ACU Insights #5 - June 2013

In this issue…

MOOCs: disrupting the academic profession?

MOOCs have been noted for their ‘disruptive’ impact on current HE business models and hailed as ‘breaking down the walls’ of universities, but their impact on faculty has received relatively little attention. Concerns abound about faculty job security and their role within the institution. But one of the benefits of the MOOC debate may be that it has returned attention to the importance of teaching in HE.

Guiding internationalisation

Internationalisation policy can often seem to be driven by competition for markets and influence rather than local educational needs or long-term plans. Two recent publications concentrate on how internationalisation can be managed at an institutional level, offering practical guides and checklists. In doing so internationalisation is represented as not just a goal but a way of re-visiting how a university works.

Reforming HE governance in Zambia

A rapidly expanding and poorly regulated private sector, coupled with broader quality concerns, have reduced confidence in the HE system as a whole. Central to the HE bill presented to parliament in February is the creation of a new Higher Education Authority, aiming to improve quality in the sector and establish a national regulatory framework. In giving institutions greater freedoms the bill promises to remove some of the restrictions of the existing 1999 University Act, but as with many such agencies in the region, its duties are principally advisory and regulatory.

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The authors Nick Mulhern and Jonathan Harle are always pleased to receive feedback on the usefulness and content of the ACU Insights briefing, as well as news on developments in HE which might be of wider interest. They can be contacted at