World Blog
Support staff are taking on huge amounts of work during the six weeks – so far – of shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, so that faculty can focus on teaching and research. Their role should be remembered when it comes to future budgetary cuts.
Higher education is not about preparing students for the world of work today. It needs to be flexible enough to equip students with the professional attributes and learning tools that will set them up for life, to be creative, adaptable contributors to society.
After the coronavirus pandemic is over, higher education teachers should resort to hybrid teaching – combining online and offline or traditional in-class teaching – so that they and their students will become more familiar with online teaching and be better prepared for future emergencies.
International higher education is at a crossroads. As currently provided across the world, it can only increase its impact to a limited extent. It needs to focus more on what it can do to further social and societal excellence through ‘internationalisation at home’.
Universities should take into account the current economic situation Lebanese students are facing and the capital controls imposed by the Central Bank of Lebanon and try to help them by providing generous financial aid programmes, increasing work-study opportunities and offering interest-free education loans.
The hospitality and tourism workforce is on the frontline of mitigating and responding to global health crises and there is an urgent need for hospitality and tourism schools to integrate global health training into their curricula, including emergency communication training, from the start of training.
Professors are taking double, even triple workloads to try to adapt to online teaching as a result of the novel coronavirus. But what are the major challenges they face in switching to online teaching and how can they be effectively addressed? Here are some solutions.
For any education system to be successful, there must be good teachers and to have good teachers requires the political will to invest in effective teacher training. This is where change starts and the potential impact on sustainable development and social well-being is huge.
Higher education is at a turning point and needs to re-examine its position in society as a knowledge producer and re-imagine its role on the planet as a contributor to the common good, addressing the contemporary needs, concerns and problems of humanity.
A social media post by a chair of department at one of Ukraine’s state universities shows that anti-Semitic sentiment and anti-Jewish conspiracy theories are present in the country’s higher education system. What is most shocking, however, is how the government has failed to respond.
United Kingdom universities need to take action now to fight for a protected space for higher education and research negotiations in the European Union-UK talks on the future relationship and lobby and prepare for ongoing post-Brexit associations between them and continental universities.
Debts accrued as a result of student loans and difficulties finding graduate-level jobs in Ghana create a disincentive to go to university, especially for students who genuinely need loans. The system needs reforming so that loans encourage students into programmes which lead to graduate-level jobs.
In a world of disruption and unpredictability, and given the United States’ falling market share of international students amid continually rising competition from other destination countries, international deans and recruiters at American universities should be open to new ways of doing things.
The needs of contemporary society are changing and so must higher education. It must adapt to the bio-tech revolution, for instance, and find ways to make innovation work for all people, as well as teaching creative thinking, which now is as important as knowledge acquisition.
Highlighting genuine concerns of students and parents about study in the United States is not anti-American. Pretending that gun violence, the broken visa system or the widespread feeling that the US is not open and welcoming don’t exist or trivialising them will not make them go away.
We are stuck between two approaches to the effectiveness of internationalisation of higher education – rankings and opposition to all forms of measurement. But what if, by using a mathematical theory, we could understand better what form of internationalisation works best?
Access to education is a fundamental right that must be achieved by all refugees and displaced people. Therefore, planners, whether at a state or institutional level, should adopt a sensitive approach and promote an environment that eases access, provides guidance and fosters lifelong learning.
More higher education institutions are taking up the challenge to reinvent their entire mission, vision and values to bring them in line with social responsibility and sustainable development. There is no future for universities if they do not.
The growth of alternatives to face-to-face higher education and rising appetite for digitally delivered higher education have resulted in an increasing demand for online programme managers. Some universities are now developing in-house expertise in online learning, opening up new opportunities for higher education institutions willing to chase them.
Establishing ways to improve college admission mechanisms requires an examination of the whole college admissions process, including the time taken to prepare for exams and ways to address minor performance issues that stop students winning places at the institution of their choice.
There has been little focus on either internationalisation of higher education in the Caribbean or on the internationalisation of technical and technological institutions of higher education (TTIs). A new report highlights challenges – including lack of funds, facilities or strategies – and opportunities in both areas.
Putting students into groups to complete an assessment doesn’t necessarily result in collaborative teamwork and productive learning and students often hate it, but might it be the best preparation for the world of work? Academic policy-makers and employers certainly think so.
Limiting the reliance on examinations for assessing students and moving towards more continuous assessment would help develop students’ employability skills and enable the creation of courses that respond better to the needs and issues in African society.
This year is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi and the perfect opportunity to reflect on how his philosophy can feed into contemporary concerns with community-university engagement and the social responsibility of education for the common good.
