University World News Global Edition
01 May 2016 Issue 411 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Global leadership needed on equal HE access for all. Who will step up?

In Commentary, Graeme Atherton says equitable access to higher education for all is seemingly a global priority but unless we start to see global leadership on this, it will become an empty aspiration rather than a genuine goal. Deren Temel contends that Africa cannot wait until 2030 for the next set of global goals to tackle the need for quality higher education, and suggests the sector partners with basic education to achieve its goals and focuses on improving teacher training.
And Ranjit Goswami suggests that minimum standards in higher education need to be adjusted periodically at a time of massive expansion to accommodate higher education for all.
In World Blog this week, Margaret Andrews says a strategy to position your academic programmes in an increasingly competitive world should begin with a series of questions about foundations, current positioning and the competitive landscape.
In our series on ‘Transformative Leadership’ in which University World News is partnering with The MasterCard Foundation, Marcelo Knobel and Renato H L Pedrosa reflect on the transformative leadership that brought Brazil’s University of Campinas within 50 years to its leading position in the region today, and how it might increase its future impact.
In Features, Jan Petter Myklebust writes that the negative assessment of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology by the European Court of Auditors is the latest in a series of blows to beset the institution. And Esther Nakkazi unpacks a call by Harvard’s renowned scholar Calestous Juma for Africa to create ‘innovation universities’ that include commercialisation at their core if the continent is to achieve economic transformation and inclusive growth.
Lastly, a reminder to readers that University World News will be holding a webinar on emerging issues in transnational education on 24 May. You can register here.
Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Brendan O'Malley

English students in universities in England now face some of the highest tuition fees in the world – higher than in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – and the highest average debts at graduation, according to a new study. The typical English student faces debts of over £44,000 (US$64,500) at graduation, £15,000 more even than graduates of US private for-profit universities.
Paul Rigg

A report published last week by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts on the killing and disappearance of dozens of students in Iguala, Mexico, suggests a clash with drug traffickers over the use of buses on narcotics routes may have led to the attack.
Jan Petter Myklebust

The three major universities in Stockholm plan to form a new research centre for advanced studies following the decision by the City of Stockholm to give the go-ahead for a Nobel Centre to be built on its waterfront. University leaders said the research centre, to be located inside the Nobel Centre, would be “an institution of the highest international rank”, enabling the region to "compete with Oxford and Cambridge".
Francis Kokutse

Universities across Africa must move away from liberal arts courses in order to make higher education relevant and ensure the continent is not left behind in today’s technological world, Ghana’s Vice-president Kwesi Amissah-Arthur said while opening the second Times Higher Education Africa Universities Summit in the capital Accra.
Eugene Vorotnikov

Russia's largest employers are demanding improvements in higher education teaching and changes to university curricula to address the low demand for graduates in the jobs market. In Moscow, for instance, one in two young graduates are unemployed.
Karen MacGregor

One student was killed and three wounded last Wednesday in clashes between government and opposition supporters at Sudan’s Omdurman Ahlia University. Just a week earlier, at the University of Kordofan, a student was killed – reportedly by security agents – and more than 20 injured, triggering protests at universities across the country.
Munyaradzi Makoni

Student protests at Rhodes University, nestled in the small South African town of Grahamstown, ended with the resumption of lectures last Monday after a week of dramatic disruption and disturbances over a ‘rape culture’ at the institution – but the conversation is far from over.
Brendan O'Malley

International education contributes nearly A$1 billion (US$764 million) more to the economy than previously estimated, according to a report by Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by the Department of Education and Training and released on Friday. The government said the finding puts the current real value of the industry closer to A$21 billion.
Esther Nakkazi

Many students at Uganda’s flagship Makerere University are diverting money into gambling and are failing to pay tuition fees on time, according to staff. Students went on a week-long strike in April in protest against the debt-ridden university’s controversial fee payment policy.
Nick Holdsworth

Terrorism is cited as the biggest challenge facing the world today, closely followed by migration, according to research unveiled at a new international humanitarian award ceremony, but there is a global 'compassion gap' in public perceptions of contemporary refugees.
Michael Gardner

French, German, Dutch and United Kingdom organisations supporting international cooperation in higher education are administering a new programme funded by the European Union to facilitate access to education for Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
Graeme Atherton

Equitable access to higher education for those in poor, marginalised communities and those who are discriminated against can't be achieved without global leadership on the issue. But who will step up?
Deren Temel

Africa cannot wait until 2030 for the next round of global goals to address the urgent need for quality higher education. The Sustainable Development Goals in which higher education targets are included sideline quality and instead focus on incremental development, enrolment rates, unsustainable practices and international dependency.
Ranjit Goswami

Two conflicting currents can be seen in higher education: the push to standardisation through rankings and other methods and the move to commoditisation through the idea of higher education being open to all. How can we create minimum standards without erecting barriers to higher education?
Sameerah T Saeed

Kurdistan’s new national ranking aims to introduce a culture of academic competition between higher education institutions in the region and raise standards.
Margaret Andrews

How do you promote your academic programmes in an increasingly competitive world? Going back to your foundations and asking questions is a good starting point.
Marcelo Knobel and Renato H L Pedrosa

Creating universities that can compete with the world’s best has required both transformative thinking and transformative leadership in Brazil.

