Trump visa review poses threat to recruitment of international researchers.

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15 July 2018 Issue 514 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search


Trump visa review poses threat to recruitment of international researchers

   In Commentary, Pooja B Vijayakumar says plans to block the granting of work permits to spouses, under the review of United States visa rules ordered by President Donald Trump, will hinder recruitment of international researchers to universities and undermine internationalisation. Anjali Thomas says higher education, being at the centre of social justice issues, needs to consider ways to overcome the different intersecting barriers to access such as gender, social class, race and disability. Catriona Ryan writes that boosting students’ confidence in skills such as essay writing and networking can help students deal with anxiety and enhance their student experience. And Alma Maldonado-Maldonado and Felicitas Acosta applaud women across Latin America for taking action to highlight and counter sexual harassment and other forms of sexism at universities, but concede that the culture of machismo remains entrenched.

   In our World Blog this week, Patrick Blessinger contends that – based on the core principles of rights, learning and democracy – we should embrace a bold vision of higher education in the service of humanity and for the common good.

   In Features, Silvia Richter reports that one of the Japanese government’s key goals in its strategy on science, technology and innovation is to make Japan ‘the most innovation-friendly country in the world’. And Jan Petter Myklebust reports on preliminary proposals arising from the special investigation into the internationalisation of higher education and research in Sweden.

Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor

NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report


Indian conference visa denial sparks scholars’ protest

Ameen Amjad Khan

Academics have reacted strongly to the denial by the Indian government of visas to Pakistani scholars seeking to participate in an international conference on Asian studies and demand that future international conferences not be held in countries that restrict participation on the grounds of nationality.


‘Institutes of eminence’ named – but not all exist yet

Shuriah Niazi

India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development last week selected six universities for world-class 'Institute of Eminence' status to enjoy heightened autonomy – and in the case of public institutions substantial extra government funding – but, controversially, one of them has yet to be built.


Anti-corruption initiatives – What can universities do?

Wagdy Sawahel

The African Union’s recent declaration of 11 July as African Anti-Corruption Day – and 2018 as the Year of Anti-Corruption – turns the spotlight on universities and their role in combating the scourge in society and within institutions.


White Paper sets out Brexit position for HE, research

Brendan O’Malley

The United Kingdom government has announced its intention to facilitate mobility of students and research talent and “explore” continued participation in European Union science programmes post-Brexit in its White Paper setting out its position on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.


Ten universities still occupied in fight to end machismo

María Elena Hurtado

The so-called ‘feminist wave’, started in mid-April, that took over by force 22 Chilean universities or faculties in demand for improved sexual harassment protocols, better conditions for female students and an end to ‘machismo’ is on the wane but far from over.


Bribery allegation shakes higher education sector

Suvendrini Kakuchi

Japan’s higher education sector has been shaken by the recent arrest of a director-general of the ministry of education suspected of extending a coveted government financial subsidy to a prestigious private medical university in exchange for a place for his son, which he denies.


University researchers generate productivity boom

Geoff Maslen

The nation’s university researchers have created a research productivity boom, more than doubling their output compared to a decade ago. The total number of research reports by Australian academics increased from 45,560 in 2006 to 96,565 in 2016 – a rise of 112%.


Universities' alliance to fight ‘political interference’

Mimi Leung

More than a dozen universities in Taiwan have set up a new alliance for university autonomy to counter what they see as ‘political interference’ in universities in the wake of the ongoing saga of the appointment of a new president for National Taiwan University.


Technical colleges – The new hope for economic growth

Gilbert Nganga

Kenya has slashed fees for students in technical and vocational education institutions and raised public funding in its latest bid to grow the critical skills base needed to achieve the country’s economic ambitions.


Project launched to improve web archiving worldwide

Virginia Tech is leading a project to make web archives more valuable to researchers worldwide by developing course materials and cyber infrastructure to teach librarians and archivists internationally how to collect, extract and analyse archived information from the World Wide Web.


Pan-African business school holds first MBA graduation

Reuben Kyama

The African Leadership University School of Business, Africa’s pre-eminent leadership business school based in Rwanda, graduated its first cohort of pan-African professionals on 7 July at a ceremony held in Kigali, with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and renowned African business leader and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa presiding over the occasion.



Visa change could deter incoming international faculty

Pooja B Vijayakumar

Proposed visa changes currently being considered by the Trump administration in the United States will mean the spouses of international researchers will no longer be able to work. This could have a harmful effect on recruitment of international faculty and internationalisation of higher education.


Why higher education requires an intersectional lens

Anjali Thomas

Higher education is at the centre of issues regarding social justice and as such needs to consider the multiple barriers to access and how they intersect with each other, from gender, disability, class and race to the impact of colonialism.


Putting wellbeing at the heart of the student experience

Catriona Ryan

Devising ways to boost students’ confidence in everything from essay writing to networking can help students deal with anxiety and boost the student experience, as well as develop important skills they will need in academia or in work.


Women are increasingly challenging campus machismo

Alma Maldonado-Maldonado and Felicitas Acosta

Women across Latin America are taking action to highlight and counter sexual harassment and other forms of sexism at universities. However, the culture of machismo remains entrenched and figures show the number of women in senior leadership positions remains low despite some progress.



