ARUA launches first centre of excellence
The African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) has launched the first of 13 ‘centres of excellence’ – with this centre focused on inequality – at an event held at the University of Cape Town’s School of Economics in South Africa last week.
Vision of ‘university towns’ starts to take shape
Zimbabwe is forging ahead with plans to establish university towns in areas where the development of three state universities with technological hubs is set to commence, following a national budgetary allocation for construction amounting to US$21 million.
Diaspora fellows head back to Africa for joint research
The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program has selected 43 African universities in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda to host 55 African-born scholars to build partnerships between home and host universities and address priority needs in host universities and countries.
AIMS announces female climate change science fellows
A programme under the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS NEI), aimed specifically at increased female participation to contribute to a more sustainable societal response to climate change, has announced its first climate change science fellows.
New project takes the fight against extremism to students
A UNESCO campaign launched recently in the North African countries of Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan aims to empower youth in the fight against extremism and strengthen the capacities of universities and other educational institutions to contribute to national prevention efforts.
Report highlights global trend towards HE cost sharing
As enrolment in higher learning institutions has been growing steadily driven by improved student progression rates and higher numbers of part-time students, governments around the world, including those in Africa, are finding ways to shift the cost burden, according to a recent UNESCO report.
Roadmap to address poor quality at universities
Egypt’s National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education has adopted a range of measures to tackle the poor quality of university education in the country.
Fighting the scourge of sexual violence on campus
Ayenachew A Woldegiyorgis
With sexual violence and gender bias rife in higher education in Ethiopia, both top-down and bottom-up approaches to addressing the problem are needed. Universities should consider investing in student support services on campus and creating a gender-neutral environment where everyone feels safe to study.
Managing the rise of university global health partnerships
The opportunity to partner with a well-endowed institution will always be attractive from the perspective of a less-endowed institution, but as new partners seek to enter the African health market through higher education, institutions that are already working in these communities should set the ground rules.
Research universities – The need for a realistic roadmap
While the need and desire for research universities in Ethiopia has been clearly expressed for some time, their achievement is being hindered by the absence of a realistic roadmap.
No easy solutions to university sex-for-marks phenomenon
A recent sex-for-marks scandal involving a senior academic and a postgraduate student has highlighted not only the prevalence of the problem, but the difficulty in addressing it in Nigerian universities.
Partnership to boost Guinea’s higher education system
A higher education framework agreement aimed at helping Guinea to adapt and improve its higher education systems along Senegalese lines is to be signed by the two countries.
Medical studies reform to meet societal needs
Algeria is reforming the first-year programme of medical studies to achieve a “quality education”, with greater coordination between the health and research ministries, Tahar Hadjar, the minister for higher education and scientific research, has announced.
NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Academic freedom faces ‘grave threat’ from parliament
The way one expert witness invited to a Singaporean parliamentary committee hearing on ‘fake news’ was treated has caused consternation around the world. Academics have protested that using parliamentary privilege to try to undermine academic integrity will have a chilling effect on others in Singapore.
Research infrastructure allocated record AU$1.9 billion
In one of the largest outlays ever made for Australian research, the federal government has committed AU$1.9 billion (US$1.4 billion) towards research infrastructure to secure the future of the nation’s research efforts – enough to provide 40,000 researchers with state-of-the-art equipment crucial to breakthroughs.
China’s research funding is extended to Hong Kong
After years of waiting, Hong Kong scientists are at last to gain access to research funding from China, previously restricted to academics on the Chinese mainland, according to guidelines released last week by the ministries of science and technology and of finance in Beijing.
Universities shocked as government freezes funding
The new Labour-led government in New Zealand has shocked universities by freezing their funding in its first Budget, in an apparent trade-off for the hundreds-of-millions of dollars committed to waiving students' fees for their first year of tertiary study, a policy rushed into place late last year.
University to pay out US$500m to sexual abuse victims
Attorneys representing 332 survivors of abuse by former Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar in lawsuits against Michigan State University and attorneys for the university have announced a global settlement in principle worth US$500 million dollars to victims of his sexual abuse.
Female students occupy universities over sexual abuse
María Elena Hurtado
Thousands of female students are occupying facilities at Chilean universities up and down the country, demanding non-sexist education and an end to sexual harassment and abuse. Meanwhile, in one university nearly one in six students say they have experienced sexual violence on university premises.
Beijing bans promotion of university exam top scorers
Amber Ziye Wang
China has officially banned state media from promoting top scorers in the upcoming National Higher Education Entrance Examination, or Gaokao, only weeks before more than nine million students take part nationwide. Previously the publicity has drawn attention to education disparities in the country.
Teacher development is neglected in internationalisation
Ly Tran and Truc Le
It is often left to individual teachers to negotiate the professional demands placed on them by international students. That means they usually learn the skills they need in an ad hoc manner and get little recognition for them. This needs to change.
The road to sustainable world-class universities
If India is to achieve its dream of having world-class institutions generating competitive new ideas and innovations, it needs to recognise that it takes more than funds and requires a strong focus on institutional autonomy and internationalisation.
When university tuition fees go up, diversity goes down
Drew Allen and Gregory C Wolniak
A study of tuition fee hikes at public colleges and universities over 14 years shows that for every US$1,000 increase in tuition fees at four-year non-selective public universities, diversity among full-time students decreased by 4.5%. It concludes that as tuition fees go up, diversity goes down.
Are high-stakes exams useful to the learning process?
There are many different types of assessment methods, each appropriate for assessing different types of learning outcomes. They should all provide students with constructive feedback about their progress and help them improve. There is little evidence that high-stakes exams fulfil such a role.
University pays US$300,000 to settle ‘gagging’ complaint
Washington State University has agreed to pay a leading researcher US$300,000 to resolve a complaint about infringement of academic freedom by university administrators who were accused of threatening him with disciplinary action, impeding his research and imposing a gagging order.
Will Macron clarify his university networks vision?
Jan Petter Myklebust
Some European universities are already answering French President Emmanuel Macron’s call for 20 European university networks. But some stakeholders are warning of ambiguities in his vision and the European Students’ Union warns that it could create yet another form of ‘elitism’.