26 March 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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‘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.
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.
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?
Young Africa Works Summit – Learning from students
The MasterCard Foundation hosted its inaugural Young Africa Works Summit in Cape Town, South Africa, from 29-30 October 2015. The gathering focused on preparing young people for employment and entrepreneurship in agriculture. REUBEN KYAMA spoke with REETA ROY, president and CEO of the Toronto-based foundation, at the close of the summit.
UK and Ireland gain in Horizon 2020 top 50 performers
An analysis of the top performers in the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme shows that the United Kingdom has strengthened its position, along with the Netherlands and Ireland, compared with the Seventh Framework Programme; and Switzerland is no longer represented.
Tricky tasks for chair of student financial aid scheme
By placing a top former banker at the helm of South Africa’s National Student Financial Aid Scheme, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande signalled the need for radical changes to the way the scheme should work – and how it should be funded. A major factor behind the #FeesMustFall movement has been the underfunded scheme’s inability to provide loans or grants to sufficient numbers of poor students.
Private HE, branch campuses key to enrolment growth
Private higher education institutions and foreign branch campuses in the country will play a crucial role in ambitious plans to raise higher education participation by more than 50% and raise the number of foreign students to 200,000, Malaysian officials have said.
What does it mean to be human?
Brennan Weiss talks to Cornel West, civil rights activist, professor of philosophy and Christian practice at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City and one of America’s most outspoken critics of race relations in the United States, about the Black Lives Matter movement and how universities can inspire students to care about important issues like race.
Choice Based Credit System needs systemic changes
Universities were meant to adopt the controversial Choice Based Credit System by September, but they are struggling to accommodate the structural changes it demands. Academics feel that unless accommodating systems are put in place and the traditional teaching style of Indian universities shifts, the Choice Based Credit System will fail to provide real choice and flexibility to students.
Towards higher education for a single planet – IAU
Yojana Sharma talks to International Association of Universities President Dzulkifli Abdul Razak about higher education institutions' role in helping refugees and migrants and contributing to sustainable development, and about his concept of higher education for a single planet.
Social sciences neglect leads to narrow development view
The marginalisation of social sciences and humanities in African universities has radically stifled scholarship, according to CODESRIA – the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa. At a workshop in Nairobi, scholars from the diaspora and from Sub-Saharan Africa heard that this had narrowed the region’s view on development.
UN development goals – A bigger role for universities?
There was no role for higher education in the Millennium Development Goals, the eight ambitious United Nations’ targets for solving some of the world’s most pressing problems due to expire at the end of 2015. But universities will be expected to be bigger players this time around, according to academics gathered at a recent conference in Barcelona.
Higher education disrupted by war, hopes for recovery
Recent weeks have seen some university students in Libya sit examinations. It is a sign that things may be improving after the worst 18 months in the history of higher education. The civil war has seen universities bombed, with education halted at some institutions and operations impeded at others.
Growing pathways to study abroad
A new study predicts growth in English-language foundation programmes for international students, particularly in continental Europe, which has seen the number of English-medium degrees triple in the last seven years, and warns of slowdowns in the number of students from China going to the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom.
A continental quest for scientific independence
Africa’s quest for scientific independence is likely to be a long journey on a bumpy road full of potholes, leading to who knows where, taking into account that the continent has no culture of philanthropy and government expenditure on research and development is extremely low. That was one of the key messages from scientists attending the launch forum of the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa, held in Kenya’s capital Nairobi last month.
Concern over low success rate of Horizon 2020 bids
The drop in the success rate of universities bidding for Horizon 2020 funding is being driven by increased demand from universities suffering from austerity programmes, according to the European University Association.
80 selective colleges unveil new admissions process
A coalition of 80 selective public and private colleges has announced a radical overhaul of the admissions process. Does it make a revolutionary shift in how students prepare for college or is it just a noble-sounding branding campaign?
Producing entrepreneurial students – and universities
With graduate joblessness rising and state funding dwindling, universities of technology are confronted by dual challenges – delivering entrepreneurship education and work-integrated learning to students, and themselves becoming more entrepreneurial – says Professor Irene Moutlana, vice-chancellor of Vaal University of Technology and deputy chair of the South African Technology Network.
Students vow to fight on after security bills pass
Japanese university students usually spend summer vacation in exotic foreign destinations or simply earning extra income through part-time jobs. Not so for Mana Shibata, now playing a key role in the growing student-led demonstrations against a controversial set of national security bills being pushed through the Diet or parliament by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Students’ compulsory military training loses rigour
More than seven million students about to enter China’s universities are undergoing several weeks of intense annual military training that is compulsory for all students, male and female. But the purpose of military training for students is changing, as students and others consider whether the gruelling routines are really necessary.
A profile of Sub-Saharan African students in America
The United States is by far the most popular destination country for potential students from Sub-Saharan Africa, with high quality education being the main drawcard, according to a recent study. Interestingly, America’s African-born population has higher levels of education attainment than the overall foreign population.
Putting together the Neolithic puzzle
Past human migrations have always been a subject of great interest because they tell us a story of where we come from, and who we are. What were the past movements that gave rise to the global human landscape that we observe today?
Largest discovery of early human remains in cave
Revelations last week by a global team of academics and scientists that a previously unknown but ancient relative of humankind had been discovered in a South African cave have generated media coverage around the world. That is not just because a new species has been added to the Homo family of which humans are the sole living members, but because of the record number of fossilised bones – 1,550 – found in the cave.
Corruption monitors and armed patrols – Must be exam time
Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron knew it would take drastic action to ensure that universities produced students who studied for – rather than paid for – their grades.
BRICS academic collaboration moves forward – slowly
Recommendations for academic and research collaboration among the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are to be taken forward after a heads of state meeting in Russia in July adopted a BRICS Academic Forum vision paper. The proposals include easy visas for researchers and a fund similar to Europe’s Horizon 2020 to finance joint research.