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19 February 2017 Issue 447 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Turkey’s ‘descent into ignorance’ as educators are silenced

In Commentary, Eda Erdener explains why Turkey’s government has dismissed more than 4,000 academics, tells the chilling story of education’s ‘reconstruction’ and the country’s ‘descent into ignorance’, and argues that it must be possible to be both against last year’s coup attempt and critical of government.
Gabriel Hawawini peers into the future of the outward internationalisation of higher education, Roger Chao Jr calls for a mutual recognition agreement for teaching services to improve the quality and status of the teaching profession across the ASEAN region, and Tom Abeles argues that new ways of learning could help reduce the costs of higher education, and increase its availability and access.
In World Blog, Ming Cheng urges academics to reclaim educational quality from managerialism by stressing the moral basis of teaching and learning. In Student View, Casey O’Brien calls on American higher education to support students resisting the actions of President Donald Trump, and for more than 28 universities to become ‘sanctuary campuses’ that protect undocumented members of their communities.
In Features, Lucy Haire looks at how British universities are taking their inventions to market – there are now 2,000 university ‘spin-outs’ – Brennan Weiss reports on a University of the Philippines online public service television network that is helping to combat the spread of fake news, and Wagdy Sawahel finds that North African universities are not adequately preparing students for study abroad.
Karen MacGregor
NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Mimi Leung and Yojana Sharma

Lawmakers have criticised Hong Kong’s higher education funding body, the University Grants Committee, for subsidising students from mainland China and from overseas while thousands of local students are unable to receive government assistance.
Eugene Vorotnikov

The Russian government plans to increase the quota for international students studying at domestic higher education institutions by 30% this year – up to 200,000 places, according to the official press service.
Jan Petter Myklebust

European Commission officials are expected to hold talks with government representatives in Bulgaria over the alleged mismanagement of funds in the operational programme Science and Education for Smart Growth in the European Union budget.
Yojana Sharma

Low mobility among young researchers within Asia and globally may be hampering wider research collaboration, exchange of ideas and more creative and innovative research, says a wide-ranging new study of young scientists in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Katherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education

The arrest and threatened deportation of a 23-year-old Mexican immigrant who was brought to the United States illegally when he was seven – but had a valid work permit under President Barack Obama’s deferred action programme – has rekindled the fears of undocumented college students nationwide.
Karen MacGregor

There is something about the French that appeals to students, it seems. Though there are proportionately few major French-speaking cities, Montreal topped this year’s QS Best Student Cities ranking, knocking Paris into second place after five years at the top.
Tunde Fatunde

An order in Nigeria emanating from a state university management team, which seemed to ban the activities of any student society other than a Muslim-aligned organisation, is likely to be rescinded following an intervention by the National Universities Commission.
Michael Gardner

Kenya and Germany are to establish an East African-German University of Sciences. The new institution will respond to education and training requirements across the region. The scheme was announced at the German-African Business Summit in Nairobi earlier this month.
Wagdy Sawahel

In an effort to establish itself as a regional hub for higher education, science and technology, Egypt plans to set up a Knowledge City in the new administrative capital east of Cairo that will host branches of foreign universities and research, innovation and entrepreneurship centres along with a science park.
Christabel Ligami

Eleven Kenyan Universities, including the country’s flagship institution, are insolvent and unable to meet their financial obligations, according to a new auditor general’s report.
Karen MacGregor

Reading and writing skills are changing with the use of digital technologies, "but students still see benefits of reading and writing with paper which they continue to use, especially to convey private emotions and intimate feelings", according to a 10-country study. Students also found handwriting helps to retain knowledge.
Eda Erdener

Last year’s coup attempt is being used by the Turkish government to silence critical voices and transform the education system. Some 28,000 school teachers and more than 4,000 academics have been fired. It must be possible to be both against the coup and critical of government.
Gabriel Hawawini

Internationalisation of higher education can be interpreted in different ways, according to how universities view the process of knowledge generation and dissemination. But the world is still waiting for the full development of a global knowledge and learning network.
Roger Chao Jr

A mutual recognition agreement for teaching services would improve the quality and status of the teaching profession across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and teacher mobility would help build a sense of community, ensuring that the ASEAN region reaches the Sustainable Development Goals on education.
Tom Abeles

Education needs to take account of the fact that people learn at different speeds and that traditional ways of learning do not get the most out of students. New ways could reduce costs, and increase availability and widen access.
Ming Cheng

