NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Close Confucius Institutes on US campuses, NAS says
Universities in the United States should close down their Confucius Institutes – teaching and research centres funded directly by the Chinese government – says a report by the National Association of Scholars or NAS, which examines details of the institutes' often-secret operations from contracts signed with dozens of US universities.
MPs warn against Brexit brain drain of EU academics
The government must end the uncertainty for European Union staff, to avoid a brain drain, and seek continued involvement in Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ – but develop contingency plans in case agreement is not reached – if it is to avoid damage to the international competitiveness of United Kingdom universities from Brexit, the parliamentary Education Select Committee has warned.
Higher education shake-up gets go ahead from MPs
The bill heralding the biggest shake-up of higher education in decades, marking a shift towards a market approach by establishing a system of rating the teaching quality of universities, has been pushed through parliament with last minute compromises to secure assent before MPs disband for the General Election.
Record retractions put focus on research misconduct
The research ethics of China’s scientists has come under the spotlight after a major international publisher retracted 107 medical research papers by Chinese authors – the single largest number of retractions ever recorded – after discovering irregularities in the peer review process.
Government aims to double R&D spending by 2020
The government aims to increase the percentage of gross domestic product spent on research and development to 1.5% by 2020 – still below the average spend of 2.4% for countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, but more than double the latest figure of 0.77%.
Universities demand ‘No more cuts’ after AU$4bn saved
As Australians prepare for the release of the annual federal budget on 9 May, universities point out that over the past six years they and their students have faced cuts that have contributed AU$3.9 billion (US$2.95 billion) in net savings in government spending and are now saying “enough is enough”.
March for science leaders pledge to build on momentum
Following the global March for Science, which was staged in 600 cities across seven continents on 22 April, the organisers have pledged to translate their volunteer network into a global outreach movement. In a joint statement, more than 30 United States science organisations have pledged to carry on fostering public support for engagement in science through their global memberships.
Governments must take responsibility for HE – Rectors
Maria Elena Hurtado
Rectors of the 37 universities that make up the Network of Macro-universities of Latin America and the Caribbean have expressed concern that some governments and parliaments are trying to avoid fulfilling their obligation towards public universities and are delegating responsibility to the private sector.
Public-private research drives international citations
Jan Petter Myklebust
International papers involving public-private collaboration have on average substantially higher impact than international collaborations involving only public research. But for national papers, there is no clear difference in citation impact between public-private collaborations and public research papers, according to new analysis.
Ministry puts a brake on opening of new campuses
Kenya has banned the establishment of new satellite campuses by universities without a thorough review by the government.
Trump at 100 days – More shadow than substance for HE
Adam Harris, The Chronicle of Higher Education
As President Donald Trump approaches his 100th day in office, several observers say his administration has yet to scratch the surface of setting or pursuing significant higher education policy. However, the Education Department, and the Trump administration writ large, have made moves that directly affect various sectors of higher education.
SDGs and higher education – Leaving many behind
Savo Heleta and Tohiera Moodien
The Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, claim no one will be left behind in the world by 2030, but they neglect the need to build capacity in higher education in developing countries and advocate sending their most talented young people abroad to study – a recipe for brain drain.
The perils of trying to transform HE too quickly
Ivan F Pacheco
The government of Juan Manuel Santos has announced plans to overhaul its higher education system and strengthen technical education in particular, but are they too ambitious for him to fulfil in the relatively short time he has left in power?
The multiple challenges facing HE quality assurance
Quality assurance measures in East Asia are often overly bureaucratic, too controlled by central government, lack any student voice and need an international dimension. Too often it appears that the frameworks are not embedded in a real institutional ‘quality culture’.
Outward internationalisation in action at INSEAD
What makes for a successful internationalisation policy? INSEAD’s journey from France to Singapore highlights some of the factors that make a difference and might be useful for others considering similar internationalisation strategies.
Why are some companies shedding degree requirements?
While more people than ever are graduating from universities, some companies are abandoning degree requirements altogether. The question is whether these few companies are outliers or the forerunners of a new trend of preferencing merit over qualifications. And what does that say about the value of a university degree?
Imagining the future and higher education’s role in it
Companies are creating innovation plans, but how many universities are not just planning to take their institution to the next level, but really sitting down and imagining the future, and their place in it, rather than just waiting for it to happen?
Call for academic boycott to end unlawful intimidation
Janroj Yilmaz Keles
Signing petitions of support for the academics facing persecution in Turkey is not enough. We need to take much more vigorous action. An international academic boycott of Turkish universities, research institutions, trusts and foundations, and targeted action against those initiating intimidatory and unlawful action against academics, can no longer be avoided.
Law schools fighting for justice in a dirty drugs war
University law schools are putting themselves and their students on the frontline in a battle to ensure justice in the anti-drugs war that has seen thousands killed during legitimate police operations and thousands murdered by unknown gunmen. In many cases witnesses are too fearful to provide evidence.
Mobile learning – Empowering refugees ‘where they are’
Mobile learning opens the possibility of thousands of displaced people in Africa having the chance not only to empower themselves individually, but to bring positive change and development to those societies among which they find refuge.