Also: ChatGPT – Calm your inner Luddite, keep your inner sceptic
2 March 2023  Issue No: 395
Africa Top Stories
PHOTOAfrica continues to suffer from wealth and gender disparities when it comes to tertiary education. This is evident from the “highly variable quality” of private tertiary education institutions along with low levels of investment, facts that emerged from the first edition of a joint UNESCO-African Union education report.
“Calm your inner Luddite, hold on to your inner sceptic,” is one of the messages for educators contemplating ChatGPT and other large language models, from Dr Roze Phillips, a futurist who straddles the worlds of work and academia. “Trying to outsmart AI is not a viable strategy.”
The African Union’s condemnation of Israel’s “colonial” practices against Palestine, its suspension of Israel’s observer status and its request that its 55 member states cut scientific and cultural ties with Israel have drawn vocal support from the academic community in North Africa which also, alongside South Africa, in 2021 protested loudly when Israel received observer status at the pan-African body.
Africa News
PHOTOExtreme climatic events such as heatwaves and flash floods have resulted in major disruptions and challenges for universities across Africa. Extreme heat events, due to global warming, have been associated with low student turnout, low academic performance and health risks for academic staff and students.
Special Report: AI and Higher Education
PHOTOThis is the launch edition of a University World News special report on ‘AI and higher education’. The focus is on how universities around the world are responding to ChatGPT and other generative artificial intelligence tools. This will be followed by a weekly series of articles exploring developments in AI that have implications for higher education institutions and systems, students and staff, and teaching, learning and research.
Africa Commentary
PHOTOWork already done towards the development of internationally comparable ‘education for sustainable development’ or ESD indicators – currently missing from all of the existing higher education sustainability rankings – suggests that universities need to select sustainability indicators mindfully, aligned with their own needs rather than latest trends.
Academic Publishing
PHOTOThe African Library and Information Associations and Institutions, in cooperation with the online open-access repository Figshare, has launched a new initiative to support awareness of open science and data repositories as well as to support the research and education communities in Africa.
Africa Blog
PHOTOMany Ghanaians don’t know about the country’s growing planetary and space science community. As a planetary scientist working and conducting research in Ghana, I think it’s time to get more people interested in this fascinating, important aspect of science – and to cement the country’s place as a major player in planetary and space science.
Africa Student View
PHOTOKwanele Nyembe, the student who was crowned South Africa’s National Poetry Slam champion during the Poetry Africa Festival in October 2022, has his eye set firmly on the first prize at the 2023 World Slam Poetry competition in Brazil later this year.
Africa Features
PHOTOThe most important lesson about the unintended consequences of internationalisation is not to be oblivious to the opportunities presented by knowing they exist and, thus, to plan accordingly, say the editors of a new book studying the internationalisation of higher education in 18 countries worldwide.
Top Africa Stories from Last Week
PHOTOCorrupted: A study of chronic dysfunction in South African universities tells an unpleasant but very important story – not only for South Africa, but globally – about how corruption can seep into academic institutions. Professor Jonathan Jansen’s book explains the emergence of chronic institutional dysfunction, rooted in a political economy framework.
World Blog
PHOTOStudy programmes that expect memorisation of facts and the passing of high-stakes exams are unlikely to set graduates up for success in the future work environment. So why do some lecturers still resist the call for education that encourages critical and creative thinking?
Global Features
PHOTOAn international AI-powered study of more than 14,100 articles in top journals has confirmed the poor reproducibility of (especially experimental) research in psychology – a blow to the discipline. Research methods and citation impact can help predict whether research is reliable, but university prestige and citation numbers do not.
World Round-up
Update | Unsubscribe | Sent to:
Contact Address: 4th Floor, 18 St Cross Street, London, EC1N 8UN, United Kingdom
Copyright 2023 University World News