NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Universities involved in crackdown on student activism
Students from China’s top universities are among a dozen being held after a series of coordinated raids carried out during 9 to 11 November by security officials in a number of major cities to quash a student support of labour rights in China. But the increasing role of universities in the repression of activist students is also causing concern.
International student growth is the slowest since 9/11
Mary Beth Marklein
Last year the growth rate of international student recruitment at universities in the United States was the slowest since the 2001 terrorist attacks, a new report says, but experts differ on whether this is due to the Trump administration’s immigration policies or competition from other destinations.
Universities in dispute over copyright fees legal action
Australia’s 39 universities could face a huge increase in their copyright fees following legal action by the Australian Copyright Agency to claim a bigger return from institutions copying and sharing material in published work.
Low university scholarships fuel student discontent
Discontent is rising among Russian university students over the small amount students receive for state scholarships and the ever-growing cost of tuition, according to recent statements of some representatives of a local student union and analysts in the field of higher education.
Networks eye bid for ‘European University’ status
Jan Petter Myklebust
The pilot for French President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative to create ‘European universities’ is attracting interest from consortia of higher education institutions, but what can they achieve on a tiny budget and if non-European Union countries such as Switzerland and the United Kingdom post-Brexit are excluded?
Top academic in ambitious bid to groom future scholars
The former vice-chancellor of South Africa's University of the Free State, Professor Jonathan Jansen, has launched the Future Professors Group, an ambitious fortnightly seminar for postdoctoral fellows and young academics that aims to accelerate their paths to professorship.
Populism a threat to internationalisation, rectors say
Jan Petter Myklebust
Five leaders at two of Sweden’s top universities have written a joint article raising concern that the rising support for nationalism and populism sweeping Sweden is threatening internationalisation in higher education and the benefits it brings to societal development.
Freedom of speech review arouses campus debate
A debate has erupted on Australian campuses following a government decision to hold an investigation into university freedom of speech. Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan has announced that the rules and regulations protecting freedom of speech on university campuses would be reviewed.
DeVos proposes new rules on sexual misconduct in HE
Sarah Brown and Katherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Students accused of sexual misconduct would gain greater protections – including being guaranteed the right to cross-examine the accuser – and colleges investigating complaints could face reduced liability under sweeping new regulations proposed on Friday by the United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
Practice-oriented German universities reach Africa
Egypt is to host the German University of Applied Sciences as a model for practice-oriented academic training that will be operational by 2020 and will be the first of its kind in the North Africa region.
Student support proposals meet with mixed response
A government benchmark paper on federal student grants has been given a cautious welcome by the German National Association for Student Affairs, although it states that increases in support referred to in the paper still fall short of actual needs.
Women’s NGO fights sexual harassment at universities
Katswe Sistahood, a women-focused non-governmental organisation, has set up a campus programme aimed at addressing the myriad challenges facing women students in Zimbabwean higher and tertiary education institutions, including widespread sexual harassment and discrimination.
Trading in HE with the EU post-Brexit will not be easy
The United Kingdom government insists it will be easy to strike trade agreements with foreign partners post-Brexit. But all trade negotiations are lengthy and tortuous, and UK attempts to trade in higher education services, particularly with the European Union, will be no exception, experts warn.
‘Distributed Excellence’ – A model for European HE
French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to establish ‘European Universities’ is based on the concept of distributed excellence, which Germany has pioneered through its excellence initiatives. Academics have welcomed the European Commission’s modestly funded pilot as potentially the starting point for something big.
Vocational education can solve oversupply of graduates
Overqualification frequently co-exists with skills shortages in jobs that require vocational not higher education, but vocational education is consistently underfunded. A good vocational education funding system is therefore an essential complement to a good higher education funding system.
How ‘America First’ puts international students last
The latest Open Doors report shows significant falls in international student mobility to the United States. Institutions need to mitigate further declines in new enrolment – which are most notable from long-time top source countries – and prepare for their potential impact.
Leading role for universities in fight for sustainability
Dag Rune Olsen
The University of Bergen is demonstrating within Norway and worldwide how universities can play a leading role in addressing the United Nations 2030 Agenda via education and research, providing scientific advice and building partnerships to ensure research-based knowledge underpins global sustainability.
Putting reflective practice at the heart of leadership
At the centre of transformative leadership stands the reflective practitioner, an individual learner who is open to a constant exchange of knowledge, cultures and world views, says Yusuf Karodia, one of the founders of a pan-African higher education network dedicated to preparing Africa’s next leaders.
Study tracks how scholarships promote social change
Stephen Coan and Brendan O'Malley
How effective can scholarship programmes be in preparing and encouraging students to return to their communities to promote social justice? The fourth tracking study for the Ford Foundation’s International Fellowships Program shares important insights from alumni in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Palestine.
Transformation through teaching excellence
A multi-university project in Israel which partners with academics and student representatives in Europe aims to transform the way institutions of higher education approach teaching so that students receive the excellent teaching that is so crucial to their education.
How Latin American universities can be drivers of change
Latin American universities are embedded in societies facing multiple challenges – including poverty, inequality and slow economic growth – and some are demonstrating the crucial role they can play in educating future leaders in the skills they will need to transform their region.
Social sciences and humanities vital for change-makers
Roger Chao Jr
ASEAN universities need to increase their focus on the humanities and social sciences if they are to develop the kind of transformative leaders the region needs, who will take collaborative action to ensure regional and global development and peace.
Developmental universities need strong leadership
Africa needs developmental universities that focus on producing research for the purpose of national development. These require leaders who can communicate their vision and be role models for the kinds of attitudes and behaviour they seek to inspire.
What’s holding Africa’s young scientists back?
Munyaradzi Makoni and Sharon Dell
The continued dependence of African higher education on international science funding, along with insufficient mentoring programmes and the legacy of the brain drain, are among key constraints to the progress of young African scientists, according to a comprehensive new book.
International programmes proliferate at universities
From less than 2,000 foreign students two decades ago, Thailand now hosts 30,000, including short-term exchange students, and is the third-most popular study destination in Southeast Asia after Malaysia and Singapore. Many universities have introduced international programmes teaching courses in English.
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