|03 April 2016||Issue 407||Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week||Advanced Search|
NEWSLETTERHuman rights obligations are part and parcel of transnational education
In Commentary this week, Gearóid Ó Cuinn argues that transnational oversight of education programmes is not detached from human rights obligations and universities involved are responsible for due diligence and monitoring for abuses. Dean Hristov encourages universities to use big data and predictive analytics to predict future skills needs and thereby develop future-ready global talent. Terje Mørland and Stig Arne Skjerven urge the implementation of a European qualifications passport for refugees as a fast-track scheme to evaluate refugees’ educational background.
In our World Blog, Nita Temmerman points to one common denominator in all successful education systems – good quality teachers – and emphasises the importance of treating them like professionals.
And in Features Reuben Kyama outlines the ambitious plans for the African Leadership University, launched in Mauritius last month with the aim of training Africa’s future leaders, while Jan Petter Myklebust reports on the findings of a Swedish study on the use and effects of the tenure track system in six different countries.
Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Following a barrage of criticism laced with threats of lawsuits, President Muhammadu Buhari has apologised for the firing of 13 vice-chancellors of public universities. The apology is unprecedented in the annals of Nigerian higher education – as was February’s mass sacking.
A memorandum establishing the BRICS Network University will be signed by the rectors of the 12 participating universities at the first conference of the institution, in Ekaterinburg, Russia, this coming week. The network university is devoted to the creation of masters and PhD programmes and promoting academic mobility.
United States college students are pursuing a broader range of international educational activities despite not receiving academic credit for them, due to growing provision by institutions, the lower cost than credited study abroad programmes, and growing interest among students, according to a new report by the Institute of International Education, or IIE.
The Russian government has approved a project for the establishment of a large-scale research and technology valley in the centre of Moscow, which will be the biggest in the country, according to a spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. It will incorporate part of Moscow State University and the Russian Academy of Sciences.
SOUTH KOREAUnsoo Jung
The South Korean government has chosen half a dozen universities to lead and foster inter-Korean reunification education among the country’s universities, with funding from the government, amid heightened cross-border tensions with North Korea.
Kenya’s public universities have agreed on a new tuition fee model that will see students pay fees based on the courses they undertake. This ends years of haggling over a differentiated unit cost system, which vice-chancellors said last week would promote equity in the funding of public institutions.
NORWAYJan Petter Myklebust
The University of Oslo will be opening a centre on right-wing extremism later this month after winning a NOK50 million (US$6 million) government contract in a national competition last autumn. The initiative is part of the government's response to the terror attacks by Anders Behring Breivik in July 2011 in which 77 people were killed.
TURKEY-UNITED STATESBrendan O'Malley
The New York-based Scholars at Risk Network has urged the Turkish Minister of National Education, Nabi Avci, to make public a private affirmation of Turkey’s commitment to academic freedom and called on him to support ending the investigation of 1,128 academics from 89 universities who signed a petition criticising military operations in the south-east of Turkey.
SWEDENBrendan O'Malley and Jan Petter Myklebust
A government inquiry has proposed the introduction of the tenure track position of assistant professor to address the lack of career structure in Swedish universities. But it warns that it should be used “more broadly than as a purely elite track” as found in other countries.
GLOBALGearóid Ó Cuinn
Oversight of transnational education programmes is governed by the standards, including human rights obligations, of the sending country and universities involved should do due diligence and monitor for abuses that affect them.
By fusing big data and predictive analytics universities can adapt their curriculum and pedagogies to ensure their students are ready for the future global talent market.
EUROPETerje Mørland and Stig Arne Skjerven
The unprecedented migration and refugee crisis demands out-of-the-box thinking which is why there is a need for a Europe-wide qualifications passport for refugee students. It would establish a fast-track scheme to evaluate refugees’ educational and training background while still ensuring their mobility around Europe.
GLOBALRobin Matross Helms and Laura E Rumbley
There is not much data showing the impact of different internationalisation strategies, but some factors can be clearly identified.
Ministries in Africa must simultaneously modernise higher education systems while widening participation. To do this they must convince governments and donors that system innovations and societal benefits have an equally important rate of return in terms of truly sustainable development.
