China ramps up support for African higher education
China is to further increase its support for African higher education and vocational training and has pledged to provide 50,000 government scholarships and 50,000 training opportunities for seminars and workshops to Africa – and will invite 2,000 young Africans to visit China for exchanges.
Arab-Chinese HE cooperation on the rise
The opening of the first Confucius Institute in Tunisia this year is the latest expression of China’s ongoing bid to expand its influence in higher education in Arab countries of the North African region.
eLearning Africa – Where opportunity meets innovation
Some of the biggest names in global education and technology will be attending the upcoming eLearning Africa conference – the largest in Africa on learning, training and technology – to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, later this month.
Radio-astronomy project expected to boost PhD numbers
A ZAR70 million (US$4.6 million) global radio-astronomy project unveiled in Durban, South Africa, recently will conduct groundbreaking science in astrophysics while building on existing excellence in research by encouraging further doctoral and post-doctoral studies.
Government promotes TVET sector as ‘preferable’ option
Kenya has kicked off a series of reforms to drive up the growth of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions to hit an enrolment target of 3.1 million over the next five years. This will place the institutions under a new tighter regulatory regime to boost the quality of learning and increase access to post-school education.
Calls for more investment in geospatial education
Geospatial technologies and space science have an indispensable role to play in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through the measurement and management of resources, but most African universities lack the capacity for increased earth observation activities, a recent conference has heard.
Agricultural higher education project calls for proposals
The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture in collaboration with the governments of Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi and Mozambique and the World Bank have launched a call for proposals for a multimillion dollar higher education agriculture project intended to boost human resource capacity for the transformation of agriculture.
Students remain hopeful after president’s inauguration
Following the inauguration of Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa two weeks ago, there is hope that a new progressive era beckons for the country’s higher education sector.
Helping universities to open the door to donor support
More South African universities are geared towards long-term sustainability thanks to a visionary partnership which is building capacity in university fundraising offices with a view to increasing opportunities for more under-resourced students to access tertiary education.
Helping young scientists to achieve their potential
Anna Coussens, Abidemi James Akindele, Badre Abdeslam, Fridah Kanana and Mona Khoury-Kassabri
Young African scientists face a number of barriers, but a new project has identified that leadership skills imparted through targeted training programmes can create incentives for young scientists to stay in academia and pursue long-term careers.
HE system under pressure as student numbers mount
On the eve of the academic year in Algeria this month, there are concerns about how the government can meet the expectations of free quality higher education on the part of increasing numbers of university students – this year over 1.7 million.
New book on SDGs calls for closer research-policy link
A government policy-maker needs to find a solution to a water sanitation problem. Simple, tap into the latest research. Problem solved. If only. A new book addresses the frequent disconnect between research producers and policy-makers – a disconnect in urgent need of a solution if the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be achieved.
Students pin hopes on successful university unbundling
Will the current process of unbundling the University of Malawi into five separate institutions produce the promises of improved efficiency and better student services? Alicia Kamwendo, a bachelor of commerce sophomore at the Malawi Polytechnic certainly hopes so.
Uncertainty prevails over university staff pension scheme
An academic staff pension scheme has been set up by the Academic Staff Union of Universities as an alternative to the existing compulsory contributory fund which has become increasingly dysfunctional as a result of government’s failure to subsidise it. Until the new scheme is formally up and running, however, uncertainty among staff members continues.
Reimagining a university of technology for future growth
Advances in the field of additive manufacturing – more commonly known as 3D printing – have put the Central University of Technology (CUT) squarely on the world map, particularly with regard to the manufacturing of medical devices. But that’s just a starting point for an ambitious bid to “reimagine” the institution and create a “model university of technology in Africa” with applied research as an important element of its identity, according to CUT Vice-chancellor Professor Henk de Jager.
4IR – The heartbeat of university innovation
South African universities are embracing the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital industrial revolution, better known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
Defending the ‘public good’ in postgraduate studies
Thandokazi Silosini, Tebadi Bopape, Nelisa Khambule and Nnamdi Nwahara
Postgraduate students in all disciplines have a vital role to play in contributing to the public’s understanding of the world and in tackling the complex challenges facing it. They also need to make sure they do not lose their commitment to knowledge as a public good.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Dean criticised for violating faculty’s apolitical status
A human rights non-governmental organisation has criticised the dean of the University of Kinshasa’s social sciences faculty for supporting a candidate in the country’s presidential election in the name of the university, in violation of its apolitical status.
