University World News Global Edition
16 April 2017 Issue 455 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search


People who value science can remain silent no longer in the face of denials

   In News, organisers of the world’s first global March for Science on 22 April, being led in Washington with satellite marches in 514 locations worldwide, say we must stand together against a possible future where people not only ignore scientific evidence but seek to eliminate it entirely, reports Brendan O’Malley.

   In our World Blog, Patrick Blessinger says the ability to think creatively is vital in this era of automation and innovation and argues that creative learning is an intentional process that can and should be developed in students.

   In Commentary, Tom P Abeles says universities need to adapt to transformational pressures which are changing the world of work, the traditional job seeking models and the academic world. Roger Chao Jr and Stig Arne Skjerven call for a comprehensive approach to refugee education from the international community, including recognition of prior learning and widening access to higher education. And Marcelo Barros gives 10 reasons why a reduction in numbers of international students in the United States could be a positive development.

   In a report-back on the webinar on international student mobility trends held on 12 April and hosted by University World News in partnership with DrEducation and StudyPortals, Nic Mitchell writes that brand awareness is the surprising key challenge facing universities in recruiting international students, according to a poll of the audience.

   In Features, Ameen Amjad Khan reports that violent attacks on scholars, students and universities in Pakistan continue unabated, even as the international community speaks out against them, with the latest victim being a student killed by a mob on Thursday. Venilla Yoganathan writes that universities in South Africa are experimenting with high-tech predictive computer programmes which help identify at-risk students early, in a bid to arrest overly high dropout rates. And Jan Petter Myklebust outlines research that reports dramatic improvements in Swedish doctoral education over the past 70 years, although the value of a PhD is still disputed by employers.

Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report


Trump’s denial triggers 500 marches for science globally

Brendan O'Malley

The world’s first March for Science will be held on Saturday 22 April, led by a flagship event in Washington DC, and satellite events in 514 locations across the world. The march was triggered by anger at the dismissal of scientific evidence on climate change by US President Donald Trump and alarm at a trend towards discrediting scientific consensus and restricting research and the communication of scientific findings.


India to deepen university and training collaboration

Brendan O'Malley

India has pledged to work with the Australian government, universities and vocational education trainers to establish themselves in India following the two-day visit to Delhi of a 130-strong delegation of Australian university and training leaders led by Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham and joined by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last week.


More Russian students are choosing to study abroad

Eugene Vorotnikov

Amid the ever-growing cost of tuition at Russian universities, increasing numbers of local students are choosing to study in European universities, according to data of the Moscow city government, as well as some leading experts in the field of higher education in Russia.


UK public does not want fewer international students

Nearly three-quarters – 73% – of the British public would like to see the same number or more international students coming to study in the United Kingdom, after discovering the contribution they make to the economy and the jobs they generate.


Vice-rectors resign en masse over anti-corruption rule

Suluck Lamubol

All 13 vice-rectors at Thailand’s prestigious Mahidol University resigned en masse at the end of last month after Thailand’s anti-corruption agency announced that the vice-rectors of public universities needed to declare their assets under a new law.


Two key universities suffer from lack of leadership

Maina Waruru

Two of Kenya’s largest universities are suffering leadership crises after operating without permanent or substantive vice-chancellors for nearly a year – in contravention of the law.


New insight into what international students do next

Brendan O'Malley

The first comprehensive information about what international students do after completing their degree shows more than half are still in New Zealand after five years and nearly two in five are still there after eight years.


University shuts down amid violent student protest

Wagdy Sawahel

A demonstration by students protesting against the living and studying conditions at the Abdou Moumouni University campus in Niger's capital Niamey has forced the authorities to shut down the university following violent clashes between students and security forces.


Where every tertiary student is a potential data point

Sarah Brown, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Big data is enabling universities to conduct large-scale experiments to test how they can help students better achieve outcomes by tracking and understanding different types of learners and adapting learning conditions to the student.


Amnesty condemns academic’s arrest for insulting president

Esther Nakkazi

Ugandan university lecturer and activist Dr Stella Nyanzi has been arrested on charges of 'cyber harassment' and 'offensive communication' against the office of the president, a move that has been condemned by rights group Amnesty International and civil society groups.



To remain a gateway to work, universities must change

Tom P Abeles

The world of work is changing rapidly, undermining the traditional model based on a jobseeker presenting a CV listing their qualifications. Universities will need to adapt, but those in the developing world are intent on copying a model in the developed world that is fast becoming outdated.


Higher education for refugees – A call for action

Roger Chao Jr and Stig Arne Skjerven

The international community needs to develop a global policy on refugees and that starts with recognition of prior learning and supporting the widening of access to higher education, particularly in refugees’ host countries. It would reduce the cost of hosting refugees and enable them to contribute to society and help secure peace.


Why fewer international students could be good news

Marcelo Barros

The negative effects associated with the unplanned growth in the enrolment of international students at United States universities in the past 10 years have been too significant to ignore. Reports of a reduction in numbers of international students in the US could be positive since it will allow universities to focus better on how to improve what they offer.


