24 November 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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University funding system in England is not sustainable – Report
The funding system for higher education in England is not sustainable and a better funding model must be developed, according to a critical report by the Higher Education Commission.
New THE split throws rankings world into turmoil
The volatile world of international rankings was thrown into renewed turmoil when the Times Higher Education abruptly ditched its association with Thomson Reuters and renewed its link with Elsevier’s Scopus research citation database.
China-Australia free trade to ‘strengthen HE ties’
Whether or not it is the collective view of all universities in Australia, the lobby group representing them was enthusiastic in welcoming the signing of a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement in Canberra last Monday.
Medical college closure after London campus problems
A private Malaysian medical institution, Allianze University College of Medical Sciences based in Penang, has had to close down amid reports of many staff left unpaid and students scrambling to find alternatives. The college caused surprise when it paid some £30 million (US$47 million) for a major campus in London in 2013, acquired from Middlesex University.
Students suffer following unrest at Islamist university
On arriving in Cairo from his village in Egypt’s Delta last month to start studies as a medical freshman at the state-run Al-Azhar University, Omar Mahrus was in for a shock. On asking when he could move into the university's state-subsidised dormitories, Mahrus was told that no date had been set for re-opening the facility.
Summit – ‘Spend cash on education or be left behind’
The four university-based unions in Nigeria recently held their first joint national education summit in Abuja, the federal capital. The main objective was to take stock of education and training since independence 54 years ago, and by the end of the summit a realistic ‘road map’ had been produced to tackle problems in the sector.
Second round of diaspora scholars in US head for Africa
There has been an enthusiastic response to the two-year Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, which connects African-born academics working in North America to universities in six African countries. The second round of diaspora academics will begin travelling to Africa next month.
Government issues legitimate university courses list
Kenya’s Commission for University Education has published a list of more than 1,000 approved programmes at universities, in an effort to end rows over unaccredited courses and learners obtaining degrees that are not recognised. But the move has not resolved a row over professional bodies rejecting some degrees, which has led to violent student protests and the closure of three institutions.
Eyebrows raised as politicos breeze through degrees
Questions are being asked about the quality and integrity of an undergraduate degree being offered by a Kenyan Christian university, which is popular with politicians and adult learners and can apparently be completed in a couple of years.
China heads for top of world in R&D spending – OECD
China is forecast to overtake the European Union and the United States in research and development spending by the end of the decade, according to an OECD report on the global state of science, technology and industry published last Wednesday.
Top university leader leaves in anti-graft campaign
The president of Fudan University in Shanghai, one of China’s most prestigious institutions, has resigned in the wake of a government investigation into corruption. Yang Yuliang is the most high profile university head to be removed after President Xi Jinping pledged late last year to go after major officials – ‘tigers’ – and not just ‘flies’ or minor officials.
Politically motivated strikes disrupt universities
Students and guardians fear that much of the current academic year will be wasted, just as studies were affected in previous years by political conflicts. In particular, general nationwide strikes called after political leaders of the largest Islamic party were sentenced to death over their role in the country’s liberation war in 1971 have halted university classes.
New online library aims to ‘equalise’ science education
The World Library of Science, launched by UNESCO and two partners on 10 November, will give students and teachers around the world access to the latest science information and the opportunity to create a “global community for science education”, the developers say.
Student jailed for anti-monarchy Facebook message
Freedom of expression has again come under attack in Thailand, with a 24-year-old student sentenced to imprisonment for a single Facebook post deemed defamatory to the country’s monarchy.
Rectors oppose proposal for non-European student fees
In its budget for 2015, the Norwegian government has proposed that universities and public colleges claim tuition fees from students from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland, starting in autumn next year. But rectors have opposed the plan.
Survey debunks Japanese students stay-at-home myth
Japanese students are just as interested in overseas study as their counterparts in the United Kingdom and the United States – a finding that pours cold water on the popular theory that Japanese students are averse to study abroad.
Prime ministers debate innovation and higher education
Prime ministers from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom met in Helsinki on 6-7 November for the fourth Northern Future Forum. The main topics were how to promote the creation of new innovation firms, and how to ensure the competitiveness of the countries’ education systems.
Dilapidated universities must be fixed, say officials
Economic experts meeting at the 9th Annual African Economic Conference in Addis Ababa have urged African governments to enhance the image of universities by providing high quality infrastructure and facilities that would enable creative and innovative research.
Vice-chancellors call for stakeholder funding strategy
South African vice-chancellors have called for a stakeholders’ debate that tackles the enormous challenges of financing student enrolment targets, sustaining student financial aid and releasing adequate funding in the face of tight fiscal demands as the country strives for vastly expanded higher education with equity and quality.
First Nigerian tuition-free virtual university is ‘illegal’
The so-called ‘Free University of Nigeria’ – popularly known as FUN and described by several reports as Africa's first cloud-based, virtual, tuition-free, not-for-profit university – has turned out to be illegal.
Students now Hong Kong’s most popular ‘political’ force
The Hong Kong Federation of Students, which shot into the limelight during pro-democracy protests in recent weeks, has emerged as Hong Kong’s best-known political group, according to a Hong Kong University survey carried out during the height of the protests. The federation’s public popularity rating is higher than all other political groupings.
Military trials for students spark concerns
A new law in Egypt allowing military trials for students accused of attacking university facilities has raised concerns among academics and rights advocates about freedoms in the country. Universities have been rocked by violent protests blamed on Islamist students since the new semester began on 11 October.
New funding package for universities and research
Ministers in Germany have agreed on a new funding package for higher education and research. A total of €25.3 billion (US$32 billion) is to be provided for universities and research institutions over the next six years.
Government proposes fees for non-European students
In an unexpected move Krista Kiuru, Finland’s minister of education, science and communications, has published a proposal for parliament to introduce tuition fees for students from outside Europe from 2016.
Minister compromises on slashing the student intake
A compromise agreement on reducing the student intake to Danish universities was signed last week by the Minister of Higher Education and Science Sofie Carsten Nielsen and the organisation Universities Denmark. The compromise has given universities more say and has watered down the ministry’s proposal that aimed to slash enrolments, especially in the humanities.