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HKU is hiring Medical Librarian

(21 Jan 2020)  The University of Hong Kong is hiring –

Medical Librarian (at the rank of Assistant Librarian I)

Ref.: 499539
Work type: Full-time
Department: University Libraries (40100)
Categories: Professional & Management

Applications are invited for appointment as Medical Librarian (at the rank of Assistant Librarian I) in the University Libraries (Ref.: 499539), to commence as soon as possible, on a two-year fixed-term basis, with the possibility of renewal.

Applicants should have a good Bachelor’s degree and a recognized professional qualification in librarianship (M.L.S. or equivalent) with at least 5 years of appropriate post-qualification experience in academic libraries.  A higher degree in a second subject relevant to the duties is preferable.  Essential qualities of applicants include: excellent interpersonal skills, crisis management and conflict resolution skills; oral and written ability to communicate ideas clearly and convincingly; ability to work independently and with initiative; demonstrated strong leadership with the ability to motivate staff and foster a positive team environment; proven experience in large-scale project planning and implementation; and a demonstrated high level of professional competence in the areas of health sciences (clinical and basic), healthcare environment and information policies, health sciences information services and health sciences information resources management, curricula design and instruction, research, analysis and interpretation; knowledge of the latest trends and developments in information technology and in particular those that apply to an educational environment.  Proficiency in written and spoken Chinese will be a distinct advantage.

This position works under the general direction of the Head of Branch Libraries Services.  The appointee will be responsible for managing and leading the Medical Library staff and services; developing, facilitating access to, and evaluating Medical and related information resources responsive to needs; liaison work with the Faculty including understanding and addressing their needs and communicating the Libraries’ collections and services capabilities; providing information literacy and advanced face-to-face consultation services; coordinating and communicating with other units of the Libraries; and participating in library-wide projects and activities.

A highly competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and experience will be offered, in addition to annual leave and medical benefits.  At current rates, salaries tax does not exceed 15% of gross income.  The appointment will attract a contract-end gratuity and University contribution to a retirement benefits scheme, totalling up to 15% of basic salary.

The University only accepts online application for the above post.  Applicants should apply online and upload an up-to-date C.V.  Closes February 20, 2020.

The original job description can be found here.

 

Clarivate Analytics to acquire Decision Resources Group

  • Deal expands Life Sciences services and solutions portfolio to enable customers worldwide to accelerate life-changing innovations and improve patient outcomes and access
  • Accretive to earnings in 2020 with opportunities for significant revenue and cost synergies
  • Clarivate reaffirms standalone 2020 financial outlook
  • Clarivate to host conference call today at 8:00 AM ET to discuss transaction

(17 Jan 2020)  Clarivate Analytics plc (NYSE: CCC; CCC.WS), a global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Decision Resources Group (“DRG”), a premier provider of high-value data, analytics and insights products and services to the healthcare industry, from Piramal Enterprises Limited (“PEL”, NSE: PEL, BSE: 500302), part of global business conglomerate Piramal Group. The $950 million purchase price–approximately 12x trailing DRG Adjusted EBITDA, taking into account acquisition cost synergies but not revenue synergies–includes $900 million in cash and approximately $50 million in Clarivate ordinary shares to be issued following the one-year anniversary of closing. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to Clarivate earnings in 2020.

DRG specializes in enabling the world’s leading pharma, biotech and medical technology companies to achieve commercial success in complex health markets with the creation of effective patient-centric commercial strategies. Together, DRG and Clarivate will be well-positioned in the $19 billion Life Sciences analytics market, which currently is enjoying double-digit growth, to support customers across the entire drug, device and medical technology lifecycle from research to outcome. The combined business will offer a one-stop shop for Life Sciences customers, helping them to improve the commercialization of life-changing therapies.

More details can be found from the original press release here.

