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.
Rankings are criticised for their focus on research, but even in research they need to adapt to keep pace with big changes in the way scientific research is done.
Frans van Vught and Frank Ziegele
The Coimbra Group’s critique of U-Multirank shows it has misunderstood U-Multirank’s conceptual approach and its methodology, which is radically different to those of existing international university rankings.
Indonesia needs to be more proactive in promoting interdisciplinary approaches in responding to the world’s problems as its neighbours do. Disciplines have for too long been isolated from each other.
The suicide of Rohith Vemula, a student who campaigned for the rights of Dalits, has generated a lot of media coverage, to which the government has responded with ad hoc policy suggestions. What is needed, though, is some joined up policy which addresses the roots of this and similar cases.
To make the most of the possibilities of data analytics at universities requires a coherent digital strategy and training for staff.
The Korea Herald
New Zealand Herald
The Washington Post
The Times of Israel
Times Higher Education
The Hechinger Report
The number of foreign students studying in Russian universities could significantly increase during the next several years, mainly due to a sharp devaluation of the Russian currency, the ruble, against the dollar and euro, caused by the financial crisis in Russia, according to rectors of Russia's leading universities.
Nearly 5,000 academics from universities across the world have demanded investigations into disappearances in Egypt after a ‘brilliant’ Italian student was found to have been tortured before being murdered in Cairo. The government has denied allegations that the security services or police were involved.
Anastacia Mikwa, a 20-year-old student at Kenya’s Garissa University College when it was attacked by al-Shabaab extremists last April, was shot multiple times and lost her friends. Still traumatised and crippled – but feeling lucky to be alive – she spoke to University World News about the massacre in which 148 people lost their lives.
Unless we measure learning outcomes, judgements about the quality of teaching and learning at higher education institutions will continue to be made on the basis of flawed international rankings based on idiosyncratic inputs and reputation surveys, says Andreas Schleicher of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Sara Hebel, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Public universities should deepen their engagement with their communities and make those partnerships part of their core academic missions, says Robert J Jones, president of the University at Albany.
There is a strong call for strengthening universities and research in the new Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025. Its objectives include boosting postgraduate and post-doctoral education and growing competitive awards to nurture young academics, more international research cooperation and expanding centres of excellence and institutional links.
Germany’s Excellence Initiative, aimed at promoting world-class science at German universities, has been evaluated by an international commission of experts. They give the measure good marks but also point to a number of shortcomings that will have to be addressed in future.
Universities in Shanghai have been taken to task for inflating graduate employment figures as the Shanghai City administration, in cooperation with higher education institutions, recently published its first report on the destination of recent graduates.
The European Union’s Erasmus+ programme offered a record number – 650,000 – of individual mobility grants for people to study, train, work or volunteer abroad in 2014. But an impact study of the previous programme suggests the impact will differ from region to region.
Ameen Amjad Khan
A provincial government inquiry committee into a terrorist attack on Pakistan’s Bacha Khan University on 20 January that left 21 dead and as many as 30 injured has held the university’s vice-chancellor and its security officer responsible, and recommended the removal of Vice-chancellor Fazal Rahim Marwat. But the recommendation has been unanimously rejected by university staff.
A new research university at Savannakhet – the country’s second-largest city – in the western region of Laos is being built with loans and funding of up to US$40 million from the Asian Development Bank to provide skilled graduates for the region’s ‘economic corridor’ that runs through the area.
Australia’s international education is continuing to expand rapidly, according to preliminary data released on 3 February showing export income from education services was A$19.65 billion (US$13.9 billion) in 2015 – an increase of 11.5% since 2014 – according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
Jan Petter Myklebust
Copenhagen University – the largest research and education institution in the country – announced last week that it is cutting 532 jobs of professors, researchers and administrative staff, due to government austerity measures. The job losses will amount to 7.4% of the total workforce at the university.
The Institute of International Education has created an Emergency Student Fund initiative to help students from Syria and Yemen on United States campuses whose financial support has been devastated by the ongoing conflict in Syria and escalating violence in Yemen.
New Zealand’s government is promising to reinvest in the country’s universities as they face a big drop in enrolments. The Education Ministry has forecast that degree and postgraduate enrolments by domestic students will fall every year until at least 2019 because there are fewer school-leavers and less unemployment.