22 September 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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INDIA
Top universities banned from using foreign funding
An interior ministry order banning several top institutions, including the University of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University, as well as major research bodies such as the Indian Council of Medical Research, from receiving foreign funds has raised questions around the autonomy of these institutions, as well as the future of foreign-funded projects.
UGANDA
Up to 88 Makerere staff face degree forgery prosecution
Up to 88 people at Makerere University, one of Africa’s most prestigious universities, have been apprehended for possible prosecution over the alteration of student marks in an investigation that is expected to see the withdrawal of some of the university’s law degrees dating back to 2011.
HONG KONG
China tells Hong Kong universities to curb ‘separatists’
China’s official media has hit out at the unfurling of banners backing Hong Kong independence from China at a number of Hong Kong’s universities, putting pressure on the Hong Kong government and on university management to curb such activities.
SOUTH KOREA
Universities to be punished for admissions ‘arms race’
In a drive against excessive tutoring and elite private schools that prepare students for the best universities, the South Korean government has ordered almost a dozen universities – including its top three – to bring their admissions tests more in line with the normal high school curriculum.
NEW ZEALAND
Election pledges address student fees and allowances
New Zealand’s opposition parties are promising more financial support and lower fees for tertiary students in an attempt to woo youth voters – and their parents – ahead of this week’s general elections. But little is being offered for universities and other tertiary institutions.
EGYPT
Pressure mounts as universities hike residence fees
Egyptian authorities have announced an increase in accommodation fees for students living in university dormitories, putting mounting pressure on students and their families living through the country’s worst economic crisis in decades.
DENMARK
Students to mobilise against university budget cuts
The Education Alliance, comprising more than 40 Danish student organisations, is calling for a demonstration in central Copenhagen and elsewhere in Denmark on 5 October against government education cuts that are resulting in ‘quality deterioration’ in higher education.
KENYA
Universities told to issue regular financial reports
Kenya’s universities have been ordered to publish regular financial performance reports as part of sweeping regulations which take effect this year, aimed at lifting the veil of secrecy that has shrouded institutions’ financial status and effectively put millions of dollars at risk.
GLOBAL
Anne Frank honours given to JRS and Scholars at Risk
The Jesuit Refugee Service, an NGO providing higher education to refugees in their camps and urban settings, and Scholars at Risk, a scholar rescue organisation, have been given the Anne Frank Award and Anne Frank Special Recognition Award respectively for their commitment to the rights of refugees.
GLOBAL
Chinese universities hit new heights in global ranking
United Kingdom universities have taken the top two places in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the first time, but the key trend is the continuing rise of Chinese universities which have taken two top-30 places for the first time. China’s lower-ranked universities have also made big gains.
AUSTRALIA
Rankings results show ‘risks posed by HE cuts plan’
The threat from Chinese universities to Australian universities' standing in international rankings, demonstrated in the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, has led to claims that a planned AU$2.8 billion (US$2.2 billion) government cut to universities’ funding will weaken their competitiveness internationally.
UNITED STATES
Trump’s DACA decision bars door into higher education
United States President Donald Trump’s decision last week to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, programme for children of undocumented immigrants without a clear legislative solution leaves them unable to enrol in college or university and prompted stern rebukes from US higher education leaders.
INDIA
Plan for universities to hold jobs for foreign faculty
India wants to hire more foreign academics to boost its performance in international university rankings. But plans to keep one in five faculty jobs for foreign academics have led to fears that universities will have to pay the cost without any increase in funding.
UNITED KINGDOM
Government unveils post-Brexit science position paper
The United Kingdom will seek a far-reaching agreement to strengthen science and innovation collaboration with European partners post-Brexit and would prefer to design a new type of deal than build on existing precedents, according to the government’s position paper.
FRANCE-GERMANY
France and Germany start joint climate change research
France and Germany have launched a joint research programme as a contribution to implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. The programme, part of the French ‘Make our Planet Great Again’ initiative, invites climate, energy and earth system scientists worldwide to engage in research in the two countries.
NORTH KOREA
PUST stays open, but British Council suspends teaching
Despite new travel curbs on United States passport-holders and tension over missile tests and military manoeuvres, the private Pyongyang University of Science and Technology or PUST, which teaches in English, is staying open. But the British Council has suspended language teaching at all North Korean universities.
KENYA
Foreign firms to plug universities’ infrastructure gap
Foreign financial institutions and private equity funds are lining up millions of dollars to invest in Kenya’s higher education, potentially helping to narrow the damaging infrastructure gap facing the sector.
HONG KONG
Pro-independence banners re-emerge on campuses
Banners advocating Hong Kong’s independence from China have re-emerged at several Hong Kong university campuses despite moves to tear them down at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in a renewed show of defiance following the jailing of three former student leaders.
AFRICA
New survey to assess challenges facing young scholars
What are the unique challenges faced by researchers and academics early in their careers and how can they be better supported? A new study – geared towards early-career scholars in all disciplines in Africa – is set to find out.
RUSSIA
Government steps up funding for elite universities
The Russian government is stepping up its funding of the 5-100 programme aimed at getting five universities into the global top 100 in international rankings, conceding that it has faced significant challenges due to underfunding and budget cuts.
ASIA
Geopolitics are hitting Chinese student flows in Asia
There was relief in Taiwan last week as mainland Chinese are once again enrolling in Taiwan’s universities after China curbed student exchanges across the Taiwan Strait due to tense relations between the two sides, but overall the number of Chinese students has halved since last year.
HONG KONG
Academics targeted after student activists are jailed
In the wake of the internationally-condemned jailing of former student leaders of Hong Kong’s 2014 student movement, including an elected legislator Nathan Law, academics who were active in the movement have become the latest target.
AUSTRALIA
Minister dismisses critics of university funding cuts
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham has dismissed vice-chancellors’ opposition to his proposed budget cuts for higher education, saying that universities can find efficiency savings to allow for the shortfall. But universities say STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – will suffer most.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities must fight ‘unfair’ claims of elitism
Universities are facing a crisis of public confidence born of being “unfairly categorised as elite, aloof and detached from individuals, communities and day to day challenges” and must fight back, according to Alistair Jarvis, the new chief executive of Universities UK.
AFRICA
Tunisia in new bid to attract Sub-Saharan students
A series of new measures to reverse the sharp decline in numbers of Sub-Saharan African students in Tunisia over the next three years has been unveiled.