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IAU Lynx - February 2018


February 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.

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UNESCO - AUF - African Minds - GCPEA - IAP - OBHE - OECD


UNESCO - ASEAN Tokyo Convention comes into force
In December, Takio Yamada, Ambassador of Japan to UNESCO, together with Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director General, took part in a ceremony marking Japan’s official accession to the revised Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education (Tokyo Convention), which comes into force in February 2018. Five countries have ratified the Tokyo Convention: Australia, South Korea, China, Japan and New Zealand.

Quality assurance in Africa
The UNESCO project Strengthening Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Africa was officially launched at country level in Togo on 21 November 2017. The objective of this project, funded by the Municipal Government of Shenzhen in China, is to strengthen higher education systems at the institutional, national and regional levels in African countries by developing quality assurance mechanisms.

STEM and gender equality toolkit
UNESCO has published a series of tools to integrate, monitor and evaluate gender equality in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The publication was developed as part of the STEM and Gender Advancement (SAGA) project which aims to contribute to reducing the gender gap in STEM fields internationally at all levels of education and research

UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE) - Bahrain
IBE and the Ministry of Education of the Kingdom of Bahrain have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) strengthening their long-term collaboration. IBE is supporting the country in developing a ‘Smart, Green and Future-oriented’ higher education system.

UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)
UIS has released ‘The Quality Factor: Strengthening National Data to Monitor Sustainable Development Goal 4’. It provides a conceptual framework and a concrete set of tools to help countries improve the quality of their data and fulfil their reporting requirements.

L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science awards
UNESCO and the L’Oréal Foundation have selected five outstanding women scientists from Argentina, Canada, China, South Africa, and the United Kingdom who will receive the 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards in Life Sciences on 22 March 2018 in Paris.

-  Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF)

REAMOOC, the African Network for the Development of MOOCs for Educational Innovation in Higher Education, was launched on 15 January in Brussels at a conference entitled Educational Innovation in Higher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: from the Strategy to the Field. REAMOOC is coordinated by AUF and the Université Libre de Bruxelles, an IAU Member, and 10 other partners. Co-financed by the Erasmus + programme of the European Union, REAMOOC will promote the adoption of innovative digital pedagogical practices within the project’s partner institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.

Student entrepreneurship in the Maghreb
The SALEEM project (Structuring and support for student entrepreneurship in the Maghreb) was officially launched on 11 December in Rabat, Morocco. Co-funded by the European Union and all partners for a period of three years, the project, coordinated by AUF, will promote student entrepreneurship in Morocco and Tunisia.

- African Minds

Adoption and Impact of OER in the Global South
‘Adoption and Impact of Open Educational Ressources (OER) in the Global South’ has been published by African Minds. It examines the take up of OER and engagement in Open Educational Practices (OEP) in secondary and higher education as well as teacher professional development in 21 countries in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia.

- Conference of Education Ministers of Francophone countries (CONFEMEN)

Rabat Declaration
The Rabat Declaration (Appel de Rabat) was issued as a conclusion to the CONFEMEN seminar on education financing that brought together 200 decision makers in Rabat, Morocco on 5 - 7 December 2017. It includes 17 recommendations aimed at further mobilising the financial resources required to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) and invites all governments of CONFEMEN countries to implement these recommendations.

- Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA)

Protection of schools and universities from armed conflict
Representatives of the Ministries of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Public Security and the National Armed Forces of 10 Latin American states met in Panama City on 5 - 6 December 2017 to discuss the protection of schools and universities from armed conflict. All 10 countries endorsed the Declaration on Safety in Schools.

- Interacademy Partnership (IAP) for Science

Statement on Climate Change and Education
The member academies of the IAP for Science released a Statement on Climate Change and Education at the One Planet Summit which took place in December in Paris, France. The Statement lays out a series of recommendations on how effective climate change education can be promoted in schools and universities. The statement is also available in French.

- Observatory on Borderless Higher Education (OBHE)

Online and Mixed Learning in Higher Education
The OBHE organised its Global Forum in December in London, UK. Its theme was Ready or Not -The Role of Online and Mixed Learning in Higher Education. Conference presentations are now available online.

- Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Education Indicators
The latest OECD Education Indicators in Focus ‘Is Labour Market Demand Keeping Pace with the Rising Educational Attainment of the Population?’ finds that even though there are more tertiary-educated individuals than ever before, they still achieve good labour market outcomes.

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Africa - Americas - Arab States - Asia & Pacific - Europe

- Africa

State of Education in Africa
The outcomes report of the State of Education in Africa conference, held in May 2017 in Kenya, has just been released.

Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM)
RUFORUM has received US$ 1.5 million funding from the Carnegie Cooperation of New York to support post-doctoral research fellowships, and to increase retention rates for recent PhD holders.

- Americas

Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration (CONAHEC)
CONAHEC has opened a call for proposals for a short-term faculty exchange program for the fall in 2018. The program will match faculty members from CONAHEC member institutions who will collaborate in the partial design and teaching of a course at a partner institution. The closing date is 2 March 2018.

Unión de Universidades de América Latina (UDUAL)
UDUAL university affiliates concluded an agreement on 27 November 2017 in Havana, Cuba covering different thematic areas of work in preparation for the Regional Conference on Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean 2018 (CRES) which will take place at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina in June 2018.

- Asia & Pacific

Southeast Asian Ministers of Education - Regional Centre for Higher Education and Development (SEAMEO RIHED)
The ASEAN-China Forum for Private Higher Education Development and Cooperation, co-organised by SEAMEO RIHED, was held at the University of Sanya in China, on 29 November to 1 December 2017. It concluded with the signing of the Strategic Cooperation Framework for ASEAN-China Private Higher Education Institutions, known as the Sanya Declaration.

Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU)
The APRU has released a report entitled ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’ which looks at the big challenges facing education with the introduction of disruptive technologies - such as digitisation, robotics and artificial intelligence - and provides context to build partnerships for policy development and capacity-building in the region.

Asian Development Bank (ADB)
The ADB report Innovations in Knowledge and Learning: Postsecondary Education Reform to Support Employment and Inclusive Growth” examines the need to explore new options and opportunities for modernising public higher education in the context of increased demand for higher education and the proliferation of private providers.

Commission on Higher Education of the Philippines
The Presentations from the Conference on Gender Mainstreaming in Higher Education in ASEAN held in Pasay, the Philippines on 27 - 29 Novembre 2017, are now available. The conference, organised by CHED, gathered higher education officials from the ten ASEAN countries.

- Europe

European University Association (EUA)
Public funding observatory
EUA has released the findings of the 2017 Public Funding Observatory. The report and the online tool show the latest funding trends in Europe and offers up-to-date information on 34 different higher education systems.

Academic freedom
The President of EUA, Rolf Tarrach, has addressed a second letter to call on Iranian authorities to reverse the death sentence imposed by Iran in December against Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, a lecturer based at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, who is currently imprisoned in Iran.

European University Information Systems (EUNIS)
Deadline for submitting the papers for the EUNIS 2018 Congress has been extended until 19 February 2018. The congress, themed ‘Coming of Age in the Digital World’, will take place on 6-8 of June 2018 in Paris.

League of European Research Universities (LERU)
LERU has published its latest advice paper ‘Implicit bias in academia: A challenge to the meritocratic principle and to women’s careers - and what to do about it’. It focuses on the impact of gender bias in working conditions for women at universities, in recruitment and career advancement processes, and in research funding situations.

Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe (UNICA)
The presentations from the EduLAB meeting 2017 on ‘Innovation in Teaching and Employability’ hosted by the University of Lausanne, on 30 November-1 December 2017 are now available.

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Asia - Europe/ Benin - France / Estonia - Vietnam / Pakistan - Turkey / Qatar - El Salvador

- Asia - Europe
Member states of the Asia-Europe Education Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM) adopted the Seoul Declaration in Seoul, Korea, on 21-22 November. This Declaration outlines efforts to promote mobility between Asia and Europe.

- Benin - France
The French Embassy in Benin is offering PhD study grants for the academic year 2018-2019. The closing date for applications is 9 March 2018.

