University World News Global Edition
08 May 2016 Issue 412 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
G7 needs to work together to ensure no one is left behind in higher education

In Commentary this week, European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics says G7 education ministers meeting this month must together address key higher education challenges of social inequality, digital disruption and mass population movements.
Going Global, the British Council’s flagship higher education conference, was held last week in Africa for the first time, with University World News as a media partner. Munyaradzi Makoni reports that government ministers from South Africa and the United Kingdom told the opening plenary that global higher education connections are helping to build a more open and empowered world. Karen MacGregor unpacks the findings of a 26-country study by the British Council on the shape of global higher education, released at the Going Global conference.
The latest Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings were also released at the conference, which sparked a heated debate, according to Karen MacGregor, with one expert warning against basing policy on “what is essentially a report card on disparities of wealth”. Meanwhile, at the IREG-8 conference on university rankings being held in Portugal last week, as Brendan O'Malley reports, Simon Marginson contended that multi-indicator rankings need to disaggregate data to drive performance, singling out reputation surveys as the main obstacle to incentivising performance. And in our World Blog, focusing on the new national rankings in India, Erich Dietrich and Rahul Choudaha argue that the country should use the rankings as a tool to improve the quality of the overall system, not as a means of allocating funding to benefit a handful of institutions.
In our series on ‘Transformative Leadership’ in which University World News is partnering with The MasterCard Foundation, Carolyn Muriel Shields says leadership with a focus on equity and social justice is essential to address the increasingly persuasive demands of university students for an equitable higher education learning environment. Stephen Coan reports on the African Leadership Academy, a pre-university leadership initiative targeting talented high school pupils from across Africa, which ambitiously aims to prepare students to play a leading role on the continent. And Rajika Bhandari says a new report by the Institute of International Education indicates that fellowship programmes that give higher education opportunities to emerging social justice leaders in the developing world can indeed nurture transformative leaders.
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

Multi-indicator rankings provide a rich data set, but because the link between effort in a particular area and ranking outcome is not transparent, they cannot drive a coherent performance regime. To drive performance improvement, multi-indicator rankings should be disaggregated, Professor Simon Marginson told the IREG-8 conference on university rankings and international academic relations in Lisbon on Thursday.
Brendan O'Malley

The government has released a 10-year blueprint for expansion of its international education sector with the aim of making Australia a global leader in education, training and research. It places a heavy emphasis on expanding transnational education through online courses.
Yojana Sharma

University officials at Hong Kong Polytechnic University – a publicly funded institution – have been scrambling to explain its use of companies registered in secretive offshore tax havens, after revelations in the Panama Papers that it set up two companies offshore to channel funds.
Tunde Fatunde

Public universities in Nigeria that remain open have been advised to urgently begin semester exams in an attempt to contain student action that has swept across campuses over the past few weeks. Students have been protesting over a lack of electricity and water, and fee increases. At least one student has died in a violent clash with police and several campuses have been shut.
Jan Petter Myklebust

The strongest measure universities can take to improve employability is to increase 'professionalisation' of links to working life, according to a new international comparative report by the Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis. In particular, it highlights the value of collaborating with industry to ensure students have integrated periods of work practice during their degree studies.
Jan Petter Myklebust

The government has ordered a review of the regulatory framework for universities to see how well higher education prepares young people for work options. It will look at how the legal framework and the development contracts of universities are supporting the political objectives of high quality and will examine the relevance of higher education provision.
John Gerritsen

New Zealand’s universities have warned that a government review aimed at increasing the productivity of the tertiary education system could undermine them.
Carolyn Muriel Shields

Education is often promoted as the path to social equality but too often it only increases inequality. To make a positive impact, education requires transformative leadership, curriculum change and a redistribution of power.
Stephen Coan

“We aim to develop the future Nelson Mandela, the next Wangari Maathai, and the African Bill Gates.” There’s nothing shy about the aims of the African Leadership Academy in Honeydew, Johannesburg, South Africa, which is preparing students not just for university but for playing a leading role on the continent.
Rajika Bhandari

Fellowship programmes that focus on increasing access to higher education for social activists in the developing world can nurture transformative leaders who go on to be at the forefront of social justice issues in their communities.
Heather Nel

In an age of innovation and change, universities need transformative leadership, which is characterised by moral courage and activism. In Africa this means seizing the opportunities offered by protests like #FeesMustFall to drive change.
Roger Chao Jr

Transformational leadership in higher education is not just about individual leaders, but about institutions and organisations which work together for the common good.
Lisa M Dietlin

What is the attraction of today’s scholarship programmes focused on social leadership and social enterprise and why are increasing numbers of philanthropists putting their money behind them?
Julie Cafley

Universities need a new generation of transformative leaders to handle the increasingly complex, competitive world of higher education, but many are hampered by a conservatism in governance structures.
Some 800 people from around the world gathered for the British Council’s Going Global 2016 conference held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 3-5 May. University World News reports.
Karen MacGregor

The internecine academic ‘conflict’ over league tables flared at last week’s Going Global 2016 conference. The latest Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings were released, dominated by the planet’s best-endowed universities, while an expert warned against basing policy on “what is essentially a report card on disparities of wealth”.
Karen MacGregor

International research collaboration is a growing national policy preoccupation, according to a 26-country study by the British Council released last week – but quality assurance is lagging behind. Germany and Malaysia emerged as having the most balanced portfolios of national policies supporting international higher education.
Munyaradzi Makoni

