|15 May 2016||Issue 413||Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week||Advanced Search|
NEWSLETTERWhy are students rising up around the world and is there a common thread?
We launch the first in a global series of Special Reports on student movements and issues, aimed at deepening understanding and debate on what is transpiring across the student world. This week there are articles on student activism in Chile, Japan and India. Also, Rachel Brooks looks at what is driving the rise in student protest movements and why some are successful, and Nico Cloete investigates the vexing question of what proportions governments, business and individuals should contribute to higher education, and finds a ‘trilemma of trade-offs’.
On a similar theme, in our World Blog David Palfreyman says the funding of mass higher education is under-researched by academics but existing studies suggest that neither a free model nor one entirely funded by students is fair.
Going Global, the British Council’s flagship higher education conference, was held from 3-5 May in South Africa, with University World News as a media partner. Karen MacGregor reports on a British Council study which found that 75% of the more than 200 universities surveyed globally are involved with at least one social enterprise. And Munyaradzi Makoni says recent case studies from Ukraine, Morocco and Bahrain have highlighted the capacity of quality assurance in higher education to support nation-building in various ways.
And in our series on Transformative Leadership in which University World News is partnering with The MasterCard Foundation, Marybeth Gasman suggests that widening participation requires that faculty take on innovative and challenging teaching methods to engage an increasingly diverse student population and the student-centred approach of Minority-Serving Institutions in the US provides a useful role model.
We would like to remind 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
UNITED KINGDOMBrendan O'Malley
Universities should set targets for male recruitment to improve the proportion of male entrants to United Kingdom higher education institutions, according to a new report that says the male share of entrants has reached a record low. The gender gap is biggest among the poorest, and young white males from disadvantaged families are performing worst.
The European Parliament has passed a new visa directive on European Union entry and residence that makes it easier and more attractive for people from third countries to study or do research at EU universities.
Kenya’s total university student enrolment rose 22.8% last year, marked by increased female enrolment and driven by massive infrastructure development, the introduction of new courses and the opening of more satellite campuses.
Huge European Investment Bank loans to British universities – among the biggest recipients for higher education loans in Europe – could mostly dry up if the United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union in next month’s referendum.
SWEDENJan Petter Myklebust
Media reports that university tuition fees can vary up to twice the cost of courses have led to calls by the main students’ union to scrap the fees and a call by the former education minister to investigate whether students are being overcharged.
Egypt’s state-run Beni-Suef University has expelled three students after they were found to have painted slogans on campus criticising the country’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, over the controversial transfer of two strategic islands to Saudi Arabia.
STUDENT ACTIVISM AND ISSUES
A global rise in student activism and the centrality of student concerns to national politics and to higher education prompted University World News to collate this first in a series of three Special Reports looking into student movements and issues raised by them. The aim is to deepen understanding and debate on what is transpiring across the student world. We urge readers to disseminate the Special Reports to students. – Karen MacGregor, series editor.
The last decade has seen an increasing number of student protest movements around the world, but what is driving them and why are some more successful than others?
There is broad global agreement that to maintain a competitive edge in a rapidly transforming knowledge economy, countries need to invest more in higher education. The vexing question is what proportion the government, business and different income groups in society should contribute – because nowhere in the world is there ‘free’ higher education.
Students have led the way in challenging the neo-liberalism underpinning higher education in Chile since Augusto Pinochet’s days. Despite having had a significant impact politically, they continue to protest and argue in favour of free, quality higher education.
In a dramatic turnaround in the past year, Japanese students and young people have shed their conventional image as docile members of society to become major players in national politics.
“Rule-breaking and protest are an inherent right of students. They are part of growing up and part of understanding the importance of rules and making the right kind of rules. They are also a first step towards dialogue,” says Sanjana Krishnan, a PhD student at India’s University of Hyderabad and an anti-caste student activist.
GOING GLOBAL 2016
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. This is the second of two weeks of reports on the conference by University World News.
Three in four of more than 200 universities surveyed globally are involved with at least one social enterprise, a British Council report reveals. Engagements range from placing students in social enterprises and offering accredited courses in social entrepreneurship to providing incubation spaces, support services and research expertise.
Recent multi-country case studies have highlighted the capacity of quality assurance in higher education to support nation-building in multiple ways, ranging from promoting a more open and transparent society to supporting economic goals and increasing graduate employability.
The fundamental issue of whether Africa’s future lies in manufacturing beneficiation or the knowledge economy will be key to deciding what kind of higher education system must be built, says Dr Blade Nzimande, South Africa’s higher education minister. Meanwhile regional integration is essential – but African universities are not collaborating with each other.
Both a unified front and a paradigm shift around access to knowledge were needed in order to deal with rising journal costs and exclusionary copyright provisions imposed by the mainstream academic publishing industry, a Leadership Dialogue on open access and African research publishing heard.
A one-year pilot initiative under the United Nations HeForShe movement to engage governments, corporations and universities as instruments of change in advancing gender equality is gaining support, but challenges remain, the Going Global 2016 conference heard.
College participation throughout the world is widening and the make-up of those attending college is more diverse, which has an impact on many aspects of college life and operations. Minority-Serving Institutions could provide the transformative leadership necessary to make universities – and wider society – more diverse.
UNITED KINGDOMPaul Temple
The division between the business model university and the traditional university is widening with huge long-term implications for students. Many from the former will end up in debt, with no better jobs than they would have got if they hadn’t gone to university.
AUSTRALIACraig Whitsed and Wendy Green
The Australian National Strategy for International Education 2025 takes a neo-liberal approach to international education, which shifts the focus from education to services and products.
There is not enough research on higher education funding, but the studies which do exist suggest neither a free model nor one entirely funded by students is fair.
