21 October 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Commentary
MIDDLE EAST
When the Syrian war ends, what is the plan for HE?
Universities and education organisations need to start preparing now for when the Syrian war ends. After six years of war, displaced young people fear becoming the under-educated generation and Syria will need an educated workforce to rebuild the country.
UNITED STATES
‘Muslim ban’ has wider impact on study in the US
The travel ban on citizens from six mainly Muslim countries is likely to deter students from across the Middle East because of a perception that the United States is now hostile to them. Universities will have to go out of their way to counter that perception.
SOUTH KOREA
Is South Korea in a higher education access trap?
An educated workforce is important for economic growth and development and South Korea is leading the way on higher education access. But has spending on private after-school tutoring to ensure a university place is secured gone too far?
GLOBAL
England embraces the delusion of free tuition
The United Kingdom’s main opposition party proposed to scrap university tuition fees in England in its general election manifesto, and saw its political fortunes soar in the popular vote. But how realistic is the international movement for free tuition?
GLOBAL
The new battlefront in university subject rankings
The Shanghai ranking by subject has expanded significantly in the past year and opens up a new front by ranking subjects based mainly on bibliometric data related to their research output. It is part of a new higher education world based on big data.

ASIA
Towards a Southeast Asian Higher Education Area
As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN celebrates its 50th anniversary, what progress has been made to date on its ‘One Vision, One Identity, One Community’ integration journey in higher education? How far along the road are we to the creation of an ASEAN identity through increased mobility?
GLOBAL
Student experience is core to an offshore strategy
New, less risky forms of doing transnational education, such as via dual degrees, need to ensure they don’t lose a focus on the student experience. As competition increases, the student experience is becoming increasingly important to decisions on where to study.
SOUTH AFRICA
Changing society through higher education research
What is higher education’s role in the struggle for social justice? For education researchers it surely lies in deeper analysis and asking the right questions about how we got to where we are now and where we go from here.
GLOBAL
Universities’ role in tackling the obesity crisis
Developing countries must intensify their efforts to increase higher education student engagement in physical activity programmes, a key plank in dealing with a growing global obesity crisis that can only be halted and reversed through education and participation.
UNITED STATES
The changing face of accreditation in higher education
Now is the time to tackle the new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on accreditation and look at how to make sure that quality and standards accommodate the profound changes taking place in higher education – including the rise of technology and the for-profit sector.
VIETNAM
Trump is not deterring Vietnamese from studying in US
Echoing the findings of the Institute of International Education’s Shifting Tides report that interest in the United States as a study destination is holding firm, recent statistics show that, despite poor ratings for President Donald Trump, Vietnamese students and their parents view a US education favourably.
EUROPE
The digital future of European student cards
Information technology experts across the continent recently came together to discuss the development of a student card that can be used across Europe, allowing students to use services and move more freely and seamlessly across borders and across institutional frameworks.
GLOBAL
Questioning the status quo
Innovation is important in higher education, but in seeking to adapt to changing demands for higher education we need to re-examine our basic structures that have over time become too rigid.
CANADA
Is Trump driving Canada’s rising internationalisation?
Canada has been seen as ‘a beacon of liberalism’ in the past year, due to its openness to the world at a time of rising xenophobia in the United States and United Kingdom, but its rise in international student numbers are more likely linked to longer term trends.
IRAN
The drive to control and Islamise universities
Iran has undergone two Cultural Revolutions with moves made during each to control and Islamise the universities – despite the detrimental impact on the quality of higher education – but so far the state has not been successful in creating an Islamic university.
AFRICA
Continent risks fading from digital knowledge economy
The rapid growth of internet use on the African continent has sparked hopes for the democratisation of knowledge production, but recent research suggests that connectivity is not enough to boost Africa’s position in the knowledge economy.
UNITED KINGDOM
Can UK universities stay open?
The referendum campaign in the United Kingdom only focused marginally on the impact of Brexit on scientific research. But freedom of movement goes hand in hand with research networks. As the Brexit talks begin, can the United Kingdom remain internationally engaged and open?
GLOBAL
How do globalisation forces affect HE systems?
As internationalisation comes under increased scrutiny, higher education experts need to ask the big questions about the complex interplay between it and globalisation. This represents a challenge for the study of higher education systems as conceptually positioned within national state boundaries.
CHINA
A model for teaching innovation in HE worldwide?
The DeTao Masters Academy has just graduated its first cohort of students. It has been named a pioneer in the development of innovation in Chinese higher education through student-centred learning and real-world project work. But is it a useful model for other countries and is it scalable?
GLOBAL
Are MOOCs deepening divisions in higher education?
Massive open online courses or MOOCs have been hailed as increasing access to higher education for many, but are they creating more divisions between the developed and developing world? Lack of access to high-speed internet or wi-fi and cultural barriers such as the language of instruction are key challenges.
ETHIOPIA
Transformation of HE must defeat the quality trap
Higher education is expanding fast in Ethiopia but the overall poor quality of university education, its graduates and its research infrastructure represents a real danger to the national economy and the country’s development agenda. Immediate responses are needed to address these concerns.
BRAZIL-INDIA
Still a long way to go on internationalising higher education
While China has successfully coped with pressure to increase internationalisation and research outputs, India and Brazil face a number of issues if they are to improve their higher education systems, from widening access to boosting their international profile.
UNITED STATES
US student mobility trends in a global context
What are the key developments shaping student mobility in the United States and globally, what are the key concerns and how much impact are recent political developments, particularly the rise of nationalism around the world, having on higher education?
UNITED STATES
Mobilising students to add value to higher education
Student partnerships with universities, based on the recognition of the value of student contributions, provides a path forward for working together to ensure equity and enhance quality from within institutions rather than students protesting on the outside.
RUSSIA
Trend of decentralised international student support
Worldwide the idea of decentralising support for international students has been gaining popularity in recent years as it allows for multiple solutions to challenges. But universities must balance this against the onus on them to provide quality support.