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IAU Lynx February 2019


February 2019

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.



Recognition of migrants and refugees qualifications
A new policy paper What a waste: Ensure Migrants and Refugees’ Qualifications and Prior Learning are Recognized (French version) reviews global progress towards the recognition of qualifications and of prior learning and identifies examples where countries have made special provisions for migrants and refugees.

Global Education Meeting - Brussels Declaration
The Global Education Meeting - Brussels, 3 - 5 December 2018 - reviewed progress towards the global education targets and commitments in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The outcome is the Brussels Declaration that calls for strengthened collective action to achieve SDG4, “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.

Global Educational inequalities data
UNESCO has released new data on educational inequalities, notably on higher education attendance and higher edication completion rate by region, countries and by income groups.

UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE)
Presentations from the international training workshop Digital technologies and transformation of higher education, held in Georgia in November, are now online. Discussions covered: main trends of HEIs’ digital transformation; ICTs’ potential for developing universities and the educational ecosystem; digital skills and information Literacy; digital resources and OERs.

UNESCO Bangkok - Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education
The policy brief Developing Holistic Indicators to Promote the Internationalization of Higher Education in the Asia-Pacific, proposes indicators to capture broader dimensions of HE internationalization, other than student mobility, at system and institutional levels. It aims to help users better understand and adapt the indicators for internationalization for use in their local contexts.

UNESCO Office in Beirut
UNESCO Beirut has agreed with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education on the priorities of the higher education sector framework for doctoral studies. These are: the establishment of a National Qualification Framework (NQF); the design of a new HED strategy; ensuring quality assurance; and building a comprehensive framework for doctoral studies.

- Agence universitaire de la francophonie - G3 Quality Colloquium
The 2018 edition of the G3 Quality Colloquium was held at the Université de Montréal, Canada, in October 2018 on the theme of Quality Approaches in Higher Education: What are the Effects?Presentations and videos are now available.

- Lumina Foundation
A new report published by the Lumina Foundation ‘All Around the World - Higher Education Equity Policies across the Globe’, based on a global survey of 71 countries, finds that although for most countries, equity is a priority theme in the higher education agenda, a number of countries do not have clear equity promotion strategies or mobilise sufficient resources for access.

OECD has just released The Future of Mexican Higher Education - Promoting Quality and Equity, available online. The publication assesses national higher education governance and co-operation structures, and the relevance of existing national strategies. It also looks at public funding of higher education institutions,quality assurance; and the extent to which the higher education system contributes to equity.

- World Bank

The World Bank has just released South Africa Economic Update : Enrollments in Tertiary Education Must Rise. The report asserts that the recent South African policy, which offers free higher education to 90% of academically eligible students in order to increase access and enrolments, will put a strain on the national budget and examines how it can be achieved without compromising education quality and fiscal sustainability.

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Africa - Asia & Pacific - Europe

- Africa

African Union - Association of Association of African Universities (AAU)
The African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ASG-QA) of Higher Education
has just been published. It is a result of an initiative implemented by a consortium including the Association of African Universities (AAU) and the European University Association (EUA), the aim was to promote and facilitate a harmonized HE system in Africa, as well as to promote mobility, The Guidelines will be submitted to the African Union this year for a more formal endorsement.

African Minds - Research universities in Africa
Research Universities in Africa’ has just been published by African Minds. The final publication from the HERANA research project, the open access publication presents data gathered from eight African universities based on the full 15 years of empirical data collected by the project over the period 2001-2015.

Association of African Universities (AAU)
Call for applications Female Participation in Science in African Universities

The Association of African Universities (AAU) in collaboration with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is looking for a consultant with research experience to conduct studies into factors affecting female participation in science in Africa. Closing date: 15 February 2019.

eLearning Africa 2018 and African Ministerial Round Table
The report of the eLearning Africa 2018 conference, held in September in Kigali, Rwanda, has just been published. It includes an examination of the Africa Ministerial Round Table which focused on the theme ‘Towards a Knowledge ­Based Economy’.

- Asia & Pacific

In a Joint Statement issued at the 22nd EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting Brussels, Belgium, 21 January 2019, ASEAN and EU Foreign Ministers and representatives committed to: promote cooperation on education, notably involving academia, and encouraging bilateral student and academic mobility at HEIs; enhance cooperation in communication, science, technology, and innovation.

