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IAU Lynx April 2021


April 2021

IAU Lynx offers a monthly overview of higher education developments around the world. It covers new policies, initiatives and projects on various higher education topics. The information is classified by international, regional, bilateral and national initiatives.



UNESCO/ Global Education Coalition (GEC)
The Global Education Coalition’s latest progress report has been released. Entitled Supporting learning recovery one year into COVID-19: the Global Education Coalition in Action, it covers activities carried out in the past year. It discusses the way the coalition operates, what have been its key results and achievements, lessons learnt from the first year of action and it also sets a roadmap to December 2021 with a specific focus on “Recovery”.

Nominations are open for the 2021 UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) that rewards exceptional projects in the field of Education for Sustainable Development. . Deadline for application: 30 April 2021.

The 2021 UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education is now accepting nominations.
The US $50,000 annual reward is conferred to two laureates (individuals, institutions and organizations) each year to honour outstanding and innovative contributions to advancing girls’ and women’s education. Deadline for submissions is 26 May 2021.

UNESCO International Centre for Higher Education Innovation (UNESCO-ICHEI)/ China-Africa Institute
UNESCO-ICHEI and the China-Africa Institute have signed a Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement that promotes the process of jointly building a future-oriented China-Africa comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. Cooperation areas include: networks and communication platforms, resources and contents sharing; seminars or forums organisation; capacity-building; cultural exchanges promotion; research; experts and scholars exchange.

UNESCO-ICHEI has signed a Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreements with the Collaborative Innovation Center for Arab Studies and the Wisdom Palace Group to increase its influence in the Arab region. Parties will collaborate on the development of the Arabic version of the International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) platform, translation and design of online course resources, teacher training in the Arab region, sharing of higher education partner network in the Middle East, joint research and knowledge production.

UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE)

UNESCO IITE is launching the project “Teacher Capacity Building with AI and Digital Technologies: E-library for Teachers” aimed to support the ongoing growth and capacity building of teachers in the era of smart learning using the potential of ICT and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The key outcome of the Project will be an E-Resource platform in 3 languages (English, Russian, Arabic) with digital resources and educational materials and capacity building activities for teachers.

UNESCO IITE and Moscow City University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in the field of digital didactics and online technologies in education and human development.

UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO)

The IIEP - Commonwealth Tertiary Education Facility (CTEF) report Flexible learning pathways in Malaysian higher education: Balancing human resource development and equity policies results from a pre-COVID study that investigated the effectiveness and benefits of Flexible Learning Pathways (FLPs) in Malaysia from 3 perspectives: access, progression and transferability, completion and transition to labour market or further studies.

UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO): (In French only)
IIPE’s report Cartographie des risques de corruption dans le secteur de l’éducation en Guinée: évaluation d’intégrité presents the main findings of a mapping of corruption risks in the Guinean education sector, commissioned by the country’s Agence nationale de lutte contre la corruption (ANLC). It presents a detailed analysis of corruption risks in five main areas - information, financing, personnel management, public procurement and exams - and provides a detailed list of recommendations to improve ethics, transparency and accountability for each of these areas.

UNESCO New Delhi

The recording of the webinar on the Impact of COVID-19 on International Higher Education on 11 March 2021 organised by UNESCO New Delhi, UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) and Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University is available online. The event aimed at identifying critical disruptions created by COVID-19 in enrolment, teaching and operations and strategies that need to be adopted by higher education organizations to overcome the challenges of the situation. Panelists discussed various initiatives being led by the Government, educators, and organizations, to recommit and protect education via its recovery process.

- Agence universitaire de la francophonie (AUF)

On March 18, 2021, a new network bringing together schools of public health was launched: the network of French-speaking public health institutions. This network was created at the initiative of the Rennes School of Public Health Studies (EHESP) with the support of the AUF. The goal of this network is to bring together institutions from 11 countries to assure the development of public health practices in the French-speaking world, recognized worldwide.

- Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

COL has released ““Online education: a catalyst for reforming higher education” the lecture delivered at the webinar organized by the School of Education, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar (India) on 6 March.

