Public Company Launches New University
One of Brazil’s biggest public companies, Caixa Economica Federal
, recently launched the Universidad Caixa, a new, free university, which will be at the service of Caixa’s officials and employees – approximately 90,000 people in total.
The new institution will offer 35 courses in four areas: urban development, transfer of benefits, financial services and management. Some courses will be offered over the Internet and through CD-rom, while the rest will be provided in seminar-style classroom format. The university has concluded agreements with institutions such as the University of Brasileira and the Getulio Vargas Foundation
Agence France Presse Spanish
Jan. 22, 2001
Canadian Universities Wrap Up Successful Team Canada Mission to China
A recent Team Canada
mission to China, composed of a delegation of presidents, vice presidents and other senior administrators from 16 Canadian universities, culminated in the signing of 37 agreements between Canadian and Chinese universities, companies and municipal governments.
The agreements cover various initiatives, including academic cooperation, faculty and student exchanges, the use of information technology in research and classroom settings, collaborative research and the exchange of scholarly materials, and the use of Canadian expertise to establish new programs and professions (such as speech language pathology) in China.
Financial Times Information
Feb. 26, 2001
AUCC Welcomes E-Learning Report
A report on e-learning, entitled “The E-Learning E-volution in Colleges and Universities: A Pan-Canadian Challenge,” was released Feb. 8 by the Advisory Committee for Online Learning. The report details an action plan for the acceleration and coordination of national efforts to provide Canadians with online post-secondary education. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
(AUCC), the national organization representing Canada’s 92 universities and degree-granting colleges, has welcomed the report, noting that many of its recommendations have already been adopted.
AUCC further supports the report’s emphasis on the following:
• The need to conduct more research on traditional and online learning
• Improved student aid to ensure affordability and accessibility of learning opportunities
• Revised copyright laws to facilitate the development of technology-enhanced learning
• The need for individual institutions to adopt intellectual-property management policies related to online learning that are clear and internally consistent with their overall intellectual property management practice.
Financial Times Information
Feb. 14, 2001
Chile Teaches Teachers to Talk About Sex
Because Chilean educators are too embarrassed to talk openly about sex with their students, sex education and critical information about protection from sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies, as well as basic reproductive biology, are virtually non-existent in curricula. Hence the Ministry of Education
is planning to create a special “Teaching About Sex” program, which would form an optional part of the curriculum for teachers-in-training at seven of Chile’s universities.
To help teachers overcome discomfort when talking about sex, the government wants to establish support networks where educators can swap teaching tips, discuss common concerns or problems and learn to surmount their fears. However, according to Julia Farfan, coordinator of the “Let’s Talk About Sexuality” program of the Center for Educational Investigation and Development
, teachers themselves are not well-informed about sex education and related issues. She adds that sex education must also address issues of self-esteem, equality between men and women, personal identity, roles and stereotypes and responsible parenthood.
March 20, 2001
Remains of First University Found in Peru
Founded in 1551, the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos is the oldest university in the Americas.
BBC WORLD SERVICE
May 12, 2001
Universidad de la Integracion in Punta del Este (Uruguay)
The CEFIR Foundation (Centro de Formacion para la Integracion), the agent of cooperation between the Rio group (of Latin American countries) and the European Union, recently launched a project aimed at creating a new university in Uruguay.
The university, to be called Universidad de la Integracion, will be established in Punta del Este thanks primarily to the help of UNESCO
, the government of Italy and the government of Maldonado, which has jurisdiction over Punta del Este. The Universidad de la Integracion will endeavor to contribute to the development of regional and sub-regional integration in Latin America through the more thorough training of administrators working within the field of economic integration.
The university will offer a joint master’s degree in regional integration and international, commercial and economic negotiations, as well as an executive program for high-ranking public- and private-sector officials.
Agence France Presse — Spanish
May 22, 2001
Venezuelan Education Reform
Two student factions at Venezuela’s largest university, Central University of Venezuela
, clashed violently last April leaving dozens injured. The outbreak occurred after thousands of students tried to forcibly remove a group of radical protesters who had shut down the institution.
The protesting students, who support the left-leaning populist president, Hugo Chavez, have occupied the main administration building at the Central University of Venezuela, in Caracas, since March 27. They are demanding that students be given greater control of the university, and have accused the administration of corruption.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 18, 2001
Ohio State University Medical School Teams up with University of Tokyo
Undergraduate students will participate in clinical rotations, while graduate students will take part in cutting-edge research offered through the University of Tokyo. American students will learn about Tokyo’s Robotic Laboratory Testing System, a state-of-the-art resource used to test a patient’s blood sample through the use of robots and bar codes. Students from Tokyo will, in turn, participate in research and clinical rotations at Ohio State. According to Jim Hoekstra, associate dean of the College of Medicine and Public Health at Ohio State, the program is expecting at least one student exchange this year.
The Lantern via U-WIRE
June 26, 2001
Accreditors Finish Guidelines on Online Programs
New recommendations for building and evaluating online-education programs were finalized by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (comprised of six regional accrediting institutions), with the help of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
. These will not act as a new set of standards, according to Charles Cook, director of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
. However, the recommendations leave local regions with the choice of how to adopt them. Nonetheless, given distance education’s inter-penetration of regional boundaries, the adoption of these new recommendations signals the beginning of a movement towards using a common language.
The report details the steps to be taken by an institution to run an online-education program, covering institutional context and commitment, curriculum and instruction, faculty support, student support, and evaluation and assessment. The report includes such specific recommendations as having “ongoing technical support, preferably offered during evenings and weekends, as well as normal institutional hours.”
Omitted from the final version were suggestions that institutions develop policies covering faculty issues like workload, compensation, intellectual-property rights and evaluation to avoid the appearance of choosing sides on collective-bargaining issues. The suggestions created by the council are broad enough to apply to different kinds of distance-education programs while offering practical guidelines for running a program.
Chronicle of Higher Education
April 6, 2001