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IAU Lynx - June 2018


June 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’s Heritage Emergency Fund and the UNESCO Cairo Office organised a mission to the University of Benghazi in Libya from 5 - 14 April 2018 to evaluate the state of conservation and carry out a needs assessment for the restoration and preservation of the University’s Collection of Manuscripts and Books which has been heavily affected by the armed conflict and is in need of restoration.

On 15 May, UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, and the Minister of Education for the Republic of Ghana, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, signed an Agreement establishing the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Ghana as a Category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO.

UNESCO has published Mapping Research and Innovation in Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The study is the culmination of two years’ work, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR).

International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP)
IIEP-UNESCO and the Mongolian National Education Accreditation Council (NEAC) jointly organised a capacity development workshop for Quality Assurance officials on Internal Quality Assurance for national higher education institutions. The workshop was also supported by the Asian Development Bank. 150 QA personnel from the 95 Mongolian higher education institutions participated in the Workshop which concluded which the agreement of a roadmap for the development of IQA in higher education institutions and the head of the National Education Accreditation Council, Ms Yanjmaa Ochirbat, announced the creation of a National Quality Forum.

UNESCO Beirut in collaboration with the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), an IAU Member, organised a workshop entitledDigital Transformation and Open Education Resources (OER): Toward Quality and Recognition at the Syrian Universities’. The recommendations produced by the participants include providing support for Syria’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education to develop a National Policy for Digital Education; capacity building in Professional Development for university faculty;and developing joint Syrian/Tunisian OER/MOOCs.

UNESCO Bangkok - Mongolia
UNESCO Bangkok’s Section for Educational Innovation and Skills Development (EISD) has agreed to provide technical support to the Ministry of Education of Mongolia to strengthen the country’s quality assurance and accreditation systems in order to improve the quality of higher education and solve the skills mismatch in the job market.

- British Council
Videos and podcasts of presentations from the Going Global Conference 2018 held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 2 - 4 May are now available online. Themed ‘Global Connections, Local Impact’, the conference addressed challenges for the future of international higher education.

- Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
COL has launched the Commonwealth Digital Education Leadership Training in Action (C-DELTA) online platform for both teachers and students to assess their digital education skills, learn digital education skills based on areas that needs improvements and receive a certificate.

COL sponsored the 2018 Biennial High Level Roundtable for Vice Chancellors and Heads of ODL Institutions on May 10 - 11 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Hosted by Asia eUniversity, 30 Vice Chancellors from 20 countries participated in the event which focused on leadership and entrepreneurship in online education. A video of the event and discussions is available online.

- Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA)
The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) has released Education under Attack 2018. The fourth edition of this report, which covers at all levels of education, finds that that violence directed at students, educators, and their institutions increased worldwide between 2013 to 2017.2017Attacks on higher education occurred in 52 countries globally.

- Institute of International Education (IIE)
The Institute of International Education (IIE), an IAU Affiliate Member, has expanded IIE PEER, its Platform for Education in Emergencies Response (PEER), a low-bandwidth database providing information on higher education degree and non-degree programmes initially aimed to support Syrian students to represent other displaced populations throughout the world.

- Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
The OECD has published How is the Tertiary-Education Population Evolving? The publication, the latest of OECD’s Education Indicators in Focus forecasts that over the next decade the share of young adults in OECD and G20 countries with a tertiary education is expected to continue to grow, with a widening gender gap and that the increase will mostly be driven by China and India.

- Universia
Documents and videos from the International Rectors’ Meeting Universia 2018 have now been released. The Meeting took place on 12 - 22 May at the University of Salamanca, Spain, an IAU Member which this year celebrates its 8th centenary. Themed “University, Society, and Future", the Meeting focused on three strategic topics: training and learning in the digital world, research at the university and universities’ contribution to social and territorial development. IAU President Pam Fredman was a speaker at the Inaugural Panel. The Meeting concluded with the release of the Declaration of Salamanca.

