Also: Academics in Philippines outraged over government purge of ‘subversive’ books
14 November 2021  Issue No: 668
Top Stories
PHOTOThe recent 2021 Common Statement in Support of International Education and Mobility by nine European and North American countries is that of a Western, physical mobility-focused approach to international education that may have been relevant in the past but is much less so for the present and future.
Academics at the University of the Philippines Diliman have accused top higher education officials of “effectively sanctioning book purging”, in a sharp exchange this month over the removal of so-called ‘subversive’ literature from university libraries. The chair of the Commission on Higher Education defended the right of universities to remove reading materials.
The judicious words in the Report of the Committee on Academic Freedom hardly suggest the tumult over a professor’s use of the ‘n-word’ that prompted the University of Ottawa to call in a retired Canadian Supreme Court justice. He found the professor to be protected by academic freedom – the racial epithet was not directed toward any individual, nor was it gratuitous.
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PHOTOThe Ministry of Education stepped in to prevent the poaching of high technology talent in Taiwan, as it shut down a campus office at a major university this week that it said was being used to recruit semiconductor workers for China. The ministry warned universities that “non-academic exchanges” with mainland China were unlawful.
Climate Change
PHOTOA global climate deal was agreed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, on Saturday. But crucially, it watered down draft commitments to phase out coal, leaving the United Nations secretary general and scientists warning that “we are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe”.
Coronavirus Crisis and HE
PHOTOEnrolment at community colleges in the United States fell sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the growing divide between those with post-secondary education and those without it. These changes are only exacerbating race and class divisions.
World Blog
PHOTOHigher education leaders face many challenges and good leadership can depend on context. Inspiring leaders may have high standards, a strong vision, and be creative, smart, honest and tough but fair. What is also important is for leaders to stay connected and to plan carefully for their successors – something that definitely needs more attention within the sector.
PHOTOThe future of higher education is likely to be determined at the intersection of traditional and alternative providers and credentialing, with more emphasis being put on quality, and traditional higher education institutions needing to focus more on what they do best.
PHOTOEquitable access and success in higher education need to be positioned as a shared challenge across countries, requiring continued year-round dialogue and a focus on identifying, sharing and adapting best practice along with systematic global monitoring of progress.
Access and Inclusion
PHOTOA newly released report warns that focused and consistent policies are needed to respond to a possible worsening of access and equity in higher education for disadvantaged groups following the COVID-19 pandemic. Only around a third of 47 countries surveyed have specific higher education equity strategies or targets.
PHOTO“Education benefits when people with diverse backgrounds and different personal experiences are drawn into the conversation.” That’s the premise posited for what has been described as an “audacious educational experiment” to be offered by Massachusetts Institute of Technology anthropology Professor M Amah Edoh.
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