07 March 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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AUSTRALIA
Rise of the income contingent loan
A little more than 25 years ago, an Australian economist called Bruce Chapman devised a brilliant scheme that allowed the federal government to impose tuition fees on the nation’s university students without them having to pay a cent upfront. Now that scheme is being adopted by countries around the globe.
NETHERLANDS
Angry students protest against university reforms
Academics and students across the country called for a national day of action on March 4 as part of widespread protests against government plans for university reforms. In response, the government has backed down on some of its proposed changes and postponed others until 2018.
HONG KONG
Fear of erosion of academic freedom
Academics are bracing themselves for possible assaults on much-cherished academic freedom in the wake of reported moves by Hong Kong’s chief executive to block the appointment of a pro-democracy academic to a leadership position at Hong Kong University, a top rated university in Asia.
GLOBAL
Safety concerns grow as campus hate crime increases
Arab Muslim education and scientific staff studying and working in western universities and associated research centres are concerned about their safety following last month’s killings of three Arab students near America’s University of North Carolina.
KENYA
Better school marks send record numbers to universities
Kenya’s students and higher education institutions are eyeing a storm. In the coming nine months, institutions will need funds and infrastructure to enrol tens of thousands more students, following the best-ever performance in school-leaving examinations.
GLOBAL
Universities divided on value of new rankings
Universities remain divided on the value of U-Multirank, the new multidimensional ranking of universities, although most will continue to contribute data to it, a consultation of European University Association members has found. U-Multirank appears to be struggling with many of the same challenges as other rankings.
SINGAPORE
Ministry culls UK law degrees, using rankings
Law degrees from eight universities in England will no longer be recognised for admission to the Singapore bar, according to an announcement by the Singapore Ministry of Law last week, in a move seen by some as protecting graduates from Singapore’s own universities in an over-supplied market.
MYANMAR
Anger at ‘broken promises’ in education bill
A new National Education Bill has been presented to Myanmar’s parliament after months of protests over the previous education law, but students are angry at what they say is government broken promises regarding the amended bill.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities ‘over-reliant’ on Chinese students: HEFCE
English universities have become over-reliant on growth in recruitment of full-time postgraduate students from China and have developed a risky dependence on scholars funded by their own governments, according to new analysis by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, or HEFCE.
THAILAND
Activists sentenced to prison for university play
Two activists have been sentenced to prison terms for performing a play on campus that was deemed to have defamed the Thai royal family.
INDIA
Amartya Sen row with government over ‘dream’ university
Nalanda University, set up on the initiative of India with international support, is at the centre of a political storm over the resignation of its Chancellor, Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen, who blames Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party-led government for delaying confirmation of his continuance in the post.
SOUTH AFRICA
Parliament joins university calls for more student aid
South Africa’s parliamentary committee on higher education has joined vice-chancellors in calling for more money for student bursaries and loans, in the interests of equity and access and against a backdrop of patchy student unrest and fundraising campaigns by universities.
KENYA
Loans agency tightens noose on graduates seeking jobs
University graduates in Kenya may be required to seek clearance from the government’s student loan agency before they can secure a job. The Higher Education Loans Board has drafted new guidelines that will make it mandatory for companies to demand clearance certificates from graduates, as part of efforts to curb student loan defaulting.
AUSTRALIA
‘All students should get public subsidy’ – Report
All post-secondary students should be entitled to a public subsidy that would enable them to undertake tertiary studies in the vocational education and training area or in higher education, says a new report.
UNITED STATES
Climate crusader’s profitable link to Harvard exposed
Years of using a Harvard nameplate to flog his insistence that polar bears are doing fine, and that sunspots might explain planetary warming better than the Industrial Revolution does, may finally have caught up with Wei-Hock Soon.
EGYPT
Government urged to allow university student elections
Students in Egypt are pushing the government to hold university student elections more than a year after their original due date, amid increasing on-campus restrictions.
NIGERIA
Plummeting oil price, terror to hit HE budgets
The plummeting price of crude oil on the international market is already affecting the operations of Nigerian universities. In addition, the fight against the Islamic sect Boko Haram and sudden postponement of general elections, with anticipated financial implications, have raised fears of severe cuts to higher education funding.
CHINA
Speculation over change in top university’s leadership
Wang Enge, president of Peking University, China’s top higher education institution, has stepped down after less than two years in a move that has generated speculation because it is thought to be among the shortest tenures for this post.
HONG KONG
Karolinska’s Asia campus donation questioned
Sweden’s renowned Karolinska Institute, one of the world’s leading medical universities, has come under scrutiny following the announcement earlier this month that it would set up a branch centre in Hong Kong after receiving a philanthropic US$50 million donation.
GERMANY
Controversy over higher education links with industry
A warning by German anti-corruption organisation Transparency International that links between higher education and business are becoming increasingly obscure has sparked an open debate.
GLOBAL
Curbing the brain drain from Africa and Asia
Various studies have found that well-educated people from developing countries are likely to emigrate, hurting their economies and depriving their countries of much-needed expertise in universities. Now Norwegian researchers may have found a solution to the developing world’s brain-drain conundrum.
UNITED STATES
Cross-border partners ‘key to science breakthroughs’
Scientific and technological breakthroughs are more likely than ever to be achieved through international collaboration, a trend that is creating fresh funding opportunities for US universities. But researchers seeking new sources of revenue also must be prepared to navigate a more complex array of regulatory requirements and cultural considerations.
GLOBAL
While branch campuses proliferate, many fail
Opening a branch campus in a foreign country can be a problematic exercise – if the experience of University College London is any guide. Earlier this month, the university announced it would shut a campus it had opened to much fanfare five years ago in South Australia’s capital, Adelaide.
RUSSIA
Government plans to cut 10% off university funding
The Russian government will cut its spending on national universities by at least 10% this year. This is a result of the current economic crisis and devaluation of the national currency, the ruble, said Russia’s Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Alexander Povalko.
GREECE
Reforming education the key, says new government
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras placed emphasis on education reforms as he presented the newly elected left-wing government’s inaugural statement in parliament.