- Estonia - Vietnam
Estonia and Vietnam concluded a cooperation agreement on education and research on 22 November 2017. The agreement also addresses exchange of students, experts and researchers.

- Pakistan - Turkey
In January, the Higher Education Commission in Pakistan and the Council of Higher Education in Turkey approved 11 joint research projects under the Pak-Turk Researchers Mobility Grant Programme.

- Qatar - El Salvador
The Minister of Education and Higher Education in Qatar and the Foreign Minister of El Salvador signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in January which covered educational cooperation, including the exchange of expertise and best practices.

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Canada France Germany Hong Kong
India Ireland Japan Kenya
Morocco Pakistan Senegal Spain
Taiwan Timor-Leste Tunisia Turkey
United Kingdon United States

- Canada

Technology funding - British Columbia
The Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, Melanie Mark, has announced CAN$4.4 million in new funding for 2,900 undergraduate and postgraduate places in engineering, computer science and information technology related programmes.

New Minister - Ontario
The Government of Ontario has appointed Mitzie Hunter, previously Education Minister, as Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. Her appointment has been welcomed by the Council of Ontario Universities.

Campus food report card
The first campus food report card based on a survey of 2,668 Ontario university students as well as university administrators has been released. Published by Meal Exchange, a student charity, the results show a wide gap between administrators and students ratings of campus food for healthiness, affordability, and accessibility to local and sustainable foods.

- France

Student enrolment
Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation figures of students enrolled in French universities in 2016-2017 show a 2.8 % increase in undergraduate enrolment but a decrease in doctoral enrolment (- 2.3 %).

Combating sexual violence in higher education
The French Minister of Higher Education and Research, Frédérique Vidal, underlined the French Government’s steps in 2018 to combat sexism and sexual violence in higher education in a speech at a conference held in December 2017 at the University Paris Diderot (Paris VII).

Make our Planet Great Again - research grants
18 researchers from 6 different countries have been awarded grants from the research programme ‘Make our Planet Great Again’ launched by the French President following the United States’ decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. The 18 laureates will conduct research projects on climate change.

European higher education challenges
Documents and presentations from the seminar on European Higher Education ‘Challenges for students and institutions’ which took place at the CIEP in Sèvres, France in December 2017 are now available online. This event was organised by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in the context of the forthcoming Ministerial conference for the European Higher Education Area to be held in Paris in May 2018.

- Germany

Refugees in German Universities
Integration of Refugees in German Universities, a report from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), shows that 6,806 refugees participated in university preparation programmes in 2016.

- Hong Kong

Electronic application platform for online qualifications assessment
In January, the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) launched an electronic application platform (QA i-Portal) for online qualifications assessment.

- India

Survey on Higher Education
The All-India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE), was released by the Government in January. The results reveal that the number of students enrolling for higher education in 2016-17 increased by 0.7 per cent over the previous year to reach 25.2 percent gross enrolment ratio (GER). The survey also showed that the number of universities in the country rose to 864 from 799 in 2015-16.

Call for applications
The University Grants Commission (UGC) is seeking applications for the post of Director of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Karnataka. The deadline is 12 February for online applications and 19 February for postal applications.

- Ireland

Employability of graduates
The Higher Education Authority has published What Do Graduates Do? a survey of over 18,000 graduates of Irish universities in 2016. The study shows that 54% of 2016 graduates are now employed in Ireland, 8% are employed overseas, and 31% are in further studies.

- Japan

International students
In 2017 there were 267,000 international students in Japan, an increase of 11.6% since 2016, according to a survey carried out by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).

- Kenya

ANIE - Annual Conference Report
The African Network for the Internationalisation of Education has just released the report from its 8th Annual Conference, which took place at the University of Tourism, Technology and Business Studies, Kigali, Rwanda, in October 2017.

- Morocco

Introducing student registration fees in public higher education
A draft framework law introducing student registration fees in public higher education institutions was adopted by the Moroccan governing council on 4 January. It is in line with the recommendations of the 2015-30 vision of the the Higher Council for Education, Training and Scientific Research (HCETSR) and will come into effect in 2018-2019 if adopted by the parliament.

