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University World News Global Edition
17 June 2018 Issue 510 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search


What are the implications when a country abolishes university tuition fees?

   In Commentary, Ariane de Gayardon says introducing free-tuition policies, as New Zealand has most recently done, relies on the unrealistic expectation that governments will be able not only to fund higher education budgets but also consistently increase those budgets. Andrej Arsovski draws attention to an array of measures that can be used for screening applicants to professional schools such as medical schools to ensure selection of the best candidates and to promote diversity. And Christine Dranzoa writes that bold institutional leadership is required to deal decisively with cases of sexual harassment and gender-based violence in African higher education.

   In our World Blog, Grace Karram Stephenson wonders if Doug Ford’s victory in Ontario’s elections and the voting in of the Progressive Conservatives in the Canadian province will spell funding cuts for higher education or rises in the cost of tuition, or both.

   In our section on Academic Freedom, Elif Ceylan Ozsoy suggests ways to show solidarity with the ‘Academics for Peace’ in Turkey, hundreds of whom have lost their jobs and-or been charged with terrorist offences, all for signing a peace petition.

   In a new series on Pacific Rim higher education and research issues, Yojana Sharma highlights the pertinent issues that will be discussed when university leaders from Pacific Rim countries meet in Taiwan next weekend for the Association of Pacific Rim Universities conference entitled “Our digital future in a divided world”.

   In Features, Nic Mitchell reports that Gerry McGovern, one of the top visionaries of web developments, speaking at a recent conference, urged universities to wake up to how marketing to young people has shifted in the digital age. And Sharon Dell reports that the South African medical deans have offered to make available expertise in the university sector to help the country deal with a crisis in the national health system and the “systemic failures” in the provincial health departments that are affecting patient care and the training of medical professionals.

Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor

NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report


University teachers fired on say of student informants

Yojana Sharma

As China tightens ideological control of universities, an increasing number of university teachers have been suspended or fired after students informed on them for making politically inappropriate remarks in class or for not conforming to ideological diktats handed down by the Communist Party.


Minority-serving institutions are ‘engines of mobility’

Brendan O'Malley

Minority-serving tertiary institutions or MSIs propel students up the economic ladder to the top of income distribution at two to three times the rates of non-MSIs, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis from the American Council on Education, using newly released federal data to examine upward income mobility rates.


Government approves student exchanges with North Korea

Aimee Chung

The government of South Korea is permitting students at the country’s top university to discuss academic exchanges with North Korea’s Kim Il Sung University, with the hope that regular exchanges and joint projects can be set up between the two most prestigious universities of North and South Korea.


UK, Ireland top U-Multirank on teaching and learning

Nic Mitchell

The latest U-Multirank offers new insight into the relative strengths of higher education systems across Europe and the United States, with the United Kingdom and Ireland performing the strongest for teaching and learning. The US leads on research but was poor on international orientation.


Technology transfer boost for least developed countries

Wagdy Sawahel

Africa’s ‘least developed countries’ are to benefit from the launch of a United Nations’ Technology Bank in Turkey, which aims to drive science, technology and innovation and promote sustainable development – with African universities playing a key role.


Universities demand hike in EU research funding

Brendan O'Malley

Following the European Commission’s launch of its proposal for its next research programme, 14 European university associations have released a joint statement demanding a budget of €160 billion (US$186 billion) and greater focus on open research and societal challenges.


NEPAD agency partners with UK universities to set up hub

Kudzai Mashininga

The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) agency and Durham University in the United Kingdom are to jointly set up an Africa Hub to help African countries and universities increase their research, it has been announced. The NEPAD Africa Hub will be part of the partnership with the ‘N8 hub’, which includes eight UK universities.


Foreign researchers pessimistic about career – Survey

Thomas Trøst Hansen and Jan Petter Myklebust

A survey of more than 1,000 foreign researchers at Aarhus University has found that only one third of foreign scientists think they have as good a chance as Danish staff of being able to forge a career in Denmark, and many blame this on the negative political focus on foreigners.


Graduates overqualified for the work they do

Geoff Maslen

More than a quarter of Australian graduates are overqualified for the jobs they find after completing their degrees. The field of study chosen is the key factor in the education-job mismatch, which is greater for graduates from broader fields of study, researchers have found.


University bar lowered to raise rural doctor recruitment

Michael Gardner

North Rhine-Westphalia intends to introduce incentives for medical students to commit to work as country doctors for 10 years – university applicants would not have to have excellent grades to study medicine and awards of €60,000 (US$70,700) would be paid to graduates to take up posts in large rural communities.



Universities suffer under free-tuition regimes

Ariane de Gayardon

Abolishing university tuition fees may seem a popular move, but governments do not have the money to replace tuition fees, resulting in short-term funding freezes and cuts and forcing long-term choices to be made between quality and open access.


How to improve selection for professional schools

Andrej Arsovski

Selecting ill-suited applicants for professional schools has far-reaching consequences for the institution and the public at large. Studies show an array of different measures for screening applicants that could be useful for securing the best candidates and turning out a more diverse workforce.


Addressing sexual harassment as institutional failure

Christine Dranzoa

Sexual harassment and gender-based violence in higher education are signs of institutional failure. Countering an abusive culture that harms victims and may leave their academic career in ruins requires bold institutional leadership dealing decisively with cases of sexual misconduct.


African student flows – Challenging prevailing paradigms

Chika Sehoole and Jenny J Lee

A recent gathering of African researchers to share and exchange findings of a major research project on African student mobility revealed that while the Global North continues to dominate as the world’s international student hosts, Africa educates mostly African international students, with considerable mobility within its various geographical regions.