Students denounce authorities’ grants maladministration
A students’ association in Togo has condemned authorities’ 'ill will’ and 'lack of care’ which it says has resulted in failure to pay students their due grants and benefits.
NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
The perils of fieldwork in authoritarian states
‘One size fits all’ recommendations on field research presume the setting to be liberal democratic regimes, but this is not the case in much of Southeast Asia, where doctoral students and researchers in the social and political sciences need more training to deal with the pressures they might face under authoritarian regimes.
Survey reveals overseas China scholars’ self-censorship
Repressive experiences while conducting research on China may be rare but are a "real phenomenon" and a barrier to doing research in the country, leading some scholars to self-censor and others to change or abandon research focus, a new study reveals.
Minister supports international student visa change
The universities ministers has backed a call by universities for a new visa to allow international students to gain work experience for up to two years after graduation, to enable the United Kingdom to compete more effectively with the United States, Australia and Canada.
Government slashes university intake as population falls
Some 116 universities and colleges in South Korea will hear this month that their student intake quota will be reduced – in some cases by up to 35% in the coming year – as the government forces the higher education sector to adjust to demographic decline.
Union proposes better employment for foreign academics
Jan Petter Myklebust
Foreign-born academics in Sweden are disproportionately overqualified for their job or unemployed and action should be taken to make better use of their talent, according to a new analysis. This could generate an estimated US$1.4 billion income for the public purse annually.
Minister moots mandatory study abroad for students
Jan Petter Myklebust
Norway’s Minister of Research and Higher Education, Iselin Nybø, is considering making a student exchange period abroad mandatory rather than the exception it is today, after statistics revealed the percentage of Norwegian students on exchanges abroad in 2017 was lower than in 2010.
Universities have cut degree completion delay by half
Jan Petter Myklebust
Three years after reforms were brought in to cut delays in degree completion time, they have been cut in half. But universities are still under pressure to ensure that students are working full time and that investment in higher education gives value for money.
Student housing increasingly a problem, survey finds
The student housing situation in Germany appears to have further worsened, according to a recent survey by the Berlin-based Moses Mendelssohn Institute. Munich appears to be the most expensive city for students, whereas Chemnitz, the scene of recent neo-Nazi riots, has the cheapest accommodation for students.
Too much academic research is being published
Philip G Altbach and Hans de Wit
There is a simple answer to the crisis of over-publication of scientific papers. Research and publication should be encouraged only at institutions designated research-intensive and academics at non-research-intensive universities should be properly rewarded for their teaching and service, not research.
Digital transformation still in the early stages
Nadine Burquel and Anja Busch
Higher education institutions will need to adapt what they teach and how they teach in the new digital age. Many are trialling new initiatives, but budget tightening means they are still in the early stages of their digital journey.
Internationalisation ambition faces stiff challenges
India has announced several initiatives aimed at boosting its universities’ international rankings and image worldwide, with the aim of attracting more international students, but there are many different academic and social factors that will deter them from coming, from outdated curricula to violence against women.
Higher education’s key role in sustainable development
Patrick Blessinger, Enakshi Sengupta and Mandla Makhanya
Higher education institutions have a critical role to play in driving sustainable development forward. But creating a sustainable future is much more than just creating green campuses or implementing recycling efforts or global citizenship initiatives. It also means inclusive education and lifelong learning.
Can EU sanctions threat ease academic freedom crisis?
As Hungary faces a key vote in the European Parliament, the European University Association has condemned the Hungarian government’s mounting attempts to interfere with academic freedom and the autonomy of the higher education sector, putting it at risk of becoming an “instrument of government”.
Could Latin American universities do better in rankings?
María Elena Hurtado
The answer from higher education experts is, ask not why Latin American universities are held back in the rankings, but why rankings do not use methodologies that measure universities’ response to society’s demands and make their methodologies more meaningful to more universities in the world.
Do chief diversity officers drive faculty diversity?
Claire Hansen The Chronicle of Higher Education
When Baylor University, Texas, began considering the creation of a chief-diversity-officer position, many people said the role could help diversify the institution’s faculty. But what influence does an executive-level diversity position really have on faculty demographics? James E West and colleagues investigated.