NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
STEM focus to drive ‘world-class’ universities scheme
India’s plan to develop 20 world-class universities will favour institutions strong in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM subjects, experts said last week as the human resource development ministry sent its proposals for the new Institutions of Eminence scheme to the cabinet for approval.
International student numbers up 15% on last year
Australia has bolstered its popularity as a world-class education destination with new data showing international student numbers jumped up by 15% in the first three months of this year compared to 2016.
Calls for release of students jailed over Boko Haram joke
Amnesty International has called for the release of three students sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment by a military tribunal in Cameroon after they shared a joke among each other about the recruitment criteria of Nigeria-based extremist Islamic group Boko Haram.
Minister allows foreign universities in special zones
Thailand is poised to issue a new decree that will allow foreign universities to operate in its special economic zones under a plan approved last week by the cabinet and military junta. The decree will permit foreign universities to be set up with exemptions from the normal rules and will be irrevocable, enabling universities to make long-term plans.
Government to ease rules on foreign investment in HE
A new government decree to ease the way for foreign investment in education in Vietnam, likely to be approved by the country’s leadership as early as June, will streamline procedures and reduce bureaucracy for setting up foreign branch campuses in the country.
Ministry to close 25% of its research laboratories
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has announced the dissolution of 25% of the research laboratories in the country following a “thorough and complete” evaluation of the structure of the current national research system.
Professor, teacher arrested on day 75 of hunger strike
A professor and a school teacher, detained by police on the 75th day of their hunger strike in the capital, Ankara, have been arrested. Police were concerned that the strike – against being dismissed from their jobs via statutory decrees issued since the failed coup attempt – would become a 'death fast', sparking a wider protest movement.
Restrictions eased on postgraduate scholarships abroad
Maria Elena Hurtado
The approximately 2,000 beneficiaries of Becas Chile, the country’s largest provider of postgraduate scholarships for studying abroad, have mostly welcomed changes to the conditions attached to the scholarships, except for the failure to scrap the requirement to return to Chile after graduation.
Foreign PhD candidates in battle against bureaucracy
Jan Petter Myklebust
The Swedish Association of University Teachers and Researchers is now asking international doctoral candidates in Sweden to report if they have been treated unfairly by the Swedish Migration Agency in decisions to reject permanent residence, so that it can seek a ruling by the higher migration appeal court.
Disgruntled university staff strike over unpaid bonuses
Libya’s higher education teaching staff – already fed up with what they believe is inadequate government funding for higher education and lack of security – began an indefinite strike on 23 May over the issue of overtime and bonus payments, effectively shutting higher education institutions throughout the country.
Yale postgraduates on hunger strike over labour terms
Postgraduate students at the prestigious private university Yale are protesting in support of union demands for fair wages and benefits that faculty members – whose classes they teach – enjoy. But they are fighting a broader downward trend in unionisation that looks set to continue.
Are micro-campuses a new model for international HE?
A new model of transnational education hopes to deliver good-quality international higher education locally in a sustainable way across the globe, using technology to enable ‘flipped classrooms’ to deliver international degree programmes to local students, together with partner universities and their faculty.
Pledge to abolish university tuition fees needs honing
A manifesto commitment by the Labour Party to end tuition fees at English universities presents an alternative path to the status quo. But experience has shown cost is not the only factor defining participation. A more nuanced dialogue is needed on different ways of delivering higher education.
China’s higher education megaproject
While United Kingdom higher education struggles with Brexit, China is opening a business school in Oxford to cater to European as well as Chinese students, yet another example of how the country is quietly developing and expanding its global reach and influence through higher education.
Why Asian states need to ratify the UNESCO convention
Roger Chao Jr
The benefits of ratifying the UNESCO 2011 Asia-Pacific Recognition Convention are many and doing so could help the Asia-Pacific region become the next powerhouse in international higher education, yet only three UNESCO Asia-Pacific member states have ratified it so far. This must change.
African academic diaspora collaboration drive scales up
Expanding the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program to implement a ‘10/10’ initiative that supports 10,000 diaspora academics across the world over 10 years to partner with African universities is underway, says the project’s founder Dr Paul Zeleza. This month 35 universities in six African countries were selected to host 46 African-born academics working in North America, bringing to 282 the number of diaspora fellows awarded over four years.
How can universities respond to extremist activity?
Sarah Brown, The Chronicle of Higher Education
The killing of a black student by a white student who was discovered to be a far-right racist, has raised the question of how universities can fight extremism on their campuses, especially at this time when they feel emboldened by a change of political climate.
GOING GLOBAL 2017
The British Council’s Going Global 2017 conference for leaders of international education was held in London last week. The theme was “Global cities: connecting talent, driving change”. In a two-part special report (the second part will be published next week), University World News covers some of the highlights.
Universities and cities – Key drivers of sustainability
The British Council welcomed 900 academics, university leaders, ministers and industry chiefs from 80 countries to its Going Global 2017 conference focusing on “Global cities: connecting talent, driving change”. But they left the opening session last Monday with a stark warning of the challenges facing universities and cities in the years ahead.
Innovation districts must leave no one behind locally
Globally, the digital economy has benefited some communities and individuals, while leaving others behind, to effectively widen the social divide and poverty lines. Universities and innovation hubs must take care to address local economic, social and cultural needs, delegates were told at Going Global 2017, the British Council's conference for leaders of international education, held in London.
How mayors see the relationship between town and gown
The roles of city fathers and universities have to intertwine to find solutions to globalisation and urbanisation issues, specifically that the knowledge generated in higher education becomes part of the social fabric and change in the environments in which it operates, delegates were told at the British Council's Going Global 2017 conference in London last week.
Universities set on building new bridges post-Brexit
A discussion at Going Global 2017, the British Council’s conference, on how Paris and London universities will cope in the aftermath of Brexit began in a fearful mood as delegates were told that there are 5,000 research collaborations between the United Kingdom and France currently being funded by European Union money under Horizon 2020, the EU research programme, at any one time – and they are all at risk.
Hong Kong universities a ‘super connector’ to China
Hong Kong will act as a ‘super connector’ to the Chinese mainland and Asian region through deeper international collaborations that include universities, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Education Eddie Ng told the Going Global conference in London last week. Hong Kong is pursuing a city-to-city and city-region approach to linking universities to each other and to business and technology hubs developing in China.
Building bridges between the online and offline worlds
Wim de Villiers
The new generation experiences the world in a fundamentally different way. Deep listening, engaging with students, building trust and leading by example will help us deal with the rapid transformation that university culture is undergoing and bridge the divides thrown up by social media.