Right time for Australia and India to engage on HE

Craig Jeffrey

The Australian prime minister and education minister were in Delhi last week pushing for more collaboration between the countries' universities. As providers from competitor countries such as the United Kingdom deepen their involvement in the Indian higher education sector, this is a crucial time for Australia to promote engagement.



Brand is key challenge for international recruitment

Nic Mitchell

Brand awareness is the most important challenge facing universities in recruiting international students, according to a poll at a global webinar on international student mobility trends: shifting recruitment priorities and strategies in a world in turmoil. Establishing strong feeder partnerships was top of the audience members' priorities if their university could spend more money.



Transforming higher education’s creative capacity

Patrick Blessinger

The ability to think creatively is vital in the current era where automation threatens jobs and innovation is all-important. Through creative curricula and learning activities universities and their faculty can develop the creative learning needed for the future.



Attacks on universities, scholars, students unabated

Ameen Amjad Khan

Even as the international community is raising its voice against the killing of higher education professionals in Pakistan, the assassination of intellectuals and violent killing of students continues, with the latest victim a student rounded on by a student mob and killed for alleged blasphemy on Thursday.


High dropout rates – Technology to the rescue?

Venilla Yoganathan

With a high proportion of university students in South Africa dropping out before graduation, many in their first year of study, higher education institutions are turning to technology in an attempt to arrest the declining pass rate. But the complex problem may need a more radical approach.


The value of PhDs has shifted but is still disputed

Jan Petter Myklebust

A researcher’s examination of the changes in Swedish doctoral education over the past 70 years found dramatic improvements when it switched to four-year PhDs and allowed published articles to replace a single thesis, but the value of the doctorate is still a bone of contention with employers.


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Students protest university law despite compromise

Thousands of Hungarian students marched on parliament late last Wednesday despite the government suggesting a compromise to keep open a university founded by United States financier George Soros, writes Marton Dunai for Reuters.


New York approves tuition-free college for middle class

New York just became the first state in the nation to make tuition free for middle-class students at both two- and four-year public colleges, writes Katie Lobosco for CNN Money.


Minister presses for action on university recruitment

Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar last week said vacancies of faculty members in central universities and Indian Institutes of Technology stood at 40%, reports Daily News and Analysis.


Telecommunication giant promises to connect universities

Nigerian multinational telecommunications company Globacom has promised to use its massive telecommunications infrastructure and international partnerships to deploy internet connectivity to institutions of higher learning in West Africa, writes Anikwe Sylvia for Vanguard.


MOOCs are back and they are threatening universities

Australia’s largest education company, Navitas, says we are now near a tipping point where universities will be vulnerable to new technology because massive open online courses or MOOCs are now offering a more flexible and cheaper way to accumulate career building credentials, writes Tim Dodd for the Australian Financial Review.


Universities lease campus land to Chinese schools

Looking to boost revenues and create a pipeline of future international students, some British Columbia universities are turning to a novel – and controversial – idea: letting Chinese companies open private high schools on their campuses, writes Douglas Quan for the Vancouver Sun.


Activist students get costs reprieve in highest court

FeesMustFall students‚ banned from South Africa's top university‚ have been thrown a lifeline by the highest court in the land, writes Aron Hyman for Times Live.


Record numbers of graduates, but not all find jobs

A record-breaking 8 million students will graduate from Chinese universities in 2017. This figure is nearly 10 times higher than it was in 1997 and is more than double the number of students who will graduate this year in the United States, writes Katherine Stapleton for The Conversation.


International student numbers increase by nearly 6%

The number of international students in Germany reached 340,305 in 2016, according to recent statistics from the German Academic Exchange Service, up almost 6% from the year before, writes Natalie Marsh for The PIE News.


Universities wary as parastatals start training schools

Universities and other tertiary institutions have warned government against duplicating their roles by establishing training institutions within parastatals to teach similar courses they are mandated to do as it wastes taxpayers' money, writes Patience Ahimbisibwe for The Monitor.


Relying on women, not rewarding them

Women shoulder a disproportionately large workload at home in ways that might disadvantage them professionally. But are female professors also “taking care of the academic family” via disproportionate service loads? A new study says yes and adds to a growing body of research suggesting the same, writes Colleen Flaherty for Inside Higher Ed.


Top university adds voice to criticism of President Zuma

The University of Cape Town has joined the University of the Witwatersrand in adding to the chorus criticising President Jacob Zuma’s government, writes Aphiwe Deklerk for Business Live.


‘Rolling Stone’ settles with former university dean

Rolling Stone has reached a confidential settlement with Nicole Eramo, a former University of Virginia associate dean who had sued the magazine alleging that it defamed her in a 2014 story about an alleged gang rape on campus, write T Rees Shapiro and Emma Brown for The Washington Post.

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