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IAU Lynx - October 2018


October 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.



An update on the UNESCO-Shenzhen Project on Strengthening Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Africa has been released. Implemented since 2017 in ten African countries, the project aims to strengthen higher education systems by developing quality assurance mechanisms.

Unesco Institute for Statistics (UIS)
UNESCO-UIS has released The Quick Guide to Education Indicators for SDG 4. The publication describes how to monitor progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on quality education.

UNESCO Bangkok Office
Qualifications frameworks
UNESCO Bangkok, with the support of the Republic of Korea Funds-in-Trust, has released Guidelines on Developing and Strengthening Qualifications Frameworks in Asia and the Pacific. Key strategies for developing National Qualifications Frameworks (NQF) and case studies illustrating policies and practices throughout the Asia-Pacific region are detailed.

Quality standards consultation - call for participation
UNESCO Bangkok has launched a call for comments and feedback for a consultation on how quality standards are developed and implemented in the Asia-Pacific region before the first meeting of the Tokyo Convention Committee to be held on 18 - 19 October 2018 in Seoul.

- G20 Education Ministerial Meeting

The G20 Education Ministerial Meeting took place in Mendoza, Argentina on 5 September. The resulting G20 Education Ministers’ Declaration 2018 affirms the unique role of education as a key driver for sustainable development and calls for adequate investment to improve the quality of learning outcomes, and increase equity, inclusion and support to disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.

- Higher Education Policy Institute - Higher Education Strategy Associates

The UK’s Higher Education Policy Institute and Canada’s Higher Education Strategy Associates have jointly published a new research paper comparing the spread of means-tested tuition fees across five continents. The case studies include Canada, Chile, Italy, Japan, South Africa and the United States, and a retrospective look at the UK scheme in place until 2016.

- New University in Exile Consortium

The New University in Exile Consortium was launched on 6 September. Initiated by the New School for Social Research, with 11 other universities in the USA , the Consortium is committed to the view that the international academic community has both the responsibility and capacity to assist universities and scholars who face increasing attacks around the world.

- Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
Education at a Glance 2018
OECD has just released Education at a Glance 2018. The report provides comparable national statistics and analyses the education systems of the 36 OECD member countries, as well as Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

International education statistics
The OECD has also published the Handbook for Internationally Comparative Education Statistics 2018 which provides insights into the functioning of international education systems through a set of harmonised indicators.

- World Bank
Higher Education Support Project - Burkina Faso
The World Bank approved a $70 million grant in July 2018 to strengthen higher education institutions in Burkina Faso. The project aims to create an online university, the Virtual University of Burkina Faso, support selected higher education institutions, and build capacity within these institutions and the supervising ministry.

Higher Education Institutions Capacity Improvement Project - Cambodia
The government of Cambodia and the World Bank has signed an agreement for the implementation of the Higher Education Institutions Capacity Improvement Project (HEICP). Providing US$ 90 million, the project aims to improve the quality of higher education and research in the country and to broaden access to higher education for disadvantaged students.

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Africa - Asia & Pacific - Europe

- Africa

Francophone Institute for University Governance (IFGU)

Support for self-assessment of African Universities: Call for expressions of interest
The Francophone Institute for University Governance (IFGU) is looking for higher education institutions in Central Africa, the Great Lakes, West Africa and the Indian Ocean that are members of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) and wish to invest in a self-assessment process with the support of the IFGU and partners (in French)
Deadline for applications: 31 October 2018

Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement
Call for applications for Masters programme
The AUF, in collaboration with the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement and the Agence nationale des parcs nationaux in Gabon, are awarding 40 places for Masters in Coastal and Marine Environment Research and Management to students with engineering or STEM degrees.
Closing date for applications: 18 October 2018 (in French)

Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) for Development Impact Project
The ACE for Development Impact project was launched at the end of August 2018. It seeks to improve the quality, quantity and development impact of postgraduate education (Masters and PhD degrees, and short-term professional level courses and training) in selected universities through regional specialisation and collaboration.

