University World News Global Edition
22 May 2016 Issue 414 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Why higher education should not be neglected in humanitarian crises

In a Special Report on the World Humanitarian Summit, which is being held this coming week in Turkey, the former president of Portugal Jorge Sampaio calls for the summit to recognise the need to prioritise higher education responses in ongoing crises of population displacement caused by conflict.
In the second week of our global series of Special Reports on student movements and related issues, aimed at deepening understanding and debate on what is transpiring across the student world, there are articles on student activism in Hong Kong, Turkey, Myanmar, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Liz Jackson considers how the Hong Kong student movement has left an indelible mark on society, and Sithu Aung Myint looks into the future plans of students in Myanmar who have recently been freed from prison after the instatement of a new democratic government. On the theme of student rights, Bruce Macfarlane asks why student rights as learners are being undermined in contemporary higher education where students are now being treated as customers.
In our series on Transformative Leadership in which University World News is partnering with The MasterCard Foundation, Paul Rigg writes about Sindy Patricia Ramos Pocón, a scholar from a poor Guatemalan family who is studying on a scholarship at a university in Costa Rica and is leading a project to help poor families change their lives.
In Commentary, Farzan Al-Khalil thanks international organisations for their support for Syrian academics and appeals to them to help the academics in exile in countries neighbouring Syria. And Richard Holmes says British universities should not take fright after their apparent slide down the Times Higher Education world reputation rankings as changes in ranking methodology are the most likely cause.
In our World Blog this week, Tom P Abeles says universities will soon have to confront the need for change as the evolution of the Internet and artificial intelligence impacts on them, bringing changes in functions at all levels.
Lastly, a final reminder to readers that University World News will be holding a webinar on emerging issues in transnational education on Tuesday 24 May. You can register here.
Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Brendan O'Malley

The government's plans to increase competition in provision, widen access to university and improve student choice are one of the centrepieces of the government’s programme announced in the Queen’s Speech last week. Under the proposals teaching quality will be rated and universities will be given the ability to raise tuition fees but only if they meet certain standards.
Yojana Sharma

Changes to university admissions to allow in more students from poorer areas to universities in around a dozen richer provinces have backfired as thousands of parents demonstrated in the streets in several cities fearing the out-of-province quotas will be at the expense of local students.
Tunde Fatunde

A top Nigerian academic has generated heated debate after publicly criticising the country’s university accreditation agency for lack of autonomy, negligence and double standards in its annual accreditation of courses. All accusations have been denied by the agency.
Maina Waruru

Sixteen universities in eight East and Southern African countries have been selected to host Africa Centres of Excellence under the World Bank-sponsored ACE II initiative. There are three centres each for Kenya and Uganda, two each for Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, and one each for Mozambique and Rwanda.
Jan Petter Myklebust

Seven professors at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences publicly questioned the suitability of the Board Chairman Siri Hatlen and several board members due to their lack of academic skills and experience.
Michael Gardner

University heads have warned that a continuous underfunding of universities and their clinics could seriously harm performance in the healthcare sector. They also call for better academic career prospects for young medical graduates.
Jan Petter Myklebust

A sharp increase in the number of European Union citizens coming to Denmark to study has prompted Higher Education and Science Minister Ulla Tørnæs to look into whether the programmes on offer are “too big a draw” for foreign students and whether there are loopholes which need to be closed.
Wachira Kigotho

A total of 59 African-born scholars based in the United States and Canada have been selected to join universities in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda to work on academic projects with their peers as part of the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program.
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 series of 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
Bruce Macfarlane

Today’s students are in a ludicrous position, being treated as customers whilst also being subject to an increasingly authoritarian regime of surveillance and control over the way they learn.
Liz Jackson

Hong Kong’s protest movement has seen the emergence of student leaders who have encouraged people to imagine what kind of world might be possible as an alternative to the status quo.
Sithu Aung Myint

After the release in March of dozens of student leaders from prison, students are planning their next steps under the new democratic government led by Aung San Suu Kyi – will they call off their protest over the controversial national education law or enter the political arena to achieve their goals?
Begüm Uzun

Students were muzzled after the 1980 coup in Turkey, but have banded together to protest about student-related issues such as rising fees. Then in 2013 they led lifestyle-type protests against police violence.
Karen MacGregor

The “incredible human costs” of student protests in South Africa in the past two years has been missed amid the turmoil, for students and staff and especially for university leaders, says Professor Jonathan Jansen, whose resignation as vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State was announced last week – and as campuses countrywide continued burning.
Thierry M Luescher, Manja Klemenčič and James Otieno Jowi

The new book Student Politics in Africa: Representation and activism highlights trends including a penetration by national politics of student representation and the co-option of student leaders through ‘incentives’. Also, marketisation has led to a dearth of ideology in student politics and new dynamics in institutional governance.
Zachariah Mushawatu

The student movement in Zimbabwe disintegrated under authoritarian rule and is no longer able to mobilise for mass action. To enjoy rights and freedoms citizens need to be activists against the state, but to be activists against the state citizens need to enjoy at least some key rights and freedoms – the ‘no freedom without freedom’ paradox.
Katrina Koppel

