University World News Global Edition
10 December 2017 Issue 486 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search


Should global universities not follow global principles of educational equality?

   In Commentary, Stuart Tannock asks why concern with educational equality and justice across borders frequently goes missing in discussions of international higher education. Margaret Andrews shares her thoughts on how individuals, management programmes and universities might prepare for the future world of work. Ina Ganguli shows in her analysis of historic publication data that a gender publication gap existed in the USSR on a par or even larger than in the United States, despite the importance placed on gender equality in science in the former Soviet Union. And Sandiso Bazana proposes that ‘organisational development’ change initiatives be employed to help universities in South Africa to embrace and ‘do’ transformation.

   In our World Blog this week, Hans de Wit and Elspeth Jones argue that until an inclusive approach to internationalisation is incorporated into the experience of all students, we run the risk of perpetuating the kind of elitism that nationalists decry.

   In Features, Yojana Sharma examines China’s motives in setting up ‘Western-style’ liberal arts degrees. María Elena Hurtado looks at some of the challenges experienced by the Ford Foundation’s Latin American postgraduate fellows in bringing change to their communities. And Ramadhan Rajab reports on the relaunch of the faculty of journalism and communication at the Somali National University, which will provide training for journalists working in a politically sensitive context.

   We ask readers to consider the new University World News partnership programme for universities and higher education organisations wishing to raise their profile internationally and connect with a key audience of university leaders, academics, administrators and policy-makers.

Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor

NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report


Brexit breakthrough helps universities in short term

Brendan O’Malley

Universities have welcomed the breakthrough in negotiations between the United Kingdom government and the European Union on Brexit, which will end uncertainty for 46,000 EU citizens currently working in UK universities and is set to keep the UK in Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ until 2020.


Leading institutions forced to drop ‘university’ title

Shuriah Niazi

Prominent institutions of higher education in India, including many private and specialised institutions, that enjoyed so-called ‘deemed university’ status can no longer use the word 'university' in their names, sparking fears it could affect their reputation, international rankings and future student recruitment.


US decision on Jerusalem fuels student unrest

Wagdy Sawahel

United States President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem – or Al-Quds in Arabic – as the capital of Israel and transfer the American embassy there from Tel Aviv has led to numerous angry protests by students in Egypt's universities and beyond.


Marketisation of HE is failing students – Audit report

Brendan O’Malley

The United Kingdom's National Audit Office has published a damning report on the effectiveness of the government’s increasing reliance in recent years on delivering higher education using market mechanisms, particularly student choice, to improve quality and value for money, and reduce social inequity.


Doubts emerge over UK university’s South Korean campus

Aimee Chung and Yojana Sharma

Doubts have emerged over the University of Aberdeen’s plans to set up what would be the first United Kingdom university campus in South Korea after differences of opinion with the Korean authorities over the kind of courses to be offered.


AI, digital technology is changing innovation landscape

Yojana Sharma

The rise of artificial intelligence or AI, data analytics and other digital technologies is changing the innovation landscape in a way more conducive to university-industry research and development collaborations than in the past, according to Tan Chorh Chuan, outgoing president of the National University of Singapore.


LERU universities contribute €100 billion to economy

Jan Petter Myklebust and Brendan O’Malley

Investment in leading research universities generates a substantial return for the wider economy, and the 23 members of the League of European Research Universities or LERU are contributing almost €100 billion (US$117 billion) to the European economy and 1.3 million jobs, according to a new study.


Government pulls plan to fight social inequity in HE

Jan Petter Myklebust

Minister of Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson has withdrawn government proposals to make universities work harder to combat social inequity in access to higher education following strong opposition from within the sector, particularly over government's failure to commit to providing new resources.


Cairo University sacks five academics over Islamist link

Ashraf Khaled

Egypt’s main state-run institution Cairo University has expelled five lecturers for having links with the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, the latest in a clampdown on Islamist academics in the Arab country.


New research strategy has an eye on the Nobel Prize

Jan Petter Myklebust

The government’s new research and innovation strategy aims to put Denmark among the world’s elite research nations. It includes the establishment of a ‘Nobel Pact’ to develop Nobel Prize qualifying researchers but also seeks to gear funding to promote high quality research and better research careers.


No arrests in Makerere fraud case as 69 degrees recalled

Christabel Ligami

Ugandan police have made no arrests among the 88 suspects – some of them alleged to be politicians and business people – implicated in the altering or forging of marks at Makerere University, months after university officials reported the offences.


New government will face pressure for new deal for HE

Michael Gardner

With talks over a new German government dragging on, heads of higher education and research bodies and institutions are demanding that the coming administration tackle the growing imbalance between core and project funding for universities and the need for substantial increases of funding.


Russia unveils plans for nuclear education centre

Tonderayi Mukeredzi

Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom is assisting Zambia in establishing a nuclear education centre that will enhance inter-university cooperation by training qualified personnel to work in the field of nuclear technology.



Shouldn’t global universities follow global principles?

Stuart Tannock

As universities cease being national institutions, there is a duty to ensure not just that research and teaching are world class, but that principles of educational equality and justice and issues such as widening participation are properly internationalised as well.


The future of work – and of management education

Margaret Andrews

We all know that the world of work is changing. That means a need for a change in management education with a focus on lifelong learning, on the human side of management and ethics – plus a need to innovate in how it is delivered.


Did the USSR top the US on gender equality in science?

Ina Ganguli

The Soviet Union was ahead of other countries on many measures of gender equality and it is often assumed that there was also greater gender equality in academia in the USSR than in the United States, but new research on publication rates challenges this idea.


