Also in Features, Wagdy Sawahel reports on the soft power rivalry playing out in the Middle East, with regional experts saying Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran are building Islamic universities in Afghanistan in order to expand their ideological, cultural and political spheres of influence.
In Commentary, Philip Warwick cautions university students and staff not to lose sight of the importance of human contact, dialogue and a sense of community in the rush to keep up with digital technology and being ‘connected’. Stig Arne Skjerven and Einar Meier hail the decision to continue work on UNESCO’s global recognition convention for academic mobility and outline the benefits such a convention will bring. Anne Corbett and Claire Gordon warn that, while the immediate Brexit deadlock has been broken, the next stage of negotiations opens with at least two clouds on the horizon for UK higher education and research.
With many international branch campuses facing questions about their sustainability, Christine Lee outlines her research on the perceptions of students at such branch campuses regarding their future employability. And Simon Ngalomba writes about the benefits for agenda-setting of greater equality and reciprocity in China-Africa higher education collaborations.
Given the scale of the global refugee problem, Patrick Blessinger and Enakshi Sengupta in our World Blog encourage colleges and universities to continue the good work of helping more refugees access higher education.
In part two of a Special Report on the New Nationalism and Universities conference held at the University of California, Berkeley in the United States in November, for which University World News was the media partner, we highlight how the rise of nationalism is affecting higher education in the United States, whether China will seek to impose its values as it expands higher education cooperation along the New Silk Road, and how illiberal regimes are impacting on academic freedom in Hungary and Turkey. More...