- Global University Network for Innovation (GUNI)

GUNI has released online:
- a report entitled The impact of COVID-19 on higher education: a review of emerging evidence. This report provides a synthesis of the emerging evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on three specific aspects of higher education in Europe: teaching and learning; the social dimension of higher education and student mobility.

- a “Special Issue” of the GUNi Higher Education in the World Report series: New Visions for Higher Education Institutions towards 2030. This report will be officially presented and launched at the UNESCO World Higher Education Conference 2021 (WHEC2021) in Barcelona.

- World Bank

The World Bank has approved the Moldova Higher Education Project and Mexico Higher Education Project. The first project aims to improve the quality, relevance and efficiency of the country’s higher education system so that Moldovans can gain the necessary skills and education to access greater opportunities and improve their lives. The latter aims to strengthen the institutional capacity for innovative teaching, collaborative applied research, and internal quality assurance across participating public higher education institutions.

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Africa - Americas - Asia & Pacific - Europe

- Africa

E-Learning African and the EdTech Hub have published a report on The effect of COVID 19 on education in Africa and its implications on the use of technology. The report is also available in French "Impact de la pandémie de COVID-19 sur l’éducation en Afrique et incidence sur le recours aux technologies".

DAAD - German Academic Exchange Service
Two new DAAD Centres of Excellence in Africa have been created. Both are supported by German universities and will receive €4.5 million of the DAAD funding from the Federal Foreign Office (AA) up until 2025. Focusing in logistics and agricultural science – the new centres are Promoting Academic Capacities for Sustainable Agricultural Resources Use in West Africa (Pro-RUWA), led by the University of Kassel together with partners from Burkina Faso, Benin and Niger. The second is the Sustainable Operations for Resource Management and Food Supply (SCO) led by Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg.

The UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa is rolling out training of over 1500 teachers through its Rapid Teacher Training Programme on Open, Distance and Online Learning. The objective of the programme is to equip Zimbabwean teachers with skills and resources to deliver different forms of remote learning.

The International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (UNESCO-ICHEI)/ Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI)
In March, UNESCO-ICHEI and the Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI) signed a cooperation framework agreement on the International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) to promote digital transformation of higher education in Côte d’Ivoire and contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4. Areas covered include: Online training programmes for teacher ICT and online and blended teaching capacity-building; Co-construction and sharing of online education resources; Quality assurance for online and blended teaching.

- Americas

Union of Universities of Latin America and the Caribbean (UDUAL)
The new issue of the quarterly publication Universidades, edited by the Union of Latin American and Caribbean Universities, is now available. This issue is dedicated to Racism and higher education in Latin America.

Inter-University Development Centre (CINDA)
The 2021 call for the Transformative Internationalisation Project, in development since 2019 with the participation of 16 universities of the network, seeks to add new institutions to its work of exchange of good practices, collaboration and innovation.

Organisation of Ibero-American States (OEI)
The call for the IV Ibero-American Prize for Human Rights Education Óscar Arnulfo Romero is open. The Óscar Arnulfo Romero Human Rights Prize recognises the outstanding work of educational institutions and civil society in Ibero-America in the defence and promotion of human rights through education. Nominations can be submitted until 31 July to compete for awards in two categories: the first for schools (formal education), and the second for civil society organisations (NGOs) and non-formal education.

The OEI has released its "Ibero-American Manual of Good Practices in Internationalisation", an interactive guide that compiles the best internationalisation practices of the winning universities in a call for proposals launched last year, together with Unesco and five other institutions in the region.

Ibero-American Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (RIACES)
RIACES held its XVII Seminar on Quality in Distance Higher Education on 3 March with the aim of identifying and sharing from the perspectives of each of the quality agencies, the different modalities of evaluation and accreditation of institutions and programmes, the legal framework and the academic practices developed by each of them in times of isolation.

- Asia & Pacific

ASEAN University Network (AUN)
AUN has posted a video recording of the webinar “Responses from Higher Education to Global Pandemic” jointly held with Korean Council for University Education (KCUE) on 17 February. It brought together academics and students to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education in terms of institutional responses to curb the negative impact of the pandemic, students experience on distance learning and educational challenges raised, and post-pandemic strategies.

Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)
ASEF has posted summaries from the four Expert Groups of the 8th ASEF Regional Conference on Higher Education (ARC8) entitled “Outlook 2030: Inclusive and Diverse Higher Education in Asia and Europe”held between October 2020 and December 2021to explore how universities and students can foster inclusion and diversity in the final decade for the Agenda2030, and raise awareness on potential risks and opportunities in a post-COVID world. The themes of ARC8 are: Inclusive Learning and Teaching in a Digital World; Inclusive and Flexible Lifelong Learning Pathways; Inclusive International Mobility of People and Knowledge; Equitable Access and Success in Higher Education.

- Europe

European Commission
The European Commission has published a new report on the use of micro-credentials in higher education.

Council of Europe
The Council of Europe launched a book ‘Higher education’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic - Building a more sustainable and democratic future’. The book, which is Volume 25 in the Council of Europe Higher Education Series, was launched at a webinar organised by the International Association of Universities.

European University Association
TheEuropean University Association and partners have responded to data repository selection criteria laid out by publishers, calling for a response from them. Concerns address the over restrictive nature of the proposed set of criteria and the lack of transparency in the process through which the criteria were developed

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Australia Canada Chile Ecuador
France Germany Hungary India
Ireland Korea Mexico Netherlands
Pakistan Papua New Guinea Ukraine United Kingdom
United States Zambia

-  Australia

International Education strategy - consultation
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) has launched a consultation on the new “Australian Strategy for International Education 2021-2030” being developed.
Students, educators and industry representatives are invited to share their expertise and ideas to help shape Australia’s long-term international education strategy, which is expected to: respond to the changing environment; guide the recovery of the sector; outline goals and approach to international education over the next 10 years; equip the sector’s innovation and responsiveness; respond to emerging opportunities, including changes in student demands; maintain Australia’s position as an effective and trusted partner in international education. Deadline for submissions: 12 May 2021.

Universities Australia, in partnership with the Victorian Government and Our Watch, have launched ’Educating for Equality’, a whole-of-university approach to prevent gender-based violence in – and through – universities. It comprises a comprehensive set of free, evidence-based tools and resources to guide universities’ progress towards gender equality.

-  Canada

Anti-racism national charter
Canadian universities and colleges are moving closer to creating a national charter aimed at dismantling anti-Black racism and fostering Black inclusion in the higher education institutions. The charter is an outcome of the first National Dialogues and Action for Inclusive Higher Education and Communities held in October 2020 with participants from more than 3,000 members of the higher education community – and more than 60 partner institutions across Canada. The charter document, called the Scarborough National Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education: Principles, Actions and Accountabilities, will be a national plan of action that participants agreed was an important step to fight structural racism.

PhD employment
A new report by the Council of Canadian Academies ’Degrees of Success’ examines the labour market transition of PhD graduates. It shows that the combination of increased PhD holders and a declining number of new tenure-track positions has led to greater competition for fewer jobs. According to the report, about 19 percent of PhD holders working in Canada hold tenured or tenure-track faculty jobs. The rest end up in a range of positions.

-  Chile

The National Education Council and the Inter-University Development Centre held a discussion on "Flexible Pathways in Chilean Higher Education: Different Experiences Facing a Common Challenge", an opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss the main results for Chile of the international study Flexible Learning Pathways in Higher Education (FLP), carried out in the context of a global initiative of the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO).

-  Ecuador

The government has announced that in 2021-2022, 94,349 places will be available in 218 higher education institutions. Of the total number of places offered, 91% are in public higher education institutions, while 9% are in private higher education institutions. Considering that nowadays, virtual education has gained ground worldwide due to technological development, in the first regular academic period 2021, online programmes will account for 12% of the total academic offer.

-  France

On 7 April, France’s Senate approved the addition of a ban on religious practices in university corridors to a controversial bill to fight ‘Islamist separatism’.

French President Emmanuel Macron has officially announced the closure of the École Nationale d’Administration, or ENA, the elite grande école that has trained France’s high-ranking civil servants and many of its political and business leaders for nearly three-quarters of a century. It will be replaced by a more socially diverse institution.

