In Commentary, Roger Griffin deplores the British government’s latest counter-terrorism and security bill for higher education, warning that it is in danger of creating a “University Stasi”.
In a Special Report, our correspondents provide accounts of how graduates in their countries fare when the study is over and the awards have been made: how many will get work commensurate with their new qualifications?
Geoff Maslen – Acting Global Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
EUROPEJan Petter Myklebust
The mobilisation of policy-makers and people at large marches through Paris last week is a significant manifestation of the impact of the Paris terrorist attack. The question now is how these events will affect university life in general and international recruitment at European universities in particular.
UNITED STATES Peter Schmidt, The Chronicle of Higher Education
The recent terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo
, the French satirical newspaper that had published images of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, has prompted renewed criticism of Yale University Press’s controversial decision to redact similar cartoons from a scholarly book published in 2009.
UNITED KINGDOMBrendan O’Malley
The Labour Opposition has called on the government to do much more to allay universities’ concerns about the anti-terror bill currently being rushed through Parliament. The bill would require universities to take action to prevent students and staff from being drawn into terrorist activity.
UNITED STATES AND CUBAMary Beth Marklein
The Obama administration was set to loosen restrictions on Friday regarding US travel to Cuba. This will open the door for more academic exchanges between the neighbouring countries and raise the possibility for more ambitious projects such as research partnerships and joint- or dual-degree programmes, international education experts say.
UNITED KINGDOMBrendan O’Malley
Part-time student enrolments in higher education fell by 22% in the two years since university tuition fees were allowed to triple, according to new figures released last Thursday by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
Growing numbers of academics and students are coming to Germany while the mobility of German university lecturers appears to also be on the rise.
SOUTH AFRICAMunyaradzi Makoni
Ahead of the new academic year, South Africa’s National Student Financial Aid Scheme has increased funding for bursaries and loans from R8.3 billion last year to R9.5 billion (US$829 million) in 2015. Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande said 205,000 students at 26 universities and 200,000 students at 50 colleges would benefit.
Kenya plans to up financing of public universities by 10% in the coming fiscal year, which begins in July – the biggest funding rise in three years, but still far shy of the surging thirst for funds in expanding institutions.
This Special Report investigates how successful university graduates are in obtaining work commensurate with their qualifications after completing their studies.
Around the world, more than 80% of tertiary-educated people are employed compared with less than 60% of those who did not complete a secondary education. Citizens with higher qualifications have the highest rates of employment.
Greater access to quality tertiary education helps create greater and more decent job opportunities for young men and women in developing countries, according to a study conducted by the International Labour Organization, in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation.
UNITED KINGDOMDavid Jobbins
Employment prospects for graduates from UK universities are likely to continue to improve, according to the latest survey from the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services.
New analysis has highlighted ex plicit links between employer engagement with higher education institutions, the enhancement of teaching and learning, and students’ employability.
While a considerable amount of information is available about what happens to European Union students who graduate from British universities, very little is known about those from non-EU countries.
Nine out of 10 French masters-level graduates have found jobs two-and-a-half years after completing their higher education. But their pay rates vary depending on their studies, according to the fifth annual report on graduate employment compiled by the ministry of higher education.
Students graduating from Australian universities now face longer periods of unemployment and greater difficulties finding jobs for which their degrees have prepared them. Latest figures from Graduate Careers Australia reveal that students who completed their degrees and entered the job market in 2014 were markedly less successful than their predecessors.
Graduate unemployment is almost at crisis level in Tunisia. It is taking an average of six years for a university graduate to find a stable job, according to a World Bank study, and by the age of 35 half of all graduates are still unemployed as mobility from school to work is very slow.
UNITED KINGDOMRoger Griffin
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill for higher education is in danger of creating a university Stasi. Rather than give in to attacks on academic freedom, universities should focus on the creation of a climate of liberal pluralist values with zero tolerance for any form of victimisation, racism or extremism and of any incitement to hatred, prejudice or violence.
EUROPEDiana Jane Beech
Academia used to be about community values, but the move to a more commercial, individualistic form of higher education has undermined those values and led to an egotistical, bullying culture.
Afghanistan’s higher education system has been the subject of reform since the fall of the Taliban, but too much attention has been focused on enrolment rather than quality education.
