20 October 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Commentary
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.
GLOBAL
Whose values is internationalisation of HE promoting?
A growing number of scholars see internationalisation of higher education as a means to counter the increasing political popularity of notions of exclusion. But we need to question the values and norms that underpin internationalisation. Do they vary across cultures? What are the power issues that lie beneath them?
CANADA
Redefining the role of the university in the Trump era
Canadian universities face potential funding problems as a result of United States protectionist policies, but the bigger threat is of populism spreading across the border. As a result they need to embrace their role to teach more than skills, educating individuals to take responsibility for their part in society.
TURKEY
Descent into ignorance as critical voices are silenced
Last year’s coup attempt is being used by the Turkish government to silence critical voices and transform the education system. Some 28,000 school teachers and more than 4,000 academics have been fired. It must be possible to be both against the coup and critical of government.
GLOBAL
Future of outward higher education internationalisation
Internationalisation of higher education can be interpreted in different ways, according to how universities view the process of knowledge generation and dissemination. But the world is still waiting for the full development of a global knowledge and learning network.
ASIA
Support teaching to build a stronger ASEAN community
A mutual recognition agreement for teaching services would improve the quality and status of the teaching profession across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and teacher mobility would help build a sense of community, ensuring that the ASEAN region reaches the Sustainable Development Goals on education.
GLOBAL
Changing times, challenging university structures
Education needs to take account of the fact that people learn at different speeds and that traditional ways of learning do not get the most out of students. New ways could reduce costs, and increase availability and widen access.
TURKEY
The quest to quell opposition leads to ‘academocide’
The mass dismissals of academics in Turkey target the best academics – also blocking their passports and credit cards, denying them retirement and preventing them from working abroad – and aim to replace universities with something along the lines of submissive high schools. Photo: Almanar News
GLOBAL
Building bridges not walls will bring greater innovation
A meeting of the International Association of University Presidents this month heard how effective transnational partnerships will help universities innovate in a more multidisciplinary, student-centred future.
GLOBAL
Feasting on fear with arguments as faulty as Hitler’s
The United States government’s travel ban and its downplaying of the Nazi genocide against the Jews show a profound failure to empathise and a reshaping of history towards division and exclusion. The parallels between Donald Trump’s America and the early years of Adolf Hitler’s Germany are chilling.