University World News Global Edition
1 April 2018 Issue 499 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search


In celebration of 10 years of the Africa edition of University World News

   University World News is proud to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Africa edition today. In a Special Report, Karen MacGregor, founder and former editor of the Africa and global editions of University World News, looks back at the dramatic developments in African higher education over the past decade and the role of the publication in tracking them.

   Other contributors to the special report include Teboho Moja who reminds us of the role of University World News – Africa in covering African issues that were and still are overlooked by other media sources; Goolam Mohamedbhai who speculates, from a highly informed position, about the future of higher education in Africa over the next 10 years; and Nico Cloete and Francois van Schalkwyk who write about the formation and contribution to higher education of the Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa.

   In our World Blog this week, Alex Usher counters recent gloomy predictions about the future of internationalisation of higher education, putting forward an optimistic case for continued rapid increases in student mobility.

   In Commentary, Hanne Smidt asks if European universities are agile enough to cater to the increasing demand for lifelong learning or whether other more flexible actors who can work in shorter timeframes will take over provision. Kriengsak Chareonwongsak rejects predictions that traditional universities are staring at their own slow demise in the face of increasing competition from alternative, particularly online, providers, and suggests that universities reinvent themselves using today’s technologies. And Wondwosen Tamrat and Damtew Teferra say progressive government policies in African countries can help harness private higher education institutions as effective partners for development.

   In Features, Mark Paterson covers a controversial take on the ongoing decolonisation debate in South Africa, which asks why students are focusing their discontent on colonialist academics rather than the existing ruling class.

Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor

NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report


Hundreds of universities targeted in global data steal

Yojana Sharma

The United States Department of Justice has released details indicting nine Iranian nationals for stealing research from universities, research institutions and other organisations, including the United Nations. More than 300 universities were targeted and 8,000 professors’ email accounts were compromised.


Push for transparency on campus Confucius Institutes

Brendan O'Malley

The introduction of legislation aimed at curbing the political influence of foreign organisations on campus is raising pressure on universities to re-examine their partnerships with Confucius Institutes and consider whether they are allowing undue Chinese government influence.


Scholars divided on curbing foreign influence on campus

Yojana Sharma

Two different groups of dozens of Australian academics specialising in China studies have written separate open letters with opposing views but both claiming to support academic freedom, as a controversial new law to restrict foreign influence is being considered by an Australian parliamentary committee.


Constitutional court decision puts reform goal in doubt

Maria Elena Hurtado

Chile’s constitutional court has ruled that article 63 of the new higher education reform law that bans for-profit individuals or entities from controlling or owning universities breaks the Constitution. Political and university leaders are divided on whether this decision will allow universities to make a profit.


Integration strategy needed for international students

Michael Gardner

Germany has to do more to support and integrate international students, according to the German National Association for Student Affairs and the German Academic Exchange Service. Finding accommodation for them is the biggest challenge, especially for non-European students, who may face racism and discrimination in this respect.


Mugabe PhD case – University head to stand trial

Kudzai Mashininga

A Harare court has ruled that University of Zimbabwe Vice-chancellor Professor Levi Nyagura has a case to answer for allegedly awarding former first lady Grace Mugabe a doctor of philosophy degree ‘corruptly’ in 2014, hence he must stand trial.


Agency calls for investigation into ‘shadow doctorates’

Jan Petter Myklebust

The Swedish Higher Education Authority has accused the Karolinksa Institute of breaking the law in hiring young researchers who are competing for doctorate positions as temporary research practitioners. Critics say the practice amounts to a form of exploitation of candidates.


Medical students continue five-month-long protests

Wagdy Sawahel

Resident medical students from the University of Algiers are continuing a five-month strike over their working and training conditions. Demanding changes to the civil service system, the students want mandatory civil service for Algerian doctors suspended, exemption from compulsory military service and better teaching.


Move to enable recognition of Syrian refugee credits

Brendan O’Malley

A new scheme to enable Syrian refugees to have their credits and qualifications recognised in Jordan so that they can continue further studies or employment will be launched on 1 April, borrowing methodology used to help refugees in Greece, and it could be used in neighbouring countries.


Science academy launches two new mobility funds

Maina Waruru

Two new mobility funds have been launched by the African Academy of Sciences, aimed at encouraging African researchers to work together and with their Indian counterparts to better address health and development challenges.


Proud to celebrate 10 years of UWN’s Africa edition

Brendan O'Malley

University World News is proud today to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Africa edition and partner, which has grown to play a vital and respected role in reporting on higher education developments across the continent to readers in Africa – but also worldwide.



Lifelong learning is more relevant than ever before

Hanne Smidt

Are European universities agile enough to provide relevant degrees and targeted courses to lifelong learners in a complex and evolving landscape or will other more flexible actors who can work in shorter timeframes take over provision?


Making brick-and-mortar universities relevant (again)

Kriengsak Chareonwongsak

People have been predicting the demise of traditional universities in the face of increasing competition from alternative, particularly online, providers, but they just need to adapt to different styles of learning and ensure what they are teaching is relevant for the future.


Changing the discourse on private higher education

Wondwosen Tamrat and Damtew Teferra

Progressive government policies are an important way to harness private higher education institutions as effective partners in national and regional endeavours for social and economic development in Africa – provided, of course, that government policy pledges are honoured.



The case for optimism on internationalisation of HE

Alex Usher

There has been much gloom of late about the future of internationalisation of higher education, but on the balance of probabilities, barring China suddenly slamming its breaks on its students going abroad, the likeliest future is still one in which student mobility grows.



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.


