20 August 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
Advanced Search
Commentary
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.
GLOBAL
The role of universities in the post-truth era
Universities face a huge challenge in confronting post-truth. It is the challenge of expanding higher education, while providing high-quality teaching at a time when people are required to deal with a tsunami of data and information – verified or unverified – emerging from all quarters.
NIGERIA
Language politics and the denial of cultural identity
A government plan to teach science and mathematics in indigenous languages at primary schools has been opposed by some academics. They need to ensure their views are based on evidence rather than a desire to protect the status quo.
ASIA
Do national qualifications frameworks work?
There is limited evidence that national qualifications frameworks do their job, whether improving learning and recognition outcomes or supporting the mobility of students. To build trust in qualifications we need to strengthen the evidence base for quality assurance mechanisms.
AUSTRALIA
Teaching-only roles could end your academic career
Teaching academic roles in Australian universities have tripled over the past decade, making up around 5% of the academic workforce – and further roll outs are expected. But new research suggests that these roles can be a negative career move for academics.
UNITED STATES
Why academics need to learn the art of storytelling
In an era of ‘alternative facts’ academics need to ensure their research is accessible so that they can get their findings over to the general public. Two key ways to improve accessibility of scholarship are telling compelling personal stories about others and narrating stories about our own research.
GLOBAL
University rankings and the battle for talent
The Global Talent Competitiveness Index shows that there is more than university rankings involved in attracting and retaining the best talent and that cohesive economic and social systems and tolerance for minorities and immigrants play a key role.
CHINA
Are Chinese PhDs becoming more like US doctorates?
Although there is still evidence of the impact of Soviet ideas, there has been a considerable shift towards United States influence that has led to dramatic changes in China’s doctoral education. Yet while there has been growth and improvement in many areas, challenges still remain.
NETHERLANDS
A step towards greater internationalisation in HE
Proposed changes to Dutch legislation will allow students at offshore campuses to do their whole degree there and this could bring benefits to both students and staff. Other changes will enhance the ability of universities to attract talented young international scholars.
SAUDI ARABIA
Is halving of student admissions the right strategy?
Dramatic cuts to student admissions and scholarships amid falling oil prices are part of a government strategy to tailor education to the needs of the economy by switching investment into technical and vocational education – but not all the numbers add up.
GLOBAL
A perfect storm for international student mobility?
Political and economic changes are affecting both leading destination and source countries for international higher education. Universities that want to steer a course through the uncertainty and hyper-competition of the next few years will need to be innovative.
AFRICA
African languages – Lifting the mask of invisibility
There is a need to intensify resistance to the metaphysical empire of language, literature and scholarship and make African languages and what is produced in them more visible. Every African university should become an advocate of African languages.
AUSTRALIA
Standing up for the facts in an era of post-truths
Universities have a vital role to play in standing up for evidence, dealing with disruption and above all asking questions about the complex problems we face today and in the future – and to never rest with the answers.
GLOBAL
The case for learning through research
Ongoing research shows that students – and their universities – can gain from being allowed to undertake research. Through research, students develop many of the kinds of skills that can be used to contribute to innovation or solving social challenges.
ITALY
Linguistic battle sparks revolt against globalisation
The Italian Constitutional Court’s recent nuanced decision on teaching university courses in English has provoked a popular response in defence of Italian. Could the decision give momentum to a backlash against English and globalisation?
UNITED STATES
Education equity crisis in California’s universities
The enrolment crisis in California caused by growing demand, neoliberal policies and budget constraints, is adversely affecting students of colour and those from lower socio-economic groups. California’s policy-makers should follow Clark Kerr’s example and lead the drive for equitable access.
RUSSIA
Internationalisation of HE must not be imposed
Russian academics are split between opposing views of internationalisation, but one thing is clear: internationalisation must come from academics themselves and should not be imposed on universities from the top down.
KAZAKHSTAN
The dark side of university student recruitment
The true story of a group of ethnic Kazakh students from China invited to study in the Kazakh city of Atyrau is a cautionary tale about when international recruitment goes wrong and promises turn to dust, with costly consequences.
EUROPE
The importance of helping mobile partners find a job
A big barrier to academic mobility is the problems partners – mainly women – face finding jobs and settling abroad. New initiatives aim to help couples overcome these and make it more likely they will stay.
GLOBAL
Making the case for an internationalised curriculum
At the core of internationalisation is an ambition for internationalised curricula. But we need a better understanding of what is meant by internationalisation of the curriculum, why we need it and what the barriers to it are.
NETHERLANDS
Internationalisation lifts the Dutch HE brand globally
The rapid rise in numbers of inbound international staff and professors to the Netherlands has boosted the country’s reputation for higher education and increased its global competitiveness, especially its research capacity. It has also made its universities more attractive to domestic and international students.