23 October 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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African Scholarly Publishing
New framework aims to assess and improve online journals
Susan Murray and Sioux Cumming
A new, robust assessment framework which enables a detailed assessment of journals’ transparency, peer review and quality control processes, and a wide range of other benchmarks will reassure researchers and support journals in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Africa Features
Research funding cuts – A shift in priorities?
Stephen Coan
The recent announcement by the National Research Foundation of cuts to its funding for rated researchers has raised concerns about the value being placed on research and support for top researchers in South Africa.
Social media and higher education – Rich possibilities
Sam Otieno
Social media could be a useful tool for transforming governance, teaching, research and community outreach in African universities, according to Nickson Otieno. However, for this potential to be fully realised, African academia and policy-makers need to break the stereotypes that social networks are primarily for students interested in expanding their social lives and embrace them as critical tenets of the higher education transformative agenda.
Jobs for graduates – A shared responsibility
Laeed Zaghlami
The employment of university graduates and postgraduates has become a headache for successive governments in Algeria as the present job market has little to offer qualified or highly qualified candidates. Paradoxically, small and medium-sized enterprises are struggling to find appropriately skilled employees.
Africa Briefs
Grant introduced to promote science and technology
The government is to launch a national solidarity grant, with priority for students from poorer families, as part of its programme to promote scientific and technological studies.
Academics call for promotion of indigenous languages
Universities should promote the recognition of indigenous languages to support the cultural identities of people in the regions, according to Professor Pedro Miguel.
Global Commentary
How many excellent universities does Russia need?
Andrei Volkov
A row over the number of institutions in Russia’s Project 5-100 programme for elite universities has opened up deep questions about how many world-class universities Russia should have, how that can be achieved, and what broader progress can be made for higher education on the way.
A shift to the global common good in higher education
Lin Tian, Yan Wu and Niancai Liu
World-class universities need to be repositioned as a global common good, which confront the challenges facing the world for the benefit of all people – rather than being defined by whether higher education is delivered through a private or state university.
The menace of academic inbreeding is ubiquitous
Pushkar and Madhvi Gupta, The Wire
Academic inbreeding, which is common in India, accentuates existing biases in university hiring policies and means that it is not always the best staff who get posts. Universities seeking to become ‘Institutions of Eminence’ or India’s best should avoid hiring their own.
Chronic uncertainty prevails for UK and EU researchers
Athene Donald
Those who believe that post-Brexit problems for researchers will be resolved if only the United Kingdom government can find some funding to plug the gap in science research budgets – if excluded from the European programme – ignore the prestige that accompanies European research projects.
What international students say they need: quality
Adriana Perez-Encinas
The international student experience is gaining in importance for higher education educators. Universities need to find out what kind of support their international students want. Too often they are unaware of what their main concerns and perceptions are.
World Round-up
Government funds aim to boost quality of 20 universities
Limits on research chair terms aim to promote diversity
The Globe and Mail
Efforts to save leading university hit hurdle
International students to face English language tests
Sky News
Federal judge blocks third Trump travel ban
Inside Higher Ed
Grant system may not offer a solution to poor students
The Japan Times
African Leadership University opens second campus
Atlanta Black Star
Company targets US universities in hunt for AI talent
South China Morning Post
Chat groups in local universities help reduce food waste
The Straits Times
State to support technical universities, polytechnics
Ghana News Agency
Report card shows drop in university education quality
The Media Line
Academic calls for government support for universities
Focus Taiwan
Lecturers struggle to make ends meet, and do research
Viet Nam News
BBC-universities partnership to unlock potential of data
Protesters drown out white nationalist’s university speech
Africa News
Authorities tighten rules for foreign student admissions
Christabel Ligami
Concerned by criminal and terror networks, Kenyan authorities are tightening up regulations relating to the entry of foreign students – all of whom will from January 2018 require police clearance before being considered for admission into a Kenyan higher education institution.
