NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Mass detention and dismissal of academics continues
A further 438 members of Turkey’s higher education community have faced criminal detentions, investigations and prosecutions since July. Some 698 have been dismissed or expelled from their institutions and subjected to travel restrictions. In total, more than 9,200 have now been targeted.
UK revelations revive stalled massive fake degree case
Ameen Amjad Khan
An all but stalled investigation in Pakistan into a massive fake degree scandal involving the Karachi-based IT firm Axact is expected to pick up again after thousands of United Kingdom citizens were alleged to have bought fake degrees from Axact and after the promise of a new investigation by UK authorities into the scam.
Students speak out on sexual harassment, despite censors
The rapid growth of a movement against sexual harassment on university campuses has left the Chinese authorities grappling with how to be seen to act decisively while quelling the rise in online letters and petitions by feminist activists, seen as challenging the state.
Free higher education offered to low-income families
Under a new government package, students from low-income families will for the first time be eligible for free education at national universities or reduced tuition costs at private universities, two-year colleges and vocational schools from 2020. The move was prompted by spiralling student loan defaults.
Student interns work for no pay – A new form of slavery?
The lack of regulation governing student internships, the completion of which is a mandatory component of diploma and degree studies, is leaving many desperate Zimbabwean students open to exploitation as many are working without any pay.
EU refuses to claim back student debt for Denmark
Jan Petter Myklebust
The European Union has rebuffed the Danish government’s request for the EU to help it claim back unpaid student debt owed by citizens in EU member states who studied in Denmark and left the country, the major Danish newspaper, Politiken, has reported.
Science academy appeals for more Africa-based funding
The African Academy of Sciences is appealing for contributions from African governments and the continent's private sector to help it to, among other future projects, establish regional scientific research hubs that will contribute to an increase in science output on the continent.
Investigator proposes more autonomy for universities
Jan Petter Myklebust
Sweden’s special investigator on higher education has presented a preliminary proposal for reforming the governance and funding of universities and university colleges to improve coordination of goals and monitoring of outcomes, and strengthen university autonomy.
Mixed responses to university registration fee proposal
In a move perceived by some as the beginning of the end of free higher education, the Moroccan government is planning to introduce registration fees in public institutions for wealthy Moroccans and financial aid for those that cannot afford to pay. The responses have been mixed.
Building a sense of HE community in xenophobic times
Andrés Castro Samayoa
Universities should seek ways to make international students feel more included in the everyday life of their institution, not through specific policies for such students, but by building coalitions between all those targeted by the current regime.
Will global online higher education ever take off?
In the wake of the dot.com bubble and the MOOC revolution, why haven’t more students taken up the promise of global online learning? There are many reasons, from official recognition to expense, but the future looks brighter for continuing professional development.
Progress in higher education hampered by poor schools
Too many students are entering Indian higher education to land a non-graduate job or to boost their marriage prospects and are not adequately prepared or motivated to benefit from degree-level education. There needs to be better quality school education for all to address the problem.
Our mission is to speak truth to power under threat
The publication of Bruce Gilley’s essay, ‘The Case for Colonialism’, should serve as a wake-up call to academics to ensure that peer review does not lose its credibility as a guarantor of publication trustworthiness. Otherwise we will lose our authority as reputable voices in society.
Court ruling misses the mark on language rights
Could a recent court ruling on teaching in English – in a case brought by a historically Afrikaans university – reinforce inequities or could it give universities pause to consider strategies that promote racial integration while remaining true to the country’s multilingual character?
Hurdles to overcome on the road to internationalisation
Wondwosen Tamrat and Damtew Teferra
Ethiopian higher education has experienced strong growth in the past two decades and the country understands the benefits of internationalising universities. But there is an urgent need for clear policies and strategic direction, as well as systems and frameworks, to address existing deficiencies.
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.
Are there signs of hope for higher education in 2018?
Hans de Wit
The trends towards nationalism and threats to academic freedom dominated in 2017, but against that there is evidence of universities responding with initiatives related to the Sustainable Development Goals, support for refugees and calls for a more inclusive and ethical higher education.
Pacific Rim universities work to step up policy impact
Christopher Tremewan tells University World News how the Association of Pacific Rim Universities is mobilising its members to provide advice and research to help governments and international bodies tackle major global and regional challenges – particularly natural and man-made hazards, including climate change – and sustainability.
TRANSNATIONAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE
The Westminster Higher Education Forum held a conference in London last week on “The Future of Transnational Education – Opportunities, quality assurance and priorities for supporting growth”. University World News reports.
Divide between onshore and offshore campuses blurring
The United Kingdom has 60% of its international students being taught offshore and universities are also encouraging home campus students to move around their global networks. In the United States, cross-border expansion may lie in offering double degrees and tapping smaller emerging markets with micro-campuses.
TNE could widen access to world’s poorest communities
Government support for transnational education, or TNE, is set to grow as a form of aid from advanced countries because it can widen access to education in lower- and middle-income countries, a London conference on the future of TNE was told last week.
Some UK universities are shaking off the Brexit blues
Universities in the United Kingdom are shaking off their Brexit blues and forging new partnerships with their counterparts around the world, including with higher education institutions inside the European Union, a London conference on the future of transnational education heard.
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