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IAU Lynx July 2019


July 2019

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.



Protecting schools and universities from armed conflict
Through a video on the consequences of attacks on education illustrated by the devastation of the University of Mosul, UNESCO stresses the need to protect education in contexts of crisis and conflict and urges all countries to ensure a commitment to protect schools and universities and to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration.

King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the use of ICT in education - Call for nominations
UNESCO has launched a call for nominations for the 2019 edition of the King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the use of ICT in education. This year’s theme is the use of Artificial Intelligence to innovate education, teaching and learning. Deadline for nominations: 31 October.

Open Educational Resources
The Draft Open Educational Resources (OER) Recommendation was adopted at the Intergovernmental Expert Meeting held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, on 27 - 28 May 2019. It sets out a transformative vision of Open Educational Resources (OER), which have potential to make a significant contribution to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. It will be submitted for adoption by Member Countries in November.

ICT Transforming Education in Africa
From 17 to 19 June, the final meeting or the UNESCO-Korean Funds-in-Trust (KFIT) Project on ‘ICT Transforming Education in Africa’, took place in Paris. The project supports the integration of ICT approaches for education in Mozambique, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. Achievements, challenges and lessons learned during the three-year project were discussed, and best practices evaluated in view of preparing Phase II of the Project, to start in July 2019.

The UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNESCO-IESALC) has announced the appointment of Dr. Francesc Pedró as its new Director.

UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)
The SDG 4 Data Book: Global Education Indicators 2019 presents the latest results for the official global monitoring indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals. Available in English, French and Spanish, it provides a snapshot of global and regional trends, in addition to country-level data from 2010 to 2017.

UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education
The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education and the UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office co-organised the UNESCO Regional Leadership Forum for Quality Higher Education on the Internationalization of Policies and Practices in Asia-Pacific in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 22 - 24 May. It promoted a regional network of key stakeholders in the region, identified priority areas and steps towards the internationalization of higher education at regional, system and institutional levels.

- United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

In the context of World Refugee Day on 20 June, the UNHCR together with the German Federal Foreign Office (FFO) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) jointly organised an international conference from 18-19 June in Berlin on the topic ’The Other 1 Percent - Refugees at Institutions for Higher Education Worldwide’. The conference emphasised the importance of higher education for refugees and initiatives such as the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative (DAFI).

- World Access to Higher Education day

The report for the first World Access to Higher Education day (WAHED) held in November 2018 is now available online. WAHED was created as a platform to raise global awareness around inequalities in access and success in Higher Education and incites global, regional and local action to address these across the world. World Access to Higher Education Day is organised by the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) in the UK, and is supported by NCUK, the Asia-Europe Foundation, EdX, the British Council and University World News.

- U-Multirank

U-Multirank, of which IAU is on the advisory board, released its sixth annual rankings in June. Over 1700 universities from 96 countries figure in the rankings, with three new additions – Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine.

- Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie

Organised by the AUF, the first Initiative for Governance in the New Francophone University Space (IGNEUF) conference took place from 28 to 31 May 2019 at Senghor University in Alexandria, Egypt. Themed ’Integrating the requirements of internationalization into institutional strategies’ leaders from universities in Algeria, Tunisia, Mali, Senegal, Djibouti, France, Madagascar and Vietnam participated.

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Africa - Americas - Arab States - Asia - Europe

- Africa

Southern African Development Community (SADC)
A Ministerial meeting for Education and Science, Technology and Innovation Ministers from the SADC met on 20 - 21 June in Windhoek, Namibia. Hosted by the Government of Namibia, the meeting was attended by SADC Ministers or their representatives from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Ministers released a Statement which noted progress in the implementation of the SADC Qualifications Framework (SADCQF) and which directs Member States to accelerate the enactment of the Continental Education Strategy (CESA) for Africa and the Education 2030 Action Framework, and to sign the SADC Charter on Women in Science, Engineering and Technology Organization (WISETO).