-  Germany

Germany’s federal government has confirmed that the coronavirus crisis has had a considerable impact on academic mobility. The government revealed in March that there had been a sharp fall in the number of visa applications submitted by international students and researchers.

-  Hungary

The government has recently tabled the drafts about the transformation of several more universities. The reform involves huge changes, as the state withdraws from the direct supervision of higher educational institutes and appoints foundations instead, meanwhile still providing the funds from the central budget.

-  India

In order to increase the number of international students coming to India for higher studies, the Ministry of Education intends to expand the Study in India Programme to allow more institutions – both public and private - to join. Enhanced academic collaborations between Indian and international institutions will be sought under Twinning, Joint and Dual degrees with credit transfer mechanism.

-  Ireland

Technological universities funding
The Government is investing €9 million to boost the research capacity of technological universities and institutes of technology in the area of science and technology.
The move will include the funding of replacement lecturers for academics involved in successful research applications, as well as between 20 and 40 PhD students overall.
Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris announced details of the €9 million Science Foundation Ireland Frontiers for Partnership Awards research programme

Sexual violence survey launched
A survey into staff and student experiences of sexual violence and sexual harassment in Irish Higher Education Institutions was launched in April by Simon Harris TD, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. The survey, will be conducted by the Higher Education Authority, will be sent to every student and staff member by their Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)

-  Korea

The Ministry of Education’s report Education in Korea (2020), provides an overview of Korean Education, discusses COVID-19-related issues faced in 2020 and indicates orientations and measures to be taken across the sector, including: reducing the financial burden of higher education; cultivating future talent through autonomy and innovation in higher education; enhancing educational mobility.

-  Mexico

The Federation of Mexican Private Higher Education Institutions (FIMPES) convenes the 2nd Congress of the Internationalisation Commission (Mexico City), under the title "Strategies to train global citizens in the new international context". The Congress will take place from 21 to 23 April 2021.

-  Netherlands

The government announced that students in the Netherlands will be able to physically attend classes at universities on a limited basis from April 26. All students attending lessons will need to present a negative Covid-19 test.

-  Pakistan

TheHigher Education Commission (HEC) has launched a call for proposals for its National Research Programme for Universities (2021-2022). Faculty members of public and private sector universities/degree awarding institutions are invited to submit proposals in basic and applied research projects that demonstrate strategic relevance and impact to local industry and society. The amount of funding will range up to PKR 20 million with a maximum project duration of three years. Deadline: 30 April 2021.

-  Papua New Guinea

The Department of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (DHERST) has notified all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that learning and teaching academic activities must continue as per their respective academic calendars - contrarily to primary and secondary schools that will have to reschedule learning and teaching activities for this academic year. Health and safety measures to be observed include: physical distancing and online studying as a rule, the use of testing, quarantine and the control and monitoring of access to campuses.

-  Ukraine

Foreign higher educational facilities are now allowed to open branches in Ukraine according to a statement posted on the website of the Ministry of Education and Science with reference to Cabinet Resolution No. 304 on March 24.

-  United Kingdom

Distance learning continues to May
The government has announced that a full return to face-to face teaching for students in England has been ruled out before 17 May at the earliest.

International students
Applications from countries in the European Union have dropped by 40% for undergraduate courses starting in 2021-22, according to the International Higher Education Forum which took place in April.

-  United States

An increasing number of higher education insitutions in the United States now require COVID-19 vaccination before returning to university in the autumn.

-  Zambia

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officially announced its Transforming Teacher Education project. The Learning Systems Institute (LSI) at Florida State University (FSU) will implement the five-year, $15 million project (K300 million), in partnership with School-to-School International and the University of Zambia School of Education. The project will include 12 Zambian universities and colleges of education around the country to improve the training of primary grade teachers in early grade literacy.

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IAU Lynx March Edition
IAU Lynx November Edition
IAU Lynx October Edition
IAU Lynx September Edition

IAU Lynx coordinator: Amanda Sudic
Collaborating team: Nicholas Poulton, Samuel Pousson, Carine Sebast and Lianne Guerra
Contact: [email protected]
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