NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
President cracks down on, shuts Anglophone universities
The two main public universities in Anglophone Cameroon have been shut down by the country’s president. The indefinite closures – after months of partial closures – come amid allegations of unprecedented military force being used to suppress unrest by staff and students who are demanding greater independence for their English-speaking regions.
World-class universities project changes strategy
The state programme to develop five top-100 ranked world-class universities will cut the number of institutions it focuses on from 21 to six in the last two years of the project in a desperate bid to improve its success rate.
Accommodation crisis forces students to sleep in tents
Many first-year students are having to sleep in cars, tents or party halls due to continuing accommodation shortages, and the German National Association for Student Affairs is calling for more affordable accommodation and more funding to maintain cheap rent levels in its own new student hostels.
International students key to US lead in innovation
Many graduate level programmes in science and engineering fields would be unavailable for American students without international students. Maintaining welcoming policies – including a STEM training visa extension reportedly under threat from President Donald Trump – is essential, a new study says.
How do you prepare students for an unknowable future?
The worldwide debate about the impact of disruptive technologies on jobs and the need to prepare future-ready graduates for a future that is not even clear, was a major topic for university leaders from Europe and Asia meeting in Singapore last week.
France leads top 25 in science and technology ranking
In U-Multirank’s new universities of science and technology ranking, the top 25 institutions come from 12 countries, with French institutions taking six top spots, compared to five from the United States. But only one had an ‘A’ score on all research indicators and knowledge transfer indicators: the Georgia Institute of Technology.
QAA tells universities how to fight contract cheating
The independent quality body for higher education in the United Kingdom, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education or QAA, has issued new guidance on how to combat ‘contract cheating’ at universities, where students pay a company or individual to produce work that they then pass off as their own.
Report stresses need for relevant university curricula
Relevance to a modern economy, up-to-date curricula and effective teaching styles are crucial if developing countries are to see their investments in higher education generate positive returns, according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-18.
Plan to benchmark university-business collaborations
Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson has announced plans to benchmark the performance of university-business collaborations and knowledge exchange and called on universities to secure higher returns from research conducted by institutions across the United Kingdom.
Top university calls time on ‘third-class’ degrees
Singapore’s top-ranked Nanyang Technological University has become the second university in Singapore to ditch British-style honours degree classifications to eliminate ‘third-class’ degrees and “better reflect” their students’ capabilities, the university said. All undergraduate degrees will be given United States-style classifications.
Student hug prompts call for return of campus police
An Egyptian government-run university has requested the reinstatement of police guards on its campus more than six years after a court order paved the way for their removal from the country’s various campuses.
Universities look to the US general education model
Despite huge differences in undergraduate studies between mainland China and Hong Kong, both systems appear to have incorporated the United States model of general education as they seek to develop rounded students with the skills for a global knowledge economy.
Why Europe needs an HE learning and teaching forum
Developments in learning and teaching have received far less attention than research excellence and innovation within universities and in public discussions. Although national initiatives are increasing, Europe needs a forum where universities can come together to discuss what works best.
Preparing global citizens means engaging with the SDGs
Students can begin to think more as global citizens if they engage with the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs during their studies. Universities need to embed them into the curriculum and encourage students to share information about what they are, and how best to achieve them.
Focus on the quality of HE, not quantity of students
Turkey has massively increased the number of students in higher education, but many graduates are not getting jobs or are taking posts that don’t require a degree. It would be better to invest more in the quality of higher education rather than the quantity of graduates.
The case for internationalisation of higher education
Patrick Blessinger and Barbara Cozza
Internationalisation is about more than student mobility and study abroad. Its main purpose should be to enhance the quality of research, teaching and service, and consequently, to improve learning outcomes and the well-being of society.
TEN YEARS OF UNIVERSITY WORLD NEWS
10 years of University World News, a global window on HE
Geoff Maslen, Karen MacGregor and Brendan O’Malley
Ten years ago, a group of journalists from around the world set up an online publication dedicated to promoting news, comment and debate about global higher education. Today we look back at what has been achieved in those 10 years and thank our 56,000 Global and 30,000 Africa edition subscribers for their continuing support.
‘Essential reading for all in global higher education’
‘In a league of its own’, ‘highly trusted and respected’, ‘of unique value to educators, administrators and policy-makers’, ‘enriching’ – distinguished readers tell us what they think about University World News’ distinctive contribution to global higher education, on our 10th anniversary.
Overall outcomes of university rankings are ‘junk’
The overall outcome of some of the best known international university rankings is “junk”, especially if they are multi-indicator rankings using weighting, according to a leading higher education expert, Simon Marginson. In addition, most rankings are influenced by an agenda.
Politics and protest – Universities in the crossfire
Instead of attending to their studies, over the past three weeks Mark Kamau and his two third-year classmates at the University of Nairobi have been hawking boiled eggs every evening, targeting the droves of factory workers trekking home. Student unrest has forced their university to close and they are trying to keep busy. On a good day, they make US$6.
Future of Norwegian study centres abroad uncertain
Jan Petter Myklebust
The fate of Norwegian study centres across Europe looked to be hanging in the balance earlier this year, but innovations, including offering many options and tailoring courses to teacher training, are helping to change the outlook for some.