What matters above all else for a successful education system is the quality of its teachers and requires giving them respect, status, a decent salary and career pathways commensurate with other professional areas.
The African Leadership University, launched in Mauritius last month with the aim of training Africa’s future leaders, has huge ambitions – to build 25 campuses across the continent and train three million leaders in five decades. It has partnered with Scotland’s Glasgow Caledonian University to award internationally recognised degrees to graduates.
GLOBALJan Petter Myklebust
Tenure track develops elite recruitment but does not provide employment security for post-doctoral candidates in general and reduces the mobility of academic staff, according to a new report on the use of the system in Denmark, China, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.
GLOBALDan Berrett, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Researchers have long noticed that an oddly large number of jihadists have engineering backgrounds. New research suggests they are right. But why? The findings add to the debates about the seeds of terrorism and the blind spots that can afflict engineering education.
GLOBALJames Otieno Jowi
Norway recently unveiled its new programme for academic collaboration with the global South. Significantly, this major partner of African higher education has shifted from full degree study abroad scholarships that intensify the brain drain to postgraduate-level partnerships and short exchanges.
AFRICA: University Leadership
Members of the academic diaspora are dependable ambassadors for universities in Africa in the face of the unstoppable onslaughts of economic globalisation and higher education internationalisation, argues Ibrahim Oanda Ogachi, programme officer for the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa.
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Alexandra Elbakyan is a highbrow pirate in hiding. The 27-year-old graduate student from Kazakhstan is operating a searchable online database of nearly 50 million stolen scholarly journal articles, shattering the US$10 billion-per-year paywall of academic publishers, writes Michael Rosenwald for The Washington Post.
The average student attending a four-year, in-state public college pays about US$19,500 in tuition each year. Is that an investment worth making? Forbes has made answering that question a little easier with its Best Value Colleges 2016 rankings, published online Tuesday, writes Julia Glum for International Business Times.
UK university staff have cited the lack of transparency around Chinese transnational education, or TNE, legislation as one of the main barriers halting higher education partnerships between the two countries, writes Ellie Bothwell for Times Higher Education.
A Grattan Institute report released on Tuesday has recommended the income threshold for university debt repayments should be cut by A$12,000 (US$9,200), saving A$500 million every year, reports Australian Associated Press.
Research into cosmic evolution, the structure of matter, the origins of life and understanding how the brain works all deserve strengthened support, according to China's latest 5-year development plan, which could triple funding for basic research by 2020, writes Hao Xin for Science.
Over 300 academicians, activists, artists and writers published a statement condemning the state violence and unlawful detention at the University of Hyderabad and crackdowns at other institutions, reports First Post.
The government has embarked upon a scheme to fund ‘pure science’ scholars who have completed their PhDs to enable them to continue their post-doctoral research in India, reports Press Trust of India.
The Higher Education Commission has expressed concerns at universities not following the commission’s plagiarism policy by not taking action on plagiarism complaints against their faculty, reports The Express Tribune.
The Bangladesh government last week approved in principle the draft of ‘The Accreditation Council Law, 2016’, with a view to ensuring standards of higher education in the country, reports The Daily Star.
A slight majority of people agree with the new academic year for universities as it falls in line with the international and ASEAN – Association of Southeast Asian Nations – bi-semester system, according to the result of an opinion poll carried out by the National Institute of Development Administration, reports Bangkok Post.
Short-term policy-making risks jeopardising efforts to widen participation in English higher education, it has been warned, after yet another change in the national approach to encouraging those from disadvantaged backgrounds to apply to university, writes Chris Havergal for Times Higher Education.
The University of California System is frequently lauded as one of the best public education systems in the world. But a scathing new state audit of the system tells a story of manipulation of admissions standards for financial gain, writes Abby Jackson for Business Insider.
The Department of Higher Education and Training has allocated R1.9 billion (US$129 million) towards improving the infrastructure, student housing and maintenance, among other things, at 24 state-owned universities, reports SA News.
The Kenya National Examinations Council's board was dissolved on 24 March over the irregularities that marred national examinations in 2015, and nine senior officers were arrested, writes Ouma Wanzala for The Nation.
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