- Pakistan

Call for papers
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has issued a call for papers for the International Conference on Professional Development in Higher Education to be held in Islamabad on 19 - 20 March 2018. Deadline for abstracts: 10 February 2018.

Higher Education TV channel
The HEC has also launched a Higher Education TV channel to uplift the standard of higher education culture and also offer education advice services.

- Senegal

CODESRIA 2017 Gender Institute - call for applicants
The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) has launched a call for applications from academics and researchers in African universities and research centers to participate in the 2017 session of the Gender Institute, which will take place on 14 - 25 May, in Dakar, Senegal. Deadline: 15 March 2018

- Spain

Higher education news in Spanish
Crue Universidades Españolas (CRUE) and the Conversation, an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community, concluded an agreement to launch a Spanish edition.

- Taiwan

Quality and competitiveness of universities
The Ministry of Education has launched a 5-year project equivalent to $2.9 billion investment called Higher Education Sprout Project: Sustained progress and Rise of universities in Taiwan. It aims to enhance the quality of universities, promote the diversification of higher education and to reinforce international competitiveness

- Timor-Leste

Employability of Graduates
The Prime Minister, Marí Alkatiri, stressed the importance of higher education as fundamental to the country’s Strategic Development Plan in a Keynote speech given during the international seminar ‘Raising the Quality of Higher Education as a Key Factor to Increase the Employability of Graduates’ held on 22 November, at the Ministry of Planning and Finance in Dili.

- Tunisia

Modernisation of the higher education system
On 9 January in Tunis, the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and the Mediterranean Universities Union (UNIMED), opened the kick-off meeting of the SAGESSE Project which aims to modernise the higher education system in Tunisia by strengthening its quality assurance system, governance mechanisms and results based funding and promoting university autonomy.

- Turkey

Critical situation for academics
Scholars at Risk, an international network that works for academic freedom, has written to the Turkish President, Recep Erdogan, in the context of continuing attacks on Turkey’s higher education community. Since July 2017, 438 academics in Turkey have faced criminal detentions, investigations and prosecutions and 698 have been dismissed or expelled from their institutions and subjected to restrictions on their ability to travel.

- United Kingdom

New universities Minister
On 9 January, Sam Gyimah MP was appointed Minister for Higher Education for England, replacing Jo Johnson.

Commonwealth scholarships - call for applications
The Association of Commonwealth Universities is seeking applications for 2018 Commonwealth Scholarships in low and middle income countries. Closing date: 11 March 2018

International students
The Higher Education Policy Institute have published a research paper detailing the costs and benefits of international students by region. It shows that international students contribute a net impact of £20.3 billion to the UK economy.

Mayors’ letter on the positive impact of international students
The six metro mayors in England, and the Mayor of London, have signed a joint letter highlighting the positive impact international students have on cities and regions. They also call for a ’more open and welcoming message to international students’ and for improved work opportunities in the UK for international graduates.

International Branch Campuses (IBCs)
The second of a two-part report released by the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education (OBHE) in December 2017 offers updated statistics on IBC development and further explores why some IBCs succeed while others struggle.

- United States

Migrants: Dreamers
The American Council on Education (ACE), an IAU Member, has urged the US Government to reach a resolution on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy which protects the status of ‘Dreamers’, young people brought to the United States as children. Their status is due to end on 5 March 2018. An estimated 241,000 students with DACA status are enrolled in higher education.

State policy issues 2018
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has published Higher Education State Policy Issues for 2018. Underlining a policy landscape marked by political uncertainty, the paper details effects on higher education of federal policy changes, budgets and affordability, performance funding, employment, immigration and free speech.

Higher education data
The National Center for Education Statistics has released the provisional data on 2017 enrollment, finance, employees in higher education and academic libraries.

Science and engineering indicators
The National Science Foundation 2018 Report on Science and Engineering contains comparative data on national and global science and engineering. Statistics on research in higher education, STEM education, doctoral employment and international students are also provided.

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