NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Attacks on schools and universities are on the rise
Deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on schools and universities, their students, and staff have become more widespread over the past five years, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack said in the 2018 edition of its flagship report, Education under Attack.
Academic positions rigged at Swedish universities?
Jan Petter Myklebust
An investigation by the university teachers and researchers’ union into hiring practices at three Swedish universities suggests that in their recruitment processes many universities may not be following the requirements of the law to find the best candidates and many academic appointments may be rigged.
US pull-out of Iran deal will hit academic cooperation
United States President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of a landmark international nuclear accord with Iran and reimpose bilateral sanctions will hamper US-Iran higher education cooperation and have a negative effect on the Iranian academic diaspora in the US.
US professors released from North Korean detention
Two professors who taught at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology were among three United States-Korean citizens released last Wednesday from detention in North Korea, in advance of a planned summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Survey highlights unequal educational opportunities
The results of a new survey by the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies on students’ parent backgrounds have prompted the German National Association for Student Affairs to reiterate its call for a better social infrastructure in higher education.
Local satellite opens new frontiers for universities
A recently launched satellite developed by students and researchers from the University of Nairobi marks Kenya’s most ambitious venture into space science, a field dominated largely by Western and Asian powers.
Connectivity is common factor in top HE systems
The five top-performing higher education systems are the United States followed by Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark, according to the latest Universitas 21 Ranking. Connectivity between universities, government and the private sector is a key factor.
China’s elite universities top emerging nations ranking
China dominates the Times Higher Education Emerging Economies University Rankings 2018 – an evolution of its BRICS rankings – taking one in six places in the table, but the gap between its elite universities, where the World Class 2.0 initiative is intensifying competition, and the rest of its pack is widening.
Brexit hits European interest in studying in the UK
Nearly two in five prospective students from within the European Union are less interested in studying in the United Kingdom because of Brexit, but interest from outside the EU is rising as a result of Brexit, largely due to the falling value of the pound.
PhD training – Why African government funding is needed
While international donor funding for PhD training programmes in Africa helps to accelerate progress and achieve results more quickly, financial contributions to such programmes by African governments are critical and have a range of long-term benefits, higher education experts suggest.
Academics strike over freedom of speech
The University of Melbourne faced a strike by members of the National Tertiary Education Union last Wednesday over claims the university intended to remove current academic and intellectual freedom protections at a time when there are concerns over freedom of speech.
Why accommodation is a key barrier to studying abroad
Internationalisation has often far outpaced the infrastructural developments that it needs to work, with accommodation being a major problem. Universities and others need to work together to overcome this barrier, which prevents many students, particularly poorer ones, from accessing international study opportunities.
Internationalisation of HE through distance learning
Hakan Ergin and Bruno Morche
Distance learning presents a key pathway for internationalisation at home and could be particularly useful for emerging countries prepared to go beyond physical mobility to get the input of international students into their education programmes.
The benefits and risks of HE internationalisation
Futao Huang and Tsukasa Daizen
A survey of institutional leaders shows internationalisation of Japanese higher education is highly valued and academically prioritised, with generating money being viewed as a low priority, unlike countries such as the United States and United Kingdom where generating revenue is a prime driver of internationalisation.
Time to innovate and revitalise the Bologna Process
Peter van der Hijden
The upcoming Paris Ministerial Conference is a unique opportunity to refresh the Bologna Process and rethink European higher education with the aim of presenting an inspiring, innovative approach that makes Europe the destination for students.
Co-operation for HE access using new modes of learning
A recent workshop in Nigeria brought universities together to discuss how blended learning – combining distance and face-to-face learning – can boost access to higher education by shifting some learning away from the campus and onto the computer.
Global ambition behind Beijing’s bid to boost AI talent
China has initiated a multi-pronged effort to swiftly boost the training of artificial intelligence (AI) talent and AI research within its universities in order to prop up its ambitious plans for ‘global dominance’ in AI, backed by a huge injection of central government funding.
Roadmap for corruption-free higher education proposed
Corruption is spreading across most of the public Ukrainian universities, particularly education and administrative corruptions, due to low academic salaries, low motivation of students to prepare for exams, lack of law enforcement and punishment mechanisms and a corruption-prone culture, according to a new report.
Radical shake-up to boost quality in higher education
As part of a broad set of recommended changes to higher education aimed at raising quality, all PhD holders admitted via executive masters degrees will no longer be eligible to teach at universities in Kenya.
Does Nigeria need a new military university?
A new military university focused on nuclear technology is to be located in the town of Biu in Borno State, a uranium-rich area and the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency which has ravaged the country for the last eight years. While the new institution will be open to civilians, not everyone agrees that Nigeria needs another military university.
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