How Asian business schools are outcompeting their Western counterparts
In Commentary, Maxim Feldman describes how Asian business schools have made a quantum leap in a short time and are now outcompeting many American and European institutions, with affordability and teaching a global approach as major drawcards. Marguerite J Dennis reflects on the potential changes artificial intelligence will bring to the processes of admission and retention of university students but believes there will still be a place for human administrators as these job functions will be partly automated, rather than disappear. And Patrick Swanzy and Francis Ansah explain why it would be a grave mistake for the Ghanaian government to terminate the contracts of professors over the age of 65 and take them off the state’s payroll.
In our World Blog, Mark A Ashwill and Eddie West suggest a model of commissions-based international student recruitment that is more ethical and transparent than current practices.
In our new series on Transformative Leadership, published in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, Carolyn Shields says transformative leadership means challenging how inequity impacts the most marginalised people, and for universities to change the status quo, they must first change themselves.
There is a special focus on Academic Freedom in this week’s edition, with Brendan O’Malley unpacking the latest report of the Scholars at Risk Academic Freedom Monitoring Project, which shows that attacks on scholars and students are continuing to occur with alarming frequency across the world. In addition, Shuriah Niazi reports on how widespread opposition to new rules imposed by the government of India that threatened to restrict academic freedom and the right to protest resulted in their reversal; Brendan O’Malley writes that Budapest’s Central European University has been forced to open a campus in Vienna, as it can no longer wait for the Hungarian government to sign a deal enabling it to operate with academic freedom; and Maina Waruru reports from a conference in Kenya on the challenge by South Africa’s Minister of Higher Education Naledi Pandor to African countries to take more deliberate steps in building adequate science capacity, including the guarantee of academic freedom.
Brendan O’Malley – Managing Editor
NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
The revelation that a former federal education minister interfered in a competitive research grants process and cancelled 11 humanities and social sciences projects, costed at more than AU$4 million (US$2.8 million), has generated outrage across Australia's higher education sector.
Chinese universities are tightening up on graduation requirements in a bid to improve standards, as a larger proportion of young people are in higher education than in the past and employers regularly complain that education standards among younger graduates appear to be dropping.
The United Kingdom’s biggest biomedical research lab has warned that a hard or ‘no deal’ Brexit could cripple UK science, as a survey of over 1,000 staff reveals that 97% of scientists believe a hard Brexit would be bad for UK science.
The Russian government has announced details of a reform of the national system of state control for the quality of higher education, following numerous complaints in recent years about the existing system. Special commissions will be created to verify the quality of university programmes.
María Elena Hurtado
The number of full-time academics in Chilean higher education institutions has fallen for the second consecutive year. In 2017 there were 537 less teachers than the previous year, and this year the number has dropped yet again by a further 800.
Kenya's Kenyatta University is reeling from the loss of its US$5.8 million investment in satellite campuses in Rwanda and Tanzania, after their respective governments shut the campuses down recently over claims that they had not complied with new regulations.
Ameen Amjad Khan
The academic community in Pakistan has expressed outrage over a humiliating incident involving the arrest and handcuffing of a renowned professor and former vice-chancellor of Lahore's Punjab University, Professor Mujahid Kamran, by police acting on corruption allegations.
One of China’s top institutions – Tsinghua University – has made an unusual public announcement that it revoked the PhD of one of its students, Ye Xiaoxin, over research misconduct in almost a dozen papers he authored. His thesis supervisor was also sanctioned for negligence.
Steven Johnson, The Chronicle of Higher Education
After Saudi officials issued yet another about-face on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in their embassy in Turkey, urgent questions surrounding the grisly death of the dissident are leading universities to reassess their connections with Saudi Arabia.
Jan Petter Myklebust
The Danish government sent questionnaires to 100,000 students to create a ‘Learning Barometer’ which will used from 2022 to determine part of the budget allocation that institutions will receive from the government, based on the quality of the teaching provided.
A project implemented by the Zimbabwe-United Kingdom Students Network will see over 30 university students and youth converge on Brighton in the United Kingdom in December for training aimed at addressing high levels of loneliness and social isolation facing minorities in Europe.
Despite their relative youth, Asian business schools are competing with and beating their Western counterparts on affordability and teaching a global approach – they recognise that understanding different mindsets is an important skill for contemporary businessmen operating globally.
Marguerite J Dennis
Artificial intelligence has the potential to increase personalisation of the recruitment and retention of university students in a cost efficient way, but algorithms could also be misused to skew against recruitment from certain groups. There will still be a place for humans.
Patrick Swanzy and Francis Ansah
In Ghana, attracting and retaining qualified and experienced academic staff in public universities are often difficult, which is why a recent decision to terminate the contracts of professors over the age of 65 and take them off the state’s payroll threatens to rob universities of intellectual capital vital for academic operations.