- Americas

UNESCO Chair on Higher Education and Indigenous and Afro-Descendent People in Latin America
The UNESCO Chair on Higher Education and Indigenous and Afro-Descendent People in Latin America, based at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero in Argentina, has announced the 65 recipients of grants - university staff and students from 13 countries across the region - to participate in an online collaborative capacity building programme to identify and combat racism in higher education institutions. The virtual programme will take place from July to October.

- Arab States

The African Development Bank (AfDB)
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has extended the Souk At-tanmia (‘Market for Development’) programme in southern Morocco to promote entrepreneurship among graduates. Morocco is the second country in which the programme will be developed. The Souk At-tanmia concept was initially put into practice in Tunisia after the Arab spring to support young people setting up their own enterprises. The programme in Morocco is a partnership between the Danish development cooperation DANIDA, Morocco’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the Regional Foundation for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise (FREE).

- Asia

Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Higher Education and Development (SEAMEO RIHED)
SEAMEO RIHED has launched a call for papers for the Inter-regional Research Symposium to be held in November 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand during the Southeast Asian Higher Education (SEA-HiEd) Week. The main themes are: inclusive and accessible quality higher education; entrepreneurship and employability; digitalisation of higher education; internationalisation and cross-border higher education; Deadline for abstracts: 16 August 2019.

World Bank - Pakistan
In June, the World Bank signed an agreement with Pakistan for the Higher Education Development Project. Funding of 400 million dollars will be used for the development of higher education in Pakistan to support research excellence in strategic sectors of the economy, improve teaching and learning and strengthening governance in the higher education sector.

Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN)
APQN has released ‘APQN Dissolving Boundaries for a Quality Region: APQN Strategic Plan’ (2019-2022). The report defines seven goals and actions along with ten targets to achieve in the next three years.

- Europe

European Commission
On 26 June, the European Commission announced the first 17 ‘European Universities’ that have been selected. The 17 European Universities comprise alliances involving 114 higher education institutions from 24 Member States. Each alliance will receive up to €5 million in the coming three years to start implementing their plans. A second call for European Universities will be launched in the autumn.

Magna Charta Observatory
On its 30th anniversary, the Magna Charta Universitatum has been updated and has been released as MCU 2020 by the Magna Charta Observatory, an IAU Member, for consultation and comments. The Magna Charta Universitatum details fundamental values for universities and was first signed by 388 rectors in Bologna in September 1988.
The consultation period closes on 2 August.

European University Association
EUA, an IAU Member, has released guidelines for universities to prepare for the national implementation of the EU Copyright Directive. The publication highlights the key provisions that are relevant to education, research and innovation. The EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was adopted by the European Parliament in March and endorsed by the Council of the European Union in April.

International Tuning Academy
A special edition of the Tuning Journal of Higher Education is devoted to the 20th Anniversary of the Bologna Declaration. The open access journal is published by the International Tuning Academy at the University of Groningen, an IAU Member.

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France - Senegal
Frédérique Vidal, the French Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the recently appointed Senegalese Minister for Higher Education and Research, Cheikh Oumar Anne, launched a new initiative in Dakar on 11 June which will allow Senegalese students to obtain a French degree while studying at local universities (in French).

Iran - Kazakhstan
In June, Iran’s ambassador to Kazakhstan, Majid Saber, and Kazakh Minister of Education and Science, Kulyash Shamshidinova, held a meeting in Nursultan in Kazakhstan to discuss ways to enhance scientific and academic cooperation, the exchange of university students and academics.

Spain - Cuba
On 19 June in Santander, Spain, universities in Spain and Cuba signed the Santander Declaration at the Bilateral Meeting of Spanish and Cuban Universities, organised by Crue Spanish Universities and by the Ministry of Higher Education of Cuba. The Declaration calls on the authorities of the two countries to sign a formal cooperation agreement in higher education.

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Argentina Australia Belgium Canada
Chile China Costa Rica France
Germany Ghana Hong Kong India
Israel Kenya Kuwait Malaysia
Mongolia Netherlands Nigeria Syria
United Kingdom Zambia

-  Argentina

Language and research
On 25 June, the National Interuniversity Council (CIN) and the Council of Rectors of Private Universities (CRUP) signed a declaration to reaffirm the pre-eminence of Spanish and Portuguese as scientific languages of the South American region.