Existing knowledge and skills have very limited value unless they can be applied in novel ways to produce new knowledge that solves today’s complex and large-scale problems to improve the quality of life for all people. We need a rights-based educational model.
A new report by a non-partisan taskforce outlines how politics is increasingly influencing government science in the United States, leading to a long list of government actions undermining legitimate science, including lies, corruption and an increase in unqualified appointees on scientific bodies.
The 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China is an opportunity to look at the evolution of the current higher education system, including continuing attempts to mix parts of the Western system with Chinese culture and values and national ideology.
Figures show falling demand from international students for distance learning, particularly in United Kingdom and Australian degree enrolment. Is this a short-term blip and how have some institutions managed to buck the trend and increase their student numbers using different and focused approaches?
For online education to be successful there has to be commitment and support by governments, institutions, academics and learners. An absolute necessity is providing quality education. That means having good staff and resources, supportive leadership and providing continuous quality assurance.
Sexual harassment on campus is being increasingly reported across the world, but in countries where corruption is common it can be hushed up or reach outrageous proportions. Abuse of power is common and sexual predators are able to prey on those over whom they have authority.
There is no one model that fits all for higher education internationalisation. Local values, needs and priorities should direct the why, what and how of internationalisation, enabling African higher education institutions to break away from the feeling they are being coerced into copying a Western paradigm.
We need to rethink internationalisation of higher education to make it more equitable, inclusive and sustainable – and improve how we share the benefits of internationalisation experiences. The focus needs to be on caring about individuals, human values and society rather than the quantitative results of internationalisation.
External funding threatens the future of European universities, in particular their ability to remain comprehensive and to maintain a balance between arts, humanities, social sciences and sciences. Great knowledge may be left uncovered as a result of subtle shifts in the flow of university resources, and the consequences for society may be serious.
In this time of increasing polarisation and nationalism, universities need to embrace new ways of ‘being’ international, that put human values and the global common good at the heart of internationalisation, and focus on supporting all students to connect to the world in complicated, rich and subtle ways.
The climate crisis facing the planet requires the kind of creative and interdisciplinary approaches which higher education can lead.
A comparison between a university for indigenous students in Mexico and a university in India that is focused on social transformation provides food for thought about how universities can connect with grassroots issues that affect development of the poorest communities.
Negotiating a university restructure demands strong leadership, good communication and an ability to build trust and respectful relationships. It is not a quick or easy process.
The emergence of a second wave of private universities in the Middle East is a response to a variety of factors, including poor performances in international rankings. Despite challenges with regard to quality and fees, could they promote greater innovation in higher education?
United Kingdom legislation brought in by Theresa May penalises international students who want to do more than one degree and dissuades them from starting up businesses, to the detriment of domestic students and the British economy. With May’s departure, the restrictions should be lifted.
Academics, politicians and others seem reluctant to support the free tuition policy, with part of the problem being lack of clarity, lack of money, subsequent compromises, bad design and unforeseen side effects. Will the tweaks to address some of these points make a difference?
Case studies are widely used in graduate business education, but they ignore differing contexts and the need to have an understanding of multiple and changing perspectives in a globalised world, and there is no opportunity to learn by implementing solutions and seeing how they work.
Service-learning is an experiential learning activity based on a community service educational model, mixing theory and practice in the real world. The aim is to create a more meaningful learning experience for students and to improve community engagement.
Libraries were often seen as being at the heart of universities. In the digital age their role has transformed, from passive providers of information to proactive partners in teaching and learning, assisting students and faculty in the design, execution, assessment and modification of their queries.
Times Higher Education’s new University Impact Rankings, based on 11 of the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, include a broader range of institutions from India and show how community-based criteria could shake up the global rankings system and raise questions about the role of universities.
Internationalisation of higher education has come in for strong critique since the rise of nationalism. While it does need a new model based on collaboration and values, it is far from being finished: A new great age of internationalisation is just beginning to dawn.
Universities seem driven by what is easiest to administer rather than the learning needs of students. But students deserve to be challenged and extended in their intellectual development and that means putting in place practices that cater better for those who are more able.
Platitudes and slogans about inclusion in higher education are not enough. Inclusion needs to be operationalised to be successful, which may require a total review and evaluation of the current state of the institution to better understand what changes are needed.
Global developments suggest that the time for internationalisation as an ‘in-house’ issue is over. Universities have to take their responsibility to society more seriously and put social engagement at the heart of internationalisation.
