20 October 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Commentary
HONG KONG
Towards collaborative governance of universities
Calls for greater accountability and improved performance in higher education followed the rise of the student movement. More collaboration with industry, business and the community could address these issues and lead to a new form of ‘collaborative governance’.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities must push for an 'Intelligent Brexit'
The prime minister is only considering aspects of higher education related to industrial strategy in her Brexit strategy. Universities need to broaden public and political understanding of what it is about the European connection that helps United Kingdom universities to perform as well as they do – and by extension, why a hard Brexit would be so destructive.
AFRICA
Leading the way to high-skilled jobs?
Creating high-skilled and relevant jobs will help the world’s youngest region – with close to 60% of its population under 25 years old – and to do that it requires dynamic new higher education leaders.
UNITED KINGDOM-UNITED STATES
HE has a role to play in rebuilding social solidarity
Access to higher education was a key influence on the votes for Brexit and Donald Trump. Its increasing stratification reflects growing social inequality, in which the disadvantages of those without degrees are acute. By contrast, the more higher education operates as a common good, the greater its social, economic and democratic contribution can be.
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.