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4 February 2018 Issue 491 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search


Business schools have lost sight of their original purpose – to serve society

   In Commentary, Robert Quartly-Janeiro says business schools have lost the plot – they are being challenged by the crisis of globalisation and they need to get back to developing business leaders who can serve society rather than growing rich from it. Rosemary Salomone writes that a recent court judgment in Italy against the teaching of graduate programmes in English provides a framework for questioning the use of English as a vehicle for ‘internationalising’ universities, with wider implications across Europe. And as Vladimir Putin runs for re-election as Russian president, Ararat Osipian asks why so few students are involved in political protests in Russia.

   Also in Commentary, Eric Fredua-Kwarteng and Samuel Ofosu contend that the ‘developmental university’ is a better model for the African continent than the ‘Africanised university’, whose proponents are over-consumed with the politics of decolonisation as if that is the only developmental challenge facing the continent. Allan E Goodman says that how we respond to the present global education imperatives will shape our future, so we should guard against dynamics that close our doors and our minds and embrace an international approach.

   In our World Blog, Patrick Blessinger and Mandla Makhanya examine the concept of higher education as a common good, whereby universities fulfil their missions by serving the contemporary needs of their constituents and addressing a range of social needs.

   In Features, Tunde Fatunde reports that irregular payment of public university lecturers’ salaries in Nigeria is causing personal hardship, with fatal consequences when staff are unable to afford adequate food and proper medical care.

   In a Special Report covering the annual conference of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the CHEA International Quality Group in Washington DC, Mary Beth Marklein reports that Republicans in the US are proposing a comprehensive rewrite of the higher education law, to which Democrats are vehemently opposed. Marklein also reports from the conference that the higher education accreditation sector is facing pressure to reform to stem waning public confidence in the value of US degrees.

Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor

NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report


Major higher education reforms secured by senators

María Elena Hurtado

Less than two months before leaving office, Chile’s Socialist President Michelle Bachelet finally achieved her campaign promise to reform Chile’s education from top to bottom with the passing of the higher education reform law guaranteeing free education and a special law for state universities.


Parliamentarians call for release of detained students

Shafigeh Shirazi and Yojana Sharma

With Iranian authorities still refusing to confirm the number of people detained during protests in Iranian cities in December and January, Iranian lawmakers and academics have written to President Hassan Rouhani and the head of the judiciary Sadegh Larijani demanding the immediate release of student detainees.


Parliament told China is trying to influence campuses

Yojana Sharma

Organisations that promote the Chinese government’s official view, including on foreign affairs, and seek to limit academic freedom are present on almost all Australian university campuses and in many scientific organisations, and are used as an extension of the Communist Party abroad, according to a submission to Australia's parliament.


Dutch branch campus shelved over academic freedom fears

Yojana Sharma

The University of Groningen in the Netherlands has shelved plans to establish a branch campus in China, a joint venture with China Agricultural University, Beijing, due to insufficient support among staff and students in the Groningen university council, where concerns were raised over academic freedom.


Ten African scientists among 2018 TWAS fellows

Maina Waruru

Ten African academics are among the 55 new fellows of The World Academy of Sciences or TWAS – the second-best showing by scientists from the continent in nine years.


Eighty-two cases of offspring named as co-authors

Aimee Chung

Some 82 cases of professors listing their secondary school offspring as co-authors in academic papers have been unearthed by an investigation by South Korea’s ministry of education. The discovery has prompted referrals to ethics committees at 29 universities – including some of the country’s top institutions.


Foreign students blamed for steep rise in student fraud

Jan Petter Myklebust

There has been a tenfold increase in the number of students using a false alternative address while living at home to claim for a higher rate of living costs, according to figures released by the ministry of higher education and science, and more than three-quarters of those caught cheating were international students.


Steep rise in white supremacist propaganda on campuses

Brendan O’Malley

New data released on Thursday by the Anti-Defamation League shows an alarming increase in white supremacist propaganda on United States campuses – from community colleges to Ivy League universities – during the 2017 autumn semester.


TNE students outnumber foreign students in UK by 60%

Brendan O’Malley

As plans for a new China campus for Xi’an Jiatong-Liverpool University were announced during British Prime Minister Theresa May’s state visit to China, a new report shows there are 1.6 times as many students studying for UK awards overseas via transnational education, or TNE, than international students in the United Kingdom.


