NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
African Union devises 10-year plan to stem brain drain
The African Union has devised a new 10-year plan of action to stop migration to developed countries of African professionals with critical technical skills – estimated to reach up to 70,000 annually.
Death sentence handed down for campus student lynching
Ameen Amjad Khan
An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has handed down a death sentence and 25-year sentences to five others for the horrific lynching last April of a student on the campus of Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, after falsely accusing him of committing blasphemy.
Overhauling strategies for HE internationalisation
Jan Petter Myklebust
Sweden is slipping behind on internationalisation, but hopes to rectify the situation, driven by the findings of a special investigation into increasing internationalisation. One of its first recommendations is to ensure that all students experience either outbound mobility or internationalisation at home.
Scandinavia’s biggest inquiry into internationalisation
Jan Petter Myklebust
The Swedish inquiry into internationalisation of higher education is likely to be the most comprehensive ever conducted in Scandinavia, with a long list of proposed action points, but curiously it has received almost no discussion in the Swedish university press or in the Swedish public sphere.
International masters programmes turn slump around
Jan Petter Myklebust
The introduction of tuition fees for international students from outside Europe hit hard at demand for places from such students at the University of Helsinki, but a year later demand has more than recovered after a radical change of strategy to attract foreign students.
Lawsuit battle over campus free speech security costs
Katherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education
The University of Washington’s College Republicans sued the university last week over its decision to charge the group US$17,000 in security fees for a rally featuring a controversial conservative speaker. The group said the charge represented an illegal restriction on protected speech.
International UG applications break 100,000 barrier
A jump in undergraduate (UG) applications from European Union countries and a steep rise in non-EU applications have brought the total over 100,000 for the first time, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service has reported. The rises may be fuelled by a last-minute rush to beat Brexit and by a weaker pound.
Corruption among factors affecting HE quality process
The Association of African Universities has identified corruption and threats to officials of accreditation bodies as some of the issues affecting the quality of some higher education institutions across the continent, its Secretary General, Etienne Ehile, has told University World News.
Minister denies visa hike is tuition fees by back door
Jan Petter Myklebust
The new minister of research and higher education has denied claims that the government is bringing in tuition fees by the back door by steeply increasing visa fees for international students, but said the government will look to strengthen internationalisation.
US academics not exempted from travel ban to Pyongyang
No special exemptions have been given so far for academics who are United States citizens to teach at the private Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, which has been hard hit by the US ban on travel to North Korea in the wake of the death of US student Otto Warmbier last year.
Can international scholarships lead to social change?
International scholarship programmes in higher education have been around for some time, but until recently there has been little focus on documenting and analysing their ability to break down barriers and foster long-term social change. More and better evidence is needed.
A shift towards good quality higher education for all
Roger Chao Jr
Recent reforms in the education system in the Philippines have helped the country towards achieving education-related Sustainable Development Goals and increased internationalisation of higher education – a promising case study that could be replicated in other countries.
Regional strategy needed to counter homogenisation
Ann M Brewer
Global rankings can contribute to a one-size-fits-all approach to higher education, blocking the path to innovation and discouraging distinctive characteristics. A regional strategy is a better response in a transnational environment, providing a balance between the extremes of ‘global’ and ‘multinational’ approaches.
Hong Kong’s higher education – 20 years after handover
Gerard A Postiglione
Much of Hong Kong’s higher education success in the past 20 years – it arguably developed more world-class universities than any other city – has been due to confidence in the autonomy of universities and an openness to new ideas. But will that last?
Government looking to encourage branch campuses
Saudi Arabia is looking to attract foreign universities to its soil, but there are big questions that need to be addressed first, including tax exemptions and subsidies from the Saudi government, how to lure international staff, and whether there will be academic freedom.
Graduate employability – Whose responsibility?
Individual universities have been handed an enormous responsibility in the Ethiopian government’s new plan to dramatically improve graduate employability. Will they be able to meet these expectations in the context of ongoing expansion of the sector?
Planning the development of your research profile
Think you don’t have time for research? You can’t afford not to. Unless you are teaching only, when it comes to promotion you will generally be measured by your research output and your standing in your discipline. So make a long-term plan and stick to it.
‘Sharp drop’ expected in global student mobility growth
Global outbound student mobility will suffer over the next decade as countries invest more domestically in developing their own higher education provision, according to forecasts in a new British Council research report, which warns of “massive, speedy” change.
STEM universities must do more to close racial gaps
To attract more blacks and Hispanics to science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM, universities must address racial issues on campus. Currently they don’t do enough to make students feel welcome and end persistent racial underrepresentation at graduate levels and across STEM professions, students and experts say.
Designing pedagogies for the digital age
Technology like Facebook can amplify great teaching, but it requires an understanding of the opportunities technology provides and a shift from passive ways of teaching – consumption – to active approaches involving curation, conversation, correction, creation and chaos.
Steering the HE sector through turmoil and change
University World News interviews Professor Thandwa Mthembu, the new chair of Universities South Africa – the peak body for the country’s 26 public universities – at a time when universities are under enormous pressure to implement the new fee-free higher education dispensation announced with scarce warning in December by President Jacob Zuma.
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