NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
UN convention on degree recognition comes into force
A United Nations regional convention on the recognition of higher education qualifications in the Asia Pacific comes into force on 15 January 2018 after the five founding countries – Australia, South Korea, China, Japan and New Zealand – deposited their instruments of ratification with UNESCO.
Higher education access rising but challenges lie ahead
The proportion of young people in higher education in India has risen to 25.2%, up from under 20% in 2010-11, with the country setting an ambitious goal of attaining a gross enrolment ratio of 30% by 2020. But it lags behind China, currently with a gross enrolment ratio of 42%.
Students among hundreds arrested during protests
Wagdy Sawahel and Yojana Sharma
Students are among hundreds of people arrested in demonstrations across dozens of cities and towns throughout Iran, which began as demonstrations against the price of basic food supplies but later included criticism of the political establishment.
University funding to be 'frozen' in time by federal cuts
Planned federal cuts of more than AU$2 billion (US$1.6 billion) would mean university funding was 'frozen in time' and would force severe reductions in student numbers, according to Universities Australia. It says regional areas with lowest university enrolments would be hit hardest.
Parliament to prevent foreign influence on students
The upper house of the Russian national parliament is drawing up a package of measures to restrict external pressure and foreign influence on Russian students and universities. Foreign programmes will have to be coordinated with the Ministry of Education and Science and the Federal Security Service.
International students worth £22.6 billion to economy
International students are contributing £22.6 billion (US$31 billion) to the United Kingdom economy, 10 times their cost, and are worth £310 per UK resident, according to a detailed analysis of the costs and benefits to the UK of welcoming 231,000 new international students each year.
Majority of universities are now research-oriented
María Elena Hurtado
For the first time in Chile there are more complex universities, that focus on research and also teach six or seven PhDs in three or more disciplines, than teaching-only universities, according to the sixth edition of the quality ranking of Chilean universities.
Minister proposes mandatory donations from alumni
Zambia's Minister of Higher Education Professor Nkandu Luo has said the government is working on a policy to make it mandatory for all graduates to give back to their former institutions.
Court overturns university admissions restrictions regime
The Federal Constitutional Court has ruled that the procedure for allocating places to study medicine in Germany, which partly prioritises students with top marks in the high school leaving exam, is unfair. It has called on federal and state governments to establish new procedures.
Provide solutions to challenges, universities told
President Emmerson Mnangagwa says universities must offer productive and responsive higher education, relevant to the needs of the economy, by harnessing knowledge and skills that promote economic development through science, technology and research.
Rector says internationalisation should have limits
Jan Petter Myklebust
There are limits to how far internationalisation in higher education should grow and it is right to set them, said Rector Magnificus of the University of Amsterdam, Professor Karen IJ Maex, speaking at the celebration of the university’s 368th anniversary.
Educating ethical leaders and critical thinkers
Lennart Levi and Bo Rothstein
To address future threats to the world, universities must offer training for all future decision-makers, regardless of faculty or subject, to think both critically and ethically. As a first step, we need an international, interdisciplinary analysis of what needs to be taught and how.
Nordic path to automatic recognition of qualifications
Stig Arne Skjerven
Nordic cooperation in the field of recognition of qualifications, backed by clear political commitment at ministerial level and with the aim of encouraging greater mobility, has proven to be important and might become a role model for other regions in Europe.
US share of international students will keep falling
United States market share of international students has been falling for a while for a number of reasons. The biggest threat is a failure of higher education managers to take seriously the fact that international students have a growing number of options available to them.
Can foreign branch campuses be research universities?
There are several factors that could increase pressure for international branch campuses in developing countries to become more research-focused. This is likely to be only in niche areas of applied and technology transfer research and to be distinct from the research their parent universities do.
What the higher education Brexit debate has not covered
Vangelis Tsiligiris and Alex de Ruyter
Brexit has created a lot of uncertainty over issues such as student mobility, research funding and recruitment of European Union staff, but other areas affected, such as transnational education, have not been aired in the debate about the likely impact of leaving the EU.
What changes will HE have to prepare for by 2030?
What are the megatrends shaping the world around us? What are the implications for higher education and international mobility? These questions will be discussed in an international webinar hosted by StudyPortals on 24 January, for which University World News is the media partner.
Developing countries showing way to fight fraud
Nigeria is among a number of developing countries going further than many developed countries in specifically addressing academic corruption in law and many African universities are seeking to copy its commitment to not only punish but name and shame offenders.
Continuing dilemmas for higher education in 2018
Philip G Altbach
What does 2018 have in store for international higher education? Despite some bright spots, the political headwinds of nationalism, fiscal constraints and other conflicts do not bode well for the coming year, and the increasing demands to abolish tuition fees may continue.
Forging effective HE systems for national development
Mark Paterson and Nico Cloete
A new book by Jamil Salmi, the recently retired coordinator of tertiary education at the World Bank, is an immensely readable and practical volume that is informed by a deep understanding of both the theoretical and real-world challenges faced by policy agents seeking to transform their higher education systems.
University leadership changes signal politicisation
As a number of universities in Hong Kong change their top leadership, the comments of outgoing and incoming university heads are being closely scrutinised for their commitment to Hong Kong’s cherished freedoms, particularly academic freedom, as the city comes under increasing pressure from Beijing.
CASTELLS IN AFRICA
A new book, Castells in Africa: Universities and Development, published late last year by open-access publisher African Minds, showcases the contribution of Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells to higher education research and thinking in Africa.
The university – Decisive battlefield and source of hope
Higher education is the site of a three-way convergence involving a shift in economic organisation, the acceleration of the technological revolution and a re-legitimation of political institutions. This convergence renders the global higher education landscape simultaneously a battlefield and our hope for a better future in the midst of the current darkness.
Manuel Castells – Inspiring fundamental change
A new book, which traces the history of world renowned sociologist Manuel Castells’ visits to South Africa and the intellectual influence of his work, is a welcome addition to the academic literature on the role of higher education in Africa, and provides a relevant analytical framework to understand recent developments in African higher education and identify the high stakes confronting political and university leaders.
‘Castells in Africa’ – Some insights for universities
Johan Muller, Nico Cloete and François van Schalkwyk
The work of Manuel Castells reminds us to expect conflict between the various functions of universities and shines a powerful light on the developmental predicament facing African universities that are still trying to emerge from the shadow of their colonial parent institutions.
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