NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Supreme Court upholds President Trump’s travel ban
The United States Supreme Court last Tuesday announced its decision to uphold President Donald Trump’s travel ban targeting seven countries. The higher education sector described the ruling as a “giant step backwards”, making it more difficult to recruit top international students and staff.
Overcrowded universities fail to reduce student intake
An informal survey by University World News reveals that a 2017 directive from the National Universities Commission of Nigeria that mandated each university to admit a maximum of 50 students for each undergraduate course per year has long been abandoned.
China to establish first nuclear research university
Amber Ziye Wang
China will establish the first national university dedicated to nuclear research, training and academic exchange with support from the country’s state-owned nuclear power developer, echoing a pressing need for specialised talent. China National Nuclear Corporation will build the university in Tianjin, in China’s Northeast.
Strong universities are central to regional development
Strong regional universities play a ‘pivotal’ role in driving regional development and are central to increasing regional prosperity – they drive innovation and change, connect well-informed people and develop local leadership and human capital, according to a new Australian House of Representatives report.
How to improve your chances with a Horizon 2020 bid
Jan Petter Myklebust
Given the high failure rate of applications for the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research programme, a new study outlining Danish evaluators’ advice on how to improve the chances of a bid being successful could prove a useful aid to scientists preparing to pitch.
President warns students not to expect free education
Malawi’s President Professor Peter Mutharika has urged students to take advantage of the government’s expanded student loan system, but not to expect free education.
Social sciences’ most extensive evaluation published
Jan Petter Myklebust
In the largest evaluation of the social sciences in Norway ever, five research institutions and 22 research groups have been assessed as world-leading in one or more subjects. However, it also concluded that Norwegian social science is ‘introvert’ and must ‘strengthen significantly’ its international scope.
Students fight plan for mandatory attendance at lectures
Students in North Rhine-Westphalia have staged protests against the centre-right state government’s plans to introduce a new higher education law, including proposals to reintroduce compulsory attendance at lectures and seminars. They say lectures would be full if lecturers did a better job.
Students claim stake in upcoming national elections
Higher and tertiary education students in Zimbabwe have a real opportunity to make their mark in the 2018 harmonised elections on 30 July which pundits say will be heavily influenced by the youth vote.
A better way forward for transnational higher education
Peter De Costa
Transnational higher education between Asia and the West has been criticised as a form of neocolonialism for some of its practices. It needs to design measures that will foster genuine cross-institutional collaboration and cooperation and create a valuable template for other regions.
Recognition back on top of the mobility agenda in the EU
Stig Arne Skjerven and Einar Meier
Learners who take the plunge and study outside their home country must be able to trust that there are fair procedures in place for recognition of their qualifications and academic credits. New political initiatives have now put recognition back on top of the mobility agenda.
ASEAN shares best practice on student mobility
A recent European Union-funded conference in Cambodia shared good practice on credit recognition to promote increased student mobility in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN region, including efforts to encourage connectivity between higher education institutions to bring trust and transparency in the recognition process.
The link between student mobility and employability
Wondwosen Tamrat and Damtew Teferra
A study of the reasons for international student mobility among Ethiopian students demonstrates the connection with employability, revealing factors – such as motivations for studying and identification of key skills and attributes for employability – that local institutions could use to change their curricula and teaching.
Building scientific capacity – A regional turning point
Ekua Nuama Bentil
As African governments increasingly highlight the need to build stronger home-grown workforces in the science and technology fields to maximise their demographic dividend, pan-African initiatives like the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund have a critical role to play in helping governments raise the quality, quantity and utilisation of applied sciences, engineering and technology-trained faculty in their universities.
Learning to reward risk-takers, imaginative thinkers
Diversity, creativity and innovation are critical to any society’s future. Education should not be about constraining creative potential, but encouraging young people to follow their imagination, respond creatively to problems and develop their innovative and adaptive ability.
PACIFIC RIM HE AND RESEARCH
Universities ‘key to bridging global digital divide’
Universities will be key in bridging new emerging ‘digital divides’ within countries and globally in the era of innovation driven by artificial intelligence and other new technologies, a conference organised by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities in Taipei heard last week.
New coding initiative to boost graduate employability
African universities are set to become the ‘primary drivers’ of the Coding for Employment Program, which aims to prepare the continent’s youth for jobs of the future by empowering them to take the lead in the digital revolution.
What does Justice Kennedy’s retirement mean for HE?
Eric Kelderman, The Chronicle of Higher Education
The retirement of Justice Anthony M Kennedy from the United States Supreme Court offers President Donald Trump an opportunity to switch the balance of the court in favour of conservatives, with potentially troubling implications for universities, particularly around affirmative action on admissions and campus free speech.
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