19 September 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Scottish independence and the wealth of nations
Martin Cohen
Academics’ views on Scottish independence have been sidelined in the debate, but what would one of Scotland’s greatest thinkers, Adam Smith, have made of the arguments being put forward?
Higher education’s crucial nexus of local and global
Laura E Rumbley and Philip G Altbach
Global and local higher education internationalisation efforts are not opposites – and both need to be borne in mind if we are to develop the possibilities that internationalisation offers intelligently.
U-Multirank – A university ranking evaluation
Richard Holmes
The U-Multirank university ranking tool, developed by a consortium of organisations and funded by the European Commission, finally appeared in May. Some found it disappointing and established rankers were probably a little relieved. It does have interesting and innovative features and it does go places where the conventional rankings do not – but it is unlikely to present a serious challenge to the hegemony of the Big Three.
Scientific ties that bind?
Eugene Sebastian
Australia needs to do more to forge international links to build its science base. The country could start by leveraging its Asian alumni.
World Blog
Cost-cutting makes sense for universities and colleges
William Patrick Leonard
Higher education institutions in the United States need to look at tailoring their budgets to consumers who are reluctant to fund ever-rising tuition fees.
Education at a Glance 2014
Education at a Glance 2014
The OECD published its Education at a Glance 2014 report last Tuesday. University World News reports on aspects of post-school education across the OECD’s 34 member nations and 10 other countries.
Educational upward mobility slowing – OECD report
Karen MacGregor
Educational upward mobility has started to slow in the industrialised world, according to the OECD’s new Education at a Glance 2014 report. The share of people with lower qualifications than their parents is rising – even though higher education pays off more than ever before – and “inequalities between tertiary-educated adults and the rest of society are growing”.
The shifting sands of international student mobility
Karen MacGregor
The importance of regional over global student mobility is growing, according to the OECD’s Education at a Glance 2014. The trend is reflected in the increasing internationalisation of tertiary enrolment in OECD countries as well as high intra-regional student mobility. Patterns of student mobility are shifting, with new destinations emerging.
Education at a Glance – Attainment and employment
Wachira Kigotho
Investing in higher education in the 34 country members of the OECD is being rewarded with good returns. Despite slow recovery from the financial crisis, on average 80% of tertiary-educated people are employed compared to less than 60% of people with below upper secondary education.
Russian dichotomy – high tertiary, low literacy skills
Peta Lee
The Russian Federation has the highest percentage of adults with tertiary education among all OECD countries – 53% against an OECD average of 32% – according to Education at a Glance 2014. But there is a contradiction between the federation’s education levels and the mean literacy of its population.
World Round-up
Students’ strike is ‘final warning to the regime’
South China Morning Post
Most undergraduates taught by poorly paid part-timers
CBC News
College in a box – Textbook giants teach classes
Opposition party vows to block higher education changes
Nationals seek more help for regional universities
Australia Associated Press
Rectors report chaos in universities
Greek Reporter
Hong Kong group behind Harvard’s largest gift
The New York Times
Salaita speaks out, asks for his job back
Inside Higher Ed
Professor’s dismissal contravenes university rules
Leading academics call for rethink of budget cut
The Jerusalem Post
Doctor resigns after team caught ‘manipulating’ data
Postmedia News
Report highlights downside of provincial funding
The Globe and Mail
Sharp rise in fee-paying students from rest of UK
The Herald Scotland
State’s student funding scheme ‘unable to meet demand’
Increase in student transfers worries alumni offices
The Hechinger Report
Joint international university on the cards
Breaking News
Higher education body warns 12 private universities
Mushfique Wadud
Private universities are trying to shore up their credibility with publicity campaigns and newspaper advertisements, following a warning from Bangladesh’s higher education apex body the University Grants Commission naming and shaming a dozen private institutions.
Universities may exit Beijing under flagship plan
Yojana Sharma
Some of China’s most eminent universities including Peking and Tsinghua are clustered around the Zhongguancun area in Beijing’s Haidian district, which likes to style itself as China’s ‘Silicon Valley’, attracting research institutions and thousands of high-tech enterprises.
Alliance to boost graduate numbers, save money
Peta Lee
If the University Innovation Alliance achieves its goals, high quality degrees will become more accessible for all students, particularly first-generation and low-income students. Thousands more will graduate each year, and additionally they could shave time off their studies, taxpayers could save US$100 million in educational costs, and over the next five years another 850,000 students could graduate from America’s colleges.
Experts, EU and DAAD awarded for quality assurance work
Ard Jongsma
On 16 September Goolam Mohammedbhai, Juma Shabani and Peter Okebukola were awarded by GUNi and AfriQAN for their tireless work on quality assurance in higher education in Africa. The European Union and the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, were awarded for their support to quality assurance processes on the continent.
Academics back students’ pro-democracy shut down
Mimi Leung
Hong Kong’s universities and colleges – almost 20 of them – are gearing up for a student organised pro-democracy boycott of classes due to begin on 22 September and to last at least a week, with academics supporting the student movement.
MOOC on MOOCs? A novel yet pragmatic approach
Kirk Perris
The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and the Commonwealth of Learning are offering “A MOOC on MOOCs: What you need to know about massive open online courses”. The novel short course is aimed at educators, policy-makers and other professionals interested in strategies related to the origin, architecture, economics and delivery of a MOOC, with particular reference to the emerging world.
Academic freedom – Pleas for civility meet cynicism
Peter Schmidt, The Chronicle of Higher Education
‘Civility’ just might be American academe’s newest fighting word. In the past week, pleas for civility at Ohio University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of California at Berkeley have had the unintended effect of provoking harsh attacks on the campus leaders who issued them. All have been accused of seeking to silence speech rather than simply lower its tone.
Can Asia lead the future global knowledge economy?
Yojana Sharma
Asian economies can draw on the demographic advantages of a youthful population in some countries, a growing middle-class, an expanding services sector and creative industries to leapfrog more advanced countries and take the lead in the “knowledge-based economy of the future”, says a just-released report from the Asian Development Bank.
New online scam – University email accounts for sale
Yojana Sharma
Postgraduates – Public good or job qualification?
David Jobbins
‘Traditional’ academics are an endangered species
Geoff Maslen
UK, South Africa launch Newton science partnership
Munyaradzi Makoni
Oslo’s global advisors ‘build a ladder to the stars’
Jan Petter Myklebust
China supports new academy for science and technology
Wagdy Sawahel
Climate change
Following our highly successful special edition last May that focused on how universities were tackling the challenges of climate change, this week we are launching a new series of regular reports on what the world’s scientists are discovering about the impact of a warming Earth and the many ways higher education is responding to this global challenge.
A climate change curriculum for Southern Africa
Michelle Paterson
Having completed the first phase of a programme that produced a comprehensive climate change mapping study, the Southern African Regional Universities Association – SARUA – has secured funding from the Climate and Development Knowledge Network to develop a curriculum innovation network in the second phase.
With 99.999% certainty, humans cause global warming
Philip Kokic, Mark Howden and Steven Crimp
There is less than one chance in 100,000 that global average temperature over the past 60 years would have been as high without human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, our new research shows.
Ecologist wins Eureka prize for climate change course
Lesley Hughes, a professor and ecologist at Macquarie University in Sydney, won the Australian Museum’s annual Eureka prize last Wednesday for her work in explaining the impact of climate change through a free online course run by Open Universities Australia.
Southern Alps lose a third of their ice
A third of the permanent snow and ice on New Zealand’s Southern Alps has now disappeared, according to research based on aerial surveys by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

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