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NEWSLETTERAfrican vice-chancellors embrace transformation and internationalisation
This week’s series on Transformative Leadership, in which University World News is partnering with The MasterCard Foundation, focuses on internationalisation. James Otieno Jowi argues that African university leaders are increasingly placing a premium on internationalisation and are seeing that it can drive institutional transformation. Munyaradzi Makoni reports on a significant new partnership that aims to transform agricultural education across Africa, and Bruno Morche writes that internationalisation is beginning to appear on the agendas of Latin American universities.
In Africa Features, Munyaradzi Makoni reports on a keynote address by Adam Habib, vice-chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, putting higher education struggles in South Africa in context, and Jane Marshall unpacks a series of articles published by Le Monde Afrique ahead of a conference in Senegal debating problems faced by higher education in Francophone Africa – and suggesting some innovative solutions.
In World Blog, Patrick Blessinger examines inclusive leadership in higher education, which focuses on changing policies and practices to create a more inclusive educational culture. And in Commentary, Beth Button describes a new initiative that links up student activists globally.
Karen MacGregor – Africa Editor
Thousands of students and hundreds of scholars remain in prison in Egypt, many for peacefully exercising their right to free expression, according to a new report on violent attacks on higher education communities from Scholars at Risk.
Attacks on higher education communities are occurring at an alarming rate around the world, threatening the safety and well-being of scholars, students and staff, and closing down the space in which people are free to think, question and share ideas, according to a new report by Scholars at Risk.
Zimbabwean police arrested Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Jonathan Moyo and his deputy, Godfrey Gandawa, on Wednesday for allegedly misappropriating around US$450,000 from a manpower development fund that finances students, among other activities. The politicians were questioned and released.
Makerere University, Uganda’s oldest and most prestigious higher education institution and one of the best in Africa, has been closed until further notice following a directive by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
A second regional centres of excellence project, co-funded by the World Bank and aimed at providing sustainable solutions through science and technology in higher education across East and Southern Africa, was officially unveiled in Kenya’s capital Nairobi on 26 October.
Kenyan universities are sinking into a fresh financial crisis, with revelations in an audit that they are operating at huge deficits, hurting the quality of learning. A report from sector regulator the Commission for University Education shows that institutions face a US$100 million budget gap.
Universities in Ghana have failed to grow the skills required for high productivity jobs in the private sector and have continued in the traditional mode of producing graduates tailored for public service, according to a World Bank study on employment opportunities in the country.
Harsh economic conditions during 2016 led to a significant brain drain among university staff in Sudan – including professors and lecturers – that is directly threatening higher education development, according to a new government report.
Mental health has in recent years emerged as an issue of concern for university students globally, obstructing the completion of studies, according to delegates attending the 2016 Global Summit on Student Affairs and Services.
The new executive secretary of Nigeria’s National Universities Commission, a regulatory agency mandated by law to promote quality assurance in higher education, has unilaterally ordered vice-chancellors to scrap all non-degree courses forthwith.
The northwest African nation of Mauritania is to set up a national quality assurance authority to strengthen the competitiveness of its universities and develop a higher education system of international quality.
SOUTH AFRICAMunyaradzi Makoni
The evolutionary growth of the university in the 21st century is affected by enormous challenges and the possibility of problems being addressed is constrained by national politics, bureaucracy and resource limitations that threaten the equality of the global academy, says Professor Adam Habib, vice-chancellor of South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand.
While the number of students in Africa continues to rise, universities often fail to equip them with skills needed for employment – and they have two to three times less chance of finding work than those who left school after primary level. This situation formed part of the backdrop for a conference that debated problems faced by higher education in Africa – and suggested some innovative solutions.
2iE – Institut International d’Ingénierie de l’Eau et de l’Environnement – in Burkina Faso is an internationally recognised engineering school. It is one of many imaginative initiatives aimed at boosting the number and quality of engineers produced by universities in Africa.
This week’s supplement on Transformative Leadership, in which University World News is partnering with The MasterCard Foundation, focuses on the development of internationalisation in higher education and how it can enrich the curriculum, encourage the emergence of new leaders, and help transform the economy.
AFRICAJames Otieno Jowi
Internationalisation is bringing new dynamics to student life but can also drive institutional transformation and help develop a new generation of African leaders, but it needs strong leadership and commitment from the top.
A ground-breaking partnership between the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture and The MasterCard Foundation is aiming to strengthen efforts to revamp the agriculture curriculum across Africa and transform agriculture into a vibrant sector linked to African universities that can produce high-performing graduates and high-quality research.
LATIN AMERICABruno Morche
Internationalisation is still in the early stages in Latin American institutions, despite foreign education companies having an increasing presence there, particularly in the field of distance learning. A wider debate is needed to encourage initiatives to prepare graduates and academics for working in an internationalised world.
ASIAJoshua Mok Ka-ho
Political changes in developed countries could spur regionalisation in Asia and transform mobility patterns and China may gradually become the centre of a regional drive to deepen cooperation in higher education.
