NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
EC proposes budget increases for research and Erasmus+
The European Commission (EC) has called for a 30% increase in the European Union’s research budget and a doubling of the budget for Erasmus+ in its proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-27, which it presented to the European Parliament on 2 May.
International student numbers near half a million
The number of foreign students studying at universities on the Chinese mainland is closing in on the half a million mark, with 489,200 students in 2017, according to the latest figures from the ministry of education in Beijing released last week.
Falling student numbers – A shift in the HE landscape
Private investors and the Kenyan government are staring at millions of dollars in losses as several universities record falling student numbers, leaving universities with significant underutilised capacity.
Minister’s decision puts university autonomy ‘in crisis’
Taiwan’s association of publicly-funded national universities has slammed the government for interfering in decisions to hire university leaders, as Taiwan’s new education minister became the second to reject the appointment of the president of National Taiwan University, leaving university autonomy in crisis, according to academics.
International students left in lurch by US university
Binod Ghimire and Yojana Sharma
Dozens of students from Nepal have been left in the lurch after an American university – the University of Texas at Tyler, part of the University of Texas system – revoked full scholarships granted for their undergraduate studies, as they were making final preparations to enrol.
Open university set to meet growing demand for HE
Open universities are helping to increase access to higher education across Africa as it becomes more apparent that the demand for brick-and-mortar facilities cannot be met by resource-constrained governments, the pro vice-chancellor of Laweh Open University College in Ghana, Josiah Cobbah, told University World News.
Macron’s vision of universities networks moves forward
Jan Petter Myklebust and Brendan O'Malley
French President Emmanuel Macron’s vision of building networks of European universities is gaining support from existing university networks, but there are questions over whether the European Commission or member states should lead such an initiative.
Minister demands action to protect campus free speech
The universities minister, Sam Gyimah, has called on universities to end "institutional hostility" to unfashionable points of view in student societies and has demanded action to further protect free speech at universities from being curbed by the rise of ‘safe spaces’ and ‘no platform’ policies.
Berkeley reviews how to handle controversial speakers
Chris Qunitana, The Chronicle of Higher Education
If a student group wants to provoke a frenzy with an event at the University of California at Berkeley, it soon may have to tell the administration why, and provide volunteer monitors to deal with any resulting unruliness.
Pact to attract 10,000 more STEM candidates by 2025
Jan Petter Myklebust
The Danish government has launched a Technology Pact with more than 80 partners from higher education, research and business to seek to increase the number of candidates selecting STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – subjects by 20%, or 10,000 candidates by 2025.
Lecturer probed over alleged defamation of top clerics
An Egyptian state-run university last week suspended a lecturer before instituting an internal inquiry into comments he wrote in a book which allegedly insult prominent Muslim clerics.
New Commonwealth scholarships honour Queen’s role
Commonwealth ties are to be enhanced across the 53 member nations over the coming years with the announcement of 150 new graduate scholarships, named in honour of the head of the Commonwealth, and geared to supporting students in low- and middle-income countries.
University considers a name change to avoid confusion
Victoria University of Wellington is considering changing its name because it is repeatedly confused with other institutions around the world with a similar name. The university announced last week it was considering dropping the monarch’s title from its name and becoming ‘the University of Wellington’.
Funding for fundamental research is under threat
President Donald Trump’s rhetoric has been hostile to science, particularly on climate change, and the ‘social contract’ for science and research now looks more tentative than at any time since the Space Race. To remain viable universities must work harder to restate their science mission.
Preparing students to face the unknown unknowns
Patrick Thaddeus Jackson
Teaching facts and skills to international relations students is insufficient in a hugely changing world. They need to be able to exercise judgment. Higher education must be more than a repository of facts or a mere adjunct to the world of work.
CESA – A true guide for the continent’s aspirations
Unlike the Sustainable Development Goals, the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) places higher education firmly at the centre of the continent’s development – where it belongs.
Towards a Bologna Digital strategy for higher education
Dominic Orr, Peter van der Hijden, Florian Rampelt, Ronny Röwert and Renata Suter
Digitalisation should not be viewed as an additional challenge, but as a powerful means to meet existing challenges for higher education. So far the full potential of digitalisation has not been reached on a systemic level and a common strategy is required.
A court decision with consequences for languages in HE
A court decision backing the University of South Africa offering English-only courses could have potentially far-reaching consequences for languages policy in South African higher education. The ruling’s multilingual turn and conciliatory tone will influence university policies and future court decisions on language rights.
The challenge of harmonising research ethics standards
Grace Karram Stephenson and Emmanuelle Fick
A debate is under way in Canada about the power of research ethics boards, whether their role as gatekeepers needs some limits and, in the context of a large decentralised country, whether there is a need to harmonise ethics reviews across the country.
GOING GLOBAL 2018
The British Council’s Going Global 2018 conference for leaders of international education was held in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia last week. The theme was ‘Global Connections, Local Impact’. University World News covers the event.
ASEAN student, academic mobility is patchy – Report
Student and academic mobility, particularly within the Southeast Asian regions, underpins the region’s globalisation of higher education, with concerted efforts to streamline visa procedures across the region to aid student mobility. But other social and political hurdles remain, according to a British Council study.
Blended learning seen as key to improving HE access
Glenda Crosling and Angela Lee Siew Hoong
Blended learning provides good opportunities for universities in Malaysia to include under-represented students better – which is why the aim is for 70% of programmes to use it by 2025 – but its impact on students’ retention, progress and achievement needs to be monitored.
Do universities suffer from having too many masters?
A lot is now demanded of universities. Rather than a weakness, we should see the need to deliver to multiple publics – both local and global – as a way of boosting higher education’s weakened legitimacy and reshaping the relationship between universities and local and global society.
Widening university participation needs a global network
A new international initiative aims to strengthen the efforts being undertaken to meet the different national challenges of widening access to higher education by articulating common global objectives and promoting innovation in access work across the world.
Family fears for health of scholar sentenced to death
Sofia Karlsson and Denis Aslan
Iranian scholar Ahmadreza Djalali, a specialist in disaster medicine who returned home to share his knowledge, has been imprisoned for two years without a fair trial and sentenced to death. He has lost in total 20kg and his family fear for his life.
US physician fights Ukraine’s medical academic mafia
Ararat L Osipian
Ukraine’s American acting minister of health is struggling to make headway in her battle with university rectors over cases of alleged corruption. Since extortion, embezzlement and fraud dominate the landscape of Ukrainian hospitals and clinics, why should medical universities be any different?
High student interest spurs new advanced Chinese course
Olivier Maombi, a 22-year-old university student who completed his Chinese language training two years ago, has landed a part-time job in an assembly plant and sales point for imported Chinese motorbikes. He is among a growing number of young Rwandans choosing to study Chinese through the Confucius Institute based at the University of Rwanda.
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.