University World News Global Edition
14 May 2017 Issue 459 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search


Purdue and Kaplan venture is a bizarre muddle of very different institutions

   In Commentary, Liz Reisberg and Philip G Altbach condemn the move by the respected Purdue University in the United States to buy the for-profit Kaplan University, calling it “an immense mistake” that will inevitably redefine Purdue’s vision. Roger Chao Jr is upbeat about the launch of the Asian Universities Alliance and the possibility that it will foster the dawn of an Asian higher education regionalisation. Ellen Hazelkorn believes we sit at a historic junction at which higher education has the opportunity and responsibility to play a critical role in building a shared sense of societal purpose and identity. Anne Corbett imagines the election of Emmanuel Macron as president of France will be of great interest to UK higher education and research in terms of impact on Brexit negotiations and also in terms of future strategies against extreme nationalism. Marcelo Knobel and Robert Verhine contend that, while the trend towards for-profit growth in the higher education sector in Brazil is clearly a cause for concern, its rise could be a harbinger of a worldwide trend.

   In World Blog, Hans de Wit says that, in a changing international higher education market, the increasing cross-border activities undertaken by the developing world deserve closer attention.

   And in Features, Reuben Kyama writes about a Ghanaian-born Coventry University graduate who has received recognition for launching a centre for counter-extremism in West Africa to turn young people, including students, away from terrorism.

Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor

NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report


New president to reduce tuition fees, jobs favouritism

Aimee Chung

South Korea’s newly elected president, Moon Jae-in, has made breaking down the near-monopoly of the country’s top universities on the best jobs a cornerstone of his campaign and has repeated a pledge made by different parties in past elections to bring down tuition fees – which are among the highest in the world.


Budget 2017 – Students pay more, universities have less

Geoff Maslen

There were few surprises when the federal government handed down its annual budget on 9 May but there were also no cheers. Nationwide, universities and their students were appalled: The 2017 document announced by Treasurer Scott Morrison confirmed what the critics had called 'a double whammy’ that would hit universities and their students hard.


University calm after two foreign academics detained

Yojana Sharma

Pyongyang University of Science and Technology has said it is not issuing any particular instructions for the protection of its foreign staff in North Korea in the wake of the recent detention by North Korean authorities of two American professors teaching there.


New employment outcomes criteria in university funding

Jan Petter Myklebust

Minister of Higher Education and Science Søren Pind has endorsed a ministry proposal to base 10% of budget allocation on higher education institutions’ graduate employment outcomes, as part of a reform of university funding, which is currently linked to the number of exams passed.


Labour party plans to abolish university tuition fees

Brendan O’Malley

The Labour Party, currently the main opposition party, will abolish university tuition fees “once and for all” if it wins power at the general election, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell announced on 10 May in Mansfield. It will also restore maintenance grants.


International student fee case goes to high court

Jan Petter Myklebust

Mälardalen University has appealed to the High Court to overturn the verdict reached in Svea Hovrätt, the Court of Appeal, which ruled that it must repay international student Connie Dickinson – now Connie Askenbäck – the tuition fees she paid for a course which was evaluated as being of 'poor quality'.


Students protest changes to judges’ examination criteria

Elizia Volkmann

The Tunisian government’s decision to overhaul the system of educating and examining law students wishing to become judges has sparked widespread student dissent. Students have been boycotting examinations and classes, while staging protests and demonstrations, although a partial retreat by the government has mollified some protestors.


Palestinian research set for open access before 2020

Mohsen Alafranji

Palestinian universities have moved a step closer to raising the visibility of locally produced research following a meeting to evaluate a European Union-funded collaborative project that aims to collect, document and provide access to scientific research produced at universities in Palestine by 2020.


Call for pact to tackle student housing shortage

Michael Gardner

The German Student Welfare Service or Deutsches Studentenwerk, which represents Germany’s 58 student services organisations, has made an urgent appeal to federal and state governments to provide more housing for students as soaring rent levels have made affordable housing for students scarce.


Is Trump stifling science-based policy-making at EPA?

Paul Basken, The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Trump administration’s removal of several academic experts from a scientific advisory board at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has renewed concern about the government’s commitment to fact-based policy-making. Two new bills will also create hurdles for scientific input at the agency whose mission includes the US's leadership role in protecting the global environment.


University sacking exposes religious, political tensions

Ashraf Khaled

The administration of Egypt’s state-run Al-Azhar University in Cairo dismissed its president last week after he had accused a prominent Muslim researcher of apostasy in what appears to be a power tussle between the traditional university and a head of state determined to fight violent radicalism.


Top university wins national science parks design tender

Maina Waruru

Plans by the Kenyan government to establish science and technology parks across the country have moved a notch higher after the University of Nairobi was awarded a tender to design a 10-year master plan for the establishment of the parks as well as incubators.



A monstrous muddle of no-profit and for-profit HE

Liz Reisberg and Philip G Altbach

Purdue University, an institution among America’s most respected research universities, has announced it is buying the for-profit Kaplan University. This is a massive blunder. The move will cause confusion over whether Purdue is a research university, a for-profit or a not-for-profit providing open door, online courses for large numbers of students in the United States and overseas.


A new dawn for Asian higher education regionalisation?

Roger Chao Jr

The launch of the Asian Universities Alliance can be considered the most ambitious Asian higher education initiative to date and looks likely to be in the vanguard of ongoing attempts to promote regional higher education collaboration and will contribute to solving unique Asian challenges.


