Top Stories
‘We are determined to stop this relentless brutality’
Fifteen Palestinian universities, including two in the Gaza Strip, issued a joint statement recently urging international academic institutions to call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, guaranteed by the UN, allow humanitarian aid into the area, and offer support to achieve a “just and lasting peace”.
COP28 and Higher Education
Universities and colleges around the world are stepping up and taking action to reduce their own emissions while using their voices to call on governments to accelerate the decarbonisation journey, according to the 2023 Race to Zero progress report released on 6 December.
PHOTO Adequate investment in human and infrastructural resources to tackle the health impact of the climate crisis in Africa has been at the centre of multiple demands by academic experts at the climate change conference, or COP28, taking place in Dubai until 12 December.
PHOTO The increase in epidemics fuelled by climate change across the world, and the severe implications they have on the health of the most vulnerable communities, particularly in the Global South, are captured in a groundbreaking collaborative research report on climate change and infectious diseases just released at COP28.
Higher education stakeholders in the United Kingdom are assessing the self-inflicted damage likely to result from the government’s latest bid to clamp down on migration levels, which includes a review of the length of post-study work visas and a higher minimum salary threshold for skilled foreign workers.
Following its first ever inspection of a Hong Kong university, the city’s financial watchdog, the Audit Commission, has announced that full audits of all the city’s tertiary education institutions could look into “every aspect of legal compliance”, including universities’ adherence to the National Security Law.
An analysis of the composition of the current scientific staff body at Denmark’s eight universities has shown that 43% have citizenship from other countries. Is there a link between the current strength of the Danish research system and the healthy proportion of international talent?
University students from three different public universities who have recently been appointed by President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria to serve on the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms will be able to contribute to the committee’s work until March 2024.
Edtech, AI and Higher Education
Experts in artificial intelligence, policy and education have warned that generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, which create human-like text, are being incorporated into education systems without adequate consideration of the ramifications for education equality, learning outcomes, national sovereignty and culture.
PHOTO For non-English-speaking countries and language groups that do not have access to the huge amount of data that fuels so-called large language models like ChatGPT, small language models may be the answer, participants at the Qatar Foundation’s WISE11 conference held in Doha learnt.
PHOTO Research shows universities with a more international student population tend to be more cautious about adoption of generative AI. Is this due to bias? If so, engaging more with their students about their attitudes to AI is vital.
Several initiatives are underway that recognise the multi-dimensionality of academic careers and have called for criteria and promotion processes that place ‘people growth’ – for the benefit of the individual, the institution and society – on a par, if not higher, than papers and patents.
PHOTO A new book explores how colleges in the United States may seek to increase racial diversity without relying on race in college admissions following the Supreme Court ban.
PHOTO As more entrepreneurially minded high school students indicate they don’t see the need to pursue a four-year degree, it’s time to recognise the desire to start a business or work in a start-up as complementary to a university degree rather than conflicting with it.
World Blog
International students are coming under fire in the Global North as governments look to tighten immigration rules and despite the value they bring to higher education and society. Universities need to rethink how they respond.
Exposing doctoral candidates to international experiences – either at home or abroad – building global research partnerships, and including global perspectives in research, training and education, contribute towards the global collaboration that is needed if we are to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
PHOTO The development of a green workforce in Tunisia, one of the countries most exposed to climate change in the Mediterranean region, is a pressing priority to reduce the impact of climate change on people and businesses. The tertiary and private sector have to join forces, states a new report.
PHOTO Egypt will be the host of the African Centre of Excellence on Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation, which will aim to enhance climate-related education and scientific research capacity in support of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and the corresponding goals of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
Top Stories from Last Week
Perhaps the most important action that universities can undertake to create a more equitable and sustainable world is to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals as part of their vision, mission and values – and more specifically, integrate education for sustainable development, or ESD, across their teaching, research and service functions.
PHOTO Professor Dzulkifli Razak is an internationally respected figure in the field of education for sustainable development who created the idea of ‘communiversity’. The concept is unfolding locally at International Islamic University Malaysia, where he is the rector – from where it can possibly blossom globally.
PHOTO During preparatory events ahead of COP28, youth perspectives have been deliberately sought and are expected to be amplified as the 2023 presidency intends to “centre youth perspectives in international climate policy-making, setting a model for future COPs”. University World News spoke to students from Africa attending the event.
PHOTO A virtual scholar-in-residence programme set up between the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Kyiv School of Economics allows Ukrainian academics who have remained in Ukraine to advance their research activities, keep Ukrainian science alive, and contribute to Ukraine’s ongoing struggle for survival.
PHOTO The fallout of the Israel-Hamas war is roiling the campuses of Canada’s two most storied universities – McGill in Montréal, Québec, and the University of Toronto. Jewish organisations report that students are feeling unsafe while Jewish faculty say they are witnessing the breakdown of collegial relationships.
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PHOTO With an eye to developing a clean, alternative aviation fuel to reduce carbon emissions, researchers at the United Arab Emirates University have been focusing on the production of jet fuel from sustainable resources such as halophytes, which are salt-tolerant plants that could be cultivated on a wider scale in the region’s coastal areas.
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PHOTO Artificial intelligence is now a part of our evolution in technology and teachers need to be encouraged to find ways to bring AI into the classroom and have students use it in a way that is beneficial to them in the long term.
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PHOTO As water scarcity reaches critical levels globally, a research team at the United Arab Emirates University seeks to revolutionise seawater desalination practices, offering a path to mitigate water scarcity while championing environmental preservation.
World Round-up