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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
China has launched a new international alliance of universities to back up its huge infrastructure plan – the mammoth ‘One Belt, One Road’ project – along the ancient Silk Road route, a byword for trade and cultural exchanges between Asia and Europe.
Africa largely missed the analogue technology revolution 50 years ago. Experts say the digital age will come to an end faster. There is a need to position Africa to catch up with information and communication technology and be viewed as a global player, said Thierry Zomahoun, president and CEO of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences.
A 102-year-old has been awarded her doctoral degree in Hamburg. Paediatrician and Professor of Medicine Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport was denied her title under the Nazis because her mother was a Jew. She sat her oral last year despite being barely able to see and passed summa cum laude.
One year after Thailand’s military coup in May 2014, some prominent university rectors have secured high positions within the military government. But the suppression of dissident academics critical of the military junta continues unabated and student protests have been curbed, including three demonstrations on the anniversary of the coup.
Higher education institutions which are regarded as “leading” in internationalisation have elaborated “separate strategic plans for internationalisation, as opposed to having internationalisation incorporated into the overall institutional strategy”, according to new research.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014, many academics were hopeful about the future of India’s higher education system after years of seeing the quality of university education undermined by political and bureaucratic interference. One year on, there is disappointment over continued meddling and the lack of a clear higher education direction.
The Hong Kong Federation of Students shot to the limelight during pro-democracy protests last year, but the university student alliance is facing an uncertain future and a severely curbed political role after four of its eight constituent university unions recently voted to leave the Federation.
In Uganda as elsewhere, recent graduates are learning a tough lesson – a university education is no guarantee of a job. More than half of people under 30 are without full-time employment, and the problem is particularly acute among degree holders. Now new initiatives are teaching graduates and students the entrepreneurial skills they need to survive.
The spate of financial scandals that are rocking Chile – including the jailing of three former ‘star students’ of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile’s economics and administration faculty – has stirred a wholesome debate in the country on the importance of ethics in the teaching of economics.
Could LinkedIn provide a better alternative to existing university ranking systems with more of a focus on career outcomes? LinkedIn university rankings will evolve over time and have the potential to be a game changer in helping students make informed choices.
Mcebo Dlamini was president of the students’ representative council at South Africa’s leading University of the Witwatersrand when he professed to love Adolf Hitler – the fascist German leader who unleashed the worst violence of the 20th century – and made racist comments, sparking a furore. Last week he lost the leadership post, though for earlier charges of misconduct.
As the United Nation’s COP 21 meeting in Paris draws closer, the future of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is under consideration. In numerous consultations from Nairobi to Berlin, countries and scientists are discussing what’s next for the body whose scientific assessments have underpinned the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change since the late 1980s.
An independent investigator has found substantial evidence of mistreatment of workers engaged in the building of New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus. Its report shines a light on the complex challenges universities can face in setting up foreign campuses.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural research capacity grew by 50% in the decade from 2000, but the quality and quantity of research is being constrained by underinvestment, inadequate human resources and poor infrastructure.
A town of 320 people in the mountainous area of Castellón, north-eastern Spain, has attracted considerable interest among Spanish universities because of its unique way of promoting culture and boosting economic growth.
The risk of not being part of Africa’s fast-growing business opportunities is pushing business schools in Western Europe and the United States to start expanding onto a continent that is emerging as a force in the global economic enterprise.