NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
High Level Group says EU must double research budget
Jan Petter Myklebust and Brendan O’Malley
A group of experts selected by the European Commission to recommend what changes to make to the current European Union research programme Horizon 2020 when it ends in three years’ time, has called for a doubling of the budget and for it to pay more attention to the gap between science and innovation.
Surveys split on outlook for international enrolment
The results of two surveys give conflicting messages about the willingness of international students to take up places they have been offered on courses in United States universities, with cautious optimism over undergraduate enrolment and widespread gloom over postgraduate enrolment.
Tuition fee regime is no longer progressive, says IFS
The current regime of high tuition fees and large student maintenance loans is giving universities 25% more funds per student per degree, but is leaving poorer students with debts one-third higher than richer students, according to an Institute for Fiscal Studies or IFS report.
Governments called to invest more seriously in research
Academics attending the inaugural Africa Conference for Research, Innovation and Development, organised by the University of Zimbabwe in conjunction with the European Alliance for Innovation, urged African countries to invest more in research and innovation to help in the continent’s development.
One in four humanities academics have not published
Jan Petter Myklebust
There are pockets of excellence but no institutions reached the highest levels of international performance and more than one in four research staff have not published, according to the first critical evaluation in three decades of Norwegian research and higher education in the humanities.
Government rushes closure of Kashmir universities
The government has rushed colleges and universities in Kashmir into a surprise early summer break in advance of expected political protests on the anniversary of the death of a popular rebel commander, which last year pushed Kashmir into five months of curfews, demonstrations and shutdowns.
Engineering union to introduce test for graduates
Egypt’s engineering union is planning to introduce licensing tests for graduates in an effort to boost professional standards and curb the number of engineers attending private engineering schools, amid complaints about the quality of graduates.
Universities in push to meet new PhD coursework rules
Kenyan universities are rushing to enforce a new rule requiring that their PhD programmes include at least one year of coursework, but questions are being raised over the practicality of the new rule and the impact it might have on the rate at which Kenyan PhDs are produced.
Ministry makes comparing admissions information easier
New benchmarks for admissions information will make it easier for students to compare entry requirements for institutions as they weigh up different study options, an issue that has become more important as the number of pathways into university has broadened to reflect the diversity of student demand.
Higher education cooperation plan unveiled
In what has been described as a ‘win-win’ deal, South Korea and Egypt have unveiled a higher education cooperation plan that includes the establishment of a joint institution, networking among universities in the two countries, and enhanced student and academic mobility.
The new battlefront in university subject rankings
The Shanghai ranking by subject has expanded significantly in the past year and opens up a new front by ranking subjects based mainly on bibliometric data related to their research output. It is part of a new higher education world based on big data.
Towards a Southeast Asian Higher Education Area
Darren J McDermott
As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN celebrates its 50th anniversary, what progress has been made to date on its ‘One Vision, One Identity, One Community’ integration journey in higher education? How far along the road are we to the creation of an ASEAN identity through increased mobility?
Student experience is core to an offshore strategy
New, less risky forms of doing transnational education, such as via dual degrees, need to ensure they don’t lose a focus on the student experience. As competition increases, the student experience is becoming increasingly important to decisions on where to study.
Changing society through higher education research
What is higher education’s role in the struggle for social justice? For education researchers it surely lies in deeper analysis and asking the right questions about how we got to where we are now and where we go from here.
Universities’ role in tackling the obesity crisis
Developing countries must intensify their efforts to increase higher education student engagement in physical activity programmes, a key plank in dealing with a growing global obesity crisis that can only be halted and reversed through education and participation.
The changing face of accreditation in higher education
Now is the time to tackle the new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on accreditation and look at how to make sure that quality and standards accommodate the profound changes taking place in higher education – including the rise of technology and the for-profit sector.
Trump is not deterring Vietnamese from studying in US
Echoing the findings of the Institute of International Education’s Shifting Tides report that interest in the United States as a study destination is holding firm, recent statistics show that, despite poor ratings for President Donald Trump, Vietnamese students and their parents view a US education favourably.
What can we learn from returning Chinese students?
Ka Ho Mok
Returning students get a competitive advantage from study abroad, but universities and governments need to be careful to ensure that the wider social benefits of internationalisation are understood and that those at home don’t miss out.
Is your website accessible to deaf and blind people?
Peter Schmidt, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Marcie Lipsitt doubts it and she says it takes her only half an hour to alert the United States Education Department that a college may be violating disability-rights laws – and she will “make as much noise as I can” and “won’t stop” in her battle for disadvantaged students.