The National Institute of Science and Technology of Timor-Leste (INCT) is pleased to announce the call for papers for the third (3rd) issue of the Journal of Science and Technology of Timor-Leste, of the National Institute of Science and Technology of Timor-Leste (INCT). 

This annual journal publishes articles, original/pedagogical studies, reviews and essays on all topics and problems related to scientific research and the state of science, innovation, and technology in East Timor. The main objective of the Journal of Science and Technology of Timor-Leste is to promote the rigorous analysis of science, innovation and technology in Timor-Leste, as well as to stimulate critical reflection on the current state and future of scientific research in Timor-Leste, and the development of possible solutions to the challenges of the present and the future. 

For the year 2024, the INCT Journal will have the theme: Global Challenges for Higher Education and hereby invites all researchers, teachers, scientists and interested parties to submit articles and reviews on this theme by 31 July 2024, to the following email: and

Theoretical Framework

Universities and higher education institutions play a fundamental role in the development of education and the production of knowledge in societies. 

Globally, it is well known that the vision and mission of most higher education institutions have been constantly altered by the gradual and subtle introduction of the logic of global capitalism. 

On the one hand, it was through the rise of capitalism and the mercantile demands of the private sector that private higher education institutions were conceived and entered into the landscape of the higher education ecosystem worldwide, with all the advantages and disadvantages that this entailed. In addition to this new global configuration, public higher education institutions have been confronted with new political, economic and social demands in relation to their function of usefulness to society and to the aspirations of the private sector. The lack of adequate funding for public higher education institutions has meant that they have had to seek external funding and develop partnerships to obtain funds from the “labour market” as a way of introducing themselves and having a useful function for society. However, the endless political and economic crises that have caused instability in teaching careers over the years, the introduction of compulsory tuition fees and increasingly heavy fees for students, especially those from the former colonies, who have been the target of an institutionalised predatory hunt for exuberant tuition fees, the entry of new regulatory actors into higher education ecosystems worldwide, the high standards of scientific research funding agencies, the mediation and constant positioning of higher education institutions in international rankings that take into account the constant demand for institutional and teacher productivity metrics, the entry of information and publication indexing agencies, among other factors, has resulted in the gradual implementation of an institutional bureaucracy that, over time, has become excessive and too burdensome for the managers and professors of higher education institutions who, needing to simultaneously manage, coordinate, teach, produce knowledge, present publications, be involved in postgraduate programmes and the monitoring and guidance of students, participate in scientific events and other activities to disseminate knowledge, in university extension activities and the development of all kinds of partnerships, have forgotten what is essential. All these factors, among others, have distorted the noblest purposes of universities in relation to their role in society, and it can be diagnosed that they are currently at a crossroads in time that can be characterised by an identity crisis, on the one hand, in the face of the demands of the logic of the globalised labour market, a responsibility from which they cannot and must not escape, and, on the other hand, the commitment they have as agents of knowledge production with the mission of guiding humanity towards a better future, towards which they would certainly like to channel all their attention, which remains passive, exhausted and impotent.

On the other hand, in non-Western countries, especially those that have recently emerged from conflicts and wars and have become politically independent from their former colonies, the newly created or remodelled higher education institutions are, for the most part, a mirror of their own countries, for better or for worse, with a dual mission: on the one hand, they look at the path and panorama of Western higher education institutions on the horizon, searching for the best institutional practices in them and refuting those they don’t agree with; on the other hand, their mission for higher education is characterised by the search for their own identity in a global capitalist world, where they aspire to be different according to their different cultures, worldviews and epistemologies. However, their needs, challenges and difficulties are different: while in the northern hemisphere there is a surplus of qualified teachers, in the southern hemisphere there is a shortage of qualified human resources; while in the north the infrastructure is adequate and in good condition for teachers and students, in the south the structures are dilapidated and in some cases miserable. If in the North science is at the service of the post-modern era and the logic of market financing, in many higher education institutions in the South science is still looking for its place alongside cultural and ancestral knowledge and indigenous languages. 

In both hemispheres, there is a prevailing international disagreement over the systems in place, from the Bologna Process to the American education system, which clash with the rise of Asian universities, the crisis of South American universities and the guidelines of the African Union.

If, on the one hand, unlike in previous eras, millions of students around the world now have access to higher education, this does not mean, however, that everyone enjoys a quality education. Within the confusion of the world’s academic systems, narrow-mindedness and ignorance on the part of the elites, unfair institutional competition, widespread universal plagiarism between different languages, financial exploitation of others and corruption, both political and academic, have generally taken hold, leading to the rise of indifference.

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