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IAU Lynx - July 2018


July 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.



Zambia, as one of the 10 beneficiary countries of the UNESCO project Strengthening Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Africa, convened a national project inception meeting in Lusaka on 5 June where working modalities were established. UNESCO launched the project in 2017 which aims at enhancing higher education systems in Africa.

UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, signed a Framework Cooperation Agreement on education between UNESCO and Equatorial Guinea in a meeting on 20 June with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Equatorial Guinea, Simeon Oyono Esono. UNESCO will provide technical assistance and expertise on the development of programmes and teacher training.

UNESCO Bangkok
Presentations from the Pacific Regional Seminar entitled MOOCs for Higher Education: Seizing Digital Opportunities to Achieve SDG4, organised by UNESCO Bangkok, are now available. Stakeholders from nearly 30 countries attended the Seminar in Shenzhen, China on 11 - 12 June. As a result, UNESCO Bangkok identified two areas of work to accelerate progress in Asia-Pacific:
Launching an Asia-Pacific Network on MOOCs to achieve SDG4; and Developing collaborative research on innovative policies and practices on MOOCs in Asia-Pacific.

The UNESCO Office in Beirut has issued four videos which clarify the process, goals and outcomes of its Regional Strategy launched in 2014 to support States affected by the crisis in Syria. Its three areas of action are: access to education; strengthening education systems so as to make them resilient to crises; and providing quality education and learning to all.
The second video, entitled “Challenges of Higher Education in Crisis: Voices from Syrian Refugee Youth in Lebanon”, focuses on higher education and access to universities for displaced youth.

Participants at the workshop entitled Digital Transformation and Open Education Resources (OER): Toward Quality and Recognition at the Syrian Universities on 9 - 10 May 2018 organised by UNESCO Beirut and the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), an IAU Member, agreed on the following recommendations: providing support for Syria’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education to develop a national policy for Digital Education and Development of OER; Capacity building for university faculty; developing joint OER/MOOCs between the Syrian Virtual University and the Tunisian University and inviting other countries to join.

Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi)
GUNi has just published Sustainable Development Goals: Actors and Implementation, the report of GUNis international conference which took place in Barcelona, Spain in September 2017. It provides insights into a wide variety of topics within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), from higher education and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), to gender equality, governance and the circular knowledge economy.

International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE)
ICDE released a report in June detailingthe results of a global survey of higher education institutions in 30 countries on delivery models for online, open, flexible and technology enhanced education. The report finds that most higher education providers are just at the beginning of developing comprehensive strategies for harnessing digitalisation.

Mediterranean Universities Union (UNIMED)
The report of the seminar Educational Pathways: How to Strengthen Bridges and Links between Higher Education and Vocational Training to Meet the Needs of the Socio-Economic World? is now available. The seminar, held in Barcelona, Spain on 8 May was organised by UNIMED-Mediterranean Universities Union, in partnership with the Union for the Mediterranean and the European Training Foundation, within the Erasmus+ projet RESUME (RESeaU Méditerranéen pour l’Employabilité).

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
The OECD has just published Higher Education in Norway: Labour Market Relevance and Outcomes, part of the OECD Enhancing Higher Education System Performance project. The report includes recommendations to improve the labour market relevance and outcomes of higher education in Norway where forty three percent of the population have a tertiary degree.

United Nations
The United Nations launched its new Technology Bank at the beginning of June, in Gebze, Turkey. The Technology Bank will address development challenges facing least developed countries (LDC). It aims to strengthen the knowledge capacity and foster development of national and regional innovation ecosystems to attract outside technology and generate research and innovation. The setting-up of the Technology Bank, planned to run over 10 years, is one of the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Africa - Americas - ArabStates - Asia & Pacific - Europe

- Africa

Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship
Applications are still being accepted for the Spring 2018 competition of the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP). Accredited universities in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda wishing to host a scholar, or scholars born in Africa living in the United States or Canada and working in an accredited college or university in either of those two countries, can apply online. Closing date: 6 July

Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM)
6th African Higher Education Week and Ruforum Biennial Conference - call for abstracts
RUFORM has launched a call for abstracts for the RUFORUM Conference and African Higher Education Week. Entitled Aligning African Universities to Accelerate Attainment of Africa’s Agenda 2063, the Conference will be held in Nairobi, Kenya 22 - 26 October 2018 and is a comprehensive meeting for the diversity of stakeholders in both agriculture and higher education sectors. Closing date for submission of extended abstracts: 31 July.

