Topic: International issues and education

Gender quotas and targets would speed up progress on gender equity in academia

Recently, the University of Adelaide used a special exemption under the Equal Opportunity Act to advertise eight academic positions in the faculty of engineering, computer and mathematical sciences for women only. This raises questions about why a university might take this approach. While Australia has had gender equality legislation for 30 years, there has been very slow progress towards addressing the gender equity issues plaguing the sector. To illustrate, women are still under-represented at senior levels. Only 27% of full professors (the main recruitment pool for top jobs) are women, and only 32% of Vice-Chancellors in public universities.

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For universities, making the case for diversity is part of making amends for racist past

The Trump administration recently announced plans to scrap Obama-era guidelines that encouraged universities to consider race as a factor to promote diversity on campus, claiming the guidelines “advocate policy preferences and positions beyond the requirements of the Constitution.” Some university leaders immediately went on the defense.

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South Africa’s new higher education disability policy is important, but flawed

South Africa finally has a disability policy that’s specific to the higher education sector. The new policy framework should be celebrated as an achievement. Its value is that, because it’s specific to the sector, it gives institutions (such as universities) a common vision. It also enables monitoring and evaluation of progress that is context specific.

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University students aren’t reporting sexual assault, and new Australian guidelines don’t address why

Guidelines for how universities should respond to student sexual assault and sexual harassment released late last week fail to address the reason so many students don’t actually report their experiences. Nor do the guidelines, released by Universities Australia, address prevention of student sexual assault and harassment.

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How not to defend free speech

“Newspapers across Europe reprinted cartoons Wednesday ridiculing the prophet Muhammad, saying they wanted to support the right of Danish and Norwegian papers […]

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When race triggers a call to campus police

On a beautiful spring afternoon on a picturesque college campus, two campus police officers responded to a black professor’s “good afternoon” with a request to see his identification. The professor paused for a moment but decided to comply. He wondered if perhaps his attire – slacks, a button-down shirt and loafers – didn’t signal that he belonged.

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University funding debates should be broadened to reflect their democratic purpose

In 2017, Murdoch University successfully applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate its Enterprise Agreement. From the National Tertiary Education Union’s […]

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A new bond between the public and universities could brighten America’s future

  Blackboard/shutterstock.com The technology powering the device you are using to read this article was originally developed at a research university. So […]

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What you need to know about the new free speech pledge for universities

UK universities may no longer be able to ban controversial speakers from giving talks on campus – those that continue to do so could face a fine. The freedom to debate and discuss difficult topics should remain a central feature of university life, according to the universities minister, Sam Gyimah.

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Why some students are excluded from university later in their degree, and how to remedy it

Student attrition is of concern to universities and to politicians and, most importantly, costly for the students concerned, both financially and emotionally. […]

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