28 March 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Redesigning the curriculum for the 21st century
Ahmed Bawa
In the face of debilitating cuts and new waves of student activism, universities around the world face scrutiny of their role in addressing the critical challenges facing the world. The curriculum needs to be transformed to address global challenges such as deepening socio-economic inequality.
Photo credit: Paul Weinberg.
Africa News
Reinstated student vows to fight draconian powers
Kudzai Mashininga
The University of Zimbabwe has readmitted two student leaders suspended two years ago on the basis of draconian regulations that students say they will continue to challenge.
Turkey’s ‘soft power’ reaches North African universities
Wagdy Sawahel
A recently published higher education cooperation plan with Tunisia represents the latest milestone in Turkey’s plan to set up joint universities with North African Arab states in what is seen as an expression of cultural diplomacy or 'soft power' aimed at building regional alliances and partnerships.
Plagiarism – Ministry criticises lenient university heads
Laeed Zaghlami
The ministry of higher education and scientific research has sent a written notice to all university presidents, criticising them for non-compliance with a July 2016 ministerial decree which criminalised plagiarism, and urging them to deal with all irregularities in accordance with the rules.
Student violence derails higher education crisis meeting
Sungula Nkabinde
A two-day convention aimed at supporting the search for solutions to South Africa’s higher education challenges was called off last weekend after the event descended into chaos on the first day.
Ministry cracks down on ‘inadequate’ university offerings
Christabel Ligami
The Rwandan Ministry of Education has temporarily suspended the operations of four universities and courses in six other universities as part of a strategy to deal with sub-standard educational offerings.
Makerere to streamline courses to meet development goals
Christabel Ligami
Uganda’s flagship Makerere University has embarked on a process of phasing out, merging and scrapping of academic courses in order to reduce duplication and streamline courses in a move aimed at improving quality and aligning academic programmes with national development objectives.
Study calls for safeguarding of girls’ education at all levels
Gilbert Nakweya
New global data underscores the importance of policies that safeguard female children’s education at all levels and the need to encourage girls and women to pursue the highest levels of education.
World Blog
Universities open their arms to returning 'Dreamers'
Marion Lloyd
Mexican politicians and universities are preparing the way for many young Mexicans to return from the United States in the wake of President Donald Trump's threat to deport millions of illegal immigrants. Critics claim the easing of restrictions in university applications undermines quality controls, but one outcome could be greater student mobility in Mexico’s higher education system.
Special Report
GUNi Report
The Global University Network for Innovation or GUNi's sixth Higher Education in the World report, entitled Towards a Socially Responsible University: Balancing the global with the local, deals with the dual responsibilities of universities at local and global scale. Some of the contributions to the report are republished in edited form in this special report.
Can universities be locally and globally engaged?
Brendan O'Malley
Lead editor of the Global University Network for Innovation's sixth Higher Education in the World report, Towards a Socially Responsible University: Balancing the global with the local, Francesc Xavier Grau, talks to University World News about the pressures mitigating against universities striving to be both locally competitive and globally responsible.
Community engagement outperforms university rankings
Andrew Petter
For most universities, an ambitious campaign of community engagement is likely to produce much greater reputational dividends than the quixotic quest for an advance in the rankings.
Universities and civic engagement on a global scale
Barbara Lethem Ibrahim
How can universities link up globally to support civil society and learn from institutions in places of repression or conflict? Harnessing the strengths and guarding against the weaknesses of the digital revolution and spontaneous popular movements might be a good place to start.
Is the brain drain always negative?
Jamil Salmi and Katya Salmi
The brain drain is traditionally viewed as negative, but there can be positive effects if sending countries invest in diaspora initiatives, including collaborative arrangements between academics established in the North and universities in their home country.
For universities all global challenges are local
Budd L Hall, Nandita Bhatt and Walter Lepore
Curriculum change in higher education is an extremely complex process. In the search for excellence, engagement and social responsibility there is no contradiction between universities responding to local calls for action and global matters.
Africa Briefs
Joint research projects to monitor Lake Kivu
Research organisations from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda are collaborating to intensify scientific research on Lake Kivu, thanks to funding of €1.3 million (US$1.4 million) from the government of the Netherlands.
Online training course launched for business managers
An online distance programme to train managers for small and medium businesses and industries has been officially launched in Dakar, Senegal, under a partnership between Centre Africain d’Etudes Supérieures en Gestion – the African Centre for Higher Studies in Management – and the Total Group.
World Round-up
University applications up by 20%
Inside Higher Ed
Calls to name universities in China censorship deals
Taipei Times
Government calls for transnational education strategy
ICEF Monitor
What price will science pay for austerity?
Trump’s health budget may slash university payments
Government acknowledges role for private universities
The Island
Students told to drop safe spaces, no-platform policies
Mail Online
Melbourne University bows to pressure over building name
The Age
Higher education council enters PhD deal with Turkey
The News
Publisher claims it had licence to sell theses online
South China Morning Post
President declares anti-graft war on universities
The Guardian Nigeria
Oxford at forefront of medical cannabis research
Nationalise higher education‚ says youth league
Global Features
A 2040 vision of HE dominated by grand knowledge hubs
Jan Petter Myklebust
Indian and Chinese universities will expand one-hundred-fold and the future will be dominated by 'grand knowledge hubs' with four in Asia, two in North America, one in the United Kingdom and maybe others in Sweden/Denmark, Germany/Switzerland, Belgium/Netherlands and France, predicts Bert Van der Zwaan in his new book.
