19 August 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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NORWAY
In search of a new form of university governance
In Norway there is a growing resistance to university reforms and the present approach to governance, which is being dubbed 'New Public Management', is seen by academics as eroding autonomy in favour of increased central control that threatens risk-taking in research.
UNITED STATES
Universal basic income – Time for scholarly research?
As automation threatens more American jobs, the idea of providing a universal basic income is gaining traction among businessmen and advocates on the left and right. Scientists, unsure of how to tackle the issue or get funding to do so, have largely been stuck on the sidelines. Yet if any policy question needs a thorough examination, experts say, it is this one.
GLOBAL
Universities must find a way to challenge populism
Higher education needs a new focus based on democratic and global citizenship, according to Fernando Reimers, professor of international education at Harvard University, who defended the values of freedom and equality against the rise of populism, in a keynote speech at the co-hosted WISE – World Innovation Summit for Education – and Santander forum in Madrid on Tuesday.
UNITED KINGDOM
New student mobility figures show Erasmus Brexit risk
The proportion of students experiencing outward mobility has risen sharply, according to new research by Universities UK. But nearly one in two of those experiences were supported by the European Union’s Erasmus+ staff and student exchange programme from which the United Kingdom may be excluded after Brexit.
TAIWAN
University in row over deal with Chinese universities
A university in Taiwan has got itself into political hot water by signing written agreements with Chinese universities not to touch on sensitive political issues that might include Taiwanese independence, or the controversial ‘one China’ policy, while hosting students from the Chinese mainland.
JAPAN
Net widens in university jobs for ex-officials scandal
A scandal over former high-level government officials being given jobs at universities after lobbying on their behalf by the education ministry has caused a growing public furore and investigations into dozens of cases have been opened.
NIGERIA-SOUTH AFRICA
Academics urge restraint in wake of xenophobic attacks
Nigerian academics have called for restraint and greater investment in education and training in the wake of recent attacks by Nigerian students on the premises of South African companies in Abuja and threats to South African nationals as reprisals for February’s xenophobic outbreaks in Gauteng, South Africa.
INDIA
Universities fear political threat to free speech
Many Indian universities, particularly in the capital New Delhi, are becoming increasingly concerned by politically driven attempts to curb freedom of speech after a University of Delhi college seminar titled ‘Cultures of Protest’ spilled out of the debating hall and sparked violent street clashes and demonstrations, with thousands attending a march on 28 February.
THAILAND
Academics to be disciplined for criticising junta
A network of academics and human rights organisations have called on Thailand’s Mahidol University to drop a disciplinary investigation against faculty members of the university’s Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies after they issued a statement condemning the ruling junta’s “unchecked and unaccountable use of power”.
DENMARK
Government strengthens grip on universities again
Søren Pind, the Danish minister of higher education and science, has surprised everybody by endorsing an extensive new legislative proposal on the governance of higher education institutions, giving the government the final choice on the appointment of heads of university boards.
UGANDA
HE regulator stymied by private university court actions
The Uganda National Council of Higher Education says it is being frustrated by the tendency of some private universities to seek remedy from the courts rather than engage with the regulator in the interests of preserving quality.
UNITED STATES
University leader advises patience as Trump era dawns
In the age of Donald Trump, higher education administrators need patience and calm, says Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California system. Despite Trump’s rhetoric causing major anxiety at universities, it is still unclear whether "the bark is worse than the bite", she says.
MAURITANIA
Students demand more masters programmes
Students have raised concerns in a recent report about the lack of masters degree programmes being offered by universities, a situation they believe is thwarting their academic and professional aspirations.
CHINA
Party seeks tighter control of 29 top universities
New inspections to be conducted of the party committees of 29 top universities in China – including Peking University, Tsinghua University, Beijing Normal University and Nanjing University – as part of the country’s anti-corruption campaign is the latest move by the government to tighten ideological control of universities, experts say.
UNITED STATES
US university will not back down on Dalai Lama invite
A university in California has said it will not back down over its decision to invite the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, to this year’s commencement ceremony, despite strenuous objections among mainland Chinese student groups.
AUSTRALIA
International student numbers surge to record high
Australia saw a surge in international student numbers, up 10% to 554,179 last year, according to Department of Education and Training figures – and a new student satisfaction survey shows a record nine out of 10 international tertiary students were satisfied or very satisfied with the education they have received.
EGYPT
Medical schools add female genital mutilation to curricula
In a bid to curb the age-old practice, Egyptian medical students are to study female genital mutilation as part of their training in a country where more than 80% of mutilations are believed to be conducted by medical workers.
SWEDEN
Expert appointed to review internationalisation of HE
Minister of Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson earlier this month appointed Agneta Bladh, chair of the Swedish Research Council, as a special examiner of the internationalisation of higher education and research, charged with addressing the low international mobility rates of students, university teachers and researchers.
CHINA
Row over ‘easy’ admission for international students
New rules for the admission of foreign students to one of China’s top universities in Beijing has sparked a heated debate in the country over standards being lowered for international students and the perception that Chinese students who have obtained foreign nationality are getting into prestigious institutions by the back door.
UNITED KINGDOM
Minister demands stiff penalties for student cheats
The Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson last Tuesday demanded tough new penalties for university students who use essay mills – websites that provide custom written essays – and called on university and student bodies to do more to address the growth of such services.
INDIA
Indian students weigh up US study in Trump era
With United States President Donald Trump’s policy of cutting immigration and tightening visa norms yet to fully kick in, current uncertainty over US policies is already having an impact on Indian students seeking admission to US universities, according to private education consultants in India handling overseas applications.
UNITED STATES
International educators look to minimise Trump fallout
A sense of urgency tempered by a call for pragmatism permeated discussions last week at the annual conference of the Association of International Education Administrators in Washington as international educators considered how best to respond to the politics of uncertainty under a Donald Trump presidency.
AFRICA
Intensified support for climate change researchers
The African Academy of Sciences and the Association of Commonwealth Universities have selected 37 African researchers from different African universities for the third cohort of a programme supporting early career researchers in the field of climate change adaptation and mitigation.
INDONESIA
Funding hike for scholarships including study abroad
The Indonesian government has doubled its contribution to a scholarship endowment fund this year to provide more opportunities for graduate and doctoral students to study at home and overseas and in response to increasing calls to improve access to universities for students from poorer provinces.
GERMANY
Call for withdrawal of doctorate for Turkish premier
A petition has been launched by the student union at Technische Universität Berlin calling for the withdrawal of an honorary doctorate awarded to Turkish Premier Binali Yildirim, maintaining that he “plays a crucial role in the authoritarian restructuring of the country”, which has included the arbitrary dismissal of thousands of academics and the detention without due process of some.