12 February 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa News
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.
Africa News
Registration fees postponed after #FeesMustFall unrest
Munyaradzi Makoni
South Africa’s #FeesMustFall movement has found resonance in neighbouring Namibia, where student protests last week resulted in the government postponing registration fee payment at the Namibia University of Science and Technology.
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.
Universities phase out courses with few students
Esther Nakkazi
Ugandan universities are phasing out courses with few students – except science courses and those not available elsewhere or where a university may have a comparative advantage.
Pan African University gender desks to tackle inequity
Maina Waruru
The Pan African University is to establish gender desks with permanent staff in all of its four operational institutes to address an acute problem of gender disparity in enrolments. Males comprise nearly 70% of all students admitted so far.
Africa Briefs
Mathematics teacher training programme launched
Munyaradzi Makoni
Cameroon’s ministries of secondary and higher education and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences launched a Mathematics Teacher Training Programme in January. The pilot initiative will train some 3,000 maths teachers through three higher education institutions.
Global Commentary
Disruption the new norm
Marguerite Dennis
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.
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'.
Global Features
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.
Africa Features
Parliament bars reporting by journalists with no degree
Esther Nakkazi
A debate has been raging in Uganda over whether a degree improves the ability to comprehend and accurately report on parliamentary proceedings. With elections looming, parliament has barred journalists who do not have a degree and three years’ experience – even though MPs only need an advanced certificate.
Very low numbers of African graduate students in US
Wachira Kigotho
Only some 4,600 students from Sub-Saharan Africa were admitted to postgraduate courses in the United States last year, according to the Council of Graduate Schools. Students from the region comprised only 2% of 215,156 foreign students offered postgraduate places in 793 universities and colleges across America.
World Blog
Higher education research goes global
Hans de Wit
The 2003 Shanghai Statement unleashed a string of initiatives aimed at promoting more research into international higher education, including the world's largest research centre in this field, launched in London last week.
Global News
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.
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.
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.
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.
World Round-up
Ministry to raise foreign students numbers to 300,000
The Japan Times
Universities around the world offer tuition in English
State-run universities score poorly on corruption
The Korea Herald
Labour announces free tertiary education plan
New Zealand Herald
Academics fear tuition fees for local and EU students
State trying to ‘capture universities through new bill’
Weak students should not attend university – OECD report
Sydney university takes a stand on maths
Financial Review
Public universities see surge in out-of-state students
The Washington Post
University classes resume after suicide-linked protests
The Times of India
Top universities reject PM’s racial diversity criticism
Financial Times
Government to review policy of sending students abroad
Public universities suspend breakfast over money
Associated Press
Rhodes’ statue is not the sole focus of Oxford campaign
New Statesman
Academics call for boycott of Israeli universities
The Times of Israel
Offers of global elite scholarships boost soft power
Times Higher Education
Gates Foundation calls for closer scrutiny of colleges
The Hechinger Report
EU students fill gaps at UK universities
Daily Mail

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