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NEWSLETTERCalls for better security after university terrorist attack in Pakistan
In News, Ameen Amjad Khan reports that academics, locally and overseas, are calling for a step-up in security at Pakistani universities after last Wednesday’s brutal terrorist attack on Bacha Khan University, which left at least 20 dead and many injured. And, as reported by Brendan O'Malley and Michael Gardner, academics from around the world are also making their voices heard in their condemnation of the Turkish government’s threats against academics who signed a petition criticising military operations in south-east Turkey.
In Commentary this week, Lawrence Phillips suggests that a liberal education, delivered in an international environment, may be a good way to combat the spread of extremism and radicalisation. Phan Le Ha describes the ‘New Flagship University’ model put forward by John Douglass as inspirational and feasible, and considers its application in Australia and Vietnam. Carolina Guzmán-Valenzuela says that providing free higher education to Chile’s poorest students is a first step in doing justice to higher education as a social right, but there are many challenges to be addressed. And Thanh Nguyen proposes that universities in Vietnam adapt to teach students more of the skills that employers want.
In our World Blog, Nita Temmerman says the demands on young people to be international in their outlook and able to recognise and work with diversity are only going to increase and education systems should adapt to prepare them adequately.
In Features, Robin Lally describes how Donald Roden, an associate professor in the US, has dedicated the past decade to demonstrating that people behind bars deserve second chances and that educating them pays off. And Brendan O'Malley reports on student protests that have broken out in India following the suicide of a student who was a campaigner for the rights of Dalit communities.
In a Special Report on university leadership in Africa that will run as a series of articles over the coming weeks, Karen MacGregor reports on research on the evolution of governance models and leadership quality in African higher education.
Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
PAKISTANAmeen Amjad Khan
Academics are demanding better security for education institutions after a brutal terrorist attack on Wednesday morning on Bacha Khan University in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that left at least 20 dead – including students and two staff members – and many injured.
TURKEYBrendan O'Malley and Michael Gardner
The International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies, which has 80 member organisations across the world, has issued a statement demanding that the Turkish government “desist from threatening academics”. The statement is supported by 28 Nobel Prize laureates amid growing international concern over investigations being carried out into 1,128 academics who signed a petition criticising military operations in south-east Turkey.
Consortium members of a new three-year Harmonisation of African Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation initiative met in Brussels this month and outlined activities for the first year of the European Union-backed operation.
Japan’s education ministry officials have softened a controversial stance publicised in June 2015 to favour university science courses over the humanities and social sciences for state funding after it sparked an uproar among the academic community. Universities are drawing up their reform plans, including pledges to increase the number of foreign students and staff.
An unofficial blockade since September, allegedly imposed by Nepal’s Southern neighbour India, is threatening to delay research and theses that depend on scientific experiments, while also affecting day to day administration at many institutions. A majority of academic institutions have been struggling to operate amid a resulting severe fuel shortage.
FINLANDJan Petter Myklebust and Ian R Dobson
The latest austerity measures announced by the Finnish government are likely to bring the total number of posts cut since 2012 at Finnish universities and polytechnics to 5,200 and the total budget reductions since the start of 2012 to €280 million (US$305 million).
Tunisia declared a night curfew in the central city of Kasserine after clashes last weekend between police and young unemployed graduates demonstrating for jobs. Protests have since spread around the country, with deaths reported and nearly 250 protesters injured.
Kenya’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is disbanding the councils of all public universities and their constituent colleges after a court ruled that the councils, as currently constituted, are in breach of the Universities Act and the country’s constitution.
UNITED STATESMary Beth Marklein
The United States firm that owns the SAT, a college entrance exam accepted by many US colleges and universities, cancelled plans to administer the test this weekend at centres in China and Macau following concerns that some students may have obtained information about questions in advance.
DENMARKJan Petter Myklebust
Copenhagen University will admit no students in 2016 in a raft of smaller subjects including Finnish, Polish and Eskimology – despite being the only place in the world offering a bachelor and masters degree in the language, society and culture of Greenland. The university said the move was necessary because of austerity cuts.
