Category: Higher Education

The GUNI network and the Responsible Research and Innovation

The GUNI Network (Global University Network for Innovation) is working hard on bringing universities together with the rest of the stakeholders involved on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.  As stated in their website, “The Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi) is an international network created in 1999 and supported by the UNESCO, the United Nations University (UNU) and the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP), which hosts its secretariat and presidency.”

Among their many activities, last September conference brought together universities, governments, cities and public and social agencies from different countries.  Knowledge, ideas, experiences and expectations around the challenges involved with the SDGs where shared and discussed.  Obviously, this is the way to go: making sure that the Sustainable Development Goals are not only a mere declaration but are translated into concrete actions, by the actors involved, in every part of the world and with the implication of the Higher Education institutions.

More than 200 HE institutions are already members of GUNI.  Of course, the stronger the network gets, the more effectively will it fulfill its goals, so I would suggest every university to join and work actively in its projects.  Actions are needed and we are already late.

Poland: Experts call for radical changes in higher education

Source: Experts call for radical changes in higher education – University World News

‘Suboptimal’ is the key word used as a panel of European experts of the Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility describe the present state of higher education in Poland.
The Peer Review of Poland’s Higher Education and Science Systemreport, prepared by the panel, has been a point of departure in the process of drafting a new law regulating the sector of science and higher education in Poland.
Unfortunately, a large portion of the report’s recommendations has not been included in the proposed new law, announced last Tuesday in Krakow.
The report was prepared at the request of Jaroslaw Gowin, deputy prime minister and minister of science and higher education.
The experts diagnosed several key challenges facing Polish higher education:

  • Underfunding (not a surprise);
  • Fragmentation of the higher education system (too many small, narrow specialised institutions);
  • Lack of diversity of institutional missions;
  • System of quality assurance and evaluation of higher education and research insufficiently aligned with international standards; and
  • The fact that a large part of Poland’s research, development and innovation capacity is outside of universities.

In order to enhance the diversification and profiling of higher education institutions, the panel of experts proposed to strengthen a group of research-intensive universities and clearly distinguish them from a robust and dynamic vocational higher education sector.  (…)

Growing demand for higher education puts affirmative action in the spotlight — World Education Blog

By Michaela Martin and Alexandra Waldhorn, IIEP-UNESCO and Taya Louise Owens, GEM Report UNESCO Affirmative action in higher education is a controversial topic for many. On the one hand, some believe strongly that it is the route to equitable access in tertiary education; others believe it can amount to unfair discrimination. The latest policy paper, […]

via Growing demand for higher education puts affirmative action in the spotlight — World Education Blog

How can colleges amend unsustainable business models? | Education Dive

A new report recommends drastic transformations to remain competitive.

It surveys higher education stakeholders about the future of the industry, with many agreeing that the current business model may be “unsustainable.”

The consensus reflects the reality of dwindling public support, rising tuition rates and reduced public funding — at the same time schools must figure out how to balance technological advancement with traditional values to stay relevant.

Source: How can colleges amend unsustainable business models? | Education Dive

European University Association – Erasmus+ mid-term review: EUA’s recommendations

The EUA published its 10 recommendations for enhancing Erasmus+

1. Continue to simplify rules, requirements and processes for application, management and reporting, in order to decrease the administrative burden.
2. Enhance paper-free and online processes and tools, data compatibility and userfriendliness.
3. Improve funding and funding efficiency.
4. Increase the number of grants under some of the actions in order to achieve reasonable success rates.
5. Maintain and further enhance the European dimension of all actions, as this is the key added value of the programme.

Read more @eua’s site

Signals being sent to Universities: are there better ways to prove your value than a degree?

The Two Great Secrets of Higher Education

  1. Tuition is paid for one reason: to buy a signal.
  2. That signal is not worth the investment compared to what you can create elsewhere.

These two great secrets are known to almost nobody. A few people know secret number one, but falsely conclude that the signal is still the best option.

A small but growing number of people partially understand what’s behind secret number two, but because they do not grasp that the product universities sell is a signal, they only compare only alternative social and learning experiences to universities, not alternative ways of creating a signal.

The combined understanding of both of these secrets will completely revolutionize the way people think about and engage in education, career preparation, work, and life.

Continue reading @ The Mission

Flemish Universities suspend study-abroad programmes in Turkey

All major Flemish universities have decided to stop sending students to Turkey as part of the Erasmus exchange programme. The measure was taken in the aftermath of the thwarted military coup, the imposition of a state of emergency and the suspension of thousands of education staff in Turkey. Students who were planning to study in the country will now have to either postpone their trip or choose a different destination.

Earlier this month, Ghent University imposed a travel ban on staff and students wanting to travel to Turkey, after a terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport. According to the Flemish Interuniversity Council, rectors of all Flemish universities have expressed concern at the Turkish government’s decision to suspend thousands of education staff following the failed military coup. The rectors will now examine their relations with Turkish universities.

Read more @