19 October 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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SOUTH AFRICA
Open data on universities – New fuel for transformation
Accessible, usable and relevant open data on South African universities makes it possible for a wide range of stakeholders to monitor, advise and challenge the transformation of South Africa’s universities from an informed perspective.
UNITED STATES
Is your website accessible to deaf and blind people?
Marcie Lipsitt doubts it and she says it takes her only half an hour to alert the United States Education Department that a college may be violating disability-rights laws – and she will “make as much noise as I can” and “won’t stop” in her battle for disadvantaged students.
EUROPE
A new approach to understanding violent extremism
Traditional terrorist research may be failing because it starts with perpetrators of terror and their motives, without looking at the vast majority of people who hear the same messages of extremism but don’t act on them. A Horizon 2020 project takes a different approach.
CHILE
Small satellite opens high-tech research opportunities
Universidad de Chile’s latest satellite launch is the most ambitious example, in an increasing number of space programmes using low-cost small satellites, of opening up access for talented university students and teachers in Latin American countries to research projects in the vanguard.
AFRICA
Continent-wide space sciences initiative gathers support
A group of researchers is proposing a 20-year continent-wide push to strengthen teaching, research and innovation in the field of planetary and space sciences in Africa, where research in the field remains scattered and underfunded.
MOROCCO
‘Proactive policy’ fuels rise in foreign African students
Morocco is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for African students seeking to study abroad, and is now their second most popular destination on the continent after South Africa, a trend attributed largely to proactive government policy.
SINGAPORE
Could this be Asia’s first world top 10 university?
If Asian universities are going to break into the world’s top 10, the most likely candidate is Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, at least according to the new QS World University Rankings 2018. Other rankings tell a different story.

EAST AFRICA
Governments must work with universities on climate change
East African governments should work with universities to build knowledge on climate change with a view to building the capacity and resilience of local communities, who largely depend on rain-fed agriculture, to mitigate the consequences of climate change.
AFRICA
‘US stands to lose as much as Africa if Fogarty closes’
A proposal to cut funding for the John E Fogarty International Center from the upcoming United States federal government budget by President Donald Trump’s administration has prompted an outcry from academics and educators across Africa.
EUROPE
No uniform university autonomy trends, scorecard finds
Four higher education systems have emerged at the very top of the latest European University Association autonomy scorecard. Finland scored 90% or higher across three of four autonomy dimensions, followed by England, Estonia and Luxembourg in two dimensions.
AFRICA
Skills shortages still blocking development – Report
Despite some progress in reducing education gaps, skills remain an important barrier for development on the continent, according to the Africa Competitiveness Report 2017. And while higher education participation in advanced economies is still growing significantly, in Africa it has only progressed from approximately 6.5% to 8.5% over the past 10 years.
DENMARK
Youngest medical graduate leads life-saving innovation
Three years after becoming the youngest person in Denmark to graduate with a medical degree, Habib Frost, now 26, is about to take his first significant step as an innovator.
INDIA
Student vs army clashes paralyse Kashmir campuses
It was a typical day in April at Government Degree College Pulwama in Kashmir. Students were in class or outside enjoying the sunshine when an Indian army vehicle drove into the college, provoking spontaneous protests. Stones rained down on the vehicle and students shouting ‘free Kashmir’ slogans forced it to pull out. The protests spread to universities and colleges across the Kashmir valley, with hundreds of students injured.
GLOBAL
Number of mobile students out of, and into, China soars
Of the five million international students studying higher education courses outside their own countries, one in four are from just one country: China. But now most Chinese studying abroad are returning home – the outbound-to-return ratio has risen to 82% over the past four years, compared to one in three returnees a decade earlier – and China is attracting hundreds of thousands of foreign students to its shores.
KENYA
Don-turned-presidential hopeful vows to redeem HE
A Kenyan professor aspiring to become president in the country’s upcoming general election says, if elected, he will give priority to higher education and redeem the image of the Kenyan system.
GLOBAL
African academic diaspora collaboration drive scales up
Expanding the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program to implement a ‘10/10’ initiative that supports 10,000 diaspora academics across the world over 10 years to partner with African universities is underway, says the project’s founder Dr Paul Zeleza. This month 35 universities in six African countries were selected to host 46 African-born academics working in North America, bringing to 282 the number of diaspora fellows awarded over four years.
UNITED STATES
How can universities respond to extremist activity?
The killing of a black student by a white student who was discovered to be a far-right racist, has raised the question of how universities can fight extremism on their campuses, especially at this time when they feel emboldened by a change of political climate.
CAMEROON
Anglophone crisis – Academics, students stand firm
Schools, universities and law courts remain shuttered in two provinces of Anglophone Cameroon as students, academics, school teachers and lawyers continue to paralyse activities in protest against what they perceive as linguistic, cultural and educational injustices and other forms of marginalisation by the Cameroonian government.
SOUTH AFRICA
Predatory journals – A threat to academic credibility
Predatory journals and their publishers, driven solely by profit motives, are posing an increasing threat to academic credibility and to individual reputations.
GHANA
Graduate helps youth, students resist terrorism’s ‘allure’
A Ghanaian-born Coventry University graduate who launched a centre for counter-extremism in his home country is working to turn young people in West Africa, including university students, away from terrorism.
AFRICA
Super-rich Africans – A source of university funding?
The latest Africa Wealth Report highlights the fact that Africa is home to a growing number of super-rich individuals who have the potential to make their mark as African philanthropists. But how close are we to an African equivalent of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focused on higher education, scientific research and innovation?
UNITED STATES
Which sections of the US public do not trust HE?
A timely new study on levels of confidence in higher education shows why universities need to engage in particular with Evangelicals, political conservatives and black people to counter harmful perceptions of universities and demonstrate their value.
ZIMBABWE
Policy gaps fuel sexual harassment in tertiary education
The death of a female student … the loss of an ear during a fight with her boyfriend … These are some of the more horrific manifestations of sexual harassment at tertiary education institutions in Zimbabwe where sexual harassment ranks as one of the biggest challenges for women students – over and above unequal representation in decision-making processes, shortages of accommodation and exorbitant tuition fees.
PHILIPPINES
Law schools fighting for justice in a dirty drugs war
University law schools are putting themselves and their students on the frontline in a battle to ensure justice in the anti-drugs war that has seen thousands killed during legitimate police operations and thousands murdered by unknown gunmen.
AFRICA
Mobile learning – Empowering refugees ‘where they are’
Mobile learning opens the possibility of thousands of displaced people in Africa having the chance not only to empower themselves individually, but to bring positive change and development to those societies among which they find refuge.