NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Ministry ends hundreds of Sino-foreign HE partnerships
China’s education ministry has closed down a fifth of partnerships between Chinese and foreign institutions, including five jointly managed institutions, without mentioning when the terminations occurred, in a drive to raise quality, according to a list of terminations issued last week.
New regulatory body will push HE quality and autonomy
Shuriah Niazi and Yojana Sharma
The Indian government has put forward two draft acts to replace the higher education regulatory body, the University Grants Commission, with a new body with a reduced role over university financing but greater powers in areas which the government says will improve academic standards.
New body to regulate all higher education institutions
The country’s national cabinet has approved the establishment of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission, which will regulate all tertiary institutions and help to speed up the establishment of qualifying private universities, according to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Drop in applications expected to hit universities hard
Russian universities are expecting a shortage of applications for university places this year, according to a government report. Experts warn it could lead to declining standards and send many private institutions into bankruptcy. It will also increase pressure to recruit more international students.
EU students’ post-Brexit loans and fees guaranteed
The European Union students starting courses in 2019-20 in England – months after the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU – will remain eligible to receive government-backed loans to cover their tuition fees for the duration of their courses and will continue to be charged the same fees as UK students.
Brexit risks for Danish higher education and research
Jan Petter Myklebust
Danish universities are ill prepared for Brexit, particularly if it becomes a ‘hard Brexit’, fearing serious implications of the end of freedom of movement for Danish students and researchers to the United Kingdom – and a significant intellectual loss for Danish research institutions.
Financial costs deter thousands of masters students
More than 130,000 Australians are undertaking one or other of nearly 1,200 masters by coursework degrees. But while a masters degree has become the required qualification to gain entry to an increasing number of occupations, the cost is deterring many students.
University staff union threatens to sue over deductions
Kenya’s Universities Academic Staff Union has threatened to go to court if the ministry of education does not take immediate action against the higher learning institutions in the country that are reported to be deducting from their employees’ salaries illegally without remitting deductions to the relevant institutions.
Demand for institution to be upgraded to university
Shadi Khan Saif
A leading public sector teacher training institute in Afghanistan has remained in lockdown for nearly two months over demands by students and teachers that it be upgraded to a university to provide better job opportunities for its graduates and higher salaries for faculty members.
Has teaching in higher education become redundant?
The internet is transforming how students learn and by comparison students find traditional lectures boring. To compete, universities need to rethink teaching, from the way it is structured and what it offers to what value-addition it can provide to students.
Engaging and retaining students through video capture
Supporting a diverse student body remains high on the agenda for higher education. Lecture-capture technology can supplement learning, help to engage students, enable them to catch up if they can’t attend lectures in person and join in post-lecture discussions online.
Chinese HE’s contribution to the global common good
Lin Tian and Nian Cai Liu
Higher education in China should be seen as a global common good rather than a public good. This means that it is not just the government that is responsible for its development – it is up to universities, students and wider society to take responsibility.
Replacing the UGC won’t solve India’s problems
It is being billed by the Modi government as an attempt to introduce ‘minimum government, maximum governance’, but Indian higher education needs much more deep-rooted change than the proposed replacement of the University Grants Commission (UGC) with the Higher Education Commission of India.
TNE in HE is about collaboration, not neo-colonialism
A recent University World News article paints a picture of transnational education (TNE) as neoliberal, neo-colonialist and motivated by a rankings obsession. This does not echo my experience. Transnational education in higher education works best when it is about cooperation among equals.
Wider access to higher education needs a mindset shift
The idea that only a few are capable of university education is still very much alive in Malawian classrooms from primary school to university and this mindset is reflected in the severe limitations on places in the country’s university system. But without wider access to higher education, the country will struggle to achieve its national, continental or global development goals.
The new dynamics in international student circulation
Hans de Wit
The main push and pull factors for international student mobility have not changed in the past decade, but global contexts have, resulting in growing global competition for international students and increasing South-South student flows. But quality concerns and language issues remain barriers to further growth.
PACIFIC RIM HE AND RESEARCH
Urgent need to address ethics of artificial intelligence
Students and researchers must be better prepared to deal with ethical issues in the use of big data, robotics and artificial intelligence so that research and applications are not used for nefarious purposes, including weapons of war, a recent conference of Pacific Rim university presidents was told.
The digital revolution in cheating has already begun
The fourth industrial revolution may bring a host of new forms of academic corruption and new ways of tackling them, but the internet and its internationalising effect have already transformed the way some people cheat and some of the methods used to catch them.
Ministry sets up task force on campus radicalisation
A new joint task force has been set by Indonesia’s Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education and the country’s National Counter-Terrorism Agency to develop guidelines to combat Islamic radicalism which appears to be gaining wider support on campuses.
Urbanisation conference calls for timely research
African academic research on sustainable urbanisation has not kept pace with the rapid economic, environmental and policy changes that define sustainable development, according to experts at the Sustainable African Cities conference held last week in Accra, Ghana.
Bad politics and the paradox of university rankings
Zimbabwe’s higher education sector finds itself caught in a paradox: the country has one of the highest literacy rates in Africa at 92%, but its universities perform dismally in both continental and international rankings. Pressure is mounting on the post-Robert Mugabe government to intervene.
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