After 50 years as a university teacher, researcher and student, Raewyn Connell wrote a book, The Good University. Today, universities face a more toxic set of challenges than she has ever seen before.
In a volatile and uncertain world, academic freedom is the foundation of universities’ capacity to be responsive to all of the challenges we face today.
More than 90% of universities in the world have been built since 1949. The vast majority built large campuses outside city centres, and all for much the same reasons.
The way in which Australians think about leadership in the education sector has changed throughout the pandemic. It’s seen as a public good, with ethics and accountability gaining in importance.
Universities Australia chair Deborah Terry’s job description includes openly lobbying government, an approach that has its origins in the sector’s post-war financial crisis.
A post-war funding crisis forced universities to take the initiative in making their case to the public. A new history explores how universities did it and the changes they brought about.
A humanities degree can open people’s minds in the fourth industrial revolution.
More innovative teaching and learning is needed to disrupt the current techno talk about the fourth industrial revolution.
Academics find themselves in a world filled with people who aren’t interested in facts.
Populist movements are on the rise. Their supporters distrust the establishment, elites, authority and official sources. The post-truth world is a post-expert world.
The decolonisation of South Africa’s university curriculum seems to have fallen off the agenda, overtaken by the push for free higher education.
The decolonisation debate in South Africa’s universities raises critical issues about the relationship between power, knowledge and learning.
Students want colonial symbols, such as this statue of Cecil John Rhodes, gone from their universities.
Calls for the decolonisation of countries, institutions, the mind and of knowledge are not new. In South Africa, these changes are crucial and long overdue. But they must be carefully thought through.
What are universities losing in their obsession with competition?
Competition can be a force for positive change. But in its current form, it’s setting universities back rather than moving them forward.
There are eight skills that future professionals should develop to work for the good of society.
University graduates have the power to enable dignified lives for others in a society. What skills and qualities do they need for this to happen?
It may look like science fiction, but this is the new reality of technology-driven learning. Lecturers must keep up.
Educational technology is not science fiction. Lecturers need to ensure that they adapt to a future which has already arrived.
Indonesian academic institutions produce few evidence-based analyses on social issues.
Indonesia should cultivate a culture of peer-review to support academics produce basic social research, essential in creating good policies in the world’s fourth most populous country.
Africa’s flagship universities have a great deal to offer as the continent continues to grow and develop.
When talking about the role that higher education can play in developing Africa, it’s important not to forget the continuing and crucial role of the continent’s flagship universities.
Yes, universities need to produce good scientists - but their graduates should be good citizens, too.
University protests in South Africa have showed that the countries students are hungry for real change. This desire can be harnessed to create a generation of “citizen scholars”.
Xenophobia is a huge problem in South Africa. Could better university teaching about Africa make a difference?
South African university students are as guilty of xenophobia as anyone else. Three approaches through teaching and research could make a huge difference.
There’s a huge role for universities to play beyond the ivory tower.
Evidence-based solutions to our systemic dilemmas won’t be conjured out of thin air. Universities, governments and businesses all have to work together.
‘Beginning and Ending’, a sculpture by David Hlongwane, stands at the entrance to the University of the Western Cape.
University of the Western Cape media office
More and more African universities are realigning themselves to tackle their countries’ societal and economic problems.
But who will come out to talk with the public?
Universities may be facing a crisis of relevance but a growing number of academics are tackling this issue head on.
Are MOOCs sustainable?
Is there an impatience to write the history of MOOCs? Have universities even given sufficient time to experiment with MOOCs?