A second Special Report forms part of a series of articles ahead of the International Council for Open and Distance Education conference next month, with The American University in Cairo’s Aziza Ellozy focusing on the importance of well-trained faculty for online learning.
In World Blog, Hans de Wit stresses that internationalisation should be extended to all students and not just the mobile minority. And in Commentary, Philip Altbach and Jamil Salmi reflect on whether the successful 'recipes' of the most innovative universities can be transferred to other institutions, and Thomas Estermann and Enora Bennetot Pruvot issue a plea for reliable funding for Europe’s Horizon 2020 programme.
Karen MacGregor – Africa Editor
A US$15 million initiative to strengthen science granting councils in Africa held its inaugural forum in the Kenyan capital Nairobi this month. Initially science councils will be supported in 12 countries – Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Egypt’s controversial minister of higher education has been replaced in a cabinet change unveiled recently. The sacking of El-Sayed Abdel Khalek, who got the portfolio in June last year, followed a series of disputed decisions that angered the country’s lecturers and students.
Students and lecturers in four colleges of education that were upgraded into universities by former president Goodluck Jonathan just before he left office earlier this year, staged peaceful protests against alleged attempts by Nigeria’s new president to return them to colleges status.
Higher education institutions have a key role to play in helping Africa to meet new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, academics told a European conference recently. Representatives from the African Network for Internationalisation of Education also called on the international community to develop “responsible partnerships” with African universities.
ALGERIA Jane Marshall
Algeria’s parliament has adopted a new framework scientific research law that Tahar Hadjar, the minister for higher education and scientific research, says will give priority to the country’s socio-economic needs.
One of Kenya’s foremost business education institutions, Strathmore University, is partnering with leading mobile network operator Safaricom Limited and innovation hub @iLab Africa to offer a masters degree in mobile telecommunications and innovation – a first in Africa.
26th ICDE WORLD CONFERENCE
The International Council for Open and Distance Education, or ICDE, is holding its world conference in the mega-resort Sun City near Johannesburg from 14-16 October, hosted by the University of South Africa. University World News
is the media partner. This is the sixth of a series of articles that engage with global ideas and developments in open and distance learning, around the conference theme of “Growing Capacities for Sustainable Distance e-Learning Provision”.
More resources need to be put into developing online teachers in order to deliver the right type of quality education for different learners in different contexts.
RE-IMAGINING HIGHER EDUCATION
The 9th Annual Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Conference was held in the South African city of Durban last week, under the theme “Re-imagining Higher Education Policy Implementation: Can policy learn from practice?” The University of KwaZulu-Natal conference attracted education researchers from across the country, Africa and the world.
SOUTH AFRICANicola Jenvey
Transformation in South African higher education is critical, and with the upsurge in protests university campuses have experienced in recent months “long overdue and welcomed” – but only if it is founded on achieving a radical outcome that takes into account quality defined by today’s demands – says Adam Habib, vice-chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand.
UNITED STATESKaren MacGregor
Schools have a crucial role to play in facilitating networks that enable the acquisition of social capital. In poor communities, such networks need to be “consciously created and fostered” if first-generation, low-income students are to access and succeed in higher education, says leading education expert Professor William Tierney of the University of Southern California.
SOUTH AFRICAKaren MacGregor
A study of Nelson Mandela’s educational experiences has revealed the global icon to be an exemplar of lifelong learning. Research by Dr Peter Rule of the school of education at South Africa’s University of KwaZulu-Natal shows “deep fascination with education and learning”.
SOUTH AFRICANicola Jenvey
Universities have ill-equipped graduate recruits for the new demands placed on them by the working world – a problem highlighted by the estimate that 365,000 South African graduates are unemployed, despite the economy experiencing 450,000 vacancies for skilled graduates.
SOUTH AFRICANicola Jenvey
A transformation policy for higher education introducing flexibility into the undergraduate degree time frame failed to see how the solution was merely reproducing the social inequalities it sought to address, according to Dr Lester Brian Shawa, a senior lecturer in higher education training and development at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Language was the most powerful instrument for preserving and developing a tangible heritage, while learning in a mother tongue boosted people’s abilities to succeed in their education, according to Professor Herbert Chimhundu, chair of the Centre for Language and Communication Studies at Chinhoyi University of Technology in Zimbabwe.
SOUTH AFRICANicola Jenvey
Students across the health sciences including doctors, nurses and social workers viewed their key role to be healthcare practitioners and not communicators, raising questions about how they interacted with communities.
Higher education needs to become one of the key priorities for rebuilding post-conflict countries because they cannot move forward and improve living conditions in the long run without it.
Universities are the anchors, shapers and innovators of nations. Universities also provide the mechanisms for building and rebuilding nations. During the independence period, African leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah believed that higher education would be critical to development and growth.
A ‘mini-marathon’ was reportedly underway at the University of Antananarivo in Ankatso to complete the academic year on time, following a return to work in public universities by striking lecturers after Madagascar’s government gave in to their union’s demands.
