Digital technology has a huge impact on people’s everyday lives. Universities should be using it for more than internal activities and should consider how it might help them widen their impact, by disseminating research and sharing good practice across borders to a global audience for the benefit of economies and societies.
Science today is increasingly data-driven, but our education system has not caught up. We must develop new teaching methods that recognise data-driven and computational approaches as some of the primary tools of contemporary research.
Purdue University, among America’s most respected research universities, has announced it is buying the for-profit Kaplan University. This is a massive blunder. The move will cause confusion over whether Purdue is a research university, a for-profit or a not-for-profit.
One of the significant outcomes of the rankings discourse, whatever you think of them, is that they provide some form of accountability, but they also make higher education vulnerable to an agenda set by states. We urgently need to reclaim the role of higher education in civic engagement and become an intellectual force to bridge the gap between local, national and global.
The launch of the Asian Universities Alliance can be considered the most ambitious Asian higher education initiative to date and looks likely to be in the vanguard of ongoing attempts to promote regional higher education collaboration and will contribute to solving unique Asian challenges.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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’.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.