27 January 2019 Issue No: 235
A workshop in Cape Town, a conference in Stellenbosch, and a recently published volume on the contribution of universities to place-based development form the basis for this edition’s special report examining the opportunities for South African universities – like their counterparts around the world – to embrace the roles of place-makers, engines of innovation and economic development, and centres of knowledge-production which seek to inform local decision- and policy-making.
Ethiopia has brought in a new directive that aims to address the politicisation of the selection process for university leaders by giving academics a greater role, but its focus on ‘merit’ has disadvantaged women who have greater caring responsibilities.
Tunisia continues to witness incidents of criminally or racially motivated violent attacks on Sub-Saharan African students, which threaten the safety of the foreign academic community and undermine Tunisia’s plan for becoming an attractive African hub for education and training.
Many students in Zimbabwe are facing the prospect of having to forgo their university studies in favour of their siblings’ education as the country’s economic meltdown continues to bite.
United States higher education is facing a funding crisis. Relying on international students to cover ever-decreasing government funding for higher education is not a long-term strategy and will reach a point of diminishing returns. Honesty is needed in the debate over ever-rising tuition fees.
Is Chinese telecoms giant Huawei’s massive investment in research collaborations with top universities globally under threat, following the United States’ advice to its intelligence partners – the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – to scrutinise research ties with China, especially Huawei, over intellectual property theft and competition fears?
A recent investigation of the Dutch Inspectorate of Education suggests large-scale use of English as a language of teaching in Dutch higher education is illegal. Not only that, but it is weakening the Dutch language and the quality of Dutch education.
A multicultural study in the Pacific Rim region has shown that there is a serious pide between technology – especially artificial intelligence – and society, and we desperately need universities to develop talent that can design technological and social systems simultaneously, moving towards a concurrent design of technosocial systems.