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18 September 2016 Issue 428 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
UNHCR calls on countries to ease visa provision for refugee students

In a Special Report covering last week’s annual conference of the European Association for International Education which took place in Liverpool in the UK, Melissa Fleming of the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, made a plea to universities and governments to invest in education for refugees and for governments to ease visa restrictions on these students. Brendan O’Malley interviews keynote speaker Richard Gerver on the culture shift needed in higher education to adapt to a world of increasingly rapid change, from Brexit and the refugee crisis to digital disruption, while Patrick Hackett of the University of Liverpool discusses the development and future of transnational education, “probably the fastest growing feature of the international higher education landscape”.
In Commentary, Philip Warwick considers the discouraging message Brexit and heavier UK visa restrictions – a likely response to immigration concerns – will send to young scholars around the world. Jason Tan says Singapore’s well-intentioned ‘global schoolhouse’ vision over a decade ago encountered some unforeseen obstacles with the result that the original 2015 target for international students was not nearly achieved.
In World Blog, Patrick Blessinger expounds the value of international university partnerships and explores best practice in the pursuit of common goals.
In a series on ‘Transformative Leadership’ in which University World News is partnering with The MasterCard Foundation, Brendan O'Malley talks to a first-generation Nigerian graduate with degrees from North America who is attempting to transform the lives of African artisans through a 'Made in Africa' enterprise.
In Features, Sharon Dell explains why South African Vice-chancellor Thandwa Mthembu believes so strongly in entrepreneurship education.
You are invited to register for the second international free webinar to be hosted by University World News in partnership with DrEducation on 4 October, entitled 'Embracing Technology for Global Engagement: A leadership challenge and opportunity'.
Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Yojana Sharma

In the wake of a major political scandal in Australia involving Chinese donors who have also funded local institutions, Australian universities involved in collaborations with institutions and organisations in China have been advised to be alert about undue influence by donor organisations on research, including pressure to produce research for Chinese propaganda purposes.
Yojana Sharma

A record-breaking number of international students were in China in 2015, according to a new report using official figures, and the country is vying with Canada to overtake the United Kingdom as the second-largest destination for international students.
Jan Petter Myklebust and Ian R Dobson

The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture is pressing universities to reform their curricula to give up smaller disciplines and give a higher profile to their strengths, specialising in particular subjects. But higher education research experts say this risks increasing inequality between universities and across society in a system characterised as socially cohesive.
Brendan O'Malley

The new Prime Minister, Theresa May, has criticised the use of ‘safe spaces’ for debate in universities, which are intended to ensure discussion does not cause offence to students, saying that they hold back innovation and harm the country.
Vimal Patel, The Chronicle of Higher Education

New data suggests a fall in applications to doctoral programmes may be fuelled by concerns over working conditions and low stipend, secure academic jobs in many fields becoming harder to land and graduate-education debt levels rising.
Jan Petter Myklebust and Eva Tønnessen

The Norwegian government agencies overseeing arrangements for grants for students to study abroad are drawing up a list of permitted elite destination universities – for those applying for top-up grants to attend elite institutions abroad – based on universities’ performance in two global rankings, it has emerged.
Tunde Fatunde

A fragile peace prevails on the campus of Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife after an interim vice-chancellor was elected by the senate, ending months of uncertainty and controversy and the literal absence of a vice-chancellor.
Kudzai Mashininga

A Malawian court has dismissed a bid by a constituent college of the University of Malawi to overturn an injunction against it forcing students to sign readmission forms and pay for repair work to property damaged during protests in July, which resulted in the college’s closure.
University World News brings coverage of the 28th annual conference of the European Association for International Education or EAIE, dubbed “Europe’s largest higher education conference” with 5,200 participants from over 80 countries, which took place last week in Liverpool in the United Kingdom.
Brendan O'Malley

UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, is calling on universities to support scholarships for refugees and on governments to invest in education for refugees and to ease the provision of visas for refugee students.
Brendan O'Malley

Brexit, the refugee crisis and the digital revolution are examples of the accelerating change affecting universities. It is time to tap the brilliance and creativity of academics to make innovation and change work for higher education, the European Association for International Education conference was told.
Patrick Hackett

Transnational education, or TNE, is probably the fastest growing feature of the international higher education landscape and the model is changing increasingly towards more equitable partnerships, often with a strong focus on joint delivery and ownership.
Philip Warwick

Increasing restrictions of student visas is a likely response to concerns about immigration which culminated in the recent Brexit vote. Is the message being given to international students that they are not welcome here?
Jason Tan

Singapore’s internationalisation aspirations have met with various challenges, from quality assurance to immigration policy, which explains why the original target for international students remains a long way from being met.
Annina Grob

Switzerland risks dropping out of the Erasmus+ programme and Horizon 2020 if it is unable to find a solution that takes into account the result of its referendum on immigration and the European Union’s principle of freedom of movement.
Margit A Schatzman

If the United States expects to accommodate larger numbers of refugees and migrants at its higher education institutions, it needs to be able to understand and handle their unique admissions needs.

