|15 March 2015||Issue 0358||Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week||Advanced Search|
NEWSLETTERAfrica's first summit
on higher education
shows high ambition
This week’s edition includes a Special Report from Senegal on the African Higher Education Summit, the first gathering of its kind for the continent, which, Karen MacGregor reports, has called for 50% enrolment in higher education by 2050.
In Features Mary Beth Marklein interviews online pioneer Shai Reshef who has established a university where tuition is free and academics from some of the world's top universities design and teach the curriculum.
In Commentary, Viviane Callier, Richard H Singiser and Nathan L Vanderford argue that administrators are transforming universities into businesses for their own benefit and need to be more accountable. Anne Schiller analyses the opportunities and challenges in South Korea's experiment in independent foreign partners sharing a campus. Aldwn Cooper says UK universities not only have a responsibility to give the public the facts on EU membership, they have a lot to lose if Britain pulls out.
In our World Blog Margaret Andrews says new players are entering the market for management education and students can now choose from an array of offerings and providers.
Brendan O'Malley – Managing Editor
AFRICAN HIGHER EDUCATION SUMMIT
The African Higher Education Summit on “Revitalising Higher Education for Africa’s Future”, held in Senegal’s capital Dakar from 10-12 March, was the first continental gathering of the sector. Crucially, in terms of political support and continental clout, the African Union Commission was one of the partners and its Chair Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma attended. University World News was there, and was a media partner to the summit.
The African Higher Education Summit has called for radical expansion of higher education to achieve an enrolment ratio of 50% within 50 years. A draft declaration and action plan also urges greater investment in higher education and research, improved graduate employability and enhanced diversification, differentiation and harmonisation at all levels by countries.
Africa – which more than a decade ago declared the diaspora to be its sixth region – plans to launch a ‘10/10’ initiative that will sponsor 1,000 scholars in the African diaspora a year for 10 years to continental universities and colleges for collaboration.
Fifteen universities from eight African countries have launched an alliance of research universities, at the African Higher Education Summit in Senegal’s capital Dakar. The focus of the group will be to build African research excellence as a “vital precondition” for the continent to develop and exert control over its future.
Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has challenged African countries to stop armed and political conflicts and embark on strategies to improve higher education in order to pave the way for economic development and social progress.
The African Union Commission is planning to convene an African Dialogue later this year to facilitate conversation between political, academic and business leaders about what needs to be done to move the continent towards inclusive growth and prosperity, commission Chair Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told the African Higher Education Summit.
Senegalese President Macky Sall has called on African countries to allocate more than 1% of gross domestic product to research, if the continent is to make headway with its development agenda – and he pledged to become a continental political champion for the cause, alongside the African Union Commission.
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
MYANMARNaw Say Phaw Waa
Student protests over Myanmar’s higher education bill have met with a violent police crackdown in the town of Letpadan last week. Some 127 students were arrested and many injured when they were violently beaten by police.
THE NETHERLANDSJan Petter Myklebust
After a month of occupation of university buildings, University of Amsterdam students are increasingly winning support for their protest against pressure on universities to focus on ‘effectivity’ – producing measurable products as efficiently as possible.
More than 200 international scholars from 19 countries including Noam Chomsky have signed an open letter against the erosion of academic freedom in Thailand, after a renowned Thai historian was dismissed from a university in Bangkok while in political exile.
University academics around the world have given a boost to the reputations of the UK’s two leading universities, placing them second and third behind Harvard in a global 'beauty contest'.
With 30% of new graduates still looking for work four months after leaving university and many taking much longer to find a full-time job in their field of study, Australian business leaders have joined with the nation’s vice-chancellors to launch a “national work integrated learning strategy”.
GLOBALMary Beth Marklein
Higher education’s “romance with entrepreneurialism” puts the hallowed principle of academic freedom at risk at universities around the world, general counsel for the American Association of University Professors told comparative education researchers last week.
UNITED KINGDOMBrendan O’Malley
Graduates who have studied, worked or volunteered abroad are more likely to have a job six months after graduating, and on average they are earning slightly more than other graduates, a new report says.
UNITED STATESKelly Field, The Chronicle of Higher Education
President Barack Obama’s effort to improve student lending – the Student Aid Bill of Rights, announced last week – is garnering praise from consumer advocates and Congressional Democrats. But will it change the student-lending landscape?
