26 August 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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University rankings ignore teaching
John Kelly
Over the past decade, the major and unhelpful intrusion into both the national and the international worlds of higher education has been the advent of university rankings. The global university rankings put too much emphasis on research and are undermining universities’ key educational mission.
What are the must-have reforms for higher education?
Anand Kulkarni
While discussion papers around a new higher education policy contain some positive proposals, there is a lack of an overarching vision to address fundamental problems within the system.
Higher education widens the gap between rich and poor
Ka Ho Mok and Jin Jiang
A new governance system is needed to address concerns that massification of higher education is leading to a growing divide between rich and poor rather than the contrary.
UK warned of risks in growing private higher education
Brendan O'Malley
The growth of private higher education provision, especially via for-profit providers, requires better regulation to reduce the “often considerable” risk to students, according to a six-country study. It warns that there is little evidence that opening up higher education to more private providers, as proposed in the United Kingdom, will improve the quality of provision.
Can the Danish miracle in world-class research endure?
Jan Petter Myklebust
The factors behind Denmark's position as a leading producer of high-class scientific research are discussed in a report and conference comparing data from Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden, with the warning that future success cannot be guaranteed without recruitment of new talent, continuing international collaboration and maintaining an innovative research culture.
Students trap staff in face-off over government aid
Unsoo Jung
Some 1,600 policemen gathered on the Ewha Womans University campus in Seoul in late July, some of them forcing past protesting students to escort four professors and a staff member out of the main hall where they had been trapped for almost 46 hours due to a student sit-in over plans to offer two-year degrees in new media, health, beauty and fashion in return for government financial aid.
World Round-up
Over 5,000 staff members suspended from universities
Hurriyet Daily News
University fined for expelling HIV-positive student
Focus Taiwan
Indian students seek alternatives to post-Brexit UK
The Economic Times
Launch of showpiece BRICS network university delayed
The Hindu
Vice-chancellor slams ‘immoral tax’ on foreign students
Daily Mail
Students don’t understand plagiarism, research suggests
Times Higher Education
New university brings hope to Kurdish region
ARA News
University hiring reforms ‘do not go far enough’
South China Morning Post
Ministry pushes English language in universities
VietNamNet Bridge
More Malaysian students enrol in universities
The Star
Rio’s students struggle as universities shut
Study highlights dangers of university drop-outs
The Washington Post
Most expect to go to university but worry about fees
Breaking News
Universities warned about ‘independence’ discussions
Yojana Sharma
When Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying met with leaders of the governing councils of Hong Kong’s eight public universities last week, just weeks before Hong Kong’s Legislative Council elections on 4 September, students were alarmed it was an attempt by China to put pressure on universities to curb overt displays of “pro-independence” sentiment on campuses.
Higher education forum for the Global South launched
Nicola Jenvey
In a promising moment for cross-continental tertiary learning, 20 August saw the Higher Education Forum for Africa, Asia and Latin America officially launched in Durban on South Africa’s east coast before 60 delegates from 18 nations.
UK’s pledge on EU science funding ‘not enough’
Yojana Sharma
British universities and scientists say a United Kingdom government statement promising to underwrite funding for approved European Union science projects “applied for before the UK leaves the EU” will only partially address concerns that they are being excluded from EU consortia following the British referendum to leave the EU.
Foreign student defaulters face work and residency ban
Yojana Sharma
Foreign students who received generous scholarships from the Singapore government could be banned from living and working in Singapore if they deliberately default on their ‘bond’ obligations, a senior education ministry official said last week after it was revealed that a number of students were in default.
President slashes university fees after student protests
Kudzai Mashininga
Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika has bowed to pressure and slashed university fees following nationwide student protests that began last month and resulted in the arrest of more than 30 students.
Ministry denies plan to fire 10,000 scientists in cuts
Eugene Vorotnikov
The Russian Ministry of Education and Science has officially denied reports in some Russian media outlets that the national government plans to fire about 10,000 scientists over the next three years, due to lack of funds in the Russian federal budget.
Mobile phone platform set to enhance university access
Maina Waruru
Prospective students with smartphones will soon be able to access and undertake degree programmes from anywhere in the world under an innovative new distance learning initiative offered by a Kenyan private university and a United States company.
China, Singapore break into top 100 in Shanghai ranking
Brendan O'Malley
There was little change at the top of the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities, or Shanghai ranking, published last week, but China and Singapore both broke into the top 100 for the first time.
Fees protests close campuses, minister seeks solution
Munyaradzi Makoni
Two universities closed in South Africa last week following student protests against possible tuition fee hikes for 2017. Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande warned that universities could face financial crisis, retrenchments and operational cuts.
Row over Australian visa rejection for top researcher
Ranjit Devraj
Indian officials say Australia is treating the country like a "rogue state" by barring its researchers, following the denial of a visa to a top Indian researcher seeking to take up a prestigious scholarship award at the University of Melbourne, ostensibly due to fears his work could be "associated with weapons of mass destruction".
Study abroad benefits UK peers and institutions
Brendan O'Malley
After study abroad, United Kingdom students gain confidence, develop communication skills and seek to share experience with their peers, to the benefit of their peers and UK institution, new research has found. It concluded that the impact of study abroad is vast, varied and transformative.
Experiment tests new ways to measure HE quality
Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education
The US Department of Education has chosen four computer coding boot camps and the global conglomerate General Electric to take part in an experiment partly using unaccredited providers to supply higher education but also employing some very unusual quality assurance providers to measure quality.
World Blog
Can private education contribute to nation building?
Grace Karram Stephenson
The influx of foreign private higher education providers is creating a new divide, where wealthy minority groups gravitate towards institutions that are linked closely to the business sector, reinforcing their position of relative wealth.

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