NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Universities told to credit propaganda as publication
Ideologically-correct articles posted online or even in a publication linked to the Communist Party of China, could earn academics credits that could lead to promotion within the university, similar to credits earned from papers published in academic journals, according to universities that have received the diktat.
Trump’s new travel ban opposed by educators, scientists
President Donald Trump’s latest proclamation on travel restrictions directed at whole countries on security grounds opens some doors slightly and closes others, but will continue to create uncertainty with damaging consequences for universities, according to leaders in international higher education and science.
Islamic bank invests in SDG-aligned science capacity
Twenty-five African countries that are members of the Islamic Development Bank are set to benefit from support to grow their high-level science, following the signing of a cooperation accord between the bank and the World Academy of Sciences, aimed in part at helping the countries achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.
1,200 women students charged over harassment protest
Clashes over protests by students at one of India’s top universities over the molestation of a female student by motorcycle assailants on campus have highlighted the government’s deteriorating record on gender issues. The state government has ordered a judicial probe into the campus violence.
Half of the public does not trust research – Survey
Jan Petter Myklebust
Almost one in two members of the public – 46% – think that research results published by industry or public offices cannot be trusted, and 40% think research results are influenced by researchers’ opinions, a new survey commissioned by the Research Council of Norway has found.
Black graduates struggle the most to find employment
Black South Africans remain economically disadvantaged and are the group least likely to find employment – even after achieving higher education qualifications, according to the latest statistics from Statistics South Africa.
Student leaders say AfD is a threat to science and HE
The far-right 'Alternative für Deutschland' or AfD party’s entry into the German federal parliament has sent shockwaves through the political establishment. Most of its members of parliament are academics, but the student union, FZS, is warning of a threat to science and a rollback to undemocratic governance structures in higher education.
Wanted by the Next Einstein Forum – More female fellows
The Next Einstein Forum fellowship programme, run by the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, is offering eligible scientists another opportunity to join its 2017-19 fellows, in a move intended to push up the number of women fellows to a minimum of 40%.
Double World-Class Project has more ambitious aims
The Double World-Class Project is similar to previous projects aimed at creating world-class universities, but more ambitious in scope. It is part of a Chinese attempt to build its soft power globally and is set to have a significant impact on the global higher education landscape.
UNITED KINGDOM-UNITED STATES
Does higher education contribute to rising inequality?
Inequality in the United States and United Kingdom has been rising for decades, but what can higher education do to address this and is it exacerbating the problem through a focus on commercial rankings and preparing students for the labour market?
What changes does the AfD seek in higher education?
The far-right ‘Alternative für Deutschland’ or AfD won 13% of the vote in Germany’s general election. Its policies on higher education are set against a nationalist, anti-immigrant agenda and through its parliamentary position there is a clear danger that it will be able to normalise its positions.
First national ranking shows maturity of the system
The first university ranking in Vietnam was published in early September and has brought a wide discussion of its merits and faults, showing the maturity of the academic community in Vietnam. Nevertheless, the results still shocked some people.
Internationalisation of HE needs to be replaced
Internationalisation as currently practised imposes Western ideas on the rest of the world and is about making money from foreign students. University leaders need instead to focus on acting as a catalyst for social change and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals.
‘Global crisis’ of violence against higher education
Scholars at Risk’s latest annual monitoring report maps an ongoing ‘global crisis’ worldwide of violence and suppression being used to target and retaliate against universities as spaces in which everyone is free to think, question and share ideas.
Higher education under ‘near-constant attack’ – SAR
State and university authorities in Turkey are continuing to take sweeping and targeted measures – including investigations, detentions, prosecutions, firings and travel restrictions against academics – that pose an “unprecedented threat” to higher education, according to Scholars at Risk or SAR.
Resisting Turkey’s ‘war on academe’
Umut Ozkirimli and Pinar Dinc
Turkish academics who have been purged from public universities in the crackdown since the July 2016 coup attempt are defying the authorities, coming together in acts of resistance and continuing to do their jobs, despite the ongoing repression.
Student protests blocked by tear gas and bullets
Student protests have frequently been met with violent retaliation, including by state security forces, resulting in deaths and injuries from bullets, rubber bullets, shotgun pellets, tear gas and pepper spray, according to Scholars at Risk’s annual report on threats to higher education.
University in prisons – The ‘best rehabilitation tool’
Prison services across Africa are joining forces with local and foreign universities to provide higher education programmes for inmate students in a bid to rehabilitate prisoners and improve the effectiveness of incarceration.
Is Helsinki catalysing innovation in higher education?
Jan Petter Myklebust
Universities are waiting to see if the growing innovation culture in Finnish higher education will be strengthened by the findings of the Ministry of Education and Culture’s ‘Vision for Finnish higher education and research 2030’ project, due to be published later this month.