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NEWSLETTERThe world needs a rethink on internationalisation of the curriculum
In World Blog, Betty Leask and Hans de Wit contend that in a world that is more connected and interdependent than ever but with an increased focus on nationalism and narrow-minded approaches to race and religion, we need a new way of thinking about the internationalisation of teaching, learning and the curriculum.
In Commentary, Jane Duncan says that universities must uphold the international right to protest, in accordance with a UN report stating that freedom of peaceful assembly is an inalienable right and giving guidelines for managing assemblies.
Hamish Coates and Gwilym Croucher look at Melbourne in Australia as a case study for a successful university city and encourage open public discussions about the value tertiary institutions contribute to cities and their future. Ararat Osipian says the US$25 million payout in an out-of-court settlement of the Trump University case in the US is by no means the largest and is unlikely to be the last of its kind. And Roger Chao says internationalisation of higher education contributes to social stratification at national, regional and global levels and recommends mediating this effect to ensure a sustainable and peaceful global community.
In a series on Transformative Leadership in which University World News is partnering with The MasterCard Foundation, Paul Benneworth, Magnus Gulbrandsen, Ellen Hazelkorn and Andrew Gibson argue that the real value of arts and humanities research lies in its influence on societies’ capacities for transformation.
And in Features, Yojana Sharma reports on a meeting of high level education officials from Asia hosted by UNESCO to discuss drawing up a range of indicators on higher education internationalisation for the region.
Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology rank first and second in QS Quacquarelli Symonds’ first QS Graduate Employability Rankings, while China’s Tsinghua University takes third place. Universities with a strong STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – focus, particularly those emphasising technology, rank highly.
EUROPEJan Petter Myklebust
Thirteen universities are part of a 50-institution consortium that has been chosen to set up EIT Food, a substantial new pan-European partnership bringing together leading businesses, universities and research organisations to “boost innovation, growth and job creation and put Europe at the centre of a global revolution in food”.
Universities have had to set up temporary arrangements to deal with the chaos caused by the government’s snap decision to withdraw higher denomination bank notes, leaving students unable to pay fees and having to queue for hours during exam season to get cash.
Ghana has launched its national higher education vision to promote the development of industry-ready graduates, scientific research and innovation in efforts to make universities more responsive to the country’s development needs in the 21st century, and make Ghana a major hub for higher education in the West African region.
The holding of student union elections, scheduled for November, has been thrown into doubt after the country’s higher education authorities announced a delay in the polls until relevant rules are worked out.
HONG KONGMimi Leung
Hong Kong universities are not diverse enough, according to a just-released Hong Kong government Audit Commission report. It notes that students from mainland China made up 76% of non-local students at Hong Kong’s public universities in the past academic year.
UNITED KINGDOMBrendan O'Malley
The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a “major increase” in research and development funding with a commitment to spend £2 billion (US$2.5 billion) per year more by 2020-21. But critics say the increase falls way short of the recommended target of 3% of gross domestic product.
SOUTH AFRICASharon Dell
President Jacob Zuma has appealed for patience while the national fees commission he set up to investigate the feasibility of fee-free higher education concludes its inquiry. The appeal follows the release last week of the commission’s interim report, criticised by the opposition Democratic Alliance as “a slap in the face” for students.
SOUTH KOREAAimee Chung
The Ministry of Education has said the admission of Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of President Park Geun-hye’s confidante Choi Soon-Sil, to the prestigious Ewha Womans University should be revoked after an investigation found the university had manipulated admissions rules to give Chung a place.
UNITED STATESKatherine Knott, The Chronicle of Higher Education
The establishment of a watch list "to expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students, promote anti-American values, and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom" seems a chilling development to many professors in the current political climate.
DENMARKJan Petter Myklebust
Universities should be more ambitious in their strategies to attract and retain international staff, including expanding the use of English as a working language at universities, according to a government-funded report by the think tank, DEA. Otherwise they risk losing recruited talent to other countries.
The European Students’ Union has launched a Small Grants Programme to help its member student unions contribute to securing the refugees’ fundamental human rights and stimulating a sense of belonging to the national and European community.
