24 May 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Commentary
SOUTH SUDAN
Higher education on the brink of disastrous closures
The market value of many university staff salaries is as little as US$200 a month, down from US$3,000 two years ago. Persistent underfunding of South Sudan’s universities in the face of soaring inflation could force many to close, hampering economic recovery and long-term growth.
GLOBAL
Gamification – The future of graduate recruitment
Digital transformation is not only dramatically changing the jobs landscape, it is revolutionising how candidates are chosen for those roles. Today’s students need to be taught about new methods of recruitment and how they can help to match them better to the jobs of the future.
VIETNAM
A gloomy outlook for private higher education
Private higher education has proven to be a successful model in many countries. However, this does not seem to be the case in Vietnam, due to many factors, including the battle between ‘private’ and ‘for-profit’ education and political sensitivities due to the country’s communist background.
GLOBAL
Higher education should embrace digital possibilities
Digital technology has a huge impact on people’s everyday lives. Universities should be using it for more than internal activities and should consider how it might help them widen their impact, by disseminating research and sharing good practice across borders to a global audience for the benefit of economies and societies.
AUSTRALIA
Why data-driven science is more than just a buzzword
Science today is increasingly data-driven, but our education system has not caught up. We must develop new teaching methods that recognise data-driven and computational approaches as some of the primary tools of contemporary research.
UNITED STATES
A monstrous muddle of no-profit and for-profit HE
Purdue University, among America’s most respected research universities, has announced it is buying the for-profit Kaplan University. This is a massive blunder. The move will cause confusion over whether Purdue is a research university, a for-profit or a not-for-profit.
GLOBAL
Universities have become isolated from their publics
One of the significant outcomes of the rankings discourse, whatever you think of them, is that they provide some form of accountability, but they also make higher education vulnerable to an agenda set by states. We urgently need to reclaim the role of higher education in civic engagement and become an intellectual force to bridge the gap between local, national and global.
ASIA
A new dawn for Asian higher education regionalisation?
The launch of the Asian Universities Alliance can be considered the most ambitious Asian higher education initiative to date and looks likely to be in the vanguard of ongoing attempts to promote regional higher education collaboration and will contribute to solving unique Asian challenges.
FRANCE-UNITED KINGDOM
What will President Macron mean for UK universities?
The election of President Emmanuel Macron in France should be of great interest to UK higher education and research in terms of its impact on Brexit discussions – where French competition to recruit researchers could play a role – but also in terms of the strategies it might adopt against extreme nationalism in the light of the French experience.
BRAZIL
At the vanguard of an HE privatisation wave?
The private education sector is now the 10th-largest component of the Brazilian economy and a trend of mergers has left a handful of giant companies dominating – one merger is set to create the world’s largest higher education institution, potentially enrolling more than two million students. The model may be a harbinger of a worldwide trend.
UNITED KINGDOM
A stronger Theresa May but for what, especially in HE?
What will the UK general election mean for higher education? Although a skilled migration scheme might provide openings if – as seems likely – EU free movement for academics ends, a reduction of 30%-40% in international student numbers remains on the table, and the future of research collaboration is unfathomable.
FRANCE
Higher education priorities after the French election
French higher education has been pulled in two opposing directions. The new administration needs to reduce government micromanagement and strengthen university autonomy, rethink the discrepancy in resources between grandes écoles and universities and build research and teaching excellence.
GLOBAL
New ways to make the case for the public good of HE
As the public asks questions about how universities serve society, it is time for the academy to make a case for how it works for the public good and change its one-way engagement with the wider population, inviting citizen participation in deliberative processes, or risk creeping government intervention.
AUSTRALIA
Universities and students lose out in ‘reform’ package
Every higher education reform in Australia since the late 1980s has seen the system further eroded – making it less unified and egalitarian. The latest package of measures is no exception. Government policy is the main driver of change in Australia’s education system.
AFRICA
How to get more women into engineering at university
African universities have low numbers of female students in their engineering departments. Some have attempted to address this through affirmative action to improve access, but they do not make a dent in the fundamental causes of gender disparity in engineering.
ASIA
Students today, leaders of globalisation tomorrow
We need to prepare students for a future in which the world is becoming more Asia-focused but also, in the light of rising populist movements and disruptive factors such as the refugee crisis, we must teach them about the pros and cons of globalisation – and the intelligent management of it.
AFRICA
SDGs and higher education – Leaving many behind
The Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, claim no one will be left behind in the world by 2030, but they neglect the need to build capacity in higher education in developing countries and advocate sending their most talented young people abroad to study – a recipe for brain drain.
COLOMBIA
The perils of trying to transform HE too quickly
The government of Juan Manuel Santos has announced plans to overhaul its higher education system and strengthen technical education in particular, but are they too ambitious for him to fulfil in the relatively short time he has left in power?
ASIA
The multiple challenges facing HE quality assurance
Quality assurance measures in East Asia are often overly bureaucratic, too controlled by central government, lack any student voice and need an international dimension. Too often it appears that the frameworks are not embedded in a real institutional ‘quality culture’.
FRANCE
Outward internationalisation in action at INSEAD
What makes for a successful internationalisation policy? INSEAD’s journey from France to Singapore highlights some of the factors that make a difference and might be useful for others considering similar internationalisation strategies.
AUSTRALIA
Why are some companies shedding degree requirements?
While more people than ever are graduating from universities, some companies are abandoning degree requirements altogether. The question is whether these few companies are outliers or the forerunners of a new trend of preferencing merit over qualifications. And what does that say about the value of a university degree?
MALAYSIA
Steps to counter radicalisation of students by IS
Young people are particular targets for Islamic State or IS recruitment drives and several university and college students have been arrested in Malaysia for links with the terrorist organisation. More can and needs to be done to dissuade students from being radicalised.
GLOBAL
Why universities need to embrace all types of ‘other’
In response to the rise of right-wing populism, universities need to do more to democratise the societies in which they are situated by improving the opportunities and lives of social class ‘others’ both nationally and internationally, instead of relegating them to educational oblivion via policies, practices and belief systems in academe.
UNITED STATES
Can Vietnam buck the Trump effect on recruitment?
Latest figures for international students in the United States show significant decreases in students recruited from seven of the top 10 places of origin. The ‘Trump effect’ and the price of oil are among the forces at play. Vietnam is one of the few countries with rising enrolments. Will the trend continue?
UNITED KINGDOM
Confronting racial inequality in the academy
Racial discrimination within United Kingdom universities remains problematic and continues to be a persistent barrier for Black and minority ethnic individuals attempting to progress in postgraduate study or in an academic career. University administrators must be held accountable for advancing diversity of staff and student populations.