- Europe

Vienna declaration signed by 10 Rectors Associations
Organisations representing the heads of universities in 10 European countries (Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland),signed the ‘Vienna Declaration’at a meeting in December in Austria. The Declaration stresses the imperative of academic freedom, academic integrity in teaching and research, and the autonomy of universities. The declaration also calls on governments to prevent any undermining of research, and institutional autonomy and expressed concern at movements in Europe and beyond that threaten the democratic nature of institutions and societies.

European Union - Erasmus+ proposed regulation for Brexit
The European Commission has proposed a Regulation to Erasmus+ in case of a no-deal Brexit. Under the regulation, contingency measures would be put in place to avoid the disruption of Erasmus+ student mobility activities involving the United Kingdom at the time of its withdrawal from the European Union.

Erasmus + - Community engagement in HE
The Erasmus + project ’Towards a European Framework for Community Engagement in Higher Education(TEFCE)’, led by the Institute for the Development of Education (Croatia) and the Technische Universität Dresden (Germany) and with ACUP (the Catalan Association of Public Universities,) has released its first publication ‘Mapping and Critical Synthesis of Current State-of-the-Art on Community Engagement in Higher Education’.

European University Association (EUA)
Doctoral education
The European University Association (EUA) has published Doctoral Education in Europe Today. The report presents the results of research gathered from more than 300 institutions across Europe, and provides an overview of the deep transformation that has taken place in doctoral education over the past ten years.

Academic teaching careers
The European University Association (EUA) has published two reports on the situation and challenges of academic teaching career paths across Europe and the Continuous Development of Teaching Competences for academic staff.

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Germany - UK
In January, Vice chancellors from the UK Russell Group and the German U15 signed a declaration pledging their commitment to promote research, innovation and student education post-Brexit.

Philippines - Turkey

The Philippines’ Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Turkey’s Council of Higher Education (YÖK) signed the Protocol for Cooperation in the Field of Higher Education in November. The agreement aims to strengthen the academic cooperation between the two countries for the next three years. It will enable faculty and student mobility; offer scholarships and training programmes, and research activities.

Mongolia - Taiwan

The Mongolian National Council for Education Accreditation (MNCEA) and the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEEACT) signed a three-year term memorandum of understanding in November. They agreed to collaborate in exchange of staff, reviewers and evaluators to observe both organisations’ accreditation evaluation activities, jointly develop accreditation workshops and seminars, and cooperatively lead institutions through the accreditation process.

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Australia Belgium Canada Chile
France Germany Hong Kong Hungary
India Indonesia Ireland Japan
The Netherlands Nigeria Philippines Spain
Thailand United Kingdom United States Venezuela

- Albania

The Minister of Education and Science, Lindita Nikolla, resigned on 8 December. Besa Shahini, former deputy Minister of Education has been appointed in her place. This comes further to nationwide student protests since December 2018, in the context of raised tuition fees, low government funding of universities and increased privatisation.

-  Australia

Financial data
Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency’s (TEQSA) has released Key Financial Metrics on Australia’s Higher Education Sector, a snapshot of selected key financial metrics across the Australian HE sector with a special focus on dual sector providers - higher education providers that deliver both higher education and vocational education and training.

Educational quality
The 2018 Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency’s (TEQSA) conference, themed innovation, excellence and diversity was held in Melbourne in November 2018. Presentations are now available online and cover student perspectives on excellence and diversity, online higher education trends and the value of degrees in the future workplace.

Women academics and leadership
The Universities Australia Executive Women’s Group has developed a new guide entitled Sponsorship: Creating Career Opportunities for Women in Higher Education. It outlines how senior leaders can actively create opportunities to develop the skills and careers of their staff and provides strategic advice and practical tips to tackle the under-representation of women in senior university leadership.

-  Belgium

Fourteen new development cooperation projects are starting this year in 12 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Funded by the Belgian Cooperation, the projects, selected by ARES, the organisation of higher education institutions in the Belgian Wallonia-Brussels Federation, focus on training and scientific research around development issues and are implemented by higher education institutions in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and their partners in France.

-  Canada

A new report by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, Minding the Gap?, examines students’ perceptions of the gap between skills they develop in higher education and those they think they will need in their future careers.

-  Chile

In January, Education Minister, Marcela Cubillos, and leaders of 17 higher education institutions took part in the inaugural session of Advisory Council for Higher Education which will manage the implementation of Chile’s new Higher Education law. The law, which was passed in May 2018, establishes free higher education for a majority of the country’s population, especially those who are economically marginalised.

- France

International students’ fees - Universities respond
15 universities in France have stated that that they will not implement the fee increase for international students, which was announced in November by the government. The French Association of University Presidents (Conférence des Présidents d’Université - CPU) has released a statement asking the government to suspend the fee increase due to start in 2019-2020, and for a consultation to take place.

