on the MOOC question until now. Though several of the twelve most recent universities to join a MOOC platform are members of the Russell Group, an association of Britain’s top research-intensive universities, the most iconic British universities – Cambridge and Oxford – have yet to commit to MOOCs. Parr, Chris. “Open University launches British MOOC platform to rival US providers.” Times Higher Education, 14 Dec. 2012. Read article »

Benefits of Multinational Labs

“Science and engineering departments with doctoral students from several different countries tend to produce more publications and to get more citations, a new study has found.” “If a department had 10 foreign students from five different global regions, it would on average produce 0.76 more publications and win 28.65 more citations a year than one where the international students hailed from just two regions, the research found.” Matthews, David. “Benefits of Multinational Labs.” Inside Higher Ed, 14 Dec. 2012. Read article »

Liberal arts colleges launch strategy for diversifying faculty, partner with research universities

Three top liberal arts colleges will partner with two top research universities as part of a strategy to increase faculty diversity on their campuses. Middlebury, Williams, and Connecticut College will join forces with Columbia University and UC Berkeley in a three-year project called the Creating Connections Consortium (C3). The consortium is funded by a $4.7 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and will involve faculty and grad student visits from Columbia and Berkeley to member colleges of the Liberal Arts Diversity Officers Organization (LADO). “Liberal arts colleges and research universities do not typically work with one another,” said Middlebury College President Ron Liebowitz. “By bringing these two types of institutions together and sharing our resources, we’re creating a clearer and wider pathway to the professoriate for underrepresented groups.” “Liberal arts colleges...partner with research universities.” Middlebury News Room, 12 Dec. 2012. Read article »

N.Y.U. Head Faces Prelude to a No-Confidence Vote

“Professors at New York University’s largest school are planning to meet Thursday to contemplate a bold undertaking: holding a no-confidence vote about the university’s president, John Sexton.” As justification, they cite “the university’s plan to expand in Greenwich Village, over the opposition of 38 academic departments, and its efforts to establish footholds around the world, even in countries where there is no academic freedom, where professors are then asked to work. They also say that his administration has a top-down leadership style that is at odds with the traditions of faculty governance.” Kaminer, Ariel. “N.Y.U. Head Faces Prelude to a No-Confidence Vote.” The New York Times, 12 Dec. 2012. Read article »

N.Y.U. Head Faces Prelude to a No-Confidence Vote

“Professors at New York University’s largest school are planning to meet Thursday to contemplate a bold undertaking: holding a no-confidence vote about the university’s president, John Sexton.” As justification, they cite “the university’s plan to expand in Greenwich Village, over the opposition of 38 academic departments, and its efforts to establish footholds around the world, even in countries where there is no academic freedom, where professors are then asked to work. They also say that his administration has a top-down leadership style that is at odds with the traditions of faculty governance.” Kaminer, Ariel. “N.Y.U. Head Faces Prelude to a No-Confidence Vote.” The New York Times, 12 Dec. 2012. Read article »

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We want to scour the world to try to find those things that strike us as truly forward-looking. President Jim Yong Kim

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