The economic crisis has brought cuts and delays to research funding in Spain, but they follow years of mismanagement and inefficiency in the system. A series of announcements have been made recently suggesting that the government sees research as vital for the Spanish economy – but many think it is too little, too late.
Proposed changes to Beijing’s regional gaokao – the national college entrance examination – that de-emphasise the use of the English language, could have important implications for Chinese students’ ability to study abroad and for educational equality.
One aspect of the massive open online courses, or MOOCs, movement has not been fully analysed – who controls the knowledge? Considering where the content and the technology that support MOOCs originate, the answer is clear.
Alliances represent a curious form of cooperation in an increasingly competitive higher education arena. Whether they boost performance is difficult to measure and giving up a degree of autonomy over international policy can present challenges – but it may be a price worth paying for the advantages.
Universities in BRICS countries want to make more of a global impact. To do so they are joining together in a universities league, to work together to enhance their positions. A first response to this is the publication of BRICS league tables – but these will only work if based on true collaboration between members.
I have carefully read the article by Professor Cristina González, posted by your prestigious publication, on Chilean higher education. The article provides an interpretation of the situation in Chile, based on González’ observations during her stay in the country and in the context of a series of lectures that she came to impart. Although the article is very interesting, it is necessary and appropriate to clarify some points.
Times Higher Education is bringing out its first ranking of the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – and emerging countries in early December. The aim is to show the rapid progress being made by potential world-class institutions in these countries, progress that risks being obscured by Western-dominated world university rankings.
CAMPUS Asia aims to be China, Japan and South Korea's version of Europe's Erasmus programme and to encourage greater student mobility between the region's most developed countries. However, can such a programme work when it is limited to just three countries and will ongoing competition and historic tensions undermine it?
A round table of important players in the European Research Area took place this month to discuss the ethics and values that should lie at the heart of the Horizon 2020 programme. At stake is the future of European research.
Several recent higher education initiatives in Africa suggest the rest of the world is beginning to view Africa as the next frontier for internationalisation. Will it follow the same pathway – from twinning programmes to partnership programmes and branch campuses – as occurred in Asia? And will France take advantage of language to increase its numbers of international students?
On 9 October in the Chinese city of Hefei, nine elite Chinese universities – members of the C9 group, often acknowledged as China’s ‘Ivy League’ – signed a statement with the presidents of leading American, Australian and European universities endorsing open inquiry, scientific integrity and other academic values as the key components of a modern research university, and demonstrating an incipient effort to work closely with top universities around the world.
Some of the greatest scientists in the history of the world have come from the Arab world, but recent developments and the rise of religious extremism represent a worrying threat to academic freedom. There are attempts to increase scientific expertise in the region, but these will fail if academic freedom and a spirit of inquiry are not encouraged in the general population.
As a parent of three children who are nearing college age, there is one question that I will ask repeatedly when we tour different campuses: “What percentage of your courses is taught by tenure-line faculty members?”
Higher education leaders need to enhance the university as an academic institution, as a business and, most importantly perhaps, they need to create an emotional link with the community – without the latter, values and vision will not be as effective.
A new interactive website for mobile students aims to do more than just provide comprehensive information to international students. It hopes to give students more of a voice and make them feel less isolated.
Research using Google Analytics shows much more accurately than before how multicultural the pool of academics interested in moving to Australian institutions is.
Higher education in Chile is in turmoil, with high fees, often poor quality, social inequality and a public crisis of confidence. The country is an early and extreme example of the privatisation of higher education, and can be seen as a preview of things to come in other nations. What happens in Chile should be watched very closely.
A comprehensive approach to higher education fraud in China is needed, tackling some of its cultural roots as well as pressures linked to world rankings and an overemphasis on commercialisation of research.
A conference that aims to allow researchers to have a voice in shaping research policy in Europe takes place later this month. It is sure to address issues that will have a direct impact on individual researchers within Europe and on the European Union’s future research output as a whole.
Sir Andrew Witty’s recent report on how UK research can lead innovation suggests many activities that universities are already doing to link up with industry – but balance is key. While more support for and engagement with small and medium-sized enterprises is a good thing, universities should not lose sight of their mission to foster blue skies research.
What makes for a successful transnational partnership? Monash University and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay are pioneering a new type of partnership based on a bilateral relationship that is given time to cultivate, shared aspiration, an effective governance structure and the deployment of the best talent.
Since 2004, the European Union has funded 138 Erasmus Mundus joint masters courses and 43 joint doctoral programmes involving almost 700 universities and more than 16,000 students, PhD candidates and scholars. Independent evaluations have found that these joint degrees have had considerable added value for alumni when searching for employment.
A recent survey suggests that there are three reasons why growing numbers of international students are choosing to study at joint-venture institutions in China, including the type of degree they will get, spending time in China and the quality of the courses on offer.
The appetite for online learning is huge and international. For instance, 90% of downloads of Open University courses from iTunes U have been from outside the UK. Universities that do not integrate online learning into their traditional ways of teaching will fail to thrive in a global higher education sector.
A glass ceiling remains in place for female medical research scientists in Australia. Although approximately 50% of PhD students and postdoctoral scientists are female, males run the majority of research laboratories. There is an exodus of female scientists at the transitional stage between a postdoctoral researcher and laboratory head, and a major factor is the funding system.