23 April 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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GLOBAL
UNESCO – Affordability is key to inclusive HE expansion
UNESCO has called on governments never to allow student loan repayments to rise above 15% of their monthly incomes and has recommended a package of measures to ensure that the current rapid expansion of higher education globally does not leave the disadvantaged behind.
AUSTRALIA
Government listens to universities’ fears over visas
The government has agreed to address concerns raised by universities over proposed changes to 457 work visas, Universities Australia said on Thursday. The Group of Eight, comprising Australia’s eight leading research-intensive universities, voiced fears that the changes would put at risk Australia’s AU$21.8 billion (US$16 billion) international education industry.
PAKISTAN
University officials linked to lynching of student
Pakistan's apex court has started hearing of the case of the mob lynching of Mashal Khan, a student at Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, after the crowd heard false accusations that he committed blasphemy. One student has alleged that university officials put pressure on him to testify that Mashal had committed blasphemy, which helped to stir up the mob.
DENMARK
Ministry backs down on greater control of universities
Minister of Higher Education and Science Søren Pind has dropped the ministry’s controversial proposal to select the heads of the governing boards of universities after an agreement in parliament with the Danish People’s Party and the Social Democratic Party. The proposal was strongly opposed by universities and professional organisations.
ZIMBABWE
New bill seeks to turn universities into industrial hubs
Zimbabwe’s cabinet has approved a new Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Bill that will, among other impacts, turn universities into industrial hubs and criminalise the issuing or receiving of degrees from unaccredited institutions, according to the country’s higher education minister.
GERMANY
Refugee university student numbers rising steeply
Whereas overall numbers of refugees entering Germany have been on the decline since last year, five times more are enrolled on university courses than six months ago, says a survey by the German Rectors' Conference.
AFRICA
World Bank forum calls for private sector to build skills
The private sector should expand its support for skills-building in Africa, with both resources and technology, the World Bank said at its Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology forum in Nairobi.
UNITED KINGDOM
EU students given pledge on loans and fee status
The government on Friday confirmed that European Union students will continue to remain eligible for undergraduate, masters, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support in the academic year 2018-19 and will pay the same fees as United Kingdom students throughout their course, including after the UK leaves the EU.
SWEDEN
Employment status given to all doctoral candidates
The Swedish government has changed the university law to ensure every doctoral candidate is made an employee of the university with a salary. This should strengthen the position of foreign PhD students, who make up more than half of the country’s 19,000 doctoral candidates. But problems with resident status and visa regulations remain.
GLOBAL
Europe-North Africa HE cooperation plan unveiled
In efforts to promote cooperation in science, technology, innovation and higher education, five countries of the Arab Maghreb Union and five European countries have approved a two-year cooperation plan aimed at stimulating economic growth, job creation and social cohesion in the Western Mediterranean region.
UNITED STATES
Visa change could hit recruitment of foreign students
A new Trump administration executive order clamping down on the H-1B visa programme for highly skilled foreigners has the potential to roil American campuses and depress their recruitment of international students. For the latter, the opportunity to stay on and work in the United States, even temporarily, after graduation is a key attraction.
NORWAY
Row over politician meddling in university positions
A secretary of state has demanded that a PhD student give up his grant because of views he gave to a magazine questioning the value to society of people with Down’s Syndrome, but academics say it is unheard of for a politician to interfere in university recruitments.
GLOBAL
Trump’s denial triggers 500 marches for science globally
The world’s first March for Science will be held on Saturday 22 April, led by a flagship event in Washington DC, and satellite events in 514 locations across the world. The march was triggered by anger at the dismissal of scientific evidence on climate change by US President Donald Trump and alarm at a trend towards discrediting scientific consensus and restricting research and the communication of findings.
AUSTRALIA
India to deepen university and training collaboration
India has pledged to work with the Australian government, universities and vocational education trainers to establish themselves in India following the two-day visit to Delhi of a 130-strong delegation of Australian university and training leaders led by Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham and joined by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last week.
RUSSIA
More Russian students are choosing to study abroad
Amid the ever-growing cost of tuition at Russian universities, increasing numbers of local students are choosing to study in European universities, according to data of the Moscow city government, as well as some leading experts in the field of higher education in Russia.
UNITED KINGDOM
UK public does not want fewer international students
Nearly three-quarters – 73% – of the British public would like to see the same number or more international students coming to study in the United Kingdom, after discovering the contribution they make to the economy and the jobs they generate.
THAILAND
Vice-rectors resign en masse over anti-corruption rule
All 13 vice-rectors at Thailand’s prestigious Mahidol University resigned en masse at the end of last month after Thailand’s anti-corruption agency announced that the vice-rectors of public universities needed to declare their assets under a new law.
KENYA
Two key universities suffer from lack of leadership
Two of Kenya’s largest universities are suffering leadership crises after operating without permanent or substantive vice-chancellors for nearly a year – in contravention of the law.
NEW ZEALAND
New insight into what international students do next
The first comprehensive information about what international students do after completing their degree shows more than half are still in New Zealand after five years and nearly two in five are still there after eight years.
NIGER
University shuts down amid violent student protest
A demonstration by students protesting against the living and studying conditions at the Abdou Moumouni University campus in Niger's capital Niamey has forced the authorities to shut down the university following violent clashes between students and security forces.
UNITED STATES
Where every tertiary student is a potential data point
Big data is enabling universities to conduct large-scale experiments to test how they can help students better achieve outcomes by tracking and understanding different types of learners and adapting learning conditions to the student.
UGANDA
Amnesty condemns academic’s arrest for insulting president
Ugandan university lecturer and activist Dr Stella Nyanzi has been arrested on charges of 'cyber harassment' and 'offensive communication' against the office of the president, a move that has been condemned by rights group Amnesty International and civil society groups.
INDIA
Second university ranking adds new overall category
India’s second annual round of ranking of its universities and other higher education institutions released last week includes a new overall category, looking at institutions across all disciplines. The Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore came top.
HUNGARY
MPs pass law that threatens to close top university
The Hungarian parliament has passed a controversial amendment to its national law on higher education, changing the regulations for foreign universities, which threatens the continuing operation of the country’s leading university, the Central European University, founded by billionaire George Soros.
GERMANY
Hungarian HE law change criticised by German ministry
Germany’s Federal Foreign Office has sharply criticised Hungary’s higher education law amendment, which changes the regulation of foreign universities, maintaining that it restricts academic freedom. It also said it is "incomprehensible" that the activities of the Central European University should be restricted.