|09 October 2016||Issue 182||Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week||Advanced Search|
NEWSLETTERAre protesting South African students burning memory?
In Africa Analysis, literary author and former University of Cape Town vice-chancellor Njabulo S Ndebele ponders the significance of fire as a weapon in South African student protest, but also as “a companion to invention”. “When will the fires be tamed, and what will it take to tame them, so that new art work can be forged; to create new industries and forge inventions to meet the needs of a people in intimate dialogue with their new world?” he asks in a typically poignant piece.
In Africa Features, Gilbert Nganga describes the fallout from the allegedly ethnic-based rejection of a recent university appointment – observers say the trend to base appointments on ethnicity is increasingly widespread and is extending to all levels of university appointments.
Our special report on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, or SOTL, covers the recent 10th Annual Teaching and Learning Conference in Higher Education held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. SOTL is a growing movement in academia which focuses on scholarly inquiry into student learning with an emphasis on public sharing of findings. Among a range of stories from the conference, Nicola Jenvey reports on a presentation by Emeritus Professor Lee Shulman in which he highlighted the present and future possibilities beyond journal publications for the sharing of scholarship.
In Commentary, Steve Fuller discusses the role of contemporary universities in society in light of the popular call to ignore experts made by leading ‘Leave’ campaigners during the UK’s Brexit campaign; Jeannie Rea bemoans the deteriorating experience of international students in Australia, whom she alleges are increasingly being treated as a source of export income; and Ranjit Goswami says more universities should adopt an outward-looking focus like the top universities, setting up international exchanges and internships to benefit a wider number of students around the world.
Sharon Dell – Acting Africa Editor
SOUTH AFRICAMunyaradzi Makoni
A multi-stakeholder forum at which the piloting of a fee-free funding model for students from poor and working-class families was announced has failed to bring an end to ongoing student unrest across the country’s campuses.
A scarcity of funds for research and lack of academic freedom in universities across Sub-Saharan Africa are key drivers to low academic scholarship, including inequalities research, according to a joint report by UNESCO, the International Social Science Council and the University of Sussex.
A call by a member of the Egyptian parliament to subject female university applicants to virginity tests has outraged academics and women’s advocates in this conservative Middle East country.
Algeria has unveiled a new roadmap for higher education and research in efforts to build a knowledge-based economy by raising educational standards, improving the employability of graduates and revitalising research.
The African Union Commission and the European Union have launched a new joint initiative to promote the improvement and harmonisation of African higher education quality assurance and accreditation. The initiative, abbreviated as HAQAA, will be implemented by a consortium including all key continental organisations involved in quality assurance in Africa and Europe.
Campus and national politics have combined to ignite a tense atmosphere at the federal University of Lagos – Nigeria’s nerve centre for radical students. Concerned about planned protests against government policies, the senate rusticated student leaders for various offences. Students have also been suspended at other universities.
A new five-year training and skills development programme aimed at building research capacity within the humanities, arts and social sciences across eight African universities was launched at Makerere University, Uganda, last month.
AFRICAOchieng’ O Benny
A new competitive grant scheme established by the United Kingdom Department for International Development designed to catalyse innovative partnerships in low-income countries for the benefit of higher education will launch an open call for partnerships later this month.
Kenya has been left smarting from a reputation nightmare after ethnicity reared its ugly head in one of the top universities, as educationists warn of a growing rot across institutions.
SOUTH AFRICANjabulo S Ndebele
Since the bonfire of artworks at the University of Cape Town earlier this year, fire as a weapon of protest has spread throughout South Africa’s higher education system, and rekindled beyond. But when the portraits of the ‘colonials’ have been burnt, the timeless questions remain.
SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING AND LEARNING
The 10th Annual Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Conference was held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, from 20-22 September under the theme “The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Advancing teaching innovation and research excellence in higher education”. The conference, which aimed to interrogate the artificial dichotomy between teaching and research, attracted a number of local, regional and international scholars.
Research and knowledge gathered in the field was worthless if it did not become community property – and that did not necessarily happen via journal publications. This point was raised in the keynote address at the 10th annual Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Conference held in South Africa in late September.
SOUTH AFRICANicola Jenvey
The #FeesMustFall and other student protests had posed serious questions about the nature of access and the decolonisation of teaching and learning in the country’s higher education institutions, according to University of KwaZulu-Natal Acting Dean of the School of Education and Associate Professor Thabo Msibi.
More than 250 million children around the world have not mastered basic mathematics and reading, costing governments US$129 billion annually in child support. In Africa an estimated 40% of children are in this position, significantly affecting the continent’s economic development.
Teaching and learning should be treated and valued equally with research to ensure advancements in the broader aims of academia.
Student protests that have been taking place for several weeks against the abolition of grants have spread from the capital N’Djamena to the provinces.
An American Campus is to open in Ebène, a ‘cybercity hub’ 15 kilometres south of the capital Port Louis, giving Mauritians the opportunity to follow American courses without having to move to the United States.
GLOBALHans de Wit
Internationalisation of higher education has the power to lead social transformation through preparing students to deal with pressing global issues, but it should not be restricted to a small elite.
Online learning as a phenomenon must evolve into an accepted form, entrenched as a culture rather than a separate entity within institutions, as there is little point in denying the increasingly significant role it will play in delivering higher education, participants were told in the webinar “Embracing Technology for Global Engagement: A leadership challenge and opportunity” hosted by University World News in partnership with DrEducation last week.
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
In at least 20 out of 24 European countries, funding for higher education has either been cut or has not kept pace with increases in student numbers, according to new data published by the 2016 Public Funding Observatory.