The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation released a report in January providing data and results of the first year of the new system and platform for undergraduate admissions to universities in France, called ‘Parcoursup’.

Medical studies
A bill on changes to medical education will be introduced to Parliament in the spring. This follows the announcement in September by President Macron on the reform of medical education. The proposed law will abolish the rule setting quotas on the number of students admitted to second and third years of medical studies from 2020. Instead, universities will themselves decide on the number of students admitted.

- Germany

The Centre for Higher Education (CHE - Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung) has released a new report entitled Reflecting on Rankings : How good is teaching at German higher education institutions (report in German) which finds that while the general framework for the country’s universities needs improving, students are nevertheless largely satisfied with their degree courses.

Academic mobility - residency rights
The German Rectors’ Conference has released an updated leaflet (in English) on the rights of residence in Germany for researchers from non-EU countries. It provides an overview of the different residency options available for academics.

Digital research and sustainable development
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Development Institute (DIE) have published a joint expert paper on digitisation in higher education and research with regards to sustainable development. The paper was developed at the international expert meeting on “Digital Transformation: Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development”, which took place on 8-9 November 2018 in Bonn.

- Hong Kong

In December, the University Grants Committee (UGC) released a Study of Tuition Fee Policies in the Higher Education Sector undertaken by The Higher Education Policy Institute. It reviews a variety of approaches adopted by different jurisdictions - Singapore, England, Australia, USA, Germany, Ireland, Chile, Norway - to finance undergraduate education and share costs between government and students.

- Hungary

Tempus Public Foundation (TPF) in partnership with the Ministry of Human Capacities successfully completed the project: Continuing EHEA reforms in Hungary at the end of 2018. The project aimed to support internationalisation, to foster mobility and the usage of EHEA tools, to enhance capacities of HEIs, to improve quality of teaching and learning, and to promote innovation and university-business cooperation.

- India

Online courses credit transfer
92 universities have accepted credit transfer for online and MOOCs courses through the ’Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds’ (SWAYAM) Platform.

Access quotas to be implemented
The Government has announced that from the academic year 2019-20, a 10 per cent quota for ‘Economically Weaker Section (EWS)’ will be implemented across 900 Universities and 40,000 colleges across the country. Additional places will be created in these institutions to implement the quota.

Research publications
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has set up a Consortium for Academic and Research Ethics (CARE) to refine and strengthen research publication in Social Sciences, Humanities, Languages, Arts, Culture, and Knowledge Systems. CARE will maintain the UGC approved list of journals, referred to as ‘CARE Reference List of Quality Journals’.

- Indonesia
The Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education’s national meeting held at Diponegoro University on 4 January resulted in the production of seven recommendations outlining support to: learning and student affairs; Agencies for technology, science, technology and higher education; research and development; and internal monitoring; and the launch of the agency for university entrance tests (LTMPT) to administer the tests based on principles of credibility, justice, transparency, flexibility, efficiency and accountability

- Ireland

Post-brexit fees for UK students
The Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, and the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, announced in January that UK nationals wishing to study in Ireland for the 2019-2020 academic year will continue to pay the current fee rate for European students. The government also said that they will continue support for Irish higher education students planning to study in the UK.

HE statistics released
The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has released the latest statistics for the Irish higher education system on enrolments, qualifications, finance and graduates. The data shows that the trend of increasing enrolments to the higher education system continues in 2017-18.

- Japan

International Students
The results of a survey of international students in Japan from the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) shows that international student numbers in Japan have increased for the sixth year in a row. There were 298,980 foreign students in 2018, compared with 267,050 in 2017, an increase of 12%.

International cooperation
The Japan Association of National Universities (JANU) has released presentations from
- the 2018 Japan-Spain Presidents’ Joint Symposium themed "Promotion of Academic Cooperation between Japan and Spain" - University of Salamanca, November 27 and 28, 2018 and the 2018 Japan - France Symposium in Higher Education” themed "The universities’ roles and internationalization in the regional development" which was hekd jointly with the French Conference of Presidents of Universities (CPU) and the Conference of Deans of French Schools of Engineering (CDEFI).

- The Netherlands

In December, the Dutch Inspectorate of Education published the results of an investigation (in Dutch) that found that many higher education institutions in the Netherlands contravene the 1992 Dutch Higher Education Law regarding the language of instruction, and that the Inspectorate has failed to monitor whether these institutions comply with this law. Although the law states that the default language in Dutch higher education is Dutch, degree courses in the Netherlands are increasingly taught entirely in English, particularly at Masters level (76% of Masters programmes in 2018-2019).

