NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Double EU budget, say European university associations
Jan Petter Myklebust and Brendan O'Malley
European university associations have published an open letter to the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council, calling for a doubling of the European Union budget for research, innovation and education – to €160 billion (US$198 billion) for the period 2021-28.
Landmark decision gives more freedom to top universities
Shuriah Niazi and Yojana Sharma
The government of India has granted greater autonomy to 62 top higher education institutions to start new courses, decide admission procedures and enter into international collaborations – and 25 top-ranked institutions will have greater freedom to hire foreign staff and enrol foreign students.
Science ministry expands power over research funding
China’s Ministry of Science and Technology is to be given more powers over the country’s research and innovation drive and will also coordinate, assess and oversee research funding. Universities fear that smaller research projects may not see as much funding in future.
Loan scheme will fund world-class research facilities
An ambitious new funding initiative will replace annual grants for India’s top centrally-run higher education institutions with repayable loans. It will enable research institutions to build world-class laboratories, research centres and other facilities to improve research and help push them up international rankings.
300,000 extra university places needed by 2030 – HEPI
Universities in England will most likely need to provide an extra 300,000 places by 2030 to meet rising demand caused by a demographic bulge and rising rates of participation among disadvantaged groups, with implications for student subsidies, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) says.
Proposed new curriculum heralds changes for universities
Higher learning institutions in Kenya may be required to transform their current education systems in accordance with a proposed new education curriculum aimed at producing employable graduates, expected to be rolled out next year.
Putin aide’s claim of end to brain drain is disputed
The outflow of scientists and technologies from Russian universities that began after the collapse of the Soviet Union is over, a presidential aide and former minister of education and science has claimed, but other experts disagree and blame the ‘Bologna process’.
Scholar who defended colonialism now defends himself
Vimal Patel, The Chronicle of Higher Education
When Bruce Gilley issued a full-throated defence of colonialism in a respected journal, saying it had improved many lives while anti-colonial regimes had taken a ‘grave toll’, there was an uproar – and the journal received death threats. What has he learned from the experience?
Minister urges students to lobby BRICS over Palestine
South African students should lobby for the issue of Palestine to be included in the BRICS’ agenda as part of a multipronged approach to tackling the long-standing Palestinian question, the South African higher education minister has said.
Students unite to raise concerns about HE quality
A new student-centred 'diagnosis' of higher education in Mauritania depicts a system defined by inadequate infrastructure, poor opportunities for postgraduate study, threats to academic freedom and unilateral decision-making by the ministry – all of which are having a negative impact on the students’ experience.
Preparing students for a rapidly-changing world
Universities need to focus on creating agile, internationally aware learners to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow and for an interdependent world without borders. They need to enable students to be lifelong learners, which will become the single most competitive advantage.
Action required to support HE as a common good
Higher education has multiple benefits to individuals and society and should be considered a common good, but to do so requires adequate funding and equal access admissions policies. These should include affirmative action policies for admissions where there is entrenched disadvantage for certain groups.
Time to create a Mediterranean Erasmus generation
Extending the Erasmus+ programme in the Mediterranean region will create a generation led by common values and identity and forged in international cooperation – and will promote greater intercultural understanding in a politically important region.
The quality conundrum in higher education
Aisi Li and Alan Ruby
It’s a chicken and egg situation for universities in Kazakhstan, where cross-border competition is shaping the higher education ecosystem – can internationalisation lift Kazakh universities’ quality or will improving quality drive internationalisation?
Five signs universities are turning into corporations
Many universities across the world are buckling under multiple financial, societal and political demands. This has led to loud calls for ‘enhanced efficiencies’, with some institutions becoming administrative universities without truly understanding how this chips away at the very purpose of higher education: the academic project.
Is the era of internationalisation at risk – or not?
Hans de Wit
The idea that recent political changes are likely to have a significant impact on higher education internationalisation has been criticised by those who think normal service will continue. But the signs are already emerging and universities would do well to heed them.
Campus free speech – Challenges for rights and values
At this year’s fourth annual Worldviews Lecture on Media and Higher Education, Professor Sigal Ben-Porath, author of Free Speech on Campus, will address the increasingly heightened debate around free speech at universities and the challenge to minority rights and democratic values. The lecture is supported by University World News.
One Belt One Road towards a China-led global HE area?
As China includes higher education, science and research in its massive One Belt One Road infrastructure and trade project with Asia, Europe, the Middle East and East Africa, a China-dominated global higher education area could emerge, an international seminar of experts heard last week.
Universities ponder the power of North-South partnerships
African universities need to increase partnerships and collaborations with institutions of higher learning from the Global North, especially in research and publication, to help spur sustainable development, say international experts.
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