Rising tuition fees are turning students into consumers and teachers into customer service providers. This dilutes the quality of higher education, goes against its very purpose and excludes large sectors of society who cannot afford the debt studying might entail.
The decision by the British government to allow universities in England to increase tuition fees could put students off studying, or it may be financially sustainable. It is not guaranteed that it will save the government any money either. The problem is that it will be many years before the consequences are known.
After becoming the first country in Latin America to introduce tuition fees, Chile’s government has pledged to move towards scrapping them. But universities wonder if this will lead to a less effective, lower quality higher education system and who it will benefit most?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Student retention is not just about dealing with practical issues causing drop-out. The psychological dimension should not be ignored.
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’.
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.
Engineering departments tend not to train their students in the arts, although the arts are essential for a rounded way of thinking. Bringing the arts into the teaching of engineering could have beneficial effects.
There is a clear link between international collaboration and research productivity in Poland, with important policy implications and the need for mechanisms that increase the international competitiveness of Polish higher education.
Little attention has been paid to international visiting scholars and their potential role in internationalisation – from making international connections to internationalising teaching and learning.
Calls for boycotts of Israeli institutions and criticism of supposed attacks on academic freedom ignore the vibrancy of Israeli democracy and stem from anti-semitic roots that treat Israel as an exceptional case.
A new range of doctoral degrees that combine work and research have become available in recent years, but many people still do not know about their existence and the advantages they offer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?