Labour markets tend to favour locals as the preponderance of highly educated taxi drivers shows. Despite internationalisation and the need to prepare students for a transnational world, individuals tend to be embedded in their local environments and university leaders should reflect on this.
There is a growing trend for universities to talk about educating students for global citizenship and about being global institutions. This claim is worth investigating. But how do we judge if a university really is global and not just international?
International higher education has developed in ways that support both neoliberalism and liberalism. It needs to find a balance between those different ways of thinking about higher education and between ideas of mobility and stay-at-home internationalisation.
Canada is no longer a second-choice destination chosen by those who were unable to obtain a United States student visa, as recent rises in Vietnamese students attests. Buoyed by its immigration policy, it is becoming an increasingly popular destination for international students.
African universities can play a central role in development if they promote a scientific culture based on evidence-gathering from hard data. It entails doing research and scholarly analysis on national issues and communicating the findings to communities and societal leaders for policy-making or guidance.
The demand to keep upskilling in line with the fast pace of change in today’s workplace as well as the need for graduates with a range of skills mean universities need to think more creatively about supplementing academic degrees with practical qualifications.
Academic capitalism is failing to deliver, but its proponents always find another excuse for why and demand more. This approach does nothing to fix the roots of the systemic and structural problems in higher education that it purports to address.
Developing inclusive leadership skills as well as an ethical and humane mindset is just as important as developing teaching, research and managerial skills because, ultimately, education is about developing the human potential of students regardless of what they study or what profession they enter.
Responding to popular pressure, the Ontario government has cut tuition fees. But it has not made up the shortfall in university funding, making cuts to student services plus a reduced quality of education more likely. It could also mean tuition fee increases for international students.
The rise of nationalism and the increasing cost of tuition present a threat to the aspirations of internationalisation of higher education. The realisation of these aspirations requires reinvesting fees into the student experience and access as well as immigration policies that provide pathways for international students.
Higher education in Vietnam is facing significant reforms, including changing from a textbook- and exam-centric model to a more creative approach, with real changes in the methods of teaching and learning. Vietnamese academics who have studied abroad can help to introduce alternative approaches.
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.
Hopes for internationalisation of higher education to be about collaboration and exchange have been affected by recent political shifts. Against this background, universities should seek to redouble their efforts to promote the original values of internationalisation.
Internationalisation of higher education aims to raise the quality of higher education for all, but first results from the 5th Global Survey of the International Association of Universities suggest a worrying gap emerging between those higher education institutions that are increasing internationalisation and those that are not.
Since coming to power in Ontario, Doug Ford has cancelled funding for four new campuses, including a new university that will provide French-language degrees on global issues. Buoyed by a public outcry, the latter’s advocates are pushing for federal funding to save the initiative.
Internationalisation of higher education can only make a meaningful and lasting contribution to the world if it promotes inclusive intercultural learning for all and is respectful of diverse contexts, agendas and perspectives on a global scale.
For a sustainable future we need to promote renewable resources. The one type of renewable resource that is also needed for continued human progress is the resource of lifelong learning. It is vital to our continuing ability to harvest human intelligence, creativity and ingenuity.
Internationalisation of the curriculum is not just about getting graduates good jobs. Its ultimate goal is to create global citizens who promote the welfare of the future world and are prepared to tackle its most serious problems.
The latest Open Doors report shows significant falls in international student mobility to the United States. Institutions need to mitigate further declines in new enrolment – which are most notable from long-time top source countries – and prepare for their potential impact.
Saudi students in Canada are still scrambling to find an alternative destination country after the Saudi government told all students to leave the country over a tweet about women’s rights activists. The situation shows how vulnerable international mobility now is to changing politics.
Academics and administrators are often sidelined in the internationalisation process, as core functions are dealt with by leadership and international officers, but when they are included and given the skills they need, the result is less resistance and a more active contribution.
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?
Some traditional universities have become too big and bureaucratic and appear to have lost sight of their main functions. Smaller institutions have smaller classes, offer more contemporary content, better industry links and are more nimble and responsive to society.
Has international higher education lived up to our expectations and its potential and will we look back 10 or 20 years from now and be proud of the track record and contribution that international higher education has made? Where do we go from here?
A growing chorus of people now see affordable lifelong education as a moral imperative and more universities are seeking ways to make university more affordable for more of their students – in some cases, or even in some states, making it tuition-fee free.
Attempting to solve the academic publishing crisis by reducing the number of articles published by academics is not about concentrating knowledge production in rich countries but boosting the role of teaching. Diversity of knowledge production from research universities in all countries is vital.
