University World News Global Edition
06 December 2015 Issue 393 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Why university leaders should build strategic international partnerships

In Features, Alvaro Romo, secretary general of the International Association of University Presidents, reflects on the role of university leaders in building strategic international partnerships as part of internationalisation efforts. Kirk Perris says that a new centre for higher education innovation in Shenzhen, China, recently approved as a UNESCO Category 2 institute, is all set to draft a constitutional charter and begin its work. Jan Petter Myklebust and Maximilian Unger report on a comparative study of Austria, Sweden and Denmark commissioned to inform Austria’s quest to become an innovation leader in Europe.
In Commentary, Abi Mandelbaum advises that, while younger generations are turning to emerging social media platforms, Facebook is still a valuable tool for spreading a university’s message to key influencers such as parents. With the attention on ‘internationalisation at home’ increasing, Jos Beelen and Elspeth Jones say it is important that the concept is understood clearly and they have proposed a new definition of the term. Ly Pham weighs up the arguments for and against the Vietnam government’s proposal to privatise public higher education institutions, and explores alternative options. David Newman contends that the decision by Israel’s education minister to summarily dismiss the vice-chair of the Council for Higher Education is the latest example of undue political interference, which is harming the countries’ universities. Ye Liu says the Chinese government sees education as an important instrument in building the country’s global status and has achieved an impressive record of educational development. Having attended a national seminar on university-industry partnerships, Adamu A Ahmed is convinced that universities in Saudi Arabia are poised to embark on applied research that can address developmental challenges.
In our World Blog, Margaret Andrews invites business schools to describe themselves in six words in a fun yet revealing exercise to articulate what’s unique and valuable about that school.
Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
David Jobbins

China’s universities are rapidly closing the gap on the top global institutions, compilers of the Times Higher Education BRICS and Emerging Economies Rankings say.
Brendan O'Malley

European Union Justice and Home Affairs ministers have agreed on common entrance and residency rules aimed at making the European Union more attractive for students and researchers from third countries.
Gilbert Nganga

Wamuyu Kamau, a second-year student at Strathmore University, is distressed and has been missing class. She is yet to get over the trauma she suffered last Monday when a security drill turned tragic, spreading panic and causing a stampede that killed one employee.
Nicola Jenvey

New research on the link between wealth and education has characterised the persona most likely to succeed – highly educated, cognitively able and intellectually gifted. Evidence suggested elite university education may be a foundation for developing expertise in wealth and power generation and is associated with greater willingness to give, and network power.
Paul Flather

Commonwealth leaders have agreed to establish a special unit to combat so-called ‘radicalisation’ of young people from villages through to campuses – with a special focus on educated youth. The unit will work with universities across the Commonwealth.
Ashraf Khaled

Cairo University, Egypt’s biggest public higher education institution, has closed prayer areas in a controversial anti-militancy move as the country struggles against Islamist violence. There were 250 prayer areas scattered across the campus and university hostels.
Brendan O'Malley

The next Welsh Assembly should scrap the universal grant for undergraduate student tuition fees and instead fund means-tested maintenance grants for students from foundation stage to postgraduate level, according to Universities Wales, the representative body for vice-chancellors.
Munyaradzi Makoni

Academics in Mozambique have been barred from teaching in more than one higher education institution at a time. As in many African countries, there has been growing concern over the work of academics in public universities being compromised by their part-time employment as lecturers in other institutions.
Abi Mandelbaum

While students may be using other platforms, their parents are an increasingly important audience for universities’ social media content – and they definitely still use Facebook.
Jos Beelen and Elspeth Jones

There is still a lot of confusion about what is meant by 'internationalisation at home'. It is not just about adding international elements to programmes. It is a purposeful attempt to put international and intercultural knowledge at the centre of learning.
Ly Pham

Vietnam’s equitisation process will be the first time a government has transformed public higher education institutions into private ones. The aim is to address funding shortages and the need to create centres of excellence.
David Newman

The decision to summarily dismiss the vice-chair of the Council for Higher Education marks an escalation in the politicisation of universities and will harm their international reputation.
Ye Liu

As an emerging economic giant China is also becoming an increasingly important geopolitical and cultural force in the world and its education strategy has been constructed to demonstrate its ambition of becoming a global power.
Adamu A Ahmed

