20 September 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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HONG KONG
Academics back students’ pro-democracy shut down
Hong Kong’s universities and colleges – almost 20 of them – are gearing up for a student organised pro-democracy boycott of classes due to begin on 22 September and to last at least a week, with academics supporting the student movement.
UNITED STATES
Alliance to boost graduate numbers, save money
If the University Innovation Alliance achieves its goals, high quality degrees will become more accessible for all students, particularly first-generation and low-income students. Thousands more will graduate each year, and additionally they could shave time off their studies, taxpayers could save US$100 million in educational costs, and over the next five years another 850,000 students could graduate from America’s colleges.
AFRICA
Experts, EU and DAAD awarded for quality assurance work
On 16 September Goolam Mohammedbhai, Juma Shabani and Peter Okebukola were awarded by GUNi and AfriQAN for their tireless work on quality assurance in higher education in Africa. The European Union and the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, were awarded for their support to quality assurance processes on the continent.
TUNISIA
New science, university and medical ‘cities’ unveiled
Tunisia has officially unveiled an economic development mega-project that will house research and science, university and medical ‘cities’ and will include a range of research centres, science institutes and branches of foreign universities.
BANGLADESH
Higher education body warns 12 private universities
Private universities are trying to shore up their credibility with publicity campaigns and newspaper advertisements, following a warning from Bangladesh’s higher education apex body the University Grants Commission naming and shaming a dozen private institutions.
KENYA
Private university under the hammer, others in trouble
A private university in Kenya is facing an auction of some of its prime property by banks and several other institutions are in financial trouble, in what some fear is a signal that the rapid expansion of higher education in the country has reached a sustainability limit.
GERMANY
OECD report praises German vocational education
According to the OECD, Germany is still lagging behind other member countries in academics statistics. Furthermore, the majority of students still tend to come from an academic family background. But the Paris-based organisation is full of praise for the country’s vocational education system.
NIGERIA
Ebola fear ‘infects’ campuses, affects mobile students
The deaths in Nigeria of two medical doctors associated with teaching hospitals, both victims of the dreaded Ebola virus in the horrifying outbreak of the disease in West Africa, has created panic and unsettled nerves on campuses.
UGANDA
Universities must focus on science, not ‘useless’ arts
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, once a student of the arts but now a champion of science, has advised universities funded by the government to develop more science courses and to drop many in the arts and humanities.
EGYPT
Government slated over delays to new semester start
The decision by Egyptian authorities to postpone the start of the new academic year by two weeks has drawn sustained criticism from lecturers and students. Minister of Higher Education Sayed Abdel Khaleq said universities would open their gates on 11 October instead of 27 September as scheduled.
ASIA
Can Asia lead the future global knowledge economy?
Asian economies can draw on the demographic advantages of a youthful population in some countries, a growing middle-class, an expanding services sector and creative industries to leapfrog more advanced countries and take the lead in the “knowledge-based economy of the future”, says a just-released report from the Asian Development Bank.
CHINA
New online scam – University email accounts for sale
Unearthing a huge university-related scam in China, an IT security company in the United States has found that Chinese online retailers are selling email addresses from top universities around the world, providing buyers with access to university libraries, journal subscriptions, student discounts and a host of other benefits including access to software developer programmes.
GLOBAL
Postgraduates – Public good or job qualification?
An international study of postgraduate education has produced evidence of considerable challenges over a range of countries, from emerging economies to the most developed in North America and Europe.
AUSTRALIA
‘Traditional’ academics are an endangered species
Profound changes have transformed the role of the ‘traditional’ academic in Australian universities, so much so that this once typical academic might soon be numbered among the nation’s endangered species.
GLOBAL
UK, South Africa launch Newton science partnership
The British and South African governments last week announced that they had committed US$46 million over the next four years to a major new research and training partnership promoting science, technology and innovation, the UK-South Africa Newton Fund.
NORWAY
Oslo’s global advisors ‘build a ladder to the stars’
Two years ago the University of Oslo appointed a high-profile international strategic advisory board to propose how to increase its global visibility as a leading research-intensive university by 2020. Last week the board delivered its report, Build a Ladder to the Stars.
ALGERIA
China supports new academy for science and technology
In cooperation with China, Algeria plans to set up an academy for science and technology, in an effort to boost the role of research in developing a knowledge-based economy. The new academy was included in a China-Algeria cooperation agreement signed on 4 September.
GLOBAL
Global Cities – Foreign students in America
Foreign students from large, fast-growing cities in emerging markets who are enrolled in universities and colleges in the United States contribute significant financial and social benefits and skills to their new metropolitan destinations, according to the Global Cities Initiative, a groundbreaking joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.
AUSTRALIA
Senate inquiry stalls radical university reforms
Plans by Australia’s federal government for a radical overhaul of the higher education system have been put on hold while a Senate committee investigates the implications of the so-called ‘reforms’.
HONG KONG
Students to ‘boycott’ classes in pro-democracy protest
Students have announced a ‘boycott’ of classes at 11 Hong Kong universities – though with the consent of the universities themselves – as Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement heats up in anger over Beijing’s failure to allow genuinely free election of the city’s leaders.
GLOBAL
Student recruitment agents under the microscope
Recruitment agents are a logical response to the dramatic rise in demand for higher education around the world – and for cross-border higher education in particular – a comprehensive review of the industry has found.
GLOBAL
The geography of African students in the United States
Five cities – Lagos, Nairobi, Accra, Addis Ababa and Cairo – are the home towns of the largest contingents of African foreign students studying in universities and colleges in the United States, according to a report from the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.
MALAYSIA
Not guilty, says first academic charged with sedition
Azmi Sharom, a law professor at the University of Malaya, was on 2 September charged with sedition in a court in Kuala Lumpur. The public galleries were packed with academics and students from the university, and other supporters and rights activists. He pleaded not guilty.
EGYPT
Early school selection fuels higher education inequity
A highly selective system of tracking students into general and vocational secondary education quite early, based on high-stakes national examinations, has significantly contributed to inequities in access to higher education and learning achievement in Egypt, says a new World Bank study.
GERMANY
First German-Russian university opens in Tatarstan
Teaching has started at the first German-Russian university in Kazan, capital of Tatarstan. The new institution is being supported by the Tatarstan government and the German Academic Exchange Service.