AFRICA: UNIVERSITY LEADERSHIP
Governance models in African higher education have evolved over the decades, but their impact on university leadership appears not to have been highly significant. The key drivers of quality leadership are factors such as individual capacities, leadership training and state funding, according to new research.
UNITED KINGDOMLawrence Phillips
A liberal education, delivered in an international environment, may be the answer to addressing the threat of extremism and radicalisation in young people.
GLOBALPhan Le Ha
The second of our series on John Douglass’ New Flagship University model considers how it could work in Australia, where a focus on research has meant a neglect of the value of teaching excellence, and in Vietnam, where, despite great challenges, there are some seeds of hope for the future.
The vote to provide free higher education to the country’s poorest students confronts the growing marketisation of the sector, but there are many more hurdles to overcome to provide more equal access to knowledge.
As higher education becomes more consumer based, universities will need to respond to growing demands from students to teach them the skills they need to get a job.
The labour market demands graduates who are at ease with different cultures. The education system, from nursery to college and university, needs to adapt to a fast-changing world.
UNITED STATESRobin Lally
Most people wouldn't consider setting foot in a prison, much less volunteering to teach incarcerated men and women the skills they need to succeed upon release. Not Donald Roden. And the results have been life-changing – for the prisoners.
A political furore and student protests have broken out over the suicide of a 28-year-old research student and campaigner for the rights of Dalit communities at the Hyderabad Central University, who was found hanging in a university hostel room on the campus last Sunday, according to the police.
UNITED STATESRio Fernandes, The Chronicle of Higher Education
A months-old blog post on ‘feminist fog’ written by a respected medieval scholar, Allen J Frantzen, has gained a second life on social media – and whipped the discipline into a frenzy.
Smaller is better when it comes to the size of the plates we eat our food off: smaller plates can affect how much food we eat and even help overcome the obesity crisis affecting Western nations, according to a new study.
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According to official figures, the number of Indian students attending British universities has fallen by 10% over the last year in the wake of concerns about immigration, writes Sarah Cassidy for the Independent.
Ninety-one percent of the nation’s colleges have told the federal government there were no rapes reported on their campuses in 2014, a statistic that the American Association of University Women said “defies reality", writes Courtney Kueppers for The Washington Post.
In a blow to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, the Association of American Universities issued a statement reaffirming its opposition to boycotts of Israeli academic institutions, reports The Jerusalem Post.
A third-level strategy due to be published in the coming weeks has set out a significant increase in the numbers of international students entering the higher education system in the next five years, writes Elaine Loughlin for the Irish Examiner.
In his keynote speech during the first session of the ‘People’s University’, organised by the Popular Movement party, Lahcen Daoudi, Morocco’s minister of higher education and scientific research and training, criticised the exploitation of the issue of Tamazight to “fight the Arabic language and Islam”, writes Ezzoubeir Jabrane for Morocco World News.
According to news reports, a hacker proclaiming allegiance to the Islamic State jihadist group infiltrated the internal network of one of China's top universities to display images of masked and mounted militants, reports AFP.
A video camera and two plastic chairs sit in a tiny room in Beijing’s west side, the latest weapons in a global battle against the wave of admissions fraud striking United States universities. College-bound Chinese students come here to InitialView, one of several such companies operating in the country, to film a video interview and prove their speaking abilities match their applications, write Laura Krantz and Jessica Meyers for The Boston Globe.
A second Oxford University college has entered a row over Cecil Rhodes’ legacy after members of the student ‘union’ voted to have his name removed from its computer room, writes Javier Espinoza for The Telegraph.
Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande says the time has come for students to return to lecture halls and prevent an increase in already skyrocketing costs following damage to property, reports Aurelie Kalenga for EWN.
The Russell Group of universities, which represents Oxford, Cambridge and 22 other leading institutions, have all demanded that they should be exempted from Freedom of Information Laws, because they are private institutions and not public bodies, writes Laura Hughes for The Telegraph.
Mozambique's oldest and most prestigious higher education institution, Eduardo Mondlane University, will from this year introduce a degree course in Chinese, making Mozambique one of the first countries in the Southern African region to do so, reports Xinhua. The degree course will be conducted through the university's three-year-old Confucius Institute.
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