28 June 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Can UK universities stay open?
Simon Marginson
The referendum campaign in the United Kingdom only focused marginally on the impact of Brexit on scientific research. But freedom of movement goes hand in hand with research networks. As the Brexit talks begin, can the United Kingdom remain internationally engaged and open?
How do globalisation forces affect HE systems?
Marijk van der Wende
As internationalisation comes under increased scrutiny, higher education experts need to ask the big questions about the complex interplay between it and globalisation. This represents a challenge for the study of higher education systems as conceptually positioned within national state boundaries.
A model for teaching innovation in HE worldwide?
Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić and Sir John Daniel
The DeTao Masters Academy has just graduated its first cohort of students. It has been named a pioneer in the development of innovation in Chinese higher education through student-centred learning and real-world project work. But is it a useful model for other countries and is it scalable?
Are MOOCs deepening divisions in higher education?
David Santandreu Calonge
Massive open online courses or MOOCs have been hailed as increasing access to higher education for many, but are they creating more divisions between the developed and developing world? Lack of access to high-speed internet or wi-fi and cultural barriers such as the language of instruction are key challenges.
Transformation of HE must defeat the quality trap
Ayenachew A Woldegiyorgis
Higher education is expanding fast in Ethiopia but the overall poor quality of university education, its graduates and its research infrastructure represents a real danger to the national economy and the country’s development agenda. Immediate responses are needed to address these concerns.
Special Report
AAU Golden Jubilee Conference
The Association of African Universities marked its Golden Jubilee Celebration at its 14th General Conference held in Accra, Ghana from 5-8 June under the theme ‘AAU@50: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects for Sustainable Development in Africa’. We capture some of the highlights of the conference in this second of our two-part special report.
Standards and guidelines – A step towards harmonisation
Sharon Dell and Ard Jongsma
In a significant milestone in the process towards harmonisation of higher education in Africa, the first draft of the African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education was distributed for discussion among participants at the 14th Association of African Universities General Conference in Ghana earlier this month.
New cluster to implement continent-wide education strategy
Damtew Teferra
A new multi-stakeholder Higher Education Cluster has been created in order to realise the implementation of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa approved in 2016 by African heads of states.
Of life and death – Universities and the environment
Sharon Dell
The issue of resource constraints features consistently in all discussions on the role of universities in environmental management – a sub-theme of the recent 14th General Conference of the Association of African Universities, held in Ghana earlier this month. But as Tanzanian lecturer Simon Ngalomba reminded the conference, climate change is now a “life and death” concern.

Climate change and universities – Time to act
Simon Ngalomba
Climate change is emerging as a life and death concern, and its effects will increase in the future. Universities have a critical role to play in adjusting to and mitigating the emerging realities of climate change.
Higher education and the challenge of democracy
Sharon Dell
In 2000, former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan said universities should become primary tools for Africa’s development – not only because they can help develop African expertise and enhance analysis of African problems, but because they could strengthen domestic institutions and serve as model environments for good governance, conflict resolution and respect for human rights. Are African universities living up to this challenge?
World Round-up
Universities accused of ideological weakness
Financial Times
West Bank settlement university to double in size
Students can opt for fully online degree courses soon
Hindustan Times
Unions denounce unequal R&D investment
Chemistry World
Researchers probe the roots of youth radicalisation
Universities face strikes as market revolution bites
At colleges, demographic changes everywhere but the top
The New York Times
Research shows universities' reliance on foreign donors
Universities of technology start €75m investment fund
Dutch News
Students protest to demand universal education
Cambridge University refuses to return Aboriginal spears
Talking with Turkey for release of jailed students
Thousands mourn death of student detained by North Korea
Associated Press
More universities add blockchain to course lists
Bitcoin Magazine
Breaking News
Universities look for upside of Trump and Brexit effect
Mary Beth Marklein
International educators in the United States and Europe appear to be moving beyond the twin shocks of last year’s Brexit vote and a Donald Trump presidency and are now engaging in some soul-searching as they enter the recovery stage.
Russia to triple the number of international students
Eugene Vorotnikov
Russia plans to more than triple the number of foreign students studying at its universities over the next eight years, with a 50% increase by 2019. New courses will be introduced and Russian citizenship offered to top applicants to attract more international students.
Elite universities stumble in first teaching ratings
Brendan O’Malley
Top research-intensive universities are among those achieving the lowest rating in the first results of the Teaching Excellence Framework – which rates teaching quality and student outcomes at universities and is believed to be the first scheme of its kind globally.
Abducted US, Australian professors plead for release
Shadi Khan Saif
The two senior professors of the American University of Afghanistan under the custody of the Taliban have appeared in another video released by the militants, urging Washington and Canberra to enter prisoner swap deals to secure their liberty.
Five countries set to align university fees this year
Christabel Ligami
Students in higher learning institutions from the five East African countries of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi are likely, before the end of this year, to start paying the same fees for courses as part of wider plans to harmonise higher education in the region and increase student mobility.
Violence closed Kashmir colleges for most of last year
Haroon Mirani
With violent incidents, shutdowns and curfews making a return to Indian-administered Kashmir, police data and a government survey have revealed that the colleges and universities in the restive state were closed for around 65% of the time in 2016.
Pan-African institute tackles academic decolonisation
Sungula Nkabinde
The University of Johannesburg in South Africa continues to play a leading role in what is increasingly being viewed as a national imperative to decolonise higher education, as one of its institutes last weekend hosted a conference focused on the revival of Pan-Africanism and decolonisation of university curricula.
Jail terms set for Ewha university admissions favours
Aimee Chung
Choi Soon-sil, the friend of South Korea’s former president Park Geun-hye who was impeached in March, was last week sentenced to three years in prison for soliciting university favours for her daughter. Choi Kyung-hee, the former president of the university, was also sentenced.
Humanities to be strengthened and made more relevant
Jan Petter Myklebust
A broad consensus was reached in parliament this month on a White Paper on the strengthening of the humanities in universities, including in research, making them contribute more to the grand societal challenges and be more relevant to working life.
NRW brings back tuition fees for non-EU students
Michael Gardner
North Rhine-Westphalia’s new conservative-liberal government has become the second of Germany’s 16 states to reintroduce tuition fees for non-European Union students in order to raise funds for higher education. Fees were abolished under the predecessor Social Democrat-Green government.
UK leads rivals on international student satisfaction
Brendan O’Malley
The United Kingdom ranks number one for overall international student satisfaction among rival destination countries – ahead of Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the United States – according to a new report drawing data from 137,000 students internationally, published last week.
How the right twists faculty views into national news
Chris Quintana and Brock Read, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Conservative media outlets, feeding off each other, are taking liberal academics’ views and distorting them to the point where they mutate into controversial news stories, which in some cases leads to campus violence or death threats against professors. How do these stories metastasise?
World Blog
A collective way for faculty to transform education
Patrick Blessinger, Barbara Cozza and Milton Cox
Faculty learning communities are international social networks that create new knowledge and skills and are able to respond to teacher and student needs. When combined with other high-impact inquiry-based learning practices such as research-based learning and creative learning, they can be transformational.
‘Proactive policy’ fuels rise in foreign African students
Jalal Bounouar
Morocco is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for African students seeking to study abroad, and is now their second most popular destination on the continent after South Africa, a trend attributed largely to proactive government policy.

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