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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.
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Policies and frameworks are key to sustainability in HE
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.
Academic Freedom and Resilience
An online discussion on the ‘authoritarian assault on gender studies’ linked the remaking of Florida’s postsecondary legal landscape and the destruction of the liberal arts tradition of New College of Florida to the targeting of LGBT people and other authoritarian events around the world.
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.
While Indonesians go to the polls next February to vote for a president, official campaigning by the three candidates begins this month. A Constitutional Court ruling that educational institutions may be used as campaign venues could herald a major change in campus-based politics and impact on the youth vote.
Despite having its chief executive officer on special leave pending an investigation into the alleged improper awarding of banking contracts, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme is not in crisis, according to Dr Blade Nzimande, South Africa’s minister of higher education, science and innovation.
Several student groups have been protesting at Kuwait University after the administration agreed to implement a government ban on mixed gender classes shortly before the start of the new academic semester. It is a move that has also sparked outrage among academic staff.
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.
There is much that can be done to tackle academic corruption, from seeking out innovative approaches and looking at what is happening in schools, to keeping abreast of technological advances, not stigmatising international students and close collaboration among researchers and practitioners worldwide.
PHOTO Involving students in being partners in their own learning may not be seen as a natural fit for the more top-down approach to teaching in Asia, but cultural issues are no barrier to a model that promotes greater inclusion.
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.
World Blog
With students looking for ways to fund their way through university and with employers keen for graduates with entrepreneurial skills, universities around the world would be wise to increase their support for entrepreneurship education and help to normalise it as a career path.
Partnerships for Sustainability
The extraordinary work that universities have done over decades to advance sustainable development is not sufficiently recognised by society at large, governments or the United Nations system. A new partnership between University World News and the International Association of Universities will address that problem.
By harnessing the power of crowdsourcing, citizen science can make science more inclusive and can help to accelerate the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
PHOTO During the Africa Climate Summit in early September 2023, African leaders called on developed countries to urgently reduce carbon emissions, emphasising the importance of decarbonising the global economy for equality and shared prosperity. The summit focused on driving green growth in Africa and climate finance solutions.
PHOTO Arab universities in the 22 member states of the Arab League have been urged to integrate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals across their educational and research programmes and to produce graduates with the skills needed to promote sustainable economic and social development.
Top Stories from Last Week
Through ‘education for sustainable development’, university classrooms have the potential to become living laboratories where students apply disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to real-world problems. This vision requires long-term commitment from institutional leaders with a sustainability vision for the future.
PHOTO South Korea’s government has unveiled a substantial 16.6% reduction in research and development spending in its budget proposal for 2024, taking the science community by surprise. If passed by the National Assembly, it will be the first reduction in science spending in 33 years.
PHOTO Academics in Libya are calling for those in power to pay more heed to scientific advice as it emerged that research published last year contained warnings about the possibility of flooding caused by a lack of dam maintenance in the area devastated by Storm Daniel.
PHOTO If higher education quality and better governance are the purposes of Ethiopia’s new regulation which allows for public universities to become autonomous institutions, appointing politicians to head the transition and the semi-privatisation of the country’s premier public higher institution is not the answer.
PHOTO Universities are traditionally seen as gateways to knowledge, but today they are emerging as new embassies, centres of cultural and diplomatic exchange between nations. International branch campuses serve as live testaments to the relationships between nations, turning academic partnerships into strategic alliances.
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PHOTO Around the globe, university students with big ideas for making their communities and the world better and helping solve some of today’s biggest problems – pollution, hunger, waste, and more – are applying for Wege Prize, an international design competition with a prize pool of US$65,000. Promoted by Ferris State University.
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PHOTO Stellenbosch University’s vision to be a systemically sustainable institution addressing continental and global sustainable development challenges is beginning to bear fruit. Not only is it educating future leaders, policy-makers and professionals in this space, but it is also finding solutions through research, training and development. Promoted by Stellenbosch University.
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PHOTO ABET, the global accreditor of science, computing, engineering and technology programmes, is supporting Pride Month and prioritising equality, diversity and inclusion. It believes collaboration between a diverse pool of talent is a vital contributor to finding the best solutions to the world’s problems. Promoted by ABET.
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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. Promoted by the United Arab Emirates University.
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