Academics need to reclaim the idea of educational quality from a purely managerialist approach by emphasising the moral basis of learning and teaching.
Casey O’Brien

United States universities should support students in resisting the Donald Trump administration’s policies.
Lucy Haire

Ten years after the United Kingdom's then chancellor of the exchequer Gordon Brown told universities to earn income by setting up businesses based on their own research discoveries and inventions, there are now 2,000 university spin-outs generating more than £1 billion (US$1.2 billion) a year.
Brennan Weiss

One of the Philippines’ most prestigious universities is working to combat the spread of misinformation online as academics use their subject knowledge and authoritative expertise to fight against fake news on the internet. Fake articles played a crucial role in the Philippines election last year.
Wagdy Sawahel

Despite facilitating several scholarship initiatives aimed at students, most Arab universities in Africa are not adequately preparing students to optimise learning opportunities at foreign universities or serve as cultural ambassadors, according to higher education experts, scholars and students.
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France’s government auditor has taken a sharp swipe at efforts to develop a science super-campus near Paris that, by 2020, was supposed to rival the world's top campus universities, such as America’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology, writes Barbara Casassus for Nature.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has been urged by 250 legal academics to cancel Donald Trump’s state visit and scale back Britain’s support for the United States until he reverses his positions on immigration, refugees, torture, climate change and judicial independence, write Rowena Mason and Jessica Elgot for the Guardian.

More than nine in 10 universities in the United Kingdom are restrictive of free speech, according to a new report that raises concerns over the issue of censorship on campuses, writes Rachael Pells for the Independent.

Campus violence is on the rise in universities across Pakistan. More than a dozen clashes have been reported during a six-month period between student wings of various religious, political and ethnic parties in the universities of Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, writes Riazul Haq for The Express Tribune.

India will face serious consequences if its overseas citizens meddle in Chinese affairs by courting and promoting Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, a Chinese newspaper has said, continuing the recent trend of demonising India in a section of state-controlled media in China, writes Sutirtho Patranobis for Hindustan Times.

University student leaders in Kenya have given the government a deadline to deal with a lecturer strike or face student unrest, writes Emmanuel Wanjala for The Star.

The number of international students completing their studies at Australian universities and non-university higher education institutions has remained steady for the fourth consecutive year, according to a recent report on higher education from the Department of Education and Training, reports The PIE News.

Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande has called on communities to help authorities track down and bring to book criminals responsible for arson attacks at universities, writes Raahil Sain for African News Agency.

Women's education levels have increased in the Czech Republic, as more than one-third of women aged 25 to 34, but only a quarter of men in the same age group, are university graduates, reports CTK.

A recent donation of US$115 million by billionaires Chen Tianqiao and Chrissy Luo Qianqian, the founders of internet game giant Shanda, to the California Institute of Technology for brain research has drawn criticism in China, writes Alice Yan for South China Morning Post.

An education official in Vietnam said the number of university graduates who are jobless must not discourage students from pursuing higher education, reports VietNamNet Bridge.

A new report claims that visually impaired students are being failed by Ireland’s education system and are 50% less likely to go to college than their classmates, writes Aoife Finneran for The Irish Sun.

Out of 4,455 higher education institutions in Indonesia, more than 3,200 are private and many of them are not run effectively – which is why the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education is urging them to merge, reports the Jakarta Globe.

Economic managers are opposing proposals to fully subsidise tuition in state universities and colleges, saying it would not be beneficial to the poor and would be a financial drain for the government, writes Czeriza Valencia for The Philippine Star.

The University of Costa Rica has been stepping up its efforts to expand cooperation with Korean universities and institutions, especially in the sciences, writes Chung Hyun-chae for The Korea Times.

The Nigerian Research and Education Network has been reactivated after lying idle for more than one year, after funds were made available, writes Chike Onwuegbuchi for The Guardian Nigeria.

A Supreme Court judge in Canada has said that education students on the cusp of graduating from universities are being "thrown under the bus" by a work-to-rule campaign being waged by Nova Scotia's public school teachers, writes Blair Rhodes for CBC News.

Malaysia’s higher education minister said the delay in public university students receiving disbursements is due to communication issues and not because of financial difficulties faced by the National Higher Education Fund Corporation or PTPTN, reports Bernama.

The registered active student population of the National Open University of Nigeria has hit 254,000, reports Premium Times.

Stellenbosch University in South Africa has adopted a revised admissions policy for 2018 which aims to redress past inequalities, reports News24.
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