- Asia & Pacific

Asian Development Bank (ADB)
ADB has approved US$145 million in loans to develop new applied science and technology programmes in four Sri Lankan universities. The project will construct faculty buildings following green building standards; develop degree programme curricula incorporating industry inputs and aligned with international standards; support the recruitment and training of academic staff for the new programmes; and develop joint proposals with industry partners for research and development.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) - SHARE
The second ASEAN Student Mobility Forum was held in Yangon, Myanmar, on 28 - 29 August. The Forum, jointly organised by ASEAN, the European Union and the Ministry of Education (MOE) Myanmar, aimed at empowering the participating students to positively influence the development of an ASEAN identity in all ASEAN countries, through mobility programmes. The presentations are to be posted online soon.

- Europe

Science Europe
On 4 September 2018, 11 national research funding organisations, with the support of the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC), announced the launch of cOAlition S, an initiative to make full open access to research publications a reality.

European Association of Universities (EUA)
EUA has released a briefing note looking at three developments which bring European and Japanese higher education closer together.

Magna Charta Observatory
Background documents, information and videos of the 30th Anniversary of the Observatory of the Magna Charta Universitatum which took place at the University of Salamanca, Spain in September are available online.

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Argentina - United Kingdom

Argentina’s Minister for Education, Culture, Science and Technology, Alejandro Finocchiaro, and UK Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Education, Lord Agnew, signed an agreement in Mendoza, Argentina in September during the G20 education ministerial meeting to help facilitate greater student mobility. Specifically, Master’s degrees will be mutually recognised between Argentina and the UK, allowing direct access to doctoral programmes in higher education institutions in both countries.

France - Denmark

The Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science, Tommy Ahlers, and the French Minister for European Affairs, Nathalie Loiseau, signed a joint declaration to promote research, innovation and education through increased mobility for students, teachers and researchers.

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Australia Canada Chile China
Republic of Congo Cuba Denmark Dominican Republic
France Hong Kong India Indonesia
Iran Ireland Italy Japan
Republic of Korea Mexico Netherlands Nigeria
Pakistan Sudan Tanzania United Kingdom
United States

- Australia

New Minister appointed
The new Minister for Education, Science and Research, Dan Tehan, was appointed on 28 August 2018.

Mapping higher education
Mapping Australian Higher Education 2018 published by the Grattan Institute, the independent public policy think tank, provides an overview of higher education trends, policies and performance. The report also features chapters on higher education providers, students, research, finance and benefits for graduates and employers.

Research Training Plan
The Department of Education and Training (DET) has published an update on implementing the Research Training Implementation Plan (RTIP), which was put in place from December 2017. The Plan focuses on five priority issues: Pathways to HDR training; Industry-university collaboration; Equity, Indigenous participation; Quality; Data and evidence to better monitor system performance.

National University Mental Health Framework
The Government announced in September that it will provide AUS$660,000 to support development of a new National University Mental Health Framework. The framework will be developed through national consultations with universities and the mental health sector.

- Canada

Universities Canada has released its 2019 budget submission to the Canadian Government. The recommendations include investment in Indigenous postsecondary education access and success; an increase in research scholarships and fellowships; and supporting student participation in work-integrated learning.

- Chile

The new Minister of Education, Marcela Cubillos Sigall, has announced the appointment of the first superintendent of Higher Education, Jorge Avilés Barros. The new position of Superintendent has a remit to identify the problems in higher education institutions in order to anticipate crises.

- China

During the 2018 Beijing Summit and the Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Beijing in September, the Chinese government pledged to provide government scholarships for African students to study in China. The initiatives, detailed in the FOCAC Action Plan, includes the provision of 50,000 government scholarships and 50,000 training opportunities for students from Africa. China is the second most popular destination for African students studying abroad after France.

- Republic of Congo

The training and qualifications of nurses, midwives and laboratory technicians will transfer to the higher education sector from the academic year 2018-2019. The development, following an agreement signed between the Ministry for Technical and Vocational Education, Training and Employment and the Ministry for Health and Population, takes place within the context of the three-tier higher education reforms in the country.

- Cuba

The Ministry of Higher Education has announced the introduction of short-cycle higher education programmes from the 2018-2019 academic year.

