Education

Numbers of Turkish universities soar, but quality falls

Undergraduate and graduate enrollment has increased spectacularly at Turkey’s universities in recent years. And while the infrastructure has kept pace, the same can’t be said of the quality of education. Metin Gurcan Al-Monitor The number of students and academic capacity has grown tenfold in just the past decade. Going back further, in 1979 there were only 12 universities in Turkey. There are now 203. In 1980, out of 467,000 students who participated in university entrance exams, only 42,000 (9%) were able to enter, whereas ... Read More »

World’s 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%, says Oxfam

Charity calls for 1% wealth tax, saying it would raise enough to educate every child not in school Larry Elliott The Guardian The growing concentration of the world’s wealth has been highlighted by a report showing that the 26 richest billionaires own as many assets as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of the… In an annual wealth check released to mark the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the development charity Oxfam said 2018 had ... Read More »

How one German city developed – and then lost – generations of math geniuses

There are two things that connect the names Gauss, Riemann, Hilbert and Noether. David Gunderman The National Interest One is their outstanding breadth of contributions to the field of mathematics. The other is that each was a professor at the same university in Göttingen, Germany. Although relatively unknown today, Göttingen, a small German university town, was for a time one of the most productive centers of mathematics in history. Göttingen’s rise to mathematical primacy occurred over generations, but its fall ... Read More »

Progress is Slow in Measuring Social Impact

There is a disconnect between government and the social sector around measuring social impact, writes Australian Social Value Bank impact specialist Andrew Callaghan, who explains why both sides must commit to tackling fundamental issues in… Andrew Callaghan ProBono The measurement of social impact has grown and matured over the last decade. There is a growing body of resources, practitioners and approaches to measuring impact. But while this growth can be seen as a success, there is no doubt that it ... Read More »

Coming to grips with the millennial mind

“I can no longer teach with these new brains,” says an exasperated Clio Cresswell, mathematics lecturer at the University of Sydney and author of Mathematics and Sex. The core of the problem, she says, is the diminishing capacity of undergraduates for “linked… Luke Slattery The Australian And it’s not just a problem in the classroom. “I’ve always enjoyed teaching,” she says. “But these days students are so busy posting on social media — ‘love the burger’, ‘great fries’ — that if ... Read More »

Turkey hails Pakistan move on FETÖ schools

Turkey has welcomed a ruling by Pakistan’s top court to designate FETÖ a “terrorist group,” saying it should set a precedent for other countries. Ankara Hurriyet In a statement on Dec. 28, the Turkish Foreign Ministry appreciated the Pakistani Supreme Court’s ruling of handing over the FETÖ-linked schools to Turkiye Maarif Foundation. “The decision, which we consider as the manifestation of mutual cooperation based on strong bonds between Turkey and Pakistan, should set a precedent for all countries,” the ministry added. Earlier on Dec. 28, ... Read More »

Students are turning to sex work for extra money but experts warn universities are ignoring the issue

Exclusive: ‘The financial situation for students is getting more and more bleak’ Eleanor Busby Independent Universities must stop ignoring the plight of a growing number of studentsturning to sex work and should start offering non-judgemental support, campaigners demand. Students and experts have accused institutions of “simply burying their heads in the sand” over the issue, despite the increasing amount of young people who are turning to sex work to fund university. Rising living costs, higher student fees and access to online apps which remove traditional barriers into sex ... Read More »

How to get your teenagers to read more

In the age of TV on demand, social media and video games, it can be hard to get teenagers to switch off the screen and pick up a book instead. RN By Fiona Pepper and Sajithra Nithi for Life Matters ABC Hard — but not impossible. Holly Godfree, a teacher librarian at a public school in Canberra, says books have many drawcards — like their ability to provide an emotional experience. “There’s something about literature and a story, and the ... Read More »

Ramsay Centre degree in Western civilisation to be offered at Wollongong University after rejection from ANU

The University of Wollongong (UOW) is set to become the first institution to deliver the controversial Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation degree. By Danuta Kozaki and Jamie McKinnell ABC The Ramsay Centre will provide about 150 scholarships for the new course, to be funded by a bequest by the late health pioneer, Paul Ramsay. The partnership is worth more than $50 million over eight years. The centre was knocked back earlier this year by the Australian National University, which ... Read More »

NSW could pilot ‘morning and afternoon schools’, Rob Stokes says

Education Minister Rob Stokes says he is open to trialling separate morning and afternoon schools  in NSW to reduce traffic peaks and address the enrolment boom. Pallavi Singhal The Sydney Morning Herald “Effectively having double schools by having morning and afternoon schools is one option, it’s already being done in some countries,” Mr Stokes said in response to a question at the launch of a new report into school design by architecture and… “That would create problems in the middle ... Read More »

Protest is a school for democracy

Children are citizens, not mere citizens-to-be. They have political views that deserve an audience. Kei Nishiyama Brisbane Times “What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament last week. His pronouncement was a reaction to a school students’ strike against government inaction on climate change all over the country. The young protestors had said: “We are school kids temporarily sacrificing our education in order to save our futures from dangerous ... Read More »

Asylum seeker student’s university dreams revived after offers flood in

A top year 12 graduate who feared she would never get to attend university because of her asylum seeker status says her dreams are now a reality after being inundated with offers of help and support. By Lily Nothling and Dea Clark ABC Soumi Gopalakrishnan, 19, was the dux of her inner-city Brisbane school who dreamed of becoming a doctor. But as a Sri Lankan Tamil who fled her home country with her family four years ago, her prospects of ... Read More »

Why Norman Geras’s essay ‘Our Morals’ should be essential reading for politics students – not a subversive threat

Politics students at the University of Reading were reportedly told to “take care” when reading an essay by the late political theorist, Norman Geras. Stephen De Wijze The Conversation The Observer newspaper reported the students were warned about the essay – which was on their reading list – in order not to fall foul of Prevent, the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy. I worked closely with Geras, who was a professor at the University of Manchester for most of his career. The ... Read More »

Academic Affirmative Action Is a Really Bad Idea. Here’s Why.

If professors like Elizabeth Warren want to be taken seriously, then they should admit what every academic knows: race matters. Salvatore Babones The National Interest In 2003, with my doctoral dissertation approved and my PhD certificate in the mail, I went on the academic job market looking for an assistant professor position in sociology. I applied for more than eighty jobs and got just three interviews. One of them was at the sociology department of the University of Pittsburgh. It ... Read More »

Creativity is a human quality that exists in every single one of us

When you think about creativity, it might be highly creative people like Mozart, da Vinci or Einstein who spring to mind. Authors: The Conversation They were all considered to be “geniuses” for their somewhat unique talents that led to global innovation in their fields. Their type of creativity is what’s known as “Big C creativity” (or historical) and is not very common in everyday life. Not all of us can create works of art or music or scientific theories that ... Read More »

Universities should tolerate ‘offensive’ ideas

It goes without saying – or at least it ought to – that freedom of speech should be a core value of universities. As a scholar of freedom of speech and a university academic, it has been gratifying to see so many vice-chancellors (and a… Adrienne Stone Brisbane Times This attention to freedom of speech is a response to recent controversies on campus. Bettina Arndt’s university tour met with rowdy and obstructive demonstrations. Students have accused each other of bullying ... Read More »