Philip G Altbach
A reconsideration of the merits of a broad-based education is taking place in universities around the world, but it needs to take account of non-Western traditions as well as those of Western liberal arts colleges.
Despite higher education reforms, Ukraine still faces many challenges if it is to fully implement the Bologna agreement and encourage greater student mobility. Progress has been made on improving monitoring and reporting on the country’s implementation of the Bologna process.
Marguerite Dennis and Richard Lynch
Higher education needs to look to the future and that future is likely to be online and international. Universities need to be disruptive innovators and adopt ‘blue ocean strategies’ to succeed.
After a lecture tour, famous theorist of the network society Manuel Castells remarked that ‘transformation’ is a word South Africans use when they stop thinking. Yet the debate over transformation rages on, and the charge of ‘no transformation’ reverberates through higher education. Statistics from a forthcoming book about the doctorate demonstrate how unhelpful – if not toxic – the transformation debate has become.
Grace Karram Stephenson
Market forces have taken over higher education thinking, but a recent case in Canada hearkens back to an earlier era where teaching staff had greater influence.
Although the traditional lecture hall is unlikely to ever disappear completely, it is increasingly being supplemented – and in some cases replaced – by technology. And while a combination of both online and onsite learning as a teaching means is proving successful, more work is needed for this combination to truly internationalise the global learning experience.
Obstacles to exchanges between universities in the European Union and their southern and eastern neighbours “should be eliminated” by simplifying, harmonising and liberalising visa procedures and encouraging short-term mobility, says the European University Association in its response to public consultation on ‘Towards a New European Neighbourhood Policy’.
Kelly Field, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Florida State University’s Unconquered Scholars initiative serves students who have experienced homelessness or foster care, been wards of the court or raised by relatives other than their parents. Those students’ backgrounds put them at greater risk of dropping out, so the programme provides academic, social and emotional support to keep them on track.
Racial problems that have dogged South Africa’s prestigious Stellenbosch University have flared after the publication of a documentary about the discriminatory experiences of black students. The parliamentary portfolio committee on higher education and training is calling the university’s leaders to an urgent meeting, to table institutional transformation plans. Meanwhile, violence has marred the run-up to student elections on other campuses.
Middle East Monitor
The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Japan News-Asia News Network
Times Higher Education
The Washington Post
Student success is crucial to the purposes of open, distance and e-learning – but challenging to achieve compared with selective post-secondary systems – a study for the International Council for Open and Distance Education found. Good practices include whole-institution strategies for student success and the mitigation of drop-out at course, qualification and institutional levels, solid data, honest admissions policies and accountability.
The first Global Conference on Internationalisation of Higher Education will be held in August next year, in South Africa’s huge Kruger Park game reserve. The event flows from the first inclusive Global Dialogue held in Port Elizabeth in January 2014, attended by 24 international education organisations from across the world.
Regional Australian universities are turning out to be top performers, according to the Good Universities Guide 2016, an independent five-star performance rating of Australian undergraduate courses released by education solutions provider Hobsons this month.
Jan Petter Myklebust and Michelle Paterson
A shift away from traditional student mobility destinations is among the developments noted in a report by the international strategy office of Oxford University, which offers a summary of key trends in higher education to illustrate the global context of its international engagement.
Hundreds of African students are leaving for Japan this year, the second group to join the African Business Education Initiative for Youth, a five-year plan to provide 1,000 young Africans with opportunities to study for masters degrees at top universities and do internships at leading Japanese companies.
Up to 150 large, multi-profile universities will be established in Russia over the next several years, according to Alexander Klimov, deputy minister of education and science.
Police officers will be deployed on request to Kenyan universities to boost security and guard against possible future attacks by religious extremists, the government has said.
A government plan to withdraw funding from university-based primary schools and demonstration secondary schools on all campuses in Nigeria has met with sharp resistance. The schools were created and funded as an integral part of faculties of education to research methods of improving teaching and learning.
Jan Petter Myklebust
Cambridge University Professor Stephen Hawking has proposed a new theory of black holes, arguing that information lost in black holes could be stored in alternate universes and that some black holes could be passages to them.
When Kazakhstan opened the doors of the Nazarbayev University in 2010, the institution was hailed as a fledgling bastion of academic excellence and freedom in an educational system still hobbled by Soviet standards. But a row threatens to dent those aspirations and expose the limits of free thinking against the backdrop of a tense international diplomatic scene.
A new collaborative masters degree to develop Africa’s next generation of public policy leaders has been initiated by the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research, in cooperation with 12 universities in seven African countries.
The number of international students studying in Mauritius increased during 2014 to more than 1,500 from 65 countries, while the number of Mauritians studying abroad also rose, according to the 16th annual Participation in Tertiary Education report. The well-off Indian Ocean island is positioning itself as a higher education hub – a destination for foreign students and for international universities.