 

Library & Archives NT, Australia is hiring Collection Management Archivist

(16 Jan 2020) Library & Archives NT is a new organisation created by bringing together the NT Library and the NT Archives Service, and one which is devoted to collecting, preserving and sharing the rich and unique history of the Northern Territory. We collect a vast range of materials – books, photos, newspapers, government records, organisational and personal archives, music and video, oral histories, maps, ephemera – historical and contemporary, print and digital.

We are seeking a Collection Management Archivist with the skills and passion to manage our extensive collections of (non-government) organisational and personal archives, in order to maximise their public discovery and use. Working with a talented team of library & archive professionals, this position is responsible for describing and arranging these archival collections to facilitate access, answering public inquiries, and ensuring that they are properly cared for and preserved for the future.

Based in Darwin, the successful candidate will possess appropriate qualifications and experience in the management of archival collections and the provision of public inquiry services; high level written and verbal communications skills; and an ability to interact effectively with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

For more information and to apply online, go to https://jobs.nt.gov.au/Home/JobDetails?rtfId=182157

 

US government report reveals landscape change of research output between US and China

(17 Jan 2020)  A new report from the National Science Board identifies changes in the US’s global R&D investment and output, as well as in the country’s science and engineering workforce in recent years.

The United States’s scientific and engineering output has shrunk relative to that of the rest of the world, a new series of analyses from the National Science Board, the policymaking organization for the National Science Foundation, reveals. The State of U.S. Science and Engineering 2020, a summary report published on Wednesday (January 15), finds that the adoption of American-style investment in science and engineering education in China and other countries has helped overseas nations grow their R&D economies at a faster rate than the US.

“The changing global landscape affects the position of the United States relative to the other major global players,” the report states. “For example, the United States has seen its relative share of global [science and technology] activity remain unchanged or shrink, even as its absolute activity levels have continued to rise.”

Read the full story here.

 

Eight publishers to volunteer pricing info in pilot study for transition toward transparent OA

(14 Jan 2020) To help transition toward transparent open access (OA), eight journal publishers, including SpringerNature, PLOS, and Annual Reviews, will share anonymized pricing information with a limited group. This is part of a test of a transparency template proposed today in a report commissioned by cOAlition S, a group of funders leading a push for immediate OA to science publications. If the pilot is successful, funders may ask that publishers use a similar template to share data more widely.

The template aims not to influence pricing, but to give funders and libraries information to decide what to pay for, says Alicia Wise, director of the consulting company Information Power who co-authored a report presenting the templateI would hope that by providing these data we can build trust and a better atmosphere,” she says.

Find out more from the original story here.

 

Researchers’, subjects’, and students’: Ruth’s Rankings 2019 leftovers

By Ruth A. Pagell*

  • What is the impact of “hyper-authorship” on rankings?
  • Who is the best researcher in the world?
  • What is the best Asian university in the field of Plant and Animal Science?
  • What region now leads the world in the PISA reading scores?

1 – Multiple Authorship

Clarivate Analytics released the report “Multi-authorship and research analytics” that analyses the effect these articles have on citation rates.  CA defines multi-authorship articles as having more than 10 authors from five countries and hyper-authorship articles having over 100 authors and/or 30 countries. 95% of articles have 10 or fewer authors with the mode being three.  99% of articles have five or fewer countries with the mode being one.

The impact of adding authors and/or countries results in more citations. The increase varies among Essential Science Indicator (ESI) categories using Category Normalized Citation Impact (CNCI). For those who prefer visualizations, the report contains a variety of charts mapping relationships between number with authors, country, and discipline category CNCIs.

Multi-authorship has a higher impact in smaller research economies. Times Higher Education recognized that hyper-authorship was affecting rankings.  First, they excluded all papers with over 1,000 authors. Then, working with Elsevier, they “developed a fractional counting approach that ensures that all universities where academics are authors of these papers will receive at least 5% of the value of the paper, and where those that provide the most contributors to the paper receive a proportionately larger contribution.” The problem is not completely solved. Using THE’s citation methodology, universities from Jordan, Sri Lanka and Iran, ranked 351-400 in the world, are in the top 10.  For medicine and dentistry, three of the top five are from Egypt, Jordan and Sri Lanka.  Elsevier also issued a report on fractional counting (Gasson).