Is the growth of transnational education, or TNE, dependent on more flexible standards of quality? Or are we stifling innovation in TNE by putting up too many barriers for experimentation? In a University World News webinar on 24 May, a panel of global experts will debate and discuss the emerging issues.
Jan Petter Myklebust

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology, or EIT, in Budapest is reeling from a negative assessment by the European Court of Auditors, which says its basis of operation and experimental structure, comprising Knowledge and Innovation Communities, each involving several universities, to leverage extra funding beyond its core funding, is unrealistic.
Esther Nakkazi

Africa must create ‘innovation universities’ if it is to achieve economic transformation, sustainable development and inclusive growth, says Calestous Juma, professor of the practice of international development at Harvard’s John F Kennedy School of Government. Universities should combine research, teaching, outreach and commercialisation in a coordinated way.
Vimal Patel, The Chronicle of Higher Education

As a graduate teaching assistant at Ohio University, Noora Mahboubeh, an Iranian doctoral student, often struggled to understand her students’ questions, and they weren’t always sympathetic to her difficulties with English. The language problem is a stubborn one, but some institutions have sought creative solutions.
Dana Ruggiero

Academics are stuck: they can’t afford to read their own work but they can’t afford not to publish in expensive prestigious journals if they want to advance their careers. Sci-Hub has provided a new path and it’s “a bit like distant thunder at a picnic for publishers”.
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A China-born academic has been forced out of a leading Australian university for posting online politically charged remarks about his countrymen, reigniting accusations Beijing is using its presence inside global campuses to exert soft power, writes Byron Kaye for Reuters.

Foreign students will soon be allowed to apply for permanent residence once they have graduated from a South African university, writes Wyndham Hartley for BDLive.

The number of Thai students enrolled in local international universities is expected to increase sharply in the next five years, as students look to equip themselves with the skills needed to compete with the regional workforce, writes Dumrongkiat Mala for Bangkok Post.

Two former University Grants Committee members and a retired High Court judge have been recommended to form a panel to review the structure of the University of Hong Kong’s controversial governing council, writes Phila Siu for South China Morning Post.

The programme designed to create a German ‘Ivy League’ will be extended indefinitely, giving a handful of the country’s top universities a yearly bonus of at least €10 million (US$11.3 million) in extra funding, writes Gretchen Vogel for Science.

The Lemann Foundation, a non-profit organisation established by Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann, said it plans to expand its financial aid to Brazilian students and visiting faculty at Harvard University in the United States, writes Keren Blankfeld for Forbes.

Universities across Sydney are cracking down on cheating in tertiary assessment tasks after Fairfax Media revealed chronic misconduct across the sector, writes Eryk Bagshaw for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Students from several universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, are threatening to vote to break away from the National Union of Students following the controversial election of new president, Malia Bouattia, the national union's first black female Muslim leader, reports the BBC.

Printers at several universities across Germany produced anti-Semitic leaflets on or before Hitler’s birthday on 20 April, after hackers appeared to break into their computer systems, writes Alison Smale for The New York Times.

Higher education institutions in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council are not producing enough graduates to meet the needs of the region’s labour market, according to educators and experts, reports Arab News.

Despite their large numbers of students, Indonesian universities lag behind in scientific publications compared with other countries in Southeast Asia, writes Anton Hermansyah for The Jakarta Post.

China’s Communist Party is considering further steps to curb the influence of the Communist Youth League, an organisation that President Xi Jinping has criticised for being too aristocratic. The league’s university may put an end to undergraduate admissions, according to a person familiar with the discussions, who asked not to be identified. That would leave it with postgraduate and training programmes for up-and-coming cadres, reports Bloomberg News.

A university professor on his way to work in northwestern Bangladesh was hacked to death last Saturday in an attack similar to other killings by suspected Muslim militants, reports The Associated Press.

Namibia’s Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation is engaging UNESCO and the International Labour Organization to assist in revamping the country’s higher education and developing skills required by the job market, writes Lahja Nashuuta for The Southern Times.

The apparent failure of economists to predict, let alone prevent, the 2008 financial crisis has led to accusations that conventional economic teaching cannot adequately explain the complex dynamics and risks of modern economies. Now a growing number of UK universities are implementing changes to adapt their degrees to a ‘post-crisis’ world, writes Daniel Cullen for the Guardian.

A rise of international students has been noted in recent years, Education Minister Costas Kadis said after a recent meeting with an Iranian official. He added that the aim is to transform Cyprus into a regional training centre, writes Evgenia Choros for Greek Reporter.
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