- Denmark

The Minister of Higher Education and Science, Tommy Ahlers, has announced a reduction in the number of places in English medium of instruction Masters and Bachelor of Engineering degree courses at six of the country’s eight universities. According to a study by the Ministry of Education and Science, 42% of graduates from English-language master’s programs have left Denmark within two years of completing their studies.

- Dominican Republic

The National Council for Science, Higher Education and Technology (CONESCyT) has approved the establishment of an agency for accreditation and quality assurance of higher education (Agencia Dominicana para el Aseguramiento de la Calidad de la Educación Superior).

- France

Medical education reform
President Macron has announced changes in medical education, in the context of reforms to France’s health care system. Specifically, the rule setting quotas on the number of students admitted in second year of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy will be abolished in 2020.

Educational statistics
The Ministry of Higher Education and Research has released the 2018 statistics for education and Research.

Graduate employment - Grandes Ecoles
The Conférence des Grandes Ecoles (CGE) has published an updated infographic on graduate employment and income among its member institutions.

- Hong Kong

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued the Review Report on Research Policy and Funding. The report details the research landscape of Hong Kong, funding schemes available and presents recommendations to encourage cross-institutional collaborations and knowledge transfer between research and industry.

- India

Innovation ranking
The Ministry of Human Resources has launched an initiative to rank higher education institutions and universities on innovation-related indicators. The Innovation Cell and Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) aims to systematically foster the culture of Innovation in all Higher Education Institutions across the country.

New accreditation agency
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a notice officialising the UGC (Recognition and Monitoring of Assessment Accreditation Agencies) Regulations 2018 adopted in August. It plans to set up an Accreditation Advisory Council (AAC) for recognition of Assessment and Accrediting Agencies (AAAs) in addition to the two existing agencies - National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and National Board of Accreditation (NBA).

University entrance - new testing agency
The Ministry of Human Resources has announced the creation of the National Testing Agency that will administer entrance examinations for higher education institutions from December 2018, in place of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

- Indonesia

The Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education announced the results of the 2018 ranking of Indonesian higher education institutions. The ranking is based on five quality components: human resources; organisational; student activities; research and community service; and innovation.

- Iran

The government has approved a bill on the right to higher education and tabled it to the Iranian parliament. If ratified, the bill aims to end discrimination against ‘starred’ students, students who are barred from pursuing degrees for allegedly engaging in political activities deemed illegal.

- Ireland

Government funding
In September, the government announced the allocation of a further €6.8 million in funding in support of the ongoing restructuring of the higher education, to build national capacity including in research, and to enhance inter-institutional cooperation. This is in addition to the funding allocation announced in July of €4.4 million for Institutes of Technology.

Charter for a Sustainable University System
The Charter for a Sustainable Irish University System, initiated by the Irish Universities Association, was launched on 16 September in Dublin. The charter sets out six core commitments by Irish universities. These include: building on the quality of the student experience in a digital age; increasing investment in research and innovation; expanding student access and engagement with industry; supporting staff development and increased equality and diversity; and securing investment and resources.

Gender and Diversity Statement
Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor launched a Gender and Diversity Statement for higher education at the European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education in Dublin on 20 August. The policy aims to increase the number of women in higher education, give them better access and to advance career opportunities. Statutory decision-making committees, such as Governing Bodies and Academic Councils, will now be required to have at least 40% membership of either gender.

- Italy

On 17 September, leaders of 10 universities and research institutes in Italy, including Università degli Studi di Udine, an IAU Member, signed an agreement to develop research and study opportunities for scientists forced to flee from war and conflict in their home countries. The agreement was also signed by the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB).

- Japan

New residency rules for international students
Japan’s Ministry of Justice has announced new rules on residency for international students from Spring 2019. The initiative will mean that graduates can work in any role as long as they earn over an annual salary threshold of 3 million yen (EUR 22 950). Currently, international graduates of Japanese universities who seek to stay in the country face residency requirements that limit them to jobs in their field of study.

Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development - government policy
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has developed a policy document on the Promotion of Science, Technology and Innovation for (STI) for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). MEXT has also released the ‘MEXT STI for SDGs Package’ which presents a detailed timeline of major policy measures for implementing the SDGs up to 2030.

