01 September 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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GLOBAL
More work needed in blending online and onsite learning
Although the traditional lecture hall is unlikely to ever disappear completely, it is increasingly being supplemented – and in some cases replaced – by technology. And while a combination of both online and onsite learning as a teaching means is proving successful, more work is needed for this combination to truly internationalise the global learning experience.
EUROPE
Remove obstacles to cooperation with EU neighbours – EUA
Obstacles to exchanges between universities in the European Union and their southern and eastern neighbours “should be eliminated” by simplifying, harmonising and liberalising visa procedures and encouraging short-term mobility, says the European University Association in its response to public consultation on ‘Towards a New European Neighbourhood Policy’.
UNITED STATES
A university tries to keep homeless students on track
Florida State University’s Unconquered Scholars initiative serves students who have experienced homelessness or foster care, been wards of the court or raised by relatives other than their parents. Those students’ backgrounds put them at greater risk of dropping out, so the programme provides academic, social and emotional support to keep them on track.
SOUTH AFRICA
Campus tempers flare over racism and student elections
Racial problems that have dogged South Africa’s prestigious Stellenbosch University have flared after the publication of a documentary about the discriminatory experiences of black students. The parliamentary portfolio committee on higher education and training is calling the university’s leaders to an urgent meeting, to table institutional transformation plans. Meanwhile, violence has marred the run-up to student elections on other campuses.
EUROPE
Penetrating insights into internationalisation progress
While approaches and progress in internationalisation differ between countries in Europe, it’s apparent there’s been dramatic growth in this area. A landmark study on the internationalisation of higher education for the European Parliament provides penetrating insight into trends, strategies and challenges.
GLOBAL
Internationalisation: variations and vagaries
A recent major study on internationalisation of higher education for the European Parliament focused on 10 European countries, but also looked at trends and approaches to internationalisation in seven countries outside Europe.
SOUTH AFRICA
Higher education not enough for economic development
Policies on the accessibility of skills and knowledge, the location of industry and networks of local companies could boost the impact of higher education on economic development, says a report published last month in the International Journal of Educational Development.
AFRICA
Many universities swept up in Islamic extremism
African higher education systems have become casualties of war, caught in the crossfire of Islamic fundamentalism that cuts across the spectrum of religious and political thought, according to Professor Sultan Barakat, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center.
NORTH AMERICA
Psychologists contrite on ‘torture’ collusion
The American Psychological Association has faced withering scrutiny since the publication of a report that found that it had colluded with the military to establish loose ethics guidelines regarding interrogations of terrorism suspects during the George Bush administration. At the association’s annual meeting, Susan McDaniel, the incoming president, was on stage to answer hard questions, pledge to make changes, and say sorry on the group’s behalf.
AFRICA
Get rankings right for Africa, university leaders urge
If the conversation about university rankings is important, then the starting point would be to design a ranking system for Africa that encourages positive conduct – “precisely because we know that rankings are influential, for example in resource allocation”, said University of Johannesburg Vice-chancellor Ihron Rensburg at the Times Higher Education Africa Universities Summit held in the city from 30-31 July.
AUSTRALIA
Schools are the new battleground for foreign students
School education should be used as a recruiting ground for foreign students to secure more higher education enrolments, according to a Victoria government paper examining how to combat rising competition from universities in Asian countries.
MOZAMBIQUE
Grappling with plagiarism in universities
Banishing academic dishonesty could help Mozambique nurture original thinkers who are economically efficient and socially suited to develop the country. But this will only be possible if administrators work with professors and students to build strong measures to combat widespread plagiarism, which is hampering the production of quality graduates.
EUROPE
European student union's warning over Bologna dream
The European Students’ Union has warned that the Bologna process, which seeks to harmonise and reform higher education across the continent, is in danger of becoming obsolete because of uneven implementation and poor follow-up of commitments by many European countries.
JAPAN
New era of university-industry collaboration launched
Research collaboration between Japanese universities and businesses is expanding, with increasing industrial funding for technology and the government pushing for scientific development to underpin local and national economic growth.
AFRICA
Linking universities and marginalised communities
Through innovation and inclusive development, universities could be instrumental in fighting poverty and expanding opportunities for marginalised African communities, ongoing research has shown. An array of factors contribute to the success of initiatives, such as communication, enabling access to knowledge, steady funding and aligning activities with national priorities.
BURUNDI
Students flee US embassy camp, claim police harassment
University students in troubled Burundi have claimed to University World News that they are being targeted for harassment, including death threats, by security forces and the police – especially the hundreds who took refuge near the American embassy after the government closed the University of Burundi.
EUROPE
UK, Germany and France top ERC advanced grant awards
The European Research Council, or ERC, has announced 190 recipients of its Advanced Grant awards, under the Horizon 2020 research programme. The grants are aimed at supporting groundbreaking ideas that may be risky to pursue but that reap exceptional gains. More than half went to researchers in just three countries.
AFRICA
Steady progress for Africa’s 19 centres of excellence
Most of the 19 African centres of excellence being strengthened through a US$150 million World Bank initiative are up and running. Progress includes 3,510 students enrolled for specialised short courses, masters or PhDs – nearly 1,500 of them from other countries in the region. The project is now expanding from seven West African countries, to East and Southern Africa.
GLOBAL
Where academics are hounded as ‘enemies’ of the state
A new report from the Scholars at Risk Academic Freedom Monitoring Project has revealed that in many places state authorities are using violence, imprisonment and lower levels of intimidation to silence students and academics with opposing points of view.
UNITED STATES
Removing confederate flags on campus is just a start
It’s hard for Charles K Ross to shake his first image of the University of Mississippi. He was watching a televised football game in 1994, and the Ole Miss stadium was a sea of Confederate-flag-waving fans. Ross was appalled. A flurry of changes since then have made the campus a more welcoming and inclusive place.
GERMANY
DAAD celebrates 90 years of exchanges
The German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, celebrated its 90th anniversary this month. Although it was once hijacked by the Nazis, it now plays a key role in the academic world, and contributes to peace-building by enabling students from war-torn countries to continue their higher education.
GLOBAL
Venezuelan students abroad suffer in currency rule trap
An abrupt change last autumn in Venezuela’s currency control policy has left potentially thousands of Venezuelan tertiary students worldwide without funds they had earmarked for education abroad, putting them at risk of dropping out and of violating immigration laws.
GLOBAL
Countries fail to retain foreign students in job market
International students are increasingly seen as ‘designer’ or ‘model immigrants’ for the labour markets of their host countries – perfectly positioned to alleviate future talent shortages, particularly in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. But while most would like to stay and work after graduation, many cannot find employment.
AFRICA
DRUSSA – Growing evidence-based research and uptake
For seven years, engineer Dr Albert Rugumayo has been teaching a module on energy policy and planning to masters students at Uganda’s flagship Makerere University. He is now a fellow of Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa, or DRUSSA, which aims to build capacity in universities to improve Africa’s research usage.
UNITED STATES
Conflict over narrative puts spotlight on ethnography
Late last month, what began as a book review in an obscure publication blew up into a major controversy that tarnished sociology’s most-buzzed-about young star. At issue: whether the sociologist, Alice Goffman, had participated in a felony while researching her ethnographic study of young black men caught up in America's criminal justice system.