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16 October 2016 Issue 432 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Ranking HE systems, not institutions, could be socially transformative

In a series on Transformative Leadership in which University World News is partnering with The MasterCard Foundation, Ellen Hazelkorn asks how global higher education rankings might encourage excellence in our education systems and lead social transformation, rather than just concentrating benefit on a handful of world-class institutions.
In Commentary, Alan Ruby says university leaders in the United Kingdom need to speak up to ensure the academic community can continue to shape its connections with the wider world rather than leave them to be narrowed by others. And Darren McDermott expresses the hope that Ireland’s ambitious international higher education vision will get the support and funding it requires.
In World Blog this week, Grace Karram Stephenson outlines a strategic study which offers new hope for supporting victims of sexual assault at Canadian universities and prevention methods.
In Features, Christabel Ligami reports on a study by the British Council which examines how universities in Sub-Saharan Africa might contribute more effectively to preparing graduates for work and society.
In a section on Academic Freedom, Johanna Vuorelma says the threats to academics and academic freedom in Turkey are part of a wider European problem of a growing illiberalism that should be confronted. Zachariah Mushawatu says academic freedom in Zimbabwe is being curtailed not only because of draconian laws and the presence of spies in the universities, but also due to a lack of institutional autonomy from the state.
Finally, in a Special Report on the 7th conference of the African Network for Internationalisation of Education, Brennan Weiss reports on a keynote address calling for more data on transnational education in Africa, and Francis Kokutse reports on the secretary general of the Association of African Universities saying African universities need to find a way to take advantage of efforts to globalise higher education.
Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Ranjit Devraj

As part of a plan to internationalise the Indian Institutes of Technology or IITs, the country’s top institutions are stepping up efforts to attract top academics from overseas and have agreed a new programme to open up to foreign students, with the aim of luring an additional 10,000 students.
Jane Marshall

Ministers have secured a landmark compromise agreement with university presidents, students’ organisations, and lecturers’ and researchers’ unions, to settle the thorny issue of selection of students for masters degree courses.
Brendan O'Malley

The Irish government has unveiled a new strategy on international education designed to help the country become recognised for developing global citizens through its internationalised education system and a market leader in attracting international student talent.
Mimi Leung

The use of surveillance cameras in university classrooms is spreading in China, and although some university officials say they are only being used to monitor teaching quality, students are expressing concerns over lack of privacy, and lawyers say they could violate the constitutional rights of university teachers and fear their purpose is to enforce compliance with official ideology.
Jan Petter Myklebust

Opposition is mounting to the government’s attempts to take greater political control of universities, reportedly by allowing the minister of higher education and science to decide who should be chair of each university’s board.
Brendan O'Malley

The rationale behind the government’s plans to cut back international student numbers as a way to tackle immigration problems has been undermined by a government leak and a new poll showing that the vast majority of people do not want their numbers to be cut.

Students applying for places at English universities for the academic year 2017-18 will still be eligible for loans and grants – as they are now – throughout their course even if the United Kingdom exits the European Union, the government has announced.
Ashraf Khaled

Cairo University, Egypt’s biggest public higher education institution, has removed the category of 'religion' from its documents to prevent discrimination, becoming the mostly-Muslim country’s first education institution to take the controversial step.
Steve Kolowich and Andy Thomason, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Donald J Trump did something shocking last week, something he hasn’t done in the entirety of his unusual campaign for United States president: He talked with some substance about his plans for higher education and proposed simplifying income-based repayment plans for student loans.
Alan Ruby

As the reaction against globalisation increases, there are ways that universities can maintain an outward focus through making a strong case for the benefits of global engagement.
Darren McDermott

Ireland has big ambitions for attracting international students and capitalising on Brexit, but without proper funding these may well not be achieved.
Christopher Ziguras

United Kingdom and European universities should treat Brexit as a death and recognise the phases of grieving that are involved in coming to terms with such a tragedy.
Ellen Hazelkorn

Brexit has shown the dangers of a globalisation that only works for the elite. Rankings of elite institutions show how harmful this can be, but ranking higher education systems instead could be truly transformative.
Grace Karram Stephenson

Community advocacy, education and the development of a culture of ‘intervening’ are essential tools for dealing with the number of sexual assaults reported on campus.
Christabel Ligami

While an emphasis on expansion has seen the higher education sector in Sub-Saharan Africa grow from 2.3 million in 1999 to 6.6 million in 2013, quality of offerings has received less emphasis, with more recent concerns about quality translating into dissatisfaction with the quality of graduates hitting the labour market.
Johanna Vuorelma

The threats to academics in Turkey are part of a wider European problem of a growing illiberalism that we must all confront. Academic freedom is an ongoing process that must be constantly fought for.
Zachariah Mushawatu

At the start of his first lecture with a group of new students a prominent University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer always used to say: “I know there are spies among you sent to record what I say in my lectures – go ahead, I don’t care.” But he was an exception and today there remain many reasons for academics to fear criticising the government.

