Egyptian authorities have released two Canadian professors who have been held for seven weeks, reportedly in terrible conditions, The Globe and Mail reported. The professors were arrested (for reasons that have been unclear) during an anti-government protest. The professors are John Greyson, an associate professor of film at York University, and Tarek Loubani, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Western Ontario. They were planning to travel to Gaza, where Greyson was to explore the possibility of making a documentary and Loubani was involved in a program to train local doctors.
Many students at Kaposvar University, in Hungary, wore only underwear to class Thursday to protest a new dress code at the institution, AFP reported. The rector recently announced that male students would be required to wear dark suits and shoes, while women would be required to wear a jacket, blouse and trousers or long skirts. Students are planning another protest at which they will wear only flip-flops and beach towels.
A Hong Kong businessman plans to donate $130 million to help the Technion, Israel's leading science university, establish a technology institute in China's Guangdong Province, The Wall Street Journal reported. Li Ka-Shing said he would provide the funds to a joint venture with China's Shantou University, to which he has contributed roughly $750 million over three decades. Local governments will provide a $147 million grant as well to create Technion Guandong Institute of Technology, the Journal reported.
Glasgow Caledonian University, founded in Scotland and with a campus in London as well, has opened a campus in New York City, becoming the first British university to do so, Times Higher Education reported. The university plans to offer graduate programs in fashion and the business of fashion.
The Islamist group Boko Haram is being blamed for the shooting deaths of up to 50 students at an agricultural college in Nigeria, with many of the students shot as they slept, BBC reported. The group opposes any education that is not focused on Islamic teachings.
What will higher education look like in 2020? A new report from the Britain-based Observatory on Borderless Higher Education draws on interviews with 21 international education professionals in an attempt to answer just that. Here are a few of its main findings:
On MOOCs (massive open online courses), their impact “on pedagogy and university business models will be profound but an evolutionary shift rather than an avalanche of change.”
On mobility, the demand for higher education worldwide will continue to grow, but at a lower rate than in the past 20 years. Growth in international student mobility will not keep pace with the overall growth in demand due to increased capacity in domestic higher education systems and the growth of transnational education opportunities. Specifically, “India’s share of internationally mobile students will rise and China’s will fall. Domestic capacities and demography both pull in that direction.”
Furthermore, the rate of growth for transnational education will exceed the growth in international student mobility. International branch campus activity will be increasingly intra-regional and “South-South” in nature.
China and Malaysia will rise as exporters of higher education.
Students will prefer blended learning to fully online learning: “The future is blended.”
Regarding the unbundling of degrees, in which students earn credits from a variety of institutions (and types of institutions), “The future is also unbundled.”
On public provision of resources, “[t]he gradual withdrawal of the state from the funding of [higher education] teaching in the developed world will not be reversed as the global economy enters a recovery cycle up to 2020. User pays is becoming the norm, though withdrawal of public funding in wealthy countries in continental Europe is unlikely.”
At the same time, governments will put pressure on universities to drive down the costs of degrees. "The online revolution and the ability to unbundle provision from awards, while maintaining access to public loans and grants, will make this feasible. Top research universities will be unaffected. The cultural divide between the elite and the rest will widen in the U.S and U.K."
Public universities will increasingly see private and for-profit institutions as potential partners.