23 November 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Commentary
GLOBAL
Aligning university investments with climate research
Universities should consider joining the campaign for disinvestment in fossil fuels and bringing investment policies in line with their research on climate change.
UNITED STATES
Is America’s 100,000 Strong China Initiative anaemic?
If the United States really wants to prepare the next generation of American experts on China then its universities need to do more to encourage US students to tackle more than short-term courses in China.
CHINA
Grassroots approaches by US universities, deeper bonds
Short-term visits by high-level administrators are the main way of starting initiatives between Chinese and American universities, but more grassroots encounters may create deeper bonds and more effective cooperation.
UNITED KINGDOM
The ‘Benefits of Brussels’ to British higher education
A recent event in London, which brought together German and French cultural institutions and British universities, aimed to promote the European Union at a time when the United Kingdom is moving closer to an EU exit. A case needs to be made for the collective good of Europe rather than narrow national interests.
GLOBAL
Role of universities in the fight against corruption
Universities can play a vital role in combating corruption and instilling trust and promoting positive collective action worldwide. But first they need to put their own house in order.
GLOBAL
Minimising brain drain – The pros and cons
Requiring international scholarship recipients to return to the home nation is meant to stem brain drain from poorer to wealthier countries. But there are potential downsides, such as narrowing the range of students who apply and locking them into jobs for which they might not be best suited.
AUSTRALIA
‘Irreconcilable breakdown’ at Murdoch University
At the heart of controversial events that have unfolded at Perth-based Murdoch University in Australia is the nature of the relationship between chancellors and vice-chancellors.
GLOBAL
How to win citations and rise up the rankings
The new Times Higher Education world university ranking throws up some interesting results which show how smaller institutions from low-impact countries who take part in large multi-authored, multi-cited research articles can rise up the ranks.
CHINA
Independent colleges – A hybrid response to massification
Independent colleges – a hybrid between private and public institutions – grew up in China in response to increasing demand for higher education. They have gone through various stages since then, from lack of regulation to current attempts to transform them into private institutions, but more incentives are needed to complete the process.
GLOBAL
How can we preserve the world's boutique universities?
Smaller universities tend to get swallowed up by larger ones. But there are ways for them to survive, including operating under a group structure that allows institutions to pool resources but maintain separate identities.
CANADA
How to acclimatise Indian students abroad
The number of Indian students in Canadian higher education institutions is increasing. How can universities support these international students better so that it is easier for them to have a high quality experience?
GLOBAL
Doctoral examination – What works?
What works for examining PhDs? Is the viva system a good idea or are examiners more led by their first reading of a thesis and could oral examinations actually encourage them to do a less thorough reading? An international comparison highlights some of the issues.
HONG KONG
The Umbrella Revolution – Pro-democracy or anti-China?
Is the Umbrella Revolution about democracy or anti-China feeling and growing inequality? Universities have a duty to do more to ensure that students are media literate, particularly social media literate, and able to critically analyse local developments within a global context.
TURKEY
How to abolish the Board of Higher Education
There is increasing consensus on the need for Turkey to reform its growing higher education system by abolishing the Board of Higher Education, which has greatly diminished university autonomy. The main issues are when and how radical the changes will be.
UNITED STATES
How to revive the California model
Clark Kerr’s multiversity has spread across the world, but at home it is fraying at the edges. A rethink on tuition fees and on the wider benefits of higher education is needed to ensure its model of balancing excellence and access continues to impact international higher education.
GLOBAL
Refugees need access to higher education
Higher education is severely impacted at times of conflict with the risk of displacement affecting studies being much higher than that for schools. Yet graduates are necessary for any national rebuilding programme. Initiatives to help refugees continue their studies are therefore vital.
EUROPE
Roma face deteriorating prospects
The best way for universities to improve the education of Roma children is through better teacher training. But because of ethnocentrism, universities in post-communist countries are not prepared for the teaching of minority students.
SOUTH AFRICA
From the margins to the table
To achieve more equal access to higher education in South Africa, it is not enough to discriminate solely on the grounds of race, and support is needed throughout the university experience to ensure students from marginalised communities succeed.
ISRAEL
The diversity of diversity
Ultra-orthodox and Israeli-Palestinian Arab students require support to succeed at Israel’s elite universities. The Hebrew University has initiatives that target both groups of undergraduates, but further support is needed for postgraduate education.
EUROPE
Commerce and knowledge sharing at the EAIE conference
The European Association for International Education’s annual conference reflects the changing face of higher education and the growth of private influence, commerce and competition at the heart of the sector.
GLOBAL
Students at the margins, institutions that serve them
An increasing number of countries are confronting issues of how to promote greater access to higher education by minority groups. A global conference which takes place next week will bring universities around the world together to create a global network for confronting shared challenges.
SOUTH AFRICA
Using data to improve student success
Amid international concerns about the increasing invasiveness of surveillance on individual privacy and the use of personal data, higher education institutions need to engage in critical, ethical and caring ways when harvesting, analysing and using student data.
UNITED KINGDOM
The importance of self-esteem to student retention
Student retention is not just about dealing with practical issues causing drop-out. The psychological dimension should not be ignored.
GLOBAL
Are double or multiple degrees leading to ‘discount degrees’?
The number of double or multiple degree programmes is growing and opinion is divided on whether they are beneficial or an example of academic fraud. A proper debate is needed on standards and quality so they do not become dismissed as ‘discount degrees’.
ISRAEL
Criticism of Israeli academia is not anti-Semitism
A recent article that suggested criticism of academic freedom in Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism fails to address abuses at particular institutions, such as Ariel University.