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05 March 2017 Issue 449 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
New importance for HE systems in the evolving global knowledge society

In World Blog this week, Patrick Blessinger says higher education systems are undergoing a revolution as a result of globalisation, democratisation and lifelong learning as a human right, and have taken on new significance in the global knowledge society.
In Commentary, Petr Safronov contends that a top-down approach pushing internationalisation is limiting the autonomy of Russian universities, while controversies around internationalisation reflect the clash of opposing strategic visions among academics. Emma Sabzalieva relates a sorry tale from Kazakhstan of what happens when international student recruitment goes awry and students are left with broken promises. Mark de Vos advises that a key to retaining high-profile international researchers is often to take their partner’s career into consideration, as a growing number of European universities are doing.
In Features, Zachariah Mushawatu describes how the economic meltdown in Zimbabwe has placed students at risk, with no grants or loans, exploitation amid an accommodation crisis, and female students being vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
The annual conference of the Centre for Global Higher Education, held on 1 March in London, is covered in a Special Report. The director of the centre, Simon Marginson, said in his opening speech that while the recent negative positioning of higher education and research in both the UK and the US due to political changes was a wake-up call, higher education has transformative capacity and can ‘cut the ground from under the alt-right’. Nic Mitchell reports on a presentation indicating that the large research-intensive universities in the UK are most at risk of having their links with industry impaired by Brexit. And Jenni Case asks how one can maintain a sense of legitimacy for public higher education in South Africa in the face of such radical social challenges as the university protests of the last two years.
Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Paul Rigg

Higher education needs a new focus based on democratic and global citizenship, according to Fernando Reimers, professor of international education at Harvard University, who defended the values of freedom and equality against the rise of populism, in a keynote speech at the co-hosted WISE – World Innovation Summit for Education – and Santander forum in Madrid on Tuesday.
Brendan O'Malley

The proportion of students experiencing outward mobility has risen sharply, according to new research by Universities UK. But nearly one in two of those experiences were supported by the European Union’s Erasmus+ staff and student exchange programme from which the United Kingdom may be excluded after Brexit.
Mimi Leung and Yojana Sharma

A university in Taiwan has got itself into political hot water by signing written agreements with Chinese universities not to touch on sensitive political issues that might include Taiwanese independence, or the controversial ‘one China’ policy, while hosting students from the Chinese mainland.
Suvendrini Kakuchi

A scandal over former high-level government officials being given jobs at universities after lobbying on their behalf by the education ministry has caused a growing public furore and investigations into dozens of cases have been opened.
Tunde Fatunde

Nigerian academics have called for restraint and greater investment in education and training in the wake of recent attacks by Nigerian students on the premises of South African companies in Abuja and threats to South African nationals as reprisals for February’s xenophobic outbreaks in Gauteng, South Africa.
Ranjit Devraj

Many Indian universities, particularly in the capital New Delhi, are becoming increasingly concerned by politically driven attempts to curb freedom of speech after a University of Delhi college seminar titled ‘Cultures of Protest’ spilled out of the debating hall and sparked violent street clashes and demonstrations, with thousands attending a march on 28 February.
Suluck Lamubol

A network of academics and human rights organisations have called on Thailand’s Mahidol University to drop a disciplinary investigation against faculty members of the university’s Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies after they issued a statement condemning the ruling junta’s “unchecked and unaccountable use of power”.
Jan Petter Myklebust

Søren Pind, the Danish minister of higher education and science, has surprised everybody by endorsing an extensive new legislative proposal on the governance of higher education institutions, giving the government the final choice on the appointment of heads of university boards.
Esther Nakkazi

The Uganda National Council of Higher Education says it is being frustrated by the tendency of some private universities to seek remedy from the courts rather than engage with the regulator in the interests of preserving quality.
Vimal Patel, The Chronicle of Higher Education

In the age of Donald Trump, higher education administrators need patience and calm, says Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California system. Despite Trump’s rhetoric causing major anxiety at universities, it is still unclear whether "the bark is worse than the bite", she says.
Wagdy Sawahel

Students have raised concerns in a recent report about the lack of masters degree programmes being offered by universities, a situation they believe is thwarting their academic and professional aspirations.
Petr Safronov

Russian academics are split between opposing views of internationalisation, but one thing is clear: internationalisation must come from academics themselves and should not be imposed on universities from the top down.
Emma Sabzalieva

The true story of a group of ethnic Kazakh students from China invited to study in the Kazakh city of Atyrau is a cautionary tale about when international recruitment goes wrong and promises turn to dust, with costly consequences.
Mark de Vos

