30 September 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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ASIA
Huge growth in eLearning in Asia, market report says
Booming enrolment in online higher education, rapid content digitisation, the rollout of national online education networks and teacher shortages in rapidly developing countries have led to huge demand for eLearning products, according to a just-released market research report on eLearning.
World Blog
UKRAINE
Rescue Ukrainian academia in Donbas
Yegor Stadny
Ukrainian universities in the Donbas have been taken over by separatists. Students can move to other universities, but academics are at much greater risk. However, they can be helped by a legal change that could benefit the whole of Ukraine.
Commentary
POLAND
Linking internationalisation and research productivity
Marek Kwiek
There is a clear link between international collaboration and research productivity in Poland, with important policy implications and the need for mechanisms that increase the international competitiveness of Polish higher education.
GLOBAL
International visiting scholars – An underused resource
Yukiko Shimmi
Little attention has been paid to international visiting scholars and their potential role in internationalisation – from making international connections to internationalising teaching and learning.
ISRAEL
Academic boycott debate – The ‘Israeli exception’
Gabriel Noah Brahm
Calls for boycotts of Israeli institutions and criticism of supposed attacks on academic freedom ignore the vibrancy of Israeli democracy and stem from anti-semitic roots that treat Israel as an exceptional case.
GLOBAL
New doctoral degrees bring industry, academia closer
Francesca Sperotti
A new range of doctoral degrees that combine work and research have become available in recent years, but many people still do not know about their existence and the advantages they offer.
Features
INDIA
National university rankings to include social contribution
Yojana Sharma
India’s prestigious institutes of technology, or IITs, will spearhead a national system of university rankings, drawing up relevant parameters even though they are not themselves universities, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani announced last week at a meeting of IIT heads in Chennai.
EUROPE
Progress, problems with researcher mobility in Europe
Karen MacGregor
There has been significant progress in alleviating obstacles to mobility for researchers in Europe – but advances have been uneven and challenges remain in some countries in the areas of recruitment, researcher skills, working conditions and career opportunities – says a Deloitte Consulting report prepared for the European Commission.
African higher education space
AFRICA
African higher education space
At the 6th International Conference on Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Africa, Ard Jongsma finds major developments underway in quality assurance and accreditation across the continent.
AFRICA
African higher education space another step closer
Ard Jongsma
Positive tones emerged from the 6th International Conference on Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Africa, held in Bujumbura, Burundi. As the quality of African higher education remains under severe pressure, the need for quality assurance mechanisms and institutions now appears to have been universally embraced.
AFRICA
Post-2015 European support to African HE taking shape
Ard Jongsma
From 2015, the European Union’s new Pan-African Programme will be used to expand and extend the coverage of its Tuning Africa project and a new, linked initiative, to more broadly support quality assurance and accreditation in Africa.
World Round-up
HONG KONG
Students begin democracy protest
Guardian
RUSSIA
Watchdog stops new enrolments at 11 more universities
ITAR-TASS
MYANMAR
Backlash grows against National Education Bill
The Irrawaddy
PAKISTAN
Gunmen kill professor who faced blasphemy accusations
Reuters
GERMANY
All universities now free of charge
The Times
INDIA
Rising number of Indian students head for Germany
The Economic Times
GERMANY
Apprentices are becoming harder to find
Associated Press
GLOBAL
Google reveals most searched-for universities
BBC News
JAPAN
Universities increase classes taught in English
Asahi Shimbun
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities still recruiting students a month after A-levels
The Telegraph
AUSTRALIA
Vice-chancellor warns against private college funding
The Sydney Morning Herald
UNITED STATES
Chinese cash slow to follow students to America
The Wall Street Journal
Breaking News
HONG KONG
University boycott extended as democracy rallies swell
Yojana Sharma
Hong Kong university students – part of a huge, often spontaneous pro-democracy movement that has occupied the streets of central Hong Kong in recent days – said on Monday that they would extend their week-long boycott of classes to an indefinite one.
