30 April 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Commentary
UNITED STATES
The new merchants of doubt are waging war on science
The Trump administration is increasing its war on science and inconvenient truths and seems eager to attack and censor, and to promote ‘alternative facts’ – in other words, to lie. Science needs to fight back by getting its research out to the wider population.
AFRICA
Christian universities are growing rapidly in Africa
As private universities have grown in Africa, so too have Christian institutions, at brisk pace – and that can lead to some tensions between broad state purposes and religious leanings, as well as between increasing access and recruiting enough instructors.
GLOBAL
What makes international branch campuses successful?
Little research has been done into what makes international branch campuses successful, but a new study looks at everything from location to identity and links with the home campus.
GLOBAL
The imperative of increasing access to university
In an age of populism it is crucial for universities to widen access or be seen as a cause of growing inequality. Analysis suggests that policy-makers’ role in improving access is unreliable. Is it not time higher education took responsibility for its own situation?
UNITED STATES
New York is taking a lead in tackling university fraud
A high-profile diploma mills case, and the Trump University settlement, show that the state of New York is prepared to take action to prosecute alleged higher education fraud. Many other states are still not confronting the issue strongly enough, and it is likely to grow.
AFRICA
Rethinking the university for an online era
At the virtual university academics are not teachers so much as curators of knowledge and innovation, able to offer better quality learning materials than the materials that could be delivered in traditional classrooms.
LATIN AMERICA
Why are universities stuck in the 20th century?
While the world around them is changing at a fast speed, Latin American universities appear to be falling behind. They are rarely places of radical innovation, stellar research performance or forward-looking projects. The system needs a complete transformation in line with 21st century demands and needs.
UNITED STATES
The turn to nativism hinders international education
The new US administration is no more nationalist than any other. The US has always been nationalist. Donald Trump's election instead represents a turn to nativism, which will make it harder for universities to build bridges of respect and trust around the world. Image credit: Maya Spielman

GLOBAL
A new way of planning international recruitment
How do you recruit international students in 2017 when the whole landscape is shifting so fast? International deans planning for future international outreach should look at countries with a rising middle class as well as strong projected growth of gross domestic product. Strategic planners should also take into account the geopolitical and economic changes sweeping across the globe.
ECUADOR
Neoliberalism meets populism in HE reforms
Ecuador is implementing ambitious and innovative higher education reforms, including legislation that enables the government to close for-profit universities, requirements for academics to have PhDs and strict rules for biopiracy that protect indigenous knowledge and species – but the changes have stirred controversy.
GLOBAL
The next big thing in HE country groupings?
TACTICS is the latest in a line of acronyms for emerging nations in higher education, but do these countries really have that much in common – compared to BRICS countries, for instance?
MIDDLE EAST
Do foreign universities just serve the global elite?
A chasm exists between the international institutions introduced to improve higher education in the Arab world and the societies they were supposed to benefit. Their applicants are from a cosmopolitan elite quite distant from the communities outside their walls.
GLOBAL
The role of social scientists in an age of anti-science
After the election of Donald Trump, who claims climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, the role of social scientists in communicating its impact is more important than ever because they can put that human face on climate science and make climate change a story about all of us.
GLOBAL
BRICS need to capitalise on West’s turn to nationalism
Rising nationalism in the West could be a good opportunity for BRICS countries to further increase cooperation in the higher education sector. Although there are many challenges to overcome, initiatives such as the BRICS University League could be a factor in changing flows of international students.
AFRICA
Model for the transformation of higher education in Africa
A model system of around a dozen pilot universities across West, Central and East Africa, implementable within a decade with some 2,500 new academics and US$1 billion, is proposed to kick-start the transformation of African higher education.
GLOBAL
An aspirational model for leading universities
The 'New Flagship University' provides an alternative model for leading universities to aspire to which is broader and more socially engaged than the narrow focus of the much critiqued 'World-Class University'. This notion was the focus of a keynote address at the BRICS and Emerging Economies Universities Summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 30 November-2 December.
GLOBAL
Leading better conversations about the role of HE
Universities have been integral to society for centuries. They can do more to engage in public discussion about their purpose and articulate their value in expanding markets where people face more options than ever.
GLOBAL
Is higher education serving the public interest?
Universities ignore civic engagement at their peril and a failure to address the issue could lead to an ever-widening gap opening up between higher education and the public on whom universities remain dependent for both core and research funding.
UNITED STATES
Fighting the politics of access to higher education
Black and Latino students face double segregation at school due to economic and other factors, which narrows access to university. The new US administration led by Donald Trump is likely to undermine attempts to counter this and any moves to make access more unequal must be resisted.
GLOBAL
Leading universities’ response to rising nationalism
Promoting internationalisation of higher education in the current turn towards more nationalist politics – as shown by the vote for Brexit in the United Kingdom and the rise of Donald Trump in the United States – will require strong leadership and an emphasis on creative and collaborative communication skills.
GLOBAL
How should universities confront a post-truth world?
Universities need to defend academic freedom and research by re-establishing a respect for objective truth and powerful arguments. They must become trust-builders as well as truth-seekers by creating many more arenas for debate.
UNITED STATES
Despite Trump, US will still welcome foreign students
An open letter to Vietnamese parents and students interested in study in the United States: Don't let the result of a presidential election dissuade you from realising your dream. This is an especially good time to study in the US because educational institutions want and need international students.
AFRICA
HE and the dawn of a new Marshall Plan for Africa
While I agree with Philip G Altbach and Hans de Wit of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, when they write in their recent contribution that the aggressive posturing of United States President-elect Donald Trump is far from helpful to higher education around the world, I do not believe it will seriously dent the system as a whole. Nor will it have a significant impact on African higher education.
CHINA
Why curriculum internationalisation isn’t working
Are Chinese masters students studying in Western universities really experiencing internationalisation if the majority of their class are Chinese, the course is based on purely Western perspectives, they have little opportunity of work experience in the other culture and their contributions to group work are downgraded due to discrimination?
AUSTRALIA
Engaging first-in-family university learners
Working with first generation students, particularly those from aboriginal backgrounds, means accepting the cultural wealth they bring and not falling for assumptions about their family context.