26 March 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Commentary
ISRAEL
Political appointments more harmful than boycott push
The Israeli government appears to be determined to destroy the scientific reputation of the country through the political appointment of a junior lecturer as chairman of the Council for Higher Education.
UNITED STATES-VIETNAM
Vietnamese student numbers growing in the US
Economic growth, an increase in the super rich, proactive recruitment campaigns and a love of brands are driving more Vietnamese students to enrol at institutions in the United States.
CAMBODIA
Internationalisation linked to drive for quality
Cambodia was the setting for the recent Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning conference. Like many other countries in the region, it faces challenges in improving the quality of the higher education it offers its students.
AFRICA
Flagship universities – Enrolment, typology, graduates
There are millions of graduates of Africa’s flagship universities. Most conversations have been on the shortcomings and challenges of these top national universities, but it is important to recognise their considerable contributions.
CHINA
The politics of the drive against corruption
China faces a challenge in its anti-corruption drive: how to tackle the bureaucratic system that enables corruption, while maintaining political control over its universities. In one week at the end of 2015, five leaders of four of Beijing’s most prestigious universities were punished or penalised for violating laws and Communist Party regulations on embezzlement and corruption.
EUROPE
Brexit is not just about funding
The debate on whether the United Kingdom should withdraw from the European Union tends to focus on funding and control, but there are wider issues at stake.
GLOBAL
Teaching to the test
The Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes project seeks to measure what students learn at different institutions and in different countries, but to do so it relies on tests of generic skills which don’t say anything about the specific knowledge they are taught at university.
AUSTRALIA-INDIA
India is facing an HE crisis and Australia can help
Although there has been an enormous expansion in higher education in India over the past 30 years, the country is facing a crisis around access to good college and university education. International partnerships could help train staff, root out corruption, widen access equitably and raise the quality of research.
EUROPE
Christmas is over for journal publishers
The League of European Research Universities' Statement on Open Access calls for changes to include moves to ensure universities are not charged twice for the same journal articles. The LERU statement has the power to change the way research is published and disseminated across the globe.
UNITED KINGDOM
Collaboration is king
The European Union may fund a lot of British research, but it also plays a vital role in facilitating the kind of international research collaboration that is a key factor in its economic and research competitiveness.
SOUTH AFRICA
Doctoral education – Need for more radical rethinking?
The just-published Doctoral Education in South Africa by Nico Cloete, Johann Mouton and Charles Sheppard reveals new approaches South Africa can take for a ‘radical rethink’ to meet its PhD targets. Government efforts have supported the doubling in a decade of doctoral graduate numbers to 2,200 a year, and the new research will play a key role in transforming the PhD in the coming decade.
UNITED KINGDOM
The politics of student satisfaction
Plans to give more power to students over their time in higher education could create an adversarial climate where they are less likely to be intellectually challenged.
UNITED STATES
The overeducated generation
The oversupply of students in many fields is forcing graduates – often with huge debts – to take jobs for which they are overqualified or to face unemployment. And it's not just a problem in the United States.
GLOBAL
Like and share – Using Facebook to reach parents
While students may be using other platforms, their parents are an increasingly important audience for universities’ social media content – and they definitely still use Facebook.
GLOBAL
Defining 'internationalisation at home'
There is still a lot of confusion about what is meant by 'internationalisation at home'. It is not just about adding international elements to programmes. It is a purposeful attempt to put international and intercultural knowledge at the centre of learning.
VIETNAM
The road to privatisation
Vietnam’s equitisation process will be the first time a government has transformed public higher education institutions into private ones. The aim is to address funding shortages and the need to create centres of excellence.
ISRAEL
Playing politics with academic governance bodes ill
The decision to summarily dismiss the vice-chair of the Council for Higher Education marks an escalation in the politicisation of universities and will harm their international reputation.
CHINA
Education strategy fits quest for global influence
As an emerging economic giant China is also becoming an increasingly important geopolitical and cultural force in the world and its education strategy has been constructed to demonstrate its ambition of becoming a global power.
SAUDI ARABIA
Applying research in the real world
A recent seminar showcased the process from innovative research to its application in confronting developmental challenges.
GLOBAL
Branch campuses – The ethical questions
To what extent should Western university administrators comply with locally expected behaviours – and to what extent should they promote and implement Western ethical values?
GLOBAL
SDGs – A unique opportunity for universities
The Sustainable Development Goals are more ambitious and more inclusive than the Millennium Development Goals. They provide a unique opportunity to higher education institutions to contribute to national and global development.
GLOBAL
Transnational education 2.0
Transnational education is under pressure from shifting student expectations. Technological advances such as Virtual Reality may offer a way to propel it into a new era.
UNITED KINGDOM
Research drives understanding and disruption of work of ISIS
With their recent horrific attacks, it may seem that there is little understanding of ISIS. But universities are working with intelligence agencies to share their research on radicalisation and violent extremist groups, which is helping to inform the fight against ISIS.
JAPAN
Nationalism vs internationalism
Can Japan be simultaneously more global and more nationalistic in its education policy? If it wants a greater voice internationally, it needs to present a more confident, outward-looking face on the global stage.
AFRICA
Developmental universities – The debate continues
Arguments against developmental universities range from the language of instruction and learning to the value placed on knowledge in Africa, but higher education institutions have a duty to embrace the communities they find themselves in and promote development.