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NEWSLETTERInternationalisation at home is about inclusion, diversity and reciprocity
This week in Commentary, Hanneke Teekens argues that strengthening ‘internationalisation at home’ is still imperative today – as it was 15 years ago when the idea was born. Steven J Thompson and Charles Wiener write on Johns Hopkins’ opening of Malaysia’s first academic medical centre containing an American-style medical school and teaching hospital.
Prabhakar J Lavakare finds that India is still debating how it can attract international students, and asks: is it in danger of missing the internationalisation boat again? In World Blog, William Patrick Leonard questions whether rising GPA scores in America are a symptom of better teaching or of an open-door admissions policy.
In Features, David Haworth outlines concerns expressed by Europe’s research universities that the huge Erasmus student exchange initiative is reaching its limits. Hiep Pham finds that Vietnam’s plans to relocate cramped city-centre campuses to suburbs have stalled, and explains why.
Wachira Kigotho speaks to Yohannes Woldetensae of the African Union Commission about plans for a pan-African quality assurance and accreditation agency to improve higher education across the continent. Nicola Jenvey looks at calls by weighty professional bodies in South Africa for reform of the law degree, and in Ghana, Francis Kokutse interviews the secretary general of the Association of African Universities, Etienne Ehouan Ehile.
Karen MacGregor – Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Two Hong Kong universities and the National University of Singapore share the three leading positions in the QS University Rankings: Asia, released last Tuesday. The compilers say that Asian universities have gained ground on their Western counterparts and could overtake them within two decades.
UNITED KINGDOMPeta Lee
Britain's high-powered Commission on the Future of Higher Education last week called for vocationally focused 'fee only' degrees for local students, a new postgraduate student loans system and credit recognition for MOOCs, among many other recommendations.
HONG KONGJoshua But, Joyce Ng and Ernest Kao
As the home of the hub for Hong Kong's internet traffic, Chinese University is regarded by local security experts as a prime target in the city for cyber attacks by foreign agents. The Hong Kong Internet Exchange neatly fits the description of a ‘network backbone’, which whistle-blower Edward Snowden says the US security services are targeting.
The latest edition of the European University Association’s Public Funding Observatory report has highlighted pressures faced by many countries in funding higher education. “While no system has been left completely unaffected by the crisis, there is still a risk of a widening gap in terms of university funding between different parts of Europe,” it says.
In a new global initiative, America and Britain have joined forces to forge university partnerships with emerging economies. The aim is to achieve 40 trilateral partnerships involving 120 universities worldwide in the first year, and up to 600 over five years.
UNITED KINGDOMDavid Jobbins
New universities are greener than their longer established counterparts, according to the UK's only comprehensive and independent ranking of universities by ethical and environmental criteria, People & Planet Green League, published on 11 June.
UNITED STATESPeter Schmidt
Colleges broadly threaten faculty members' copyrights and academic freedom in claiming ownership of the massive open online courses – MOOCs – their instructors have developed, Cary Nelson, a former president of the American Association of University Professors, argued at the group's annual conference last week.
The 8th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training – aka e-Learning Africa – ended in the Namibian capital Windhoek with delegates calling for homegrown, sustainable innovation in e-learning to spur development across Africa.
Worried about the growing rate of graduate joblessness, the Nigerian government – in partnership with the private sector – is financing a scheme under which graduates will learn to eventually become employers. Some 850,000 graduates have reportedly already registered for training placements in reputable companies.
Brazil has launched a major higher education cooperation programme with Portuguese-speaking Africa. Under the project, educators and researchers from 20 Brazilian centres of higher education will provide services in five African nations.
Professor Jukka Kola has been appointed to the top job at the University of Helsinki. He was one of nine applicants for the rector’s post, four of whom were shortlisted. The university board announced the five-year appointment on 12 June.
The German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, has set up an information centre in Jordan’s capital Amman to consolidate and intensify academic links between the two countries. The centre was officially opened last month.
One of the world’s most successful student exchange programmes found itself under fire at a recent conference on international curricula in Brussels. Erasmus, which is responsible for placing some 230,000 students abroad each year, was said to be reaching its limits and the supply of applicants has stopped growing.
Vietnam’s much-vaunted plan to move dozens of higher education institutions out of cramped city-centre locations to the suburbs of big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City has stalled, with few universities making the move so far.
Plans are under way at the African Union to establish a continental quality assurance and accreditation agency that will measure, compare and harmonise the performance of higher education institutions and facilitate professional mobility across the continent.
