31 March 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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GLOBAL
Universities face rising pressure on divestment
Student activists in the United States and worldwide are ramping up pressure on universities to drop fossil fuel holdings from endowments, garnering support from alumni and faculty as they organise sit-ins and other forms of protest. In addition, academics and alumni are increasingly calling on their universities to divest.
RUSSIA
Sharp drop in applications to study abroad
The number of Russian students applying to study abroad has dropped by between 25% and 30% this year, according to a leading consulting agency on foreign education. In some disciplines, especially languages, the numbers have dropped by 40%.
JAPAN
Branch campus ‘diplomacy’ to mend ties with China
Against a backdrop of tense Sino-Japanese relations in recent years, a Chinese university will launch a branch campus in Tokyo in April – the first Chinese government funded higher learning institution in Japan, with officials expressing the hope that ‘education diplomacy’ will help mend bridges.
UNITED KINGDOM
Foreign students add to campus attraction – Research
Would-be university students recognise the potential educational benefits of studying alongside international students even before they embark on their higher education, research from an independent UK think tank suggests.
AUSTRALIA
Physical sciences contribute 22% of economy – Report
The annual contribution of the physical sciences to the Australian economy has been estimated to be worth A$292 billion (US$230 billion), according to a report released on 25 March.
MIDDLE EAST
Universities urged to develop links with industry
Most Arab universities are failing to produce graduates with the skills they need to find work, and they need to strengthen innovation capacity by building links with industry, two conferences were told.
DENMARK
University colleges to increase staff PhDs tenfold
Danish university colleges are developing a plan to raise the proportion of staff having a PhD tenfold, from 5% to 50%, by 2022.
INDIA
Bihar cheating scandal highlights a national problem
Recent pictures of men clambering school walls to pass cheating sheets to school-leaving exam candidates in Bihar have highlighted a national problem affecting access to university.
KENYA
Technology sweeping universities opens opportunities
A technology wave is sweeping Kenyan higher education, changing the ways universities are run. Since mid-February more higher education institutions and groups supporting the sector have tapped technology to ease operations and open new competitive frontiers.
BANGLADESH
UK distance education programmes gaining popularity
Amid growing concerns over higher education standards in Bangladesh, a significant number of students are opting for off-campus distance education programmes provided by UK universities rather than the on-campus courses of Bangladesh’s universities.
UNITED KINGDOM
UK's first global higher education centre launched
The UK’s first research Centre for Global Higher Education is being established by the UCL Institute of Education, in partnership with Lancaster University and the University of Sheffield. It will open its doors in October.
IRAN
More cross-border campuses in the Arab states
In a move aimed at easing Western sanctions and its economic isolation, along with promoting higher education development and regional cooperation, Iran is continuing to establish more branch campuses of its universities across the Arab states.
UAE-UNITED STATES
Ban on professor raises questions for offshore campuses
A New York University professor was stopped while trying to board a plane for the United Arab Emirates at Kennedy International Airport last week and told he had been barred from entering the country. The professor, Andrew Ross, said the ban could have wider ramifications for NYU and other colleges that operated campuses in authoritarian countries.

ASIA
Region heading for HE ‘powerhouse’ status
Many Asian countries have been setting ambitious goals to expand and improve their higher education sectors and are on the way to catching up with and even overtaking the best higher education systems of the West, according to a new book.
AUSTRALIA
Reform vote leaves universities uncertain of funding
The Australian senate has rejected a government higher education reform bill for the second time, leaving the nation’s universities uncertain of their future funding and whether they can charge tuition fees.
UNITED KINGDOM
LSE students challenge university ‘corporatisation’
A group of 20 or more students have begun an occupation of a key administration room at the London School of Economics in protest against “profit-driven education”. They were inspired by the similar protest at the University of Amsterdam.
GERMANY
New high-tech forum advises government on innovation
A new committee has been created to advise the federal government on issues concerning its high-tech policies. The 'High-Tech Forum' consists of experts from politics, science and society.
GLOBAL
Health websites too hard to understand
Prepared by medical experts, many health websites that are supposed to provide information about physical and mental problems people may be facing, have been found to be too difficult for lay people to comprehend.
MYANMAR
Violent clashes ahead of education bill hearing
Student protests over Myanmar’s higher education bill have met with a violent police crackdown in the town of Letpadan last week. Some 127 students were arrested and many injured when they were violently beaten by police.
NETHERLANDS
Protests raise questions over role of universities
After a month of occupation of university buildings, University of Amsterdam students are increasingly winning support for their protest against pressure on universities to focus on ‘effectivity’ – producing measurable products as efficiently as possible.
THAILAND
International outcry over eroded academic freedom
More than 200 international scholars from 19 countries including Noam Chomsky have signed an open letter against the erosion of academic freedom in Thailand, after a renowned Thai historian was dismissed from a university in Bangkok while in political exile.
GLOBAL
Two UK universities in global top three – Survey
University academics around the world have given a boost to the reputations of the UK’s two leading universities, placing them second and third behind Harvard in a global 'beauty contest'.
AUSTRALIA
New strategy for boosting graduate job prospects
With 30% of new graduates still looking for work four months after leaving university and many taking much longer to find a full-time job in their field of study, Australian business leaders have joined with the nation’s vice-chancellors to launch a “national work integrated learning strategy”.
GLOBAL
Corporatisation ‘threatens academic freedom’– AAUP
Higher education’s “romance with entrepreneurialism” puts the hallowed principle of academic freedom at risk at universities around the world, general counsel for the American Association of University Professors told comparative education researchers on Wednesday.
UNITED KINGDOM
Mobile students more likely to have a job – Report
Graduates who have studied, worked or volunteered abroad are more likely to have a job six months after graduating, and on average they are earning slightly more than other graduates, a new report says.