Migration agency eases rule for international students

Jan Petter Myklebust

The Swedish Migration Agency has bowed to pressure to drop a requirement for international students to provide evidence of being able to afford living costs, after deportation cases highlighted the plight of students forced to leave before finishing their course.


Steep rise in visa charge for international students

Jan Petter Myklebust

A sharp rise in the visa application charge for international students, and a significant increase in the minimum amount they must deposit before beginning their studies in Norway, are an attempt to bring in tuition fees ‘by the back door’, say student organisations.


University emissions experiments on humans fuel uproar

Michael Gardner

Reports of emissions experiments on humans at a German university have caused further uproar following recent revelations of car exhaust animal experiments in the United States. The automobile firms backing the tests have since distanced themselves from the animal experiments.


Sweden extends partnership with flagship university

Rodrigue Rwirahira

A successful 16-year partnership between the University of Rwanda and several Swedish tertiary institutions, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, has been extended for another five years.



Where did business schools and MBAs go wrong?

Robert Quartly-Janeiro

Business schools are being challenged by the crisis of globalisation. Their core subjects are increasingly outdated, they have lost sight of their original purpose and they need to get back to developing business leaders who can best serve society rather than growing rich from it.


Italian court pushes back on the race towards English

Rosemary Salomone

A court judgment against the teaching of graduate courses in English means there is now a well-developed framework for questioning the use of English as a vehicle for ‘internationalising’ universities. It could have wider implications for the push-back in other European countries.


Students under pressure as Putin runs for re-election

Ararat Osipian

Why are so few students involved in political protests in Russia? Crackdowns on dissent at university and schools, pressure both on university leaders to comply with government demands and on students to support Vladimir Putin’s presidential bid, have contributed to a climate of political passivity.


A better model than the Africanised university

Eric Fredua-Kwarteng and Samuel Ofosu

Proponents of the ‘Africanised university’ are over-consumed with the politics of decolonisation – as if that is the only developmental challenge facing the continent when there are many more. It absolves Africans from responsibility for their own actions and inaction.


The global education imperative: Building bridges

Allan E Goodman

While the present is dark, we must prepare for a new world and for the challenges of the future. In this world, an international approach should be a part of what it means for everyone to be educated, and guard against dynamics that close our doors and our minds.


Last week the United States-based Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the CHEA International Quality Group held their annual conference in Washington DC. University World News is a media partner.


Rise in intergovernmental involvement in HE

Mary Beth Marklein

There is an increasing influence of not just governments but intergovernmental bodies on higher education regionally and globally as institutions and governments seek to negotiate a higher education landscape that is subject to constant change, the CHEA International Quality Group conference was told last week.


Republicans seek more transparency in higher education

Mary Beth Marklein

Republicans are proposing a comprehensive rewrite of the higher education law, aimed at streamlining the student aid process, easing up on burdensome regulations and demanding increased transparency among colleges and universities. But Democrats oppose what they say is a deeply flawed proposal.


HE accreditation sector faces pressure to reform

Mary Beth Marklein

The higher education accreditation community, which confers the quality-assurance seal of approval that allows United States colleges and universities access to billions of dollars of federal student aid, must reform to stem waning public confidence in the value of US degrees, a Washington conference of accreditors was told.


QA bodies note progress in fighting academic corruption

Mary Beth Marklein

Early research findings on academic corruption suggest that accreditation and quality assurance bodies in some countries are having success in addressing the issue, and research on student attitudes towards cheating offers some insights into how an emphasis on integrity might help reverse the problem.



Towards higher education in service of humanity

Patrick Blessinger and Mandla Makhanya

A differentiated higher education system should serve the needs of its constituents and address a wide range of social and individual needs. This requires universities to continually assess the relevance of their mission and goals and evaluate their effectiveness in achieving them.



Are academics dying, unable to afford food, medicine?

Tunde Fatunde

Non-payment and irregular payment of public university lecturers’ salaries are crippling the country’s institutions of higher learning, causing personal hardship for staff with fatal consequences in some cases, as they can’t pay for adequate food or proper medical care, one union, several medics and some academics are alleging.



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New policy opens door to Australian universities

Indonesia has announced that it will open its doors to foreign universities looking to operate in the country, a move that may unlock new opportunities for Australian higher education providers, write Michael Walsh and Iffah Nur Arifah for ABC News.


