08 February 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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KENYA
Student survivor of Garissa college massacre speaks out
Anastacia Mikwa, a 20-year-old student at Kenya’s Garissa University College when it was attacked by al-Shabaab extremists last April, was shot multiple times and lost her friends. Still traumatised and crippled – but feeling lucky to be alive – she spoke to University World News about the massacre in which 148 people lost their lives.
GLOBAL
The imperative of measuring student learning outcomes
Unless we measure learning outcomes, judgements about the quality of teaching and learning at higher education institutions will continue to be made on the basis of flawed international rankings based on idiosyncratic inputs and reputation surveys, says Andreas Schleicher of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
UNITED STATES
How to make public engagement a priority at universities
Public universities should deepen their engagement with their communities and make those partnerships part of their core academic missions, says Robert J Jones, president of the University at Albany.
UNITED KINGDOM
Are universities making the most of their big data?
Just as the big supermarket chains are using personal data to tailor their services to their customers, universities will increasingly be able to tailor their support and services for their own consumers, their students.
UNITED STATES
Degrees of freedom from recidivism
Most people wouldn't consider setting foot in a prison, much less volunteering to teach incarcerated men and women the skills they need to succeed upon release. Not Donald Roden. And the results have been life-changing – for the prisoners.
INDIA
Suicide highlights campus discrimination against Dalits
A political furore and student protests have broken out over the suicide of a 28-year-old research student and campaigner for the rights of Dalit communities at the Hyderabad Central University, who was found hanging in a university hostel room on the campus last Sunday, according to the police.
UNITED STATES
Scholar’s blog on ‘feminist fog’ sparks an uproar
A months-old blog post on ‘feminist fog’ written by a respected medieval scholar, Allen J Frantzen, has gained a second life on social media – and whipped the discipline into a frenzy.
EUROPE
Asia has learned a humanities lesson that Europe forgot
Asia is increasingly recognising the role that the arts and humanities play in innovation. Europe by contrast is losing its leading edge because it no longer recognises the crucial role these sciences play, according to a report by Science Europe.
AFRICA
More graduate study, new facilities for top university
Somaliland’s Minister of Education and Higher Studies Abdillahi Ibrahim Habane was among 75 students who graduated last month with a masters degree in international relations and diplomacy from the University of Hargeisa, the country’s largest higher education institution. He extolled the virtues of lifelong learning.
UNITED STATES
Value of foreign-born university leaders is rising
With his appointment as president of Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, Benjamin Akande has joined an ever-expanding and diversifying club of US university presidents who were born outside the country –  an increasingly valuable credential as higher education becomes an ever more global enterprise.
UNITED KINGDOM
Lessons unlearned on raising teaching quality
The government has published a consultation paper on its plans for the biggest shake-up of UK universities in decades, including establishing a Teaching Excellence Framework, but the Higher Education Policy Institute believes it could be about to “flunk” the introduction of its higher education bill.
GLOBAL
Driving up market share of foreign undergraduates
Currency fluctuations, visa policies and branding strategies are just some of the factors influencing countries' changing ability to attract international students, as new analysis shows.
GLOBAL
Leader's role in strategic international partnerships
It is now virtually unavoidable for a university leader to perform his or her role without confronting the issues connected with the internationalisation of the institution, particularly the need to build real strategic international partnerships that will enhance the quality and reach of the institution.
CHINA
Can China become a global leader in HE innovation?
The International Centre for Higher Education Innovation, located in Shenzhen, southern China, has been approved as a UNESCO Category 2 institute, with the aim of reforming higher education by harnessing talent and cultivating top-level programmes – and building capacity, sharing knowledge and deepening research in support of UNESCO member states.
AUSTRIA
Lessons from Sweden and Denmark on innovation
A comparison with the Scandinavian countries is informing Austria's quest to become an innovation leader, and two of the key lessons learned are that it has to invest more but in a way that incentivises universities to increase research and teaching quality and output – and overhaul the higher education landscape through strategic alliances and mergers of research-led universities.
AFRICA
The ‘ink of scholars’ – A profound role for universities
The profound importance of good leadership for universities – and for African societies – was described by Ebrima Sall, executive secretary of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, at a recent workshop in Tanzania. “The terrorism and violence we see around us these days makes one ask questions about the responsibilities and roles of scholars and what higher education leadership can do,” he said.
SWEDEN
Lessons to learn from world-class universities
Comparative analysis of the strategies of world-class universities, reproduced in a report on higher education leadership in Sweden, provides a rich mine of information on how internationalisation policies can help drive universities towards scientific excellence.
UNITED STATES
Virginia Tech survivor battles against gun violence
Eight and a half years ago, Colin Goddard was one of the students taking the bullets, shot four times while sitting in his French class at Virginia Tech. Now he is dedicated to lobbying for checks on gun purchasers and gun safety legislation and believes the gun-violence prevention movement "is finally on an upward trajectory".
AUSTRALIA
Online courses can work if designed in the right way
Both the government and universities are concerned about the impact of publicly supported students dropping out of online courses. But research has shown that students who have access to better designed, and more personalised, courses tend to have higher engagement and better outcomes.
AFRICA
Key role for universities in agricultural innovation
Higher education plays a key role in providing young people with access to employment and micro-business opportunities in Africa, according to experts at a recent summit held in Cape Town, South Africa. Preliminary findings show that the agricultural sector is set to create eight million stable jobs by 2020 and up to 14 million if growth in the sector is accelerated.
GLOBAL
Philanthropists favour higher education above all
Higher education outstripped other causes as the recipient for multi-million-dollar donations globally in 2014, garnering US$7.58 billion in gifts or 30.9% of the US$24.5 billion global total, according to the Coutts Million Dollar Donors Report 2015
UNITED STATES
Why international enrolment growth could soon slow
The most recent study on foreign student trends was just released last week, showing robust growth, but the real question for American higher education is what the next report, one year from now, will show. There are already signs that the future outlook could be gloomy.
AFRICA
‘Village universities’ expand access, but lower quality
The late Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere’s view of the university as a place where people’s minds are trained for independent thinking and problem solving at the highest level remained unchallenged for half a century in East Africa. But according to new studies, Kenya and Uganda are now shifting to the marketisation of higher education.
EUROPE
Top institutions dominate in fierce ERC grant battle
After seven years, the European Research Council grant scheme has become a 'gold standard' for science in Europe, and the 'jewel in the crown' for 4,556 recipients in the Seventh Framework Programme (2007-13). The recently published report on its patterns and trends is a mine of useful information.
IRELAND
Why Irish eyes are smiling in Horizon 2020
One of the surprise success stories in the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme this year was the entry of four Irish universities into the list of the 50 top-performing universities. But how did they do it?