20 November 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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INDIA: New Indian institute of technology planned
For the first time, prominent alumni of India’s seven institutes of technology plan to establish a new institute to tackle an overwhelming demand from students.
US: Student loan boost the biggest in six decades
President George W Bush recently signed into law a new bill passed by Congress that pumps more money into student loans for the 6.8 million students who need financial assistance.
GERMANY: Heavy cost of student drop-outs
The German government may be wasting up to €8 billion (US$11.5 billion) a year as a result of students quitting university before finishing their courses, according to figures compiled by Stifterverband, an association of German science and higher education donors.
SOUTH AFRICA: Student drop-out rates alarming
A shocking 40% of South African students drop-out of university in their first year, a major study has found. Financial difficulties among the country's large pool of poor black students are, unsurprisingly, largely to blame first generation students from low-income, less educated families are the most likely to drop out.
UK: One student in three fails to qualify
As many as one in three British students in some universities drop out or fail to qualify, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
GREECE: Universities expel drop-outs
Greek students who have dropped out, neglected or abandoned their studies over a long period will be asked to renew their interest otherwise universities, colleges and other higher education institutions will take steps to strike them off the register.
FRANCE: University selection through high failure rate
Nearly half of French university students fail to complete their first year of studies successfully and about 90,000 leave every year without a qualification.
NEW ZEALAND: Education Minister to take v-c role
In one of the world’s more unusual job switches, New Zealand Education Minister and architect of the country's tertiary education reforms, Steve Maharey, will quit parliament to become vice-chancellor of the country’s second-largest university.
UK: Former unionist appointed Minister for Students
Lord Triesman, a former Communist, student activist and union leader, has been appointed Britain’s first Minister for Students.
US: Graduates donate more blood - and more votes
Carpenters and car mechanics may seem to double their fees every second year but according to the American College Board it still pays to take a university degree
BELGIUM: Researchers harness 40,000 computers to fight bird flu
European and Asian researchers have linked more than 40,000 computers across 45 countries to speed studies into developing an anti-viral drug that could defeat bird flu.
CYPRUS: Politics puts brake on university co-operation
For an island of less than a million people Cyprus is well served with universities. It has nine of them, to be precise.
GLOBAL: The smart money is on Australia
The academic world is becoming a smaller place, with ever increasing numbers of students studying overseas and staff collaborating across continents. OECD official Andreas Schleicher talks to Brendan O'Malley about why some countries have turned higher education into a leading export industry and others struggle to compete.
US: Dementia in more educated hits later but harder
Having a high level of education seems to delay the onset of dementia – but once cognitive decline begins, the descent is more precipitous, according to US News and World Report.
EUROPE: Students face 'new and sad reality'
Today's students do not want to "go down in history as the first generation of modern Europe that can expect to 'benefit' from fewer opportunities than the previous one," Bert Vandenkendelaere, chair of the European Students' Union, told the OECD higher education conference in Paris. Threatened by significant age wage gaps, high dropout rates, rampant graduate unemployment and limited support in starting a home or family, students fear their future may be bleaker than that of their parents.
GLOBAL: Technology and innovation in higher education
Innovative solutions are required to mitigate the budget cuts brought on by the current financial crisis, but innovation is not always synonymous with hi-tech, speakers told the OECD's 2010 higher education conference in Paris last month. The need to redress the bias of research to the detriment of teaching was a recurring theme, as was a call for greater social responsibility in producing well-informed, responsible citizens.
GLOBAL: Push towards innovative funding methods
Shrinking state budgets and financial shortfalls linked to the global recession are forcing universities to devise new means of raising revenue, notably through increased interaction with the private sector, according to participants at last month's OECD higher education conference in Paris.
US: Huge university 'doing more with less'
When you meet California State University Chancellor Charles B Reed for the first time, you think you've met him before. It takes a few minutes to realise that Reed bears a striking resemblance to English actor Bob Hoskins. He has the same round appearance, direct gaze and pugilistic stance, as if he's ready to do battle. And it has been a battle over the past two years, as Reed has slashed costs at the university and deflected criticism and outcry as he tried to absorb a US$600 million blow in the form of state budget cuts.
UK: Run universities like supermarkets: consultant
A senior manager with the London-based strategy and insight consultancy SHM has suggested that universities and other higher education institutions be run like supermarkets. Paul Gillooly presented this provocative idea to an incredulous group of government officials and university leaders at the OECD's Institutional Management in Higher Education general conference in Paris in September.
ICELAND-IRELAND: Universities merge post-bubble
Universities in Iceland and Ireland expanded dramatically during the 1990s boom, in part to promote regional development and absorb more students. But when the economic bubble burst, experts recommended a reduction in the overall number of institutions through painful mergers, as Denmark had already done.
RUSSIA-POLAND: Post-Soviet higher education challenges
"I'm not saying things were better under the Soviet Union, but there is definitely a problem with access to higher education in Russia," Tatiana Gounko, assistant professor at the University of Victoria in Canada, said at the OECD's Institutional Management in Higher Education conference held in Paris in September.
BAHAMAS: Development role for small island universities
Small island states, which are increasingly vulnerable to global problems, need to have their universities play a stronger role in national development. "A small island nation has limited tools for driving its own development," said Janyne Hodder, former president of the College of the Bahamas and an administrative board member of the International Association of Universities, at the OECD's 2010 higher education conference, Higher Education in a World Changed Utterly: Doing more with less.
ISRAEL: Innovation lacking in universities
Israel may have transformed itself over the past decade into one of the world's vibrant economies, but innovation training is nonetheless sorely lacking in the nation's universities, according to Dr Milly Perry, director of the research authority at the Open University of Israel and CEO of OPMOP Ltd Technology Transfer Company.
JAPAN: Private spending on higher education rising
Private spending on university education in Japan is high at 67.5%, according to a recent report released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on public education investment in 28 member states. The OECD's Education at a Glance 2010 report indicated that the average for all nations was 30.9%, illustrating that in Japan private spending on higher education plays a vital role in supplementing low public funding.
GLOBAL: Benefits (and costs) of social engagement
As universities face increasing budget cuts and see their ivory-tower image attacked, many now espouse increased involvement in community and global issues. But although this 'social engagement' drive has numerous supporters, others wonder at the cost and the long-term impact on universities, especially in the area of research.