University connectivity
On 27 June, more than 30 rectors and university authorities presented the Advanced Connectivity Project of the National Universities. The initiative, in collaboration with the National Communications Agency (ENACOM), seeks to eliminate the digital gap between universities in Argentina and other countries in the region.

-  Australia

The research paper entitled The Demand Driven University System: A Mixed Report Card issued by the Government’s Productivity Commission documents what happened during the demand driven university system which existed before 2017. The study identifies the additional students that were given access to a university education and considers their academic and labour market outcomes.

-  Belgium

In May, the parliament of the Wallonie-Bruxelles Federation adopted the Decree on Various Measures Relating to Higher Education and Research (Décret portant diverses mesures relatives à l’enseignement supérieur et à la recherche). The decree impacts finance and access to higher education, enrolments and qualifications.

-  Canada

Performance metrics - Ontario
A new report by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario examines the use of performance metrics to evaluate the province’s institutions, which the Ontario government has announced it will link to institutional funding. The report argues that performance metrics should include the skills students acquire during their studies, the link between degrees and job success, and institutional financial performance.

Teacher education
A report from the Council of Ministers of Education on Indigenizing Teaching Education has just been published. It presents the results of a CME Symposium at the University of British Columbia in July 2018.

University teaching staff - Quebec
La Quebec Federation of University Teachers (Fédération Québécoise des professeures et professeurs d’université) released a report in June presenting the results of a survey of the administrative load of university teaching staff in the province. The findings show that more than two thirds of respondents considered that their administrative charge is unreasonable.

-  Chile

In June, the Chile Universities Council of Rectors (Consejo de Rectores de las Universidades Chilenas (CRUCH), and the Higher Education division of the Ministry of Education, announced that they will set up talks to address the issue of free higher education in the country.

-  China

The Ministry of Education has announced that more than 30 universities have issued plans to help to regenerate rural areas, and 13 universities have established schools to study rural regeneration. This is further to the government action plan launched in January which requires higher education institutions to better support rural areas through innovation.

-  Costa Rica

On 25 of June, the Costa Rica National Council of Rectors - (Consejo Nacional de Rectores CONAR) released a statement in which it officially condemns and repudiates the acts of violence and repression committed two months ago by Honduran military police against university students and calls on the government authorities to respect university autonomy.

-  France

The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation has released a report on creating and reinforcing technology transfer between higher education and research institutions and start-ups. It includes 16 recommendations.

-  Germany

University-Society Relationships - Declaration
The Hamburg Declaration ‘Rebuilding the University - Society Relationships’ was issued at the Global University Leaders Council organised by the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) in Hamburg on 5 - 7 June and attended by university leaders from 23 countries. The Declaration recognises the social responsibility of universities and includes recommendations on how universities can meet the challenges of academic freedom and the expectations of societal partners.

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) - New president
The General Assembly of DAAD, during elections held on 18 June, has elected a new President. Professor Joybrato Mukherjee, a professor of English Linguistics and who had been the organisation’s Vice-President since 2012, will lead the organisation from 2020-2023.

-  Ghana

Education development plan
The Ministry of Education has released the Education Sector Medium-Term Development Plan 2018 - 2021 which covers all levels of education, including higher education. The policy includes enhancing infrastructure and facilities; promoting quality assurance; establishing new institutions and an open university; fostering expansion of private participation; instituting guidelines for affirmative action and funding assistance for disadvantaged groups; and accelerating the admission ratio of Science to Humanities students.

Merger of regulatory bodies
The Ministry of Education has announced that it will merge the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and the National Accreditation Board (NAB). The ministry said this is due to the overlapping functions of the two regulatory bodies

-  Hong Kong

The University Grants Committee (UGC) released the first University Accountability Agreements for 2019-22 signed with the UGC-funded universities. They set out the duties and responsibilities associated with public funding and contain both sector-wide and institution-specific key performance indicators covering five key domains: quality ofteaching and learning; quality of research performance and of research postgraduate experience; knowledge transfer and wider engagement; internationalisation; financial and institutional sustainability.

