20 February 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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HONG KONG
Row over funds for mainland Chinese, overseas students
Lawmakers have criticised Hong Kong’s higher education funding body, the University Grants Committee, for subsidising students from mainland China and from overseas while thousands of local students are unable to receive government assistance.
RUSSIA
Government raises foreign student quota to 200,000
The Russian government plans to increase the quota for international students studying at domestic higher education institutions by 30% this year – up to 200,000 places, according to the official press service.
BULGARIA
Row over mismanagement of EU research funding
European Commission officials are expected to hold talks with government representatives in Bulgaria over the alleged mismanagement of funds in the operational programme Science and Education for Smart Growth in the European Union budget.
ASIA
Low mobility of young scientists may hamper innovation
Low mobility among young researchers within Asia and globally may be hampering wider research collaboration, exchange of ideas and more creative and innovative research, says a wide-ranging new study of young scientists in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
UNITED STATES
Undocumented students’ fears escalate after arrest
The arrest and threatened deportation of a 23-year-old Mexican immigrant who was brought to the United States illegally when he was seven – but had a valid work permit under Barack Obama’s deferred action programme – has rekindled the fears of undocumented college students nationwide.
GLOBAL
Montreal pips Paris in global ‘best student city’ ranking
There is something about the French that appeals to students, it seems. Though there are proportionately few major French-speaking cities, Montreal topped this year’s QS Best Student Cities ranking, knocking Paris into second place after five years at the top.
NIGERIA
Universities body moves to curtail religious tensions
An order in Nigeria emanating from a state university management team, which seemed to ban the activities of any student society other than a Muslim-aligned organisation, is likely to be rescinded following an intervention by the National Universities Commission.
AFRICA-GERMANY
Germany, Kenya to launch a regional science university
Kenya and Germany are to establish an East African-German University of Sciences. The new institution will respond to education and training requirements across the region. The scheme was announced at the German-African Business Summit in Nairobi earlier this month.
EGYPT
Knowledge City to boost science education and research
In an effort to establish itself as a regional hub for higher education, science and technology, Egypt plans to set up a Knowledge City in the new administrative capital east of Cairo that will host branches of foreign universities and research, innovation and entrepreneurship centres along with a science park.
KENYA
Eleven universities face insolvency – Report
Eleven Kenyan universities, including the country’s flagship institution, are insolvent and unable to meet their financial obligations, according to a new auditor general’s report.
GLOBAL
Students not abandoning pen and paper – 10-nation study
Reading and writing skills are changing with the use of digital technologies, “but students still see benefits of reading and writing with paper which they continue to use, especially to convey private emotions and intimate feelings”, according to a 10-country study. Students also found handwriting helps to retain knowledge.
TURKEY
Purged academics faced violence, threats of lynching
Dismissed academics have provided University World News with testimony of being subjected to indefinite arbitrary detention without access to a lawyer; dismissed with their passport and credit cards blocked and prevented from working in academia at home or abroad and denied a pension; or subjected to mob violence and threats of a lynching.
AFRICA
Universities held back by low research output – Report
The 2016 benchmarking report for the World Bank-initiated Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology shows that research output remains low in Sub-Saharan African universities, causing African institutions to miss out on inclusion in important global university rankings.
UNITED STATES
First-time international graduate enrolments rise 5%
Enrolments in United States universities of first-time international graduate students increased by 5% in autumn 2016, the same rate of growth as the previous year, says a new report. But growth in applications is slowing and political developments are causing uncertainty about future trends.
AFRICA
eLearning partnership opens doors to 10 million students
A landmark agreement signed between the 380-member Association of African Universities, or AAU, and Africa’s largest online education platform eLearnAfrica will enable 10 million students to access higher education through online services provided to AAU member universities.
RUSSIA
Plan to ban officials' children from studying abroad
The Russian parliament or State Duma is expected to vote again on a plan to ban children of Russian officials based in Russia from studying at universities abroad, particularly in Western universities, according to an official spokesperson of the Duma press service. The plan is thought to have increased support among deputies.
NORWAY
Expert group recommends overhaul of research funding
An expert group appointed by the government has proposed to change the procedures on how research funding from the Research Council of Norway is distributed and to cut the administrative budget of the research council by NOK80 million (US$9.6 million).
PHILIPPINES
Students, academics fight Duterte’s death penalty bill
Students and professors from Ateneo de Manila University marched on campus on 31 January in the Philippines capital Manila against a bill that would reinstate the death penalty in the country. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has urged lawmakers to prioritise the bill, arguing it will deter criminals and drug addicts.
ZIMBABWE
Sanctions study tender – ‘No innocent research project’
The government has awarded the tender to carry out a scientific study of the economic impact of Western sanctions to a consortium of researchers at the University of Zimbabwe in a move that critics say is intended to boost the chances of the ruling party and its almost 93-year-old president in the 2018 general elections.
NEPAL
First student union election in eight years expected
A Nepal student union election, to be held for the first time in eight years in one of the world’s largest universities, is being watched closely as a wider test of the popularity of the country’s political parties since Nepal became a federal republic in 2015.
UNITED STATES
Court rebukes Trump’s travel ban
In a decision Thursday night, three judges on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit refused a request from the Trump administration to reinstate a travel ban that had temporarily barred visitors from seven nations, and all refugees, from entering the United States.
INDIA
Budget bolsters top institutions’ bid for world-class status
The Indian government will put more money into quality higher education – especially its prestigious medical, technological and management institutes, in a bid to propel them towards ‘world-class’ status – according to budget plans announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley last week.
SRI LANKA
Green light for foreign universities after court ruling
The Sri Lankan government has received the green light to allow private universities after a landmark court judgment last week ruled that the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine – the country’s first private medical university – can legally issue medical degrees. The case has long sparked protest action by public university students and doctors – and 21 students were arrested during another march on Thursday.
AUSTRALIA
Education exports hit record high of nearly US$17 billion
Export earnings from selling Australian higher education to foreign students reached a record high of nearly A$22 billion (US$16.8 billion) in 2016 – an astonishing 17% increase on the total for the previous year and the biggest annual growth rate since 2010.
NORWAY
White paper calls for quality culture improvement
A White Paper produced by Norway’s government, aimed at boosting quality in higher education, provides universities with a “toolbox and framework” to raise standards. There is stress on improving teaching, and on introducing practical training and compulsory international collaboration in all study programmes.