NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
As funding falls, China emerges as key research partner
With declining research funding in Japan and huge year on year rises in China’s research budget in recent years, China is fast emerging as a partner for Japanese scientific research collaboration, pursuing its interest in tapping Japan’s strengths in basic research.
Working-class students unable to afford food, heating
Students from ‘working-class’ backgrounds in the United Kingdom face a ‘poverty premium’, often paying higher costs in order to access post-16 education, leaving many unable to afford heating and food, according to new research from the National Union of Students’ Poverty Commission.
Supreme Court orders removal of VCs as nepotism rises
Ameen Amjad Khan
The Supreme Court of Pakistan last week ordered the removal of a number of university vice-chancellors in Punjab province because the appointments were made in violation of the merit-based system. The decision comes amid rising concern about nepotism and political favouritism in filling top university roles.
Call for reform of admissions for international students
Jan Petter Myklebust
Norway should introduce a centrally coordinated national admission system for international graduate students, a government-commissioned report has recommended. It would replace the current system in which each university and university college selects the students themselves.
University still in ruins three years after earthquake
Only 10% of funds needed to rebuild universities after the 2015 earthquake have been released. Most of the buildings of Tribhuvan University, which caters for 80% of the country’s 400,000 university-level students, still lie in ruins, and many colleges are renting houses to conduct classes.
Fallout as Peking University tries to silence student
A student at Peking University, China’s top institution, has been allowed to return to the campus after being barred for days – after she and her family were hounded by officials – for asking questions about campus sexual harassment and rape cases dating back to the 1990s.
Mobility scheme shows results, but challenges persist
An impressive 1,255 African beneficiaries, including 722 masters and 346 doctoral students and 187 staff, have gained from a continent-wide mobility scheme implemented over seven years as a joint initiative of the African Union and European Union. But challenges to the mobility of academic staff and students and the greater harmonisation of higher education systems persist on the continent, according to a recent report.
Guides to ‘being not-rich’ spring up on elite campuses
Emma Kerr, The Chronicle of Higher Education
As the low-income experience begins to shed its social stigma, students in some of the country’s elite universities are taking on the task of making one another feel welcome by creating their own guides to ‘being not-rich’. Should administrators adopt them?
US$5 million allocated for university technology hubs
The Zimbabwe government has set aside more than US$5 million to put in place technology hubs at six state-run universities in a move that it hopes will spearhead the country’s industrialisation and modernisation.
Leadership programme supports 200 Syrian students
More than 200 Syrians have received funding support for their studies in Germany via the ‘Leadership for Syria’ programme, which ends this month. The programme was designed to support Syrians who would one day contribute to the reconstruction of the country. New initiatives to support Syrian students are being discussed.
Vietnamese students look at the US and head north
New data shows recruitment of Vietnamese students by Canada has shot up, and among the factors are the stark contrast between the country’s more enlightened immigration policy, relatively low costs for high-quality education and more progressive, peaceful image in comparison to the United States.
What makes a real international university ranking?
Waldemar Siwinski and Richard Holmes
The spread of university rankings throws up some big questions about the quality of information, the use of – and excessive weight given to – outdated indicators related to reputation, and the need for ways to compare data on the teaching and learning processes.
Big data could be key to Africa’s graduate employability
Lack of reliable data and lack of high-level management support in using it makes it difficult for African universities to plan to raise quality and relevance. Two new projects are showing how data could be collected more cheaply and reliably and how capacity can be enhanced.
When East meets West in transnational higher education
A new book on transnational education in Asia shows that the relationship between East and West is more complex and interdependent than in the past and that quality remains a major issue, along with the ability to provide a complete English-language learning environment.
Don’t ignore the dark clouds among the bright spots
Hans de Wit
Optimism about internationalisation of higher education is justified and there are some fantastic examples of internationalisation at home being pioneered in developing and emerging countries in particular. However, ignoring the dark clouds hovering above it is naïve and dangerous.
STUDYPORTALS ACADEMY 2018
The Studyportals Academy 2018, held in Amsterdam in the Netherlands from 25-26 April, brought higher education stakeholders together to look at embracing change in higher education and international student recruitment. University World News covers the event.
European universities ‘cannibalising’ their own courses
Universities in some European countries are in danger of 'cannibalising' their own courses in the rush to introduce programmes taught in English, the head of international marketing at a leading Italian university warned a conference in Amsterdam last week.
Study-abroad students want more responsive staff
Study-abroad students in the Netherlands have many different reasons for deciding to enrol in a foreign university, but they are agreed on one thing, that they want a better service from the lecturers teaching them, a Studyportals Academy was told last week.
Parents a key player in offspring studying abroad
Parents are a key player in influencing their offspring to study abroad, according to a worldwide survey to get inside the applicant’s mind and understand the study abroad decision-making process. But the relative influence of the student’s father or mother varies across nations.
Will foreign branch campuses exacerbate inequality?
Egypt has approved a draft law to regulate the performance of foreign university branch campuses to be set up in Egypt’s new administrative capital. But will it be enough to assuage concerns that the opening of foreign universities will exacerbate inequality and class division?
Fake dissertation scandal taints politicians, academics
A Russian networking community has revealed that more than 25 doctoral dissertations from Tajikistan defended between 2004 and 2015 contained significant elements of plagiarism, including those of the first deputy prime minister and a professor who is the minister of education’s son.
Transgender identity issues on universities’ agenda
María Elena Hurtado
Transgender students, referred to as ‘trans’, are battling to overcome barriers and prejudices in higher education and change policies and protocols – with achieving recognition for their identity in a country without a gender identity law among the greatest challenges. How are universities responding?
University expansion a signal of stability and growth
In a move widely welcomed as a signal of future growth, national unity and stability, the Somali National University is setting up its first new campus outside the capital Mogadishu in a semi-autonomous region of the country.
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