Islam scholar Tariq Ramadan held over rape accusations

Prominent Swiss Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, a leading professor at Oxford University, was detained on Wednesday last week in France, where he is facing allegations of rape, reports The Local France.


Graduates from foreign universities are coming home

Where it was once inevitable that those who left to study at prestigious foreign universities would remain on distant shores for years, China’s graduates are now answering the call of home more than ever before – and many are turning down lucrative careers on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley in favour of Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, writes Luke Kelly for Forbes.


Too few black, Latino students at top state universities

Even though more than half of Mississippi’s public high school graduates in 2015 were African American, they only made up 10% of that fall’s freshman class at the University of Mississippi, writes Meredith Kolodner for The Hechinger Report.


Massive strikes set for major universities

The University and College Union has announced that its members at 61 universities will take 14 days of escalating strike action over a four-week period in protest against changes to UK higher education’s biggest pension scheme that would reportedly make members £10,000 (US$14,200) a year worse off in retirement, reports Study International.


Three private universities face closure

Three private universities in Kenya face closure after the higher education regulator recommended that one be shut down, with two others given a year to comply, reports Business Daily.


Japan eyes universities for bullet train training centre

Japan is eyeing three Malaysian universities as partners to set up a training centre in Malaysia to produce skilled manpower if it wins the bid to build the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail, billed as Southeast Asia's largest infrastructure project, reports Bernama.


Private university body resists bid for more UGC control

The Association of Private Universities of Bangladesh has expressed concern over the proposed amendment of the Private University Act 2010 which seeks the involvement of the University Grants Commission, or UGC, of Bangladesh in private university operations, writes Mahadi Al Hasnat for the Dhaka Tribune.


Moody’s warns over strain on public university budgets

Paltry state investment in higher education could strain the budgets of public colleges and universities this year, with small institutions bearing the brunt, Moody’s Investors Service said last week, writes Danielle Douglas-Gabriel for The Washington Post.


Pan-India fake degree racket busted

Three men, including a Delhi University graduate, were arrested for allegedly running a pan-India fake degree racket under which they sold about 50,000 forged certificates of universities and school boards, police said recently, reports Outlook India.


Ministry to boost universities via college majors

The ministry of education last week said China will release a plan this year to support 10,000 majors in its higher education institutions to achieve ‘world-class’ status, writes Zhang Shiyu for ECNS.


Universities expel students over budget protest

Yadanabon University in Mandalay has expelled 14 of its students over their role in a campus protest for a bigger education budget, the first student rally since the Aung San Suu Kyi civilian administration took power in 2016, reports Study International.


Pope issues new education standards for future priests

Catholic university programmes in philosophy, theology and canon law – especially those designed for future priests – must be marked by fidelity to church tradition, academic rigour and an awareness of the challenges to belief in the modern world, Pope Francis has said, writes Cindy Wooden for Catholic News Service.


University opens centre to promote use of big data

The University of Tokyo has embarked on a quest to unearth Japan’s latent assets that could be worth more than ¥700 billion (US$6.4 billion) – big data held by the public sector, writes Shusuke Murai for The Japan Times.


Top universities accused of BTec snobbery

Top universities have been accused of ‘institutional snobbery’ for failing to recognise vocational qualifications increasingly used by poorer teenagers as a route to higher education, writes Michael Savage for The Guardian.


Amazon snags a higher education superstar

Candace Thille, a pioneer in the science of learning, takes a leave of absence from Stanford University to help the ambitious retailer Amazon better train its workers, with implications that could extend far beyond the company, writes Doug Lederman for Inside Higher Ed.


Makerere to introduce e-learning as part of ICT policy

Makerere University is planning to introduce e-learning as part of its strategy to increase the number of students yet at the same time decongest the university. The proposal is part of the new revised information and communications technology (ICT) policy and master plan aimed at boosting research, innovation and online learning, writes Saphira Nahabwe for New Vision.


University launches country's first degree in yodelling

From the 2018-19 academic year it will be possible to study yodelling to degree level in Switzerland for the first time as the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is adding yodelling to its folk music programme, offering both a three-year bachelor and a two-year masters degree in the alpine vocal technique, writes Caroline Bishop for The Local Switzerland.

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