21 September 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Rational deregulation of university fees
Vin Massaro
The debate over university fees has been dominated by political rhetoric that does not recognise the need for universities to have greater autonomy over their missions so they can play to their strengths. It may be time for an independent body that can negotiate and manage contracts between government and universities to ensure Australia has a working system.
World Blog
Ranking universities in the Middle East
Daniel Kratochvil and Grace Karram
International rankings are coming to the Middle East, but could they lead to homogenisation and division between institutions and countries? It would be better if the rankings measured a broader range of criteria than research output, including regional collaboration.
Rewarding academics for engagement gains ground
Rebecca Warden
The number of academics who step outside the ivory tower to engage with the community is growing and universities are using a variety of ways to compensate them for doing so. But institutions that recognise and reward this effort are still very much a minority and the reasons why they find it hard to do are complex.
The rise of the global university
Marguerite Dennis
Technology will not only determine the educational delivery methods of the future, but will lead to the rise of global universities, with no one country dominating the international student market because there will be no ‘typical’ mobile student.
MOOCs – Panacea or benevolent curse?
Adam Habib and Christine Woods
Online education programmes, and MOOCs in particular, may be considered disruptive technological developments with the potential to be useful in addressing higher education challenges. But this will only be realised if we avoid the twin evils of cynicism and evangelism and move towards collaborative education between universities in different parts of the world.
Syrian refugees in Jordan – From camps to campus
Daniela Z Kaisth and James R King
A new pilot programme aimed at helping Syrian refugee students to study at nearby universities in Jordan could be scaled up across the region with support from universities, governments and NGOs.
Higher education must focus on flexibility
Simon Marginson and Ly Tran
A new book examines all aspects of Vietnam’s higher education system and calls for the development of flexible students who are capable of being socially, regionally and transnationally mobile, and a focus on employability and knowledge for the purposes of community development.
Researching OER in Africa and the global South
Sukaina Walji
The Research on Open Educational Resources for Development in the Global South – ROER4D – project is a three-year multi-country and institutional research project whose objective is to improve educational policy, practice and research in developing countries by better understanding the use and impact of open educational resources in the global South.
World Round-up
More universities grow interested in modern China
The Economist
Uighur scholar goes on trial on separatist charges
The New York Times
The Salaita case and the Big Money takeover of universities
Los Angeles Times
Delhi in tit-for-tat over UK degrees
The Telegraph India
Ministry plans higher education overhaul
Enrolment in higher education rises to 16%
The Hindu
Teachers back student opposition to draft education law
Radio Free Asia
New York reaps benefits of university construction
The Wall Street Journal
Money is the key to being a top university, says study
BBC News
Attempts to ‘gag and silence’ academics commonplace
Times Higher Education
Fee-hike fear sees universities lock in tuition costs
The Australian
Universities are most expensive for foreign students
Application deluge of first-years
The Star
First lady’s doctorate questioned
The Zimbabwean
Universities may exit Beijing under flagship plan
Yojana Sharma
Some of China’s most eminent universities including Peking and Tsinghua are clustered around the Zhongguancun area in Beijing’s Haidian district, which likes to style itself as China’s ‘Silicon Valley’, attracting research institutions and thousands of high-tech enterprises.
ETH Zürich explores ‘future cities lab’ in Africa
Nic Mitchell
Continental Europe’s leading research-intensive university ETH Zürich is exploring the idea of establishing a ‘future cities laboratory’ in Africa following the success of the Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability.
Digital history centre strives to connect with public
Marc Parry, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Books are the gold standard of historical scholarship. Claudio Saunt, a specialist in early American history, has published three of them. As a sort of epilogue to his latest book, however, the University of Georgia professor decided to try a different approach: what would happen if he distilled more than a century of American Indian history into an interactive digital map?
Academics back students’ pro-democracy shut down
Mimi Leung
Hong Kong’s universities and colleges – almost 20 of them – are gearing up for a student organised pro-democracy boycott of classes due to begin on 22 September and to last at least a week, with academics supporting the student movement.
Academics, students arrested for democracy forum
Suluck Lamubol
Amid a series of attempts by the Thai military junta to control public gatherings, a number of academics and student activists were detained on 18 September for holding a public forum on democracy.
Alliance to boost graduate numbers, save money
Peta Lee
If the University Innovation Alliance achieves its goals, high quality degrees will become more accessible for all students, particularly first-generation and low-income students. Thousands more will graduate each year, and additionally they could shave time off their studies, taxpayers could save US$100 million in educational costs, and over the next five years another 850,000 students could graduate from America’s colleges.
‘Best-ever’ performance of British HE in QS ranking
Karen MacGregor
On the tenth anniversary of its rankings, British universities notched up their “best-ever performance” in the British company QS Quacquarelli Symonds’ global rankings. And graduates of two British universities were rated the most employable in the world.
Official study slams university rankings as ‘useless’
Jan Petter Myklebust
A government-commissioned study of the placement of Norwegian universities in global rankings – in particular compared to other Nordic institutions – has concluded that even the top rankings are so based on subjective weightings of factors and on dubious data that they are useless as a basis for information if the goal is to improve higher education.
New science, university and medical ‘cities’ unveiled
Wagdy Sawahel
Tunisia has officially unveiled an economic development mega-project that will house research and science, university and medical ‘cities’ and will include a range of research centres, science institutes and branches of foreign universities.
Higher education body warns 12 private universities
Mushfique Wadud
Private universities are trying to shore up their credibility with publicity campaigns and newspaper advertisements, following a warning from Bangladesh’s higher education apex body the University Grants Commission naming and shaming a dozen private institutions.
Private university under the hammer, others in trouble
Maina Waruru
A private university in Kenya is facing an auction of some of its prime property by banks and several other institutions are in financial trouble, in what some fear is a signal that the rapid expansion of higher education in the country has reached a sustainability limit.
OECD report praises German vocational education
Michael Gardner
According to the OECD, Germany is still lagging behind other member countries in academics statistics. Furthermore, the majority of students still tend to come from an academic family background. But the Paris-based organisation is full of praise for the country’s vocational education system.
Ebola fear ‘infects’ campuses, affects mobile students
Tunde Fatunde
The deaths in Nigeria of two medical doctors associated with teaching hospitals, both victims of the dreaded Ebola virus in the horrifying outbreak of the disease in West Africa, has created panic and unsettled nerves on campuses.
Universities must focus on science, not ‘useless’ arts
Esther Nakkazi
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, once a student of the arts but now a champion of science, has advised universities funded by the government to develop more science courses and to drop many in the arts and humanities.
Government slated over delays to new semester start
Ashraf Khaled
The decision by Egyptian authorities to postpone the start of the new academic year by two weeks has drawn sustained criticism from lecturers and students. Minister of Higher Education Sayed Abdel Khaleq said universities would open their gates on 11 October instead of 27 September as scheduled.

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