NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Rights groups condemn deportation of academics
International human rights groups have condemned the Nigerian government for deporting 47 Cameroon nationals, six of whom are university lecturers. They were deported on suspicion of being 'terrorists' and are now being held by security forces in Cameroon.
Prime minister announces review of tertiary education
The prime minister has announced a year-long review of tertiary education which will look at the whole question of how students and graduates contribute to the cost of their studies, including the level, terms and duration of their contribution, and how equality of access can be improved.
Government seeks grand conversation on education reform
The New Zealand government has announced its three-year programme to develop the first major reform of the entire education system since 1989, starting with a national education summit. University leaders say tackling severe underinvestment in higher education is a priority.
Vice-chancellor charged over Grace Mugabe’s PhD
University of Zimbabwe Vice-chancellor Professor Levi Nyagura has been arrested for allegedly awarding former first lady Grace Mugabe a doctor of philosophy degree 'corruptly' in 2014. Nyagura was arrested on Friday 16 February and granted bail the following day. He is to reappear in court on 5 March.
PM orders investigation of burglaries of China expert
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last week ordered security agencies to investigate break-ins at the home and university office of an academic researching China’s influence in the country. The academic had been warned that she could be targeted if she did not toe Beijing’s official line.
Universities divided over decoupling from the state
Jan Petter Myklebust
The government is going ahead with work on a feasibility study on university governance, investigating among other models a decoupling of the universities from the state. But the issue is dividing university leaders and some are already protesting.
First university to start a branch in another state
Representatives of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), in Bavaria, and the Dieter Schwarz Foundation have signed an agreement supporting the development of a Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University campus into a TUM branch, making TUM the first German university to set up a branch in another German state.
Academics and researchers drive smart city project
Increasing pressure from population growth and rapid expansion of urban areas has spurred the Algerian government into using information and communications technology to develop a new model for cities, roping in academics and researchers, along with technology experts.
Government moves to approve private university degrees
Shadi Khan Saif
The Afghan government has begun to approve the issuing of degree and diploma certificates to thousands of students at private universities who failed to get a place in public sector institutions. The first ‘authenticated’ private university diplomas were handed out earlier this month, according to the ministry of education.
Internationalism in an era of ultra-nationalism?
Is Indonesia’s higher education sector finally opening up to foreign universities? Recent statements suggest that the government is looking at internationalisation at home through allowing foreign campuses to set up, but there are many issues to consider.
How are universities creating the leaders they need?
Nadine Burquel and Anja Busch
With higher education being buffeted by change and multiple demands, good leadership is essential to meet the diverse challenges. That requires the development of multi-faceted leaders with proper training for dealing with both global and local demands.
Foreign students’ tuition fees are a double-edged sword
Daniel Sanchez-Serra and Gabriele Marconi
International students can be seen as ‘cash cows’ providing much-needed extra funds to support the higher education system, but governments must keep in mind research that shows that increasing their fees can lead to significant falls in the numbers coming.
Africa failing to address linguistic imperialism
More than half a century after independence from colonial rule with its imposition of the language of the colonial master, linguistic imperialism still rules in Africa. It is time for universities to address the impact on education of not teaching in students’ mother tongue.
Espionage and denial – Breaking the silence of the lambs
Instead of remaining silent, the African intelligentsia must appeal to and persuade its political establishments and institutional leaders to establish – and sustainably support – strategic academic institutions and intellectual powerhouses in order to advance the continent’s competitiveness in the increasingly complex global political, economic and intellectual landscape.
The challenge to higher education internationalisation
Philip G Altbach and Hans de Wit
A plethora of negative trends suggests that the era of internationalisation of higher education may be coming to an end. But not all the trends are about a rejection of a global outlook. Through tackling issues such as academic freedom, internationalisation may be salvaged.
Islamic universities have role in fighting extremism
As a new Islamic university establishes itself in Uzbekistan, experts say that along with similar institutions in the country and in Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, it could play a valuable role in combating the influence of radical extremism and stemming recruitment by Islamic State in Central Asia.
University admissions reform – What effect will it have?
Both public and private universities in Kenya are suffering from significantly reduced student intakes following government changes to university admissions policies which have resulted in a drop in candidates eligible for university study.
OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
‘Open educational resources’ are the focus of a growing field of inquiry, particularly in the Global South where, up until now, research has been relatively limited and isolated. Now, a new book based on three years of research across 21 countries and three regions in the Global South offers the first comprehensive analysis of the uses and impact of open educational resources, which have the potential not only to reduce educational costs, but to enhance the quality of educational materials.
The South joins a global conversation on open education
A 21-country study aimed at understanding how open educational resources can improve access, enhance quality and reduce education costs in the Global South not only fills a major gap in empirical research, but has helped to grow a community of researchers in the region and given educators in the South a space to voice their own perspectives and participate in a global conversation.
Opportunities and obstacles for open education
Given the social, financial and infrastructural challenges facing many African universities, could the provision of free and open educational materials to students and educators improve higher education provision on the continent?
The challenge of open and accessible education
Many South American students face severe infrastructural and resource challenges in accessing tertiary education. Obstacles include a lack of affordable textbooks, computers and broadband connectivity, a situation compounded by a lack of clear policy on how to address challenges related to issues of poor access and quality of education.
Diverse responses to open education
Educators in Asia’s diverse higher education sector are increasingly calling for educational resources that are more affordable for students, have undergone stringent quality assurance processes, and are of greater relevance to their local contexts.
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