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23 August 2015 Issue 378 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Global conflicts may upset strides made in internationalisation

In News, Nic Mitchell unpacks the European University Association’s Trends 2015 report, which includes a warning that the impressive strides made in higher education co-operation could be harmed by widespread global conflicts, including those based on religious fundamentalism and resurgent nationalism.
Internationalisation of higher education is also the topic of a recent study from the European Parliament, and in Features, Peta Lee looks at how the approaches and progress in internationalisation differ between countries. Also in Features, Munyaradzi Makoni reports on research from South Africa which emphasises a renewed focus on the developmental role of universities to boost their impact on economic development.
In Commentary, Eugene Sebastian and Rahul Choudaha examine China’s strategy to use education as a tool to drive its economic ambitions along the New Silk Road and the opportunities this brings for international students and institutions. With a more optimistic mood in Iran following the recent nuclear negotiations, Ali Ansari encourages greater academic engagement, despite concerns about academic freedom.
Justin Sanders says there should be greater commitment at secondary and tertiary education levels to developing international competencies in students, and Eric Fredua-Kwarteng and Francis Ahia believe that universities in Ghana need to engage more with their local and national communities and this should be expressed in their mission, vision and values statements.
In World Blog, Margaret Andrews emphasises the importance of research in the marketing strategies of higher education institutions and recommends starting with the data from admissions statistics. A Special Report carries the first article by Karen MacGregor in a series to be published in the coming weeks on the theme of open and distance learning, leading up to the world conference of the International Council for Open and Distance Education in October.
Michelle Paterson – Acting Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Nic Mitchell

Internationalisation is one of the top priorities for European universities but the strides made could be harmed by global conflicts, according to the first Trends report produced by the European University Association for five years.
Karen MacGregor

International student officers are to call for urgent ministerial intervention to end problems with visas being endured by hundreds of foreign students in South Africa, due to government incompetence. Students who have tried to comply with visa rules have been criminalised and many arrested. The crisis threatens to decimate postgraduate student numbers and is trampling on human rights enshrined in the constitution, the 19th annual conference of the International Education Association of South Africa heard on Friday.
Jan Petter Myklebust and Ian R Dobson

The government’s budget proposal for 2016, presented on 14 August, aims to reduce government spending by around €900 million (US$993 million) and is proposing severe cuts to higher education. In a shock for the University of Helsinki, proposals include a €30 million cut in funding one year before originally scheduled.
Michelle Paterson

A report last week from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development states that the UK has too many over-qualified graduates entering non-graduate jobs. Universities UK responded saying the skills higher education provides, such as the ability to think critically, are lifelong and increasingly in demand.
Beckie Supiano, The Chronicle of Higher Education

The emerging conventional wisdom is that America's post-recession recovery was dominated by the rise of low-paying, part-time service jobs. But a new analysis challenges that narrative, finding that 2.9 million of the 6.6 million jobs added in the recovery were ‘good jobs’.
Jan Petter Myklebust

On 14 August the new Segerstedt Institute, intended to serve as a national resource centre against violent ideologies and movements, was inaugurated at the University of Gothenburg with the participation of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. But 18 research staff members boycotted the opening.
Gilbert Nganga

Three of Kenya’s public universities have ventured into manufacturing laptops, perhaps highlighting the growing level of innovation in East Africa’s biggest economy.
Ashraf Khaled

Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, a stronghold of Islamists, has toughened procedures for staying in state-subsidised dormitories in a move the Islamic seminary’s administration says is targeting “troublemakers” among students.
The International Council for Open and Distance Education, or ICDE, is holding its world conference in the mega-resort Sun City, north of Johannesburg in South Africa, from 14-16 October, hosted by the University of South Africa. University World News is media partner to the conference. This is the first of a series of articles to be published in the coming weeks that will engage with global ideas and developments in open and distance learning, around the conference theme of “Growing Capacities for Sustainable Distance e-Learning Provision”.
Karen MacGregor

Global demand for tertiary education is forecast to rise to an extra 100 million places over the next 15 years, equivalent to building four new universities for 40,000 students every week. But that’s not going to happen. The only way to sufficiently and cost-effectively widen access for the impending avalanche of additional learners is through open education – not commercial MOOCs using closed resources – says Dr Wayne Mackintosh, director of the OER Foundation.
Eugene Sebastian and Rahul Choudaha

