VCs Weekly Higher Education Digest; November 26, 2018

NIGERIA: Staff strike reflects frustration over broken promises By Tunde Fatunde WORLD UNIVERSITY NEWS

Beyond the specific salary and benefits-related grievances behind the latest strike by academic staff is intense frustration over the Nigerian government’s failure over several years to meet the terms of its own agreements with respect to adequately funding the sector’s growing public universities – most of which are in a state of perilous infrastructural decline.

AFRICA-MIDDLE EAST: Report explores tensions behind the failure of education By Wachira Kigotho WORLD UNIVERSITY NEWS

Despite five decades of investment and impressive growth in enrolment rates and gender parity at all levels of education in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, education, including tertiary education, has failed to produce the expected human capital needed to create jobs and generate wealth in the region, according to a new World Bank report titled Expectations and Aspirations: A new framework for education in the Middle East and North Africa.

Half of academics in Africa ‘receive no research funding’ By Ellie Bothwell TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION

An overwhelming majority of African academics who responded to a survey said that a lack of funding was hampering their careers, with almost half reporting that they had not received any research income in the past three years. The survey of about 5,700 scholars across the continent also highlights the dearth of mobility opportunities and mentoring and support for researchers in the region.
The balance between innovation and fiduciary responsibility By Aaron Aska UNIVERSITY BUSINESS

Public institutions are constantly attempting to re-define their core missions and at the same time, regain the public's trust. ?As such, there are a number of forces that have made the Higher Education landscape increasingly competitive…. Against this backdrop, senior higher education leaders are constantly grappling with ways to strengthen their infrastructure and completely disrupt their business models.

Hungry and Homeless: Tackling the Crisis of Basic Needs Insecurity By Sara Goldrick-Rab TRUSTEESHIP MAGAZINE

The problem of basic needs insecurity appears to affect most, if not all, institutions of higher education. Despite the evidence that food and housing insecurity and homelessness are real challenges to students today, few support systems are in place at community colleges, universities, or in the broader community. College leaders are often unaware that students with low grades are dealing with food and/or housing insecurity.

EGYPT: Cairo university aims to rebuild reputation after Arab Spring By Anna McKie TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION

In February, the American University in Cairo will celebrate its centenary…. In the second half of its existence, the AUC has operated as a “two-way enterprise”, developing the teaching of Arabic to foreigners, Mr Ricciardone explained. But for Egypt the past decade has been filled with revolution, violence and increasing authoritarianism, posing serious challenges to the institution’s mission and the country’s reputation in academia.

How Professors Ceded Their Authority By Chad Wellmon THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

The transformation of [higher education institutions] into corporate concerns is particularly evident in the maze of offices, departments, and agencies that manage the moral lives of students…. The extracurricular system of moral management requires an ever-expanding array of "resources" — counseling centers, legal services, deans of student life…. The people who support and oversee these extracurricular systems of moral management save lives and inspire students, but they do so almost entirely apart from any coherent curricular project.

Administration 101: 5 Phrases Every Academic Leader Should Know By By David D. Perlmutter THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Once you become an academic administrator, one of the most valuable skills you should cultivate is the ability to repeat yourself and still sound fresh and sincere. Whether you’re a dean making a pitch to donors or a chair explaining tenure standards, you will spend a lot of time saying the same things over and over.

How can universities reduce inequality? By Simon Marginson UNIVERSITY WORLD NEWS

In a world of growing inequality, driven by rising global cities and declining regional hinterlands, how can universities foster greater equality? What scope do they have?

Wait, Is Bloomberg’s $1.8-Billion Donation to Johns Hopkins a Good Thing? By Chris Quintana THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Michael Bloomberg’s $1.8-billion gift to the Johns Hopkins University will cover the costs of thousands of scholarships at the private institution. Many have heralded the donation as a pathbreaking piece of philanthropy on an unflashy aspect of higher education…. But after the confetti cleared, some financial-aid experts posed a lingering question: Was this huge influx of financial aid really going to benefit anyone beyond the private university in Baltimore?

For Mentorships to Work, Colleges Have to Commit By Alexander C. Kafka THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Such faculty-undergraduate mentorships can transform lives, and colleges are increasingly emphasizing them, sometimes through formal mentor assignments or as part of student research opportunities. But while mentoring can have a huge impact, those who practice and study it say that, beyond its intellectual and emotional rewards, it is difficult, time consuming, and expensive, and that it requires a sustained institutional commitment.

Navigating the world’s transition to a gig economy By Alejandro Caballero UNIVERSITY WORLD NEWS

Gigs, not jobs. That’s what tomorrow’s labour market will increasingly become, the newly-published World Development Report (WDR) 2019 tells us. The report’s message to stakeholders in developing countries, including the private sector, is clear: invest more in human capital to remain competitive in a global economy where, in addition to some kinds of jobs being eliminated, others created and others altered, the very nature of work is changing.

Radical Irish gender plan ‘could be model for Europe’ By David Mathews TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION

Frustration with ‘snail’s pace’ progress across continent leads Irish government to back financial sanctions against universities that miss targets…. The country’s Gender Action Plan 2018-2020… argues that it is time for more quotas, female-specific positions and financial incentives to hire women.

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