> Examining collective teacher efficacy and its impact on student performance (30/08/19)

Student performance in the classroom is impacted by a variety of internal and external factors. While students enter the classroom with their own unique sets of capabilities, it is important to understand how teachers and their beliefs about students influence student performance. In this paper, Gabriel Inchausti examines how teacher beliefs about group efficacy influence student performance in the classroom. To analyze how teachers develop their perceptions on collective teacher efficacy (CTE), Inchausti utilizes the Goddard et al assessment of CTE and examines the four sources CTE. This paper also utilizes Inchausti’s own case study conducted in South America, to evaluates how the use of CTE questionnaires can provide a greater understanding of how to improve collective efficacy in schools.

> University Retention and Recruitment of Women in Developing Countries (31/07/19)

This report by Njomeza Blakcori presents an overview of the social, economic, environmental and institutional barriers that affect student retention and recruitment in the Global South. The purpose of this document is to present
information on recent trends and to demonstrate potential strategies to improve the institutional capacities of universities to effectively recruit and retain 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 by Gabriel Inchausti examines the validity of the great left brain versus right brain debate and undercover how students’ negative perceptions of their intelligence impact learning. Through his research, Inchausti 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.

>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.

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 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.

Book Reviews

Democratização do Ensino Superior no Brasil

In her review of Democratização do Ensino Superior no Brasil by Raimundo Nonato da Silva Filho, Samara Zauhy seeks to answer whether higher education in Brazil has been truly democratised. Democratização do Ensino explores the underlying causes behind the high percentage of scholarship students who drop out of university in Brazil. In order to develop the central thesis regarding the democratisation of higher education, the author collects personal data from three Teaching students enrolled in higher education in Brazil. With this biographical method of research, Nonato found that even with scholarships, students still face significant difficulties completing their degrees, which range from being economic to cultural components.

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.

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 Educational Heritage of Ancient India: How an Ecosystem of Learning Was Laid to Waste

In his review of The Educational Heritage of Ancient India- How An Ecosystem of Learning Was Laid to Waste by Sahana Singh, Oliver Gonzalez-Escolano examines the history of education in the India Sub-Continent. In ​The Educational Heritage of Ancient India, Sahana Singh provides a recital of the turbulent history of education in India. Singh also provides an unfiltered approach detailing the harmful impact foreign intrusion has had on the rich and advanced educational system in India. Gonzalez-Escolano supports Singh’s conclusion, advocating against any attempts to eliminate or deliberately distort history.

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.

Teaching Tech to Generation Z

Teaching Tech to Generation Z took place on Saturday 18 May, 2019 at the German School in London, England. The student-led conference offered a solution-oriented dialogue where participants in education, tech and research examined the ways in which education needs to adapt to address the needs of Generation Z in a changing world. Through two panel discussions, speakers examined a variety of topics including the challenges and opportunities of ‘Teaching Tech’ and social and mental well-being of young adults in the digital age. 

Women, Development and Higher Education

Women, Development and Higher Education took place on 2 July, 2019 at Srinakharinwirot University in Thailand. This female focused conference featuring all female panels produced practical solutions with clear action points highlighting the different aspects of the complex and fascinating challenge of shaping higher education for the future. Through three paneled discussions, speakers suggested ways to achieve gender parity in higher education, offered different tools, technologies and techniques to enhance educational experiences for women, and proposed thoughts to extend beyond teaching.