News
CHINA
Condemnation of Uighur scholar’s jail sentence
Yojana Sharma
An unusually harsh life sentence was imposed on soft-spoken Uighur economics professor Ilham Tohti last week for ‘separatism’, or attempting to split the Uighur region of Xinjiang from the rest of China. The verdict took human rights groups by surprise, leading to strong condemnation of the sentence and treatment meted out to Tohti.
MALAYSIA
Students found guilty amid spate of sedition cases
Emilia Tan
The clamour of voices calling for the Malaysian government to repeal its controversial Sedition Act grew louder as a law student recently received a one-year jail term under the Sedition law – the second student to be found guilty of sedition this month.
FRANCE
Student success a priority, but HE has funding fears
Jane Marshall
In the wake of criticism from university presidents over lack of resources, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the new national education, higher education and research minister, and Geneviève Fioraso, secretary of state for higher education and research, defended their budget and promised priority for ensuring student success during the academic year that is just beginning.
AUSTRIA
University leaders concerned over lack of funding
Michael Gardner
University leaders in Austria are urging the government to provide higher education and research with extra funding. They are above all concerned that without extra support, the country could fail to keep pace with international developments. Universities Austria has called for a boost for the sector of an additional €1 billion (US$1.3 billion).
EGYPT
Politics and protests banned from university campuses
Ashraf Khaled
Egypt’s higher education authorities have banned political activities in universities in a series of measures apparently targeting Islamist students accused of staging violent protests against the military-backed government last year.
GLOBAL
Asia leads QS ranking of top 50 universities under 50
Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University overtook Hong Kong University of Science and Technology into first place in the new QS ranking of the world’s top 50 universities under 50 years old. There were 25 countries with at least one university in the ranking, and with 10 places, Australia had the most excellent young universities.
SWEDEN
To fee or not to fee in Erasmus Mundus collaborations?
Jan Petter Myklebust
Whether Swedish students may be charged fees for courses that are part of international collaborations involving several universities across countries – many of which themselves levy fees – has been tying Sweden with its free higher education in knots. The government has proposed a law specifying when a study fee should not be regarded as a student fee.
EUROPE
Employment prospects rosier for Erasmus graduates
Peta Lee
The findings of The Erasmus Impact Study, released last Monday, are indisputable – young people who study or train abroad are half as likely to face long-term unemployment as their non-mobile peers. And five years after graduation, the jobless rate of these students is an impressive 23% lower.
GLOBAL
Higher education and the post-2015 development goals
Wachira Kigotho
In a new briefing report, UNESCO has identified tertiary education as a fundamental element towards progress in each of 16 proposed post-2015 global sustainable development goals. The report highlights how higher education can reduce poverty, improve health, empower women and protect the environment.
SPAIN
Economic crisis sparks increase in student volunteers
Paul Rigg
Fifty-five percent of people in charge of social action in Spanish universities say that the economic crisis has provoked a growth in student volunteering, according to initial reports from a study being published next week by the Fundación Mutua Madrileña.
UNITED STATES
Scholars deny student evaluations’ ‘air of objectivity’
Dan Berrett, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Student course evaluations are often misused statistically and shed little light on the quality of teaching, two scholars at the University of California at Berkeley argue in the draft of a new paper. "We’re confusing consumer satisfaction with product value," said Philip B Stark, a professor of statistics at Berkeley.
Climate Change
GLOBAL
UN climate summit tackles a warming planet
Geoff Maslen
World leaders from more than 125 nations were in New York last week for United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Climate Summit. His aim was to boost international efforts to tackle climate change before a scheduled meeting in Paris in December next year, where the goal is to establish a global agreement to cut greenhouse emissions.
GLOBAL
United Nations Climate Summit achieves bold action
Geoff Maslen
New steps to immediately tackle climate change were announced by government, business, finance and civil society leaders at the United Nations secretary general’s Climate Summit in New York.

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