11 February 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Commentary
UNITED KINGDOM
Taking the fall for the empire
Zenobia Ismail
Oriel College at Oxford University recently announced that its governing body has decided to keep the statue of Cecil Rhodes in place after receiving many requests to preserve it. The debate over whether to remove the statue opens up a much broader discussion about historical legacy and the impact of students from former colonies on Western universities.
World Blog
GLOBAL
Higher education research goes global
Hans de Wit
The 2003 Shanghai Statement unleashed a string of initiatives aimed at promoting more research into international higher education, including the world's largest research centre in this field, launched in London last week.
Commentary
GLOBAL
Are world university rankings up to date?
Robert Tijssen
Rankings are criticised for their focus on research, but even in research they need to adapt to keep pace with big changes in the way scientific research is done.
GLOBAL
Good rankings are not easy but they can be produced
Frans van Vught and Frank Ziegele
The Coimbra Group’s critique of U-Multirank shows it has misunderstood U-Multirank’s conceptual approach and its methodology, which is radically different to those of existing international university rankings.
INDONESIA
Fostering multidisciplinary collaboration in HE
Aulia Nastiti
Indonesia needs to be more proactive in promoting interdisciplinary approaches in responding to the world’s problems as its neighbours do. Disciplines have for too long been isolated from each other.
INDIA
Tragic suicide demands more than knee-jerk reactions
Ranjit Goswami
The suicide of Rohith Vemula, a student who campaigned for the rights of Dalits, has generated a lot of media coverage, to which the government has responded with ad hoc policy suggestions. What is needed, though, is some joined up policy which addresses the roots of this and similar cases.
UNITED KINGDOM
The benefits of big data
Sarah Porter
To make the most of the possibilities of data analytics at universities requires a coherent digital strategy and training for staff.
World Round-up
JAPAN
Ministry to raise foreign students numbers to 300,000
The Japan Times
GLOBAL
Universities around the world offer tuition in English
BBC
SOUTH KOREA
State-run universities score poorly on corruption
The Korea Herald
NEW ZEALAND
Labour announces free tertiary education plan
New Zealand Herald
FINLAND
Academics fear tuition fees for local and EU students
Yle
SOUTH AFRICA
State trying to ‘capture universities through new bill’
BDLive
UNITED KINGDOM
Weak students should not attend university – OECD report
Telegraph
AUSTRALIA
Sydney university takes a stand on maths
Financial Review
UNITED STATES
Public universities see surge in out-of-state students
The Washington Post
INDIA
University classes resume after suicide-linked protests
The Times of India
UNITED KINGDOM
Top universities reject PM’s racial diversity criticism
Financial Times
MALAYSIA
Government to review policy of sending students abroad
Bernama
BURUNDI
Public universities suspend breakfast over money
Associated Press
UNITED KINGDOM
Rhodes’ statue is not the sole focus of Oxford campaign
New Statesman
ITALY
Academics call for boycott of Israeli universities
The Times of Israel
CHINA
Offers of global elite scholarships boost soft power
Times Higher Education
UNITED KINGDOM
Gates Foundation calls for closer scrutiny of colleges
The Hechinger Report
UNITED KINGDOM
EU students fill gaps at UK universities
Daily Mail
Breaking News
GREECE
Students face charges brought by their own lecturers
Makki Marseilles
Twelve university students will sit in the dock of the criminal justice court in Athens on 10 March facing charges laid against them by their own academic teachers for acts committed in 2011, during a period of student protests against legislation they believed would undermine free state education and privatise state universities.
RUSSIA
Rectors expect sharp rise in foreign student numbers
Eugene Vorotnikov
The number of foreign students studying in Russian universities could significantly increase during the next several years, mainly due to a sharp devaluation of the Russian currency, the ruble, against the dollar and euro, caused by the financial crisis in Russia, according to rectors of Russia's leading universities.
