NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Government cuts 40% of state-funded university places
The Russian government is pushing on with plans to cut 40% of state-funded places in domestic universities in 2018 and to cut teaching jobs at state universities.
UNITED KINGDOM-UNITED STATES
Google accused of paying millions for research backing
Google, the global internet company, has paid academics at United States and United Kingdom universities millions of dollars to produce hundreds of papers supporting its policy interests, according to a report by the Campaign for Accountability, a non-profit watchdog, which has published a database of alleged beneficiaries.
Cash rewards soar for research published overseas
Cash rewards to China’s scientists for research published in overseas journals have risen dramatically – reaching more than US$160,000 for papers appearing in the most prestigious Western journals, according to a just-published analysis, and dwarfing the average professor’s salary of US$8,600.
International students may have to renew visas yearly
Mary Beth Marklein
A change to foreign student visa policies reportedly being discussed at the United States Department of Homeland Security would require international students to reapply annually for permission to stay in the United States.
Sharp fall in university applications from UK and EU
Applications to United Kingdom higher education undergraduate courses for 2017 are down 4% on last year. This includes a 4% drop in applications from the UK and a 5% drop in applications from the European Union. But applications from other countries have risen by 2%.
New university to produce experts on regional integration
In a bid to hasten the slow pace of regional integration in Eastern and Southern Africa, the first cohort of students of a virtual university focused on the study of regional integration are to be admitted in September.
Universities do not have genuine autonomy, report says
Despite 17 of 20 public universities in Malaysia being awarded ‘autonomous’ status, academics have questioned whether there has been a real commitment by the government to devolve more powers to universities.
Self-reliance a key to successful academic partnerships
African universities should establish clear guidelines and timelines to ensure greater self-reliance when entering partnerships, especially with partners in the Global North, according to higher education and policy experts attending the inaugural Africa-China-World Bank Education Partnership Forum.
Strong punishment for misuse of the title ‘Professor’
Jan Petter Myklebust
The Ministry of Education and Research is proposing new legislation to punish unauthorised use of the title of professor. Those falsely using the title in full or in part will be punished by fines of up to NOK188,000 (US$22,700).
When the Syrian war ends, what is the plan for HE?
Raniero Chelli and Marco Di Donato
Universities and education organisations need to start preparing now for when the Syrian war ends. After six years of war, displaced young people fear becoming the under-educated generation and Syria will need an educated workforce to rebuild the country.
Is South Korea in a higher education access trap?
Patrik T Hultberg and David Santandreu Calonge
An educated workforce is important for economic growth and development and South Korea is leading the way on higher education access. But has spending on private after-school tutoring to ensure a university place is secured gone too far?
‘Muslim ban’ has wider impact on study in the US
The travel ban on citizens from six mainly Muslim countries is likely to deter students from across the Middle East because of a perception that the United States is now hostile to them. Universities will have to go out of their way to counter that perception.
England embraces the delusion of free tuition
Ariane de Gayardon
The United Kingdom’s main opposition party proposed to scrap university tuition fees in England in its general election manifesto, and saw its political fortunes soar in the popular vote. But how realistic is the international movement for free tuition?
Misconceptions of internationalisation still prevail
Hans de Wit
The last few years of debate on internationalisation of higher education have seen a lot of attempts to define it in terms purely of mobility for the few and to suggest that it ignores the local. Such ideas must be countered.
Purge of academics has reached a 'staggering' scale – SAR
In the year since the attempted coup in Turkey, a “staggering” number of academics have faced criminal investigations, detentions, prosecutions, mass dismissal, expulsion and restrictions on travel, according to the head of Scholars at Risk or SAR, the New York-based scholar rescue network.
Senate rejects closure of campus over terror attacks
The University of Maiduguri in north east Nigeria is to remain open despite ongoing terror attacks by Islamic terror group Boko Haram after Nigeria’s Senate resolved to push for tighter campus security and to keep the university open as a symbol of triumph over the extremist group and its ideas.
Research could suffer as internet controls tightened
Chinese internet restrictions, known as the ‘great firewall of China’, have often been an issue for Chinese academics who find their access to overseas research restricted. They have become more concerned as new internet controls – particularly on virtual private networks, which circumvent national censorship of the internet – look set to be introduced by February 2018.
Cultural factors at work in social inequality in HE
Mary Beth Marklein
Higher education scholars gathered in St Petersburg, Russia, recently to explore how they could improve the prospects of marginalised populations, be they Native Americans in the United States, indigenous students in Latin America or Austrians who are the first in their families to go to college.
Open data on universities – New fuel for transformation
François van Schalkwyk
Accessible, usable and relevant open data on South African universities makes it possible for a wide range of stakeholders to monitor, advise and challenge the transformation of South Africa’s universities from an informed perspective.
Seeking global cooperation to fight corruption in HE
It is one year since global experts issued a wake-up call to higher education to fight academic corruption more aggressively and urged the sector’s quality assurance systems to take a leading role in the battle. So what progress has been made?
Pan-African food and biomass network launched
The first pan-African expert network on food and non-food biomass has been launched by Germany’s Center for Development Research and the Ghana-based Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa.