27 January 2019 Issue No: 536
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.
The Chinese scientist behind the gene-edited babies scandal that caused a storm of condemnation from around the world on ethical grounds has been expelled from his university as the results of a preliminary official investigation into the case were made public this week.
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.
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.
Growth in participation in massive open online courses or MOOCs has been concentrated almost entirely in the world’s most affluent countries, but most learners never return after their first year and low completion rates have not improved in more than six years.
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.