SOUTH AFRICANicola Jenvey
South Africa’s law degree faces a shake-up in a bid to more adequately equip the country's young lawyers for the demands of the working world. The profession’s weighty bodies are behind a push to reform the qualification countrywide.
Forty-six years after it was founded, the Association of African Universities has more than 300 members and has put in place numerous initiatives to improve the quality of administration and education in universities across the continent, Secretary General Professor Etienne Ehouan Ehile told University World News.
UNITED STATESWilliam Patrick Leonard
Higher education institutions in the United States are stuck between conflicting evidence – rising GPA scores and SAT scores that show large numbers of students are not college ready. What is the truth and how can the system be changed in everyone's interests?
What is higher education for in an era of technological mobility and how can we ensure that students make the most of their experience? Many students cannot afford to go abroad to study, but universities could provide a more international experience at home if they put their minds to it.
GLOBALSteven J Thompson and Charles Wiener
Malaysia’s first academic medical centre containing an American-style medical school and teaching hospital aims to overcome the problem of brain drain of talented medical students abroad. However, there have been several challenges involved in exporting the US medical model.
INDIAPrabhakar J Lavakare
India is discussing the internationalisation of higher education. But is its current plan any more likely than previous – largely abandoned – ones to benefit the country? Its lack of focus on students does not augur well.
I am looking at the lead story in Issue 275, titled “G8 must recognise role of universities in recovery”. I have a first-class honours degree in English literature from the University of Western Australia. They are not easy to get.
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At least 15,000 British students a year will be encouraged to take courses in China as part of a government-backed drive to boost British business, it was announced last week, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
In an effort to achieve wage increases, professors at 13 universities across Venezuela have gone on strike, bringing campus operations to a halt, writes Sascha Bercovitch for venezuelanalysis.com.
Physics and theology are hard to combine – and an attempt to open a theology department at a prestigious Russian nuclear physics institute has stirred up a storm of protest and verbal sparring between scientists and clerics, highlighting Russia’s increasingly tense religious-secular divide, writes Alexey Eremenko for RIA Novosti.
Students have become more willing to issue formal complaints about their treatment at the hands of universities since the imposition of £9,000 (US$14,000) annual tuition fees, the higher education watchdog has revealed in its annual report, writes Richard Adams for the Guardian.
A source close to blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has hit back at an article in the New York Post, describing it as a "hatchet job" on embattled New York University President John S exton, whom the source also described as a "hero" for the role he played in accepting Chen in the first place, writes Adam Taylor for Business Insider.
In the capital of tropical Laos, two dozen students who see their future in trade ties with neighbouring China spent the academic year attending Mandarin classes in a no-frills, rented room. It’s the start of China’s first, and almost certainly not its last, university campus abroad, reports Didi Tang for AP.
India’s rupee devaluation has hit the foreign education plans of many students. While those pursuing higher education from a foreign university have no choice but to bear the brunt, those who have plans are putting them on hold. And people looking out for jobs abroad too are finding it tough to sail through, reports TNN.
Irish post-school institutions are “intimately engaged with regimes that have human rights questions to answer”, the former head of the Bahrain campus of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland has said, writes Joe Humphreys for The Irish Times.
The graduation rate among students in South Africa’s 23 public universities is 15%. The rate for masters students is 20% and for doctoral students 12%. These figures are contained in the Department of Higher Education and Training’s first annual statistical report, which looked at the size and shape of the post-school sector, writes Nontobeko Mtshali for The Star.
Access to Scotland’s universities remains as socially unequal as it was in the mid-1990s, despite the scrapping of tuition fees and attempts to encourage more working-class students, a major study has found, writes Chris Marshall for The Scotsman.
Payday loans lenders have been banned from advertising at three UK universities for exploiting ‘vulnerable’ students, after some were found to have interest rates of more than 4,000%, writes Lucy Sherriff for The Huffington Post UK.
The belief that death is the only certainty in life is a concept senior academic staff at an Oxford University institute are hoping to dismantle, by paying to be cryogenically preserved and brought back to life in the future, writes Heather Saul for The Independent.
Engineering and medical students in public universities are to pay more than those studying arts-based courses, under a new government plan. Cabinet Secretary for Education Jacob Kaimenyi said last week that the plan, commonly referred to as ‘Differentiated unit costing’, would be in force in three months, writes Benjamin Muindi for Daily Nation.
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