NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
New qualifications framework to curb fake certificates
A higher education qualifications framework aimed, inter alia, at curbing the proliferation of fake certificates will be in place at the start of January 2018. The framework will also provide accurate graduate data to prospective employers.
University partnership taps lessons from South Korea
Ochieng’ O Benny
Four African universities have partnered with the Korea Institute of Science and Technology to promote applied science and technology research.
Mugabe announces lifting of academic appointment freeze
President Robert Mugabe last week announced the lifting of a six-year freeze on recruitments at universities during a graduation ceremony of Lupane State University in Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland North Province at which an honorary doctorate in agricultural sciences was conferred on him.
AAU workshop builds HE quality assurance capacity
Higher education institutions across Africa must improve their quality assurance efforts in order to produce graduates that are fit for work instead of turning out graduates who cannot be employed because they lack the requisite skills, Secretary-General of the Association of African Universities or AAU, Professor Etienne Ehile, said.
Tension builds as HE sector awaits government’s fee plan
Tension is mounting as the higher education sector continues to await the official release of the Heher Commission report on the feasibility of fee-free higher education – mere weeks before the end of the 2017 academic year and following last weekend’s leak of the report by national newspaper City Press.
Universities – Critical partners in building sovereignty
African governments need to nurture the local knowledge base represented by their higher education systems if they are serious about resisting the imposition of policy prescriptions by foreign powers.
The changing landscape of private higher education
The line between public and private universities is becoming increasingly blurred – particularly with regard to funding, quality and governance – and more attention needs to be paid to the private sector in higher education as it continues to grow.
Regional policy masters shows universities’ true mettle
Long accused of being inflexible, African universities have, through a partnership-based research initiative focused on public policy, helped uncover a long-hidden truth: “Universities are not only open to innovative ideas and programmes, but can also domesticate, own, finance and nurture them.”
Student dress codes – A delicate balancing act
Citing reasons ranging from safety to educational benefits, culture and values, several African universities have adopted dress codes for students or are tightening up on existing codes. However, despite their popularity among administrators, dress codes are being challenged by students who argue they are an affront to their freedom and human rights.
Climate change fellowships – ‘Transformative experience’
“Revolutionary” and “transformative” is how Professor Philippa Ojimelukwe of Nigeria’s Michael Okpara University of Agriculture describes the impact of the Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement programme, aimed at developing research capacity among African climate change researchers.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
Ex-PM Mapon opens eponymous high-tech university
Former prime minister Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon has inaugurated a new university specialising in advanced engineering and named after him, in his home town of Kindu.
Former students try to help save two university years
Following reports on social media, alumni of Marien Ngouabi University have met student representatives to try to save the two academic years that have been affected by strikes by teaching and non-teaching staff.
NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Row over list shaming academics for sexual harassment
Raya Sarkar, a United States-based Indian lawyer, has accused 60 academics from top institutions all over India of sexually harassing students, naming and shaming them in her controversial Facebook post. But some feminists say the naming is unfair and due process should be followed.
Government launches plan to prevent student failure
The government has launched its Students Plan, with funding of nearly €1 billion (US$1.2 billion), to cut the high first-year failure rate, reform controversial university admission processes and increase the number of places for heavily oversubscribed courses. Critics say it will effectively introduce selection.
Universities strongly oppose Republican tax proposals
Higher education leaders have reacted strongly against Republican tax proposals unveiled in the House of Representatives on Thursday, warning that the plan to tax endowments of private institutions and scrap a deduction for student-loan interest would harm institutions and students.
Universities’ crippling cuts are partially reversed
The operating budgets for Malaysia’s 20 public universities are being increased by 9.8% for the coming year – with much bigger rises of 20% to 37% for the five main research universities – partially reversing the suffocating cuts of the past two years.
Government abolishes first private medical campus
Dinesh De Alwis
The Sri Lankan government has decided to support a recommendation to abolish the country’s first private medical university, which is at the centre of a long-running dispute, despite a court ruling that it is eligible to issue medical degrees.
National drive to double study abroad numbers launched
With the United Kingdom lagging significantly behind comparable countries on study abroad numbers, Universities UK International has launched a campaign to double the number of UK students studying, working and volunteering abroad for two or more weeks as part of their studies by 2020.
UK, EU ‘must urgently agree’ deep science partnership
A new, deep and special partnership in science and innovation between the European Union and the United Kingdom must be agreed upon as a matter of urgency, a policy briefing published by the Centre for Global Higher Education on 1 November has recommended.
Universities to join push for more Indian students
New Zealand’s universities are making a coordinated push to attract more Indian students after watching other tertiary institutions – polytechnics and private institutions – more than double enrolments from the sub-continent in two years.
Politicians discuss federal-state HE ‘cooperation ban’
While talks to form a new coalition government in Germany have so far made little progress, the four parties involved could reach agreement on whether to finally lift the ‘ban on cooperation’ between the federal and state authorities in higher education and research and increase funding.
Conflicted by China’s influence in our universities
Australian universities welcome the influx of Chinese students, but are struggling to decide how to respond to their continuing disconnection from Australian society and culture and the rising influence of China’s ruling party on Chinese student activists on Australian university campuses.
What China's soft power means for European universities
China is on a mission Westward, aiming to claim the hearts of the people rather than territory, using international education as a form of soft power to continue to amass global influence, and it now has Central and Eastern Europe in its sights.
Future of the Latin American and Caribbean university
Axel Didriksson Takayanagui
Higher education has an important role to play in achieving a broad range of Sustainable Development Goals, but it must address inequalities in its own house, such as falling access for some groups, before it can contribute to wider social transformation.
Globalisation requires us to foster global citizens
Patrick Blessinger and Enakshi Sengupta
Creating a more globally sustainable world starts with learning to think about fairness and justice in all its forms and live like a global citizen. For universities, that includes taking on social responsibilities such as addressing the need to educate the world’s refugee population.
Achieving a globally engaged campus in testing times
Mary Beth Marklein
To provide meaningful interactions across the world in today’s challenging times, universities must find innovative ways to democratise mobility, engage staff and leverage technology, according to speakers in an international webinar hosted by StudyPortals, for which University World News was a media partner.
Graduates become janitors in fiercely tough job market
A record number of South Korean graduates are looking for work, despite high economic growth. Such is the competition that jobseekers are skipping food to pay for cramming for recruitment tests; and graduates are providing fierce competition for non-graduate jobs such as janitors.