Academic Freedom comes under the spotlight this week. From Egypt, Ashraf Khaled says a new report concludes that state authorities have crushed a burgeoning democratic movement at universities by committing more than 2,300 human rights violations against students. In the United Arab Emirates, a prominent economist and academic, Nasser Bin Ghaith, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for tweeting criticism of the human rights record of the UAE and Egypt, despite a coalition of human rights organisations calling for his release. Also, Georgiana Mihut and Daniela Craciun contend that the targeting of the Central European University by the Hungarian government is an alarming action against academic freedom, and is part of an emerging trend of seeing universities as a threat. And Marit Egner describes how Scholars At Risk and other programmes have shown her that academic freedom should not be taken for granted.
In Commentary, Ranjit Goswami says universities have an uphill task dealing with the post-truth era in an information-overloaded world under pressure to provide quality higher education for all, but deal with it they must. Eric Fredua-Kwarteng defends the Nigerian government’s plan to teach science and mathematics in indigenous languages at primary schools and cautions the academics who are opposed to the plan. Wesley Teter asks if the value of national qualifications frameworks has been overrated and what can be done about this given the importance of strengthening the evidence base for quality assurance mechanisms.
In Features, Jan Petter Myklebust reports on the Norwegian government’s white paper which calls for a strengthened role for the humanities.
The 2017 Worldviews Lecture on Media and Higher Education entitled “Populism and the Academy: On the ‘wrong side’ of history” will be presented this Wednesday 5 April by Peter Scott.
And you are invited to register for the free webinar on the following Wednesday, 12 April, on “International Student Mobility Trends: Shifting recruitment priorities and strategies”, which is being hosted by University World News in partnership with DrEducation and StudyPortals. More...