In evaluating size dependent article metrics, we need to know how suppliers of the metrics distribute author counts. For each article, does each institution and country count once (AC) or is the credit divided among the authors’ institutions and countries, referred to as fractional counting (FC). See Nature’s definitions. The impact of the two counting methods can be seen in the recent Nature ranking of “Institutions with high affiliation articles”.  See Table 1 (in pdf) for the top 10 in FC and AC for 200 institutions in physics and astronomy. The top institutions are research institutes, primarily from Europe. Checking the rest of the list displays the many universities that have contributed to the research in conjunction with the research groups. Nature also ranked the top 100 in both  Genetics and Oncology and Immunology, where more universities are in the top tier.

 

Resources

Adams, J., Pendlebury, D., Potter, R. & Szomszor, M. (Dec 2019).  Global research report: Multi-authorship and research analytics.  Institute for Scientific Information, accessed at https://clarivate.com/webofsciencegroup/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/dlm_uploads/2019/12/WS419558643_ISI_Global_Research_Report_6_v9_RGB_SP.pdf

Gasson, K., Herbert, R. & Ponsford, A. (May 2019) Fractional authorship and publication productivity.  International Center for the Study of Research, Elsevier accessed at https://www.elsevier.com/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/910211/ACAD_RES_RI_SC_CS_Fractional_Authorship_Publication_Productivity_WEB.pdf

Nature Index 2019 Collaboration and Big Science (21 November 2019).  575, (7783) accessed at https://www.natureindex.com/supplements/nature-index-2019-collaboration-and-big-science/index#tables

 

2 – Highly Cited Researchers

Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers, first covered in RR 34, contains over 6,000  authors in the top 1% of their science and social science fields as identified by ESI. Bibliometrics differ among subject categories. Therefore, researchers are not ranked.

Click here for an overview of the results and methodology. Harvard University has the most researchers and the Chinese Academy of Sciences leads Asia/Pac. The list does not answer the question: “Who is the best researcher in the world?” Click here for the full list arranged alphabetically by authors’ first names.  See Examples 1.A. and 1.B (in pdf)  for tips on how to access the dataset online or by downloading the researcher file. To see the Executive Summary, Highly Cited Researchers 2019: Identifying top talent in the sciences and social sciences click here and register.

As with everything bibliometric, using size dependent metrics such as number of papers and citations used in this rating, mainland China is over-taking the European countries. We can conclude that China has the second highest number of highly cited researchers in the world. This does not mean that China has the second highest quality output.

 

3 – THE and U.S. News Subject Rankings 2020

There are rarely surprises in the top of THE’s subject rankings. THE uses the same dataset as its world rankings and the same metrics, with slightly modified weightings.  U.S. universities take eight of the 11 top spots. Stanford leads with four. Oxford, THE’s world number one, takes two spots and Cambridge takes the other 3.  Melbourne is first in seven categories for Oceana.

U.S. universities have five top spots in the U.S. News rankings.  U.S. News does not issue separate subject rankings. Subjects are incorporated into the annual global ranking using the same methodology. Universities that do not qualify for the Global rankings are included in the subject rankings.  Four subjects are headed by their world number one Harvard. Tsinghua is first in two categories and Oxford in one.  The Netherlands’ Wageningen heads the Plant and Animal category while Thailand’s unranked Mae Fah Luang is first in Asia.  See Table 2 (in pdf).