A big barrier to academic mobility is the problems partners – mainly women – face finding jobs and settling abroad. New initiatives aim to help couples overcome these and make it more likely they will stay.
Patrick Blessinger

Higher education systems around the world are currently undergoing an academic revolution that is primarily the result of globalisation, democratisation and lifelong learning as a human right. They have taken on a new importance as engines of economic growth and social development.
The Centre for Global Higher Education or CGHE, based at the UCL Institute of Education in the United Kingdom, held its annual conference in London on 1 March on the theme “Higher Education: Changing global relations”, which explored the drivers and effects of changing global relations in higher education. University World News reports.
Simon Marginson

Massification of higher education has made it more politically vulnerable, but because higher education is transformative and gives people greater freedom to change and manage complexity and mobility, it can also cut the ground from under the alt-right – as long as it is equitable and focused on the public good rather than just private gain.
Nic Mitchell

Large United Kingdom research-intensive universities are most at risk of having their collaborative links with industry damaged by Brexit, according to a new report from three experts from Leiden University in the Netherlands, presented at the Centre for Global Higher Education's annual conference in London.
Jenni Case

The protests around #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall go to the heart of what universities should be about. How we maintain any sense of legitimacy for public higher education in the face of such radical social changes is the urgent challenge.
Nic Mitchell

Continental universities are becoming wary of involving United Kingdom institutions in new bids and proposals for collaborative research programmes funded by the European Commission for fear that their chances of success will be damaged by Brexit, a conference on the future of European and UK higher education was told last week.
Zachariah Mushawatu

Five bunk beds… one room – not more than 15 square metres in size. The beds look as if they might fall apart at any second; it’s a good thing there is no one on them – at least not yet. Students are yet to move in after a three-month-long vacation, but they will come.
Margaret Prior

Around 3% of students in higher education are autistic and universities are working hard to listen, understand and meet their needs. But the fact that autistic students can become autistic academics appears to have gone unnoticed.
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Australian universities are setting new targets in a bid to attract thousands more Indigenous students to campuses across the country, writes Bridget Brennan for ABC News.

Singapore’s thrust on combining classroom learning with workplace experience has graduated to the next level, as two universities launch programmes allowing students to take on jobs and receive sponsorship to study their degrees at the same time, writes Sandra Davie for The Straits Times.

Statistics show that the population of women with college degrees for the first time surpassed that of women who only graduated high school, writes Park Hyong-ki for The Korea Times.

The number of the so-called eternal students in Greek universities and technical colleges has doubled since 2003, while one in 10 graduates migrates, writes Philip Chrysopoulos for the Greek Reporter.

Universities have been accused of "actively covering up sexual assaults" in a submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission, which alleges there have been just six expulsions in the past five years despite more than 500 official complaints, writes Eryk Bagshaw for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Standing at a blackboard in an Ankara park, Sevilay Celenk delivers her lecture, titled "Resisting with Stories". This small amphitheatre has become her unofficial classroom since she was fired from her post as a media and communications lecturer at Ankara University, one of nearly 5,000 academics dismissed following July's failed army coup, write Humeyra Pamuk and Ece Toksabay for Reuters.

Senators have asked the government to move swiftly and assess the country’s higher education sector to address issues affecting it such as poor infrastructure, inadequate resources for students’ living and class practices as well as poor funding for academic research, writes Eugene Kwibuka for New Times.

The Australian government's campaign to lure Indian students for higher studies is bearing fruit as nearly 80,000 of them enrolled in various education and training courses in 2016. Overall, Australian universities and vocational training institutes have experienced another bumper year with more than half a million international students choosing to study Down Under, writes Paritosh Parasher for IANS.

The government has been warned that plans for fast-track degrees with higher annual fees risk adversely affecting the quality of education received by university students, write Ruth McKee and Haroon Siddique for the Guardian.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order last Tuesday aimed at boosting his administration’s support for black colleges, as he seeks a closer relationship with the colleges than President Barack Obama had, writes Dave Boyer for The Washington Times.

A renowned French historian who was on his way to a conference at a university in Texas was held for 10 hours and nearly deported when he arrived at Houston airport, writes Rory Mulholland for The Telegraph.

Central and state universities will have to compete with institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology, or IITs, and Indian Institutes of Management, or IIMs, in this year’s official rankings of higher education institutions, which will be released early in April, writes Vikas Pathak for The Hindu.

Shocking details of the extent of rot in Kenya’s higher education were revealed recently after finer details of the universities quality audit report that were not made public for fear of denting the image of local universities emerged, writes Augustine Oduor for the Standard.
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