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.
AFRICA: University leadership
Political interference in Africa’s universities is not new. Universities’ governance was seen as ‘captured’ for narrow political rather than academic ends during the 1980s and 1990s. Politics shaped everything: student access, curriculum content and teaching methods. Vice-chancellors’ political affiliations mattered far more than their academic standing or vision.
UNITED STATESPaul Basken, The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, created after the Sputnik launch in 1958 to ensure the Pentagon had continued access to cutting-edge technology, has played a role in developing major technologies such as synthetic biology, carbon nanotubes and the Internet itself. Now its director, Arati Prabhakar, is seeking to expand its work with universities into areas such as biological and social sciences and challenges such as cybersecurity.
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A stringent new law regulating foreign non-governmental organisations in China could potentially constrain the activities of overseas higher education institutions in a variety of ways, writes Elizabeth Redden for Inside Higher Ed.
Parliament’s portfolio committee on higher education and training last week adopted the bill that critics say will give the state sweeping powers over universities and colleges, writes Bekezela Phakathi for Times Live.
No doubt the ‘leave’ campaign will disagree, but universities would be among the most vulnerable public bodies if Britons were to vote to break ties with the European Union in the forthcoming EU membership referendum, reports the Financial Times.
Decades of brutal military rule destroyed the country’s higher education system but the co-ruling National League for Democracy has long said that education reform is a top priority. The new government of President Htin Kyaw and his Minister of Education Myo Thein Gyi are now faced with the daunting task of rebuilding a higher education system that until the 1962 army coup was considered among the best in Asia, write Htet Khaung Linn and Ei Cherry Aung for Myanmar Now.
Citing concern that a “media frenzy” would ensue if a trial were held before the November presidential election, the judge overseeing a class-action lawsuit against Donald Trump over a real estate ‘university’ accused of defrauding students scheduled a late November date for the years-old litigation, writes Jeff McDonald for Los Angeles Times.
More Singaporean students are expected to head to Australian universities to pursue higher education following Singapore’s recent decision to recognise more Australian degrees in the fields of law, medicine and allied health, as part of the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, writes Hetty Musfirah Abdul Khamid for Channel News Asia.
The foundations of Israeli democracy are eroding, the presidents of all eight Israeli universities warned in a joint statement, reports The Jerusalem Post.
Major changes are coursing through France’s research and higher education system, many of them intended to simplify bureaucracy and promote research excellence, writes Declan Butler for Nature.
Several Swedish colleges and universities are charging students who hope to come to Sweden to study from outside the European Union thousands of krona in tuition fees, even when the students never actually make it to Sweden, reports Swedish Radio News.
A petition to have Rhodes Must Fall activist Ntokozo Qwabe sent down from Oxford or stripped of his scholarship for verbally abusing a white waitress has been rejected by the university which said it would violate his “free speech”, writes Aislinn Laing for The Telegraph.
Students who join Harvard’s male-only social clubs won’t be able to serve as sports captains or leaders of other campus groups starting in autumn 2017, writes Collin Binkley for Associated Press.
Scottish universities are increasingly relying on income from tuition fees rather than public funding, prompting warnings that a two-tier system is being created, writes Andrew Denholm for Herald Scotland.
A group of Nobel laureates visited sanctions-bound North Korea despite objections from South Korea, saying they wanted to extend an olive branch by bringing non-political, academic diplomacy to the isolated nuclear-armed state, reports Reuters.
University teachers may have to close third-level colleges in the short term through strikes to ensure they survive in the longer term, their trade union has stated. The General Secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers Mike Jennings said funding in the sector had been decimated over recent years while resources, staff and students were stretched to an unprecedented extent, writes Martin Wall for The Irish Times.
Britain’s Chief Rabbi has slammed universities for a lack of urgency in dealing with a growing trend of anti-Semitism on campuses, writes George Bowden for The Huffington Post UK.
The absence of permanent vice-chancellors in 20 public sector universities across the country is causing quality and governance issues in the higher education sector, while it also places a question mark on the vigilance and performance of the federal and provincial governments, writes Muhammad Asad Chaudhry for Daily Times.
Sri Lankan universities have decided to take stern action against ragging and violence against female students after a freshman female student of the University of Kelaniya was assaulted by a group of senior students during ragging, reports Colombo Page.
The Canada Research Chairs programme – one of the country’s premier tools to attract and retain top academic talent – has failed to meet its own targets for the hiring of women, visible minorities, people with disabilities and indigenous Canadians, and the federal programme’s steering committee says it is urging universities to meet their equity goals, writes Chris Hannay for The Globe and Mail.
Two of Sydney's most prestigious universities have the state's most dissatisfied students, a survey of 145,000 Australian university students has found, writes Eryk Bagshaw for The Sydney Morning Herald.
Downplaying allegations of glaring discrepancies, Delhi University last week said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BA degree as circulated by the Bharatiya Janata Party is “authentic” and it has all the relevant records relating to his graduation while terming as a “minor error” mention of 1979 in his degree when he passed a year earlier, reports PTI.
The Barack Obama administration is urging universities and colleges to re-evaluate how questions about an applicant’s criminal history are used in the admissions process, part of an effort to remove barriers to education, employment and housing for those with past convictions, in many cases for minor crimes, writes Stephanie Saul for The New York Times.
‘Predatory’ conference organisers now stalk Japan’s groves of academe. The conferences are inferior events that contribute little to the field of academic knowledge but generate plenty of revenue for organisers’ bank accounts, writes James McCrostie for The Japan Times.
Leicester's universities are hoping that Leicester City's fairy-tale success in football could also bring them a happy ending, in terms of raising their global profile and attracting overseas students, writes Matt Pickles for the BBC.
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