United Arab Emirates authorities have violated basic rights and academic freedom in their prosecution of the Emirati academic Dr Nasser bin Ghaith, a coalition of nine human rights organisations said on 13 October.
Katharine Gelber

Some universities are attempting to insert new clauses into their employment contracts that aim to limit academics’ ability to speak freely in public debate.
The 7th African Network for Internationalisation of Education – ANIE – conference was held in Accra, Ghana, from 5-7 October. It probed the drivers, nature and challenges of international partnerships in higher education in Africa, and the role they play in knowledge production and sustainable development. University World News was there.
Brennan Weiss

For emerging markets in Africa, transnational education may be an appealing concept for universities looking to expand access to education and offer students cross-border learning experiences. But a lack of reliable data on its current presence and impact across the continent leaves many African educators unclear about how to move forward.
Francis Kokutse

The world has become more interconnected because of globalisation and African universities need to find a way of taking advantage of efforts to globalise higher education in order to become relevant to the people they serve, according to the secretary general of the Association of African Universities, Etienne Ehouan Ehile.
Brennan Weiss

In ancient Greece, citizens converged in city squares called agoras, which were the political, economic, cultural and philosophical hubs of Greek civilisation and the exchanges that took place there altered the course of history. In today’s more globalised world, agoras are online, where people from all over the world can share knowledge over social media.
Brennan Weiss

In 2011, Izzeldin Osman founded a PhD programme in computer science and information technology at Sudan University of Science and Technology, aimed at empowering women to enter more senior academic positions. So far, 12 women have graduated. Another 113 women are currently enrolled.
Francis Kokutse

African universities need to narrow the gap between men and women in academic positions by creating opportunities and encouraging more females to enter academia, says Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, vice-provost for international affairs and global strategic studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States.
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Italy's national anti-corruption chief Raffaele Cantone recently vowed to wage war on nepotism, cronyism and graft in the country's universities, reports IANS.

China has signed agreements on the mutual recognition of higher education degrees with 19 European Union member states, including France, Germany and Italy, reports Xinhua.

A proposal to increase foreign student numbers in Taiwan to about 58,000 over three years includes a focus on curricula designed for the region, writes Sean Lin for the Taipei Times.

Ghana has said it will remove a statue of Mahatma Gandhi from a university campus in the nation’s capital where it had sparked protests over the leader’s allegedly racist attitudes, writes Abigail Abrams for Time.

The federal government is expanding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commitment to gender equality to include scientific research, reports The Canadian Press.

One of India’s largest colleges, Amity University, is expanding into the United States with the purchase of one campus in New York and a proposal to buy two more, drawing opposition from state officials in Massachusetts about the quality of the education it will offer, reports AP.

The ministerial task team President Jacob Zuma set up to look into the crisis in higher education was an attempt to avoid dealing with the real crisis, according to some student leaders, writes Tshidi Madia for News24.

One of Britain's most prestigious universities has accused the government of barring leading academics from acting as advisers on Brexit, writes Kate McCann for The Telegraph.

The cabinet last week approved the draft of the Accreditation Council Bill 2016, which aims to ensure the quality of tertiary education in Bangladesh, particularly at universities, reports the Dhaka Tribune.

The Non-Governmental Organisations Council has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to reconsider his directive of freezing the establishment of new universities in the country, writes Kennedy Kangethe for CapitalFM.

Finnish economist and professor, Bengt Holmström, who was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics with British-American Professor Oliver Hart last week, expressed surprise at Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s decision earlier this year to cut funding of education and research, reports Yle.

The government is being urged to end the political drive to get more people into university after new research showed that graduates are ‘colonising’ jobs in banking, education, the police and estate agency that were the preserve of school-leavers in the past, writes Larry Elliott for the Guardian.
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This Week

UK university leaders need to make a strong case for the benefits of global engagement

Will Ireland’s ambitious international HE vision get the required support?

It may help universities to view the Brexit response in terms of the five stages of grief

Transformative Leadership
Could rankings encourage excellence in HE systems, not just individual elite universities?

World Blog
New strategies for preventing sexual assaults on Canadian campuses and helping victims

Special Report
More data needed on the presence and impact of transnational education in Africa

7th African Network for Internationalisation of Education conference held in Ghana

Academic Freedom
Trampling of academic freedom in Turkey part of a wider European problem

How might universities in Sub-Saharan Africa help to improve employability?