Initiatives to produce new PhDs
In an article published recently by a Research Chair at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, various initiatives have been set up that aim to help produce new PhDs in Africa. These include the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa, the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Initiative and the US National Institute of Health and Wellcome Trust, which is investing in African-led research.

- Americas

Regional Higher Education Conference 2018 (CRES)
CRES, the Regional Conference for Higher education for Latin America and the Caribbean, concluded on 15 June in Cordoba, Argentina with the release of a Final Declaration and a Plan of Action for the next 10 years. The Plan of Action includes promoting the expansion and quality of higher education with local and regional relevance, social inclusion and diversity; putting in place regional quality assurance systems; enhancing the participation of women in all areas of university life; and building a regional Science, Technology and Innovation agenda. The Plan also states its opposition to the commercialisation of education and affirms the responsibilities of governments in regulating higher education. Cres was organised by the UNESCO Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC), the Argentinian Ministry of Education, the National Interuniversity Council (CIN) and the National University of Cordoba (UNC).

- Arab States
First Arabic Citation Index
The first Arabic Citation Index (ARCI) was launched in May by the Egyptian Minister of Education and Technical Education Tarek Shawki. The project aims to facilitate access to Arabic scientific research and is led by the Egyption Knowledge Bank, an online library archive, with the Web of Science. The ARCI will be reference and provide access to bibliographic information and journal articles from across the 22 member states of the Arab League.

- Asia & Pacific

Asia Development Bank (ADB)
The ADB has released the report ICT for Better Education in the Pacific that reveals the findings of literature and field research on how ICT has been incorporated into the education sector, including at university level, in the Pacific region. It provides eight recommendations on focal areas to drive further progress.

Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN)
APQN has posted a Call for Papers for the 2019 APQN Academic Conference (AAC) and Annual General Meeting (AGM) themed Quality Assurance in the Asia-Pacific Region: Insight into the Future. The Conference will take place on 28 - 31 March in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Deadline: 29 November 2018

- Europe

European Commission
Horizon Europe
The European Commission has outlined their plans for Horizon Europe, the Ninth Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The Commission is proposing €100 billion for Horizon Europe, the successor to Horizon 2020, which will cover the period 2021 - 2027.

Horizon Europe - Universities’ response
14 European associations, including the European University Association and UNICA, both IAU Members, have released a communiqué in response to the Commission’s proposal for Horizon Europe. They call for an increased budget of €160 billion to achieve the ambitions of Horizon Europe and to put the implementation of the European Research Area at the centre of Horizon Europe and for more focus to be placed on society’s long-term benefits from the programme.

Ministerial Conference
Documents from the Ministerial Conference held in Paris on May 24 - 25 2018 are available online including the Paris Communiqué adopted by education ministers. The conference was opened to European Higher Education Area (EHEA) delegations and included a Bologna Policy Forum that was an opportunity to pursue a dialogue between EHEA and non-EHEA countries.

Baltic Recognition Agreement
The Baltic Recognition Agreement came into force on 18 May. Signed by Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania earlier this year, the agreement grants automatic mutual recognition of each other’s higher education qualifications. It covers all academic degrees and professional diplomas, as well as diplomas conferred at the end of secondary school.

Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche (LIBER) / Association of European Research Libraries
LIBER has released a webinar which addresses how Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation impacts on research data management.

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- Cameroon-Congo
The Cameroonian Prime Minister, Philemon Yang, signed a decree in June to create the Cameroon-Congo Inter-State University (Université Inter-Etats Cameroun-Congo). The university will be in Sangmélima, Cameroon, and will help strengthen cooperation and integration between both countries.

- Canada-Mexico
Seven new Memorandums of Understanding between Mexican and Canadian universities and research partnerswere signed in Mexico City in May. The MoUs focus on research collaborations in priority areas for each country, including health, digital technology, indigenous education and environmental sustainability.

- France-Canada
The Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne (ACUFC) and the Conference of University Presidents (CPU) signed an agreement on 6 June in Ottawa, Canada to increase cooperation between post-secondary institutions to boost student mobility and overcome the shortage of French speaking teachers in Canada.

- France-Chad
The Conference of University Presidents (CPU) and Chad Consortium of Universities and Grandes Ecoles (CUGET) signed a 5-year framework agreement on 24 May 2018 in Paris. It aims to establish institutional cooperation and to promote cultural, pedagogical and cultural collaboration and to develop joint projects.

