01 February 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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GLOBAL
Obama agrees to send 1,000 academics to India each year
The United States is to send 1,000 academics to India each year after President Barack Obama, on his trip to India, firmed up initiatives proposed last year by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his US visit. But there will be a hefty price to pay for the sharing of academic expertise.
GREECE
New 'Government of hope' is sprinkled with academics
A breath of restrained optimism is blowing through the ranks of the academic community as a result of many university teachers and professors being appointed members of the new government.
ASIA
Research capacity gulf hinders international collaboration
Big gaps between research capacity and research investment in South Asian countries and between universities in South Asian countries and major western research institutions have prevented research collaboration being as strong as it could be, a seminar on South Asia heard in January.
AUSTRALIA
Abbott to renew bid to deregulate tuition fees
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has vowed to put the higher education reforms, which include giving vice-chancellors the freedom to charge any amount for tuition fees, "front and centre" of the government's agenda, despite being blocked by the Senate in December.
AFRICA
Presidents to attend African Higher Education Summit
There will be at least four African presidents, three former heads of state, numerous cabinet ministers, the chair of the African Union Commission and a former United Nations secretary-general among the 500 people who will attend the first African Higher Education Summit, to be held in the Senegalese capital Dakar from 10-12 March, it was announced last week. The aim is to get political leaders to sign up for the continent-wide revitalisation of universities.
EGYPT
Higher education regional hub planned
Egypt is planning a fourfold increase in the enrolment of Arab and African students in higher education institutions in the next three years – from 53,000 to 200,000 international students.
GLOBAL
Top firms give 'too little' to higher education – UNESCO
Fortune Global 500 companies spend less than 5% of their combined budget of corporate social responsibility activities on higher education, according to a study by the Varkey Foundation and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation or UNESCO.
NORWAY
Board vote could trigger historic wave of university mergers
The Board of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim has agreed to a merger with three university colleges creating the largest university in the country, potentially triggering a wave of mergers elsewhere in what could be the biggest structural reform of higher education since the 1960s.
FRANCE
Elite graduate school to put English in entry exams
The often-maligned French graduate school for top civil servants, the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, is on track to introduce English into the competitive entrance exam in 2018, director Nathalie Loiseau said last Wednesday.
EUROPE
Universities warned against adopting taught doctorates
A joint declaration by the presidents of Europe’s main rectors' conferences has called for doctoral training to involve original research documented in a dissertation.
UNITED KINGDOM
IT staff excluded from transnational education
Almost half of IT staff in British higher education are not involved in the delivery of transnational education programmes overseas by their own institutions, despite technology being integral to universities delivering teaching and qualifications to students in other countries, says a new report.
KENYA
University financing crisis as student loans shrink
For Dennis Mwangi, the excitement of being a freshman quickly dissipated after he arrived at the University of Nairobi last month. The orphaned top performer from a sleepy village in central Kenya had to go without money due to delays in the disbursement of student loans – and when the money finally hit his account, it was much lower than applied for or expected.
GLOBAL
Challenges for UK researchers of Latin America
Changes in higher education and funding cuts have contributed to challenges for British researchers of Latin American and Caribbean countries, according to a new report. It says that despite Latin America and the Caribbean being one of the fastest-developing regions in the world, many institutions are either closing or rationalising their specialist centres.
UNITED KINGDOM
Labour to replace tuition fees with a graduate tax?
Britain’s Labour Opposition believes the current system of charging tuition fees is unfair and unsustainable and, if elected, could opt instead for a graduate tax.
GREECE
Election offers universities new hope
Greeks go to the polls on Sunday 25 January to elect the 300 members of the Hellenic parliament. Pre-polling suggests that left-wing leader Alexis Tsipras may win enough seats to eject Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who has alienated the public and profoundly affected universities with his savage spending cuts.
UNITED STATES
Obama eyes legacy with free higher education plan
President Barack Obama's proposal to make community college free for Americans who are "willing to work hard" stands almost no chance of being passed this year by a Republican-controlled Congress, but it has reinvigorated national debate over the role of higher education in a democracy.
GLOBAL
Boost graduate numbers to tackle unemployment – OECD
Thirty-four countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or the OECD, are in the process of boosting higher education reforms in order to reduce the proportion of young people who are neither in employment nor in education or training.
INDIA
Sweeping funding cuts will hit elite institutes
The cash-strapped Indian government has announced massive cuts in the education sector, especially higher education allocations, for the year 2014-15. Pre-budget estimates for higher education pegged at Rs169 billion (US$2.7 billion) have been cut to Rs130 billion (US$2.1 billion) and will affect mostly the premier institutes such as the institutes of technology and the institutes of management, among other better-known central universities that focus on research.
GLOBAL
Turkey and Sudan announce higher education initiatives
Turkey and Sudan have unveiled a higher education cooperation plan that includes setting up a joint institution, networking among universities in the two countries and mutual recognition of degrees aimed at enhancing student and academic mobility.
GHANA
Danish boost for research and PhDs
The University of Ghana has been awarded DKK9 million (US$1.4 million) in funding under the second phase of the Danish Building Stronger Universities programme – a partnership between universities in developing countries and in Denmark.
SRI LANKA
Students and lecturers help unseat Rajapaksa regime
Following the surprise change of government early this month, students, teachers and parents are expecting a better education system. University students and lecturers played a key role behind the scenes to defeat former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s so-called `unshakable’ regime.
SOMALIA
War-torn nation’s universities desperately need support
Somalia’s higher education sector has been growing rapidly. However, lack of government oversight, low quality, high levels of poverty, political instability and security challenges have been hindering reforms. A new prime minister has raised hopes – but is likely to be distracted by numerous other pressing problems.
UNITED STATES
US-Cuban opening paves way for deeper academic links
The Obama administration was set to loosen restrictions on Friday regarding US travel to Cuba. This will open the door for more academic exchanges between the countries and raise the possibility for more ambitious projects such as research partnerships and joint- or dual-degrees, experts say.
EUROPE
Paris attack creates challenges for universities
The mobilisation of policy-makers and people at large marches through Paris last week is a significant manifestation of the impact of the Paris terrorist attack. The question now is how these events will affect university life in general and international recruitment at European universities in particular.
UNITED STATES
French massacre prompts criticism of 2009 Yale episode
The recent terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newspaper that had published images of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, has prompted renewed criticism of Yale University Press’s controversial decision to redact similar cartoons from a scholarly book published in 2009.