The state government of North Rhine-Westphalia, or NRW, is to support young people from Syria with grants for university studies. The measure is to supplement the 'Executives for Syria' programme launched by the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, to help the war-torn country.
GLOBALMary Beth Marklein
Troubled by UNESCO estimates that millions worldwide are denied a college education due to lack of places, Shai Reshef designed an alternative where no seats are required, tuition is free and thousands of volunteer academics – some of them from the world’s top universities – design and teach the curriculum.
Higher education systems around the world have been undergoing dramatic changes over the past few generations. In fact, the changes have been so dramatic that one could argue we are experiencing an educational revolution that has impacted on every aspect of higher education.
GLOBALViviane Callier, Richard H Singiser and Nathan L Vanderford
Flaws in institutional structures allow academic administrators to transform universities into businesses for their own benefit while exploiting their workers. They need to be more accountable.
SOUTH KOREAAnne Schiller
An international partnership campus in South Korea is an experiment in cross-border collegiality, but it is not for the faint-hearted and flexibility is a key ingredient to making it work.
UNITED KINGDOMAldwyn Cooper
Current debate on Britain’s future membership of the European Union is poorly informed and universities have a responsibility to communicate the facts since they have a lot to lose from Britain’s withdrawal.
Management education is growing and evolving. Not only is it becoming more international, with the US losing some of its influence, but it is shifting online and into continuing education units and corporate universities.
Levels of the Earth’s major greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, have hit new highs in the northern and southern hemispheres, with CO2 levels exceeding 400 parts per million for the first time in a northern hemisphere winter month, and also likely to pass the 400 ppm mark in the southern hemisphere next year.
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In the absence of quality higher education and with none of the Indian Institutes of Technology making it into the rankings of the world's top research institutions, Indian students spend US$6-7 billion (approximately Rs45,000 crore) annually in seeking greener pastures in foreign universities, writes Anuradha Himatsingka for The Economic Times.
China’s legislators have called for the government to reduce its intervention in university management, which they warned will pose an obstacle to technological innovation, writes Nectar Gan for the South China Morning Post.
Marriage and motherhood – not college degrees and careers – are the paramount goals for young girls living in the territory controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the fledgling terrorist organisation known as ISIS. And girls need not wait until they’re in their 20s or 30s to attain either goal. That much can be gleaned from a "manifesto" on women that was recently disseminated by the group, writes Jamaal Abdul-Alim for The Atlantic.
The Ministry of Education has come under fire for attempting to take control of state-run universities by appointing political cronies as their presidents, which violates the universities' independence guaranteed by law, writes Chung Hyun-chae for The Korea Times.
Campaigners say nearly 2 million animals were used for scientific research in British universities in one year – with many subjected to “distressing and disturbing” procedures, writes Steve Connor for The Independent.
As Islamic State militants impose their harsh theological rule on campuses in much of northwestern Iraq, conservative religious forces have also been increasingly holding sway in higher education throughout the rest of the country, writes Gilgamesh Nabeel for Al-Fanar.
The heads of some of the country's leading scientific facilities say they were caught by surprise late last year to discover that funding for world-renowned research infrastructure was linked to the passage of university fee deregulation, writes Matthew Knott for The Sydney Morning Herald.
France is embroiled in a fresh row over the state’s attitude to the Muslim headscarf after the Socialist minister for women’s rights expressed support for banning students from wearing veils at French universities, writes Angelique Chrisafis for the Guardian.
Scotland’s universities are locked in a furious row with Scottish National Party ministers over a “short-sighted” decision to cut their funding for world-class research by million of pounds, writes Simon Johnson for The Telegraph.
The National Universities Commission will establish a portal for PhD holders in order to facilitate their engagement in the Nigerian university system, reports the News Agency of Nigeria.
The University of Tokyo and Kyoto University are scheduled to introduce recommendation-based admissions, as well as so-called admission office exams based on interviews and essays for the first time this autumn, reports The Yomiuri Shimbun.
The state secretariat’s new higher education strategy reveals that the government is considering the introduction of a tuition fee for several popular university programmes, while other programmes, such as degrees in communication, would be abolished completely, reports Hungary Today.
More than 40 Russian universities have delayed stipend payments to their students since the beginning of the year, writes Ivan Nechepurenko for The Moscow Times. Some universities have admitted to the delay, putting it down to "technical difficulties", while others insist all payments have been made on time.
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