Also: Afghan universities close as violence of war follows COVID disruptions
15 August 2021  Issue No: 655
Top Stories
PHOTONever in the history of Afghanistan’s conservative and remote corners have so many girls made it into higher education, as in the past few years of relative peace. Now, amid swift and deadly advances by armed Taliban insurgents, these gains – and their lives – are under threat.
A recent report by the American Association of University Professors confirms tough times for higher education staff and institutions in the United States, over and above COVID-19. The report charts the first decline in academic salaries in a decade. The $336-billion debt universities and colleges have amassed is a ticking time bomb for the sector.
Jürgen Wertheimer, professor of comparative literature at Universität Tübingen, conceived and leads Project Cassandra, a social strife early warning system based on literature that has been supported by the German military. Wertheimer believes literature affects the way readers think and act in the real world – and his research correctly forecast civil strife in Algeria in 2019 and war in Nagorno-Karabakh last year.
EdTech in Higher Education
PHOTOAfter 18 months of global disruption by COVID-19, including of higher education, it is time to shine light and reflect upon two active areas of response – educational technologies and innovation. How have these pre-existing spheres evolved since institutions shifted online? What's happening? How might they help tackle inequalities in the sector locally and globally? How might they shape teaching and learning, and higher education's future? These are some of the questions probed in two Special Reports published this and next weekend.
PHOTONanyang Technological University’s international academics and students who have travelled abroad recently may lose pay and education as they wait for Singapore to let them back in. Stranded academics say that they have been told they will not be allowed to teach remotely, unless granted compassionate leave.
World Blog
PHOTOUniversities have an important role to play in educating young people about ethics and addressing corruption and bribery in the wider society. A key strategy could be the provision of a conscientisation course to help students to assess and develop ethical decision-making skills.
PHOTOThe administration of President Joe Biden is reported to be developing a federal strategy for internationalising higher education in the United States. To do so, it should consider a range of factors, beginning with changing the mindset about international engagement.
PHOTOOpposition is growing against Indonesia’s new overarching research and innovation body as academics and the public question its ‘politicised’ steering board and the dismantling of many of the country’s specialised research agencies. The new research agency is in charge of issuing permits for foreign researchers wanting to work in Indonesia, which has also been a contentious issue.
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