University World News in partnership with DrEducation will be hosting a second international webinar, 'Embracing Technology for Global Engagement: A leadership challenge and opportunity' on 4 October. Participation is free if you register.
Patrick Blessinger

Partnerships can provide a powerful vehicle for researchers and universities to increase their research impact and build their international network and reputation, but they require good leadership and respect for the contribution of all parties.
Brendan O'Malley

Blooming Soyinka not only became the first person in her family to study in college, she earned two degrees in North America. Now she is determined to help Africa’s artisans transform their lives by showing the world that continent has beautiful skills and products to offer.
Sharon Dell

Are entrepreneurs born or made? That debate still rages, but for Central University of Technology Vice-chancellor Professor Thandwa Mthembu the answer is clear: Entrepreneurs can indeed be made and it’s time to invest more seriously in that process.
Stephen Coan

“An earlier speaker said that mobile learning and mobile devices are a drug, they are addictive. I don’t know about that but trust me, these things are affecting our psyche,” said Robert Branch, professor of learning, design and technology at the University of Georgia.
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The embattled country’s research enterprise is at risk following a failed coup, designed to overthrow a regime that shows continued hostility towards science. For years we have studied how scientists around the world view the social context of science, and Turkish scientists have long been worried about their academic freedom and autonomy, write Elaine Howard Ecklund, David R Johnson and Kirstin RW Matthews for The Scientist.

Germany will need €3.5 billion (US$3.9 billion) in funds in order to provide appropriate education to refugees, according to a recent report released by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research, writes Ann-Kathrin Pohlers for The PIE News.

First-year university students are leaving their original chosen courses at a higher rate than ever as new data shows about one in five commencing bachelor students left their original course in 2014, and about 15% dropped out completely, writes Liz Burke for

To give a major push for the creation of high quality infrastructure in premier educational institutions, the union cabinet last week approved the establishment of the Higher Education Financing Agency, reports IANS.

Tsinghua University welcomed its first cohort of high-flying students under the prestigious Schwarzman scholarship recently amid a fanfare of praise from world leaders, writes Sarah Karacs for the South China Morning Post.

The Netherlands’ university association has defended the growth of English-language courses at Dutch institutions, arguing that it will “enhance the quality of education”, boost the country’s “innovative strength and competitiveness” and attract international students, writes Ellie Bothwell for Times Higher Education.

International preparatory schools from abroad are booming in China thanks to growing demand from parents who are seeking different pathways for their children to attend college overseas, and who can increasingly afford more options, writes Nomaan Merchant for Associated Press.

State universities are set to retrench staff and cut salaries of their workers as part of rationalisation measures to improve the financial position of the institutions and help reduce the country’s wage bill gobbling 97% of the revenue, reports the Sunday News.

President Barack Obama marked the 15th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks by honouring American “resilience”. This resilience is also shown in the attractiveness of the United States higher education institutions among international students, write Rahul Choudaha and Di Hu for Forbes.

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union doesn’t appear to have dented the number of EU students planning to start degrees in the United Kingdom in the coming weeks, though senior figures warn the vote could take a more serious toll next academic year, writes Denise Roland for The Wall Street Journal.

A Chinese undergraduate’s exposé of alleged sexual harassment on a prestigious Beijing university campus has grabbed the country’s attention and lifted the lid on a taboo topic in China, write Lucy Hornby and Luna Lin for the Financial Times.

Four British universities – located in Exeter, Huddersfield, Liverpool and Winchester – have launched an experiment to try out ‘name blind’ applications in an effort to tackle ethnic, religious or gender discrimination. It is the first such effort at British higher education institutions although similar procedures are already in place at multiple private and public enterprises, writes Rick Noack for The Washington Post.

The student protest movement dubbed #FeesMustFall was named the National Press Club’s 2015 Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University Newsmaker of the Year at a ceremony in Pretoria on 9 September, reports Times Live.

Australia's largest online education provider, Open Universities Australia, continues to shed students as it struggles to adapt its business model to the highly competitive environment in higher education, writes Tim Dodd for Australian Financial Review.

The Council for Higher Education unveiled its new multi-year plan last week, allocating an additional NIS6.8 billion (US$1.8 billion) to the higher education system over the course of the next six years, reports The Jerusalem Post.

Scottish universities have hit out at plans to allow four English institutions – Imperial College London, Oxford, Cambridge and Bath – to evade controversial immigration restrictions on graduates looking for work following their degrees, writes Paris Gourtsoyannis for The Scotsman.
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This Week

World Blog
International HE partnerships can provide multiple benefits if well-managed

Special Report
UN agency calls for easing of visa restrictions for refugee students – at EAIE conference

What message will UK visa restrictions post-Brexit send out to foreign students?

Why Singapore did not achieve international student target of 150,000 by 2015

Switzerland risks dropping out of Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 if no solution is found

What are the difficulties faced by refugees seeking admission to US universities?

Transformative Leadership
First-generation graduate who is helping artisans change people’s perceptions of Africa

Vice-chancellor Thandwa Mthembu is a firm believer in entrepreneurship education

Is e-learning contributing to technology addiction or affecting our psyche?