Kuyok Abol Kuyok
South Sudan's higher education system is one of the most poorly funded government sectors and faces a myriad challenges including infrastructural inadequacy and staff shortages. Nonetheless it is employing coping strategies which offer invaluable lessons for comparable higher education systems in (post-)conflict contexts.
John A Akec
The market value of many university staff salaries is as little as US$200 a month, down from US$3,000 two years ago. Persistent underfunding of South Sudan’s universities in the face of soaring inflation could force many to close, hampering economic recovery and long-term growth.
Predatory journals and their publishers, driven solely by profit motives, are posing an increasing threat to academic credibility and to individual reputations.
Schools, universities and law courts remain shuttered in two provinces of Anglophone Cameroon as students, academics, school teachers and lawyers continue to paralyse activities in protest against what they perceive as linguistic, cultural and educational injustices and other forms of marginalisation by the Cameroonian government.
African technical universities can help to add value to primary commodities and other natural resources, support economic transformation, provide technology solutions to small and medium enterprises, and contribute to wealth creation as part of enhancing technical and vocational education and training on the continent.
The British Council’s Going Global 2017 conference for leaders of international education was held in London last week. The theme was “Global cities: connecting talent, driving change”. In a two-part special report (the second part will be published next week), University World News covers some of the highlights.
The British Council welcomed 900 academics, university leaders, ministers and industry chiefs from 80 countries to its Going Global 2017 conference focusing on “Global cities: connecting talent, driving change”. But they left the opening session last Monday with a stark warning of the challenges facing universities and cities in the years ahead.
Globally, the digital economy has benefited some communities and individuals, while leaving others behind, to effectively widen the social divide and poverty lines. Universities and innovation hubs must take care to address local economic, social and cultural needs, delegates were told at Going Global 2017, the British Council's conference for leaders of international education, held in London.
The roles of city fathers and universities have to intertwine to find solutions to globalisation and urbanisation issues, specifically that the knowledge generated in higher education becomes part of the social fabric and change in the environments in which it operates, delegates were told at the British Council's Going Global 2017 conference in London last week.
A discussion at Going Global 2017, the British Council’s conference, on how Paris and London universities will cope in the aftermath of Brexit began in a fearful mood as delegates were told that there are 5,000 research collaborations between the United Kingdom and France currently being funded by European Union money under Horizon 2020, the EU research programme, at any one time – and they are all at risk.
Hong Kong will act as a ‘super connector’ to the Chinese mainland and Asian region through deeper international collaborations that include universities, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Education Eddie Ng told the Going Global conference in London last week.
Wim de Villiers
The new generation experiences the world in a fundamentally different way. Deep listening, engaging with students, building trust and leading by example will help us deal with the rapid transformation that university culture is undergoing and bridge the divides thrown up by social media.
Experts met in Dakar, Senegal, recently to discuss problems linked to engineering research and the training of engineers in five African countries.
The higher education ministry has introduced a new system of university work placements to increase the ‘professionalisation’ of higher education through a partnership with businesses to improve the provision of work experience in university courses.
The textbook should be just one resource among many a university teacher might use. Unfortunately, some academics are too dependent on them despite the fact that the material quickly becomes outdated. But this is the lazy way out for the teacher and it disadvantages students in their learning.
Voice of America
The New York Times
Malay Mail Online
The Express Tribune
Inside Higher Ed
Higher education students, tired of enduring high levels of economic stress and desperate for political change, are joining campus-based student unions in their numbers despite concerns around the strong alignment of such groups to national political parties.
India and Egypt have unveiled a plan to strengthen academic, scientific and cultural cooperation between universities in India and Egypt, along with exchange of knowledge and best practices in teaching, research and administration. The plan includes setting up a joint institution, networking among universities in the two countries and enhancing student and academic mobility.
Calling for universities to produce “a new kind of academic”, the Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande said his department would be implementing a capacity development programme prioritising historically disadvantaged universities and focused on student success, staff development and curriculum transformation.
In what it described as a “historic” step to boost private higher education, Morocco's Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Professional Training earlier this month recognised the degrees of eight private universities.
The Algiers-based Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences, seeking to create a new generation of African leaders capable of helping to address Africa’s most significant development challenges, has launched a call for new students for the next academic year.
A constituent college of the University of Malawi, which failed to open in March for the first semester owing to a lecturer pay strike, remains shut despite calls for government intervention from both the political opposition and students.
The Federal Ministry of Education has inaugurated a seven-person committee to probe the use of grants for 'take-off' projects in 12 universities established between 2011 and 2013 – three of which are under investigation by the national Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The Africa Centre of Excellence in Internet of Things is out to attract PhD candidates in what is a new concept in the field of computing which has the potential to boost Africa’s development through innovation.
María Elena Hurtado
Providing good-quality higher education to low-income and middle-class students in Latin America and the Caribbean, who are joining universities and technical colleges in droves, is a big challenge for this group of countries, according to a World Bank report released on 17 May.
The Conservative Party election manifesto pledges to toughen visa requirements for international students and raise the level of health surcharge they must pay, as part of the continuing effort to “bear down on immigration from outside the European Union”. It does not specify whether the United Kingdom will seek to stay in Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ after Brexit.
Universities in several Asian countries have been affected by cyberattacks with possible consequences for research data as well as personal data of students and others. However, Chinese universities were worst affected by an unprecedented worldwide attack that began on 12 May, according to cybersecurity experts.
Jan Petter Myklebust
The number of universities judged to be 'very international' has jumped from one to three in this year’s 'internationalisation index', the rating developed by the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education. KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and Chalmers University of Technology have joined the Stockholm School of Economics at the top.
Canada and France have signed a cooperation agreement to improve professional opportunities for students studying for a degree in 'French as a foreign language' in France. The agreement will pave the way for cooperation between the leaders of 34 French and Canadian universities and increase student mobility between the two countries.
Frédérique Vidal, president of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, was appointed Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation on 17 May, in the new government of Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, under President Emmanuel Macron.
Jan Petter Myklebust
Norway’s quality assurance agency is now assessing an institution's international standing in particular fields before granting university status, but the move is proving controversial with some university leaders, who say it is too geared to usefulness for industry and not enough to addressing global challenges.
Karin Fischer, The Chronicle of Higher Education
The uncertainty over the outcome of challenges to President Donald Trump's travel ban means students from affected countries who go home to visit family and friends in the summer might not be able to return to the United States. Universities are drawing up plans to house and provide a means of earning an income to those who opt not to take the risk of leaving the country.
Amber Wigmore Álvarez
Digital transformation is not only dramatically changing the jobs landscape, it is revolutionising how candidates are chosen for those roles. Today’s students need to be taught about new methods of recruitment and how they can help to match them better to the jobs of the future.
Private higher education has proven to be a successful model in many countries. However, this does not seem to be the case in Vietnam, due to many factors, including the battle between ‘private’ and ‘for-profit’ education and political sensitivities due to the country’s communist background.
Sonal Minocha and Dean Hristov
Digital technology has a huge impact on people’s everyday lives. Universities should be using it for more than internal activities and should consider how it might help them widen their impact, by disseminating research and sharing good practice across borders to a global audience for the benefit of economies and societies.
Science today is increasingly data-driven, but our education system has not caught up. We must develop new teaching methods that recognise data-driven and computational approaches as some of the primary tools of contemporary research.