Africa Features
Universities face tough times as budget hopes dashed
Gilbert Nganga
The vice-chancellor of the University of Nairobi has asked the government to review the budgetary allocation to his university after the treasury failed to meet public universities’ requisitions for the forthcoming fiscal year. The total allocation to all public universities, which is US$200 million less than the amount requested, has dashed the hopes of several institutions facing a crippling cash crunch.
Making it possible for young scientists to stay in Africa
Maina Waruru
Returning to the department of chemistry at Multimedia University of Kenya after completing his PhD studies at the State University of New York in the United States, Dickson Andala was frustrated by the lack of local laboratories that could analyse his samples he needed for his research.
Africa Analysis
Intellectual sovereignty – Shifting the centre of gravity
Kwesi Kwaa Prah
African academic endeavours must accept the fact that the centre of gravity of knowledge production about Africa and Africans must be situated in Africa, so that the ‘otherness’ of the subject of scholarship which Western hegemony has imposed on Africa and Africans is eliminated.

Preparing school leavers for what lies beyond
Onyi Nwaneri
A non-governmental organisation is helping to boost the eligibility of matriculants for university entrance and other further education and training opportunities.
Universities UK Forum
The International Higher Education Forum organised by Universities UK on 21 March in London explored how universities in the United Kingdom can maximise the emerging international opportunities and overcome challenges resulting from the radical political shifts the UK has experienced over the last year. University World News covered the event.
Universities should make their own foreign policies
Nic Mitchell
Universities in the United States and United Kingdom need to call upon their “marvellous capacities for having their own foreign policies” in the light of Donald Trump being elected US president and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, the 2017 International Higher Education Forum organised by Universities UK in London was told this week.
Driving up TNE is a key UK strategy post-Brexit
Nic Mitchell
Higher education will be a central plank in the strategy for boosting the export industry of post-Brexit Britain, the United Kingdom’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for International Trade, Mark Garnier, told the International Higher Education Forum in London. Transnational education or TNE provided a British higher education to more than 300,000 people in 2014-15, mostly in Asia.
Research partnerships must ‘match China’s ambitions’
Yojana Sharma
British universities’ partnerships in China need to ratchet up from academic research collaborations ending in published papers to a broader and more strategic approach to match China’s own national ambitions, an international higher education forum organised by Universities UK heard this week.
UK is best place to be a researcher, conference told
Nic Mitchell
British universities need to use one of the best weapons in their armoury to attract and retain international academic researchers in the era of Brexit and tighter visa restrictions, delegates to the Universities UK International Higher Education Forum were told this week.
Plea to universities to alleviate Syria’s brain drain
Nic Mitchell
The Institute of International Education has urged every one of the 15,000 universities around the world to offer a tuition-free place to one Syrian student and rescue one Syrian academic displaced by the civil war to prepare the country to rebuild after the conflict.
Populism – Is the academy on the wrong side of history?
How universities come to terms with the rising tide of populism highlighted by the election of Donald Trump in the United States and the United Kingdom's Brexit vote is the subject of the 2017 Worldviews Lecture on Media and Higher Education, "Populism and the Academy: On the 'wrong side' of history", for which University World News is a media partner.
UWN Webinar
Seeking globally mobile students in a world in turmoil
The United Kingdom and United States are set on a path to creating more barriers to attracting and retaining international students. The two largest source countries of international students – China and India – have experienced economic changes that have decelerated the ambitions and ability of students to go abroad. What strategic options are higher education institutions considering in response to this turbulence?
Global News
Government recommits to long-term support for science
Brendan O'Malley
The Australian government has unveiled its new National Science Statement, which emphasises the long-term importance of science to the nation’s economy and society, and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Arthur Sinodinos has reassured universities by pledging that the government will act “strategically and systematically” to support it.
University tuition fees back on the election agenda
Michael Gardner
With elections ahead in Germany, the issue of tuition fees in higher education has resurfaced. Across the board tuition fees were abolished for public-funded universities in all of Germany’s federal states by 2014, but while Social Democrats reject fees, views are split among, and even within, some of the other parties.
Dozens of academic journals appoint fake editor
Brendan O'Malley
Dozens of academic titles have offered a sham scientist a place on their editorial board during a sting operation by researchers investigating exploitation of academics by predatory journals. Their findings were published by Nature, the international weekly journal of science.
Education Department erodes student protections
Adam Harris, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Betsy DeVos, the new education secretary, hasn’t said much about her plans for higher education. But some observers already see a pattern in the department’s actions, deconstructing Barack Obama’s student loan protections and hiring employees from the profit sector.
Students end 150-day protest over for-profit campus
Aimee Chung
A five-month student protest over plans for a for-profit branch campus at South Korea’s most prestigious university came to an end after the university administration turned a water hose on the students the day after the country’s president Park Geun-Hye was ousted from office. Credit: Yonhap News
Global Commentary
Why academics need to learn the art of storytelling
Frances Vavrus and Lesley Bartlett
In an era of ‘alternative facts’ academics need to ensure their research is accessible so that they can get their findings over to the general public. Two key ways to improve accessibility of scholarship are telling compelling personal stories about others and narrating stories about our own research.

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