Also: Australian vice-chancellors slash 17,000+ university jobs
7 February 2021  Issue No: 629
Top Stories
PHOTOJapan is setting up a projected US$95 billion endowment fund to increase public financing for scientific research, even as the country is struggling to contain the third wave of COVID-19 infections. The pandemic has exposed the country’s lack of long-term and stable funding of research.
Australia’s universities have been forced to slash the jobs of more than 17,000 staff after losing an estimated AU$1.8 billion (US$1.37 billion) in revenue. Almost 130,500 university employees have been affected by the cuts, either by being sacked or by having to take on additional workloads.
We are at a tipping point, a time of transformation for society and universities. A new report highlights some of the issues facing European universities, from precarity and embedding interdisciplinarity to sustainability, and outlines a vision for how universities could adapt to the future.
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Academic Freedom
PHOTOIndia’s government has made it mandatory for academics and organisers to obtain prior clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs to hold international webinars or online seminars on topics touching on India’s security and internal issues and on subjects the government believes are sensitive.
Coronavirus Crisis and HE
PHOTOThroughout the pandemic, there have been tensions between online and face-to-face teaching, between keeping students safe and seeking to educating them. But nothing has been settled. Academics will have to make a strong case for what it means to teach in the post-COVID period.
PHOTOThe University of Oslo has presented an ambitious action plan for the humanities towards 2030, addressing society’s grand challenges – the first such plan ever – in response to the Norwegian government’s call in 2017 for higher education institutions to strengthen their work with the humanities.
World Blog
PHOTOPhD supervision needs to be considered in a more holistic way with the emphasis on teamwork, particularly as COVID-19 is likely to bring changes to how international researchers complete their studies, but it requires better recognition and reward for the collaborative effort needed.
PHOTOThe Turing scheme, established to replace the student and academic study abroad part of the United Kingdom’s participation in the Erasmus+ programme post-Brexit, is a reality and we need to make the most of it by emphasising employability, widening participation and trade.
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