24 July 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Commentary
GLOBAL
What counts for academic productivity in universities?
Universities are engaged in a global arms race of publication; and academics are the shock troops of the struggle. But a ‘one size fits all’ approach to measuring academic productivity does not work and disadvantages certain countries and disciplines. Care needs to be taken when evaluating academic success.
EUROPE
21st century university recruitment practices
While universities in Europe are increasingly operating in a global environment, their human resource structures, recruitment and promotion mechanisms are still largely anchored in national legal frameworks, traditions and practices. This can pose a major challenge for universities as they seek to identify, employ and keep highly talented staff and researchers.
UNITED KINGDOM
Transnational education – A key international strategy
International student mobility to the United Kingdom is lessening from Asia due to capacity building in home countries. Strategic investment in transnational education can help this capacity building and should be seen as part of an international business strategy rather than a peripheral issue.
GLOBAL
‘Organised anarchy’ – The enduring university paradigm
In the competitive global economy where knowledge reigns supreme, it is prudent to ensure that knowledge workers – academics – are given more, not less, leadership leverage, managerial space, a nurturing environment and academic freedom. The hot pursuit of corporate managerialism has serious implications for academic productivity, engagement and morale.
GLOBAL
How to boost your university up the rankings
New statistics suggest a link between highly cited researchers having more than one affiliation and the position of certain institutions in world university rankings.
ASIA
The need for an ASEAN University
As the ASEAN region has matured, now is the right time to revisit the idea of establishing an ASEAN University along the lines of the European University Institute.
GLOBAL
Which problems could MOOCs solve, and how?
Massive open online courses – MOOCs – tend to be taken by qualified professionals. Why not capitalise on this? A new MOOC directed at primary school teachers could contribute significantly towards training more teachers and improving primary education standards in developing countries.
EUROPE
Should doctoral mobility be more structured?
Universities tend to prefer ad hoc arrangements on doctoral mobility, but more structured approaches could provide greater protection for doctoral students and boost quality.
GLOBAL
MOOC dropouts – What we learn from students who leave
What causes students to drop out of massive open online courses, or MOOCs? The fact that MOOCs record enough data to allow a detailed analysis of the reasons will help to fuel effective interventions.
BRAZIL
A new era for higher education in Brazil
Brazil has invested heavily in widening access to higher education by expanding public places and also funding places at private institutions. However, there is room for improvement.
RUSSIA
Climbing the global university rankings
The Russian government's plan to improve its universities’ global competitiveness and get five institutions into the top 100 of the world rankings by 2020 is ambitious and is making some headway. But top research universities need to engage staff and students more to make greater progress.
IRELAND
A door to higher education quality assurance’s future
A recent Review of Reviews of quality assurance in Irish higher education recommends that it needs to be clear first about what the aims are and who benefits from the process. If there is clarity about purpose, the review could mark the end of the old era of Irish higher education and open a door to new possibilities.
INDIA
University autonomy eroded in four-year degree battle
A battle between Delhi University and India’s University Grants Commission over four-year degree programmes raises questions about university autonomy and innovation.
AFRICA
Critical to include HE in post-2015 development agenda
The alarming news emanating from the conversation on the post-2015 development agenda is that it may – as in the current Millennium Development Goals – perilously marginalise higher education from the priority it deserves in the highly anticipated development blueprint.
AFRICA
Good access to poor courses won’t create real learning
We contest the logic that higher education in Africa is a secondary investment priority: it is crucial for Africa’s development. But the conditions under which tertiary education operates in many African countries are not conducive to it making a useful contribution to development through the key pathways of research and innovation.
GLOBAL
Horizon – Tantalising, daunting for ‘third countries’
South Africa qualifies as a so-called ‘third country’ to be an eligible recipient of Horizon 2020 funding and programmes. In ‘piggy-back’ pursuit of its own renditions of industrial leadership, excellent science and responses to societal challenges, South Africa finds itself both tantalised and daunted by this ground-breaking and wealthy instrument.
GLOBAL
Universities need to open up to lifelong learning
Universities need to come down from the ivory tower and make it easier for students who have not trodden the traditional pathway to higher education to get the qualifications they need at any point in their lives.
EUROPE
Funding higher education in a mobile world
The increasing mobility of students means many end up studying in countries other than their own and often working in a totally different country. How does the home country reap the rewards of such students’ education and should a new funding system be set up that recognises a changing world?
GLOBAL
Embrace China's Confucius institutes
Confucius institutes offer a window into Chinese culture and should not be seen as a threat. To withdraw from engagement with them would be a blow to relations with China and would show that Western universities are as guided by ideology as those they seek to criticise.
SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Town’s new student admission policy sparks debate
After years of highly charged debate over affirmative action, the University of Cape Town has formulated a new ‘hybrid’ admissions policy using three mechanisms for selection: one part of the class chosen just on marks; a second component selected on performance and ability while taking account of school and home background; and a third part driven by achieving demographic targets based on an applicant's race and performance.
BRAZIL
Challenges for public and private higher education
To understand the current different challenges facing public and private higher education in Brazil, an understanding of the historical development of the sector is necessary.
CHINA
Who should handle a university’s social media in China?
Universities trying to recruit Chinese students are using social media sites. Is it better to use an agency or stay in-house? And if you stay in-house what is the best way of reaching your target audience?
NORTH AMERICA
From ‘soft power’ to ‘economic diplomacy’
How have the United States and Canadian federal government approaches to international higher education differed? While the American government has taken the soft power diplomacy route, Canada has focused more on economics, which may prove risky.
EUROPE
Knowledge economy requires lifelong learning
A recent gathering of European experts on professional higher education showed how institutions are preparing for greater demand for their courses from industry as the need for lifelong learning becomes more apparent in the knowledge economy.
AFRICA
Building on digital libraries’ momentum
Governments in Africa have neglected library development and digital education, but there is no doubt that within a decade digital libraries will significantly shape higher education on the continent – especially in improved access, knowledge sharing and materials preservation.