Universities recommit to STEM mandates
Facing tight economic conditions, Zimbabwe’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, universities are grappling with a long-standing government directive to revert to their core mandate of teaching mainly science-related courses.
Universities pool resources to fight common diseases
A new university initiative has been launched targeting health research areas that receive minimal support from international donors in the East Africa region, but have a devastating effect on local populations.
University shuts down indefinitely over student protests
The University of Nairobi, Kenya’s largest and oldest institution of higher learning, has been shut indefinitely following student unrest over allegations of police brutality.
University lecturers unhappy with strike talks outcome
The suspension of industrial action by university teachers on the basis of mere promissory notes from the government and a lack of resolution on outstanding issues is proving to be a bitter pill to swallow for members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
US$75 million student accommodation project kicks off
Infrastructure finance house, the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, has commissioned the construction of student hostels for the state-owned National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo, the country’s second largest city.
The future of higher education is ‘balanced and inclusive’
Ochieng’ O Benny
African universities and entire education systems need to embrace 'balanced and inclusive education' to produce forward-looking graduates capable of tackling the continent’s socio-economic challenges and of adapting to changing global trends.
New law proving effective in student loans recovery
Malawi’s Higher Education Students' Loans and Grants Board has said it has recovered nearly US$300,000 from former students who benefited from government loans since 1985 after a new loans law came into effect two years ago.
Self-taught skills – A wake-up call for education systems
Early specialisation in high school and formal support to identify individual strengths may be a good way of encouraging more young people to remain in the formal education system and pursue higher education qualifications.
UKZN 11TH ANNUAL HE CONFERENCE
The University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa hosted the 11th Annual Higher Education Conference from 27-29 September in Durban under the theme “Crises, Contestations, Contemplations and Futures”, expanding its focus this year to include discussions on matters such as governance and leadership in higher education, and possible funding models.
HE conference agenda reflects sector’s topical issues
The issue of academic decolonisation was a strong feature of the 11th annual University of KwaZulu-Natal Higher Education Teaching and Learning Conference held in Durban in late September.
‘Free higher education requires funds and political will’
The concept of #FeesMustFall and the notion that South African higher education should be provided without cost to students has substantial merit in the current environment, but also calls on the government to institute a clear funding model backed by the political will to implement it.
A controversial call for decolonisation of maths
Formal metaphysical mathematics of the kind currently taught in schools and universities can and should be decolonised and uncoupled from its Western roots, and doing so would make it easier to teach and learn.
Optimising the contribution of HE in the SADC region
The Southern African Regional Universities Association is pushing for closer alignment between the Southern African Development Community, or SADC, and the regional universities body as a way of ensuring that universities – as knowledge producers and developers of human capacity – play a more active role in the implementation of regional development strategies and build institutional capacities.
Universities start to play catch-up in innovation drive
After many years of lethargy, inertia and bureaucracy, universities and higher education centres and institutions are pushing a new approach to higher education – one that is based more heavily on innovation, entrepreneurship and partnerships with private and public companies.
Universities worried by perceived Islamic influence
Academics are concerned over a proposal by an Islamic council to introduce Sharia university courses and other attempts to ‘fraternise’ Tunisian universities.
Virtual university takes off
The Virtual University of Senegal, which has catered for 14,000 students during its first three years, will have a student roll of more than 20,000 in the new academic year.
NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Muslim students studying abroad detained, repatriated
Human rights groups are expressing alarm over the fate of hundreds of Chinese students abroad belonging to the Uyghur ethnic minority and other Chinese Muslim students who have fled into hiding, disappeared or been repatriated to China where they have been sent to re-education camps.
PM pledges review of university funding, tuition fees
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has announced a review of the whole system of student finance and has declined to rule out a switch to a graduate tax. In the meantime, she pledged to freeze fee rises and raise the threshold at which student loans will be repaid.
Universities take up Rohingya cause, call for research
Many university groups in Bangladesh are protesting against the plight of the Rohingya and calling on Myanmar to accept their return. Academics are pushing for more research on the crisis, its origins and the needs of the Rohingya group, to better prepare Bangladesh for its possible long-term impact on the country.
Nuanced findings on study abroad influence on careers
Mary Beth Marklein
The findings of a study on the impact of studying abroad on workplace success for United States alumni reveal key skills gains and the data may help international educators better design programmes that prepare students for their first job interview and beyond.
Nearly one in two university staff are administrative
Jan Petter Myklebust
The number of administrative personnel at Swedish universities has risen seven times as fast as the number of academic staff since 2000, according to research by a Swedish professor, and they now fill nearly half of all university jobs.
English-taught bachelor degrees proliferate in Europe
The past decade has seen an impressive growth in English-taught bachelor degrees in Europe as they have become increasingly common in international higher education, according to a joint study across 19 countries by the European Association for International Education and search platform StudyPortals.
Asian universities make inroads in subject rankings
There were signs of Asian progress in global university rankings being matched by gains in subject rankings in the latest Times Higher Education rankings covering social sciences, law, education, and business and economics.
Entry limits in medicine now a constitutional issue
As Germany’s health system suffers from a shortage of doctors, a German administrative court has called on the country’s Federal Constitutional Court to decide whether the numerus clausus entry restrictions for medicine at universities are unconstitutional.
Health warning for university staff with clear desks
Jan Petter Myklebust
A hot-desking rector is part of a trend towards open plan and ‘clean desk’ offices, with staff belongings kept in a box overnight. It is being pushed by a new government directive, which is causing heated debate about the impact on people’s health.
Luring overseas students in a more nationalist world
Nationalist movements have the potential to disrupt the global nature of higher education and the financial stability of colleges and universities around the world. International enrolment managers and deans should consider the impact on their recruitment plans.
Japan needs to open up to international faculty
A detailed study of international academics working in Japan shows less than 5% have full-time posts and there has been no significant growth in the proportion of international faculty who were hired as institutional leaders, or in the small proportion who are women.
Business schools need to collaborate and innovate
The next decade will be characterised by intensified competition for talent, resources and reputation in a turbulent world. Business schools need to accelerate global engagement strategies based on collaboration and innovation – and develop global managerial talent who can make organisations adaptable to change.
A university playing on two fields at the same time
Roman Abramov, Ivan Gruzdev and Evgeniy Terentev
Russia’s National Research University Higher School of Economics is both a prominent global player and an organisation still embedded in the Russian academic and administrative environment. That can cause challenges and tension.
Internationalisation should start at school
The ideal of learning that crosses sectoral boundaries and extends from primary to tertiary education may seem a long way off. But internationalisation is part of core 21st century skills that need to be embedded from an early age, linking schools and universities.
What are QA bodies doing to tackle academic corruption?
A group of global experts is carrying out what is thought to be the first baseline research into what quality assurance and accreditation bodies around the world are doing to tackle academic corruption and what more can be done.