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But it can mean academics risking their job – or even jail
Politicisation of universities is not new, but it is moving rapidly from the margins to the centre of global higher education and is undermining core values of academia in the process. So far, with few exceptions, opposition has been weak or non-existent.
Students in Burkina Faso and Niger blocked from studying in France through that country’s withdrawal of visa facilities are being urged to consider alternative higher education options for 2024. As diplomatic relations continue to deteriorate, time is running out for prospective international students.
The top of the Times Higher Education or THE World University Rankings remains dominated by institutions in the United States and United Kingdom, but their position is waning while the upward march of Chinese universities continues, with Tsinghua and Peking universities close to breaking into the top 10.
Funding organisations in Germany are unlikely to cut financial support for higher education programmes in Africa despite political upheavals and conflicts happening around the world, said Kai Sicks, the secretary general of the German Academic Exchange Service or DAAD, at an event celebrating 50 years of the DAAD in Africa.
Three new Africa-Europe Clusters of Research Excellence were launched by the African Research Universities Alliance and the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities on 25 September, bringing the total to 20. This follows the launch of the first 17 clusters in June.
Without a concerted effort to make the internationalisation of higher education sustainable and immigration neutral, the United Kingdom government could look to examples of the sector’s fragility from other countries and conclude that a UK publicly funded university is in fact not ‘too big to fail’.
PHOTO A new book, which explores the phenomenon of education recruitment agents in three countries, tackles the controversial issue of agent remuneration, and how it influences the advice prospective students receive. A related question is whether it is value for money for universities.
PHOTO Mentoring is perhaps the most heard need from early career researchers. But it’s one of the hardest to address. We’ve got to crack this issue at scale if we’re going to transform the prospects for early career researchers and unlock the world’s talent.
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While there is no expectation that American higher education institutions should automatically forgive what is owed to them by students who have dropped out, better attention and care should be given to the financial upheaval created for specific populations in recovering lost revenue.
Libya has launched a 10-year national higher education and scientific research strategy spanning 2024 to 2034 that aims to reform education, teaching and scientific research within universities and research centres, and promote their role in achieving sustainable development via the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
It is hoped that a study highlighting the fact that half of post-secondary students in one Canadian province have been sexually harassed or assaulted at their college or university will be useful for everyone around the world working to end sexual and gender-based violence.
PHOTO A wave of protests has been sweeping across Nigerian universities as federal institutions raised obligatory fees payable by students by up to 700%. A few institutions have subsequently reduced their increases and the government is considering granting greater autonomy to universities to source funding from sources other than fees.
PHOTO The Greek government has facilitated an agreement with the Greek Community of Alexandria to establish the first Greek university abroad in the second largest Egyptian city – a move that is seen as taking Greece’s higher education internationalisation efforts forward.
Top Stories from Last Week
France has suspended student mobility with Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso and told new students from those countries who were about to start studies in France that they may not come after all. Current scholarship students without valid visas will also not be able to travel to France.
PHOTO With the world halfway to the 2030 target date for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations this week urged governments globally to create solid national SDG policy and greater spending commitments. But the key roles of universities in advancing sustainability continue to be underplayed.
PHOTO Internationalisation increases student diversity. That needs to be reflected in a greater respect for the different languages international students speak, but the imposition of English-only policies in the classroom may act against inclusion.
PHOTO Having risked blowing the United Kingdom’s research relationship with Europe through a three-year post-Brexit delay in rejoining the multi-billion-euro Horizon programme, British universities now face being caught up in another international government fallout, this time with China – its fastest growing research partner.
PHOTO A National Strategic Plan to modernise Sri Lanka’s public university system has been presented to a parliamentary committee. Produced by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura at parliament’s request, the plan is for financially self-sustaining research universities that do well in rankings and produce internationally competitive graduates.
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