23 October 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
Advanced Search
Features
IRELAND
Making higher education financially sustainable
The biggest issue facing Irish higher education may not be the level of national investment but the mix of public and private funding. Ireland has a modest level of public investment when compared to other OECD countries and a very low level of private investment in the form of privately paid tuition fees. The key then for achieving sustainable policies in the future is for Ireland to increase its level of private investment while stabilising and maintaining public investment levels in higher education.
GLOBAL
Academic reputation affects citation count
An academic’s reputation plays a key role in generating increases in a scientific paper’s citation count early in its citation life cycle, before a tipping point, after which his or her reputation has much less influence relative to the paper’s citation count.
GLOBAL
Global postgraduate student mobility trends to 2024
India will have by far the most tertiary students in the world in 2024 – 48 million against 37 million in China – but China will still be the largest source of mobile postgraduate students, sending 338,000 abroad, according to a just-published study by the British Council. Nigeria will have the world’s strongest growth in outbound postgraduate mobility, at 8.3% a year.
GLOBAL
BRICS – Partnering to build education for the future
The five BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have initiated a process of mobilising investment and collaboration that will provide quality higher education to around 40% of the world’s tertiary students.
UNITED STATES
For-profit giant’s competency-based ‘Open College’
One of the biggest for-profit college companies in the United States is creating an ‘Open College’ aimed at adults who may already have skills and experience that could qualify for college credits.
INDIA
Modi’s US visit yields more support – But nothing new
American help in setting up a new Indian institute of technology, academic exchange and knowledge sharing, and joint solutions towards skills development of Indian youth are some key takeaways of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States. But experts and political opponents were quick to say that the trip did not yield anything ground-breaking or different.
AUSTRALIA
Future of Australia’s universities at risk
Already struggling in the “shallows” of inadequate domestic financial support, Australia’s universities are facing rising, well-resourced and aggressive international competitors, a leading educationist told a conference on higher education deregulation last Wednesday.
NIGERIA
Boko Haram fear grips campuses, displaces students
The recent attack by Boko Haram insurgents on a higher education institution in Kano, northern Nigeria’s biggest metropolis, prompted President Goodluck Jonathan to order security agencies to protect university campuses. Ongoing confrontation between the Islamist sect and the military has compelled some students in the north to relocate to other universities in the country and elsewhere in West Africa.
JAPAN
Slow progress for women in university leadership
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s national pledge in June to increase the number of women in leadership positions to 30% by 2020 across all sectors, including higher education and research, was welcomed. But women still face an uphill battle in universities.
UNITED STATES
What you need to know about online ‘enabler’ companies
‘Publish or perish’ is an old saw that has been updated to reflect modern wisdom. The revised version of the phrase offers advice not to professors but to universities: ‘Partner or perish’. The growth of online higher education, the breakdown of competitive borders and the decline of public support have caused traditional institutions to reflect on strategies for survival. In the soil of this anxiety, online ‘enablers’ have taken root.
INDIA
National university rankings to include social contribution
India’s prestigious institutes of technology, or IITs, will spearhead a national system of university rankings, drawing up relevant parameters even though they are not themselves universities, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani announced last week at a meeting of IIT heads in Chennai.
EUROPE
Progress, problems with researcher mobility in Europe
There has been significant progress in alleviating obstacles to mobility for researchers in Europe – but advances have been uneven and challenges remain in some countries in the areas of recruitment, researcher skills, working conditions and career opportunities – says a Deloitte Consulting report prepared for the European Commission.
CHINA
Universities may exit Beijing under flagship plan
Some of China’s most eminent universities including Peking and Tsinghua are clustered around the Zhongguancun area in Beijing’s Haidian district, which likes to style itself as China’s ‘Silicon Valley’, attracting research institutions and thousands of high-tech enterprises.
GLOBAL
ETH Zürich explores ‘future cities lab’ in Africa
Continental Europe’s leading research-intensive university ETH Zürich is exploring the idea of establishing a ‘future cities laboratory’ in Africa following the success of the Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability.
UNITED STATES
Digital history centre strives to connect with public
Books are the gold standard of historical scholarship. Claudio Saunt, a specialist in early American history, has published three of them. As a sort of epilogue to his latest book, however, the University of Georgia professor decided to try a different approach: what would happen if he distilled more than a century of American Indian history into an interactive digital map?
GLOBAL
MOOC on MOOCs? A novel yet pragmatic approach
The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and the Commonwealth of Learning are offering “A MOOC on MOOCs: What you need to know about massive open online courses”. The novel short course is aimed at educators, policy-makers and other professionals interested in strategies related to the origin, architecture, economics and delivery of a MOOC, with particular reference to the emerging world.
UNITED STATES
Academic freedom – Pleas for civility meet cynicism
‘Civility’ just might be American academe’s newest fighting word. In the past week, pleas for civility at Ohio University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of California at Berkeley have had the unintended effect of provoking harsh attacks on the campus leaders who issued them. All have been accused of seeking to silence speech rather than simply lower its tone.
EUROPE
Facts on tenure track in Europe’s research universities
Universities in three out of 10 European countries do not have an academic tenure track – France, Spain and the United Kingdom – while in seven countries three basic tenure models have been implemented since the turn of the century, according to a survey by the League of European Research Universities.
SOUTH AFRICA
Major survey of international students in South Africa
The first major study of international students in South Africa has found pull factors to be affordable fees, government subsidies for students from the region, proximity to home and cost of living, the strong reputation of higher education and currency of its qualifications, according to the survey’s authors professors Jenny J Lee and Chika Sehoole.
AFRICA
More research needed on China’s influence in Africa
For a continent where China is having a huge influence, there is very little awareness in Africa of all the implications, says the new acting head of an independent research centre on China-Africa relations in South Africa.
UNITED STATES
Do Americans expect too much from a college degree?
In times like these, data points get wielded like cudgels. Student loan debt tops US$1 trillion. As many as half of recent graduates are out of work. Clearly, such numbers suggest, college isn’t worthwhile. At the same time, remedies for what ails the economy often invoke higher education as a solution. Together these sentiments show how deeply intertwined higher education and the economy have grown.
INDIA
Medical exam fraud is ‘biggest education scam’
Large-scale fraud in India’s medical entrance examination or the Pre-Medical Test – being described as India’s biggest education scam – is having serious wider repercussions, calling into question the quality of medical education and the qualifications of some recently graduated doctors.
AFRICA
Study spurs action on climate change in Southern Africa
On a continent that is one of the most vulnerable to climate change, the Southern African Regional Universities Association has produced a comprehensive climate change mapping study that is the first of its kind in Southern Africa, with a focus on higher education institutions. It brings together information from 12 countries across a multiplicity of disciplines.
GREECE
‘Stagnant’ students to be struck off enrolment register
Having ‘solved’, so to speak, problems that plague higher education – under-funding, lack of administration staff, conflicts arising from double-tier management and more – the Greek Education Ministry has turned its attention to 180,000 ‘eternal’ students who for various reasons have not completed their studies during the prescribed time – and is about to strike them off the register.
UNITED STATES
Illinois backlash from scholars angered by Salaita case
Weeks after the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign abruptly revoked a job offer to Steven G Salaita in the wake of his controversial tweets about Israel, two scholars have signalled their protest by pulling out of speaking engagements at the campus, and a programme that was set to host a national gathering there has called its conference off.