News from around the world for and about students.
African Universities week 2018
African University Day, celebrated on November 12 across Africa, focuses attention on the African higher education sector; reflecting on progress, challenges and opportunities as well as attracting increased support for African higher education. The theme for 2018 is “Achieving the Africa We Want: The role of young people”. Many higher education institutions are hosting events for this week and today’s (November 15) theme is #IAmAfrican. Students are encouraged to dress African and share it on social media. – Visit the AAU site for info on this week’s events
Minister urges SA youth to get involved in tourism
With National Imbizo Focus Week kicking off on Monday (November 12), Deputy Minister of Tourism Elizabeth Thabethe has urged young people interested in tourism to approach her department for information and assistance in establishing their own businesses. “South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. People all over the world want to come to South Africa for many reasons. During the [Soccer] World Cup, we showed the world who we are and people loved our country,” said the deputy minister. She also encouraged young people to pursue careers in scarce skills. In 2011, the department implemented the National Youth Chefs Training Programme to address the urgent need for cooks and chefs in South Africa’s growing hospitality industry. Officials from the department made presentations on the various programmes that are currently in place and how citizens can access them. These included enterprise development, skills development as well as the Tourism Incentive Programme. – Read more on the Tourism Update site
New journal will protect authors of controversial publications
A group of international university researchers aim to launch a new journal allowing articles on sensitive debates to be written under pseudonyms. The Journal of Controversial Ideas will be launched next year. One of the organisers, University of Oxford professor of moral philosophy Jeff McMahan said: “It would enable people whose ideas might get them in trouble either with the left or with the right or with their own university administration, to publish under a pseudonym.” McMahan stressed that the new cross-disciplinary publication will be fully peer-reviewed in line with normal academic standards. The group is establishing an intellectually diverse international editorial board with representation from the left and the right, as well as religious and secular thinkers, to ensure the journal is not identified with a specific viewpoint. McMahan feels the reason for the journal stems from a need for more open discussion because “there’s greater inhibition on university campuses about taking certain positions for fear of what will happen”. – Read more on this article on the BCC news site
UK universities implement more paperless exams
A growing number of students in the United Kingdom (UK) are doing their exams on computers, moving away from traditional handwritten papers. Universities such as Edinburgh, Oxford and Cambridge are testing the move. They are however adopting differing policies on whether to allow spell-checking. While undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge are not allowed to use the spell-check function during the trial exams, Brunel University London are allowing students to do so. Over 60% of universities have brought in ‘e-exams’ in at least one or two modules, while one in five have introduced it in entire departments, according to a survey. Professor Alan Smithers, from the University of Buckingham, said he worried the move could lead to “the death of handwriting”. Critics also cite that allowing access to spell-checking in exams will lead to dumbing down. – Read more on this story on the University World News site.