 

4 – Pre-tertiary student ranking

PISA, OECD’s Programme for International School Assessment is administered every three years to 15-year-old students from around the world. It tests reading, mathematics and science. Countries are ranked based on students’ scores and are compared to the OECD average.  Of the 14 Asia/Pac countries in the rankings, four are in the top 10 in all categories and two are in the bottom 10.  B-S-J-Z China (Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang) replaced Singapore as number one.  Nine of the 14 participating Asia/Pac countries score above the OECD mean in all categories.  Estonia is the top non-Asian country, replacing Finland (The parable).  For comparison, the USA and UK are not in the top 10 and the USA is below the OECD average for Mathematics.   Despite Malaysia’s improvement in international university rankings, its PISA scores are similar to those of Brunei, placing them in the bottom half of the rankings.  See Table 3 (in pdf) for the top 10 in each category and all the Asia/Pac countries that participated.

PISA 2018 Results: Combined Executive summaries Volumes I, II, III OECD retrieved at https://www.oecd.org/pisa/Combined_Executive_Summaries_PISA_2018.pdf

The parable of Finland: PISA results can lead policymakers astray (5 Dec 2019).  Economist accessed at https://www.economist.com/international/2019/12/05/pisa-results-can-lead-policymakers-astray

 

5 – Other Articles of Interest updating SDGs and Indian Rankings

Ruth’s Rankings articles on Sustainable Development Goals (RR38 and RR41) did not address Gender Equity, SDG 5. An article in BMJ (Lerchenmueller) statistically analyzes millions of articles in the field of medicine for the use of positive words to describe the articles. The authors concluded that articles where the first and last authors were men used more positive words to describe their research and these articles were more highly cited.

Three years ago, we wrote about Indian universities (RR22).  A recent article compares India’s domestic rankings NIRF with THE rankings (Kulkarni). One conclusion in the article is that Indian institutions in the top 100 of domestic rankings were ranked in THE, and many were at the lower end of the THE rankings.  In checking I found 56 ranked in THE 2020 with two above 500.  24 are ranked in QS with three in the top 200 and nine above 500. The number of Indian universities in the rankings has increased in three years, but not the performance.

Lerchenmueller, M.J., Sorsenson, O. & Anupam, B.J. (Nov, 2019).  “Gender differences in how scientists present the importance of their research: observational study”.  BMJ367, https://www.bmj.com/content/367/bmj.l6573

Kulkarni, A. (16 Nov 2019).  “Can domestic rankings be a springboard to global success?”.  University World News. Accessed at    https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20191115102558549

 

*Ruth A. Pagell is emeritus faculty librarian at Emory University. After working at Emory, she was the founding librarian of the Li Ka Shing Library at Singapore Management University and then adjunct faculty [teaching] in the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Hawaii. She has written and spoken extensively on various aspects of librarianship, including contributing articles to ACCESS – https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3238-9674

 

ACS announces the launch of JACS Au, a new fully open access journal

(16 Jan 2020) The Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) announces the launch of its newest open access journal, JACS Au. The journal (pronounced “JACS Gold”) represents a bold new step toward open science for the global chemistry community.

The fully open access journal will allow for the rapid dissemination of cutting-edge, high-impact research across the breadth of chemistry and all related areas intersecting with chemistry. JACS Au will be complementary to the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), matching the exceptional editorial and publishing standards of this, the world’s most-cited chemistry publication. JACS Au will have a fully independent editorial team to identify the most-exciting, impactful and novel science from authors who require or desire to publish in a fully open access journal.

“We are beginning the decade with a groundbreaking commitment to open access and open science,” says James Milne, Ph.D., acting president, ACS Publications Division. “JACS Au will strengthen the Society’s position as the science publisher delivering the most-trusted, most-cited and most-read journals in the field, while also supporting the research community seeking to publish their work in a fully open access journal.”

Scholarly publishing has been moving toward open access for many years. Launching JACS Au is another example of ACS being at the forefront of this exciting era, and provides an opportunity for the Society to support the scientists and researchers who are required by Europe’s Plan S to publish only in completely open access journals. ACS offers these scientists many options to publish their research for the appropriate audiences, and JACS Au represents the latest in our work to advance open science.

