|09 November 2014||Issue 140||Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week||Advanced Search|
NEWSLETTERLooking back and going forward – South Africa’s universities of technology
Sharon Dell reports on the seventh annual conference of the South African Technology Network, which brought together universities of technology a decade after they were created.
We look at student leadership and university civic engagement ahead of the Talloires Network conference next month. In Africa Features, epidemiologist Kathryn Stinson describes a trip to Sierra Leone for Médecins Sans Frontières, the Ebola epidemic and what must be done to manage it.
In Commentary, Richard Holmes explains how problems with citations methodology are distorting the performance of some universities in the Times Higher Education world rankings.
Jian Liu charts the development of independent colleges in China – a hybrid between private and public institutions that arose in response to growing demand for higher education.
Maurits van Rooijen outlines how small ‘boutique’ universities can survive by pooling resources while maintaining separate identities. Maher Ghalayini looks at ways in which Canadian universities could better support nearly 30,000 international students from India, many of whom have been struggling to acclimatise.
In World Blog, Daniel Kratochvil and Grace Karram argue that the success of a branch campus depends on sound initial planning by the home campus.
Lucy Hodges covers the World Innovation Summit for Education – WISE – held in Qatar last week, and in Global Features, Yojana Sharma describes a new type of massive open online course – dubbed MOOC 2.0 – that could disrupt the way courses are devised.
Karen MacGregor – Africa Editor
A new law in Egypt allowing military trials for students accused of attacking university facilities has raised concerns among academics and rights advocates about freedoms in the country.
Private universities in Nigeria have stepped up efforts to secure financial support from both the federal and regional governments. The private institutions argue that they are fulfilling responsibilities similar to those of public universities that have access to government funds.
Higher education in Morocco continues to attract an increasing number of students and new universities have opened. But a critic of government policies has highlighted problems including lack of lecturers, stagnation of research, and reforms that have not been carried out.
Foreign tertiary institutions and their representatives in Ghana who operate without accreditation, including online universities, have been warned by the National Accreditation Board to regularise their operations or close.
Professor Georges Moyen, the new president of CAMES – the francophone Council for African and Malagasy Higher Education – has spelt out his plans for the 19-member council.
Basavanagouda Patil is a final year student at the National Law School of India University. Much of his time is spent volunteering at the award-winning Legal Services Clinic, whose committee he leads, and which among other things provides legal services for the poor and public interest litigation. The work has helped countless people, has taught him practical and leadership skills and – as regularly happens with student community engagement – has changed the course of his life.
South African Technology Network
The Seventh Annual International SATN – South African Technology Network – conference was held at Zimbali near Durban last month. Sharon Dell reports for University World News.
SOUTH AFRICASharon Dell
South Africa’s Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande has cautioned universities of technology to avoid “mission drift” towards degree programmes, including postgraduate and research programmes, arguing that without more diplomas to address a dire need for scarce skills at a technical level, the country would be “in trouble”.
The higher education teaching and learning environment has never been more challenging for the global academic community, requiring a multifaceted response from lecturers and leaders, according to Ian Hawke, commissioner of the Australian Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, an independent statutory authority that regulates and assures higher education quality.
SOUTH AFRICASharon Dell
University teaching is one of the few professions in the world for which people need no qualifications, no experience and no knowledge. But that is now changing around the world, according to Professor Diane Grayson, director of institutional audits at South Africa’s Council on Higher Education.
SOUTH AFRICASharon Dell
“Looking back and going forward” proved to be an apt theme for the Seventh Annual International South African Technology Network – SATN – three-day conference held last month. The network’s members not only reflected on best practice and learning models emanating from their institutions since they were granted university of technology status 10 years ago, but also interrogated future opportunities to be pursued in teaching and learning.
SIERRA LEONEKathryn Stinson
After leaving Freetown, capital of Ebola-plagued Sierra Leone, for the airport by hydrofoil, I reflected on how I felt when undertaking this route at the start of my journey. It was night, and there was no electricity. We were disorientated by sensory overload: while trying to become accustomed to the darkness and warm, humid air, we were also contemplating getting used to frequent hand-washing and keeping a distance between ourselves, not touching each other or objects if at all possible.
All students graduating from one of Kenya’s top universities may benefit from a free certificate course in leadership development, designed to give them a competitive edge in the workplace and job market – the first of its kind in the East African country.
The government of Senegal has budgeted FCFA65 billion (US$123 million) to establish the new University Sine Saloum in Kaolack, which will spec ialise in agrosciences. Higher Education Minister Mary Teuw Niane has also announced that a total of FCFA302 billion will be spent on Senegal’s higher education in the next two years.
Universities in Senegal will benefit from high-speed broadband internet from the end of November, and the government is to allocate funds to support women researchers, according to press reports.
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
HONG KONGYojana Sharma
The Hong Kong Federation of Students, which shot into the limelight during pro-democracy protests in recent weeks, has emerged as Hong Kong’s best-known political group, according to a Hong Kong University survey carried out during the height of the protests. The federation’s public popularity rating is higher than all other political groupings.
Ministers in Germany have agreed on a new funding package for higher education and research. A total of €25.3 billion (US$32 billion) is to be provided for universities and research institutions over the next six years.
FINLANDJan Petter Myklebust
In an unexpected move Krista Kiuru, Finland’s minister of education, science and communications, has published a proposal for parliament to introduce tuition fees for students from outside Europe from 2016.
DENMARKJan Petter Myklebust
A compromise agreement on reducing the student intake to Danish universities was signed last week by the Minister of Higher Education and Science Sofie Carsten Nielsen and the organisation Universities Denmark. The compromise has given universities more say and has watered down the ministry’s proposal that aimed to slash enrolments, especially in the humanities.
