NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Heads of state declare common higher education area
Heads of East African states declared the transformation of the East African Community into a Common Higher Education Area, which will facilitate the recognition of academic certificates and the transfer of credits from higher education institutions across the region, at their summit on 20 May in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
HE improving but much remains to be done – World Bank
María Elena Hurtado
Providing good-quality higher education to low-income and middle-class students in Latin America and the Caribbean, who are joining universities and technical colleges in droves, is a big challenge for this group of countries, according to a World Bank report released on 17 May.
Conservatives will toughen visa rules for students
The Conservative Party election manifesto pledges to toughen visa requirements for international students and raise the level of health surcharge they must pay, as part of the continuing effort to “bear down on immigration from outside the European Union”. It does not specify whether the United Kingdom will seek to stay in Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ after Brexit.
India deepens higher education cooperation with Egypt
India and Egypt have unveiled a plan to strengthen academic, scientific and cultural cooperation between universities in India and Egypt, along with exchange of knowledge and best practices in teaching, research and administration. The plan includes setting up a joint institution, networking among universities in the two countries and enhancing student and academic mobility.
In Asia, China’s universities worst hit by cyberattack
Universities in several Asian countries have been affected by cyberattacks with possible consequences for research data as well as personal data of students and others. However, Chinese universities were worst affected by an unprecedented worldwide attack that began on 12 May, according to cybersecurity experts.
Three universities rated 'very international' in index
Jan Petter Myklebust
The number of universities judged to be 'very international' has jumped from one to three in this year’s 'internationalisation index', the rating developed by the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education. KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and Chalmers University of Technology have joined the Stockholm School of Economics at the top.
Deal boosts student mobility between France and Canada
Canada and France have signed a cooperation agreement to improve professional opportunities for students studying for a degree in 'French as a foreign language' in France. The agreement will pave the way for cooperation between the leaders of 34 French and Canadian universities and increase student mobility between the two countries.
University president is Macron’s new minister for HE
Frédérique Vidal, president of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, was appointed Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation on 17 May, in the new government of Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, under President Emmanuel Macron.
International standing required for university status
Jan Petter Myklebust
Norway’s quality assurance agency is now assessing an institution's international standing in particular fields before granting university status, but the move is proving controversial with some university leaders, who say it is too geared to usefulness for industry and not enough to addressing global challenges.
Desperate students look to campus politics for solutions
Higher education students, tired of enduring high levels of economic stress and desperate for political change, are joining campus-based student unions in their numbers despite concerns around the strong alignment of such groups to national political parties.
Universities still grappling with travel ban limbo
Karin Fischer, The Chronicle of Higher Education
The uncertainty over the outcome of challenges to President Donald Trump's travel ban means students from affected countries who go home to visit family and friends in the summer might not be able to return to the United States. Universities are drawing up plans to house and provide a means of earning an income to those who opt not to take the risk of leaving the country.
Gamification – The future of graduate recruitment
Amber Wigmore Álvarez
Digital transformation is not only dramatically changing the jobs landscape, it is revolutionising how candidates are chosen for those roles. Today’s students need to be taught about new methods of recruitment and how they can help to match them better to the jobs of the future.
Higher education on the brink of disastrous closures
John A Akec
The market value of many university staff salaries is as little as US$200 a month, in some cases US$100 a month, down from US$3,000 two years ago. Persistent underfunding of South Sudan’s universities in the face of soaring inflation could force many to close, hampering economic recovery and long-term growth.
A gloomy outlook for private higher education
Private higher education, whether for-profit or not, has proven to be a successful model in many countries. However, this does not seem to be the case in Vietnam, due to many factors, including the battle between ‘private’ and ‘for-profit’ education and political sensitivities due to the country’s communist background.
Higher education should embrace digital possibilities
Sonal Minocha and Dean Hristov
Digital technology has a huge impact on people’s everyday lives. Universities should be using it for more than internal activities and should consider how it might help them widen their impact, by disseminating research and sharing good practice across borders to a global audience for the benefit of economies and societies.
Why data-driven science is more than just a buzzword
Science today is increasingly data-driven, but our education system has not caught up. We must develop new teaching methods that recognise data-driven and computational approaches as some of the primary tools of contemporary research.
The textbook – Not a substitute for teaching in HE
The textbook should be just one resource among many a university teacher might use. Unfortunately, some academics are too dependent on them despite the fact that the material quickly becomes outdated. But this is the lazy way out for the teacher and it disadvantages students in their learning.
Anglophone crisis – Academics, students stand firm
Schools, universities and law courts remain shuttered in two provinces of Anglophone Cameroon as students, academics, school teachers and lawyers continue to paralyse activities in protest against what they perceive as linguistic, cultural and educational injustices and other forms of marginalisation by the Cameroonian government.
Predatory journals – A threat to academic credibility
Predatory journals and their publishers, driven solely by profit motives, are posing an increasing threat to academic credibility and to individual reputations.
HE AND INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT
The “Contribution of Business Schools and Higher Education to Inclusive Development” conference took place in South Africa at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study from 19-20 April, co-hosted by South Africa’s University of Stellenbosch Business School, England’s University of Bath School of Management and the European Foundation for Management Development. The conference examined how business schools and universities could help to contribute to inclusive development in society and in their own institutions.
Scaling walls and building bridges in higher education
Elite universities create walls to exclude disadvantaged communities by applying a decontextualised version of academic merit which assumes that all students regardless of social background have an equal chance to compete. Against this backdrop there is a need to break the link between access and social advantage by developing admissions criteria that identify potential.
Bridging the inter-generational chasm in higher education
Munyaradzi Makoni and Sharon Dell
Universities and their leaders have a “social and moral responsibility” to place inequality and social justice at the core of their public purpose concerns, and to address the “massive socio-cultural, inter-generational chasm” which exists between the current generation of students and university administrators.
SOAS students explain stance on decolonisation
Students from the prestigious School of Oriental and African Studies, or SOAS, hit the headlines at the start of this year for their campaign to "Decolonise Our Minds", aimed at transforming the curriculum. At last month’s international conference on the “Contribution of Business Schools and Higher Education to Inclusive Development”, students representing the institution insisted they are not backing down on their calls for change.