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IAU Lynx December 2018


December 2018

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.



2019 Global Educational Monitoring Report
UNESCO has released the 2019 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report assessing progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) on education and its ten targets. Themed Migration, Displacement & Education: Building Bridges, not Walls, it analyses implications of migration and displacement for education systems, measures for better integrating migrants into education systems, and the impact of education on addressing the challenges and opportunities posed.
Background papers that informed the 2019 GEM Report are also available.

Gender and STEM
UNESCO has published the STEM and Gender Advancement (SAGA) Improving Measurement and Policies for Gender Equality in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) report. It investigates the current situation of women in science globally, benefits of including gender equality in STI, and the improvement of STI policies and measurement in science to bridge the gender gap.

Digital accreditation
The Education Sector of UNESCO has recently released the report entitled Digital Credentialing - Implications for the Recognition of Learning Across Borders, analysing the impact and opportunities of digital technologies on the recognition of skills and learning. Chapters deal with new and emerging trends in digitalisation of credentials, digital credentials eco-systems.

UNESCO Bangkok
The 1st Session of the Committee of the Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education (Tokyo Convention Committee) was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on 18 - 19 October 2018. One outcome is the Seoul Statement that promotes greater mobility of students through quality assurance-supported and learning outcome-based recognition of qualifications in Asia-Pacific.

- Agence universitaire de la francophonie - G3 Quality Colloquium
The 2018 edition of the G3 Quality Colloquium was held in Montreal on 24 - 28 October on the theme ‘Quality approaches in higher education: what are the effects?’ The G3 is a group of French-speaking universities that aims to facilitate the sharing of expertise and innovative practices in the fields of training, teaching and research. It brings together the University of Montreal, the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the University of Geneva, all of whom are IAU Members. Presentations are available on line.

- Association of Commonwealth Universities<-]Association of Commonwealth Universities
The 8th biennial ACU Human Resources in Higher Education Community Conference took place at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada from from 23- 26 September 2018. This conference brought together delegates from 20 countries to discuss how human resources can help universities meet the challenges of the future. Presentations are available on line.

- World Bank
The flagship report on the status of education in the MENA region has been released by the World Bank. Expectations and Aspirations: A New Framework for Education in the Middle East and North Africa examines reasons why the region has not fully reaped the personal, social and economic benefits of education. It looks at credentials and skills; discipline and enquiry; institutional autonomy; tradition and modernity, and offers recommendations.

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Africa - Americas - Asia & Pacific - Europe

- Africa

African Center of Excellence in Energy for Sustainable Development (ACE-ESD)
Call for PhD students
The ACE-ESD based at the University of Rwanda is seeking to recruit a number of doctoral students, from Rwanda as well as candidates from the Eastern and Southern Africa Region in the field of energy with a focus on renewable energy, electrical power systems and energy economics.
Closing date for applications: 10 December 2018.

African Minds - New Book Published
The Next Generation of Scientists in Africa has just been released. Based on a four-year study of young scientists, the book looks at the current state of science in Africa, including funding, research output and mobility.

Lilongwe Declaration on Education, Science and Technology
The Lilongwe Declaration was recently adopted by the African Union Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government (AU-C10) Championing Education, Science and Technology in Africa which took place in November in Lilongwe, Malawi. In the Declaration, the Committee urges member states to invest 1% of GDP in R&D and 4-6% in education, to commit to enhancing infrastructure and development in African universities. The Declaration is set to be signed at the AU summit in Addis Ababa in January 2019.

Pre-selection of 44 African Centres of Excellence (ACE) in West and Central Africa
The current ACE Impact Project focuses on scaling up postgraduate education and applied research that are fundamental to economic growth in the region, and funding up to 300 million USD is expected from the World Bank and Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD). The final selection is subject to certain conditions and funding is expected to be finally approved in April 2019

Global University Network for Innovation / Association of African Universities (AAU) / African Quality Assurance Network (AfriQAN) / Conseil Africain et Malgache pour l’enseignement Supérieur (CAMES)
The report and Declaration from the 10th International Conference on Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Africa (ICQAHEA) held in Yaoundé, Cameroon in September, 2018 have just been released. The theme of the conference was Higher education quality assurance and the promotion of synergies among science, technology and humanities: towards the attainment of the SDGs in Africa.

