NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Universities making campuses safer after 47 rapes in 2017
South African universities are taking steps to make campuses safer for female students, after Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor named the higher education institutions at which incidents of rape or sexual assault had occurred in 2017.
Foreign student numbers grow a record 19% in a year
South Korea has seen record numbers of international students enrolling in its universities, despite recent tensions on the Korean peninsula, but this has been accompanied by a doubling in the number staying on illegally after their student visas expire.
Racism and discrimination against aboriginal staff rises
Three-quarters of Indigenous Australians working as academics and general staff in the nation’s universities experience racism and discrimination, mostly from colleagues, a higher proportion than seven years ago, despite federal efforts to combat the problem, a study by the National Tertiary Education Union reveals.
US dominates global innovative universities ranking
Stanford University has topped this year’s Reuters’ ranking of the World’s Most Innovative Universities for the fourth year in a row, but the biggest mover by far is the United Kingdom’s University of Manchester, which is leading research into the supermaterial, graphene.
World-class research position retained – and challenged
Jan Petter Myklebust
Denmark is maintaining its world-class research position among OECD countries, according to the 10th edition of the Research Barometer, but an expert is warning that this is being put at risk by dwindling investment over recent years.
HE lending agencies call for protective legislation
Calls have intensified for African governments to establish legislation to help financing agencies recoup outstanding student loans, in light of the increasing number of defaults being experienced in the higher education sector.
Universities gain access to genocide survivor testimonies
Universities have been given access to more than 55,000 interviews with survivors of and witnesses to genocide via streaming video, providing researchers with an evocative, deeply personal view of the impact of the Holocaust and other genocides and massacres, including Rwanda, Armenia and Nanjing.
Colleges change sexual assault practices after survey
Andy Tsubasa Field, The Chronicle of Higher Education
A national survey sponsored by the Association of American Universities – which found that a quarter of female college students responding had on campus experienced unwanted sexual contact by force or due to incapacitation – has led some universities to change their sexual assault practices.
International study abroad needs to be deepened
Davina Potts and Kent Anderson
Far from being reluctant to study abroad, Australian students are more likely than many to do so. Policy is driving the expansion of learning abroad, including among under-represented groups, but more needs to be done to encourage students to do full postgraduate degrees overseas.
A catalyst for institutional transformation
The Skolkovo Method is a new way of encouraging rapid institutional transformation from the bottom up, with a range of stakeholders, and it is already having an impact in Russia. There are lessons for higher education institutions from around the world.
Science needs to address the lack of black role models
Many in the scientific world are celebrating the fact that two women received this year’s Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry. But in more than 100 years no black scientist has ever won a Nobel – that’s bad for science, and bad for society.
How can we fix what is wrong with Indian universities?
India’s higher education system is largely a failure due to poor systems of appointing teachers, and failure to address either canvassing and bribery for jobs, promotion by seniority or the mushrooming of predatory journals that undermines research quality. Fundamental changes are needed.
Government-university relations – A troubled matrimony
Wondwosen Tamrat and Damtew Teferra
Ethiopia’s draft education roadmap is an opportunity for the government to move away from a past defined by political interference and lack of institutional autonomy and come up with a clear definition of government relations with universities and the institutionalisation of mechanisms for practice and compliance.
What contribution has internationalisation made to HE?
Jane Knight and Hans de Wit
Has international higher education lived up to our expectations and its potential and will we look back 10 or 20 years from now and be proud of the track record and contribution that international higher education has made? Where do we go from here?
PACIFIC RIM HE AND RESEARCH
Research collaboration bucks decline of multilateralism
As the world becomes more nationalistic and the existing international order of multilateral cooperation is challenged, universities are forming regional and global research networks that do not mirror the current state of geopolitics, a new Association of Pacific Rim Universities report says.
Boost to university-industry AI research collaboration
As the global race in artificial intelligence (AI) research intensifies, South Korea’s ministry of science and ICT is to invest US$2 billion to build up AI talent and use its universities’ strong links with industry to become a global AI powerhouse by 2022.
Universities should address demand for blockchain skills
Calls are mounting for African universities to keep pace with the world’s top 50 higher education institutions in offering more courses to harness the power of blockchain-based innovation, which could also support university administration.
HE IN THE DIGITAL AGE
How is technology transforming education? What are the main challenges facing the world of ed tech? These were some of the questions discussed by global experts in education, innovation and ed tech at the ‘EnlightED: Reinventing education in a digital world’ conference in Madrid, Spain, on 3-5 October, which drew an international audience of around 1,000.
Universities ‘are declining’ due to digital disruptors
Technology is transforming the way students learn and while bastions such as Harvard University may be less vulnerable than other institutions, digital disruption is taking hold. More than 25% of masters students are now fully online and “universities are declining”, the EnlightED conference was told.
In the AI era, universities must make us ‘robot proof’
With up to half of white and blue collar jobs expected to vanish due to artificial intelligence (AI), the priority for universities is to make people ‘robot proof’ by teaching ‘humanics’ – technical, data and human literacy – and providing experiential and lifelong learning.
How will universities prepare students for Industry 4.0?
In an age where traditional jobs are dispensable and data is wealth, universities will need to provide students with the soft skills, resilience and the moral compass they will need to negotiate the challenges of the future, a Madrid conference on reinventing education was told.
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