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Daily Higher Education News: 22 February 2013

Daily Higher Education News: 22 February 2013 main image

The guide to the latest higher education news from around the world, on 22 February 2013.

Italy faces ‘brain drain’


With more highly educated Italians choosing to leave the country, Italy may be facing a ‘brain drain’, Irish Times reports. According to data from the national statistics institute, the percentage of emigrants with a degree doubled between 2001 and 2010, to about 16% of those leaving the country. Mario Calderini, a special adviser to education minister Francesco Profumo, said, “Tens of thousands of those studying for a PhD or research post are leaving Italy... We are losing top-quality students and researchers but are not attracting a similar number of high-quality people.”

Prospective students invited to ‘visit’ Canada, virtually

Students interested in studying abroad in Canada are being invited to participate in an online ‘Study in Canada Day’, on 27 February. The online event is being hosted by CollegeWeekLive, in partnership with the Embassy of Canada, GlobeNewswire reports. Over eight hours, students will be able to have text and video conversations with staff and students at 12 Canadian universities, including the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia and University of Alberta.

Research suggests not all students benefit from online learning

A study published by Columbia University researchers suggests that online learning tends to lead to poorer outcomes – especially for certain groups of students. The study analyzed the performance of nearly 40,000 community college students taking a mixture of online and face-to-face courses, Inside Higher Ed reports. Overall, students completed fewer courses and got lower grades when studying online. Men, African Americans and ‘academically unprepared’ students had the biggest performance gaps.

Students challenged to analyze malicious software

Computer science students at the University of Mississippi are being challenged to analyze samples of malware which were part of a huge seven-year hacking campaign against more than 140 organizations, Computer World reports. Research assistant Wesley McGrew, who is supervising the students, says it’s “fantastic” that they have the opportunity to analyze this kind of malware, which “has an impact on the economic advantage of one company over another or the security of a nation.”

Manchester first UK university to join Universities Research Association

The University of Manchester has become the first British institution to become a member of the prestigious Universities Research Association (URA). The group includes 86 research-focused universities – most in the US, and some in Canada, Japan and Italy. In a press release, the university explains that its membership is due to its research work in physics – one of the URA’s key focus areas.

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