EGYPT
Cambridge PhD student murdered in Cairo ‘was tortured’
Brendan O'Malley
Nearly 5,000 academics from universities across the world have demanded investigations into disappearances in Egypt after a ‘brilliant’ Italian student was found to have been tortured before being murdered in Cairo. The government has denied allegations that the security services or police were involved.
Features
KENYA
Student survivor of Garissa college massacre speaks out
Reuben Kyama
Anastacia Mikwa, a 20-year-old student at Kenya’s Garissa University College when it was attacked by al-Shabaab extremists last April, was shot multiple times and lost her friends. Still traumatised and crippled – but feeling lucky to be alive – she spoke to University World News about the massacre in which 148 people lost their lives.
GLOBAL
The imperative of measuring student learning outcomes
Nicola Jenvey
Unless we measure learning outcomes, judgements about the quality of teaching and learning at higher education institutions will continue to be made on the basis of flawed international rankings based on idiosyncratic inputs and reputation surveys, says Andreas Schleicher of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
UNITED STATES
How to make public engagement a priority at universities
Sara Hebel, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Public universities should deepen their engagement with their communities and make those partnerships part of their core academic missions, says Robert J Jones, president of the University at Albany.
News
AFRICA
Key role for universities in African education strategy
Karen MacGregor
There is a strong call for strengthening universities and research in the new Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025. Its objectives include boosting postgraduate and post-doctoral education and growing competitive awards to nurture young academics, more international research cooperation and expanding centres of excellence and institutional links.
GERMANY
Experts evaluate German science funding initiative
Michael Gardner
Germany’s Excellence Initiative, aimed at promoting world-class science at German universities, has been evaluated by an international commission of experts. They give the measure good marks but also point to a number of shortcomings that will have to be addressed in future.
CHINA
Universities inflate graduate employment figures
Yojana Sharma
Universities in Shanghai have been taken to task for inflating graduate employment figures as the Shanghai City administration, in cooperation with higher education institutions, recently published its first report on the destination of recent graduates.
EUROPE
EU mobility grants at record high, but impact varies
Brendan O'Malley
The European Union’s Erasmus+ programme offered a record number – 650,000 – of individual mobility grants for people to study, train, work or volunteer abroad in 2014. But an impact study of the previous programme suggests the impact will differ from region to region.
PAKISTAN
Inquiry blames VC for terror attack ‘security lapses’
Ameen Amjad Khan
A provincial government inquiry committee into a terrorist attack on Pakistan’s Bacha Khan University on 20 January that left 21 dead and as many as 30 injured has held the university’s vice-chancellor and its security officer responsible, and recommended the removal of Vice-chancellor Fazal Rahim Marwat. But the recommendation has been unanimously rejected by university staff.
LAOS
New university to link up to SE Asian economic corridor
Yojana Sharma
A new research university at Savannakhet – the country’s second-largest city – in the western region of Laos is being built with loans and funding of up to US$40 million from the Asian Development Bank to provide skilled graduates for the region’s ‘economic corridor’ that runs through the area.
AUSTRALIA
Large rise in income from international education
Australia’s international education is continuing to expand rapidly, according to preliminary data released on 3 February showing export income from education services was A$19.65 billion (US$13.9 billion) in 2015 – an increase of 11.5% since 2014 – according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
DENMARK
Copenhagen University announces drastic staff cuts
Jan Petter Myklebust
Copenhagen University – the largest research and education institution in the country – announced last week that it is cutting 532 jobs of professors, researchers and administrative staff, due to government austerity measures. The job losses will amount to 7.4% of the total workforce at the university.
UNITED STATES
Emergency fund to support students from Syria, Yemen
The Institute of International Education has created an Emergency Student Fund initiative to help students from Syria and Yemen on United States campuses whose financial support has been devastated by the ongoing conflict in Syria and escalating violence in Yemen.
NEW ZEALAND
Universities face repeated falls in student enrolment
John Gerritsen
New Zealand’s government is promising to reinvest in the country’s universities as they face a big drop in enrolments. The Education Ministry has forecast that degree and postgraduate enrolments by domestic students will fall every year until at least 2019 because there are fewer school-leavers and less unemployment.

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