'Organisational development' could transform universities

Sandiso Bazana

Massive destructive student protests highlight the fact that South African universities are facing a stalemate with regard to the institutional transformation they require. It’s time to stop the piecemeal approach and adopt the kind of strategic focus employed by business.


How can universities remain international post-Brexit?

Miranda Thomas

Brexit presents significant challenges for universities in the United Kingdom. The best way forward is through promoting the UK as open and welcoming to international students and diversifying the student base, since more than half of incoming students come from just 10 countries.



Improving access and equity in internationalisation

Hans de Wit and Elspeth Jones

With degree mobility only reaching a small elite, and too little focus on faculty and student perspectives on internationalisation in the curriculum, we run the risk of perpetuating the kind of elitism that nationalists decry. A more inclusive approach to internationalisation is needed.



Why China wants ‘Western-style’ liberal arts education

Yojana Sharma

As Duke University in the United States prepares to set up an undergraduate liberal arts degree at its campus in Kunshan, China, and with other proposals by foreign universities for such programmes in the offing, China’s motivations for setting up ‘experimental’ liberal arts degrees are coming under scrutiny.


Challenges of promoting social change via fellowships

María Elena Hurtado

The Ford Foundation’s postgraduate fellows from Brazil, Guatemala and México are struggling against the legacy of slavery, exploitation of indigenous people and the United States’ interference in Latin American affairs, to bring change to their communities – and in some contexts higher education itself is seen as a tool of oppression.


Relaunch of faculty heralds new era in journalism

Ramadhan Rajab

The Somali National University has relaunched its faculty of journalism and communication – 26 years after its closure in 1991. The faculty will meet the need for formally trained media workers in the country’s growing number of media outlets, and provide expert training for journalists working in a politically sensitive context and facing ongoing conflict with Islamist insurgents al-Shabaab and other armed gangs.



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Colleges say GOP tax reform threatens campuses

The House version of the Republicans’ tax reform legislation would cause financial hardship for colleges and the students who attend them, while the Senate’s plan would be only slightly less damaging, higher education officials and advocates said as lawmakers moved towards drafting a final bill, writes Nanette Asimov for the San Francisco Chronicle.


60% say funding cuts limit university access - Poll

Polling conducted for the universities’ lobbying arm has found that six out of 10 Australians think cuts to university funding would limit access to tertiary education and the same proportion would oppose attempts to reduce the education budget by circumventing the parliament, writes Michael McGowan for The Guardian.


Universities body rejects findings on graduate earnings

Universities New Zealand says new research that compares the lifetime finances of tradespeople to that of qualified graduates is "misleading", writes Madison Reidy for Stuff.


Aberystwyth University's island campus set to close

Aberystwyth University is planning to close its overseas campus on the island of Mauritius just two years after it opened after the institution’s governing body decided it will "not enrol further intakes of students" at the branch campus from March 2018, reports BBC News.


Education group seeks HK$3.4 billion public share offer

China Education Group, a leading private higher education provider, said it was seeking an initial public share offer of up to HK$3.4 billion (US$435 million), with part of the proceeds to be used to acquire schools in the United Kingdom and Europe, writes Jane Li for South China Morning Post.


President calls on universities’ help in economic revival

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said higher learning institutions have an obligation to contribute to economic development through innovative research, writes Stephen Chadenga for NewsDay.


University head urges universities to 'wake up'

The head of one of South Korea's most prestigious universities has warned Korean universities of their demise as early as 2018 unless they wake up and break free from the hackneyed educational methods used for decades, writes Ko Dong-hwan for The Korea Times.


Call for a more entrepreneurial approach to HE

Significant policy reform and innovation are needed to make radical but necessary changes to the traditional education ecosystem, says Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah. The Perak ruler said a more entrepreneurial approach to higher education must be fostered to bring about these changes, writes Amanda Yeap for The Star.


Calls to extend public fund to private universities

Government is being asked to extend the Ghana Education Trust Fund support to private universities in Ghana to reduce the burden of running the institutions, writes Prince Appiah for Luv FM.


Universities curricula to tackle ‘ethics’ problem

Universities and business schools are grappling with the ethics curricula they teach to professionals and future professionals, following damning revelations of state capture involving accountants, auditors and consultants at major international companies, reports News24.


Students protest fees, suppression and discrimination

Hundreds of students at several major Iranian universities protested last week against higher tuition fees and what they claim is political suppression and gender discrimination, reports Radio Farda.


Max Planck Society seeks to hire more women as faculty

In November Germany’s renowned Max Planck Society launched a women-only hiring initiative to help tackle the underrepresentation of women in scientific research. Over the next four years, the society will put more than US$35 million (€30 million) towards the ‘Lise Meitner excellence programme’ – named after the distinguished 20th-century chemist, writes Katarina Zimmer for The Scientist.


200 universities set to lose access to Elsevier journals

Around 200 German universities will lose their subscriptions to Elsevier journals within weeks, because negotiations have failed to end a long-term contract dispute, writes Quirin Schiermeier for Nature.


Harvard upholds policy against single-gender clubs

Harvard University is upholding a policy that pressures secretive all-male social clubs to accept students of any gender, writes Collin Brinkley for Associated Press.


Change in law so foreign academics won't risk fines

Denmark's government says it will change the law so foreign academics can share their knowledge outside universities without risking fines, reports Associated Press. Higher Education and Science Minister Søren Pind says the rules send "a message contrary to what Denmark wants to signal".


No name change for Rhodes University after council vote

The council of Rhodes University has voted against a name change for the institution citing financial constraints. The university made the announcement last week through a six-page statement by council – the highest decision-making body, reports the Mail & Guardian.

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