February 2008

A new report from the OECD on the origin and structural characteristics of the immigrant population in OECD countries.

In practically all OECD countries, immigrants are more likely to be overqualified for their job than a person born in that country. In Denmark, Greece, Italy, Spain and Sweden, for example, the share of people doing a job for which they are overqualified is twice as high as for native-born workers. [From OECD]

From IP by Mattias Creffier, Feb 20, 2008:

PARIS, Feb 20 (IPS) – Rich countries must do more to integrate migrants into their societies and labour markets if they want to reap the economic benefits of skilled migration, says an OECD report released in Paris Wednesday.

In almost all countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a grouping of 30 rich nations, migrants are more likely to work in jobs for which their skills are too high, the report says.

Migration and labour market researchers compiled national census data into a Database on Immigrants in OECD Countries (DIOC). For each of the 30 member states, they characterised migrant populations according to their countries of origin, age and education levels, occupation, and sector of activity.

A migrant was defined as “a person whose place of birth differs from his current country of residence.” Second-generation people of immigrant origin, and the problems they face, fall outside the scope of the report, ‘A Profile of Immigrant Populations in the 21st century’.

The report says that the share of people with tertiary education (usually a form of non-compulsory study after secondary education) in the OECD area is higher for the foreign born (24 percent) than for the native born (19.1 percent). But also, the share of people with no or low educational attainment is higher for immigrants than for the native-born.

More recent migrants tend to be better educated than those in earlier waves. Few of the older Italian, Greek and Portuguese immigrants in the OECD area have tertiary education, whereas the recent migration of highly skilled Chinese and Indians to the U.S. has led to an over-representation of Asians in the IT and science sectors.

In Greece, Spain and Italy, the share of people doing a job for which they are overqualified is twice as high as for native-born workers.

These have only recently become immigration countries. Migrating workers may have problems with the language, and may need a while to overcome legal and administrative obstacles, the report says. They seem willing to accept unskilled jobs, hoping to climb the social ladder later on. [read more here]

From OECD:

This publication presents some of the most comprehensive information currently available on the origin and structural characteristics of the immigrant population in OECD countries.

It includes a large set of tables and charts describing demographic characteristics (age, gender, duration of stay) and labour market outcomes (labour market status, occupation, sector of activity) of immigrant and native-born populations by educational level and country of birth.

These are covered in nine thematic chapters, each including a brief description of sources, a discussion of cross-country differences as well as a short analysis of a specific issue, such as the gender dimension of the brain drain, the international migration of health professionals, or the role of low-skilled foreign-born workers in domestic services. (read more here)


The international Gramsci society provides access to a number of media resources on Gramsci (click here).

Among them the audio on the lecture of Joseph A. Buttigieg (2004) “Power, Consent and Gramsci”, as well as the lecture of Eric Hobsbawm (1987) “Gramsci and Marxism” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Gramsci’s death.


It also includes the video documentary: “New York and the Mystery of Naples: A Journey through Gramsci’s World“. See description below. Italian title: New York e il Mistero di Napoli: Viaggio nel Mondo di Gramsci. The film includes a presentation by Dario Fo and interviews with Giuseppe Fiori, Cornel West, Edward Said, and many others.

Posted originally by Biz Deans Talk:

Educase webpage

The New Media Consortium (NMC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) jointly produced Horizon Report describes six areas of emerging technology that will have significant impact on higher education within three adoption horizons over the next one to five years. The 2008 report focuses on the following topics;

  • Grassroots Video
  • Collaboration Webs
  • Mobile Broadband
  • Data Mashups
  • Collective Intelligence
  • Social Operating Systems

Acrobat (256KB)

A great post by Eric Beerken’s blog Global Classrooms in the Desert, which discuss an article that appear recently on the institutional globalization of US universities. Basically, about universities placing their outpost abroad, and the tendency of specific universities of strategically position themselves attempting to become “global universities” , whatever that means in the future.

Both the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times bring an article by Tamar Lewin on universities rushing to set up outposts abroad. It presents an illustrative overview of the risks, benefits and the viability of institutional globalisation in higher education. If, after reading the article, you are left with any pressing questions, the NYT gives you the opportunity to pose them dirteclty to Charles E. Thorpe, the dean of Carnegie Mellon in Qatar (ht: globalhighered). To get you started, here are some interesting quotes that provide food for thought:

Howard Rollins, the former director of international programs at Georgia Tech, which has degree programs in France, Singapore, Italy, South Africa and China, and plans for India:

“Where universities are heading now is toward becoming global universities. We’ll have more and more universities competing internationally for resources, faculty and the best students.”

Susan Jeffords, vice provost for global affairs of the University of Washington, about the increase in demand for higher education from overseas students:

“It’s almost like spam”

Agora is a new independent British think tank whose mission is to promote serious and searching discussion about higher education and its role in our society. Recently has publish the discussion paper: “British Universities in China: The Reality Beyond the Rhetoric”

This Changing Higher Education blog offers a brief review of the paper

Although the paper is about British universities in China, most of what is said carries over directly to everyone’s globalization efforts worldwide…. [read full ]

From Agora

The discussion paper “British Universities in China: The Reality Beyond the Rhetoric” examines the challenge posed by Chinese higher education to British institutions. Reportedly one UK vice chancellor or pro vice chancellor a week has been landing in Beijing or Shanghai to explore future partnership opportunities. But what form should these partnerships take? And are we doing enough to protect our advantage?

The expansion of higher education in China ushers in a new era for UK universities, which we hope will be met with some fresh thinking about the nature and purpose of international partnership, and about how to create campuses that can really claim to be global communities. Yet we must not become victims of our own hype. Institutions must not be swept into China without proper thought. If we are to negotiate the tide of global competition, boldness is crucial, but so is sensible navigation.

Agora has interviewed six key individuals who have personal experience of higher education partnerships on the ground in China and Asia more broadly. We hope that their views, which include clear advice on how to build relationships with this huge and complicated country, as well as strong warnings about errors we are already making, will stimulate reflection and debate. You can download a copy of the discussion paper here.

[From University of California Television]

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Harvard labor economist Richard B. Freeman for a discussion of globalization and its complex consequences for inequality in national and global contexts. He analyzes the implications of the feminization of the labor market, the effect of immigration on national job markets, the shift of policy innovation in the U.S. from the federal government to the states, and the benefits of international labor standards.

 See the
Conversations with History Blog

See a webcast of this interview:

Last year the MIT OpenCourseWare initiative repackaged many of its materials for secondary teachers and students, and launched Highlights for High School. The Website features MIT OpenCourseWare materials that are most useful for high school students and teachers.

2c worth blog offers a brief description of the initiative:

…launched in 2001, and talked about frequently by Alan November, the OpenCourseWare Initiative features…

…2,600 video and audio clips from faculty lectures, as well as assignments and lecture notes. Some of that material is assembled on the site for specific high school classes, such as Advanced Placement biology, calculus, and physics, which are college-preparatory courses.

For classrooms with standard contemporary information and communication technologies, this and other similar offerings from the Internet represent opportunities that are, quite simply, foreign to our traditional notions of teaching and learning.

Plus an adequate mention of the current [lack of good] policies on IT and education in the US

It is these obsolete (and dangerous) notions that, no doubt, lead to actions such as our president’s zeroing out federal technology funding for FY09, leaving most classrooms without standard contemporary information and communication technologies.


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