- France-Cuba
On 25 May 2018 in Paris, the French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and Cuba’s Minister of Higher Education signed a cooperation agreement on short cycle higher education. Topics agreed on include strengthening cooperation on professional integration of graduates, mutual recognition of degrees and student mobility.

- Turkey-Palestine
Turkey and Palestine have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in higher education that will establish the institutional framework for cooperation between the higher education institutions of both countries and offer YOK Scholarships for Palestinian students.

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Australia Brazil Canada China
Egypt France Germany Ghana
India Indonesia Japan Mexico
Morocco Netherlands Norway Pakistan
Philippines Rwanda South Africa South Korea
Spain Switzerland Taiwan Turkey
United Kingdom United States

- Australia
Institutional assessments
The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) will include student wellbeing and safety standards as an additional criteria for assessments of higher education providersduring applications for renewal of registration.

Improving retention and completion - report
The Minister for Education and Training has released the Higher Education Standards Panel’s final report Improving Retention, Completion and Success in Higher Education. The report examines the factors impacting success and makes 18 recommendations for Australia’s higher education community to help ensure students have the best chance of successfully completing their studies and transitioning into the workforce.

Responsible research code
The National Health and Medical Research Council has released thenew Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018, jointly developed with the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia. This updated version presents the broad principles that characterise an honest, ethical and conscientious research culture and the responsibilities and expectations for research across all disciplines.

- Brazil
National innovation award - call for submissions
The Institute for Research and Studies in University Administration - INPEAU is inviting the academic community (students, researchers, teachers and technical-administrative workers) to submit their applications to the third edition of the National Innovation Award in University Management Professor João David Ferreira Lima 2018. The prize seeks to recognise people who have created or developed models, instruments or innovative university management practices.
Deadline: August 19.

- Canada
International students
The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) has published the results of two surveys indicating that a large proportion of current international students plan to work in Canada after graduation and intend to apply for permanent residency. Retaining International Students in Canada Post-Graduation: Understanding the Motivations and Drivers of the Decision to Stay in Canada finds that despite variation depending on international students’ country of origin, some of the reasons why international students intend to stay in Canada include better job opportunities and a higher standard of living.

University funding (Quebec)
The Quebec provincial government has announced an increase in funding allocated to universities from 2018 - 2019. The funding, agreed with the heads of 19 universities in Quebec, provides CAN$1.5 billion (EUR 981 million) over five years. It aims to increase access, quality and international performance of Quebec’s universities.

Sexual violence prevention policies (Manitoba)
The Government of Manitoba has released guidelines to assist higher education institutions in developing their sexual violence policies, as required under the 2017 Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Act. The guide outlines institutions’ responsibilities under the Act and details best practices.

- China
Plan on Promoting Artificial Intelligence in Universities
On 8 June, the Ministry of Education held a press conference at Zhejiang University, an IAU Member, to present the Action Plan on Promoting Artificial Intelligence in Universities. This roadmap document sets out three milestones for Chinese universities in the next two decades and lists 18 objectives organised around three goals: optimising the existing innovation framework for AI development, cultivating more high-caliber talent in the field of AI and promoting the commercialisation of research outcomes.

Industry and education
The 5th International Forum on Industry and Education (IFIE) held in Zhumadian City, China, in May was themed New Accomplishments of Integration of Industry and Education in the New Era. It was designed to help Chinese colleges and universities explore new strategic development paths to meet people’s needs and serve national strategies, while focusing on areas such as the modernisation of industry,, rural revitalisation strategies, new types of urbanisation, and supply of human resources.

- China-Hong Kong
Research policy and funding
The national task force on Research Policy and Funding has launched a consultation on its interim report which presents findings and preliminary recommendations from its review of research support strategy and the allocation of research funding for the higher education sector in Hong Kong. The consultation closes on 10 July.

- South Korea
The Democratic Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Unification in Seoul has given the go ahead for students at Seoul National University (SNU) to discuss academic exchanges with North Korea’s Kim Il Sung University, with the hope that regular exchanges and joint projects can be set up between the two universities.

- Egypt
Egypt’s government has approved a draft law on the establishment of eight technological universities across Egypt. The legislation is aimed at improving technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and boosting the employability of youth.