In 2015, ACS established ACS Central Science, the Society’s first completely open access journal, followed by ACS Omega in 2016. Through 2019, ACS Publications signed a significant number of transformative “read and publish” agreements, through which thousands of articles are now being made open access across the entire ACS portfolio of world-class international journals.

JACS Au will open for submissions in the summer of 2020. Ahead of this, a global and diverse editorial team will be appointedFurther information on the editorial team and other details concerning the journal will follow.

The press release is here.

 

Taylor & Francis Online supports clinical trial data linking

(15 Jan 2020) Taylor & Francis Online now displays clinical trial data within the Crossmark popup, as seen above, including links to other publications that relate to those clinical trials

Taylor & Francis Online (tandfonline.com) now links clinical trial data to published articles and automatically deposits this data to Crossref and PubMed, when authors supply the clinical trial numbers within a manuscript.

Currently, Taylor & Francis publish over 250 journals in the Medicine and Health subject area and articles published in this field are often associated with a registered clinical trial.

This new development will enrich the PubMed metadata record and establish a permanent link between the published article and any clinical trials related to it using functionality provided by Crossref.

Clinical trials are registered with one of the fifteen WHO-approved public trial registries, or with clinicaltrials.gov, which is run by the US National Library of Medicine. Once registered, a trial is assigned a clinical trial number (CTN) which is subsequently used to identify that trial in any publications that report on it.

This development enables readers to easily identify when there is clinical trial data associated with the specific study. It also allows readers to discover other articles related to a specific clinical trial – improving the user experience by enhancing discoverability and data transparency.

To access the clinical trial data, readers will simply need to click on the Crossmark button which features on the article PDF and online article page. If there is any associated clinical trial data, this will appear within in the Crossmark popup alongside links to other articles that directly relate to those clinical trials.

Stewart Gardiner, Journals Global Production Director at Taylor & Francis commented, “We are really excited about this new development, which will improve researcher and author experiences. By linking clinical trial data for medical journal articles to the online research article we are improving discoverability of research data, resulting in a more fulfilling experience for the reader and a better presentation of work for the author.”

The press release is here.

 

Cengage announces plan to offer eTextbook option within Cengage Unlimited

(14 Jan 2020) Cengage today announced that it will offer an eTextbook option within Cengage Unlimited, giving students access to more than 14,000 ebooks, study tools and more for $69.99 a semester. Available in August 2020, Cengage Unlimited eTextbooks will also include free access to college success and career support, including activities in resume-building, financial literacy and time management.

“While I’m encouraged that college affordability remains an important part of the national economic debate, the reality is that paying for college is about more than tuition,” said Michael E. Hansen, CEO, Cengage.  “New models like Cengage Unlimited, the industry’s first all-access subscription for textbooks and course materials, are making an impact, yet too many students still face obstacles when trying to access and pay for college.

“That’s why we will be offering students an eTextbook option within Cengage Unlimited.  It is designed to support students who need additional options that fit their learning needs and budgets, yet don’t need a full Cengage Unlimited subscription that includes online homework access codes.  And it’s accessed via the subscription model that students have overwhelmingly embraced in other areas of their lives,” Hansen continued.

In addition to the ebooks and other tools, those who prefer print can order up to four print textbook rentals for $7.99 each with free shipping. Students may upgrade to a full Cengage Unlimited subscription that includes online homework access codes/courseware.

The full press release is here.

 

Wiley launches mastery-based adaptive courseware for Calculus

(15 Jan 2020)  John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE:JWa) (NYSE:JWb), a global leader in research and education, today announced the launch of Knewton Alta Calculus, a fully-digital, mastery-based adaptive learning product. Built on Knewton Alta – an affordable, integrated, personalized learning platform – the new courseware is designed to deliver a tailored learning experience to improve students’ comprehension and performance. This is the first new course offering since Wiley acquired Knewton in May 2019.