From South Africa to Australia, Canada to India, and Greece to Zimbabwe, students and academics have mounted protests against commodification of universities, leading to spiralling student debt, massive teaching loads, and disempowered faculties.
AUSTRALIAHamish Coates and Gwilym Croucher
There are many ingredients that make for a successful university city, but it is important that that case is made publicly so that people can understand the benefits of higher education.
UNITED STATESArarat Osipian
The Trump University case involving two class-action lawsuits and a suit brought by the state of New York, covering 6,000 former students, has been settled out of court, but it is in keeping with a number of recent fraud cases. The US$25 million payout is by no means the largest and is unlikely to be the last.
Internationalisation has to move past its focus on elite institutions and individuals. It must ensure equity and access are at its heart if it is to help build a sustainable and peaceful global community.
UNITED STATESLauren Kardos
The United States needs to encourage more students to take up critical languages. This could benefit individual students, but could also help the US develop a more culturally sensitive and globally minded populace.
GLOBALPaul Benneworth, Magnus Gulbrandsen, Ellen Hazelkorn and Andrew Gibson
Arts and humanities research has a profound capacity to transform society and shows how innovation is not just the preserve of science and business, but can occur in everyday life.
GLOBALBetty Leask and Hans de Wit
Internationalisation of the curriculum is about much more than simply doing international things – it needs to be reimagined as a critical academic process that has the potential to create new pathways for human development and well-being at a critical time in the history of the world.
UNESCO has begun work on drawing up a series of indicators on higher education internationalisation in Asia to help universities and education policy-makers in the region to develop an international outlook and promote international higher education links against a set of solid, accepted, quality benchmarks.
Financially-burdened higher education students in Zimbabwe are contesting an age-old practice compelling them to pay full student fees while on attachment to employers. The students say the custom is not only unfair but unjustified considering that students on attachment do not use college facilities or attend lectures.
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Brazil’s science budget has shrunk by more than 40% in the past three years. But researchers are now trying to escape an even worse crisis: federal science spending could be frozen at its current low level for the next two decades, under a constitutional amendment to cap public spending to inflation-level rises, writes Claudio Angelo for Nature.
International education’s value to the nation has surged past A$20 billion (US$14.8 billion), confirming the industry’s status as Australia’s third-biggest earner and easily the largest services export, write John Ross and Julie Hare for The Australian.
The Popular Mobilisation Units are calling on Iraqi university students, specifically those in medicine and engineering, to sign up for logistics tasks in Iraq and Syria. But some academics believe there is a larger agenda at hand, writes Sara al-Qaher for Al-Monitor.
Canada's literary community is in turmoil over unspecified but "serious accusations" against one of its own, reports the BBC.
Sudan’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has issued a circular cancelling the decision to exempt Darfur students at universities and higher learning institutions from payment of tuition fees, reports Radio Tamazuj.
Call it a knee-jerk reaction, but President-elect Donald Trump’s protectionist rhetoric in the run-up to the election has left many aspiring Indian students confused and unsure of the implications of higher education in the United States this year. Anti-Trump protests across US campuses are also contributing to the worry of students, write Varuni Khosla and Sreeradha Dasgupta Basu for The Economic Times.
Canadian universities say that interest from Americans looking to study in Canada has increased sharply since the election of Donald Trump as the next United States president, writes Nicole Thompson for The Canadian Press.
Universities have slammed a series of the Turnbull government's fee-deregulation proposals in submissions released by the Federal Department of Education last week, write Eryk Bagshaw and Timna Jacks for The Sydney Morning Herald.
The student leader spoke in English to the chanting crowd at the elite American University in Cairo. The leader, Amr El-Alfy (20), told his peers that he was frustrated over the university administration’s lack of clarity about whether tuition would rise by as much as 40% in response to Egypt’s flailing economy and floating currency, write Diaa Hadid and Nour Youssef for The New York Times.
The number of British universities divesting from fossil fuels has leaped to 43, a quarter of the total. The surge means the United Kingdom leads the world in campus action to pull university funds from oil, gas and coal, writes Damian Carrington for The Guardian.
The government announced last week that it is planning to close several higher learning institutions after a preliminary inspection report indicated that some are below standard, writes Louis Kolumbia for The Citizen.
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