Universities will be key in bridging new emerging global digital divides.

University World News Global Edition
1 July 2018 Issue 512 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search


Universities will be key in bridging new emerging global digital divides

   In our series on Pacific Rim higher education and research, Yojana Sharma reports on the views of academics attending the Association of Pacific Rim Universities conference that universities will have a key role to play in bridging new emerging digital divides within countries and globally in the era of artificial intelligence and other new technologies.

   In Commentary, Peter De Costa suggests that transnational higher education between Asia and the West – which has been criticised as a form of neocolonialism – can take a leadership role in connecting people by fostering genuine cross-institutional cooperation. Stig Arne Skjerven and Einar Meier point to recent developments in the European Union that have brought the recognition of education qualifications and academic credits back to the top of the mobility agenda. Also on the topic of recognition of qualifications, Johanna Rasplus writes about a European Union-funded conference held to share good practice on credit recognition to promote increased student mobility in the ASEAN – Association of Southeast Asian Nations – region. And from Africa, Wondwosen Tamrat and Damtew Teferra report on the findings of a study on international students from Ethiopia that employability was their prime motivation for studying abroad.

   In our World Blog this week, Nita Temmerman challenges education institutions to create appropriate processes to encourage young people to follow their imagination, respond creatively to problems, take risks and develop their innovative ability.

   In Features, Wagdy Sawahel reports that 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. And Eric Kelderman looks at what the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the United States Supreme Court could mean for higher education in America.

Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor

NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report


Supreme Court upholds President Trump’s travel ban

Brendan O'Malley

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

Alex Abutu

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

Brendan O’Malley

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

Kudzai Mashininga

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

Michael Gardner

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

Tonderayi Mukeredzi

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

Johanna Rasplus

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

Nita Temmerman

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.



Universities ‘key to bridging global digital divide’

Yojana Sharma

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

Wagdy Sawahel

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.



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.


University World News has a popular Facebook group. If you are not a member, do consider joining to see our regular updates, post on our wall and communicate with us and other University World News fans. You can also follow University World News on Twitter @uniworldnews



Universities to fight extremism with intelligence body

To combat extremism and prevent it from flourishing, universities in Indonesia are planning to work with the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT) to develop an intelligence body for campuses. This follows worrying findings from the BNPT that many universities have been exposed to radical ideologies, reports The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network.


‘Ongoing sexual abuse charges systematically ignored’

The federal government recently began investigating complaints of sexual harassment by a gynaecologist employed at the University of Southern California. The United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has come to the university because allegations of ongoing assault of female students have reportedly been systematically ignored, writes Kate Kennedy for Inside Higher Ed.


Universities acknowledge funding increase

New Zealand’s university vice-chancellors acknowledge the 1.6% increase in tuition subsidies announced last week and hope the government will invest further in the university sector in coming years to ensure it can deliver on its policies to build a resilient and adaptable workforce, reports Scoop.


Student mental health support must improve

Universities in the United Kingdom are being told to “dramatically improve” support for students with mental health issues and the government has announced that it will award a certificate of excellence to institutions that meet new standards of mental health care, reports the BBC.


‘Victimhood ideology is destroying our universities’

What South Africa's universities have become over the past years is utterly sickening – the inclusion of the ‘people of colour’ (POC) supper, exclusively for black people, in the Decolonial Winter School programme at the University of Cape Town last week was indicative of the shameful mess our universities have turned into, writes Phumlani Majozi for News24.


Travel ban impacts Oregon’s largest public universities

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Trump administration's travel restrictions on certain countries directly affects more than 180 international students at Oregon's largest public universities, sparking concern that it could mean the end of attracting students from Muslim-majority countries, like the ones affected by the travel ban, writes Rob Manning for Belleville News-Democrat.


Who let the thought police invade our universities?

Feminism used to thrive in universities in the United Kingdom. In the good old days when even working-class women could afford higher education, doing a degree was one way that women became involved in activism. How different things are today. The propaganda being peddled within universities is the very antithesis of actual feminism, and anyone who does not adhere to the party line will be severely punished, writes Julie Bindel for Unherd.


Universities partner to take over major telescope

From 1 July, the Australian National University, based in Canberra, will lead a conglomerate of 13 institutions to run the Anglo-Australian Telescope, located in Coonabarabran in the state of New South Wales, writes Geetanjali Rangnekar for Cosmos.


Need to improve Chinese teaching in UK universities

As the number of learners of Chinese may continue to rise in the future, there is urgent need to improve the quality of Chinese teaching as a foreign language in the United Kingdom higher education sector, participants at an international conference agreed last week, reports Xinhua.


Proliferation fails national goals – Staff union

In spite of the proliferation of universities in Nigeria, national development goals have not been met, the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ University of Lagos Chapter has said, reports Premium Times. Rather than building new universities, there is a need to strengthen existing ones, it added.


New technologies showcased at collaborative event

South Korean businesses and universities introduced new technologies to Vietnamese firms to explore collaboration and sales opportunities at a networking event in Ho Chi Minh City, organised by the Saigon Innovation Hub and the Busan United Management of Technology Centre, reports Viet Nam News.


Egypt signs protocol to establish British universities

Egyptian Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar last week signed a protocol with envoys from British universities to establish campuses in Egypt, writes Farah Tawfeek for Egypt Independent.


Universities need to communicate better

African universities’ contribution to society, and policy formulation in particular, is not sufficiently visible to the general public. This is partly because university scientists and researchers have challenges in communicating the information they gather and the knowledge they generate for informing decision-making and consequently national development, writes Maureen Agena for Daily Monitor.

Subscribe / Update / Unsubscribe / Sent to:
Terms and Conditions / ISSN 1756-297X / © University World News 2007-2018