CHINA-UNITED STATESShuangmiao Han and Zhou Zhong
The Global Innovation Exchange or GIX, China’s first offshore campus in the United States – a joint venture between the University of Washington and Tsinghua University – is a ground-breaking development in its internationalisation policy and its endeavours to establish education excellence hubs.
RUSSIAYulia Grinkevich and Maria Shabanova
Internationalisation has become a major driver of change in Russia’s universities and leads their pursuit of global recognition. But challenges remain as to how Russia benefits from what international faculty and students have to offer.
NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has taken direct control of the appointment of university rectors and a further 1,267 academics have been dismissed, amid wider moves to clamp down on political opposition and dissent in the wake of the July coup attempt. The European University Association fears that the consequences for universities are "very dire".
SOUTH KOREAAimee Chung
University students and professors joined thousands of protestors in Seoul demanding the resignation of the country’s president, Park Geun-hye, over her connections with Choi Soon-sil, a confidante whom many suspect of having undue influence over the way the country is run despite having no official position. Allegations include that she used her influence to get her daughter admitted to Ewha Womans University.
AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALANDBrendan O'Malley
Philanthropy to universities in Australia and New Zealand is gathering momentum, according to a new survey, with significant rises in new funds secured and cash income received. The amount of new funds secured rose by 26% and cash income received rose by 25% in 2015 to record levels.
SWEDENJan Petter Myklebust
Academics protested against attempts by Carola Lemne, director-general of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and head of the board of Uppsala University, to weaken their influence over the choice of rector – and the government appears to have listened to them.
NORWAYJan Petter Myklebust
Claims that Norwegian students can’t get accommodation because all new student rooms are being allocated to international students has stoked a public row with universities. The rector of the University of Oslo has accused the broadcaster of misleading the public.
UNITED STATESPaul Basken, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Federal funding agencies have been eager to support younger researchers, reflecting a widespread belief that nurturing the next generation is critical to ensuring the long-term success of the nation’s scientific enterprise. A new analysis, challenging the orthodoxy, found that while a researcher’s productivity generally declines with age, creativity and impact do not.
A new initiative links up student activists globally and aims to put students at the forefront of promoting the values of internationalisation and cooperation as well as campaigning on issues of common concern.
GLOBALMegan Clifford and Kevin Kinser
International branch campuses face restrictions that limit their autonomy and affect their ability to offer top-quality higher education. Unless their leaders can agree shared goals, they will always be dependent on their hosts.
Globalisation of higher education can bring many benefits, such as a more diverse student body, but it can also threaten indigenous knowledge, culture and identity.
How can we create a culture of inclusion in higher education institutions? Inclusive leadership is vital for creating an organisational culture and mindset that reflects all identities that make up the learning community.
Stiff budget cuts are already having an impact on Malaysia’s higher education even as the country tries to arrest a widely held perception of declining education standards. A 19% cut in the operating budgets of Malaysia's 20 public universities announced on 21 October is likely to hit research the hardest.
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Minister of Higher Education Ashraf al-Shihy has published a statement obliging private universities to review all research papers and thesis dissertations to ensure they do not include any “direct or indirect insult to societies or individuals belonging to any brotherly or friendly countries”, writes Mai Shams El-Din for Mada Masr.
The Higher Education Ministry is committed to its aim of producing 60,000 PhD degree holders by 2023 to produce more highly educated people and meet the nation's need for research and innovation, reports Fernando Fong for New Straits Times.
The stated goal of having 25% women professors in Swiss universities by the end of the year will not be possible, reports Swissinfo.ch.
Members of the Universities Canada association voted recently in favour of a new criterion for membership related to non-discrimination, writes Elizabeth Redden for Inside Higher Ed.
The World Bank will be providing Sri Lanka with US$85 million in funding to improve the country’s research and development due to the lack of external funding in the field, reports the Daily Mirror.
Expenditure on research and development rose by CZK3.6 billion (US$147 million) in the Czech Republic in a year, according to the data the Czech Statistical Office released at a recent press conference, reports CTK.
Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i has cautioned universities against admitting unqualified students, especially politicians who he said are keen to acquire certificates ahead of the next general election, writes Ouma Wanzala for the Daily Nation.
Iran's universities are seeing a lack of students, following poor applications for the academic year which started in October, reports Fatih Karimov for Trend.
Scotland's international development minister is to hold talks with the United Kingdom government after it rejected calls for the reintroduction of a work visa system for international students, reports the BBC News.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission is taking the unusual step of asking the Federal Court to enforce a decade-old settlement that created equity targets for a prestigious research award because most universities have consistently failed over the years to give enough chairs to women and diverse candidates, writes Chris Hannay for The Globe and Mail.
Saudi graduates struggling to find jobs are reportedly growing frustrated with the increasing number of relatives and family members of university presidents and officials granted roles at the institutions, reports Gulf Business.
The Federal Executive Council last week in Abuja approved eight new private universities in the country, reports News Agency of Nigeria.
South African students studying in the United Kingdom protested in solidarity with the Fees Must Fall movement last week, demanding that the state “engage meaningfully and humbly with student protestors” and “find practical solutions for a way forward which addresses the underlying issues in higher education”, writes Michael Moss for Groundup.
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