18 December 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Internationalising the curriculum and all learning
Betty Leask
Recently there has been a resurgence of interest in internationalisation of the university curriculum, in theory and in practice. But curriculum internationalisation is too often centred on inputs such as optional international modules, rather than being focused on outcomes and all students' learning.
Transforming policy through science in Africa
Turner Isoun
An initiative to show how academics in the developing world can feed into policy has shown the value of scientific evidence in contributing to good governance.
Teaching sensitive issues in an era of student consumers
Pam Lowe
Can making students uncomfortable for the sake of learning survive in an era of student satisfaction?
Walking the walk – Ethical agency-based recruitment
Mark Ashwill
Recruitment agents in Vietnam have a bad reputation for unethical practice, but pressure is increasing for a more ethical approach.
World Blog
Right-sizing American higher education institutions
William Patrick Leonard
Higher education institutions in the United States need to align their spending with a realistic assessment of the revenue they will get and take courageous decisions on where cuts – if necessary – should be made.
Campus activism after lack of action on black men deaths
Katherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Two grand juries’ decisions not to indict white police officers who killed unarmed black men have galvanised students around America, creating important teaching moments for law students on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, and calls by anthropologists and sociologists for non-violent social action.
SKA mega-project boosts astronomy research and skills
Munyaradzi Makoni
The advanced technological skills required to run the Square Kilometre Array, or SKA – a mega-research project due to become fully operational in 2020 in South Africa and eight other African countries – are scarce in Africa. But efforts to rectify that are gathering momentum.
Climate Change
Balancing climate change adaptation and mitigation
Geoff Maslen
Government representatives from 196 countries attended the 20th “Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” held in the Peruvian capital of Lima last week, where the most controversial issue was over who would meet the costs of mitigating and adapting to a warming Earth.
World Round-up
Vice-chancellors – Tackle extremism or face charges
Minister promises free higher education by 2016
Plans for top-10 mega-university
BBC News
High hopes for US$1 billion ‘university city’
Miami Herald
Officials confirm first student in case of missing 43
Associated Press
Anger over ‘misleading’ university reform adverts
Universities asked to delete 'racial' clauses from rules
Cambridge graduates most likely to get a job – Report
The Independent
After 'Rolling Stone'
Inside Higher Ed
Scholarships fail to attract foreign students
Nation falls short of research and development goals
Mail & Guardian
Special Report
The Research, Higher Education, Development and Innovation initiative – RHEDI – held its second Executive Leadership Programme in Malaysia from 17-21 November. The global initiative aims to strengthen research, policy and practice in these crucial sectors in the developing world.
Funding changes demand new research leadership skills
Yojana Sharma
The way research is organised and carried out in universities is changing in many countries. Increasingly, funding agencies prefer to back multidisciplinary and applied research, while national priorities often require research to benefit the wider community, whether it is industry, economic growth or regional development.
You’re in charge of revamping a university’s research…
Yojana Sharma
Live simulations borrowed from the worlds of management and diplomat education are being used to train multinational, multidisciplinary groups of higher education and research leaders, who are facing – or may have to face – major changes in the way research is organised in their institutions.
Navigating the industry-academia partnership terrain
Sharon Dell and Yojana Sharma
An increasing global emphasis on innovation in universities calls for greater cooperation between higher education institutions and industry, partners with different missions and cultures. How is this best achieved in practice? The recent RHEDI – Research, Higher Education, Development and Innovation – meeting provided an opportunity for research leaders and managers to compare approaches.
Turning researchers into innovators in Uganda
Yojana Sharma
Universities in Uganda are working to improve the quality of research but also to turn researchers into innovators, so that university research can serve the country’s economy. It requires changing the mindset of researchers and institutional support, a meeting of the Research, Higher Education, Development and Innovation – RHEDI – initiative heard.
Need to upgrade universities, research as R&D heads East
Yojana Sharma
Asian economies have surged ahead and demand for higher education from a rapidly growing middle-class has fuelled expansion. But the region’s universities and research need to upgrade to keep up with economic changes that include the global shift of industries, research and development to Asia, a regional symposium of research management experts heard.
Loans package to boost postgraduate demand
Nic Mitchell
Homegrown postgraduate students at English universities are to get a helping hand from the government in the form of an income-contingent loan of up to £10,000 (US$15,700) from 2016-17. The new loan package announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his eagerly awaited Autumn Statement was generally welcomed across English higher education.
Political stalemate on fees for non-European students
Jan Petter Myklebust
Finland’s coalition government has failed to reach agreement on a proposal to parliament to introduce tuition fees for students from outside the European Economic Area, for courses taught in English. The issue pitted students who oppose the fees against universities that support them, and media described ditching of the proposal as a ‘government u-turn’.
Innovation system needed to drive development – OECD
Wachira Kigotho
Vietnam has made significant progress in socio-economic development. But the once vibrant economy is at a crossroads and needs a “robust” innovation system to avoid being locked into low value-added activities that will limit its capacity to catch up with other East Asian economies, according to an OECD study requested by the country’s Ministry of Science and Technology.
Research excellence fund launched, academics cool
Universities have been enthusiastic but academics appear unconvinced about the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, a CAD1.5 billion (US$1.3 billion) initiative over 10 years that was announced in the budget earlier this year and launched by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on 4 December.
Lucrative international education fairs draw scrutiny
Tunde Fatunde
Education fairs held annually in Nigerian cities are attracting attention for potentially harbouring fraudsters. The fairs, aimed at students seeking admission to universities abroad, have mushroomed in response to the exodus of Nigerian students seeking quality education in other countries. According to the British Council, in the UK alone there are nearly 18,000 Nigerian students.
MOOC, gender support for French-language universities
Jane Marshall
The Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie has launched two higher education initiatives aimed at French-speaking African and other developing countries. They are to introduce massive open online courses in partnership with the Swiss École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, and to establish an ‘equality for women’ network to counter gender discrimination in universities. The agency has also extended to Senegal a distance teacher-training venture to improve the skills of schoolteachers of, and in, French.
Kenya pumps US$2.7 million into Pan African University
Maina Waruru and Gilbert Nganga
Kenya has extended an extra US$2.7 million to the Pan African University for the construction of facilities at its campus near Nairobi – the Institute of Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation, or PAUSTI – one of five regional ‘nodes’ being developed across the continent. Last month the campus graduated its first ever masters students.
Four specialist regional universities to be created
Mohamed Ag Ahmedou
Niger is seeking to enhance higher education by opening four new universities, each specialising in an area key to development. The West African country’s universities continue to face challenges, but experts hail the development as a boost to the education system.
Two new Knowledge and Innovation Communities announced
Jan Petter Myklebust
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology last week announced the winners of its 2014 calls for two new KICs – Knowledge and Innovation Communities – in health and raw materials. There were five bids for the health and two for the raw materials KIC.

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