06 February 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Disruption the new norm
Marguerite Dennis
There are few corners in the world where rapid change is not occurring, geopolitically, economically and politically. Will international student mobility patterns change after recent terrorist attacks around the world? Universities around the world may be forced to accept the reality of a new world order and plan for a future based on change.
The philosophical battle for campus security
Rafia Zakaria
To make campuses in the Muslim world more secure requires more than military power. It requires the promotion of initiatives that recognise the ills of colonialism without believing and promoting a concomitant and bloody obscurantism.
Corruption undermines rise of East Asian universities
Rui Yang
An academic culture that is based on meritocratic values, free enquiry and competition is largely absent in East Asia.
Undermining social sciences and humanities
Edward Vickers
Concerns about the government’s position on the arts, humanities and social sciences belie a wider questioning about the purpose of universities and society.
Academically excellent, but deaf to society’s needs
Elizabeth Balbachevsky
The University of São Paulo is Brazil’s leading university, but its governance structure and lack of independent outside voices mean it fails to deliver the social leadership required of a 'New Flagship University'.
Special Report
Comparative assessment of learning outcomes, shared principles of quality assurance, tackling corruption, and adapting accreditation to non-traditional providers were among the key topics at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or CHEA, 2016 and the CHEA International Quality Group, or CIQG, 2016 conferences held in Washington, DC last week, for which University World News is a media partner. Mary Beth Marklein reports for University World News.
New mechanisms are needed to improve transparency
Mary Beth Marklein
There has been an explosion of demand for higher education and evidence of its value. We have to find new ways to be more open and honest about what students are learning and that should include an international comparative assessment of graduate outcomes, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says.
Shared principles of HE quality gain global support
Mary Beth Marklein
A set of shared principles on how to define quality in higher education is gaining support among stakeholders in multiple countries, and a plan is in place to create opportunities for greater cross-border cooperation in matters of quality assurance and accreditation.
Quality assurance cannot solve corruption on its own
Mary Beth Marklein
As stories of academic fraud and corruption multiply around the globe, quality assurance professionals are grappling with how they can help combat problems such as the spread of fake degrees and falsified research.
Revolutionary delivery meets traditional standards
Mary Beth Marklein
Can accreditation adapt to radically new ways of providing higher education? A new type of university with no campus, where students learn together online – but travel to live together in seven cities across the globe over four years – is showing that it doesn’t have to. Traditional standards and ways of gauging them still apply.
World Blog
Flagship model doesn’t address today’s needs
Tom Abeles
It’s no use talking about world-class or flagship universities in the developing world where there are not enough financial resources or qualified teaching staff. A new system is needed.
Africa: University Leadership
A role for universities in building a creative economy
Donald Otoyo Ondieki and Emily Achieng’ Akuno
Copyright-based industries contribute around 5% of Kenya’s gross domestic product – more than agriculture, education or healthcare. Yet the creative economy is ignored by government. Visionary higher education leaders must design institutional frameworks that provide an enabling environment for developing the lucrative creative and cultural industries.
World Round-up
Government eases visa requirements for foreign students
The Jakarta Post
Market and state do battle over higher education law
Latin Correspondent
Gradual opening of HE sector likely as sanctions lifted
Times Higher Education
New university bill aims to improve accountability
Academicians criticise central bank's education giving
Global pharma groups reveal tie-up with universities
Financial Times
Major institutional reforms approved in ‘secret meeting’
Beijing eases work restrictions for foreign students
The PIE News
Only 10% of institutes can make breakthroughs – Putin
Rich universities continued to attract more aid in 2015
Minister denies calling for university LGBT ban
US university student detained for 'hostile act'
Los Angeles Times
Breaking News
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.
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.
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.
Copenhagen University announces drastic staff cuts
Jan Petter Myklebust
Copenhagen University – the largest research and education institution in the country – has this week announced 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.
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.
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.
Are universities making the most of their big data?
Nicola Jenvey and Brendan O’Malley
Just as the big supermarket chains are using personal data to tailor their services to their customers, universities will increasingly be able to tailor their support and services for their own consumers, their students.
Leap in indigenous access, general enrolment hits high
Brendan O'Malley
Australia has experienced the biggest jump in Indigenous higher education enrolments in nearly a decade and overall enrolment has reached a record high, according to new student data, with notable increases in enrolments of regional students and students from low socio-economic backgrounds.
Coimbra Group tells U-Multirank to revamp its data
Brendan O'Malley
U-Multirank results are based on “unverifiable data” and “imprecise definitions” and its indicators remain “weak proxies of quality for valid international comparison of institutions”, according to the Coimbra Group of European universities, in a stinging public criticism of the way the U-Multirank ranking system is being implemented.
Severe cuts for overseas scholarships in revised budget
Yojana Sharma
Government scholarships for Malaysian students to study overseas have been slashed in a revised budget announced by Prime Minister Najib Razak last week, as the country suffers from a continued economic downturn, depreciating currency and a global drop in oil prices.
Ten campuses closed, dozens face ban, in quality drive
Gilbert Nganga
Tucked away on the outskirts of Kenya’s capital Nairobi, the Commission for University Education has been criticised for not having ‘bite’ in regulating the higher education sector. But this month the commission rose from the shadows, ordering 10 university campuses to close in what could be a turning point in salvaging the country’s higher education system.
Security beefed up on campuses after university attack
Ameen Amjad Khan
Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments have moved to increase security at academic institutions after academics raised concerns of insufficient protection following the 20 January attack on Charsadda’s Bacha Khan University in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province by Pakistan Taliban-linked militants, which left 21 dead and 30 injured.
Helsinki University cuts 1,000 jobs, more could follow
Brendan O'Malley
The University of Helsinki is to cut its staff by nearly 1,000 by the end of 2017, making 570 terminations this spring, it confirmed in a public statement last week. But it has also warned that further cuts may have to be made once national discussions about streamlining the network of universities have come to a conclusion.
Universities playing ‘key role’ in growth of start-ups
Brendan O'Malley
A steep rise in the start-up creation and business incubation has been helped by the creation of a dynamic support system to foster entrepreneurship and enhance levels of innovation in which universities are playing a vital role, according to a Danish government report.
Colleges raised US$1.2 billion in donations for sports
Brad Wolverton and Sandhya Kambhampati, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Donations to capital campaigns for new facilities and commitments to cover more aid for athletes helped major-college athletic departments raise more than US$1 billion in 2015, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Council for Aid to Education. It was the fourth time in the past five years that gifts for athletics had crossed the billion-dollar mark.
Furore over curbs on bonus marks for sports students
Ashraf Khaled
Egypt’s higher education authorities have curtailed a decades-old incentive system for sports students, saying that it has been abused for university entry.
‘Green’ university networks being developed in Africa
Wagdy Sawahel
Africa has been late to join the ‘green’ universities movement – only five institutions on the continent are among more than 400 participating in a global ranking of universities that practise environmentally friendly policies to help combat climate change. But now national and regional ‘green’ university networks are being developed on the continent.
Reports count impact of advanced sciences on economy
Advances in the physical, mathematical and biological sciences in the past 20 to 30 years underpin A$330 billion (US$233 billion) a year of Australia’s economic output. These advances also support nearly 1.2 million Australian jobs, or 10% of total employment, according to two new reports.

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