At least one semester of calculus is required for almost all science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, yet it is one of the most difficult foundational courses. More than one quarter of students do not receive a passing grade, according to the Mathematical Association of America, and often pivot to other majors after difficulty with the subject.

Developed to address these barriers, Knewton Alta Calculus provides an interactive experience tailored to each student’s learning process, skill-level and syllabus requirements. It also offers teachers the flexibility to adapt the courseware based on their preferences and class needs.

“Wiley is committed to providing students with the tools needed to succeed in the high-demand, high-growth fields that are driving our world forward,” said Matt Leavy, Executive Vice President of Education Publishing for Wiley. “The new Knewton Alta Calculus course empowers instructors and their students to troubleshoot common hurdles and build a knowledge base in calculus that’s essential to pursuing a lifelong career in STEM – and does it at an affordable price.”

While all students using Knewton Alta Calculus start on the same assigned topic, each path to mastery is unique. With more than 100,000 assessments with instructional and hands-on content, the courseware pinpoints any skills gaps and intervenes with instructional support and prerequisite materials in-line, at the moment the student needs them. This ensures students are mastering the foundational skills before proceeding to more complex topics.

Knewton Alta Calculus also provides teachers line of sight into their students’ overall performance with a dashboard to assess in real-time where students are excelling or struggling, and adapt their lectures and syllabus accordingly.

In 2019, Wiley acquired Knewton and its courseware solution to expand its offering in adaptive learning technology and affordable courseware. “The goal of the acquisition was to provide more highly-personalized learning experiences that drive superior outcomes, and Knewton Alta Calculus delivers,” added Leavy. “This product is a new high water mark in the implementation of the Knewton Alta technology. It is right on target with what the market is demanding to help students bridge from classroom to career.”

The press release is here.

 

Paris Musées releasing copyright-free digital images into the public domain from Jan 2020

(9 Jan 2020)  In a major step towards greater open access in France, Paris Musées is releasing its digital collections into the public domain with a CC0 waiver. Europeana’s Douglas McCarthy spoke with Philippe Rivière, Head of Communication and Digital at Paris Musées. The full interview is here.

Karger introduced discount and waiver policy for APC based on country income

(14 Jan 2020)  Karger Publishers has flipped five journals to Open Access and concluded transformative agreements in the Czech Republic, Germany, and Switzerland. In addition, a waiver policy for publication in Open Access journals was introduced.

Karger Publishers continues to work actively toward a transition to Open Access (OA), including plans to “flip”, or convert, more journals from the subscription model to OA. By January 2020, five Karger journals have already become OA: Lifestyle Genomics, Gastrointestinal Tumors, Liver Cancer, Inflammatory Intestinal Diseases, and Kidney Diseases, increasing the number of Karger
Publisher’s OA publications to 30 out of more than 100 journals.

In addition to flipping a growing number of journals to OA and concluding OA agreements, Karger Publishers has introduced a discount and waiver policy for OA journals based on country income. The offer allows authors from low- to mid-income countries to publish free of charge or with a discount on Article Processing Charges (APCs). This follows the launch in 2019 of a progressive policy regarding preprint publication. Furthermore, Karger Publishers has established new workflow
measures and steps to ensure that authors can easily find information and take advantage of their institutions’ agreements, which give them the opportunity to publish OA articles at no extra cost. This makes publishing OA easy for authors and the libraries who support them.

For the coming year, Karger Publishers is already actively working to advance the transition to OA further by flipping several journals in 2021 and more in the following years, and by evaluating additional ”open” policies and services.

The full press release can be downloaded here.

 

CAS rolls out new predictive retrosynthetic capabilities in SciFinder

(13 Jan 2020) As part of their continued commitment to helping R&D leaders accelerate scientific discovery, today CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, announced the launch of a breakthrough retrosynthetic capability in SciFindern. This computer-aided synthetic design (CASD) solution utilizes AI technology, powered by CAS’s unmatched collection of scientist-curated reaction content and leverages John Wiley and Sons, Inc.’s award-winning ChemPlanner technology to now identify predicted retrosynthetic routes for both known and novel compounds.

