21 April 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Commentary
GLOBAL
Student-centred approach to internationalisaton is key
Internationalisation has to put students at its heart. A double-dip strategy could meet student-centred objectives of increasing employability, and enhancing value for money as well as multicultural exposure and understanding.
UNITED KINGDOM
Women in academia – Different views of success
The challenges and barriers women face in academia have been well catalogued. A new study shows how universities can embrace different ideas of what it means to be successful within a university context, and aims to inspire change.
AUSTRALIA
Critical scholarship in a hostile climate
Academic researchers should challenge collusive relationships between government and corporations that allow workers, communities and the environment to be endangered. Instead, reliance on government or business funding has failed to protect the public.
GLOBAL
The wider benefits of a PhD
Research on the value of PhDs has been limited to their financial and economic impact. But there is evidence of much broader social and personal benefits.
EUROPE
Best practice for preparing PhD students
The League of European Research Universities has put together a good practice guide of what its universities do to prepare PhD students for either an academic career or life outside the university.
AFRICA
University research uptake gains ground
Research-intensive African universities can play an important role in contributing to the evidence base to address Africa's development challenges. In rising to meet these challenges through quality research, they are providing African solutions to African problems and stimulating local demand for better, stronger and more contextualised evidence.
GLOBAL
Are university rankings the tip of the iceberg?
Despite their crude simplicity and a focus on measures that favour the rich, international higher education rankings have become game changers. Yet they are likely to be only the beginning as new ratings systems come in, including Rate-my-professor sites.
CANADA
International students plan needs more thought
If Canada wants to attract more international students it needs to do more than just lure them to the country. It must provide the resources necessary to support international students and must consider its moral responsibility when luring such students away from their countries.
INDIA
India suffers doubly due to lack of open access
Indian higher education is resistant to open access and so academics and others who would find research useful have to pay to read it through subscription journals. This needs to change, at least for publicly funded research.
GLOBAL
The West's global HE hegemony – Nothing lasts forever
For decades international higher education has been dominated by the West, but things are about to change as investment in higher education in Asia in particular begins to pay off.
AFRICA
Charting a course for intellectual property rights
Africa's experience with intellectual property rights is dismal and in urgent need of re-evaluation. Not many dispute the observation that 'for more than a century, African states have participated in IPR regimes with little or nothing to show for it in terms of economic development and transfer of technology'.
GLOBAL
Creating global citizens
As a new presidency prepares to take over the International Association of University Presidents, it is a good time to look back at achievements made over the past three years and forward at some of the challenges remaining for universities wishing to create global citizens.
CHINA
Can China reverse the brain drain?
China has launched various programmes to retain or attract back its top academic talent from Western countries that are only interested in exploiting their technical know-how. However, returnees may face social barriers to career progress if they have spent time out of the country where they have not been able to build links with powerful bureaucrats who control the research system.
GLOBAL
Rankings – Higher education systems vs universities
Universitas 21's attempts to rank higher education systems are to a certain degree flawed, like other international rankings. But if the number of countries included could be widened and systems contextualised better, U21 could provide a useful tool for policy-makers.
JAPAN
Universities and the illusion of global competition
Japanese higher education needs to focus on what it can offer that is unique and adds value, rather than on imagined competition with universities in the West.
UNITED KINGDOM
Students are trapped by the politics of anti-migration
International students in the UK are trapped by the politics of anti-migration. We need to move ahead of a government that is looking backwards to parochial elements, through a global and cosmopolitan approach to human rights and citizenship.
EUROPE
Questioning the student mobility imperative
European discourse on international student mobility appears to verge on fanaticism in some quarters. We need to have a rational debate on the issues, based on evidence about the effects of different types of mobility.
GLOBAL
PhD reform requires cultural understanding
Germany's Excellence Initiative has brought valuable innovations that could prove useful elsewhere. But bringing different forms of doctoral education closer together requires recognition that higher education systems reflect particular cultural values and history.
AFRICA
The promise of open, distance and e-learning
There is no doubt that open, distance and e-learning has huge potential in Africa to contribute to economic growth and poverty eradication, and to address social injustices and inequalities. But realising its potential depends on a sober assessment of ODeL as one variable among many factors in local and international post-secondary school contexts.
AUSTRALIA
The executive university
A study of the language used in university executive adverts shows how the language of business permeates and divides university staff into executives and worker ants.
GLOBAL
International HE associations seek a more equal agenda
Groups working in international higher education have been trying and continue to try to find ways to establish a more equal and truly international agenda. The Network of International Education Associations has set up a task force to work on actions agreed at the recent Global Dialogue on the Future of International Education.
UNITED KINGDOM
Facing up to the C word – Corruption in higher education
By definition, corruption is any type of deviation from an ideal. Ideals, as well as ideas, are core business for higher education. So when we fall short it matters.
GLOBAL
Does English have to be used in transnational HE?
It is commonly assumed that English will be the language of transnational higher education, but several institutions deliver transnational programmes in other languages, including Mandarin and Spanish. These are likely to increase in future, but more likely on a regional rather than a global basis.
AFRICA
Differentiation: Africa lags (again) – Or does it?
Will Africa have a world-class university in the foreseeable future? According to European Union higher education policy advisor Frans van Vught, without a differentiated system, countries will not even get onto the map. The question is whether the state has the requisite political will to leverage diversification, and how best to go about it.
GLOBAL
The rise of ‘educational sovereignty’
For the past several decades, many international branch campuses have operated without much oversight from their home countries and with a sense of diplomatic immunity in their host countries. Recently, however, some countries have created structures to regulate foreign providers. As part of this development, we’ve noticed an odd and persistent resistance to the ‘branch campus’ label.