- Nigeria

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, announced in January that the federal government has released the sum of N163 billion (390 Million Euros) to Nigerian universities from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) as part of efforts to end the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

- Philippines

Around a thousand Private Higher Education Institutions (HEI) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to implement the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) of Republic Act 10931, a grants-in-aid program designed for poor students enrolled in public and private HEIs with a funding of PhP16 billion from the national government.

- Spain

HE statistics released
CRUE, the Spanish Universities Association, a Member of IAU, has published ‘The Spanish University in Figures 2016/2017’. This report includes the latest statistics on the Spanish university system, access and demand, research and development, finance, and student and academic mobility.

Universities and Sustainable Development Goals - Catalonia
ACUP, the Catalan Association of Public Universities, an IAU Member, has published 40 case studies showing Catalan public universities’ commitment to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Teaching indicators - Catalonia
ACUP has also just published Education and Teaching Indicators in Catalan Public Universities 2018 which provides data on teaching in universities, taking into account all contributing factors, from the students themselves and the teaching and research staff to the educational courses, their quality accreditation, as well as the infrastructure, international mobility, and the options for lifelong education.

- Sweden

New Education Ministers appointed
On 21 January, the Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced appointments of the new Minister for Education, Anna Ekström, and the new Minister of Higher Education and Research, Matilda Ernkrans.

- Thailand

The Ministry of Education, Thailand, Office of the Higher Education Commission (OHEC), has posted the presentations from the international academic symposium on Internationalization of Higher Education held in November 2018 in Bangkok. Topics addressed were: viewpoints from International Agencies; internationalization national Policy; institutional best practices for Internationalization; and developing internationalization indicators.

- United Kingdom

Legislation passed - Accelerated degrees
The UK parliament has approved the government plans for plans for ‘accelerated’ two-year undergraduate degrees. Under the plans, 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.

Brexit - universities responses
In an open letter to MPs, Universities UK, the Russell Group, Guild HE, MillionPlus and University Alliance warn that if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal this could lead to “an academic, cultural and scientific setback from which it would take decades to recover.” They call for a guarantee from the UK government that research funding from which the UK may be excluded with Brexit will be replaced.

International student revenues
The UK Department of Education has released a report which shows that the value of total education exports (revenues from international students) and transnationational education activity is estimated to be £19.9 billion in 2016, an increase of 3.1 % since 2015 and by 26% since 2010, in current prices.

Facts and figures
Higher education in Facts and Figures 2018, released by Universities UK, provides an overview of universities’ research activity, student employability, and information on international students and staff in 2016-17. It also finds that 14% of undergraduate students, 35% of postgraduate students and 30% of academic staff in UK universities were from outside the UK.

- United States

Title IX - sexual misconduct proposed rule changes - HE responds
The American Council on Education (ACE) ACE and 60 other higher education associations in the United States submitted their response to the Department of Education’s proposed changes to Title IX regulations, which change HE institutions’ responsibilities concerning sexual misconduct allegations. ACE’s statement underscores the commitment of institutions to fairly, effectively, and compassionately investigate and resolve allegations of sexual harassment.

Government shutdown - HE and research impact
The impact of the partial US government shutdown on universities and research is continuing, according to Research Vice Presidents at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). Both the APLU and the American Council on Education (ACE) released statements in January warning about the effects of the shutdown particularly on research funding.

State HE finance
According to Data released by the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) and Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University (the ‘Grapeline survey’), state financial support for higher education grew by just 1.6 percent in between the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years, a decrease of over 4 % from the previous year. It also found that more than a third of states have decreased their funding in the past year.

- Venezuela

A report entitled Universities in the Context of the Complex Humanitarian Emergency in Venezuela (Universitarios en el marco de la emergencia humanitaria compleja venezolana) details how a combination of political instability, conflict, social inequalities and poverty has permeated the Venezuelan university community, affecting its performance. Student desertion, according to the report, is between 30% and 40% in the main universities of the country. The main causes are related to the lack of student scholarships and the economic crisis in Venezuela. The report was prepared by the NGO AulaAbierta, together with the Human Rights Commission of the Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences of the University of Zulia, the Observatory of Human Rights of the University of the Andes, and the Center for Peace and Human Rights at the Central University of Venezuela.

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IAU Lynx December Edition
IAU Lynx November Edition
IAU Lynx October Edition

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