Universities, policy-makers and domestic students need to stand up against growing discrimination in Europe against international students.
Paul Rigg

Sindy Patricia Ramos Pocón had to drop out of school to help her family survive. Now she is studying at university and leading a project to help poor families change their lives with support from university staff and peer discussions on leadership.
Farzan Al-Khalil

International organisations should do more to forge partnerships with universities in neighbouring countries to Syria to help those academics who would find it hard to study in the West.
Richard Holmes

Should British universities be worried about their apparent slide down the Times Higher Education world reputation rankings? A look at the changing methodology suggests it is too early to panic.
Tom P Abeles

The way universities teach and research has been changing gradually in line with technological advances, but it is no longer possible to ignore the likelihood that artificial intelligence will bring transformative change to the 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.
Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal

Little attention is paid to providing higher education in response to humanitarian crises. Yet it is higher education that will produce the leaders of the future and skilled workforce that countries need to move forward after crisis and conflict, and setting up a rapid response mechanism for higher education in emergency situations should be an easy task for the global academic community.
Tom Bartlett, The Chronicle of Higher Education

The ability of ISIS to attract recruits from Europe and the United States highlights a weakness in literary education and shows that the West needs to strengthen its grounding in the humanities, according to Philippe-Joseph Salazar, a former student of Jacques Derrida and Roland Barthes.
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Tens of thousands of students, teachers, education workers and supporters marched through the streets of downtown Buenos Aires city on 12 May to support the country’s public education system, venting their anger at President Mauricio Macri and his administration in the wake of what education unions are calling a full-scale funding crisis, writes Orlando Jenkinson for Buenos Aires Herald.

Some 5,600 Syrian students have been enrolled at universities across Turkey while 1,080 have received scholarships, according to the head of the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, reports Anadolu Agency.

While final decisions have not been made on when Donald Trump’s ideas on higher education will be formally unveiled, not to mention many details worked out, the presumptive GOP nominee's campaign expects higher education to be a major issue in the general election later this year, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed.

The nation’s A$44 billion (US$32 billion) student loan scheme is mired in poor risk management and monitoring, according to a damning report released by the Australian National Audit Office that also casts doubt over projections of the size of the country’s future student debt, writes Kylar Loussikian for The Australian.

Higher education is in the throes of its biggest building boom since the 1960s. Whether it is wise or not, whether the financial and academic calculations add up, are questions rarely asked, so loud is the self-congratulation of those pioneering the expansion, writes Mary Dejevsky for The Spectator.

The ruling National Congress Party legislators plan to submit a new bill to the Sudanese parliament banning the political activities of the supporters of armed groups inside the universities, reports the Sudan Tribune.

A Kurdish college student in Turkey was kicked out of her hostel, lost her scholarship, and was questioned by the police on terrorism charges after being heard speaking in Kurdish on the phone, reports Rudaw.

Taking its cue from the human resource development ministry's recent move of issuing rankings of Indian universities and the country's engineering, management and pharmaceutical institutes, the agriculture ministry has decided to exclusively rank 73 agricultural universities, writes Vishwa Mohan for TNN.

Going to university is no longer ‘a must’ for many Vietnamese students, who would rather go to vocational schools and work at factories than attend university and remain unemployed, reports VietNamNet Bridge.

Rajasthan will become India’s first state to issue newspaper advertisements to select vice-chancellors for state universities, reports the Hindustan Times.

The official breaking-of-ground ceremony of a joint Russian-Chinese University took place in the city of Shenzhen in China. The new university will be established on the basis of the Moscow State University and the Beijing Institute of Technology, reports Sputnik News.

A Somali language degree programme will be launched by the University of Helsinki in autumn 2017, while a briefer, 15-study point package is already set to begin at the beginning of the autumn semester this year, reports YLE.

The much-vaunted German and Swiss system of apprenticeship – where students take on jobs and study for degrees concurrently – will be tried out at universities in Singapore, writes Sandra Davie for The Straits Times.

The Sargodha University Lahore campus has banned “one-on-one” sittings of boys and girls on campus, including classrooms, terming it against Islamic “cultural” norms, in a case of moral policing, reports PTI.

An expensive Council for Higher Education programme to increase the number of ultra-Orthodox Jews attending college in Israel is failing to boost student numbers. Nevertheless, the council plans to invest even more money in these programmes as part of its new five-year plan, writes Yarden Skop for Haaretz.

Local universities' reckless drive to recruit Chinese students has cast a shadow over their efforts to globalise their campuses through admitting more international students, writes Chung Hyun-chae for The Korea Times.

After central universities and Kendriya Vidyalaya schools, the University Grants Commission has now reminded all other universities of the importance of the national flag, writes A Ragu Raman for the Deccan Chronicle.

At least 12 universities in the country are awaiting their new presidents because a new law outlining their functions has not been passed yet, reports Arab News.

University heads have teamed up with local councils on a project aimed at driving growth, redesigning public services and strengthening ties between local communities and higher education institutions, writes John Elmes for Times Higher Education.

Universities and organisations from countries that have not traditionally been popular destinations for Chinese students attended the annual China International Education Exhibition Tour for the first time, including institutions from the United Arab Emirates, writes Yang Meiping for the Shanghai Daily.
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