- The extraordinary session of the Global Education Meeting (2020 GEM) held on 22 October resulted in the 2020 GEM Declaration in which participants committed to protect education finance and identified priority actions to accelerate progress towards SDG4 in the context of COVID-19 and beyond. During the meeting, the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) issued a Statement that underlines the vital role Higher Education plays in support of sustainable development, a green recovery, while also ensuring the quality of education, equity, and gender equality.
- What have we learnt? Overview of findings from a survey of ministries of education on national responses to COVID-19. This report examines national education ministry responses to COVID-19 in nearly 150 countries, including support for distance learning for students, parents and teachers, school reopening plans, health protocols and funding. Students in low- and lower-middle-income countries have already lost nearly four months of schooling since the beginning of the pandemic, compared to six weeks in high-income countries. Almost all countries have included distance learning in their education response, in the form of online platforms, television and radio programmes and take-home packages. Nine out of 10 countries have facilitated access to e-learning.
Education in time of COVID19: The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented crisis in all areas. In the field of education, this emergency led to the massive closure of face-to-face activities of educational institutions in more than 190 countries. This report (in spanish, here) shows the consequences that the measures implemented in the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean during the COVID-19 pandemic will have on educational communities in the short and medium term. It presents a set of recommendations.
- The Report “The Effect of Covid-19 on Education in Africa and its Implications for the Use of Technology” has been published by eLearning Africa and the EdTech Hub. The authors received detailed survey responses from over 1600 education and technology practitioners, experts, policy makers, administrators and investors.
- EHEA Ministerial Conference and Rome Communiqué: spotlight on inclusive, innovative and interconnected European Higher Education Area
Europe – India: Top public and private research institutions in India are building alliances with universities and higher education organisations in Europe to pave the way for future consortiums to bid for projects under Horizon Europe, the European Union’s successor to its Horizon 2020 research programme.
Belgium – Lebanon: Lebanese students to pay same registration fees as locals. Full statement.
France – Mexico: The call is open to Higher Education Institutions and Research Centres in Mexico to submit proposals for research projects to be developed jointly with French institutions and research centres and which involve doctoral training in the following areas: health and emerging diseases; water, energy, food and climate change; governance, sustainable development and inequalities; modelling, ICTs, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data. Deadline for submitting proposals: 28 December.
Austria presents its strategy for National Mobility and Internationalisation for Higher Education (2020-2030)
Higher education reforms: The Job-ready Graduates Package of reforms to higher education legislation has been passed and became a law in October. Government university funding will grow to AUS$ 20 billion by 2024, up to 30,000 new university places will be created by 2021 and additional support provided for students in regional and remote Australia. It aims to help drive the nation’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new programme aimed to help researchers validate and find commercial value in their ideas has officially launched at three Canadian universities. The Lab2Market programme was developed to support researchers working in deep technology sectors.
More collaboration between Danish universities—why and how? At the end of September, the eight Danish universities published the paper ’Viden skaber Danmark – Fælles ambitioner for de danske universiteters rolle i samfundet’ (‘Knowledge creates Denmark – Common ambitions for the role of Danish universities in society’.)
The Egyptian Space Agency (EgSA) has announce that it will be establishing a cluster of space technology centres in Universities across the country. The Agency will also support Egyptian universities through the process of establishing the technology centres on their campuses, provide equipment, human resources, and provision of technical knowledge.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced that Egypt plans to have a total of 125 universities in 2032, bridging the current gap between the population and the universities at the rate of one university per million people, reports the Egypt Independent.
The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) published the report Flexible Learning Pathways in Higher Education. Finland’s country case study as part of IIEP-UNESCO’s global research project – SDG4: Planning for Flexible Learning Pathways in Higher Education. It offers evidence-based policy recommendations for the Ministry of Education and Culture and HEIs to improve the learning experience for all students and close equity gaps.
France: How France overcame the odds to build a research mega-campus
The German Academic Exchange Service or DAAD has announced recommendations for academic collaboration with Belarus, emphasising that in the current situation it is important to maintain and expand links to keep communication channels open and enable change.
The Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has announced that the country will finance students affected by the Covid-19 pandemic to enroll in free courses enabling them to retrain and upskill to (re)enter the workforce. The €30 million initiative includes many short, stand-alone modular courses, as well as places on existing full-time and part-time postgraduate courses.
Proposed reforms by the Moroccan Ministry of Higher Education that would, among other things, introduce a new four year undergraduate degree instead of the current three years has led to opposition among both students and professors. The plan was supposed to be implemented this academic year, but has been delayed by a year. The proposed reforms come in an attempt to improve the quality of university education and the quality of students graduating.
White Paper on student mobility sets ambitious goals
Dutch universities have seen enrolment rise by 8% this year (a total of 328,000 students) compared to the to 2019-2020 academic year according to provisional registration figures from the association of Dutch universities VSNU. The association attributes the increase to the consequences of coronavirus crisis.
The education ministry plans to allow an increase in the number of international students studying at national universities from the 2022 academic year, in an effort to increase the universities’ international competitiveness and ensure the stability of their finances
Poland: Learn about the latest programmes (scholarships, opportunities for foreign students and researchers) in Poland
The Ministry of Education aims to have 90% of doctoral degree courses, 70% of masters degree courses and 50% of undergraduate courses at four universities taught in English within the next few years, write Rachel Lin, Wu Po-hsuan and William Hetherington for the Taipei Times.