UNITED STATESTom Bartlett, The Chronicle of Higher Education
A joint letter from the presidents of Stanford University and Dartmouth College will be sent to nearly 100,000 Montana voters to apologise for an experiment by three political science professors. Voters and officials objected to a mailer that offered information about the political leanings of candidates for the state’s Supreme Court, in an attempt to see whether such information would alter how Montanans voted.
World Innovation Summit for Education
WISE – the World Innovation Summit for Education – was held in Qatar last week. Lucy Hodges was there for University World News.
ARAB WORLDLucy Hodges
Saudi Arabia dominates the first rankings of 91 Arab universities published last Tuesday by US News & World Report. The top three universities are Saudi Arabian but Egypt and Algeria have a substantial number of institutions in the league table, albeit in lower positions.
A strong defence of the treatment of migrant workers on Western campuses in Qatar came last week from the chair of the World Innovation Summit for Education – WISE – Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani.
Universities are failing to live up to the expectation that they will give a young person a job, a spouse and a certificate that explains who they are and what they know, the WISE conference in Qatar was told last Thursday.
Education systems around the world must change to unleash young people’s creativity, Graca Machel, the Mozambican politician and widow of Nelson Mandela, told the World Innovation Summit for Education.
Massive open online courses – MOOCs – offered by top universities have expanded worldwide, gaining students globally for courses designed in America and elsewhere and disseminated globally on platforms like Coursera, edX and FutureLearn. Their spread has the potential to disrupt the model of bricks-and-mortar universities each with their own courses. Now a new type – dubbed MOOC 2.0 – could even disrupt the way courses are devised.
GLOBALDaniel Kratochvil and Grace Karram
Branch campus success owes more to the home campus than the overseas branch. That includes initial planning and the whole reason for setting up a branch campus in the first place.
The new Times Higher Education world university ranking throws up some interesting results which show how smaller institutions from low-impact countries who take part in large multi-authored, multi-cited research articles can rise up the ranks.
Independent colleges – a hybrid between private and public institutions – grew up in China in response to increasing demand for higher education. They have gone through various stages since then, from lack of regulation to current attempts to transform them into private institutions, but more incentives are needed to complete the process.
GLOBALMaurits van Rooijen
Smaller universities tend to get swallowed up by larger ones. But there are ways for them to survive, including operating under a group structure that allows institutions to pool resources but maintain separate identities.
The number of Indian students in Canadian higher education institutions is increasing. How can universities support these international students better so that it is easier for them to have a high quality experience?
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Australia’s Christopher Pyne has said the government would take as long as it needs to negotiate its massive shake-up of higher education with the Palmer United Party, signalling that it is prepared to sacrifice its 2016 start date in order to get the legislation passed, write Julie Hare and Andrew Trounson for The Australian.
Academics from across Australia have urged vice-chancellors to urgently address a lack of diversity and equality in universities in the wake of the exposure of racist and s exist emails sent by poetry professor Barry Spurr, writes Alexandra Smith for The Sydney Morning Herald.
Extremists' online recruitment efforts using social media bore fruit this month when a former Malaysian student was lured to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – ISIS – while officials say they are trying to protect students and keep campuses free of militant influences, writes Ahmad Pramudya for Khabar Southeast Asia.
Officials with the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan in Canada say that their respective Confucius Institutes will remain, despite criticisms, reports CBC News.
Haifa University will test the limits of the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israeli institutions when it sends a professor appointed by the university’s rector to the organisation’s conference in an official capacity, writes Rebecca Shimoni Stoil for The Times of Israel.
Climate change is our era’s defining challenge, but most of America’s universities are planning to sit this one out. Though students and faculty members at more than 400 colleges have called for administrators to divest from fossil-fuel energy companies, fewer than 20 have committed to doing so. Stanford recently divested from coal, but none of the other schools had endowments within the 150 largest in 2013, writes Evan J Mandery for The New York Times.
The president and CEO of a private college that catered to foreign students has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for defrauding the Department of Homeland Security by issuing phony visa-related documents to international students in exchange for tuition and fees, writes Karina Ioffee for San Jose Mercury News.
Educationists have opposed the prime minister’s orders for revision of the curriculum of schools, colleges and universities, insisting after the passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment that it was the domain of provincial governments and not the centre, writes Ashfaq Yusufzai for Dawn.
Public higher education institutions in Malaysia will be required to start revenue generation to support their programmes from next year. A source at the Education Ministry said the plan was to create sustainable universities to keep up with the rising cost of higher education, reports The Malay Mail.
Higher education continues to be the most popular area for multi-million pound donations, according to a new report. The research suggests that, out of the 10 largest donations made in the United Kingdom last year, seven were received by higher education institutions, all worth at least £30 million (US$48 million), writes Josie Gurney-Read for The Telegraph.
Lecturers at institutes of technology in Ireland are urging the government to rethink its insistence on college mergers before they can gain university status, writes Joe Humphreys for The Irish Times.
Northern Ireland's universities have warned that they will have to cut 1,100 student places in the fall-out from last week's executive draft budget, reports the BBC News.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities and other unions in Nigeria’s universities rose from a conference last weekend asking the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the education sector, writes Iyabo Lawal for The Guardian in Nigeria.
Professor Nthabiseng Ogude has been removed as vice-chancellor of Tshwane University of Technology. A media statement from the institution claimed Ogude resigned from her position, writes Bongani Nkosi for the Mail & Guardian.
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