01 November 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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New university ranking puts Germany second to US
United States universities continue to dominate the top 500 in a new global university ranking launched by leading American education publisher US News & World Report. But German universities have outperformed their United Kingdom counterparts.
Grave found near site of mass student abduction
Federal and military forces discovered a new unmarked mass grave on 27 October in Cocula, 16 kilometres from Iguala in Guerrero state in southeastern Mexico, where 43 students from a teacher training college in Ayotzinapa were abducted in late September. Bones at the site are being tested by forensic experts to see if they belong to the abduction victims.
Civil servants barred from China study after spies row
Taiwanese civil servants involved in national security work will be barred from pursuing advanced studies in mainland China, Taiwan’s Interior Minister Chen Wei-zen announced last Wednesday, saying the ban would become effective from 30 October.
Europe must back research rhetoric with action – EUA
On 31 October the European University Association issued a statement expressing deep concern about cuts to research and innovation funding – including the Horizon 2020 framework – proposed by the Council of the European Union. If implemented, said the EUA, the cuts would not only jeopardise universities but also economic growth and job creation.
German students focused on success, shun politics
Students in Germany appear to be chiefly concerned with their careers and show little interest in political issues, according to a survey supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Also, they seem happy with the outcome of the Bologna reforms.
Government boosts Ebola research
The German government is providing extra funding for Ebola research as part of an effort to focus on diseases previously given little attention by science. Research institutions, universities and industry are involved in the activities.
Students pay more and more for a degree
This special edition of University World News focuses on how many governments across the globe are increasingly shifting the cost of higher education onto students. Cash-strapped administrations claim students should pay to share the cost because financing universities has become too expensive – a claim students angrily reject.
Foreign student scholarships spark anger as fees rise
A new plan to lure foreign students with generous scholarships by China’s eastern Jiangsu province, host to a number of foreign branch campuses, has sparked anger in the province over resources being directed towards “wealthy foreigners” while Chinese students struggle with a rising fee burden.
Is a degree still worth it? 'Yes!' researchers say
One could be excused for thinking the value of a university or college degree is in a downward spiral. With overall student-loan debt topping US$1 trillion and tuition racing upward, to graduates facing high levels of under-employment and stagnating wages, it might appear college simply isn't worth it. But a new study by two researchers with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concludes the opposite is true: The value of a bachelor degree is near an all-time high.
Minister stokes fears of fee hikes after the election
British government Business Secretary Vince Cable has warned that tuition fees could rise further in the next Parliament if the Conservatives’ plans to make £7 billion (US$11.2 billion) cuts in public spending are implemented. Cable, a member of the Liberal Democrats, also predicted cuts in student maintenance grants and a lowering of the income threshold for repayment of student loans.
Low fees but jobs needed to meet costs
Students in French universities pay among the lowest fees in Europe. But although education ministers claim that, despite austerity, funding for student benefits has kept up with purchasing power, student organisations say the cost of starting the new academic year for students is up to 2% higher than last year.
Fees phased out although arguments remain
All of Germany’s federal states have now done away with general tuition fees at public-funded institutions. However, the view is still held by some that fees ought to provide an extra source of income for universities.
Record numbers drop out facing financial problems
Despite being one of the world's largest economies, Japan is reporting a record number of dropouts among university students who cite financial difficulties.
Higher education is not cheap
The decline in government funding of higher education, along with rapidly rising costs of the different services and products that universities have to provide, have led to steady increases in student outlays over the last decade. There are no indications that costs will go down, neither are there signals that one day university education will be free – as called for by some student association groups.
Rising fees cloud international hub status
Rising university fees for international students are casting a cloud over Singapore’s future as an Asian regional hub for international students – particularly from the rest of Asia. This is despite many parents in the region believing that paying for education is a good investment.
Loan defaulters barred from leaving
With the cost of university education rising faster than inflation and increasing sums taken out in loans, more and more students are defaulting on their loan repayments. For some, this means being barred from leaving the country.
‘We will stop here and go no further’
The crisis in Syria continues to have a devastating impact on academics, students, and the education sector – not only in Syria but also in the neighbouring countries hosting large numbers of displaced Syrians. In a new report, the Institute of International Education and the Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis review the conditions and educational needs of Syrian university students and scholars in Turkey.
Stakeholders discuss university funding futures
More than 200 representatives from universities, national ministries, funding agencies, EU institutions and student bodies from more than 30 countries across Europe met earlier this month to consider university funding issues.
The 2014 Nobel prize winners
This year’s Nobel prizes for science, literature, peace and economics have been awarded to a range of notable individuals from countries around the globe. Among them are the youngest recipient to receive the peace prize, 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai, and the fifth married couple to win an award in the history of the Nobels, May-Britt and Edvard Moser from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Universities to stop admitting foreign students
Copenhagen University and the University of Southern Denmark have announced they will not sign the annual ‘development contract’ with the Education Ministry, effectively refusing to enrol new foreign students.
Job market for new graduates looks up
Campuses’ career counsellors have been seeing encouraging signs, and now a major survey of employers backs them up: The coming year looks to be a much better one for new graduates seeking jobs.
Graduates of top universities earn more
Bachelor-degree graduates from Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight and technology universities earn a greater amount over their lifetimes than those from the lesser known and regional universities, according to a new analysis that found their total income was 6% more over a 40-year career.
Anger rises over government vocational directive
A showdown is looming in Kenya’s higher education system following a government directive that universities should stop offering diploma and certificate courses from next year.
Open access for multi-disciplinary journals
A Polish entrepreneur and data scientist, Marcin Wojnarski, has launched what he says is the first multi-disciplinary aggregator of open access journals and papers. Wojnarski says that his firm, Paperity, will connect authors with readers, boost dissemination of new discoveries and consolidate academia around open literature.
US-based African immigrants more educated
Although the foreign-born population from Africa in the US is small relative to other foreign-born groups, a higher proportion of Africans are graduates than the overall foreign-born population and their numbers have grown rapidly over the past 40 years.