Germany is funding an agricultural innovation project in 13 mostly African countries, with the aim of achieving self-sufficiency in food production.
New rectors have been appointed at three public universities in Cameroon – Douala, Dschang and Yaoundé 2-Soa. They are professors François-Xavier Etoa, Roger Tsafack Nanfosso and Ibrahim Adamou respectively.
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Vietnam will rank all universities in one of three tiers from next month as part of the education ministry’s bid to improve quality at each level. In each of the three tiers universities will also be assigned labels designating them as being research oriented, applied or professional and vocational in type.
The new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has signalled that the government will review its higher education proposals, which include deregulation of the higher education sector and university fees and cuts in government funding for bachelor degrees, in order to ensure that the legislation is passed by the Senate.
UNITED STATESMary Beth Marklein
International students continue to fuel enrolment growth at US graduate schools, a study out last week by the US Council of Graduate Schools found.
Following widespread criticism of its clauses, a landmark bill that would allow the famed Indian Institutes of Management to award MBAs and PhDs – making qualifications internationally recognisable – has been sent back to the drafting table.
SOUTH KOREAUnsoo Jung
As South Korea’s Ministry of Education announced the result of its national evaluation of universities last month, part of a plan to push ahead with structural reforms of higher education, many universities are dissatisfied with the results and most oppose the ministry's reform plans.
Germany’s Student Welfare Service, or DSW, has warned that the refugee crisis could worsen prospects for students on the housing market. With enrolment numbers set to peak once again, the DSW insists that the government provide funding for additional student accommodation.
FINLANDJan Petter Myklebust and Ian R Dobson
The board of the University of Helsinki, the oldest and largest university in the country, is to cut 1,200 out of 8,200 staff posts, a measure of how Finnish universities are being hit by the effects of the government’s austerity programme.
UNITED STATESKatherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Nearly one in four female undergraduates responding to a survey conducted by the Association of American Universities said that they had been the victim of sexual assault or misconduct, according to new findings.
The top problem facing Russian higher education is commercialisation in the form of growing paid-for educational services that are filling the gap where pubic funding fails to meet increasing demand for education, according to new research among education experts.
GLOBALHans de Wit
Universities need to address the uncertain global climate by promoting internationalisation of higher education to all and not just the mobile minority.
GLOBALPhilip G Altbach and Jamil Salmi
Universities around the world are looking for the secret recipe for creating more innovative and entrepreneurial institutions and students, but exporting what works in one institution in one country is not easy.
EUROPEThomas Estermann and Enora Bennetot Pruvot
European countries have cut funding for university research and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme has been constantly threatened despite proof that it delivers growth and development.
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US universities lead the world in scientific innovation but face strong competition from Asian rivals with close ties to industry, according to a detailed analysis of academic papers and patent filings, writes Ben Hirschler for Reuters
An accountability court earlier this month remanded into judicial custody Professor Mohammad Ayub, a medical expert with the Higher Education Regulatory Authority, on the charge of facilitating the functioning of an illegal medical college, reports Dawn
The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has cleared Princeton University of allegations that it discriminates against Asian and Asian-American applicants in admissions, writes Peter Schmidt for The Chronicle of Higher Education
Oxford and Cambridge have maintained their lead as the UK's two best universities but Surrey was named ‘University of the Year’, according to the Sunday Times
’ Higher Education guide, writes Caroline Mortimer for The Independent
Ireland’s seven universities have called for “urgent remedial action” to address the student accommodation crisis. According to the Irish Universities Association, the availability of campus accommodation is also a prerequisite for attracting new overseas students, writes Joe Humphreys for The Irish Times
With their vast stores of personal data and expensive research, universities are prime targets for hackers looking to graduate from swiping credit card numbers, write Keith Wagstaff and Chiara Sottile for NBC News
The key performance indicators of universities in the Republic should not be about how high their rankings are, but how well they serve Singapore, according to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, reports Channel News Asia
As violent protests hit yet another university campus last Tuesday, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced that a summit looking into transformation and other issues facing tertiary institutions would be held next month, reports ANA
Every university in Britain is being urged to play its part in tackling the migrant crisis by helping make it easier for refugees and asylum-seekers to access higher education, writes Dean Kirby for The Independent
United Kingdom universities will work with organisations in China on joint academic research and new institutions under an agreement between the UK and Chinese governments, reports Out-Law.com
Nine university students have been arrested for taking part in violent demonstrations on city streets protesting the delayed release of student loans by the Higher Education Loans Board, writes Reuben Wanyama for Citizen Digital
Climate activists and academics are scaling up their opposition to Flinders University hosting a Bjørn Lomborg-run research centre in an attempt to shut down the last avenue apparently open to the project, writes Oliver Milman for the Guardian
Seven Scottish universities have organised a week of engagements in Brazil under the ‘Connected Scotland’ banner to try to develop new research partnerships between the two nations, writes Lucinda Cameron for The Scotsman
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