- France
Europe of Universities
The Conférence des Présidents des Universités (CPU) has published Europe des Universités (Europe of Universities), a report of the outcomes of the CPU conference which took place in Dijon in March. The recommendations include support for widening open access in Europe; a call for mobilisation of universities throughout Europe to promote ‘European values’ such as tolerance, open-mindedness, academic freedom and solidarity. It also calls for investment for the development of innovative pedagogies and infrastructures to enable virtual mobility; and asserts its continued collaboration with British universities post-Brexit, particularly in research, innovation and mobility.

Graduate employment - Grandes Ecoles
Graduate employment has reached its highest level since 2010 for graduates of Grandes Ecoles, according to a survey just published by the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles. The results show that 90 % of graduates of 176 Grandes Ecoles were in employment less than six months after graduating. Grandes Ecoles are French higher education institutions mainly in the fields of engineering, business, research and public administration with highly selective admissions.

- Germany
The German Rectors Conference (HRK) have stated their concerns following a decision by the German Supreme Court concerning admission procedures for medical degrees. According to the HRK, this decision not only impacts on university autonomy, but also education at universities in general.

- Ghana
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced that as part of efforts to improve the quality of teacher training in Ghana, Colleges of Education are to be upgraded to University College status and will offer a new four-year Bachelor of Education degree with effect from the 2018-19 academic year. The degree has been made the minimum requirement for teaching at any level of the country’s education system.

- India
PhD mandatory for University teachers
A new regulation introduced by the University Grants Commission (UGC) will make aPh.D Degree mandatory for direct recruitment to the position of teachers and Assistant Professors in Universities as of July 2021.

Quality mandate
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a Quality Mandate presenting approved objectives and initiatives for improving quality in Higher Education Institutions by 2022. These include: institutional accreditation; improving graduate outcomes; Promoting links between students and industry during their studies; including in the curriculum professional ethics and soft skills such as teamwork, communication and leadership skills; ensuring that teacher vacancies at HEIs do not exceed 10%.

Online courses - new regulations
In May, the University Grants Commission (UGC) approved theUGC (Online Courses) Regulations, 2018. From the new academic year, institutions will be allowed to offer certificate, diploma and degree programmes to students as fully-fledged online courses provided they have already been offering the same programmes in regular or distance learning mode.

- Indonesia
Plan for Preventing radicalism at universities
Higher Education Minister Mohamad Nasir announced a plan in June to meet with the heads of public universities to coordinate efforts aimed at preventing radicalism on Indonesian campuses.

Online Learning System (SPADA) launched
While participating at the 2018 World Post Graduate Expo held in Jakarta in May, the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education launched an e-learning or hybrid learning system named Online Learning System (SPADA) Indonesia, meant to improve to education for Indonesians all over the country with modules and materials contributed by participating universities.

- Japan
The government has announced that from 2020 students from low income families attending higher educational institutions will will be eligible for tuition fee relief and expanded grant-type scholarships.

- Mexico
In order to collect and analyse information on gender equality in higher education institutions in Mexico, ANNUIES, the National association of universities and higher education institutions, together with other organisations (CIEG-UNAM, INMUJERES, CONAVIM and CNDH) have signed an agreement to establish a Gender Equality Observatory.

Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area
Morocco has become an official participating State in the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA), an EU programme bringing together 19 countries which focuses on the development and application of solutions for food systems and water resources in the Mediterranean basin. The agreement was signed in April by the Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research, Saaïd Amzazi, and the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.

National Centre for Scientific and Technical Research - Strategic Plan
TheNational Centre for Scientific and Technical Research (Centre national pour la recherche scientifique et technique CNRST) validated/theirstrategic plan for 2018-2022.

The Netherlands
International students from outside Europe are now allowed to work 16 hours per week in addition to their studies. The previous standard was 10 hours per week. Opportunities for taking part in an internship after graduation have also been expanded.

New recognition service for Nordic degrees
The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) has launched a new recognition service for people with higher education qualifications from the Nordic countries who wish to work or study in Norway. The recognition statement shows how NOKUT recognizes Nordic higher education degrees and their equivalent degrees in the Norwegian system. The document also provides information on how employers and education institutions can verify the qualifications directly with the issuing university.

Clothing bill
Norway’s parliament has passed a bill banning clothing that partially or fully covers the face from being worn at educational institutions, including universities. The bill applies to both students and teachers.

On World Environment Day on 5 June, the Higher Education Commission organised a consultative meeting of 15 universities to draw the attention of the country’s higher education institutions to their policies in relation to combating global climate change.

Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act
On 13 June, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed between the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and almost 200 Public Higher Education Institutions, to launch the implementation of or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTEA). Around 1.3 million students are expected to benefit from the initial implementation of the Act meant to provide free Higher Education for those admitted in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and CHED-recognized Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs).

National Research and Innovation Fund Launched
The NIRF is to be funded by the government as it continues to shore up research, technology and innovation in the country as well as to seek to raise numbers of researchers the country has and train different Rwandans on how to develop efficient innovations that can contribute to the country’s transformation.

South Africa
Universities South Africa Research and Innovation Dialogue
USAF held it 6th Research and Innovation Dialogue from 31 May to 1 June, bringing together leaders from the country’s public universities, national research foundations, representatives from the Departments of Higher Education and Training and Science and Technology. Central themes discussed were funding, research, postgraduate / doctoral education, and cooperation.

The Open University of Catalunya (UOC) - an IAU Member - is to coordinate ACT (Communities of Practice for Accelerating Gender Equality and Institutional Change in Research and Innovation across Europe)- a H2020 funded project that will advance gender equality at research organizations by facilitating collaboration between experienced institutions in the implementation of gender equality plans with less experienced ones, addressing common needs and improving assessment.

Digital skills in teaching
The Council of Haute Ecoles, representing the Swiss Conference of Hautes Ecole approved the project Reinforcing Digital Skills in Teaching. The project, developed by swissuniversities, will run from 2019 to 2024 and aims to support digital skills for students, teachers and institutions in Hautes Ecoles.

The President has promulgated the Community College Development Act that clarifies the legal status of community colleges to promote their development, facilitate their operation, and in turn reinforce Taiwan’s lifelong learning system. The Act also delegates operational support mandate to the central and local competent authorities.

Two Turkish universities near the Syrian Border are taking part in rebuilding efforts in Syrian cities which have been liberated. They are planning to establish a faculty and a department in Jarablus and in al-Bab.

United Kingdom
University Mental Health Charter launched
The Universities Minister Sam Gyimah announced new measures on student mental health on 28 June, calling on universities to dramatically improve their mental health offering for students. The measures include the University Mental Health Charter which will award universities with recognition for meeting new mental health standards which will be developed in partnership with Universities UK, the Office for Students (OfS) and the National Union of Students (NUS).

University admissions and prior attainment
A new Universities UK report, Growth and Choice in University Admissions, shows that the growth in student numbers over the past ten years has not led to university entrants having lower qualifications. The research also shows that vocational qualifications are now widely recognised in university admissions in England.

Graduate earnings
A new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) commissioned by the Department for Education finds that family background has an important impact on graduates’ future earnings, as well as subject and institution choice.

Research and Open access
Research England, (the former Higher Education Funding Council for England - HEFCE) together with the Wellcome Trust, the former Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Jisc have published a report examining progress in English higher education institutions towards open access in the context of the RFI Research Excellence Framework (REF) open access policy. The report finds that out of the 113 universities surveyed, 61% of research outputs are meeting open access requirements.

University funding (Scotland)
The Scottish Funding Council has published its annual report on Widening Access. The report, which presents data from 2016-2017 towards the Scottish Government access targets, finds positive trends on entry rates for students with disabilities, ethnic minority students, students with care experience and for gender balance. However there was a slight annual decrease in entry to university for students from the poorest areas of Scotland.

United States
Data use to improve equity
A new report by the American Council on Education (ACE),Bringing Accountability to Life: How Savvy Data Users Find the “Actionable N” to Improve Equity and Sustainability in Higher Education, provides a humanistic perspective on data-informed decision making in higher education. It presents the findings of a a data use initiative among university teachers, administrators, and staff in Pennsylvania to promote racial equity in higher education.

Minority serving institutions and upward mobility
Minority serving institutions (MSIs) propel students up the economic ladder at two to three times the rates of non-MSIs, according to a new report from ACE. The report is a first-of-its-kind analysis of MSIs using newly released federal data that examines upward income mobility rates.

Graduate STEM education
The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine recently released a report titled Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century.

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IAU Lynx June Edition
IAU Lynx May Edition
IAU Lynx April Edition

IAU Lynx coordinator: Amanda Sudic
Collaborating team: Melissa Herlaut, Nicholas Poulton, Samuel Pousson, Carine Sebast and Hilligje van’t Land
Contact: [email protected]
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