Also: New German government must deter autocracies that undermine academic freedoms
10 October 2021  Issue No: 663
Top Stories
PHOTOThe Singapore parliament this week passed legislation to counter foreign interference that could threaten its national security and sovereignty, amid growing concerns globally about the use of digital tools and campaigns by foreigners to advance their national interests abroad. But critics said the law could impact on free speech and academic freedom and academics are calling for more safeguards for free and open inquiry and research.
The human right to quality education for all is vital and must be ensured, whether under conditions we may naively have considered normal or under emergency circumstances. But to understand what kind of education we need and what quality means, we first need to ask what kind of society we want.
The next German government should defend academic freedom by reviewing the over-reliance of universities on third-party funding. It should also adopt a whole-of-government approach to autocratic regimes such as China.
PHOTOChina has launched a major crackdown on private tutoring of children in compulsory schooling until age 15 as part of a bid to rein in burgeoning private edtech companies. But now Ministry of Education advisors say strict controls will also be brought in for the age group preparing for the university entrance examination, the gaokao, which could have a knock-on effect on students planning to study abroad.
Civic Engagement
PHOTOStructures that keep teaching and learning as discreet acts, themselves divided from research and from ‘social impact’ beyond academic walls, mean little to the young generation of scholars who attended last week’s conference of the Talloires Network of Engaged Universities, a global coalition of 417 universities in 79 countries. The students’ motto is “integrate, integrate, integrate” and their call is for universities and the academy to push beyond traditional silos.
PHOTOThere have been many critics of recent United States government approaches to research ties with China. To resolve this effectively, we need to look more closely at circumstances on the ground in China and show that collaboration can address challenges facing the US and China and that research ties are making a difference.
World Blog
PHOTOHigher education needs to take bullying and harassment more seriously. Universities must stop enabling leaders to get away with atrocious behaviour that perpetuates a bullying culture, and must tackle workplace environments that provide fertile ground for harassment to flourish.
PHOTOWith rapidly declining education participation rates among British adults and skills shortages, a high-level commission on lifelong education called this week for a “truly flexible” modular skills system that enables people to accumulate and transfer credits easily over time. “If there is one policy to deliver ‘levelling up’, it is adult learning and skills,” said Chris Skidmore, former universities minister and chair of the commission.
Featured Recruitment
World Round-up
Update | Unsubscribe | Sent to:
Copyright 2021 University World News