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Africa - Americas - ArabStates - Asia & Pacific - Europe

- Africa

Pan-African High-Level Conference on Education (PACE 2018)
The Pan-African High-Level Conference on Education (PACE 2018) took place in Nairobi, Kenya from 25 to 27 April. The event, aimed to chart a common way forward to ensure inclusive and quality education for all in Africa. Education ministers and high-level government officials, and representatives of international, regional and national United Nations organisations, pan-African youth and teacher organizations joined the discussions, which concluded with the Nairobi Declaration and Call for Action on Education. It expresses recommendations for developing Africa’s human and social capital through education within the context of the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4 and the Continental Strategy for Education in Africa 2016–2025.

World Bank - Korea Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund
The World Bank and the Government of Korea signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 23 May on the margins of the African Development Bank Annual Meetings in Busan, Korea. Under the MoU, the Government of Korea will set up a $10 million trust fund at the World Bank for the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) to support Sub-Saharan Africa’s universities and research institutions in growing highly qualified local talent in areas important for Africa’s transformation, such as renewable energy, big data, artificial intelligence, and engineering.

First Cohort of Future African Leaders in Science and Technology
Fifteen young African scholars, four of whom are women - funded by the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) - have officially started PhD research programmes at universities across the region (Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania, University Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Cote d’Ivoire, African University of Science and Technology in Nigeria, and University of Gaston Berger in Senegal). They will research some of the biggest challenges facing the African continent, including food security, information and communications technologies, and materials, minerals and mining engineering.

African Centre of Excellence for Inequalities Research (ACEIR) launched
The University of Cape Town launched ACEIR, one of thirteen Centres of Excellence planned under the aegis of The African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA). Each Centre will address a research theme aligned to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

- Americas

Unión de Universidades de América Latina (UDUAL)
UDUAL has released a detailed analysis of medical education in Latin America and the Caribbean. The report is based on the results of a survey of 105 Medical Schools, both public and private, in 17 countries in the region.

- Arab States

The UNESCO Chair on the Communication of Science and Technology was inaugurated at Allameh Tabataba’i University, Iran, an IAU Member, on 16 May. The ceremony was attended by Esther Kuisch-Laroche, Director of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and Mansour Gholami, Minister of Science, Research and Technology. The Chair is responsible for affairs of regional countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan, and for enhancing the existing scientific cooperation between these countries.

- Asia & Pacific

Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN)
APQN has published two reports:
- Capacity Building for Next-Generation Quality Assurance in Higher Education, a report from the 2018 APQN Academic Conference (AAC) held in March in Nagpur, India. It covers internal quality assurance of quality assurance agencies (QAAs) and quality assurance of Higher Education Institutions.

- The APQN Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2018 that also took place at the APQN conference. It provides an overview of events and initiatives carried out in 2017 as well as focus areas set for 2018.

National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement of Higher Education (NIAD-QE)
NIAD-QE Japan, along with the Higher Education Evaluation Centre of the Ministry of Education (HEEC) of China and the Korean Council for University Education (KCUE) were jointly awarded the 2018 APQN Quality Award in the ‘International Cooperation in QA’ category, in recognition of the joint initiative to monitor the 5 year Campus Asia pilot programmes.

- Europe

European Commission
New education package launched
The European Commission launched a new education package on 22 May. This includes a Recommendation for simplifying recognition procedures and establishing transparent criteria for recognition that are applied consistently throughout higher education institutions throughout Europe.

Bologna process implementation
The European Higher Education Area in 2018: Bologna Process Implementation Report was released in May. It provides detailed data on national and regional progress towards the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) since the Yerevan Conference in 2015. It finds that although Bologna commitments have mostly been met, and that the dominant European model is now a clearly structured three-cycle degree system, there remain significant differences in degree structures across the EHEA as a whole.

European University Association (EUA)
Call for papers
A call for papers has been launched for the European Learning and Teaching Forum 2019. Themed Towards Successful Learning: Common Ground and Controversies, the forum will be hosted by University of Warsaw, Poland, on 14 - 15 February 2019. Deadline to submit online proposals: 12 October 2018.

