The impact of the Ebola outbreak on tertiary institutions in Sierra Leone (26/4/18)

Researchers Yanoh Jalloh and Mucktarr Raschid of Professors Without Borders interviewed students and faculty members from Fourah Bay College (FBC), Milton Margai College, and the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) – 4 of the country’s 17 higher education institutions. Researchers conducted a thorough evaluation of the existing literature and drew from researchers’ experiences in the country. The report recommends developing distance learning programs and improving mental health and crisis planning, including financial planning.

Determinants of Academic Performance, A Behavioural Science Approach (06/7/18)

In this paper, researcher Gabriel Inchausti focuses on students as decision makers, using a Behavioural Science approach. Combining elements taken from psychology, neuroscience and economics, Behavioural Science dives into the specific mechanisms activated when humans make decisions. From that standpoint, it is possible to target the determinants that push students into poor decision-making processes, improving their academic performance. This paper suggests that governments can make huge cost efficiencies and improve standards at the same time by employing and understanding of learner behaviours in their approaches to schools, curricula and colleges.

>The Impact of Faculty Diversity on Graduation Rates (25/10/18)

In her research, Samantha Fu examines the advantages of diversity through data analysis of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the United States. The NCES conducts annual surveys for higher education institutions. The data collected in these surveys fall under the umbrella of several categories, encompassing institutional characteristics, enrolments, completions and graduation rates, student and faculty demographics, finances, and admissions. In this paper no relationship is found between faculty diversity as proxied by ethnic minority status and graduation rates of minority students, significant positive relationships are found between faculty diversity as proxied by gender and graduation rates of female students.

>Theories of Intelligence: The Great Left Brain Versus Right Brain Debate (31/05/19)

Students across generations and countries have long engaged in the great right brain versus left brain debate. Many students internalise negative perceptions about their own intelligence and simply accept that they “are not a numbers person”. This paper will examine the validity of the great left brain versus right brain debate and undercover how students’ negative perceptions of their intelligence impact learning. The paper also outlines how educators can develop interventions for students based on alternate theories of intelligence with reference to the work of Carol Dweck. The report utilizes the author’s primary findings from experiments conducted in South American schools.

Book Reviews

Visible Learning for Teachers, Maximizing Impact on Learning

In his review of Visible Learning For Teachers, Maximizing Impact on Learning by John Hattie, Gabriel Inchausti seeks to answer two ever important question in education, what techniques can teachers use to actually improve learning and what matters most? In Visible Learning, Hattie reviews hundreds of meta-analyses and identifies six categories of factors that influence student behaviour. Inchausti agrees with Hattie’s conclusion that emphasizes evidence-based evaluation of practices to improve student performance; however, he stresses that educators and researchers alike should use Visible Learning as an ambitious and useful systematization of the always expanding world of academic research in education.

The Great Brain Race, How Global Universities Are Shaping the World 

In her review of The Great Brain Race by Ben Wildavsky, Mary Sullivan explores Wildavsky’s detailed account of how global universities competing to recruit talented students have created a global marketplace for higher education. Sullivan finds that Wildavsky examines the evolution of this marketplace by analysing the growth of branch universities, the explosion of for-profit universities, and the increasing importance of meritocratic admissions and university ranking systems. While Wildavsky thesis is structured and supported by a variety of case studies from the Middle East, Asia and Europe, Sullivan investigates some of the limitations of Wildavsky argument.

Conference Reports

Higher Education in the Age of Transformation

The first ever conference report presents the key findings from Higher Education in the Age of Transformation and each of the panel discussion. Over the two day conference, panellists covered a variety of topics including Development, Health and Education, Skills and Indicators for Employment in the 21st Century Job Market, Technology and Teaching Generation Z, The Role of Academic Innovation, Challenging the Status Quo in Education, Higher Education and Entrepreneurship, and Building Bridges in Higher Education.

Coming Soon…