HE sector faces more uncertainty after axing of minister
Munyaradzi Makoni
The higher education sector faced further upheaval last week as Dr Blade Nzimande was dropped as minister of higher education and training in a mini cabinet reshuffle announced by President Jacob Zuma, a move which has elicited criticism and praise in equal measure.
Centres of excellence to bridge university-industry gap
Rodrigue Rwirahira
Universities from Southern and Eastern Africa are looking to partnerships between 'African Centres of Excellence' and the private sector to help promote relevant and quality education.
Critics take aim at new scholarships ministry
Kudzai Mashininga
Academics, student unions and opposition parties have condemned the creation by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe of a new ministry – of National Scholarships – against the backdrop of the country’s ongoing economic woes.
UN project aimed at TVET sector enters second phase
Gilbert Nakweya
Five African countries are set to benefit from the second phase of a United Nations project which seeks to strengthen national technical and vocational education and training, or TVET, systems and boost youth employment.
World Bank fellowship programme doubles its intake
Maina Waruru
The Africa Fellowship Program run by the World Bank is this year doubling its intake from 10 to 20 fellows, after the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development joined the initiative.
Applied sciences university agreement nears finalisation
Maina Waruru
The much-awaited bilateral agreement between Kenya and Germany, paving the way for the establishment of the planned Eastern African-German University of Applied Sciences, could be signed in the next month, signalling the possibility of setting up the institution before the end of 2018.
Global News
Senate rejects government’s university spending cuts
Geoff Maslen
The Australian Senate on Thursday rejected federal government plans to slash AU$2.8 billion (US$2.2 billion) from its grants to universities in a decision that knocks a gaping hole in its annual budget. Minor parties in the Senate joined with the Labor opposition to refuse to pass any of the clauses in the government bill and called for an entire review of the higher education sector.
Technology universities dominate regional ranking
Yojana Sharma
Asia’s universities of technology are dominating regional Asian rankings, propelled by determined efforts by a number of governments in the region to put universities at the forefront of innovation-driven future economic growth.
Three new leaders in four regional university rankings
There were three new leaders in the QS annual regional university rankings released last week, covering 1,000 universities in Asia, Latin America, the Arab region, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Two of the rankings have new entrants in the top three.
Threat to cull elite Project 5-100 universities blocked
Brendan O’Malley and Eugene Vorotnikov
Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets has ruled out any imminent adoption of a proposal by the Minister of Education and Science to remove funding from 15 out of 21 institutions in the Project 5-100 elite universities programme to concentrate on six institutions.
Study identifies key challenges for foreign students
Brendan O’Malley
Nearly half of international students who return to their home country after graduation cite visa-related and work-related issues as the primary reason for returning, according to a new report on the career prospects and outcomes of international students.
Students hit by tax hike on higher education services
Shuriah Niazi
India’s new Goods and Services Tax being rolled out throughout the country in a far-reaching tax reform will mean applying to foreign universities will become more expensive, but the main effect will be on students at local universities who will have to pay more for accommodation and other essential campus services.
Universities face fines for not protecting free speech
Brendan O'Malley
Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson has called on the new higher education regulator, the Office for Students, to champion free speech – and has warned universities they face fines, suspension or deregistration if they do not protect free speech.
Universities generate £100 billion, one million jobs
UK universities generate a knock-on impact of nearly £100 billion (US$131 billion) for the UK economy and support close to a million jobs throughout the United Kingdom – yet receive less than a third of their funding from public sources, according to new figures from Universities UK.
Closure raises doubts over university clinic treatment
Jan Petter Myklebust
The University of Oslo has closed down the outpatient clinic in psychology at its institute of psychology, where patients were treated by psychology students under supervision of their professors, a system that has been functioning well for more than 40 years.
World Blog
The challenges of international HE in a small country
Hans de Wit
There is no straight model for international education for small, developing island countries such as Curaçao. A long-term international higher education strategy, building on their innate strengths and needs and investments in quality is the way forward.

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