When Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014, many academics were hopeful about the future of India’s higher education system after years of seeing the quality of university education undermined by political and bureaucratic interference. One year on, there is disappointment over continued meddling and the lack of a clear higher education direction.
The Hong Kong Federation of Students shot to the limelight during pro-democracy protests last year, but the university student alliance is facing an uncertain future and a severely curbed political role after four of its eight constituent university unions recently voted to leave the Federation.
In Uganda as elsewhere, recent graduates are learning a tough lesson – a university education is no guarantee of a job. More than half of people under 30 are without full-time employment, and the problem is particularly acute among degree holders. Now new initiatives are teaching graduates and students the entrepreneurial skills they need to survive.
The Yerevan meeting of European Higher Education Area Ministers and the Bologna Policy Forum recently took the controversial decision to admit Belarus in a move to promote human rights.
Universities play a pivotal role in addressing climate change, through research and innovation and also through educating other members of society about behavioural and social change.
A new study shows that learning abroad programmes play a more important role in the career development of graduates than is currently recognised by many institutions.
While the number of students graduating from African universities is increasing, the Sub-Saharan region has a lot of ground to cover in improving higher education stock to match the rest of the world. As an ‘Africa rising’ seeks ways to expand university enrolments, it must also provide more high-quality, technically oriented training to students.
Access and equity in higher education should be seen as an equally important grand challenge for the 21st century as increasing participation at the primary and secondary education levels. As higher education expands, a strategy is needed to propel equity up institutional, national and global policy agendas.
Korea JoongAng Daily
Fox News Latino
SOUTH KOREA-UNITED KINGDOM
China’s education ministry is pushing for the country’s National College Entrance Exam, known as the gaokao, to be accepted for admission by more overseas universities.
Much more needs to be done to harmonise Europe’s higher education system, according to a new report into the state of implementation of the Bologna Process across the European Higher Education Area. There has been progress on quality assurance and the credit transfer system, but in other spheres, including equity of access, the record of progress is patchy.
Ameen Amjad Khan
Following an investigation by The New York Times into an alleged global fake degrees business, Pakistan law enforcement agencies have raided the offices of Karachi-based IT company Axact and have also begun probing the company’s accounts. Records, computers and electronic devices were seized for forensic investigation. Axact denied the allegations.
African and European cooperation has produced a growing number of African graduates who have studied abroad. But the continent is not benefitting as much as it should from their world-class talent because, although the graduates want to contribute to capacity building in their fields, local conditions are not conducive, a recent study found.
Mary Beth Marklein
Fed by growing demand abroad among parents who hope a US high school education will boost their child's attractiveness to top US universities, a small but growing number of US secondary schools are recruiting international students. But a new report suggests school counsellors are uncertain of giving them the advice they need to progress.
University lecturers in Nigeria are increasingly concerned about the destruction of lives and property on campuses and the disruption of academic activities by the extremist Islamic sect Boko Haram, especially in the northeast. The university community has urged President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, a former general, to find urgent short- and long-term solutions to security challenges in the region.
In the wake of the 25 April earthquake and huge aftershocks that jolted the country, Nepal’s largest public university has set up a fund – and staff are donating a proportion of their own salaries – to help with reconstruction. Students and alumni are helping to clear rubble, salvage materials and perform other tasks.
Jan Petter Myklebust
Having an elected rector could be a barrier to university mergers succeeding, a leading expert told the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education last week. Experts on university mergers in other countries were invited to add to the national debate on government plans to merge 14 universities and colleges into five institutions.
South Africa’s Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande has announced that he is paying close attention to “accelerated transformation in universities, including setting concrete targets and transformation indicators”. The demographics of the professoriate needs to be radically changed, discrimination eliminated and student success and support improved.
Peter Schmidt, The Chronicle of Higher Education
More than 60 Asian-American groups have accused Harvard University of discriminating against applicants for their ethnic backgrounds in complaints filed with the Justice Department and the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. Harvard said it has a strong record of recruiting and admitting Asian-American students.
International students in London are contributing £2.8 billion (US$4.3 billion) a year to the UK economy through fees and spending that they, their friends and families bring to the UK. Although they do consume public services, this is dwarfed by their contribution to the economy.
Britain’s Medical Research Foundation has launched a new £2.7 million (US$4.2 million) health research fund for Africa. The fund will support scientists to pursue projects at centres of excellence outside their current places of work. The Africa Research Excellence Fund will promote outstanding health research by Africans in Africa.