Automating recognition of academic qualifications

Terje Mørland and Stig Arne Skjerven

The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education’s introduction of a new service for the automatic recognition of higher education qualifications is innovative and could be a model of best practice for greater mobility across Europe and beyond.



Does Ford’s victory pose a threat to universities?

Grace Karram Stephenson

Doug Ford’s victory in Ontario’s elections could spell funding cuts for higher education or steep rises in the cost of tuition, or both, if he follows in the footsteps of the last Progressive Conservatives to hold a majority, back in the 1990s.



Universities and our digital future in a divided world

Yojana Sharma

In what ways can higher education and research direct digital innovation to benefit society and how should universities respond to the current socio-economic and international divisions in the world? University leaders from Pacific Rim countries will discuss these issues in Taipei next week.



Academics for Peace – Imprisonment, censorship continue

Elif Ceylan Ozsoy

Not only have academics lost their jobs and faced being denied the chance of getting any other job, all for signing a peace petition, but hundreds have now been charged with terrorist offences and face either prison or delayed judgment and with it five years of censorship.



Universities’ marketing is out of date, says web guru

Nic Mitchell

Universities are lagging behind in understanding how marketing to people has shifted in the digital age, according to one of the top visionaries of recent web developments. He urged them to recognise the change in customer behaviour and allow authentic student reviews on their websites.


Health systems crisis – Medical deans proffer solutions

Sharon Dell

South African medical deans say they stand ready to make available expertise in the university sector to help the country deal with the crisis in the national health system and “systemic failures” in the provincial health departments, which they say are negatively affecting both patient care and the training of the next generation of medical professionals.


Some universities better at tackling student drop-out

Geoff Maslen

About one in seven of Australia’s nearly one million undergraduates will drop out of their courses. The reasons why they leave may well apply to those in most other countries – and how to stem the outflow is outlined in a new report.



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60 universities in alleged fake degree scandal – Police

Cybercrime sleuths have unearthed startling facts in the case of the Pakistani national who was recently arrested for illegally obtaining an Indian passport and staying in Hyderabad in India, saying that according to a diary in his possession, 60 universities in India are allegedly implicated in a fake certificates scandal, writes U Sudhakar Reddy for The Times of India.


Lecturers cannot teach without a PhD from 2021

A PhD qualification will be mandatory for teaching positions in universities in India from July 2021 as part of a new University Grants Commission bid to “attract and retain the best quality teachers and other academic staff in universities and colleges”, India’s Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar announced last week, reports The Economic Times.


New admission plan gives students ‘faster option’

The University of New Hampshire in the United States says it will start accepting scores from the Chinese higher education entrance exam, making it the first flagship state school in the US to evaluate Chinese applicants using the results from that exam, known as the Gaokao, reports The Straits Times.


Protests against new higher education reforms

Earlier this month a group of students and professors from the University of Warsaw entered the Kazimierz Palace, the official office of the university’s rector, to protest against new higher education reforms in Poland, writes Marysia Ciupka for Political Critique.


Scottish universities warned of organised crime threat

Police Scotland has warned universities and colleges not to fall victim to the risks posed by serious organised crime amid a period of growth for the higher and further education sectors, with some institutions investing millions of pounds in new building projects and developments, writes Maxine McArthur for Evening Times.


Network shows how universities can help refugees

A global network of universities is helping to create positive change for the experiences of refugees and migrant families. On 7 June, scholars and students travelled to the United Nations headquarters in New York to share how they are supporting refugees – and how small actions can make a big difference, writes Mark Charlton for Inter Press Service.


Campus sexual harassment not being tackled – Report

Years of efforts to prevent sexual harassment of women in the fields of science, engineering and medicine have not succeeded, and a sweeping overhaul is needed in the way universities and institutions deal with the issue, a major new report by a national advisory panel in the United States concluded last Tuesday, writes Pam Belluck for The New York Times.


Students dodge debts, paid for by taxpayers

More young Americans are pursuing a degree in Germany to save money – courtesy of German taxpayers, but the government says the investment in foreign students pays off, writes John Blau for Handelsblatt.


IP policy reform needs to start at universities

Concerns about Canadian intellectual property (IP) moving offshore raise a broader and more important issue about made-in-Canada IP. Across the country, universities have no common or baseline intellectual-property policy; each institution has developed its own approach based on its own worldview, writes Gordon Harling for The Globe and Mail.


President calls for end to ragging at universities

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said a combined programme should be implemented immediately in collaboration with all relevant parties to eliminate from the university system the brutal ragging practice during initiation for new students, reports the Colombo Page.


Universities chastised for unconditional offers to pupils

School pupils are being told by universities that they don’t need to finish their A-levels, it has been claimed, as Bill Watkin, chief executive of the Sixth-Form Colleges’ Association, has warned of the “unhelpful” impact on schools and colleges of unconditional offers, which promise university places to pupils regardless of their A-level results, writes Alix Robertson for Schools Week.


‘Gendered language’ off limits at universities

In a move towards gender neutrality, some universities in Australia have taken to banning words with gendered meaning such as ‘she’, ‘mankind’ and ‘workmanship’, which are among the terms that have been banned, reports Newshub.


Graduates share student memories during Ramadan

In a strengthening of relations between Japan and Saudi Arabia during the holy Muslim month of fasting, the Japanese ambassador in Riyadh, Tsukasa Uemura, joined Ramadan celebrations, hosting an iftar (breaking fast) party for former Saudi students who studied in Japan, writes Rashid Hassan for Arab News.

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