GLOBALHans de Wit
A comprehensive internationalisation policy needs a senior officer or office to take ownership of the process and this is not only true at university level, but also nationally.
France today is a fabulously colourful mixture of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists. This is the situation all over Europe. Yet many Europeans are deeply uneasy with this diversity, with the media and government often still referring to Muslims as “them”: tolerated foreigners, immigrants graciously accorded rights by the state. Muslims often respond by considering themselves unwanted outsiders, even enemies.
UNITED KINGDOMSeth Cayley
Captivating content sourced from digital newspaper archives is being used by students nationwide to radically transform and enrich the quality of their essays and dissertations.
AUSTRALIADavid Bowman and Aine Nicholson
Australia is in the grip of an extinction crisis. Our unique animals, plants and ecosystems are rapidly ebbing away in a process that began more than 200 years ago with European settlement. Predator-free offshore islands could be the answer.
An agreement between the University of Melbourne and Thomson Reuters’ intellectual property and science business department is expected to help the university’s life science students gain a competitive-edge in the job market by working with the tools of the trade before they graduate.
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The spirit of Japan’s new state secrets law may officially be about protecting national security by restricting the release of information about defence and diplomacy, or keeping information needed to prevent terrorist attacks and “specified harmful activities” confidential. However, lawyers warn the letter of the law, which took effect on 10 December, and especially the required background checks on those handling state secrets, could impact a broad range of academic research as well, writes Eric Johnston for The Japan Times
Amid raging controversy over the quality of PhD theses submitted by those who hold the reins of several universities in the state, the PhD thesis of Kerala University Vice-chancellor PK Radhakrishnan is reportedly missing from the university. The university awarded him the doctorate in 1985, reports TNN
Dutch universities have vowed not to soften their groundbreaking demands for publishers to permit all papers published by their academics to be made open access for no extra charge, writes Paul Jump for Times Higher Education
The Obama administration is proposing to make community college free for as many as 9 million students nationwide, with a plan modelled on a new programme in Tennessee launched by the state’s Republican governor, writes Catherine Dunn for IBTimes
As schools aim to boost graduation rates, some have lost confidence in the power of the standardised exams to predict which students will succeed in college. At the same time, the tests have been criticised for bias because, on average, white and Asian students, as well as those from wealthier families, score higher than African-American and Latino students and those from poorer families, writes Douglas Belkin for The Wall Street Journal
New statistics show that the cost to the country of paying for student debt will rocket to billions of pounds a year over the next three decades, almost equalling the entire higher education budget, writes Richard Garner for The Independent
Australia seems to be back in the reckoning for Indian students pursuing higher education, with the state of Victoria alone registering a 20% increase in student enrolment in 2014 compared to the previous year, reports the Press Trust of India
Three hundred professors at Stanford, including Nobel laureates and last year’s Fields Medal winner, are calling on the university to rid itself of all fossil fuel investments, in a sign that the campus divestment movement is gathering force, writes Suzanne Goldenberg for the Guardian
A group of academics has compiled a report on widespread rights violations at universities in Turkey, claiming that rectors have turned into “rectotators” – a combination of rector and dictator, reports Hurriyet Daily News
The University Grants Commission is set to be remodelled, and the three-member committee set up to recommend its restructuring has readied a blueprint of the changed structure giving the body more teeth, writes Brajesh Kumar for the Hindustan Times
Education minister Christopher Pyne’s second attempt to push through his higher education reforms faces significant delays in the senate with Labor and the Greens planning to again refer the bill to a committee inquiry. The inquiry would also scrutinise the government’s A$8 million (US$6.6 million) “information” campaign promoting the reforms that the opposition has condemned as political advertising, writes Andrew Trounson for The Australian
It’s raining As in America’s higher education system, and not necessarily because students are particularly smart. In fact, many of them probably don’t deserve the high marks they’re getting. They have grade inflation to thank, writes Aina Katsikas for The Atlantic
Close to 200 students from Equatorial Guinea are stranded in Zimbabwe following a botched exchange programme between the two governments, reports The Zimbabwean
A deputy director at the National Universities Commission, Ashafa Ladan, disclosed recently that fewer than 50% of N
igerian university lecturers have doctoral degrees, writes Hammed S
hittu for This Day
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