Pilot MOOCs at Edinburgh University have created a big appetite for new forms of learning. They have also thrown up some interesting questions about course popularity and about the need to prepare students for online learning from an early age.
Recently University World News published a call by the European Students' Union to scrap the proposed new European study loan guarantees. But by underwriting loans, the EU will support thousands more to study abroad.
International education in the United Kingdom has got bogged down in political debates about migration, and this has led to an identity crisis. Australia has sought new ways to counter public fears about immigration through student visas and may provide some lessons.
Universities increasingly aim to produce ‘global citizens’, but this throws up all sorts of issues around the national orthodoxies and assumptions that underlie the creation of knowledge. How can the barriers between countries be overcome to create a truly omnipresent science?
In the past Asia has tended to invest in higher education through bricks and mortar. The Association of South East Asian Nations region now needs to look at developing knowledge infrastructure so that it can compete globally.
Research suggests UK universities that set up licensing agreements are not just in it for the money. Many staff have built relationships with colleagues abroad and are passionate about higher education development.
New models of university education are springing up in Canada as a result of increased philanthropy and the exploitation of land assets. Innovation was previously limited by a heavy focus on research and government controls on tuition fees, but alternative sources of funding are aiding differentiation and new ideas.
International interest in the University of California, Berkeley, and US education in general led to the creation of the Berkeley Institutes on Higher Education, an integrated centre for international and national higher education officials. In addition to hosting visits, it holds a summer programme that has become a centre of debate on internationalisation policy.
My Coursera course, “The Modern and the Postmodern”, might have been labelled “course least likely to become a MOOC”. In many ways, it is an old-fashioned ‘great books’ course, although I prefer to call it a ‘good-enough books’ course, and in the 20 years I've been teaching it, it has always relied heavily on student interaction in the classroom.
The Australian newspaper recently reported that female attendees at an Islamic studies event held at the University of Melbourne had been directed to sit at the back of the lecture theatre, in breach of the principle of gender equity. The university’s vice-chancellor responds.
Changes to university rankings for subjects affect application numbers, particularly for international students, and can have a significant impact on institutional income. Universities need to take heed of them.
Hong Kong education reforms, including lengthening the undergraduate degree by a year, have increased the diversity of students going on to further studies, and a new, broader curriculum is ensuring they are better prepared for those studies.
William Beveridge's Academic Assistance Council was established 80 years ago to help scholars under threat in Nazi Germany. Its services are still needed today and are being provided by the successor Council for Assisting Refugee Academics to scholars at risk around the world.
With the rich world worrying about skills shortages, one solution being pursued is to boost the ‘stay rates’ of international students. To oversimplify, the rich are stealing the brains of developing countries – and the situation is acute.
Russia has been developing its own, multidimensional university ranking system, which in future is likely to include excellence indicators, as the country increases its efforts to move up the global rankings and compete with the world’s top universities.
Research suggests that access to the United Kingdom's top universities is far from fair for students from state schools and ethnic minorities, even when the figures are screened for subjects studied at A-level.
Cybermetrics enables universities to analyse a host of data, including how international students view their websites. The question is, will universities use this information for evaluation, or look the other way?
The European Union is debating how to encourage greater student mobility. But do its policies sufficiently promote the benefits of internationalisation for all, and could China have a more successful model?
Colleagues and former students from around the world gathered in Boston earlier this month to honour the career of Philip Altbach, who has been at the forefront of monitoring and evaluating changes and trends in international higher education for decades.
Hong Kong is restructuring its higher education system and there will be excess capacity in the next few years. A debate is needed about how the government should use the extra places in public institutions and who should benefit.
Chile needs to address the issue of quality assurance in its tertiary education institutions in order to encourage greater flexibility and higher quality teaching, so that students are prepared for the future world of work.
A new project being trialled at Goldsmith’s College in London aims to speed up the admissions process so that applications can be turned around in days rather than weeks. This could help avoid potential losses of international students.
Internationalisation of higher education has different meanings in different parts of the world. More attention needs to be paid to this diversity in order to foster greater understanding and inclusion inside and outside the classroom.
Russia is attempting to develop world-class institutions through mergers, but the government has overlooked the need to take into account identity issues involved in the process. Universities need to have a strong sense of mission and purpose if they are to strive for world-class status.
For-profit institutions are often accused of offering lower quality education, but they can cut costs without affecting quality by reducing services that are not core to teaching. However, who decides which services are not core?