NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Asian countries increase share of top 500 universities
United States universities continue to dominate in the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities released last week by the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, with Harvard University remaining top for the 15th year running. But the number of top 500 universities from Asian countries is increasing.
China pressures respected journal to censor articles
A major academic publisher in the United Kingdom has caved in to China’s official censors and has blocked online access from that country to more than 300 articles in a leading academic journal – The China Quarterly – amid a Chinese government crackdown on 'Western' views.
University leaders fear rise of hate events on campus
Mary Beth Marklein
Following the white supremacist demonstrations that imploded last weekend with the death of a counter-protester in a Virginia college town, university leaders across the United States are consulting legal experts on what they can do to prevent similar outbursts on their campuses.
March for Science highlights parlous state of research
Thousands of students, scientists and supporters gathered in 30 Indian cities to support the country’s ‘March for Science’ earlier this month. It was an impressive turnout. They were joined by many government scientists despite receiving emails forbidding them from taking part.
University regulators curtail Kenyan expansion spree
Universities are facing a tough regulatory regime that has crippled expansion strategies that have seen Kenya’s universities spread their wings across most areas of the country and into neighbouring countries such as Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda and Uganda.
Plan to broaden access to HE raises funding questions
Jan Petter Myklebust
A proposal by the Minister for Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson to broaden access to universities, sent out for consultation last month, has sparked a row over whether it can be achieved without providing more funding for teaching.
Universities raise their investment in fundraising
Universities in Australia and New Zealand are stepping up investment in fundraising and alumni engagement amid growing institutional awareness of the “powerful impact” of philanthropy, and sharp rises in the size of the largest gifts, according to a new report on charitable giving to universities.
Commonwealth consortium to offer youth work degree
An initiative aimed at improving access to certified courses in youth work has been launched by Commonwealth countries which will support 16 universities from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Europe to offer a low-cost, internationally recognised Commonwealth bachelor degree in youth development work.
Academics’ union banned over strike on unpaid salaries
As it embarks on an indefinite nationwide strike over what it claims are unfulfilled government promises, the Academic Staff Union of Universities is reeling from a ban imposed on its local branch based at Kogi State University.
MPs want to scrap HE funding and study-time reforms
Jan Petter Myklebust
The major political parties apart from the Social Democrats want to scrap the unpopular recent reform speeding up students’ time to graduation – even though it is working – and end the linking of funding of university subject study places to employment outcomes.
Decolonise minds before living and learning spaces
To truly move on from our colonial suffering we must not seek to obliterate our painful histories by destroying all vestiges of the past, but preserve them as symbols of what we have overcome and what we need to avoid in the future.
How do university leaders view internationalisation?
Futao Huang and Tsukasa Daizen
Research in Japan shows that university leaders highly value internationalisation. Recent political events in the United States and United Kingdom have had very little impact on this view, and universities have not slowed their pace of internationalisation.
Universities must move from teaching to transforming
Universities need a different style of teaching with a more person- and community-centred approach to give their students the entrepreneurial skills they will need in today’s world. Learning approaches that include incubation, mentorship, personal development, leadership training and funding are critical.
The ‘pig mum’ and the problem of excessive competition
David Santandreu Calonge, Patrik T Hultberg and Eugene Lee
Mothers in South Korea are organising complex social networks to ensure their children get access to the best universities and the best jobs. It is a symptom of an education system in need of a fundamental overhaul.
Supervising international research students
Communication and understanding are key in the international student-supervisor relationship, which is fundamental to the student’s ability to adjust to a new environment – and there is a lot of adjusting for students to do.
International academic conference participants charged
A professor who organised an international conference on Thai studies and four Thai academics and participants attending the conference have been charged with violating the military junta’s ban on political gatherings of more than five people.
Shorter periods abroad could widen student mobility
Shorter periods of studying or working abroad during degree programmes should be offered by universities to close the gap in mobility participation rates between affluent students and their less well-off peers in the United Kingdom. That’s a key recommendation of a new report from Universities UK International.
Taking a closer look at student attrition and migration
A recent survey which found that more than 50% of South African students felt they were not prepared for the transition from secondary school to tertiary education has highlighted ongoing debates around the causes of South Africa’s student attrition rates and how best to tackle them.
Do university presidents still matter?
Since Drew Faust decided to step down as president at Harvard, a debate has opened up about the nature of the academic presidency, and how it is changing. Should university leaders be strategic planners, stakeholder conflict managers, fundraisers or political advocates – and do they make a difference?