In Commentary, Alina Cordova writes about the positive prospects for internationalisation of smaller campuses with limited resources, and Pamela Tate describes a model that improves lives through better employment linked to better education and recognition of prior learning.
We publish a second special report on the British Council’s Going Global conference held in London, and in Global Features, Yojana Sharma reports on China’s launch of a new international alliance of universities, ostensibly to provide research and engineering support for China’s mammoth ‘One Belt, One Road’ project along the ancient Silk Road route.
Karen MacGregor – Africa Editor
African university leaders overwhelmingly agree that forging ahead with the internationalisation of higher education is a matter of urgency. At the 2015 Conference of Rectors, Vice Chancellors and Presidents of African Universities in Kigali, Rwanda, they even seemed to be approaching a sound level of agreement on how to get there.
French-speaking higher education ministers and other representatives from more than 40 countries have agreed to cooperate in developing a global digital francophone university area, including a common website for sharing and distribution of common resources.
In an effort to boost quality and make institutions more globally competitive, Egypt is planning to launch a national university ranking system. The step will place Egypt at the forefront of African countries producing rankings, along with N
igeria and Kenya.
SOUTHERN AFRICAMunyaradzi Makoni
The Southern African Regional Universities Association has launched a network to strengthen curriculum development across the region. Its first project is the development of a curriculum for a masters degree in climate change.
SOUTHERN AFRICAMunyaradzi Makoni
Universities in Southern Africa would have opportunities to reduce social and economic exclusion if they improved engagement with marginalised communities as a means to promote innovation for inclusive development.
Barely a week before handing over power to N
igeria’s new President Muhammadu Buhari, former president Goodluck Jonathan hurriedly approved the creation of five new universities. In a show of unanimous displeasure, lecturers rejected the new institutions, believing that they will create more problems for existing universities already groaning under dwindling funding.
REPUBLIC OF CONGOJane Marshall
Angry high school students caused severe damage in the Republic of Congo capital Brazzaville and other towns while protesting against the cancellation of baccalauréat exams due to widespread leaks of the questions on social media. The Education Ministry stopped the exam, which gives students who pass it the right to higher education, on the third and last day.
Vice-chancellors of public universities in Ghana and directors of French engineering schools have signed an agreement on mutual recognition of studies and qualifications that will enable Ghanaian students to study more easily in France, and French students to study in Ghana.
Officials are preparing to reopen the Judicial College of Zimbabwe this year, after the European Union funnelled €1.2 million (US$1.3 million) to the Harare-based institution through the Zimbabwe Judicial Service Commission. The college has been closed since 2008 because of a lack of funding, but plays a critical role in the judiciary, training magistrates and prosecutors.
African researchers should seek inspiration from indigenous knowledge and innovation systems in order to make headway in resolving development problems. The call was made by University of Rwanda senior lecturer, Dr Chika Ezeanya, during a general assembly of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, CODESRIA.
Africa largely missed the analogue technology revolution 50 years ago. Experts say the digital age will come to an end faster. There is a need to position Africa to catch up with information and communication technology and be viewed as a global player, said Thierry Zomahoun, president and CEO of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences.
SOUTH AFRICANicola Jenvey
South Africa needed 14% of gross domestic product generated by entrepreneurs to achieve the economic growth rates essential for sustainability and development – and entrepreneurship was a skill universities could be training students – the 17th annual African Renaissance conference heard in Durban recently.
Research into N
igerian students’ and academics’ approach to plagiarism suggests students are not ready or prepared for study abroad. Highlighting the need for academic integrity in N
igerian universities could help drive the education system to new heights.
In Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, more than 200 hidden cameras are snapping photos day and night, capturing the secret lives of the Serengeti’s most elusive animals. When we found ourselves with even more pictures than the 1.6 million wildebeest and zebra that take part in the annual migration, we turned to citizen scientists to work through the images and extract the valuable information they contain.
Some 350 higher education lecturers and researchers attended Morocco’s First Forum of Scientific Research to discuss their experiences, present research findings and – especially – promote multidisciplinarity.
GOING GLOBAL 2015
More than 1,200 participants descended on the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London on 1-2 June for the British Council’s Going Global conference, described by the hosts as the world’s largest gathering of international education leaders concerned with the future of tertiary education. University World News
is a media partner, and this is the second of two special reports on the conference.
Universities are churning out more and more graduates without preparing them for the world of work. If they took more time to listen to students’ views they might have more hope of finding the right solutions, new research suggests.
An increase in higher education enrolment provides benefits to societies generally but rapid expansion has also put pressure on national budgets and raised concerns in providing quality, equity and access.
A global fund for higher education in emergencies should be established to enable alternative provision to be made during times of war and other disasters, participants at the British Council’s Going Global conference for leaders of international education were told.
There is no “silver bullet” that will guarantee success in building a national eco-system for commerc
ialised research, a study on the experience in four countries has found. Each country has its own context, including political and economic, and cultural, and the entrepreneurial spirit of the country is critical.
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
China’s universities, spurred on by impressive levels of sustained public and private investment, have made strong progress in two Asia rankings released last week, while Saudi Arabia and Brazil dominate in QS’s Arab Region and Latin America rankings respectively.
Despite repeated bans by China’s education authorities, new fake universities and other scams continue to pop up on blacklists that are published every year to alert the Chinese public. Fraud involving overseas recruitment agencies and pathway programmes is also rife. Many are beginning to question whether there is adequate supervision of the shady business.
Russian scientists and intellectuals mounted a rare public protest on 6 June to voice their fears that research and freedom of enquiry are under threat from the Kremlin. The protest was initially triggered by the labelling of a leading private research foundation as a ‘foreign agent’.
MYANMARNaw Say Phaw Waa
Student groups, parents, lawyers and civil society members say that students detained in Myanmar jails after protests against the National Education Law in March are being held intentionally because the government wants activist student groups out of the way before the 2015 election to be held in late October or early November.
GLOBALMary Beth Marklein
Noting a "sense of urgency for a shared understanding" of higher education quality in an increasingly global landscape, an international advisory group has released a set of principles around which, it suggests, quality assurance policy might be organised.
EUROPEJan Petter Myklebust
Huge increases in the number of students graduating from university with PhDs are occurring in countries around the world, creating a more “multi-polar” research landscape, a European conference on doctoral education was told.
In a radical revamp of its much criticised university entrance examination system, Vietnam is holding its first combined school leaving exam and college entrance exam next month, with students sitting a single examination for the first time instead of two separate high-stakes examinations.
UNITED STATESSandhya Kambhampati, The Chronicle of Higher Education
The typical public college leader who served for the entire 2014 fiscal year earned just over US$428,000, almost 7% more than the median from the year before, according to an analysis by The Chronicle of Higher Education
. Two presidents earned more than a US$1 million in 2014, one fewer than the year before.
FINLANDJan Petter Myklebust and Ian R Dobson
Government plans to save costs by introducing a third semester, cutting student aid and charging tuition fees for non-European Union international students has been heavily criticised by representatives of university researchers and teachers, and students.
GLOBALHans de Wit and Philip G Altbach
At the recent NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference the increasing commerc
ialisation and nationalisation of internationalisation were evident with more groupings of higher education institutions under national flags in the exhibit hall to promote the country as a study destination. But are universities and associations maintaining the right balance between commercial and traditional values?
China has launched a new international alliance of universities to back up its huge infrastructure plan along the ancient Silk Road route, a byword for trade and cultural exchanges between Asia and Europe.
A 102-year-old has been awarded her doctoral degree in Hamburg. Paediatrician and Professor of Medicine Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport was denied her title under the Nazis because her mother was a Jew. She sat her oral last year despite being barely able to see and passed summa cum laude
Achieving internationalisation is within the reach of campuses of all sizes if the will exists to create global students who are adaptable to any environment. With proper recruitment and monitoring in place, and with initiatives to help integrate foreign students and dedicated management staff, it is possible to internationalise despite limited resources.
UNITED STATESPamela Tate
The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning links learning and work using a model which it says can be replicated worldwide. Their ultimate goal is to improve lives through better employment.
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Venezuela has already lost many of its brightest young professionals to better paying jobs in more stable countries, and now the South American country is also losing the professors who trained them, writes Jorge Rueda for Associated Press
What would happen if academics could join the dots between the huge number of research articles that have been published digitally? Academics argue there are links waiting to be discovered that could help us tackle the most pressing questions facing society, in areas ranging from healthcare to the humanities, writes Helen Lock for the Guardian
Despite the huge army of high school seniors pursuing higher education, Chinese universities face a growing survival crisis after decades of explosive expansion as the number of students taking what is generally considered the single most important test any Chinese person can take, the gaokao
, has fallen for five straight years since 2009, reports Xinhua
Not hundreds or a few thousand, but over a staggering 200,000 people from the Gulf countries bought fake online degrees and diplomas from dubious Pakistani IT firm Axact in the past four years, writes Mazhar Farooqui for XPRESS
A government service exposing fake, online universities has identified 190 bogus institutions selling qualifications as part of a multi-million pound industry, writes Callum Paton for International Business Times
The Indonesian National Police say more complaints have been lodged against higher education institutions that are alleged to have issued fake degrees since the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education filed a report against one such institution last month, writes Fedina S Sundaryani for The Jakarta Post
The Higher Education Council, known as YÖK, has reportedly written to universities warning them to first request permission from the Interior Ministry if they are planning on embarking on any sort of academic research concerning Syrian asylum seekers based in Turkey, writes Arife Kabil for Today’s Zaman
The medical faculty at the University of Sydney will review one of its study units after an academic scandal which involved students falsifying records and interviewing dead patients, write Natalie O'Brien and Alexandra Smith for The Sydney Morning Herald
Lecturers from universities across Thailand have called for the government to forget about unity within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, and bring back the old academic timetable which keeps Thai universities closed during the hot season, writes Terry Fredrickson for Bangkok Post
Oxford University's last remaining single-s
ex college will open its doors to women undergraduates following a recent vote, making it the last of the university's institutions to do so, writes Joseph D’Urso for Reuters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led a furious Israeli backlash against Britain's leading student body after it voted to ally itself with a Palestinian group that campaigns for an economic and cultural boycott of Israel, writes Robert Tait for The Telegraph
A dean of the Federal University of Santa Maria in the State of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil has been accused of anti-Semitism after Brazilian media carried reports about a memorandum requesting a list of Israeli student and lecturers who belong to the university, reports i24 News
About 30 Tel Aviv University students, mostly graduates and PhD candidates, took part recently in a discussion about the boycott movement against Israel, particularly the academic boycott. The very fact that a discussion was held that did not completely condemn the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, or BDS, movement and included some expressions of support, is considered unusual, writes Or Kashti for Haaretz
Stuttgart Media University in Germany has scuttled plans to establish a Confucius Institute due to stated concerns over finances, the Stuttgarter Zeitung
reported (in German). The university had signed a contract to found a Confucius Institute with Hanban, the Chinese government entity that oversees and funds the overseas institutes for Chinese language and culture study, in August 2014, reports Inside Higher Ed
Ten years ago, the then Makerere University chancellor, Professor Apolo Nsibambi, urged universities in East Africa to prepare for the increasing demand for higher education. He has not veered from that position, but his advice has not been embraced by other institutions, writes Moses Talemwa for The Observer
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