03 May 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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UNITED KINGDOM
English students have highest debt in Anglophone world
English students in universities in England now face some of the highest tuition fees in the world – higher than in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – and the highest average debts at graduation, according to a new study. The typical English student faces debts of over £44,000 (US$64,500) at graduation, £15,000 more even than graduates of US private for-profit universities.
MEXICO
Probe into student massacre suspects drug traffickers
A report published last week by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts on the killing and disappearance of dozens of students in Iguala, Mexico, suggests a clash with drug traffickers over the use of buses on narcotics routes may have led to the attack.
SWEDEN
Nobel decision paves way for advanced research centre
The three major universities in Stockholm plan to form a new research centre for advanced studies following the decision by the City of Stockholm to give the go-ahead for a Nobel Centre to be built on its waterfront. University leaders said the research centre, to be located inside the Nobel Centre, would be “an institution of the highest international rank”, enabling the region to "compete with Oxford and Cambridge".
AFRICA
Ghana’s vice-president calls for move from liberal arts
Universities across Africa must move away from liberal arts courses in order to make higher education relevant and ensure the continent is not left behind in today’s technological world, Ghana’s Vice-president Kwesi Amissah-Arthur said while opening the second Times Higher Education Africa Universities Summit in the capital Accra.
RUSSIA
Industry presses ministry to address HE jobs outcomes
Russia's largest employers are demanding improvements in higher education teaching and changes to university curricula to address the low demand for graduates in the jobs market. In Moscow, for instance, one in two young graduates are unemployed.
SUDAN
Another ‘opposition’ student killed as protests spread
One student was killed and three wounded last Wednesday in clashes between government and opposition supporters at Sudan’s Omdurman Ahlia University. Just a week earlier, at the University of Kordofan, a student was killed – reportedly by security agents – and more than 20 injured, triggering protests at universities across the country.
SOUTH AFRICA
Rhodes student ‘rape’ protests end but debates continue
Student protests at Rhodes University, nestled in the small South African town of Grahamstown, ended with the resumption of lectures last Monday after a week of dramatic disruption and disturbances over a ‘rape culture’ at the institution – but the conversation is far from over.
AUSTRALIA
Report finds extra value in international education
International education contributes nearly A$1 billion (US$764 million) more to the economy than previously estimated, according to a report by Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by the Department of Education and Training and released on Friday. The government said the finding puts the current real value of the industry closer to A$21 billion.
UGANDA
Gambling students renege on fees, strike over policy
Many students at Uganda’s flagship Makerere University are diverting money into gambling and are failing to pay tuition fees on time, according to staff. Students went on a week-long strike in April in protest against the debt-ridden university’s controversial fee payment policy.
GLOBAL
Terrorism and migration seen as world’s top challenges
Terrorism is cited as the biggest challenge facing the world today, closely followed by migration, according to research unveiled at a new international humanitarian award ceremony, but there is a global 'compassion gap' in public perceptions of contemporary refugees.
EUROPE
EU to fund hundreds of scholarships for Syrians
French, German, Dutch and United Kingdom organisations supporting international cooperation in higher education are administering a new programme funded by the European Union to facilitate access to education for Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
AFRICA
Major bodies partner to raise higher education quality
The African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education – the body responsible for accreditation in Africa’s French-speaking countries – has signed a partnership agreement with UNESCO to promote higher education quality across the continent.
CHINA
More emphasis on universities in innovation drive
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was touring major universities in China last week to promote the country’s strategy for science and innovation-fuelled economic growth under a new five-year plan announced last month that will triple funding for basic research by 2020. Li called on universities and research centres to collaborate more closely to build critical mass in the research sector.
SUDAN
Amnesty condemns state killing of university student
Amnesty International has called for an urgent investigation into the killing – allegedly by intelligence agents – of a student during a peaceful march at the University of Kordofan in Sudan. Up to 27 students were wounded in an attack related to student elections.
HONG KONG
‘Localism’ scholar is axed ‘due to political pressure’
A scholar of Chinese studies at Hong Kong’s Lingnan University whose writings are said to have inspired Hong Kong’s student-led 'localism' groups has said he is about to lose his university post. The university’s decision is seen as making him “the first academic casualty” of those supporting Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests known as the Umbrella movement, led by students in 2014.
UNITED KINGDOM
Science could suffer from Brexit – Lords report
A powerful United Kingdom parliamentary committee has warned that Britain could lose high-level strategic influence over not only European but more widely international science policy in the event of a Brexit after the June referendum on continued membership.
INDONESIA
Report into study abroad students being radicalised
A number of Asian governments – among them Indonesia and Malaysia – are concerned their citizens who study abroad in the Middle East could become exposed to Islamic State doctrine, or, due to the proximity of Turkey to Islamic State strongholds in Syria, could be recruited from Turkey. But new research suggests these fears are misplaced.
GERMANY
Universities want transparency in links with industry
German university heads have welcomed proposals by the Stifterverband – a network of foundations, businesses and individuals supporting the country’s higher education and research – for improved transparency in collaborations between universities and industry.
NIGERIA
Student protests after flawed university entrance exams
Protests in cities across Nigeria and widespread condemnation followed this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, the national university entrance test sat by 1.5 million would-be students. Computers froze, multiple results were issued and tens of thousands of candidates were relocated to different exam centres without being properly told.
UNITED STATES
Court battle over academic boycott of Israel
Four members of the Washington DC-based American Studies Association have announced that they are jointly suing the organisation for its boycott of Israel, arguing that it amounts to a blatant politicisation of an academic organisation in violation of District of Columbia law governing non-profit organisations.
UGANDA
Researcher lays dispute over teaching bare – literally
Dr Stella Nyanzi, a research fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research, stripped off her clothes in public last Monday in protest against being locked out of her office. Videos of the nude University of London-trained medical anthropologist went viral and sparked a national controversy.
EUROPE
Damning report on effectiveness of innovation institute
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology, set up by the European Union to bring together academic research, science and business, is not as effective as it could be and is beset with management problems, according to a damning new report by the European Court of Auditors.
FRANCE
Merger of elite Paris universities gets the go-ahead
Two of the most prestigious universities in Paris have agreed to merge by 1 January 2018. The newly elected boards of Paris-Sorbonne and Pierre and Marie Curie universities voted last week to formally commit to the plan following the re-election of pro-merger presidents at both institutions.
SOUTH KOREA
Election result could scupper HE structural reforms
With the surprise defeat in last week’s national election in South Korea of the ruling Saenuri Party, the conservative party of President Park Geun-hye, the government’s structural reforms of the higher education system could be stalled by the National Assembly where her party no longer has a majority.
HONG KONG
Students form new parties, push for self-determination
Student groups that led Hong Kong’s 2014 pro-democracy protests – also known as the Umbrella movement – have set up their own political parties in Hong Kong to continue to press their demands using political means after they failed to wrest concessions from the Hong Kong government during huge street protests.