21 August 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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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.
AFRICA-INDIA
Racist attacks – Will African students shun India?
Following what are widely regarded as racist attacks on Nigerian students in India in March, there are concerns that the violence could contribute to making the country a less attractive destination for African students seeking higher education outside the continent.
PAKISTAN
Attacks on universities, scholars, students unabated
Even as the international community is raising its voice against the killing of higher education professionals in Pakistan, the assassination of intellectuals and violent killing of students continues, with the latest victim a student rounded on by a student mob and killed for alleged blasphemy on Thursday.
SOUTH AFRICA
High dropout rates – Technology to the rescue?
With a high proportion of university students in South Africa dropping out before graduation, many in their first year of study, higher education institutions are turning to technology in an attempt to arrest the declining pass rate. But the complex problem may need a more radical approach.
SWEDEN
The value of PhDs has shifted but is still disputed
A researcher’s examination of the changes in Swedish doctoral education over the past 70 years found dramatic improvements when it switched to four-year PhDs and allowed published articles to replace a single thesis, but the value of the doctorate is still a bone of contention with employers.
SOUTH AFRICA
Private higher education – Competitive or complementary?
The instability of the South Africa tertiary education sector, due largely to the student-led #FeesMustFall protest movement as well as quality issues, has seen the role of private universities thrown into stark relief, dubbed either, as one commentator put it, “an escape hatch for the very rich” or competition out to steal students from public institutions.
INDIA
Digital records to tackle fake qualifications
The Indian government is planning to digitise academic records as part of a drive against fake degrees and institutions at a time when companies are complaining of rising fraudulent qualification claims and prominent public figures are being challenged to prove that they are entitled to the degrees and qualifications they claim to have.
CHINA
China takes on Hollywood with film studies tie-ups
A rise in film studies collaborations between Chinese institutions and universities in Britain, America and Europe is part of China’s policy to become a post-manufacturing economy. The partnerships will help develop a skills base for a rising ‘Hollywood of the East’ in and around Shanghai.
NORWAY
An action plan to address the crisis facing humanities
The government has drawn up a white paper calling for more researchers in the humanities and for them to be recognised as a main producer of knowledge, not just a 'helper' to other sciences. Some experts think it should go further, arguing that Norway could establish a 'European cultural brain centre'.

GLOBAL
A 2040 vision of HE dominated by grand knowledge hubs
Indian and Chinese universities will expand one-hundred-fold and the future will be dominated by 'grand knowledge hubs' with four in Asia, two in North America, one in the United Kingdom and maybe others in Sweden/Denmark, Germany/Switzerland, Belgium/Netherlands and France, predicts Bert Van der Zwaan in his new book.
AFRICA
Making it possible for young scientists to stay in Africa
Returning to the department of chemistry at Multimedia University of Kenya after completing his PhD studies at the State University of New York in the United States, Dickson Andala was frustrated by the lack of local laboratories that could analyse his samples he needed for his research.
CHINA
Talent drive looks to bring in international students
China has stepped up its drive to lure overseas talent in its bid to become an innovation economy. New measures include allowing foreign students to stay on in China after their degrees to take up jobs or internships and reducing red tape around residence permits.
NIGERIA
Students emerge as prime targets for Ponzi fraud
The government is facing calls for stronger action to prevent students being targeted by Ponzi scheme fraud, after at least 4,000 students from one university were threatened with expulsion for diverting their tuition fees, worth a total of US$6.5 million, into a Ponzi online scheme which has since suspended its operations without explanation.
SOUTH AFRICA
Addressing language barriers is key to student success
By focusing on the quality of their note-taking in and out of class, researchers from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, have established that poor English language competence is hindering the academic performance of a significant number of undergraduate students for whom the language is not their mother tongue.
INDONESIA
Researchers grapple with 40% cut in science funding
Despite an election pledge to double funding, the government has cut the research budget for state universities by 40%, leaving researchers in poor parts of the country grappling with the challenge of how to produce meaningful research with little money – for some pooling resources between universities is the answer.
ZIMBABWE
Higher education in a failed economy – Students at risk
Five bunk beds… one room – not more than 15 square metres in size. The beds look as if they might fall apart at any second; it’s a good thing there is no one on them – at least not yet. Students are yet to move in after a three-month-long vacation, but they will come.
UNITED KINGDOM
Do universities support their autistic academics?
Around 3% of students in higher education are autistic and universities are working hard to listen, understand and meet their needs. But the fact that autistic students can become autistic academics appears to have gone unnoticed.
UNITED STATES
17 top global universities vs the Trump immigration ban
This month 17 American universities joined a court challenge to President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. Their brief revealed the extraordinary extent of – and dependence on – internationalisation at many of the world’s top-ranked institutions.