Australian students now lead their English-speaking peers in study abroad visits.

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14 October 2018 Issue 524 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search


Australian students now lead their English-speaking peers in study abroad visits

   In Commentary, Davina Potts and Kent Anderson say Australian students are not reluctant to study abroad – as a news article based on questionable data claims – but actually lead their English language-speaking peers in study visits overseas, thanks in part to smart government policy. Lukas Bischof recommends the Skolkovo Method – developed and adopted in Russia – to higher education leaders as an innovative way to drive transformation in their universities. And Winston Morgan suggests that campaigns similar to those introduced to increase the number of women and female leaders in science should be instituted to increase the number of black scientists – and eventually role models such as a black Nobel laureate in science.

   In our World Blog, Jane Knight and Hans de Wit look back and forward at the contribution internationalisation has made and will make to higher education and conclude that internationalisation has come of age.

   In our series on Pacific Rim higher education and research, Yojana Sharma unpacks a report from the Association of Pacific Rim Universities that says universities are bucking the trend of declining multilateralism in geopolitics by forming research networks that foster multilateral cooperation.

   In Features, Yojana Sharma reports on South Korea’s investment of US$2 billion to build up talent in artificial intelligence and use its universities’ strong links with industry to become a global AI powerhouse by 2022. And Wagdy Sawahel reports on calls for African universities to offer more courses to harness the power of blockchain-based innovation.

   In a Special Report on the EnlightED conference in Spain on higher education in the digital age, Paul Rigg highlights keynote speaker Michael Horn’s warning that “universities are declining” due to digital disruption taking hold. Another speaker, Joseph Aoun, suggests that universities respond by making people ‘robot proof’ through teaching ‘humanics’ and providing experiential and lifelong learning, writes Paul Rigg.

Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor

NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report


Universities making campuses safer after 47 rapes in 2017

Edwin Naidu

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

Aimee Chung

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

Geoff Maslen

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

Brendan O’Malley

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

Joy Ndovi

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

Lukas Bischof

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

Winston Morgan

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?

Kishor Patwardhan

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?



Research collaboration bucks decline of multilateralism

Yojana Sharma

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

Yojana Sharma

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

Wagdy Sawahel

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.


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

Paul Rigg

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’

Paul Rigg

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?

Paul Rigg

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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WHO voices alarm as academics denied visas to visit UK

The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed alarm about the impact of the United Kingdom government’s immigration policy on international academic cooperation after several foreign scholars were denied visas to attend a conference, writes Matthew Weaver for The Guardian.


Nicaraguan universities expel students against Ortega

Students from Nicaraguan state universities are saying they have been expelled from their institutions and turned over to the police and accused of terrorism for participating in protests against the dictatorial socialist regime of Daniel Ortega, with more than 100 students expelled for political reasons, writes Karina Martín for Panam Post.


Women conduct more useful research than men, study says

A research study has suggested that female-authored research has more educational impact than male-authored research. The study in the Journal of Altmetrics – a newly launched peer-reviewed open-access journal – compared how many people read articles by male or female first authors in the same field using data from users of reference manager Mendeley, writes Lindsay McKenzie for Inside Higher Ed.


Chinese students fear backlash after inflammatory speech

Chinese students in the United States have dismissed claims made by US Vice-President Mike Pence that their official groups representing them are part of a Communist Party effort to “foster a culture of censorship”, though they did express concerns of a backlash from the inflammatory remarks, write Simone McCarthy and Kristin Huang for South China Morning Post.


Nigerian university expels 485 students

The Federal University Dutse in Nigeria’s Jigawa State has expelled 485 students for poor academic performance and sundry offences. The affected students were drawn from all the academic departments in the university. The management said more students would be axed soon, writes Abubakar Ahmadu Maishanu for Premium Times.


Cambridge to give poor students a year’s free tuition

Cambridge University is to offer disadvantaged students a year of free tuition after their A-levels to give them a ‘leg up’. The ‘Transitional Year’ programme will be for bright but poor pupils who are offered a place to study at Cambridge but fail to achieve good enough grades in their A-levels to meet their offer, writes Camilla Turner for The Telegraph.


Ministry fines universities in fake-degrees scandal

The education ministry in Lebanon has fined three universities, recommending one lose its licence, as a judicial investigation looks into allegations that the institutions were involved in cash-for-degrees schemes, writes Gasia Trtrian for The Daily Star (Lebanon).


Call to fine universities that don’t protect free speech

The Centre for Independent Studies is calling on the Australian government to fine universities that fail to adequately protect and safeguard freedom of speech on campus. According to the think tank, universities are no longer a place where a robust exchange of ideologically diverse ideas springs forth, writes Michael McLaren for 2GB.


South Africa is wasting billions on ‘soft’ degrees

South Africa is wasting billions of rand on university students studying ‘soft’ degrees. According to a report in the Sunday Times, money meant for the National Skills Fund for the development of “badly needed artisans” is being used to fund all university students instead, reports My Broadband.


Cabinet strengthens research and development

The appointment of a national research and innovation council was approved by the cabinet in Cyprus to promote research and entrepreneurship, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said. He said a series of decisions were taken aimed at strengthening research and innovation for the “development of appropriate conditions which will encourage innovative entrepreneurship”, writes Evie Andreou for Cyprus Mail.


Research into maggots helps more than 5,000 diabetics

Research into the use of larva to treat diabetic wounds has saved more than 5,000 patients from limb amputations, said Malaysian Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye. He said that 90% of the 6,000 patients who were treated with maggot debridement therapy were saved from having their limbs amputated, writes Loh Foon Fong for The Star.

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