- Americas

UDUAL - Union de Universidades de América Latina (UDUAL)
The Brazil-Southern Cone Meeting of UDUAL, which took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 5 and 6 November, gathered together rectors, university associations and other higher education leaders in the region. A Declaration issued at the conference draws attention to the difficulties public higher education institutions in the region are facing due to political pressures and financial cuts. It calls for reinforcing cooperation in mobility, recognition of studies, joint research and strategies to increase online learning; and strengthening evaluation to improve the quality of education.

Asociación de Universidades Grupo Montevideo (AUGM)
‘Approaches on Gender in Universities’ (Los enfoques de género en las universidades) has been released by the Gender and Universities Programme of Montevideo Group of Universities, a network of universities in Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. The online book brings together 11 articles which address incorporating gender equality in university policies and, reflects on actions universities can take against gender violence.

- Asia & Pacific

Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization - Regional Centre for Higher Education and Development (SEAMEO RIHED)
Country reports and presentations are available from the ASEAN International Mobility for Students (AIMS) Annual Review Meeting which took place in Hanoi, Vietnam in November. To reflect the expansion of cross-border collaboration regionally and beyond, it was announced that the programme’s name would be changed to ‘Asian International Mobility for Students’.

Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA)
SEAMEO SPAFA is conducting a region-wide survey about archaeology education in Southeast Asia by mapping institutions teaching archaeology, and identifying future needs. The survey, open to all, exists in English, Thai, Khmer, Myanmar, Vietnamese, Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia.

European Union Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN Region (SHARE EU ASEAN)
The conference ‘Preparing for the Future: The Role of ASEAN (Higher) Education Frameworks in a Disruptive World’ in Bangkok, Thailand, on 29 - 30 October aimed at identifying trends affecting higher education in ASEAN. Conference material is online as well as a Student Statement for strengthening regional/global cooperation in enhancing quality and inclusiveness of ASEAN higher education institutions.

- Europe

European Commission - Eurydice
The European Commission’s Eurydice network has released National Student Fee and Support Systems in European Higher Education 2018/19. The report shows how fee and support systems, including grants and loans, interact in higher education in Europe. It uses current data contrasting large national differences in policies and fees.

Horizon Europe
14 European associations representing universities, including IAU Members the European University Association (EUA), UNICA and AURORA, released a position Statement on 8 November on the Horizon Europe programme which is currently being discussed within the European Parliament. The Statement supports a considerable budget increase for Horizon Europe, due to start in 2021, and advocates for the full participation of ‘third’ associated countries.

European University Association (EUA)
EUA has published a checklist for universities to prepare for a no-deal Brexit scenario. It concludes that even a no-deal Brexit should not prevent universities throughout Europe including the UK from cooperating in the future.

Magna Charta Observatory
New guidelines to help universities develop globally and operate more effectively have been launched by the Magna Charta Observatory. The Living Values guidelines were piloted with universities in nine countries including IAU Members University of Campinas (Brazil), University of Bologna (Italy), Cardiff Metropolitan University (UK), Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Stockholm University (Sweden).

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Belgium - Morocco

The Minister of Higher Education, Research and Media of the Belgian Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Jean-Claude Marcourt, met with the Moroccan Minister for Education, Training and Higher Education, Saïd Amzazi, in Rabat in November to reinforce collaboration between higher education institutions in both countries. Accompanied by a delegation of 42 higher education leaders, they took part in the first academic Forum between Morocco and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.

Czech Republic - Slovak Republic

The Czech Rectors Conference and Slovak Rectors Conference signed a joint Statement on 28 October in Prague at Charles University, an IAU Member. The Statement aims to reinforce institutional cooperation at the bilateral institutional level and more widely in Europe and calls on both governments to support education, science and research.

