28 February 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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UNITED KINGDOM
Time off for baby need not stall a research career
The London School of Economics is pioneering new ways to ensure that research careers are not stalled by maternity or paternity leave, including allowing a term free of teaching to catch up on research, a phased return to work and taking into account the impact of leave on output in decisions on probationary periods and promotion.
AUSTRALIA
Giving students and industries a future at Flinders
In countries around the world, high-cost manufacturing is under threat from low-cost mass production in areas of Asia. This is the situation confronting South Australia which is facing the demise of its car industry, a mining sector yet to fulfil expectations, and the potential end to its historic ship-building plants. Now Flinders University has stepped in with some innovative solutions.
ASIA
Women enrol in sciences but not STEM
Gender differences in learning achievement contribute significantly towards girls’ and women’s low participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, based careers in Asia, according to a study conducted by UNESCO’s Asia and Pacific regional bureau.
UNITED STATES
International students bring money, skills and jobs
International students contributed almost US$27 billion to the US economy in 2014, up 12% on 2013, an impact that goes way beyond money spent on tuition fees and living expenses.
SWEDEN
HE minister’s hands are tied on funds for teaching
Leading Swedish academics are calling for a major shift in higher education and research policies under the new government. But can it deliver?
GREECE
Minister prepares to address ‘human crisis’
While new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his economy ministry’s staff are scouring the European capitals in search of support for an alternative policy to Greece’s austerity programme, top bureaucrats at the education ministry are poring over plans to deal with immediate problems before releasing their long-term targets.
AFRICA
New Arusha convention sparks hopes for degree mobility
The recognition – or not – of qualifications when a student moves from one country to another has long caused headaches in the academic world and hampered the mobility of students, especially in developing or middle-income countries. UNESCO believes there was a breakthrough for Africa last December when 16 countries signed an amended version of the ‘Arusha Convention’ on the recognition of qualifications across the continent.
SWEDEN
Rector’s outstanding performance at Lund University
A mantra at university conferences and in policy documents, and at the heart of university reforms over the last decade in the Nordic countries, is the belief that university leadership is the most crucial factor for success. Professor Per Eriksson has demonstrated that, after six years as rector of Lund University, one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious universities.
MOZAMBIQUE
Back to the future – Uneven changes in HE governance
After 10 years of being split under Armando Guebuza’s two terms as Mozambique’s head of state, under the new President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, higher education has been reunited with science and technology, and technical and professional education, in a newly established ministry. The ministry needs to institutionalise practices and coordinating structures, and to promote a more bottom-up approach with input from universities and other key stakeholders.
GLOBAL
Rich world attainment rising fast but not for all
There has been a sharp rise in education attainment across the world’s wealthy nations, driven by young adults studying longer. But at the same time, nearly one in six young adults in OECD nations does not have the skills essential to function in the modern world, according to an interim Education at a Glance report for the OECD.
UNITED STATES
The day the purpose of university changed
California boasted a system of public higher education that was the envy of the world. But after 28 February 1967, when State Governor Ronald Reagan announced that “there are certain intellectual luxuries that perhaps we could do without”, the main reason to go to university was to get a job.
SOUTH AFRICA
Top academics well paid, new generation falling behind
South Africa’s senior academics are better rewarded than comparable staff in the public and private sectors, and they are relatively better paid than lower-ranked lecturers, a study by the vice-chancellors' association Higher Education South Africa has revealed. This is good news for retaining senior staff but bad news for building the next generation of academics.
UNITED STATES
Berkeley to build a global campus, 10 miles from home
The University of California at Berkeley plans to open a global campus, but it intends to do so without going very far from home. Under the plan, partner universities from around the world would set up shop at a new outpost just 10 miles from Berkeley’s main campus.
FRANCE
Liberty, equality, fraternity in the wake of Charlie Hebdo
France today is a fabulously colourful mixture of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists. This is the situation all over Europe. Yet many Europeans are deeply uneasy with this diversity, with the media and government often still referring to Muslims as “them”: tolerated foreigners, immigrants graciously accorded rights by the state. Muslims often respond by considering themselves unwanted outsiders, even enemies.
UNITED KINGDOM
Newspaper archives: a unique research resource
Captivating content sourced from digital newspaper archives is being used by students nationwide to radically transform and enrich the quality of their essays and dissertations.
PAKISTAN
Peshawar attack spreads fear in higher education
Schools and universities in Pakistan closed early and delayed their reopening until this week over security fears after the Taliban attack on a Peshawar school on 16 December, with many remaining closed until mid-January. But students and academics are questioning whether they will be any safer when they open.
UNITED STATES
Big data scientists face ethical challenges after Facebook study
The media storm over the Facebook study on the impact of emotive language has left big data scientists searching for ways to resolve the ethical questions their research can raise.
UNITED STATES
Campus activism after lack of action on black men deaths
Two grand juries’ decisions not to indict white police officers who killed unarmed black men have galvanised students around America, creating important teaching moments for law students on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, and calls by anthropologists and sociologists for non-violent social action.
AFRICA
SKA mega-project boosts astronomy research and skills
The advanced technological skills required to run the Square Kilometre Array, or SKA – a mega-research project due to become fully operational in 2020 in South Africa and eight other African countries – are scarce in Africa. But efforts to rectify that are gathering momentum.
BELARUS
Satellite state turns to higher education
The leaders of Belarus are making efforts to modernise the higher education system by applying to join the Bologna Accord, the system designed to harmonise standards of higher education qualifications and promote freedom of movement in Europe. Belarus is keen to improve its economy and is turning to higher education for answers.
AUSTRALIA
Sleepwalking towards university privatisation
The federal government’s higher education reforms are unfair to students and poorly designed policy. If they go through, Australia is sleepwalking towards the privatisation of its universities. And ironically they will be the death knell of the peak lobby group, Universities Australia, which could not survive them for long.
UNITED KINGDOM
Recruiting international students in a virtual world
Several UK universities are now using virtual open days to attract international students, with smaller universities potentially gaining more from online events.
RUSSIA
A Siberian university aims to become a global player
The first higher education institution east of the Urals, Tomsk State University was founded in 1878 to extend the Tsarist empire’s grasp on Siberia’s tribal lands. Today the challenge of globalisation has replaced the university’s mission to tame the wilderness. Russia and Siberia’s international isolation has to be overcome by transparency around quality.
UNITED KINGDOM
Transnational recruitment vital for many universities
A number of English universities are increasingly reliant on recruiting international students through transnational education programmes, according to a new report from the Higher Education Funding Council for England. It says that around 34% of all international first-degree entrants transferred directly from United Kingdom transnational programmes delivered overseas in 2012-13.
UNITED STATES
Tradition in the cross hairs after student rape claims
Honour wasn’t enough last week at the University of Virginia. An article by the magazine Rolling Stone, detailing the brutal gang rape of a freshman woman at a fraternity party in 2012, has blown a hole in the institution’s storied legacy as the genteel ‘academical village’ founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819.