Universities brace for workforce review and job cuts
The Kenyan government has kicked off a fresh round of audits of state universities which will see campus closures, prosecution of top managers in defaulting institutions, massive job cuts and a radical change in the conditions of service for lower-level and non-teaching staff.
Science academy launches open access publishing platform
The African Academy of Sciences is launching its own publication platform early next year that guarantees researchers immediate publication of articles and other research outputs without editorial bias, and a transparent post-publication peer review.
University eyes alumni to boost coffers after budget cut
The University of Rwanda is pinning its hopes on the generosity of the university’s graduates currently working in the private sector to provide funding to make up for a substantial shortfall in the institution’s budget, occasioned by government cuts.
Court scraps pre-bar exam for law school entry
A Kenyan high court has outlawed the controversial pre-bar examinations administered by the Kenya School of Law under the advocates training programme aimed at law graduates from local universities.
Army takeover disrupts university lectures, examinations
The University of Zimbabwe deferred examinations scheduled for Wednesday, and at least two other universities advised students to stay at home last week, according to news reports and local sources. This came as the military staged what appeared to be a coup to end President Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule.
Zuma releases long-awaited fees commission report
The long-awaited Heher Commission report into the feasibility of fee-free higher education and training has finally been released to the public by President Jacob Zuma, although South Africa still awaits his pronouncement on its contents.
Linking female students’ access to success
While significant improvements have been made in female student access rates in universities in Ethiopia, high attrition rates remain a challenge.
What the Treasury hijacking means for HE and beyond
South Africa has been rocked by news that President Jacob Zuma has bulldozed the country’s National Treasury to adopt a fee-free higher education proposal without following standard process and scrutiny. This is reportedly what’s behind the resignation of the Treasury’s respected head of budgeting, Michael Sachs. The Conversation Africa’s Sibonelo Radebe asked Seán Muller to weigh up the implications.
QUALITY ASSURANCE IN AFRICA
AU moves to expedite Africa-wide quality assurance project
The African Union Commission is working jointly with UNESCO to expedite the ratification and implementation of the Addis Convention on the recognition of academic qualifications in higher education in African states, as part of the much-awaited Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework.
Students bear the brunt of poor quality assurance systems
The lack of quality assurance systems in some African universities is producing ‘half-baked graduates’ who are not fit for the workplace, according to Violet Makuku, project officer for the Association of African Universities’ Harmonisation of African Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation Initiative.
Fledgling quality network holds second annual conference
The Ethiopian Higher Education Quality Enhancement Network held its second annual conference in Addis Ababa last month. Although still under formation, it is already considered indispensable in complementing the sprouting quality assurance units at public and private institutions and individual efforts geared towards responding to the requirements of the national Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency.
Students face uphill struggle to study in France
Chaos surrounding the organisation of this year’s registration process aimed at students seeking to pursue postgraduate studies in France, effectively the country’s former coloniser, has highlighted a range of hurdles facing Algerian graduates seeking what they believe at the outset to be greener pastures.
The rise of smart cities – Openings for higher education
Africa is the next frontier for innovation in the smart cities arena, according to a 2017 report entitled The Smart Cities Blueprint 2017. What are the implications for higher education?
More practical training – A growing call in HE
Sam Otieno and Esther Nakkazi
Current higher education policies which prioritise numbers of students over education quality and relevance are creating long-term labour market dysfunction and an oversupply of graduates with limited employment opportunities, according to an agricultural education expert.
Students angry over fees hike and other issues
Students have reacted angrily at the raising of university fees to FCFA50,000 (US$90) as a harmonisation measure with other countries, as well as the withdrawal of student grants and lack of services.
NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Some subjects 'could lose half their EU staff’
Some regions in the United Kingdom risk losing up to half of some university subjects’ European Union staff, due to uncertainty over immigration rules after Brexit, according to a new report from the British Academy.
UK tumbles, Asia rises in THE employability ranking
Higher education institutions in the United Kingdom have tumbled in Times Higher Education’s just-published Global University Employability Ranking, while Asian universities – specifically in mainland China, Taiwan and South Korea – have made significant strides in respectability.
Huge university expansion but drop-out rate unchanged
The proportion of students dropping out of Australia’s universities is about the same as it was a decade ago – despite a dramatic expansion of access to a larger and more diverse group of students than ever before.
First university ranking prompts mixed reaction
A ranking of Bangladesh’s private universities, published by two prominent media outlets, prompted mixed reactions in Bangladesh.
Universities clarify cooperation with industry, society
University heads in Germany have adopted a resolution clarifying cooperation between higher education, industry and society at their members’ assembly in Potsdam.
Paul Simon study abroad act back on legislative cards
America’s influential Association of International Educators, known as NAFSA, has welcomed the introduction of the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act to the House of Representatives. The bipartisan bill, also introduced to the Senate in September, is aimed at expanding study abroad opportunities for undergraduate students.
Academics at one more university resist online courses
Beckie Supiano, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Professors at Eastern Michigan University in the United States are objecting to its partnership with a private company to market and support online programmes, making it the latest institution to grapple with questions about the quality of online instruction.
Foreign students ‘sent from heaven’ – former minister
Jan Petter Myklebust
Sofie Carsten Nielsen, Denmark’s minister for higher education and science in 2014-15 and now a spokesperson for the radical left party, has proposed a grant order to encourage international students receiving Danish financing to stay and work in the country after graduating.
World-class universities and the global common good
At a time of growing nationalism, it is both more difficult and more crucial to balance the global, national and local contributions of world-class universities, while advancing their essential role in building the global common good.
The politics of quality assurance in higher education
Quality assurance is being held back by institutional leaders' and government's need to demonstrate impact and by constant changes and differences of opinion about what quality means at any given time.
Why a boycott of universities does not make sense
Roger Chao Jr
Cutting ties with Myanmar’s universities due to the Rohingya issue will set back attempts to rebuild the country’s higher education system – a system which could ultimately contribute to peacebuilding.
OPEN DOORS 2017
The Open Doors® Report on International Educational Exchange, charting international students in the United States and American study abroad, was published on 13 November by the Institute of International Education and the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. University World News reports.
Crisis to opportunity: Rehumanising internationalisation
Jenny J Lee
The looming international enrolment crisis at American universities and colleges illustrated by the Open Doors survey could make way for rethinking what internationalisation can be. I propose a bigger vision than competing for a dwindling supply – rehumanising, politicising and conscious-raising international education by asking new questions that extend beyond bottom-lines and towards synergistic possibilities.
How the US can stem decline in international students
New figures show a decline in international students going to the United States. Universities need to work harder to differentiate their offering and diversify their source countries.
New international student numbers decline for first time
The number of new international students in the United States declined by 3% in 2016-17 – dropping for the first time in the 12 years since the Open Doors survey of the Institute of International Education has reported new enrolments. But the overall number of international students rose by 3% to 1.08 million and Americans studying abroad increased by 4%.
Over 186,000 Indian students in US, but growth rate drops
The number of Indian students studying in the United States has nearly doubled in the last five years to more than 186,000, according to Open Doors data published last week. However, the growth rate of 12.3% in 2016-17 was the lowest in three years.
What to do about sexual harassment on campuses
Universities have been caught up in recent accusations about sexual harassment. How can campuses around the world tackle the problem?
Dispute over first veterinary school in half a century
Heated debate – both political and academic – over the establishment of a new veterinary school in Japan after a lacuna of 52 years has highlighted the excruciating challenges that face the country in its push to reform higher education.