“Synthetic planning is a critical step in the R&D pipeline and is often a significant bottleneck impeding speed to market” says Tim Wahlberg, Vice President, Product Management at CAS. “Customers have responded enthusiastically to the new retrosynthetic capabilities we launched in SciFindern last year, and we are excited to extend this technology with predictive enhancements that allow chemists to be significantly more innovative, more confident, and more efficient.”

The SciFindern retrosynthesis planner uses an advanced retrosynthetic engine to construct routes to desired compounds consisting of experimental and predicted reaction steps from 121 million reactions in the CAS collection amassed over 110 years of chemistry research.  CAS human-curated scientific content is recognized as the most comprehensive in the world. Pairing AI with this unique, high-quality dataset maximizes the power of CASD technology to provide new insights to help solve vexing synthesis challenges.

The dynamic, interactive plans developed in SciFindern allow chemists to easily review alternative reaction steps, providing an intuitive means to inspire new thinking, evaluate alternative synthetic strategies and compare tactical approaches. SciFinder’s retrosynthetic capabilities support critical chemistry R&D workflows including synthesizing new molecular entities innovations, reaction scale up, and identifying opportunities for new breakthroughs in methods development. Expediting these key steps in the R&D pipeline will allow SciFindern customers to get more new innovations to the market more quickly.

The press release is here.

 

Australia: library launches campaign for wildlife aid

(13 Jan 2020) Bushfires across Australia have completely destroyed the lives and habitats of wildlife in recent weeks, with some estimates putting the loss of animal life at one billion.

A campaign launched this week by Selwyn Libraries in Canterbury is supplying materials, patterns and sewing machines to library users to manufacture pouches, wraps and nests desperately needed by agencies working with injured animals in fire-ravaged areas.

RNZ has the full story here.

 

Decree 99 Provides Guidance on Higher Education in Vietnam

(10 Jan 2020) On December 30, 2019, the government of Vietnam issued Decree 99/2019/ND-CP detailing and guiding the implementation of the amended 2018 Law on Higher Education (Decree 99). Decree 99 will take effect on 15 February 2020, and sets out, among other things, conditions for the establishment of campuses in Vietnam of foreign higher-education institutions, regulations on governing boards, and the autonomy and accountability of higher-education institutions.

Particularly, in regard to the establishment of campuses of foreign higher-education institutions in Vietnam, Decree 99 provides that such institutions must be legally operating, qualified educational institutions in accordance with the regulations of their country of establishment, and must have investment capital of at least VND 500 billion (approx. USD 21.5 million). The educational programs at these campuses must also be accredited or approved by a competent state agency in accordance with the laws of the country of establishment.

The amended 2018 Law on Higher Education, issued in November 2018, stated that the government would issue detailed regulations on the procedures to establish and recognize governing boards. More than a year later, Decree 99 finally provides these regulations on governing boards, and appointing and dismissing the chair and other members, for public and private institutions, separately. Within six months from the effective date of Decree 99 (i.e., 15 August 2020), higher-education institutions must complete the establishment of their governing boards.

Under Decree 99, higher-education institutions have been conferred a degree of autonomy in academic activities, organizational structure and personnel, and matters of finance and assets. For example, they are entitled to issue and implement their own internal regulations on admissions, training, technology, and domestic and international cooperation in accordance with law. In addition, they have the right to determine and publicly announce their admissions methods and criteria in line with the regulations of the Ministry of Education and Training, except in the areas of defense and security, which must comply with regulations of the direct management agency.

Meanwhile, higher-education institutions are accountable to their students, owners, state management agencies, and related parties for ensuring educational quality in accordance with the law, their internal regulations, and their commitments.

The news is here.