29 février 2016

Universities want a more British Europe – not a less European Britain

By Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor. With the British people due to vote on 23 June on whether to stay in the European Union, David Jobbins reports that most university leaders in the UK have expressed unreserved support for the campaign for Britain to remain in the EU. Our Commentary section brings you two opposing views on Brexit: Anne Corbett confirms that the university sector has been pro-EU from the start and explains the reasons for this stance. Alan Sked, on the other hand, argues that Brexit is the obvious future for Britain and that vice-chancellors in the UK should stop panicking and lobbying the press to push their pro-European agenda when British researchers will still be able cooperate with the EU after Brexit.
Also in Commentary, Manja Klemenčič says that students’ sense of belonging is key to student well-being and should be more carefully considered in institutional strategies. Adamu Ahmed describes some of the initiatives being undertaken by King Saud University to promote research excellence in Saudi Arabia. And Patrício Langa, Gerald Wangenge-Ouma, Jens Jungblut and Nico Cloete argue that South Africa should look to its northern neighbours in Africa to see that free higher education, which South African students are demanding, failed to universalise access to higher education in these countries.
University World News is a media partner to the British Council’s Going Global 2016 conference, to be held in May in Africa for the first time. Karen MacGregor previews this big international higher education event in an interview with Jo Beall, director of education and society for the British Council, and looks at university rankings in discussion with Gerald Wangenge-Ouma, while Brendan O’Malley explores how universities can respond to the refugee crisis.
In World Blog, Grace Karram Stephenson takes up the plight of the rising number of precarious, part-time instructors in academia, reporting that a recent conference in Canada highlighted the need for them to organise collectively. Read more...

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How to improve conditions for the academic precariat

By Grace Karram Stephenson. One of the biggest challenges to face universities in an era of globalisation is the increased reliance on part-time instructors. Recent PhD graduates are less and less likely to find full-time, permanent work and are forced into casual teaching positions with low salaries and no benefits. Read more...

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Supporting research excellence

By Adamu Ahmed. The production of excellent research, be it curiosity-driven or applied, has increasingly become the dominant preoccupation of universities the world over. Given the stiff competition that pervades the sector, research pursuits have become the cornerstone of universities’ academic activities. Read more...

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How to develop a sense of belonging

By Manja Klemenčič. Several years ago I conducted field research in Podgorica, Montenegro on higher education reforms. Among my interviewees were student union representatives from the University of Montenegro. Read more...

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VCs should stop panicking about Brexit

By Alan Sked. In the past year or so, the letters’ pages of Britain’s quality newspapers have been full of pleas from distinguished vice-chancellors and professors, all mobilised in serried ranks, to plead the case for Britain remaining in the European Union. Read more...

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The starting gun is fired on Britain’s EU referendum

By Anne Corbett. So there’s a date! The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has declared that the referendum will be held on 23 June. At that moment the British people will choose whether to confirm or renounce the United Kingdom’s 40-year-old membership of the European Union. Read more...

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Fulbright seeks more diversity in scholars, students

By Courtney Kueppers, The Chronicle of Higher Education. Kimberly Jackson, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Spelman College, had long hoped to join the ranks of scholars who had earned one of the US government’s prestigious Fulbright research awards. Read more...

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Universities face year-long productivity inquiry

By John Gerritsen. New Zealand's tertiary education system is facing a year-long investigation by a government agency charged with providing advice on productivity improvements. Read more...

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Plan to rate teaching excellence faces data challenges

By Brendan O'Malley. The government should heed the lessons from ratings in other education and care markets in developing its plans for rewarding teaching excellence, in addition to research excellence, according to a new paper by the Higher Education Policy Institute, or HEPI. Read more...

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Mass resignation signals loss of trust in minister

By Brendan O'Malley. Six members of the Council for Higher Education, or CHE, resigned last Sunday in protest against the dismissal of its deputy chair, Professor Hagit Messer-Yaron, by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, and the appointment in her place of a senior lecturer, Dr Rivka Wadmany Shauman, a move that is strongly opposed by academics. Read more...

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