- Republic of Korea

The Ministry of Education and the Korea Educational Development Institute have announced the results of their evaluation of higher education institutions in the country in the context of a decline in the population of student age. All universities, except for those rated as excellent, will be subject to capacity reductions and face restrictions in accessing low-interest loans from the state.

- Mexico

Online International Collaborative Learning Programme
Call for participation
The University of Veracruzana, an IAU Member, has launched the Online International Collaborative Learning Programme. They have released a call for professors of IAU Member institutions who are interested in participating in this online course.
Contact: [email protected]

- The Netherlands

International scholarship funding for Africa
The Ministry for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation is to invest through Nuffic, the Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education, an extra €10.1 million in scholarships for 9 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Research integrity
The new Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity comes into force on 1 October. The new Code of Conduct defines five principles of research integrity and 61 standards for good research practices. It describes how institutions must address potential research misconduct.

- Nigeria

On 24 September, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, announced that the Government has approved the release of N20 billion to revitalise public universities.

- Pakistan

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) announced in september that it will develop academic collaboration with Sri Lanka through the Pak-Sri Lanka Higher Education Cooperation Programme. The project includes 1000 scholarships for Sri Lankan students, faculty exchange initiatives, training of Sri Lankan civil servants, and establishment of a Department of Language and Culture at University of Colombo.

- Sudan

New strategy for students with disabilities
The Sudanese Council of Ministers has approved a strategy to ensure access for people with disabilities to higher education institutions. The strategy, effective from 2018 to 2022, was outlined on 9 September, by former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Sumaya Abu Kashwa.

Minister of Higher Education appointed
Sadiq Al-Hadi Al-Mahdi was appointed in September as the new Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

- Tanzania

The Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) which is mandated to recognise, approve, register and accredit Universities and their programmes announced in September that they have barred seven higher learning institutions from admitting new students.

- United Kingdom

Essay mills - VCs response
A letter signed by 46 Vice-Chancellors and Heads of higher education institutions to the Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, calls on the UK Government for commercial essay-writing services - ’essay mills’ - to be made illegal.

HE statistics 2018
Universities UK has published its 2018 Patterns and Trends report. The report focuses on applications, student demographics and graduate outcomes, staff and finance. Findings show that demand for university places has increased, with those from less advantaged backgrounds 49% more likely to apply than a decade ago and shows that for 2016-17, 19% of all students in the UK were international students.

Students in HE in London forecast
The proportion of student participation in higher education in London over the next decade is set to increase by over 50%, according to a new report by AccessHE. Preparing for Hyper-Diversity: London’s Student Population in 2030 also projects an increase in the participation of students from ethnic minorities and students who will be the first in their family to enter higher education.

- United States

Finance bill passed
A bill which increases education finance for the 2019 financial year, beginning October 2018, has been passed by the Senate. The Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 (H.R. 6157) includes an increase in the the maximum amount of student ‘Pell Grants’ that can be awarded to undergraduate students in financial need; increased funding for eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness programme, and a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health.

Innovative leadership
A new American Council on Education (ACE) report highlights how university and higher education leaders respond strategically to growing challenges. Examining data from the American College President Study (ACPS) and information gathered at a roundtable convened by ACE earlier this year, the report distills innovative practices and shared characteristics of leaders in higher education.

Impacts of HE access in developing countries
The Institute of International Education (IIE) has published Transformational Leaders and Social Change: IFP Impacts in Africa and the Middle East. The report details the impacts on local communities of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships programme, which support access to higher education for groups from historically disadvantaged groups in developing countries. The report focuses on Kenya, Nigeria, South African and Palestine and examines cross-cutting themes, specifically the experiences of women and the link between higher education and social justice.

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IAU Lynx September Edition
IAU Lynx July Edition
IAU Lynx June Edition

IAU Lynx coordinator: Amanda Sudic
Collaborating team: Melissa Herlaut, Nicholas Poulton, Samuel Pousson, Carine Sebast and Hilligje van’t Land
Contact: [email protected]
© IAU 2018

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