A recent seminar showcased the process from innovative research to its application in confronting developmental challenges.
Margaret Andrews

A fun exercise asking business schools to describe themselves in six words highlights the importance of knowing who you are and what you offer.
Alvaro Romo

It is now virtually unavoidable for a university leader to perform his or her role without confronting the issues and challenges connected with the internationalisation of the institution, particularly the need to build and take advantage of real strategic international partnerships that will enhance the quality and reach of the institution.
Kirk Perris

The International Centre for Higher Education Innovation, or ICHEI, located in in Shenzhen, southern China, has been approved as a UNESCO Category 2 institute, with the aim of reforming higher education by harnessing talent and cultivating top-level programmes – and building capacity, sharing knowledge and deepening research in support of UNESCO member states.
Jan Petter Myklebust and Maximilian Unger

A comparison with the Scandinavian countries is informing Austria's quest to become an innovation leader, and two of the key lessons learned are that it has to invest more but in a way that incentivises universities to increase research and teaching quality and output – and overhaul the higher education landscape through strategic alliances and mergers of research-led universities.
Karen MacGregor

The profound importance of good leadership for universities – and for African societies – was described by Ebrima Sall, executive secretary of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, at a recent workshop in Tanzania. “The terrorism and violence we see around us these days makes one ask questions about the responsibilities and roles of scholars and what higher education leadership can do,” he said.
Ernest Raetz

The United States will install cutting-edge technology developed at Melbourne’s La Trobe University at its South Pole scientific research station next month. The rooftop dome spectrometer equipment will be used to study a hard-to-survey part of the earth’s atmosphere – an area too high for aircraft and weather balloons and too low for satellites.
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Turkey's higher education board, known locally by its initials YÖK, has called on Russia to not allow tensions between the countries to impact bilateral agreements in the education sector, reports Anadolu Agency.

The government will make it compulsory for university students to interact in English in order to prepare them to compete in the ASEAN – Association of Southeast Asian Nations – Economic Community, which comes into effect at the start of 2016, reports The Jakarta Post.

A group of academics has urged the central government not to sign a treaty at an upcoming World Trade Organization meeting that they said would turn higher education into a business, encourage foreign universities to set up shop in India, and drive fees through the roof, reports The Telegraph India.

It’s not just big business; merger mania has hit universities across Europe. Since 2000, the number of university mergers has increased substantially and almost 100 mergers have taken place, according to a report by the European University Association, writes Aamna Mohdin for Quartz.

Labor has agreed to support two law changes affecting university students that will save the federal budget A$1.1 billion (US$805 million), reports AAP and Matthew Knott for The Sydney Morning Herald.

The Ministry of Education and Training said the professionally oriented higher education model must be used at universities and colleges to make sure graduates are qualified to get jobs without needing to be retrained, reports VNS.

British universities are recruiting higher numbers of overseas students to boost their coffers amid accusations that institutions just see them as ‘cash cows’, writes Javier Espinoza for The Telegraph.

Stellenbosch University’s highest decision-making body, the University Council, last week dismissed accusations that it was against transformation after it shot down a proposal to adopt English as the main language of instruction at the traditionally Afrikaans institution, writes Bekezela Phakathi for BD Live.

The government has been urged to pick one or two public universities to be upgraded to global status. Conference organising chairman of the 2015 meeting of the Chairmen of the Board of Directors (Public Universities), Tun Zaki Tun Azmi, said the aim could be met if one or two were nurtured into becoming the 20 best in the world, reports Bernama.

The association representing Canada’s university professors has condemned Carleton University’s board of governors for a new policy that will ban board members from speaking publicly about the meetings they attend. The professors say the move is a violation of transparency and openness that is fundamental to academic freedom, writes Chris Cobb for Ottawa Citizen.

Increasing faculty diversity has long been a priority on college campuses, but the recent, widespread student protests over race relations have made the issue all the more urgent. And while a number of institutions have already pledged additional resources to increasing faculty diversity, questions remain about how realistic some of these goals are – at least in the near term, writes Colleen Flaherty for Inside Higher Ed.

Scottish government plans for university reform are a recipe for conflict and could erode the autonomy that has been central to the success of the nation’s elite institutions, according to the departing principal of the University of St Andrews, writes Mure Dickie for the Financial Times.
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