Database of External Quality Assurance results
DEQAR, the Database of External Quality Assurance Results, aims to support transparency of quality of European higher education launched has been launched. The database which currently holds results for over 400 higher education institutions across Europe is an initiative of the E4 Group: the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), European Students Union (ESU), European University Association (EUA) and the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE).

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- Algeria - Mauritania
The Algerian and Mauritanian Ministers of Higher Education and Research, Tahar Hadjar and Sidi Ould Salem, signed a cooperation agreement in research, specifically in the areas of water, pollution, environment and global warming at a meeting on 6 May in Algiers.

- China - Spain
The Conference of Spanish University Rectors (Crue Universidades Españolas) and China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on institutional cooperation and student mobility on 17 April in Crue’s headquarters in Madrid.

- Finland - Estonia
The Government of Finland and the Government of Estonia convened or the first time on 7 May in Tallinn, Estonia. Topics agreed on included deepening cooperation on higher education and culture. Both countries also seek to introduce and develop their languages in Europe and enlarge opportunities for language studies.

- Ireland - Oman
The Irish Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, and the Minister of Higher Education from the Sultanate of Oman, Dr. Rawya Al Busaidi, signed a memorandum of understanding on 14 May in higher education cooperation.

- Japan - Germany
University representatives from Japan and Germany met in Tokyo on 26 - 27 April to discuss how universities in both countries can cooperate with society, business and industry in an effective and mutually beneficial way. Three guiding principles were adopted.

- Japan - Singapore
The first Japan-Singapore Joint Committee Meeting on Cooperation in Science and Technology was convened on 16 April in Tokyo. Joint research and academic exchange were among the topics addressed.

- Norway - China
The People’s Republic of China and Norway signed an agreement on mutual recognition of qualifications in higher education on 18 April 2018 in Beijing, China. The aim of the agreement on mutual recognition of qualifications in higher education is to increase academic mobility between the two countries.

- United States (California) - Mexico
In the framework of California-Mexico Advocacy Day, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the state of California and Mexico to foster binational cooperation on education. The MoU addresses challenges faced by students who study on both sides of the US-Mexico border.

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Argentina Australia Canada Chile
China Costa Rica Côte d’Ivoire Ecuador
Egypt Ethiopia France Germany
India Ireland Japan Kazakhstan
Kenya Malta New Zealand Pakistan
Spain Sri lanka Sweden Turkey
United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States

- Argentina
Higher education institution mapping
The Ministry of Education has launched a map referencing all the higher education courses in 2500 public and private institutions. Search can be carried out by region, university funding, type of institution, degree level and field of studies.

Mobile devices
The presentation and video on the challenges of mobile devices in teaching by Dr Mariona Grané at Academia Nacional de Educación are now available (in Spanish).

- Australia
Student experience survey - report
The 2017 Student Experience Survey (SES) National Report has been released by the Department of Education and Training-commissioned Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) project. It presents the results from 148,000 undergraduate students and 58,000 postgraduate students from Australian universities and non-university higher education institutions (NUHEIs) and analyses five aspects of the student experience: skills development, learner engagement, teaching quality, student support and learning resources.

TEQSA - call for papers
The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has launched a call for papers for its annual conference themed Innovation, Excellence and Diversity to be held 28 - 30 November 2018 in Melbourne. Deadline to submit abstracts of presentations: 13 July 2018

Students, Quality, Success
TEQSA has published the papers presented at its 2017 conference addressing the themes Students, Quality and Success.

HE participation trends
The Mitchell Institute, an independent think tank at Victoria University, has released Participation in Tertiary Education in Australia. The report presents a picture of past and present enrolment trends and predictions of future participation levels in tertiary education – including higher education - in Australia.

- Canada
Tech-expansion plan (British Colombia)
The province of British Colombia has announced it is investing an initial CAN$900,000 (€595,854) in a new tech-expansion plan. Under the plan, 2,900 technology-related spaces will be added within nine higher education institutions to produce 1,000 additional technology graduates a year by 2023.

Student aid changes (Manitoba)
The Manitoba provincial government has announced the streamlining of the application process for student aid and bursaries to help more low-income and Indigenous students. The province plans to distribute up to CAN $8.6 million (€5.7 million in additional loans for the 2018-19 academic year.