In a lawsuit that, if it is successful, could have major implications for the way United States universities teach degrees in overseas branch campuses, three former students of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Singapore are suing NYU, alleging its now defunct branch in Singapore failed to provide the quality of education they expected.
NORTH KOREAYojana Sharma
North Korea’s top higher education institution, Kim Il-sung University in the capital Pyongyang, must advance to become a “world-class institution”, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said in a letter to students, staff and professors of Pyongyang’s institution.
UNITED KINGDOMBrendan O'Malley
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced that major new restrictions on overseas students will form a key part of the government’s commitment to reduce immigration. The government will consult on whether to link student visas to the quality of courses and institution with a view to cutting the number of international students at some universities.
EUROPEJan Petter Myklebust
LERU, the League of European Research Universities with 21 member universities in Western Europe, and a group of seven research universities in Central and Eastern Europe have agreed to work together on key challenges, including within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research programme, and improve research conditions across the continent.
THAILANDYojana Sharma and Mimi Leung
A Hong Kong activist who was deported before being due to address the 40th anniversary commemoration of the Thammasat University massacre, in which students were hung from trees, burnt alive or shot by militias, was allowed to address students via Skype on Thursday.
Students in Germany are having increasing difficulty in finding accommodation, according to a recent survey covering major university cities. In the majority of the cities examined, the housing situation for students appears to have worsened.
UNITED KINGDOMSteve Fuller
The Brexit campaign included calls to ignore experts, but were these more about questioning the establishment than a symptom of anti-intellectualism and is this questioning not something that should be at the heart of university life?
There is an undercurrent of exploitation, poverty, loneliness and despair about the deteriorating experience of international students, who over recent years are increasingly being treated more as a source of export income than as people.
International exchanges, internships and summer programmes are important ways of broadening students’ perspective and options, and students studying in the most poorly resourced institutions have the most to gain from them.
Doctoral education is moving from preparation for a life in academia towards more interdisciplinary programmes that prepare students for a variety of positions in and out of academia and candidates are becoming more diverse.
UNITED STATESSimon Marginson
The Master Plan for Higher Education in California in the 1960s generated the world’s most influential system of public higher education, promoting the widening of access while strengthening excellence. But it was undermined by the California tax revolt. The solution is a federal system of higher education tuition funding grounded in income-contingent student loans.
Countries haunted by graduate underemployment and unemployment should ask whether universities are pursuing top rankings at the expense of diversification. Adopting liberal arts education more widely would help equip more students for our increasingly complex world.
GLOBALJeffrey R Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Back when colleges first started experimenting with teaching online, pundits mused that competition for college students would one day be global. It seemed like possibly a crazy thing to predict, but that day is now here. So what does it mean for universities?
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Hillary Clinton announced her new higher education plan this summer with a burst of fanfare, promising to invest US$500 billion to eliminate tuition for millions of students at public colleges and universities across the country. But while the liberal wing of the party has cheered the idea, many in education have questioned how such a plan would work, writes Alan Rappeport for The New York Times.
About 400,000 students finish universities every year, but most of them cannot satisfy employers and they need to undergo retraining at their place of work. Therefore, businesses now tend to order universities to produce workers who can meet their standards, reports VietNamNet Bridge.
Turkish authorities last weekend detained 15 staff from one of the country’s oldest universities in the latest raids against suspects allegedly linked to the failed 15 July coup, reports AFP.
Norway's right-wing government recently announced plans to ban the full-face Islamic veil from classrooms and university lecture halls, reports AFP.
In an analysis of the gender ratio of faculty members in 28 prominent Central universities in India, women faculty members constitute only one-quarter of the total teachers, writes Kritika Sharma for Daily News and Analysis.
Job prospects for Australian university graduates are declining, with a new study showing fewer and fewer people are finding full-time employment after completing higher education, writes Tim Lamacraft for ABC News.
Three University of Zimbabwe graduates stunned President Robert Mugabe and other senior government officials when they staged surprise protests during this year's recent graduation ceremony, demanding jobs, writes Obey Manayiti for The Standard.
The Higher Education Commission has decided to wind up 19 PhD and 15 MS and MPhil programmes at various public and private universities in Punjab over the universities’ failure to fulfil minimum requirements, writes Ammar Sheikh for The Express Tribune.
A growing number of university graduates are finding themselves unqualified to practise their intended vocation because their courses are not certified by professional organisations, writes Dumrongkiat Mala for the Bangkok Post.
The national government has ordered a special investigation into financial mismanagement at several public universities, writes Ouma Wanzala for the Daily Nation.
A new international student accommodation space, a project of two universities in Brussels, is planned to be developed in Belgium’s capital, writes Natalie Marsh for The PIE News.
New research shows that two-thirds of matriculants with bachelor passes go to university, and that university access of qualifying students is not biased against black or poor students. For every 100 students who start school in South Africa, only 12 go to university, and only four of them get a degree within six years, reports MyBroadband.
Australia's top-ranked global university is moving to lower its proportion of Chinese international students, a group it describes as "dominating" international student numbers, write Alexander Joske, Kelsey Munro and Philip Wen for The Sydney Morning Herald.
A top Hong Kong university said last week it wouldn't take action against students who hung a pro-independence banner on its campus to mark Chinese National Day, in spite of calls from the city's chief executive to sanction any talk of independence in universities, reports Radio Free Asia.
A Canadian professor has recorded two hour-long YouTube lectures criticising his university’s policy on ‘political correctness’ and objecting to government legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression, writes Ellie Bothwell for Times Higher Education.
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