Daniel Kratochvil and Grace Karram
International rankings are coming to the Middle East, but could they lead to homogenisation and division between institutions and countries? It would be better if the rankings measured a broader range of criteria than research output, including regional collaboration.
TALLOIRES NETWORK 2014
The number of academics who step outside the ivory tower to engage with the community is growing and universities are using a variety of ways to compensate them for doing so. But institutions that recognise and reward this effort are still very much a minority and the reasons why they find it hard to do are complex.
Technology will not only determine the educational delivery methods of the future, but will lead to the rise of global universities, with no one country dominating the international student market because there will be no ‘typical’ mobile student.
Adam Habib and Christine Woods
Online education programmes, and MOOCs in particular, may be considered disruptive technological developments with the potential to be useful in addressing higher education challenges. But this will only be realised if we avoid the twin evils of cynicism and evangelism and move towards collaborative education between universities in different parts of the world.
Daniela Z Kaisth and James R King
A new pilot programme aimed at helping Syrian refugee students to study at nearby universities in Jordan could be scaled up across the region with support from universities, governments and NGOs.
Simon Marginson and Ly Tran
A new book examines all aspects of Vietnam’s higher education system and calls for the development of flexible students who are capable of being socially, regionally and transnationally mobile, and a focus on employability and knowledge for the purposes of community development.
The Research on Open Educational Resources for Development in the Global South – ROER4D – project is a three-year multi-country and institutional research project whose objective is to improve educational policy, practice and research in developing countries by better understanding the use and impact of open educational resources in the global South.
Los Angeles Times
The Telegraph India
The Wall Street Journal
Times Higher Education
The clamour of voices calling for the Malaysian government to repeal its controversial Sedition Act grew louder as a law student last week received a one-year jail term under the Sedition law – the second student to be found guilty of sedition this month.
Hong Kong’s universities and colleges – almost 20 of them – are gearing up for a student organised pro-democracy boycott of classes due to begin on 22 September and to last at least a week, with academics supporting the student movement.
Amid a series of attempts by the Thai military junta to control public gatherings, a number of academics and student activists were detained on 18 September for holding a public forum on democracy.
If the University Innovation Alliance achieves its goals, high quality degrees will become more accessible for all students, particularly first-generation and low-income students. Thousands more will graduate each year, and additionally they could shave time off their studies, taxpayers could save US$100 million in educational costs, and over the next five years another 850,000 students could graduate from America’s colleges.
On the tenth anniversary of its rankings, British universities notched up their “best-ever performance” in the British company QS Quacquarelli Symonds’ global rankings. And graduates of two British universities were rated the most employable in the world.
Jan Petter Myklebust
A government-commissioned study of the placement of Norwegian universities in global rankings – in particular compared to other Nordic institutions – has concluded that even the top rankings are so based on subjective weightings of factors and on dubious data that they are useless as a basis for information if the goal is to improve higher education.
Tunisia has officially unveiled an economic development mega-project that will house research and science, university and medical ‘cities’ and will include a range of research centres, science institutes and branches of foreign universities.
Private universities are trying to shore up their credibility with publicity campaigns and newspaper advertisements, following a warning from Bangladesh’s higher education apex body the University Grants Commission naming and shaming a dozen private institutions.
A private university in Kenya is facing an auction of some of its prime property by banks and several other institutions are in financial trouble, in what some fear is a signal that the rapid expansion of higher education in the country has reached a sustainability limit.
According to the OECD, Germany is still lagging behind other member countries in academics statistics. Furthermore, the majority of students still tend to come from an academic family background. But the Paris-based organisation is full of praise for the country’s vocational education system.
The deaths in Nigeria of two medical doctors associated with teaching hospitals, both victims of the dreaded Ebola virus in the horrifying outbreak of the disease in West Africa, has created panic and unsettled nerves on campuses.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, once a student of the arts but now a champion of science, has advised universities funded by the government to develop more science courses and to drop many in the arts and humanities.
The decision by Egyptian authorities to postpone the start of the new academic year by two weeks has drawn sustained criticism from lecturers and students. Minister of Higher Education Sayed Abdel Khaleq said universities would open their gates on 11 October instead of 27 September as scheduled.
Some of China’s most eminent universities including Peking and Tsinghua are clustered around the Zhongguancun area in Beijing’s Haidian district, which likes to style itself as China’s ‘Silicon Valley’, attracting research institutions and thousands of high-tech enterprises.
Continental Europe’s leading research-intensive university ETH Zürich is exploring the idea of establishing a ‘future cities laboratory’ in Africa following the success of the Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability.
Marc Parry, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Books are the gold standard of historical scholarship. Claudio Saunt, a specialist in early American history, has published three of them. As a sort of epilogue to his latest book, however, the University of Georgia professor decided to try a different approach: what would happen if he distilled more than a century of American Indian history into an interactive digital map?