Germany - United Kingdom

Universities UK President Professor Dame Janet Beer, and Germany’s national rectors’ conference (HRK) President, Professor Peter-Andre Alt, issued a joint Statement at their meeting in November, to continue research collaboration and staff and student exchange between the UK and Germany, post-Brexit.

Hong Kong - Myanmar

The Education Bureau of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Ministry of Education of Myanmar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at enhancing bilateral collaboration in the field of higher education. Areas covered include: scholarships; expertise, knowledge, student and staff exchange; teacher training; joint programmes.

Malaysia - Japan

Further to a meeting between Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo in November, the Malaysian and Japanese governments have agreed to start a consultation to set up Japanese university branches in Malaysia.

Pakistan - United Kingdom

The University Grants Commission in Pakistan and the British Council have launched the Pakistan-UK Education Gateway Programme. The Programme aims to enhance bilateral cooperation regarding PhD programmes, student and faculty mobility, funding agencies and research entities, quality and governance, and capacity building programmes.

Switzerland - Korea

Switzerland and the Republic of Korea agreed to further reinforce their collaboration in research and innovation at a meeting between representatives of Swiss and Korean universities and government agencies in November.

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Afghanistan Australia Belgium China
Colombia Denmark France Germany
Ghana India Ireland The Netherlands
New Zealand Norway Pakistan Poland
Portugal Rwanda Spain Tunisia
United Kingdom United States

- Afghanistan

The Ministry of Higher Education has posted online a recap of the major achievements in higher education since 2015. These include access and students support, management and governance, academic programmes, infrastructure enhancement and development, and gender.

-  Australia

Regional education boost
The Department of Education has announced several programmes and initiatives to support student access and participation in higher education across Australia:
- the Regional Education Package, AUS$134.8 million (EUR 86.7 million) to provide students from rural and regional Australia with greater access to higher education.
- Contribution to establishing 16 community-owned, regional study hubs across Australia to provide infrastructure and academic support for distance students from partner universities.

Graduate outcomes
The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) website has published the 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey presenting the results of a study which measured employment rates and salaries for graduates immediately after receiving their qualification and three years later.

Aboriginal Research
The Australian Council of Graduate Research has released Good Practice Guidelines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Education, to help recruit and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates as they pursue research degrees and research careers.

- Belgium

The Minister of Higher Education, Research and Media of the Belgian Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Jean-Claude Marcourt, has allocated 500,000 Euros to universities to support their engagement in the new ‘European Universities’ programme which was launched by the European Commission in October.

- China

The Minister of Education identified measures to transform undergraduate education. They focus on: revitalising the four-year education system; ensuring knowledge and skills relevance; improving teaching skills and learning resources; reforming teaching and evaluation systems.

Maritime Silk Road university consortium launched
A global consortium of universities, the University Consortium of the 21st Century Martime Silk Road, has been launched in Xiamen, China. Established as a component of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Consortium issued a declaration calling for deepened cooperation in shared educational resources, higher education, and scientific research.

Shanghai Hong Kong University Alliance launched
The Shanghai Hong Kong University Alliance (SHUA) was officially launched in November. It was established by eight universities in Shanghai and eight universities in Hong Kong in order foster greater exchange and cooperation among universities in mainland China and Hong Kong.

- Colombia

Responding to the current financial deficit of Colombian public universities, and national student protests, on 24 November the Government agreed to additional finance of 2.3 billion pesos (630,000 Euros) for public universities from 2019-2022.

- Denmark

On 2 November, all parliamentary parties agreed on the allocation of DKK 1.394 billion (EUR 187 million) for research and development in 2019. The funds will prioritise research and development in energy and climate, green growth, food, artificial intelligence and health tech, and will also be used to establish a number of ‘Pioneer’ research centres.

- France

International students - new government measures
On 19 November, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced measures which aim to increase the number of international students in French universities. The strategy, entitled "Bienvenue en France", includes simplified student and graduate visa regulations but will also increase fees for international students outside of Europe. The number of courses taught in English will rise and more French classes will also be on offer for international students. Responding to this, the French Rectors’ Conference (Conférence des Présidents d’Université) issued a communiqué voicing its concern that the fee increase may prevent students from French-speaking countries, particularly in the South, from studying in France.