China sees education as an increasingly important tool in driving its economic ambitions along the Silk Road and is increasing its support for international students.
Ali Ansari

Calls for greater engagement with Iran should be heeded despite concerns about academic freedom, particularly in the humanities.
Justin Sanders

The 21st century requires students who are not just international, but internationally minded and that begins at school.
Eric Fredua-Kwarteng and Francis Ahia

Universities in Ghana need to engage more with their local and national community, but often outside-of-university services are not represented in their mission, vision and values statements.
Margaret Andrews

Doing your research is vital to any institution's marketing strategy and the best way to start is to mine the data you have from your own admissions statistics.
Peta Lee

While approaches and progress in internationalisation differ between countries in Europe, it’s apparent there’s been dramatic growth in this area. A landmark study on internationalisation of higher education for the European Parliament provides penetrating insight into trends, strategies and challenges.
Peta Lee

A recent major study on internationalisation of higher education for the European Parliament focused on 10 European countries, but also looked at trends and approaches to internationalisation in seven countries outside Europe.
Munyaradzi Makoni

Policies on the accessibility of skills and knowledge, the location of industry and networks of local companies could boost the impact of higher education on economic development, says a report published last month in the International Journal of Educational Development.
Craig Whitsed and Wendy Green

PhD supervisions need to be reworked with an emphasis on teaching the kind of skills necessary for a globalised world of work, including within universities.
Abu Kamara

The current focus of internationalisation does not take heed of postgraduate students’ experience. More needs to be done to help them reintegrate after they finish their courses and to take account of their concerns.
Paul Bergen

International postgraduate students should strive to find ways to give back to their host community through engagement with both the public and policy-makers. In doing so, both student and host are rewarded.
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Who do you think received more cash from Yale’s endowment last year: Yale students, or the private equity fund managers hired to invest the university’s money? It’s not even close, writes Victor Fleischer for The New York Times.

Al-Azhar University, among the Islamic world's most renowned institutions, is losing respect globally as its leadership sides with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, writes Michael Kaplan for International Business Times.

More than a year after the 51-day war last summer between Israel and Palestine, Palestinian universities are still suffering from the damage, and professors and students are struggling to cope, writes Asma’ Jawabreh and Rasha Faek for Al-Fanar.

Educational experts believe the large number of unemployed university graduates in Turkey, growing every year because of an ill-planned education system, may create social disturbances and even revolt in the coming years, writes Osman Unalan for Today’s Zaman.

The EU has provided Jordan with a grant totalling €60 million (US$67 million) to help with education services provided to Syrian refugees and the kingdom's participation in EU youth programmes, reports ANSAmed.

The US State Department has granted Harvard University US$2.5 million to transition a university-run public policy programme in Vietnam into the country’s first independent, non-profit, US-affiliated university in Ho Chi Minh City, write Mariel A Klein and Luca F Schroeder for The Harvard Crimson.

Enghelab Square lies at the heart of Tehran’s urban and revolutionary landscape, just metres away from the gates of Tehran University. The site of some of the most pitched battles of the 1979 revolution, the square today bustles as an open-air market of goods. There, among the booksellers and fruit vendors, visitors can buy bootleg DVDs, banned books, drugs and alcohol and, if need be, an entire masters thesis – written from scratch and prepared for oral defence, in less than a month, writes Shervin Malekzadeh for The Washington Post.

Islamic State, or IS, militants beheaded an antiquities scholar in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and hung his body on a column in a main square of the historic site, reports Reuters.

The University of Canberra is preparing for legal action against the Commonwealth for what it argues is an unlawful cancellation of a A$26 million (US$19 million) federal grant to set up a Centre for Quality Teaching and Learning, writes Emma Macdonald for The Canberra Times.

An academic paper claims one of the world’s most eminent sociologists has included large amounts of self-plagiarised material in a dozen of his most recent books, writes Paul Jump for Times Higher Education.

Two recent studies into ancient animal extinction appear to diametrically contradict each other, after a new university study claimed it was humans, and not climate change, that caused the demise of mammoths, sabre-tooth tigers and other ancient species, reports RT.

A computer science team at the University of Texas at Austin has found that robots evolve more quickly and efficiently after a virtual mass extinction modelled after real-life disasters such as the one that killed off the dinosaurs. Beyond its implications for artificial intelligence, the research supports the idea that mass extinctions actually speed up evolution by unleashing new creativity in adaptations, reports UT News.
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