Mark A Ashwill and Eddie West
Concerns have been raised about the financial secrecy behind commissions-based international student recruitment and the potential for agents to skew the recruitment process away from best fit for the student. Is there a more ethical approach?
For Carolyn Shields, a leading thinker on leadership education, transformative leadership means challenging how inequity impacts the most marginalised, neglected or oppressed people, but if universities are going to encourage students to change the status quo, they first need to change themselves
Attacks on scholars, students, staff and their institutions are continuing to occur with alarming frequency around the world, killing and harming inpiduals and undermining higher education systems, according to the 2018 Scholars at Risk Academic Freedom Monitoring Project’s latest annual report.
Attempts by the government of India to impose new rules on centrally funded universities that would restrict academic freedoms and the right to protest or strike are being reversed due to widespread opposition. Academics saw the measures as a push by government to control universities.
Central European University (CEU) says it can wait no longer for the Orbán government to sign a deal enabling it to operate with academic freedom and has been forced to open a Vienna campus to cater for future students of its United States-accredited masters and doctoral programmes.
African countries were challenged to take more deliberate steps to build science and innovation capacity and were told that guaranteeing academic freedom is vital for fostering innovation, at the Sixth Africa Higher Education Week and Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture Biennial Conference last week.
The imprisonment of Matthew Hedges in the United Arab Emirates is part of a pattern of repression against visiting academics. It is also the result of the blurring of lines between different professions as academics seek greater impact and requires a wider defence of the role of critical enquiry.
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Liberia’s President George Weah has declared the University of Liberia and all public universities tuition-free for undergraduate students in the country. He made the announcement last week before hundreds of cheering students at the University of Liberia’s Capitol Hill Campus in Monrovia during a planned visit to the university, writes Ismail Akwei for Face2Face Africa.
Police officers and electoral officials have raided public universities in three states, as part of a clampdown on ‘political advertising’, which critics say amounts to prevention of political expression, reports Folha de SPaulo.
Women who applied unsuccessfully to Japan’s Tokyo Medical University intend to demand compensation from the institution for manipulating entrance exam results in favour of male applicants and hiding the discriminatory practice, their lawyers said last week, reports Kyodo.
The University of Southern California has agreed to pay US$215 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by hundreds of women who say that they were sexually abused by the former head gynaecologist at the student health centre and that university officials did not address their complaints, writes Jennifer Medina for The New York Times.
One of the world’s biggest funders of cancer research has launched an anti-bullying policy that could lead to the withdrawal of funding from scientists whose institutions uphold allegations made against them, writes Holly Else for Nature.
An internal investigation from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital found that there is falsified and-or fabricated data in 31 scientific publications from the laboratory of a prominent cardiac researcher, writes Claire Ochroch for The Daily Pennsylvanian.
Emeritus Professor Olugbemiro Jegede, the foundation vice-chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria, has called for the elimination of examinations in the educational system in Africa as he says they kill the creative power of students, encourage cheating and make all learning theoretical and geared towards passing them, reports Ghana News Agency.
Free speech is being threatened at British universities by a culture of offence among certain students, according to critics. A small number of incidents have been held up time and again and debated fiercely. But what evidence is there that challenges to free speech are widespread? ask Rachel Schraer and Ben Butcher for BBC News.
A Bosnian student who is studying for a psychology masters at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands was granted a visa by the Home Office in the United Kingdom within hours of a report by The Independent about its decision to block her from entering the UK for a conference, writes Peter Stubley for The Independent.
Professor Jeremiah Ojediran, the vice-chancellor of Bells University of Technology in Nigeria, has advised the country’s tertiary institutions to embrace quality assurance to fight incessant cases of sex for marks in the institutions, reports Vanguard.
As education across the world experiences massive revamping to keep up with technological changes, universities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are leading the Gulf in the field, writes Caline Malek for The Arab Weekly.
Minister of Higher Education and Training Naledi Pandor says the government cannot give institutions of higher learning more money for counselling services. She was addressing various vice-chancellors and student bodies in Boksburg on plans to address violence on campuses, writes Gaopalelwe Phalaetsile for Jacaranda FM.
A law university in Kolkata in India is offering a new course on Harry Potter that will encourage students to explore legal aspects of JK Rowling’s fictional world and its many real life lessons, reports Press Trust of India.
RIGHT OF REPLY
The narrative is familiar: Fragile racist ‘whites’, oblivious to their own purported privilege, creating a hostile environment for long-suffering oppressed ‘black’ students. But Olivia Goldhill’s version (University World News, 5 October) contained factual errors and spin, according to the University of Cape Town’s head of philosophy.