19 September 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
Advanced Search
Commentary
AUSTRALIA
Rational deregulation of university fees
The debate over university fees has been dominated by political rhetoric that does not recognise the need for universities to have greater autonomy over their missions so they can play to their strengths. It may be time for an independent body that can negotiate and manage contracts between government and universities to ensure Australia has a working system.
GLOBAL
The rise of the global university
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.
GLOBAL
MOOCs – Panacea or benevolent curse?
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.
SYRIA
Syrian refugees in Jordan – From camps to campus
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.
VIETNAM
Higher education must focus on flexibility
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.
UNITED KINGDOM
Scottish independence and the wealth of nations
Academics’ views on Scottish independence have been sidelined in the debate, but what would one of Scotland’s greatest thinkers, Adam Smith, have made of the arguments being put forward?
GLOBAL
Higher education’s crucial nexus of local and global
Global and local higher education internationalisation efforts are not opposites – and both need to be borne in mind if we are to develop the possibilities that internationalisation offers intelligently.
GLOBAL
U-Multirank – A university ranking evaluation
The U-Multirank university ranking tool, developed by a consortium of organisations and funded by the European Commission, finally appeared in May. Some found it disappointing and established rankers were probably a little relieved. It does have interesting and innovative features and it does go places where the conventional rankings do not – but it is unlikely to present a serious challenge to the hegemony of the Big Three.
AUSTRALIA
Scientific ties that bind?
Australia needs to do more to forge international links to build its science base. The country could start by leveraging its Asian alumni.
ISRAEL
Academic boycott of Israel – Stand up and be counted
The case for a united boycott against Israel for crimes against humanity is clear and academics can make an important contribution.
CHILE
Quality assurance in higher education – Road forward
Chile’s higher education system has been undermined in recent years by concerns over its quality accreditation commission. As protesters call for free, quality education, what can be done to improve the quality of education on offer?
UNITED STATES
Chinese students in the United States – A micro study
The rapid expansion in Chinese student numbers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, placed 25th globally by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, makes it a good place to study pros and cons of internationalisation.
UNITED KINGDOM
The rise and rise of student recruitment agents
A growing number of international students use agents to find the course that is right for them. One of the most important roles of recruitment agents, however, is in preparing students before they leave for the United Kingdom.
GLOBAL
Talent analytics – The future for recruiters
As firms increasingly hire from an international talent pool they will start to investigate which degrees from which institutions produce the best recruits.
GLOBAL
Breaking down the knowledge walls
Just as the importance of biodiversity for the survival of the planet is recognised so we must preserve the diverse ways of knowing that exist among humanity.
AUSTRALIA
MOOCs: Learning about online learning, a click at a time
Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, took the world by storm in 2012. After years of experimentation at the fringes of higher education, prestigious universities from around the world progressively surged towards MOOCs, developing free online courses that were open to anyone, anywhere, with access to the internet.
GLOBAL
The knowledge revolution
The internet has killed university libraries and may do the same to academic authors. In the past academics did have at least the ‘potential’ to spread ideas, but now what students find online is centrally controlled and equivalent to a bookshop where only Penguin books are displayed and the rest are kept in a vast basement.
TURKEY
The Syrian (academic) refugee crisis viewed from Turkey
Syrian academic refugees in Turkey have gone from stable meaningful jobs to powerlessness overnight. They need international support and greater capacity needs to be built at Turkey’s higher education institutions to absorb more Syrians.
UNITED KINGDOM
Higher education – Vive la technologie?
Technology is an inescapable and ever-evolving part of modern university life. We should cautiously embrace change as this is essential to engaging with students brought up in the internet age.
AUSTRALIA
Trickle up – Fee deregulation will only benefit elite
Australia’s proposed higher education reforms are the most substantial since the creation of the Unified National System under then Minister John Dawkins in the 1980s. Such significant changes need to be argued, debated and contested. Unfortunately, what fee deregulation offers will only benefit the elite few.
MYANMAR
The challenges facing higher education in Myanmar
Myanmar has an opportunity to undertake major reform of its higher education system. But what type of investment should it seek to attract? Both public and private investment carry risks. The important thing is to get the balance right and support institutional autonomy.
GLOBAL
Pushing the reset button on peer review
Peer review needs to be submitted to a thorough review that takes into account all aspects of how we conceive of the process and questions the boundaries of our knowledge.
KOSOVO
Huge growth in HE access but too few industry links
Participation in higher education in Kosovo has shot from 15% of the school-leaving cohort in 1999 to over 60% now. But funding has not matched expansion, there are concerns over shortages of academics and there is a need for much greater collaboration between academia and industry in teaching and research.
GLOBAL
What counts for academic productivity in universities?
Universities are engaged in a global arms race of publication; and academics are the shock troops of the struggle. But a ‘one size fits all’ approach to measuring academic productivity does not work and disadvantages certain countries and disciplines. Care needs to be taken when evaluating academic success.
EUROPE
21st century university recruitment practices
While universities in Europe are increasingly operating in a global environment, their human resource structures, recruitment and promotion mechanisms are still largely anchored in national legal frameworks, traditions and practices. This can pose a major challenge for universities as they seek to identify, employ and keep highly talented staff and researchers.