-  India

The Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development has announced that the Association of Indian Universities will issue equivalence certificates for Australian qualifications that include units from sub-bachelor studies, known as ‘pathway degrees’.

Academic integrity
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a Public Notice on Academic Integrity. It details measures taken to ensure prevention of academic misconduct including plagiarism among students, academics and researchers and ways to safeguard ethics and academic integrity in scientific research.

Open and Distance learning
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has published a Self Study Report Manual for Open and Distance Learning Institutions, guidelines that detail the process of assessment and accreditation of open universities.

-  Israel

A new initiative ‘Making Higher Education Accessible to Students of Ethiopian Descent’ has been launched by the Council for Higher Education. The goal is to increase the number of students of Ethiopian descent enrolled in undergraduate programs from 1.4 percent to about 1.7 percent by 2022, reflecting the percentage of people of Ethiopian descent in the general Israeli population.

-  Kenya

University funding announced
In its budget, the treasury announced funding of Sh 97.7 billion (840 million Euros) to support university education and Sh 12.6billion (110 million Euros) for the Higher Education Loans Board. The treasury also announced that some of the 32 public universities will merge and some satellite campuses close.

National Education Conference
Highlights from a national education conference organised in Nairobi by the Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development are now available on Youtube. The conference took place in April.

-  Kuwait

In June, the National Assembly approved a bill on public universities’ to help development of education and educational institutions. One of the draft law articles states, “Universities are public bodies of scientific research, academic, administrative and financial independence, guaranteeing the freedom of education and scientific research, exempt from taxes and fees.”

-  Malaysia

The Education Ministry has stated that a new Act will be created to abolish and replace several higher education laws. The new Act will aim at putting in place a new governance and financing structure which is more efficient and sustainable, and in supporting academic freedom and autonomy in universities.

-  Mongolia

The Asia Development Bank (ADB) is supporting Mongolia in reforming its Higher Education Sector and in improving the quality and relevance of the courses on offer in its Universities.

-  Netherlands

The Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (AWTI), which advises the Dutch government and parliament, has released proposals for changes to university admissions. Shaking Up the System: Towards a Future-proof Higher Education and Research System proposes bringing in student selection and making universities choose more distinct missions.

-  Nigeria

The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has approved financing of N208 billion (500 Million Euros) for the upgrade of Nigerian universities.

- Syria

A new study on higher education in Syria, Syrian Higher Education post-2011: Immediate and Future Challenges, has just been released. The study was commissioned by the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA), a British charity that helps academics in danger or forced exile and draws on interviews conducted remotely with academics and students in Syria. The results show the consequences of the war on all aspects of university life, ranging from the destruction of facilities and presence of security forces on campus to the forced displacement of students and faculty members and near disappearance of research.

-  United Kingdom

Graduate employment disparities
New data released by the government show the wide variation in average earnings and employability by course and institution 1, 3 and 5 years after graduation. The Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, has said that universities need to address these ‘stark disparities’.

Student welfare
A new report released by the Office for Students evaluates the impact of 119 ‘catalyst for change’ projects on protecting students from hate crime, sexual violence and online harassment. An important aspect of the projects, established in 71 higher education institutions, is to support learning, exchange and dissemination of effective practice, and help establish ‘what works’ in safeguarding students

International education
Presentations are available from the British Council’s Going Global 2019 Conference which took place in Berlin in May.

-  Zambia

The Ministry of Higher Education launched its first ever National Higher Education policy in June. At its launch, Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo called on higher education institutions to aim at providing services that are relevant to the country’s development agenda.

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IAU Lynx June 2019
IAU Lynx May 2019
IAU Lynx April 2019

IAU Lynx coordinator: Amanda Sudic
Collaborating team: Clarisse Gemelli, Nicholas Poulton, Samuel Pousson and Carine Sébast
© IAU 2019

NGO in official partnership with UNESCO in associate status
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