29 August 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Global conflicts could harm international education cooperation
Nic Mitchell
Internationalisation is one of the top priorities for European universities but the strides made could be harmed by global conflicts, according to Andrée Sursock, the author of the Trends 2015 report for the European University Association.
Breaking News
Currency slides spark fears for international enrolments
Yojana Sharma
Sharply depreciating currencies in Asian and other emerging markets including Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile, accompanied by extreme volatility in China’s stock market which is affecting the economic confidence of that country’s middle-class, could have a knock-on effect on overseas student recruitment by universities in the United States and United Kingdom.
Stephen Hawking presents new theory on black holes
Jan Petter Myklebust
Cambridge University Professor Stephen Hawking has proposed a new theory of black holes, arguing that information lost in black holes could be stored in alternate universes and that some black holes could be passages to them.
Minister must act to end foreign student visa ‘disaster’
Karen MacGregor
International student officers are to call for urgent ministerial intervention to end problems with visas for hundreds of foreign students in South Africa, due to government incompetence. Students who have tried to comply with visa rules have been criminalised and many arrested. The crisis threatens to decimate postgraduate student numbers and is trampling on human rights enshrined in the constitution, the 19th annual conference of the International Education Association of South Africa heard on Friday.
Tight government budget to hit universities hard
Jan Petter Myklebust and Ian R Dobson
The government’s budget proposal for 2016, presented on 14 August, aims to reduce government spending by around €900 million (US$993 million) and is proposing severe cuts to higher education. In a shock for the University of Helsinki, proposals include a €30 million cut in funding one year before originally scheduled.
Is graduate over-qualification a problem?
Michelle Paterson
A report last week from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development states that the UK has too many over-qualified graduates entering non-graduate jobs. Universities UK responded saying the skills higher education provides, such as the ability to think critically, are lifelong and increasingly in demand.
Fewer good jobs for college grads? Not so, says new study
Beckie Supiano, The Chronicle of Higher Education
The emerging conventional wisdom is that America's post-recession recovery was dominated by the rise of low-paying, part-time service jobs. But a new analysis challenges that narrative, finding that 2.9 million of the 6.6 million jobs added in the recovery were ‘good jobs’.
Boycott of opening of new racism research institute
Jan Petter Myklebust
On 14 August the new Segerstedt Institute, intended to serve as a national resource centre against violent ideologies and movements, was inaugurated at the University of Gothenburg with the participation of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. But 18 research staff members boycotted the opening.
Three universities to build laptops in innovation drive
Gilbert Nganga
Three of Kenya’s public universities have ventured into manufacturing laptops, perhaps highlighting the growing level of innovation in East Africa’s biggest economy.
Islamic seminary tightens dorm curbs amid opposition
Ashraf Khaled
Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, a stronghold of Islamists, has toughened procedures for staying in state-subsidised dormitories in a move the Islamic seminary’s administration says is targeting “troublemakers” among students.
World Round-up
Stop universities from hoarding money
The New York Times
World famous Muslim university faces global backlash
International Business Times
A grim anniversary for universities
Rising graduate unemployment may ‘cause social revolt’
Today’s Zaman
EU provides education grant for Syrian refugees
Harvard gets government funds to set up Vietnam university
The Harvard Crimson
The new business of education
The Washington Post
IS militants behead archaeologist – Official
University takes Commonwealth to court over broken promise
The Canberra Times
Zygmunt Bauman accused of serial ‘self-plagiarism’
Times Higher Education
Study claims humans killed mammoths, not climate change
Mass extinctions speed up evolution – Study
UT News
Special Report
The International Council for Open and Distance Education, or ICDE, is holding its world conference in the mega-resort Sun City, north of Johannesburg in South Africa, from 14-16 October, hosted by the University of South Africa. University World News is the media partner. This is the first of a series of articles that will engage with global ideas and developments in open and distance learning, around the conference theme of “Growing Capacities for Sustainable Distance e-Learning Provision”.
Open education the sustainable way in the knowledge age
Karen MacGregor
Global demand for tertiary education is forecast to rise to an extra 100 million places over the next 15 years, equivalent to building four new universities for 40,000 students every week. But that’s not going to happen. The only way to sufficiently and cost-effectively widen access for the impending avalanche of additional learners is through open education – not commercial MOOCs using closed resources – says Dr Wayne Mackintosh, director of the OER Foundation.
Soft diplomacy along the New Silk Road
Eugene Sebastian and Rahul Choudaha
China sees education as an increasingly important tool in driving its economic ambitions along the Silk Road and is increasing its support for international students.
The politics of academic engagement
Ali Ansari
Calls for greater engagement with Iran should be heeded despite concerns about academic freedom, particularly in the humanities.
An internationally minded student body
Justin Sanders
The 21st century requires students who are not just international, but internationally minded and that begins at school.
Making universities more relevant
Eric Fredua-Kwarteng and Francis Ahia
Universities in Ghana need to engage more with their local and national community, but often outside-of-university services are not represented in their mission, vision and values statements.
World Blog
Marketing as strategy – Part two
Margaret Andrews
Doing your research is vital to any institution's marketing strategy and the best way to start is to mine the data you have from your own admissions statistics.
Penetrating insights into internationalisation progress
Peta Lee
While approaches and progress in internationalisation differ between countries in Europe, it’s apparent there’s been dramatic growth in this area. A landmark study on the internationalisation of higher education for the European Parliament provides penetrating insight into trends, strategies and challenges.
Internationalisation: variations and vagaries
Peta Lee
A recent major study on internationalisation of higher education for the European Parliament focused on 10 European countries, but also looked at trends and approaches to internationalisation in seven countries outside Europe.
Higher education not enough for economic development
Munyaradzi Makoni
Policies on the accessibility of skills and knowledge, the location of industry and networks of local companies could boost the impact of higher education on economic development, says a report published last month in the International Journal of Educational Development.
Postgraduate Focus
Rethinking supervisions for the 21st century
Craig Whitsed and Wendy Green
PhD supervisions need to be reworked with an emphasis on teaching the kind of skills necessary for a globalised world of work, including within universities.
Listen to your international students
Abu Kamara
The current focus of internationalisation does not take heed of postgraduate students’ experience. More needs to be done to help them reintegrate after they finish their courses and to take account of their concerns.
Give something back to your hosts
Paul Bergen
International postgraduate students should strive to find ways to give back to their host community through engagement with both the public and policy-makers. In doing so, both student and host are rewarded.

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