Universities in developing countries should not overlook the expertise within their own institution – which often includes many with overseas experience, who can support the development of a good-quality curriculum that drives external programme accreditation and share good practice with all relevant stakeholders.
Higher education institutions have a critical role to play in driving sustainable development forward. But creating a sustainable future is much more than just creating green campuses or implementing recycling efforts or global citizenship initiatives. It also means inclusive education and lifelong learning.
With growing interest in and critical views of internationalisation of higher education and amid rising nationalism, the time is ripe for academics to consider what has gone well and what has gone wrong over the past 25 years.
Too many colleges in the United States are tuition-fee dependent and admit students who are not ready for higher education, many of whom require remedial support and drop out after their first year. The solution is counter intuitive: they need to reduce their enrolment to achieve sustainability.
Universities should plan for a future of global collaboration based on a critical analysis of a range of facts rather than perceived ideas and one-dimensional statistics. The long view means planning beyond next year’s incoming class of international students.
Saudi universities are being called on to engage with business more and find practical applications for their research and help the country move towards being a knowledge-based economy. They could draw on examples from other countries to measure their success.
In a world that is rapidly changing, higher education must engage in a continual renewal of itself. Based on core principles of rights, learning and democracy, we need to embrace a bold vision of higher education in the service of humanity and for the common good.
The main push and pull factors for international student mobility have not changed in the past decade, but global contexts have, resulting in growing global competition for international students and increasing South-South student flows. But quality concerns and language issues remain barriers to further growth.
Diversity, creativity and innovation are critical to any society’s future. Education should not be about constraining creative potential, but encouraging young people to follow their imagination, respond creatively to problems and develop their innovative and adaptive ability.
Challenges in providing quality ‘public’ higher education should not be a reason for national governments to shirk their responsibility to deliver a public service that includes delivery of quality ‘public’ higher education with long-term benefits not only for students but for society in general.
Doug Ford’s victory in Ontario’s elections could spell funding cuts for higher education or steep rises in the cost of tuition, or both, if he follows in the footsteps of the last Progressive Conservatives to hold a majority, back in the 1990s.
It is no longer possible to create international strategic plans and recruit future international students without taking into consideration the political, economic, technological and societal changes taking place. Universities need to be more innovative in every area of international recruitment.
Internationalisation of higher education has moved from the margins to the centre over recent decades and those driving it include specialists and higher education leaders. The latter require more training to be able to drive internationalisation’s continuing expansion.
Universities in Asia continue to place too much emphasis on theoretical knowledge and their students miss out on the kind of practical hands-on experience that could increase their employability. However, there are some signs that attitudes are changing.
There are many different types of assessment methods, each appropriate for assessing different types of learning outcomes. They should all provide students with constructive feedback about their progress and help them improve. There is little evidence that high-stakes exams fulfil such a role.
A recent workshop in Nigeria brought universities together to discuss how blended learning – combining distance and face-to-face learning – can boost access to higher education by shifting some learning away from the campus and onto the computer.
A debate is under way in Canada about the power of research ethics boards, whether their role as gatekeepers needs some limits and, in the context of a large decentralised country, whether there is a need to harmonise ethics reviews across the country.
Optimism about internationalisation of higher education is justified and there are some fantastic examples of internationalisation at home being pioneered in developing and emerging countries in particular. However, ignoring the dark clouds hovering above it is na"ive and dangerous.
It is important that universities recognise that migrant academics come from different teaching contexts and have a range of different teaching training needs. This will ensure that they are appropriately supported to enable them to contribute effectively in their new teaching contexts.
Exercises that bring students, staff, community groups, industry, government and others together can be useful for moving universities forward and showing how central they are in societies.
Could concerns about the quality of higher education in the Middle East region be in part addressed by not just modelling universities on Western institutions and adopting global best practice, but also drawing on local traditions and creating systems that are more locally engaged?
There has been much gloom of late about the future of internationalisation of higher education, but on the balance of probabilities, barring China suddenly slamming its breaks on its students going abroad, the likeliest future is still one in which student mobility grows.
The idea that recent political changes are likely to have a significant impact on higher education internationalisation has been criticised by those who think normal service will continue. But the signs are already emerging and universities would do well to heed them.
Canada is still simmering with heated debates about free speech on campus and representation of diverse views. They raise questions about who should have a voice, who should be protected and what values need to be upheld to ensure the university fulfils its purpose.
Achieving equity and inclusion in education requires a change in mindset and practices that aims to foster inclusion, respect differences and value the contributions of all. Institutions must seek to achieve inclusive excellence – whereby inclusion and excellence are approached as interdependent.