Rethinking higher education in the service of humanity

Patrick Blessinger

In a world that is rapidly changing, higher education must engage in a continual renewal of itself. Based on core principles of rights, learning and democracy, we need to embrace a bold vision of higher education in the service of humanity and for the common good.



German-Japanese dialogue on digital transformation

Silvia Richter

Ruhr-Universität Bochum is building on its international strategy by launching a new platform for dialogue with partner universities on societal challenges across the world. Its first event brought more than 40 researchers and representatives from Japanese universities to the German university to discuss digital transformation.



Universities must step up to cater for ‘Society 5.0’

Silvia Richter

Making Japan ‘the most innovation-friendly country in the world’ is one of the Japanese government’s key goals in its strategy on science, technology and innovation. But it will require universities to support open innovation and strengthen international collaboration in research and teaching.


Internationalisation proposals raise funding questions

Jan Petter Myklebust

A grant scheme for foreign students and the establishment of 10 additional offices abroad to market Sweden as a study destination are among preliminary proposals from the special investigation into internationalisation of higher education and research, but there are questions about how they can be funded.



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President gives himself powers to appoint rectors

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree stripping the country’s education watchdog, YÖK, of much of its supervisory powers, and gave himself sole authority to appoint university rectors, reports Ahval.


Quarter of universities ‘hide’ potential malpractice

A quarter of British universities are not reporting on potential malpractice, says a Science and Technology Committee report, which looks at what is known about problems arising from errors, questionable practices, and fraud in research, and what can be done to ensure that problems are handled appropriately, reports Parliament.UK.


Dutch universities can teach in English, says court

The universities of Maastricht and Twente can offer bachelor degrees in psychology in English, according to a recent court ruling. A case had been brought by the lobby group Beter Onderwijs Nederland, claiming that teaching these degrees in English broke the higher education and research laws. But the court judgement said that this is not the case, reports Dutch News.


Who gets the cream from state and private schools?

The University of Melbourne may have a reputation as an institution for the wealthy and privileged, but new data reveals almost half its first-year students come from state schools, writes Henrietta Cook for The Age. Meanwhile, arch rival Monash University has the highest proportion of first-year students from independent schools, with more than one in three educated in the fee-paying sector.


Students braced for water, food threat

Universities must prepare their students for a world in which they will have to face threats from climate change, water and energy scarcity, food insecurity and waste accumulation, Higher Education Commission Chairman Professor Dr Tariq Banuri has told a national workshop on ‘GreenMetric Ranking’, reports Pakistan Today.


Universities oppose Trump over affirmative action plan

At least a dozen top universities in the United States have turned their back on the Trump administration’s rollback of Obama-era affirmative action directives. These universities, including five Ivy League institutions, say they plan to continue to use race as a factor in admissions to bolster diversity, writes Michelle Lou for the Huffington Post.


Overzealous regulators are closing in on universities

Mountains of pointless paperwork are making it nearly impossible for independent Russian universities to survive, with the average length of a course syllabus running to 30-40 pages, 10 times the length of the average syllabus in most universities across the world, writes Grigory Yudin for The Moscow Times.


Scrap income tax levied on universities – Chancellor

The Chancellor of Uganda Christian University, Reverend Stanley Ntagali, has asked government to scrap the income tax which it levies on non-profit education institutions, saying universities are not profit-making institutions, writes Samuel Nabwiiso for East African Business Week.


Lower grades for poor could drop universities down table

Universities which are forced to lower grades for less well-off students have complained that they will plummet down league tables as a result and top institutions are concerned about the ‘reputational damage’ that could ensue from making lower offers to disadvantaged students, according to a new report, writes Camilla Turner for The Telegraph.


Head of universities’ union appeals to PM to end row

The Chairman of the Union of Universities in Israel, Professor Yosef Klapter, appealed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to override the minister of science and appoint a leading scientist who allegedly approves of ‘refuseniks’, individuals who refuse to serve in the Israel Defense Forces for conscientious reasons, reports The Jerusalem Post.


CA$10,000 gender pay gap at Ottawa’s main universities

The Sunshine List is brighter for men than women at Ottawa’s two major universities, according to data, which reveals significant pay gaps. At a time when universities in Ottawa, and across the country, are beginning to look closely at wage gaps between men and women, the annual list, which publishes salaries of Ontario public sector employees earning more than CA$100,000 (US$76,000), is revealing, writes Elizabeth Payne for Ottawa Citizen.


Three Spanish-speaking countries offering crypto courses

Five universities across three Spanish-speaking countries are now offering crypto courses. Among the major topics of studies are Bitcoin, Ethereum, cryptocurrencies, blockchains, initial coin offerings, smart contracts and crypto-economics, reports


University to rename stadium following racial slur

The fallout from former Papa John’s chairman John Schnatter’s use of a racial slur continues with University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi announcing the university would be removing ‘Papa John’ from the name Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The home of the Louisville football team now will be called Cardinal Stadium, reports Reuters.

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