Our Africa edition, University World News – Africa, was launched on 30 March 2008. In this Special Report, which marks its 10th anniversary, we look back at some of the key developments in the sector over the past 10 years, as well as some of the challenges that still lie ahead.


A lifetime of University World News – Africa

Karen MacGregor

Often time flashes by. But it feels like a lifetime ago that University World News – Africa was launched on 30 March 2008. Perhaps this is because so much has happened in Africa over the past decade, especially in higher education, which has clocked the world’s highest regional enrolment growth rate and has expanded exponentially. There has been a research awakening, huge expansion of the private sector and higher education has ratcheted up the political agenda, with growing understanding of its key role in development.


UWN – Tracking the key issues in higher education

Teboho Moja

Over the 10 years since its establishment, University World News – Africa has kept a keen eye on major developments in the sector and has reported on issues related to the African continent often overlooked by other media sources.


What do the next 10 years hold for higher education?

Goolam Mohamedbhai

The past decade has witnessed many positive developments in the African higher education sector, but the next 10 years hold a number of challenges, including increasing the output of postgraduates and research, building adequate quality assurance systems, expanding the reach of higher education through e-learning, achieving greater differentiation and finding a way to contribute meaningfully to the Sustainable Development Goals.


HERANA – 10 years of growing research universities

Nico Cloete and Francois van Schalkwyk

The Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa (HERANA), formed in 2007, has been a critical feature of the higher education landscape in Africa over the past 10 years, providing rich data on its eight partner universities and linking them not only to one another but also to expertise from the continent and globally. Importantly, its emphasis on advocacy played an important role in the establishment of University World News – Africa.



Bringing ‘development’ into the decolonisation debate

Mark Paterson

A decolonisation campaign started by South African students in 2015 risks fatally undermining the country’s higher education system and its capacity to support national development, a recent meeting in Cape Town was told.



Join our new partnership programme for universities

University World News has launched a partnership programme to enable higher education institutions to extend their reach among our high-quality audience of academics, researchers, university leaders, higher education administrators, experts, key stakeholders and policy-makers.


University World News has a popular Facebook group. If you are not a member, do consider joining to see our regular updates, post on our wall and communicate with us and other University World News fans. You can also follow University World News on Twitter @uniworldnews



Report defends students’ right to debate divisive issues

Members of parliament and Peers in the United Kingdom say university students should be free to air opinions on controversial issues such as abortion and transsexualism and it is “unacceptable” that certain topics are being restricted, reports The Christian Institute.


New Delhi march to protest ‘destruction of universities’

A ‘People’s March’ from Mandi House to Parliament Street took place in New Delhi last week to protest against the “destruction of universities”. In addition to teachers, unions, students, MPs, leaders of political parties and the general public joined the march in solidarity, reports The Hindu.


Programme helps Syrian refugees pursue university study

More than 4,200 Syrian youth will benefit from Turkish academic programmes, a joint statement by the Turks Abroad and Related Communities and the UN’s refugee agency said, reports the Hurriyet Daily News. Turkey is the largest refugee-hosting country in the world with more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees.


Protests over ‘attack’ on university autonomy in Karachi

Protests have taken place outside the Karachi Press Club to condemn the Sindh Universities and Institutes Laws (Amendment) Bill 2018 recently passed by the Sindh Assembly and seen by its critics as robbing the universities of autonomy, reports The Nation.


Canada 150 lures talent fleeing Trump, guns and Brexit

Alan Aspuru-Guzik, a prominent professor of chemistry at Harvard University in the United States, who specialises in developing advanced materials for energy generation, is one of 20 newly hired Canada 150 research chairs announced on Thursday. The haul of prominent scientists appears to confirm a predicted brain gain for Canada due to reactionary politics in the United States and elsewhere, reports Ivan Semeniuk for The Globe and Mail.


Students free to join political campaigns outside campus

The higher education minister has said students from institutions of higher education are free to join political campaigns taking place outside their campuses during the 14th general elections in Malaysia, reports The Star.


Universities urged to use intellectual property laws

Zimbabwe’s institutions of higher learning and research have been challenged to protect their inventions and research under intellectual property laws, writes Whinsley Masara for the Chronicle.


Universities have too few women at the top

Universities are falling behind government targets to increase female representation on their boards by 2020. They need to take action now, writes Jenny Tester for The Guardian.


Academics oppose adoption of controversial ethics code

The Council for Higher Education has called on academic institutions to adopt a controversial code of ethics that would ban lecturers from expressing their political views in the classroom, but academics have opposed the move saying it would “stifle academic freedom”, writes Lidar Gravé-Lazi for The Jerusalem Post.


Student numbers decline fuels merger talks

Nagoya University and Gifu University say they will consider merging their operations amid a fall in the student population to create the potential first national university operator in Japan to run multiple schools, reports Japan Today.


Four universities engaged in match-making

An alliance between four of Europe’s leading universities – Sorbonne, Heidelberg, Charles and Warsaw – is the first of several expected cross-border deals following French President Emmanuel Macron’s plan for European Union academic networks, writes Richard L Hudson for Science Business.


Low birth rate forces universities to consider closure

A number of South Korean universities are on the verge of closing down because the country’s low birth rate is affecting their enrolments, sparking fears that this could impact negatively on the local economy and hurt residents most, writes Kim Hyun-bin for The Korea Times.


Universities launch phone-free classes

Several universities in northeast China's Jilin Province have introduced phone-free classes to improve academic results. When students enter the classroom, their smart phones must be placed into a bag and hung on the wall, reports Xinhua.

Subscribe / Unsubscribe / Update / Sent to:
Terms and Conditions / ISSN 1756-297X / © University World News 2007-2018