NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Top universities banned from using foreign funding
An interior ministry order banning several top institutions, including the University of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University, as well as major research bodies such as the Indian Council of Medical Research, from receiving foreign funds has raised questions around the autonomy of these institutions, as well as the future of foreign-funded projects.
Up to 88 Makerere staff face degree forgery prosecution
Up to 88 people at Makerere University, one of Africa’s most prestigious universities, have been apprehended for possible prosecution over the alteration of student marks in an investigation that is expected to see the withdrawal of some of the university’s law degrees dating back to 2011.
China tells Hong Kong universities to curb ‘separatists’
Yojana Sharma and Mimi Leung
China’s official media has hit out at the unfurling of banners backing Hong Kong independence from China at a number of Hong Kong’s universities, putting pressure on the Hong Kong government and on university management to curb such activities.
Universities to be punished for admissions ‘arms race’
In a drive against excessive tutoring and elite private schools that prepare students for the best universities, the South Korean government has ordered almost a dozen universities – including its top three – to bring their admissions tests more in line with the normal high school curriculum.
Election pledges address student fees and allowances
New Zealand’s opposition parties are promising more financial support and lower fees for tertiary students in an attempt to woo youth voters – and their parents – ahead of this week’s general elections. But little is being offered for universities and other tertiary institutions.
Pressure mounts as universities hike residence fees
Egyptian authorities have announced an increase in accommodation fees for students living in university dormitories, putting mounting pressure on students and their families living through the country’s worst economic crisis in decades.
Students to mobilise against university budget cuts
Jan Petter Myklebust
The Education Alliance, comprising more than 40 Danish student organisations, is calling for a demonstration in central Copenhagen and elsewhere in Denmark on 5 October against government education cuts that are resulting in ‘quality deterioration’ in higher education.
Universities told to issue regular financial reports
Kenya’s universities have been ordered to publish regular financial performance reports as part of sweeping regulations which take effect this year, aimed at lifting the veil of secrecy that has shrouded institutions’ financial status and effectively put millions of dollars at risk.
Anne Frank honours given to JRS and Scholars at Risk
The Jesuit Refugee Service, an NGO providing higher education to refugees in their camps and urban settings, and Scholars at Risk, a scholar rescue organisation, have been given the Anne Frank Award and Anne Frank Special Recognition Award respectively for their commitment to the rights of refugees.
Opposing far-right and openly fascist groups on campus
Clayton J Plake and Edna Bonhomme
In the United States, Europe and Asia, far-right and openly fascist formations have ventured into the political mainstream and are recruiting at universities. Defeating them requires coordinated actions by networks of scholars and activists to promptly mobilise their forces on campuses and beyond.
The new nationalism and internationalisation of HE
Philip G Altbach and Hans de Wit
Europe and North America are entering a profoundly difficult period for higher education internationalisation. It is likely academics will carry the burden of maintaining a globalist vision of the university in the face of the rise of nationalist movements and governments.
Serving the knowledge industry or the public good?
The controversy over vice-chancellors’ pay is painting universities as knowledge businesses run by corporate elites rather than institutions that serve the public good. That is the damaging message being received and rejected by many. It is undermining university leaders' legitimacy, making them less effective.
The ‘World-Class’ fad – Time to pursue a grander vision
John Aubrey Douglass and John N Hawkins
The ‘World-Class University’ model is a vaguely defined fad which does not provide the basis for the kind of leading universities Asia needs for the future – universities that give the same weight to economic engagement and civic responsibility as research output.
What freedoms do ‘institutions of eminence’ need?
Alan Ruby and Matthew Hartley
The Indian government’s proposal to create 20 ‘institutions of eminence’ – another attempt to create world-class universities – presents a maze of difficult choices. The authorities need to avoid over-regulation and select leaders wisely, while broadening access and lifting research and innovation.
Research – The lost mission of African universities
Due to periods of military dictatorship, research at African universities has been held back. To establish themselves as research universities, African universities will need to overcome enormous challenges, including lack of funding, and define what their research priorities are.
Ambition tapered by reality for new universities
Setting up a new university in a developing country presents huge challenges, given the social, political, cultural and economic context, but, by tapping into the right support from internal and external stakeholders, it can transform societies.
EDUCATION AT A GLANCE
The Education at a Glance 2017 report, published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, on 12 September, provides key information on the state of education around the world. University World News highlights its findings on tertiary education.
Tertiary enrolment exploding but benefits vary – OECD
Tertiary enrolment is expanding rapidly, with very strong returns for individuals and taxpayers, but new evidence shows that universities can fail to offer, and individuals fail to pursue, the fields of study that promise the greatest labour market opportunities, according to a new OECD report.
Most university students in OECD now pay tuition fees
Full-time university students in America pay the highest tuition fees among the 30 nations covered in the latest OECD report, Education at a Glance 2017. The United States is by far the most expensive, while public universities in a third of the countries evaluated by the OECD do not impose any charge at all for bachelor degree students.
What HE students pay and what support they are given
Countries around the world can be roughly divided into four groups according to two factors: the level of university tuition fees charged and the financial support available through each country’s student financial aid system, according to the latest OECD report, Education at a Glance 2017.
Higher education spending among world’s lowest – OECD
Australia spends a smaller share of its national income on public investment in tertiary education than countries like Estonia, Turkey and Latvia, according to the OECD’s latest Education at a Glance report. The report ranks Australia’s public investment in tertiary education among the bottom four of the world’s advanced economies – 30th out of 34 nations at 0.7% of gross domestic product.
Germany has leading position in tertiary STEM subjects
Germany has attained a leading position in education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM subjects, according to the latest OECD Education at a Glance report, with 40% of first-year tertiary students choosing them. However, the report criticises stagnation in upward mobility in the country’s education system.