NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Spanish university caught in China-Taiwan crossfire
One of Europe’s few Taiwan studies programmes, at the University of Salamanca in Spain, was forced to cancel the public parts of a Taiwan cultural event on campus after Beijing insisted the university adhere to the Spanish government’s foreign policy principles on ‘one China’.
New PM urged to act on higher education funding
Universities have called on Scott Morrison, the new Australian prime minister, to overturn an ‘effective cap’ on student numbers imposed by his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull and end the two-year freeze on funding for higher education which they say amounts to a AU$2.1 billion (US$1.5 billion) cut.
Chilling impact of no-deal Brexit on Horizon 2020 role
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the United Kingdom could lose access to 45% of high-value Horizon 2020 grants, and its role as coordinator in a third of projects in which it participates could vanish, seriously hurting its ability to attract top scientific talent.
Grants to help address knowledge gaps in agriculture
Major universities from six African countries will next year stand a chance to develop regional hubs for agricultural learning with the help of grants worth US$20 million from the World Bank via the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture.
DeVos drafts new policies on campus sexual misconduct
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has drafted new policies on sexual misconduct at United States universities which would strengthen the rights of students accused of assault, harassment or rape and reduce the liability for institutions of higher education. The policies will also encourage provision of more support for victims.
Ministry orders cut in international student numbers
Jan Petter Myklebust
The Danish ministry of higher education and science is to cut the number of international students studying technology and engineering by 1,000 to 1,200 in 2019, targeting university programmes where a large share of international students do not stay on to work in the country.
Wrangle over unfair selection of university applicants
María Elena Hurtado
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has been sent fresh evidence on petition 13.575 that alleges unfair discrimination against some 40% of secondary school students that sit for Chile’s national admission test for university, the Prueba de Selección Universitaria.
Universities form consortium to aid threatened scholars
Eleven higher education institutions, led by The New School in New York, have created a consortium of universities that are providing temporary academic homes for refugee scholars threatened by authoritarian governments and wars in their home countries.
Women-only fellowships – 30 future scientists selected
Thirty young female postgraduate students in scientific fields from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and Malawi have been selected for the 2018-19 World Bank masters fellowships under its African Centres of Excellence programme.
Smallest university seeks security in potential merger
After years of financial problems, New Zealand’s smallest university, which is about one quarter the size of the next largest of the country’s eight universities, is seeking a merger or partnership with a much larger neighbour.
Lisbon Recognition Convention moves to North America
Sjur Bergan and Stig Arne Skjerven
Canada’s ratification of the Lisbon Recognition Convention is another step towards international recognition of qualifications and could encourage similar action by the United States in the future. That would require a change from the current administration’s attitude to international cooperation, however.
Hard Brexit – The risk to postgraduate research
Ludovic Highman and Simon Marginson
Postgraduate research students are the DNA of university enterprise, particularly of research-intensive universities and particularly in the kind of STEM subjects that are vital for industry in the United Kingdom. A hard Brexit will hit some of the UK’s renowned global beacons of excellence hardest.
Letting scientific publishing as we know it perish
Anita Schjøll Brede
Is it time to diversify how we reward scientists for publishing beyond counting the number of publications? Blockchain can help revolutionise scientific publishing by enabling researchers to use their contributions to validating knowledge generated by other people to generate their own new knowledge.
Education and the workplace – Addressing the yawning gap
Several reasons account for the rising incidence of graduate unemployment that has now become a common issue of concern across the globe. While an oversupply of graduates to the market is regarded as one cause, an equally pressing problem is the yawning gap between the education given at universities and the skill needs of the labour market.
Canada’s growing international student addiction
International students have allowed Canadian universities to flourish as government funding was cut after the 2008 crash, and for a long while the shift in funding has been largely consequence-free. But increasing political volatility around the world means they are not necessarily a safe bet as an income stream.
Internationalisation of HE – Successes and failures
Hans de Wit
With growing interest in and critical views of internationalisation of higher education and amid rising nationalism, the time is ripe for academics to consider what has gone well and what has gone wrong over the past 25 years.
PACIFIC RIM HE AND RESEARCH
The cost to higher education of free speech on campus
It is hard to overemphasise how much the issue of free speech on campus has preoccupied American higher education over the past few years. The implications are enormous – both politically due to conservatives feeling campuses are hostile to their views and financially due to the cost of security.
Protecting universities’ knowledge-production mandate
Mark Paterson and Nico Cloete
If universities succumb to the temptation to promote social equity at the expense of knowledge production they will end up merely providing “poor education for all”, Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells warned South African academics and students at a recent meeting at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
Medical school scandal points to wider discrimination
Reports that a Japanese medical university systematically manipulated entrance exam results of women candidates to reduce the number of female doctors came as little surprise in Japan but has prompted a survey of medical school exam practices in a bid to root out discrimination.
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