The global connections of higher education are a major force for good and are helping to build a more open and empowered world, government ministers from South Africa and the United Kingdom told the opening plenary of Going Global, the British Council’s flagship higher education conference.
Karen MacGregor

Africa must respond to the education, knowledge and communications revolutions and mobilise knowledge and science not just for sustainable development but as major drivers of growth, the President of Mauritius Ameenah Gurib-Fakim told Going Global 2016 last week.
Munyaradzi Makoni

Three first bilateral research chairs between South Africa and the United Kingdom were launched during the Going Global 2016 conference last week. Britain’s Newton Fund is contributing £300,000 (US$434,000) per chair over three years, with the funding matched by the National Research Foundation in South Africa.
Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner

The challenges of providing a higher education response to social inequality, digital disruption and mass population movements are best met by countries working together.
Chau Phuc

The Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences must be more transparent about its research output and publish details so that the public can see where their money is being spent.
Erich Dietrich and Rahul Choudaha

Amid fears that new rankings may be used as a means of allocating funding, it is vital that the government uses them to boost quality mechanisms and promote greater transparency throughout the Indian higher education sector.

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.
Donald A Barclay

The existence of vast amounts of information – a lot of it free – on the Internet might suggest that academic and public libraries have outlived their usefulness, particularly in a cost-cutting political climate. The numbers tell a very different story.
Jeffrey R Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Free online courses changed the life of one super-smart Mongolian teenager. Four years ago Battushig Myanganbayar, while in high school in Mongolia, took a massive open online course, or MOOC, from MIT. He was one of about 300 who got a perfect score and soon got accepted to the real MIT campus. He has plenty to teach about how to use tech to meaningfully expand education.
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Government’s push to put science and technology at the forefront of the nation’s development is creating a new breed of highly paid scientific academics who are leading the nation’s rise as a global power in scientific research, writes Stephen Chen for South China Morning Post.

Activists said that tighter regulation and moves towards nationalisation – not tuition hikes – are the answers to falling student numbers pushing many universities towards the fiscal brink, writes Abraham Gerber for the Taipei Times.

Higher fees, deregulated prices for popular courses and larger loan repayments are on the cards for university students after federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham released an options paper with last week’s budget outlining his preferred path for higher education reform, writes Tim Dodd for the Financial Review.

The Federation of University Teachers called for a general strike last week, to which 53 institutions of higher education pledged their support, reports Prensa Latina.

The lack of female leaders at Canadian universities is an urgent problem that needs to be addressed by every institution, says a group of university presidents who are pressing administrators and boards to make changes to how they recruit and promote women, writes Simona Chiose for The Globe and Mail.

Deemed universities in the country may soon see better days with the government looking to relax some of the norms governing them and readying a plan to curtail the University Grants Commission’s powers to regulate them, writes Prashant K Nanda for Livemint.

Overall college affordability has worsened in 45 US states since 2008, creating a significant financial burden for students of modest economic means, writes Paul Fain for Inside Higher Ed.

Participants at the second roundtable conference on “Six years of 18th Constitutional Amendment: Equity and autonomy of universities”, demanded the implementation of the 18th Constitutional Amendment in education, especially in the higher education sector, and said that the autonomy of universities should be ensured, reports Pakistan Today.

The Office of the Higher Education Commission has warned universities they are responsible for placing more emphasis on the quality of teaching, especially at the graduate level, after two cases of alleged thesis plagiarism at Silpakorn University were unveiled last month, writes Dumrongkiat Mala for the Bangkok Post.

Damascus University recently issued its first digitally enhanced diplomas, part of an initiative to combat the use of forged diplomas by students wanting to claim they graduated from the country’s oldest institution of higher education, writes Riham Alkousaa for Al-Fanar.

University of California President Janet Napolitano felt compelled to remove the chancellor of the University of California, Davis after documents contradicted the campus leader's contention that she did not have any dealings with contractors that were hired to bolster the university's image online, writes Lisa Leff for Associated Press.

An expert says Britain's best universities are slipping down reputational rankings because they are forced to focus on diversity and recruiting from disadvantaged backgrounds, writes Javier Espinoza for The Telegraph.

Women’s universities in suburban areas of metropolitan Tokyo are increasingly relocating to the urban centre in a bid to increase the number of applicants to the universities, reports The Yomiuri Shimbun.

Researchers at Thammasat University in Thailand have created something called Touchable Ink that will potentially make it a lot cheaper for the blind to read, writes Aloysius Low for CNET.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants Indian universities to promote doctoral programmes in yoga for foreign students through government fellowships, writes Basant Kumar Mohanty for The Telegraph India.
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This Week

World Blog
New Indian university rankings should be used to improve quality across the HE sector

Going Global 2016
Hot debate over league tables as THE releases its World Reputation Rankings

Germany and Malaysia emerge as best at supporting international HE, says report

Going Global in Cape Town: The global connections of HE are a major force for good

Transformative Leadership
Transformative leadership is a radical approach that involves unbiased decision-making

African Leadership Academy aims to prepare students to play a leading role in Africa

Social justice leaders emerge from Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program

Tibor Navracsics: G7 education ministers must work together to address HE challenges

Is the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences sufficiently transparent and accountable?