- China

Research funding for Hong Kong and Macau
A new directive announced in May by the Chinese Ministries of Science and Technology and of Finance, states that universities and research institutions in Hong Kong and Macau can apply for research funding from China, previously only available to academics on the Chinese mainland.

Commercialisation of research
The Program for Promoting Commercialization of Research Results by Universities Located in Beijing was presented by the Ministry of Education Science and Technology Department and the Zhongguancun science and technology park at the National Independent Innovation Zone in Beijing on 24 April 2018. It addresses ways to promote the commercialisation of university research and boost the development of innovation clusters.

- Chile

Sexism and gender violence
Students and staff in over 30 higher education institutions in Chile have occupied university buildings to protest against sexism, harassment and gender violence in Chilean universities.

The Ministry of Education has released its suggestions for the development of a protocol against sexual harassment in higher education.

- Costa Rica

Consejo Nacional de Rectores (CONARE) has launched a new website providing infographics on degrees and their employment opportunities. Information is presented in a reader friendly manner making it easy to use for students, career counselors and researchers.

- Côte d’Ivoire
The Ministry of Higher Education and Research is looking to reform the law concerning higher education. Professor Bakayoko Ly Ramata, the Minister, stated that the country’s universities should move towards being more entrepreneurial and should produce knowledge in order to respond to pressing issues in the country (in French).

- Ecuador

On 9 May in Buenos Aires, the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) and Ecuadorian Ministry of Education signed a letter of intent on transparency, social responsibility and fight against corruption in the education system.

- Egypt

Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdul Ghaffar has announced that the Cabinet has approved a draft law on the establishment of technological universities. The bill stipulates that eight technological universities will be built across the country.

- Ethiopia

Performance report and action plan
A recent report presented by Dr Tilaye Gete, the Minister of Education, announced that a 15-year action plan is being prepared by evaluating and reviewing education and training policies of the last 25 years, and by involving more than 36 higher education institution professionals and researchers.

- France

International mobility for students with disabilities
In the context of the Bologna Ministerial Conference to be held in Paris on 24 - 25 May, the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles (CGE) has launched a campaign to raise awareness of issues encountered by students with disabilities during their international mobility programmes and calls for the creation of an international status for students with disabilities.

Bologna Process explained
The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in partnership with Radio Campus France has released a podcast series called ‘Sauce Bolo’ to explain the Bologna Process in a pedagogical and humoristic way.

Make our Planet Great Again - Laureats
The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation has released the names of the second round of laureates from the research program ‘Make our Planet Great Again’ launched by the French President following the United States’ decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Thelaureates, from seven countries, will conduct research projects on climate change in French universities and research centres.

- Germany

research publications
As institutional attribution of research publications has a significant influence on institutions’ position in international rankings, HRK, the German Rectors’ Conference, has released recommendations on guidelines for stating affiliations in publications.

- India

Fake universities listed
In May, the University Grants Commission published a Notice on fake universities which lists 24 unrecognised universities which are not entitled to confer degrees.

New higher education regulation authority - legislation
The government has drawn up draft legislation for setting up a ‘Higher Education Evaluation and Regulation Authority, 2018’ (HEERA) or Higher Education Regulatory Council (HERC) which would replace existing regulatory authorities.

- Ireland

Student progression statistics
A new report by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) has found that 86% of the 41,441 first year undergraduates in public higher education institutions in 2014/15 progressed to second year. The research found that prior academic attainment is the strongest predictor of non-progression and that rates of non-progression are higher in institutes of technology than in universities.

- Japan
Universities’ plan
The Japan Association of National Universities (JANU) has released ‘A Future Vision of National Universities in Higher Education’. The statement defines a vision and the future missions for national universities.

- Kazakhstan
National universities’ ratings
The National Rating of the Independent Agency for Accreditation and Rating has released their list of the ‘20 best universities’ in Kazakhstan 2018.

