03 August 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa Features
Grappling with plagiarism in universities
Munyaradzi Makoni
Banishing academic dishonesty could help Mozambique nurture original thinkers who are economically efficient and socially suited to develop the country. But this will only be possible if administrators work with professors and students to build strong measures to combat widespread plagiarism, which is hampering the production of quality graduates.
Africa News
Mass violations against university students – Report
Wagdy Sawahel
Egyptian university students are suffering from a sharp rise in harsh actions taken against them by security forces and university administrations. A new report documents a total of 1,552 violations against students arrested during the past academic year.
President orders payment of lecturer salary arrears
Tunde Fatunde
Calls for the payment of salary backlogs by staff in state universities resumed after the recent elections in Nigeria. There had been a lull during pre-election campaigns, when soon-to-be President Muhammadu Buhari had promised to pay all salary arrears of public servants if his party was voted into power.
Crisis at engineering pole of excellence 2iE
Jane Marshall
The highly reputed Institut International d’Ingénierie de l’Eau et de l’Environnement, or 2iE, has been in crisis for several months, with some staff, students and parents protesting against what they claim is disastrous and incompetent management, according to press reports. The director general has rebutted the accusations, and says he is open to negotiation.
Foreign institutions warned over PhD admissions
Francis Kokutse
Foreign tertiary institutions in Ghana have been directed by the National Accreditation Board to ensure that only students with certificates awarded by institutions accredited by the board be admitted to PhD courses. It is also concerned about a spate of honorary degrees awarded to personalities by some unaccredited or unqualified institutions.
Boosting alternative energy training in universities
Munyaradzi Makoni
The Africa-European Union Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme is shaping renewable energy market development with support for training the next generation of energy professionals and promoting renewable energy research in Africa.
Loan to improve technical and vocational training
Maina Waruru
Kenya’s plan to revitalise post-secondary technical and vocational institutions – aimed at imparting engineering, science and technical skills to thousands more young people – is finally taking shape thanks to a US$62 million loan from the African Development Bank.
Carnegie grant to strengthen RUFORUM doctoral training
Maina Waruru
The Uganda-based Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture, or RUFORUM, has received a boost for its doctoral training programme with a grant of US$1.5 million from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Global News
Plan to expand military universities, student places
Eugene Vorotnikov
The Russian government plans to make national military universities the most prestigious higher education institutions in the country, triple their funding and add to their number during the next several years, according to an official spokesman of the Russian Ministry of Defence.
Psychologists in crisis over findings on ‘torture’ allegations
Mary Beth Marklein
Accord urges rebuilding of higher education after war
Brendan O'Malley
Embed data skills across disciplines to plug jobs gap
Peta Lee
US-Iran thaw set to pave way for more academic links
Ian Wilhelm, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Nobel laureate steps down from Nalanda after run-in
Yojana Sharma
Officials ‘tempered’ education data to obtain US aid
Ameen Amjad Khan
Research bodies criticised for employment practice
Michael Gardner
Axe for grant will hit government access target
David Jobbins
World Round-up
Elite universities outperformed on graduate earnings
The Sydney Morning Herald
Home Office confirms move to crack down on visa fraud
Huffington Post
Ministry reverses foreign collaboration permissions order
Hindustan Times
Universities barred from offering extra benefits
China Daily
Universities adopting 'flipped classroom' learning
The Straits Times
Chinese seek US college admission at any price
Ashamed by president’s support for security bills
The Japan Times
Universities told to cap PhDs and check plagiarism
The Telegraph India
Universities allowed to raise fees beyond £9,000 – Chancellor
The Independent
Department dismisses Asian groups' Harvard complaint
Press Trust of India
CEO criticises quality of universities
Today’s Zaman
Calls for end to corruption at student funding body
Business Day
Youngsters view tennis as springboard to college
Africa Analysis
Time for an African charter on academic freedom
Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua
It is time for African academics to consider drafting a charter on academic freedom. It will be a daunting task. But the costs of failing to protect this basic human right, as other countries across the globe use universities to create new ideas and intellectual properties essential to the growth of the knowledge economy, will be great for African universities and nation states.
Investing in peer review to strengthen African science
Muhammad Mehmood-Ul-Hassan and Jan De Leeuw
Strengthening African scientists’ capacity to conduct credible peer review would be one small step to improving the quality of the continent’s science and building the skills of its scientists. Both are key to helping Africa develop its own research agenda.
When and how science spending leads to social returns
David Richard Walwyn
The rapid expansion of government funding for science in South Africa is perhaps surprising given the present climate of spending cutbacks amid urgent social priorities. Funding for public science in South Africa has increased by 71% in five years. It will reach R7.6 billion in 2015-16.
Africa Briefs
Preparations under way for increased student numbers
Preparations for enrolling an increased number of first-year students into higher education in Algeria are well under way for the 2015-16 academic year, with an extra 76,000 places and 50,000 beds across the country, announced Tahar Hadjar, the higher education and scientific research minister.
UEMOA and UNESCO project to digitise universities
The West African Economic and Monetary Union and UNESCO are equipping six of the region’s eight major universities with computer facilities and networks at a total cost of FCFA6 billion (US$10 million).
Decision to remove Hitler-loving student leader upheld
Munyaradzi Makoni
A University of the Witwatersrand independent appeal and review committee has upheld a decision made in May to remove Mcebo Dlamini, the former student representative council president, from office for misconduct. Dlamini sparked outrage in South Africa for professing deep admiration for Hitler.
National Academy of Sciences to be created
Burkina Faso’s Transitional National Council has passed legislation to create a National Academy of Sciences of Burkina, with the aim of promoting socio-economic development through science, humanities, arts and culture.
Global Commentary
Is higher education reinforcing inequality?
Simon Marginson
Higher education alone cannot bring greater social equality. Higher education researchers need to focus on improving access to elite institutions and creating the conditions necessary for building stronger mass higher education institutions.
Is Saudi Arabia training too many graduates?
Nader Habibi
The Saudi government has invested heavily in higher education, but it is likely to be producing too many graduates for the available jobs. Instead, it could put the money into improving the quality of its research output.
Visa restrictions limit academic freedom
Jeffrey Herlihy-Mera
Until the US Visa Waiver Program is abolished or the US visa requirements are made universal for all non-citizens, academic societies should hold their annual events in nations where visa policies are equitable for all.
New chancellor, same old problems
George Yeo follows Amartya Sen as chancellor of Nalanda University, but will he face the same problems associated with creating an international university in one of India’s poorest states?
Competitors challenge universities on employability
Richard Garrett
Post-secondary education providers and initiatives are focusing on ways to increase graduate employability. Are they a threat to universities?
Global Features
Schools are the new battleground for foreign students
Brendan O’Malley
School education should be used as a recruiting ground for foreign students to secure more higher education enrolments, according to a Victoria government paper examining how to combat rising competition from universities in Asian countries.
Science Scene
A human needs a large hole in the head – to be smart
Geoff Maslen
The intelligence of animals can be estimated by the size of the holes in the skull which the arteries pass through, according to novel research by biologists at the University of Adelaide, because hole size results from brain activity being related to the metabolic rate.
World Blog
The end of the China growth story?
Rahul Choudaha
The slowdown in the Chinese economy doesn’t mean the end of international students from China, as growing numbers of Chinese choosing to do undergraduate courses abroad show. But self-funded graduate education at masters and doctorate levels will face challenges for the next couple of years.

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