International students - New observatory launched
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with Campus France, Régions de France and France Urbaine launched the Observatory on International Student and Researcher Mobility on 19 November at a conference organised by the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie, an IAU Member, and Campus France. The Observatory aims to reinforce national and regional partnerships for international mobility and has published its first report.

Students with disabilities - survey results
The Conférence des Grandes Ecoles, has published the results of their survey on the situation of students with disabilities in Grandes Ecoles, public selective engineering and business schools. The results show that students with disabilities represent just over 1% of students and that 86% of Grandes Ecoles have disability awareness programmes for their students.

- Germany

Universities in Germany have affirmed their responsibility for sustainable development in recommendations for creating a culture of sustainability at higher education institutions released by the German Rectors’ Conference in November.

Research and innovation
Agreements to develop further digitalisation, applied research and practical academic education at Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen) were signed by Federal Minister for Education and Research Anja Karliczek and the science ministers of the federal states in November. The agreements call for joint funding by the end of 2023, more professorships, and the establishment of a research data infrastructure.

Student grants
Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek announced that there would be a “substantial increase” in the level of student grants (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz or BAföG).

- Ghana

The Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, has announced reforms in teacher education to improve the quality of teaching. Students in teacher training colleges will have to graduate with degrees with effect from 2019.

- India

The government has launched the Institution’s Innovation Council (IIC) programme to encourage the culture of innovation in higher education institutions across India.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has invited all Indian Universities and Colleges to participate in an online survey on their use of ICTs to collect data that will inform future efforts in support of the country’s transformation to digital learning.

- Ireland

On 12 November, Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, announced the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative for the Higher Education sector. Under the initiative, which responds to the significant underrepresentation of women at professorial level, new and additional female-specific senior academic positions will be created and put in place for the 2019 - 20 academic year. The announcement was made at the launch of the Action Plan for Gender Equality in Higher Education Institutions 2018 - 2020.

- The Netherlands

The Acceleration Plan for Educational Innovation with ICT has been launched by the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), an IAU Member, the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences and SURF, an organisation for IT in education. 40 research universities and universities of applied sciences will participate in the four-year programme which aims to optimise opportunities for digitalisation.

- New Zealand

University-industry collaboration
Universities New Zealand has released the report Universities New Zealand Collaboration between Universities and Industry that explores the key benefits of university-industry collaboration, and provides insights into how to improve collaboration and measure outcomes.

Maori-medium teacher education
National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, Ako Aotearoa, has released the report on the research project Taikākā - Learning and Teaching Strategies to Optimise Academic Achievement in a Māori-Medium Initial Teacher Education Programmes. It aimed to build upon teaching and learning strategies, including Māori student support initiatives, to improve academic outcomes in undergraduate degree level Māori-medium teacher education programmes.

- Norway

A new national higher education agency, the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (Diku), has been created. It is a result of a merger between the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU), the Norwegian Agency for Digital Learning in Higher Education and the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme. In addition to continuing the work of the three organisations, Diku is also responsible for establishing a national arena for quality in higher education, and for the Centres for Excellence in Education Initiative (SFU).

- Pakistan

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has proposed measures to increase employment opportunities for PhD graduates. They include strengthening of university placements, capacity building programmes, and examination of current faculty recruitment practices.

- Poland

The Constitution for Science Act came into force in October. The new law combines funding for teaching and research, and provides an increase in funds by PLN 47.5 billion (EUR 11 billion) over 10 years. It also provides more autonomy to universities in setting research priorities.

- Portugal

The Government has published the results of a survey of students living in student residences in 33 public higher education institutions and students living in non-university accommodation, as a first step in the new Law on the rehabilitation and construction of public higher education student residences (law no.36/2018 of July 2018),
(in Portugese)

- Rwanda

MOOCs and OER framework
The Ministry of Education has published the Rwanda National Framework on MOOCs and OER designed to provide both Open, Distance and e-Learning (ODeL) capacity building methodology for staff at the ministry and universities as well a set of activities to develop open education courses and materials based on recommendations identified in both the Rwandan policy environment and UNESCO publications.

