24 June 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Commentary
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.
GLOBAL
To remain a gateway to work, universities must change
The world of work is changing rapidly, undermining the traditional model based on a jobseeker presenting a CV listing their qualifications. Universities will need to adapt, but those in the developing world are intent on copying a model in the developed world that is fast becoming outdated.
GLOBAL
Higher education for refugees – A call for action
The international community needs to develop a global policy on refugees and that starts with recognition of prior learning and supporting the widening of access to higher education, particularly in refugees’ host countries. It would reduce the cost of hosting refugees and enable them to contribute to society and help secure peace.
UNITED STATES
Why fewer international students could be good news
The negative effects associated with the unplanned growth in the enrolment of international students at United States universities in the past 10 years have been too significant to ignore. Reports of a reduction in numbers of international students in the US could be positive since it will allow universities to focus better on how to improve what they offer.
AUSTRALIA
Right time for Australia and India to engage on HE
The Australian prime minister and education minister were in Delhi last week pushing for more collaboration between the countries' universities. As providers from competitor countries such as the United Kingdom deepen their involvement in the Indian higher education sector, this is a crucial time for Australia to promote engagement.
CHINA
Is China the new lodestar for Africa’s students?
China is aggressively competing to raise its universities’ international rankings and attract international students. African institutions increasingly hold degrees from China in legitimate esteem. Is this the start of a new world order?
RUSSIA
Can autocracies cope with international universities?
The attack on Hungary’s Central European University is not the only attempt by autocratic leaders in Eastern European to crack down on international universities that do not suffer from the same corruption as their local counterparts. Legal pretexts have been found to enforce political conformity on the European University at St Petersburg.
FRANCE
Marching for science and its importance for democracy
French scientists will mobilise alongside others around the world on 22 April to stand up for the values of critical thinking and analysis, which are under threat from politicians such as United States President Donald Trump, and rally all those who spread knowledge throughout society – from scientists to teachers and journalists – to strengthen mutual dialogue.
VIETNAM
The importance of universities not being American
No foreign power should be allowed to dominate Vietnam's academic world. For Vietnam’s integrity and national security, it needs to have its own universities that contribute to and provide guidance on following an independent path free of neocolonial domination.