- Kenya

Recommendations by the Commission for University Education (CUE) on the Kenyan higher education system are contained in a report entitled Policy Advisory on Rationalisation of Universities and Programmes in Kenya, which was presented to the Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on 2 May. The proposals include university mergers in a given region, creation of national centres of excellence, and recommends that PhD holders admitted through executive masters degrees will not be eligible to teach in Kenyan universities.

- Malta
Student visa policy changes
The Government has announced changes to its student visa policy that will simplify and streamline the process for non-European students and include employment rights.

- New Zealand
Budget freeze
The Government announced its Budget on 17 May which includes a funding freeze for universities. Universities New Zealand-Te Pōkai Tara said that this budget would significantly harm universities financially, in particular due to reduced finance arising from the recent fees-free policy.

- Pakistan
Vice Chancellor position - Call for applications
The Higher Education Commission has announced the opening for the position of Vice Chancellor of the Islamic University of Technology (IUT), Dhaka (a subsidiary of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Deadline for applications: 30 June.

- Spain
New national merit scholarship
The government announced an investment of an additional 50 million Euros for a new merit scholarship on 23 May which will be awarded to students with the best academic records.

Mobility agreement for students with visual disabilities
The Conference of Spanish University Rectors (Crue Universidades Españolas) and the National Organization of Spanish blind people (ONCE) and have concluded a cooperation agreement to boost blind students international mobility. Both organisations committed to facilitate the participation of international students with a visual disability in CRUE’s university members international mobility programmes.

- Sri Lanka

New Minister of Higher Education
The new Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, took office on 2 May.

- Sweden

HE and research insitutions cancel Elsevier contract
The Bibsam Consortium, which represents 85 higher education and research institutions in Sweden, has announced that they will cancel their contract with journal publisher Elsevierover concerns over slow progress towards open access. Sweden’s government has said that all publicly funded research should be made freely available by 2026.

- Turkey
HE statistics
Higher education statistics for academic year 2017-2018 have just been published (in Turkish).

- United Arab Emirates
Student visa changes
The UAE government has announced new five-year residency visas for students studying in the UAE and 10-year visas for exceptional students and specialists in medical, scientific, research and technical fields.

- United Kingdom

Post-Brexit research
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has announced that post-Brexit she is seeking full participation of the UK in the European Union’s next research and innovation programmes including the successor to Horizon 2020, which the UK would pay for. In her speech on Science and Modern Industrial Strategy at the University of Manchester, she also said that she will ensure that there is no change to the situation for researchers in the UK who are foreign nationals.

Students’ mental health
Minding Our Future was launched by Universities UK during Mental Health Awareness Week in May. The publication, by UUK Student Mental Health Services Task Group, shows that the number of students with mental health problems in the UK has trebled in recent years. It provides guidance to improve the coordination of student mental health care services between universities and the National Health Service.

Government review of post-18 education - submission
Universities UK has released its submission to the government’s review of post-18 education funding in England. The UUK submission calls for the review to address students’ concerns about living costs and fears of debt and recommends the restoration of maintenance grants.

Student mobility and employment
UUK has also published a new report ‘Gone International’. This report compares the academic attainment and employment outcomes of mobile and non-mobile first degree undergraduate students who completed their studies at the end of the 2015–16 academic year. It finds an increase in the number of students going abroad and also finds that have students who spend time studying abroad have lower unemployment rates.

Manifesto for widening access
The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) has released A Manifesto for the New Director of Fair Access and Participation. Addressed to the Office for Students (OfS), the new regulator for higher education in England, the publication provides concrete proposals for widening access to higher education from over 30 university leaders and administrators

- United States

Budget proposals - HE response
The American Council on Education (ACE), an IAU Member, and 34 other higher education associations have sent letters to the USA Government House and Senate and the White House calling on Congress to reject budget proposals that includes cuts in student aid funding.

National student survey results
The National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), a nationally representative survey of postsecondary students has been released. The data from the survey, which cover 2015-2016, indicates reversals in the growth of ethnic minority, low-income and first for the undergraduates receiving a Pell Grant.

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IAU Lynx May Edition
IAU Lynx April Edition
IAU Lynx March 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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