Universities have become isolated from their publics

Ellen Hazelkorn

One of the significant outcomes of the rankings discourse, whatever you think of them, is that they provide some form of accountability, but they also make higher education vulnerable to an agenda set by states. We urgently need to reclaim the role of higher education in civic engagement and become an intellectual force to bridge the gap between local, national and global.


What will President Macron mean for UK universities?

Anne Corbett

The election of President Emmanuel Macron in France should be of great interest to UK higher education and research in terms of its impact on Brexit discussions – where French competition to recruit researchers could play a role – but also in terms of the strategies it might adopt against extreme nationalism in the light of the French experience.


At the vanguard of an HE privatisation wave?

Marcelo Knobel and Robert Verhine

The private education sector is now the 10th-largest component of the Brazilian economy and a trend of mergers has left a handful of giant companies dominating – one merger is set to create the world’s largest higher education institution, potentially enrolling more than two million students. The model may be a harbinger of a worldwide trend.



New sources of cross-border HE are emerging

Hans de Wit

Increasing numbers of cross-border initiatives are being undertaken by institutions based in developing and emerging countries, particularly China, India and Russia, but also from Africa, Iran and a broad range of Asian countries. It’s a phenomenon that deserves more scrutiny.



Calls to drop charges against outspoken academic

Reuben Kyama

Human rights group Amnesty International has called for all charges to be dropped against outspoken Ugandan academic Stella Nyanzi who was last Wednesday released on bail after spending four weeks in prison on charges related to Facebook criticism of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.



Graduate helps youth resist terrorism’s ‘allure’

Reuben Kyama

A Ghanaian-born Coventry University graduate who launched a centre for counter-extremism in his home country is working to turn young people in West Africa, including university students, away from terrorism.


University World News has a popular Facebook group. If you are not a member, do consider joining to see our regular updates, post on our wall and communicate with us and other University World News fans. You can also follow University World News on Twitter @uniworldnews



New regulation to prevent spread of campus radicalism

The Research, Technology and Higher Education Ministry is preparing a regulation to control the spread of radical views on campuses, reports The Jakarta Post.


Science ‘super-campus’ plan in disarray

French ambitions to create a €5 billion (US$5.4 billion) science ‘super-campus’ near Paris by 2020 seem to be falling further apart, after a compromise scheme to save the troubled project was rejected by one of its creators, writes Barbara Casassus for Nature.


Ministry sets target for student entrepreneurs

A Higher Education Ministry target anticipates that by 2020, 15% of students will venture into entrepreneurship while they are still pursuing studies at institutions of higher education, with 5% of them having the primary goal of becoming entrepreneurs upon graduating, reports Bernama.


RSS now looks to 'saffronise' higher education

After making inroads into school education, Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, is looking to strengthen its grip on higher education, writes Kritika Sharma for Daily News and Analysis.


Public universities launch largest strike in 12 years

Public universities in Argentina last week launched the largest university strike in the last 12 years to demand that President Mauricio Macri set aside a higher budget for education as the government continues to prioritise an austerity agenda, reports TeleSUR.


Ambassador summoned over comments on university

The Hungarian foreign ministry says it has summoned Canada’s Ambassador to Hungary Isabelle Poupart after she expressed concerns about the fate of a Budapest university and academic freedom as a whole, reports The Associated Press.


Social sciences university to champion lifelong learning

A significant piece of the higher education puzzle fell in place last week, when Singapore officially welcomed its sixth university – an institution very unlike the other five, writes Sandra Davie for The Straits Times.


Ministry submits plan for an Egyptian space agency

The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research submitted to the cabinet a proposal on a special law for the establishment of an Egyptian Space Agency, said Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Essam Khamis, writes Al-Masry Al-Youm for Egypt Independent.


University criticised for screening LGBTQ applicants

A state university in Indonesia has come under fire from international human rights advocates for requiring prospective students to declare on a form that they are not lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender before applying and enrolling at the institution, writes Kristi Eaton for NBC News.


Universities welcome new research chair selection rules

Universities say they welcome the challenge from Ottawa to improve diversity among the ranks of the Canada Research Chairs, under threat of funding cuts, writes Chris Hannay for The Globe and Mail.


Ministry to draft reforms for university courses

The Ministry of Education is working on reforms that would guide courses being offered by tertiary institutions, writes Faith Nyamai for The Nation.


Government considers limiting entry to Tokyo colleges

The government is considering establishing a new regulation that would prevent universities in Tokyo’s 23 wards from increasing the total number of students they can have, in principle, in a bid to rectify the excessive concentration of young people in the capital and promote regional vitalisation, reports The Yomiuri Shimbun.


Student body lashes out over new student funding model

The South African Students Congress has lashed out at ANC Subcommittee on Education Chairperson Naledi Pandor for endorsing the new funding model ‘Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme’, writes Zintle Mahlati for the Independent Online.


Lib Dems still haunted by student fees U-turn

The Liberal Democrats' U-turn over university tuition fees is continuing to haunt them when it comes to student voters in the current general election, writes Siobhan Robbins for Sky News.


Thousands could be buried beneath Mississippi university

The remains of at least 7,000 people, patients of the state’s first mental institution – established in 1855 and called the Insane Asylum – and stretching across 20 acres of campus where administrators want to build, may be buried beneath the University of Mississippi, reports BBC News.


University librarian finds pages of early printed book

The University of Reading has discovered pages of one of the first books printed in England, dating from the 15th century, writes Rachael Revesz for the Independent.

Subscribe / Unsubscribe / Update / Sent to:
Terms and Conditions / ISSN 1756-297X / © University World News 2007-2017