Combating plagiarism
The University of Rwanda has developed an Anti-Plagiarism Policy with support of UNESCO and Korean Funds-in-Trust. It establishes a framework (consisting of a policy and guideline documents) for deterring, detecting and dealing with plagiarism consistently across all faculties of the institution.

- Spain

Refugee education
ACUP, the Catalan Association of Public Universities, has released a report on universities’ actions in Catalonia for welcoming refugee and migrant students. It is the result of the #UniversitatRefug Hackathon organised by ACUP and the Fundació Autònoma Solidària which took place in Barcelona in July.

Gender equality

Crue Universidades Españolas, the Spanish University association, released a Declaration in the context of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November in which they maintain their commitment to gender equality and to combating gender-based violence.

- Tunisia

Measures against terrorism
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has announced new measures to prevent extremism and combat terrorism at higher education institutions (in Arabic). The measures, to be implemented in cooperation with the National Committee for Combating Terrorism, include training and awareness programmes for students.

Academic staff reforms
The main measures of the bill on the new status of teaching staff in higher education institutions were agreed on 13 November by the Council of Universities.

Research connectivity
The Tunisian Academic and Research Network (RNU) has signed an agreement with the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN) who will provide internet connectivity between Tunisia and the European GÉANT network in the context of the EU-funded AfricaConnect2 project. The project aims to support the development of high-capacity internet networks for R&E across Africa and worldwide.

- United Kingdom

Accelerated degrees
On 18 November, Universities minister, Sam Gyimah, announced plans for ‘accelerated’ two-year degree courses. If approved by parliament, universities will be allowed to charge higher annual rates for the degree courses, but the overall price for the degree will fall. The courses would have the same number of teaching hours as traditional three-year degree courses.

Grade inflation?
A consultation throughout higher education was launched on 26 November by the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment (UKSCQA) further to a report that examines the large increase in the number of graduates receiving first and upper-second class undergraduate degrees in the UK over the past decade. The report, produced for UKSCQUA by Universities UK (UUK), GuildHE and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, recommends that universities issue a sector-wide statement of intent, leading to actions to protect the value of qualifications.

Tuition fees
Where do Student Fees Really Go?, a new report published by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), calls for greater transparency on the use of students’ tuition fees. The report shows that around 45% of tuition fee income is spent on teaching, while most of the rest goes on maintaining buildings, information technology and student support services, such as counselling. The report also shows 74% of students want more information on where their fees go.

Knowledge Exchange Framework
Research England has published a report on the responses submitted to their call for evidence on the future Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF). The report highlights almost universal support for supplementation of metrics by additional narrative or contextual information in the assessment of universities.

Government entrepreneurship funding - Wales
The Welsh Government has announced a new grant fund to support entrepreneurship in Further and Higher Education. The Youth Entrepreneurship grant comprises £2.5 million (EUR 2.8 million) of Welsh Government funding over the next three years, for institutions to accelerate student entrepreneurship.

Universities’ civic contribution - Wales
The Wales Centre for Public Policy has released a report entitled Maximising Universities’ Civic Contribution. It outlines the ways that universities act as ‘anchor institutions’ in their towns, cities and regions and provides recommendations for the Welsh Government that this role be assessed as a formal aspect of universities’ performance and tied to institutional funding.

- United States

Title IX - sexual misconduct proposed rule changes
In November, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released proposed amendments to Title IX regulations changing higher education institutions’ responsibilities concerning sexual misconduct. These new rules would require institutions to allow for cross-examination of students in misconduct proceedings and would require the incident to have occurred on campus or in a university-sanctioned activity.

International students numbers fall
The numbers of international students enrolling in United States institutions in 2017 dropped for the second year in a row, according to the 2018 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, an annual survey released by the Institute of International Education.

International students - economic contribution
Analysis from NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, has found that the 1,094,792 international students studying at universities and colleges in the United States contributed US$ 39 billion (EUR 34.4 billion) to the U.S. economy during the 2017-2018 academic year.

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

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