27 août 2018

Universities must improve how they communicate their worth to the public

By Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor. In Commentary, Ian Jacobs contends that recent evidence shows there are few more worthwhile investments in Australia today than higher education, but universities have failed to communicate this to the public and this is contributing to a climate of criticism. Futao Huang suggests that a policy shift by the Chinese government from quantitative expansion of internationally collaborative programmes to a focus on quality is one of the main reasons for the government’s closure of more than 200 such programmes and five institutions. Philip G Altbach and Ellen Hazelkorn write that the race is on to establish a global teaching ranking as assessing teaching and learning is seen as central to determining the quality of higher education, but using current methodologies to produce comparative data is foolhardy at best. And Mia Perry and Deepa Pullanikkatil suggest some “necessary” changes to the traditional methodologies of collaboration between the Global North and South.
   In our World Blog this week, William Leonard suggests that the many smaller US colleges that admit students who are not ready for higher education and often drop out after their first year, should reduce their enrolment to achieve sustainability.
   In Science Scene, Brendan O'Malley highlights new research showing that social media ‘bots’ and Russian ‘trolls’ have been spreading disinformation about vaccines, disrupting science communication and posing a threat to public health.
   In Features, Yojana Sharma explains why overseas scholars who comment on sensitive topics regarding China are grappling with a dilemma of self-censorship. Brendan O’Malley outlines a report which says the University of California system is nearing a ‘tipping point’ where it cannot continue to grow with California’s population and labour needs without seeking new revenues and state reinvestment. And Sharon Dell reports from a conference in South Africa on the challenges facing the implementation of work-integrated learning in the country. More...
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