29 June 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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EUROPE
Brexit vote brings uncertainty for British universities
A momentous vote in the United Kingdom’s EU referendum in favour of leaving the European Union – popularly known as Brexit – has been greeted with consternation in British universities with many concerned about what it will mean for research funding, staff and students from the EU and the general standing of UK research in the world.
EUROPE
103 university leaders have ‘grave’ fears over Brexit
Days before the United Kingdom's EU referendum vote, vice-chancellors of 103 universities wrote a joint letter voicing their “grave concern” over the impact of a United Kingdom exit from the European Union on UK universities and students, warning that it would undermine the country’s position as a global leader in science and innovation and “impoverish our campuses”.
UNITED STATES
Court upholds race-conscious university admissions
The Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 to uphold the University of Texas’ admissions policy that allows consideration of applicants’ race as a factor in deciding which applicants to award places to, as part of an effort to increase the diversity of the student body.
GLOBAL
‘Meta-portal’ of higher education resources in French
The Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie has launched a virtual repository of educational resources called ‘meta-portal IDNEUF’ to provide free access to Francophone university resources. The global launch was held in Mali – Africa is the continent with the largest number of French speakers, 96.2 million.
TURKEY
Four academics freed from jail pending lesser charges
Four Turkish academics have been released from jail in Istanbul on the first day of their trial for spreading terrorist propaganda pending a reduction in the charges against them. They were accused of inciting hatred because they signed a petition – backed by 1,400 academics in Turkey and internationally – criticising military operations against Kurdish rebels in civilian areas.
AFRICA
East Africa joins global network of energy centres
An East African Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency has been launched at Makerere University in Uganda to address energy issues faced by the five East African Community nations of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It joins the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres, coordinated by the United Nations.
GERMANY
More support recommended for Excellence Initiative
Germany’s federal and state governments have opted to continue the Excellence Initiative funding programme for top-level research. The agreement now reached enables 11 institutions to be funded as 'Universities of Excellence' with a total of €533 million (US$593 million) a year over a seven-year period, starting in 2019.
TANZANIA
World Bank skills project targets 30,000 youth
A new World Bank initiative has been launched to help young Tanzanians improve the quality of their skills and tap into key economic sectors. At least 30,000 people will benefit from training under the US$120 million programme designed to eradicate deficiencies in workforce skills.
UNITED STATES
California to beat big gun-violence research limits
It has been 20 years since Congress effectively barred the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from funding gun-violence research. Now advocates for such research say a proposed centre in the University of California system will "fill the gap" left by those restrictions.
DENMARK
Steady progress in speeding up degree completion time
Denmark is making headway in its efforts to reduce the number of students who do not complete their degree in good time. The average time to degree has fallen significantly in the past 10 years. The sharpest fall came in the number of students delayed by two years or more, which has more than halved from 26.3% in 2000 to 12.4% in 2013.
BANGLADESH
Concern over quality education in private medical colleges
The Bangladesh government has rowed back on a previous decision to shut down three private medical colleges for their failure to fulfil conditions set for obtaining a licence, following protests by students and guardians.
GLOBAL
Germany and Netherlands step up TNE activity
Germany and the Netherlands are stepping up their game to capture a bigger slice of the transnational education or TNE market, a conference launching a new international TNE-Hub heard on 10 June.
UNITED STATES
Call to close largest college accreditation agency
The United States Department of Education has recommended that the largest national accreditation agency, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, be stripped of its power as gatekeeper of billions of dollars of financial federal aid for independent colleges, a move that would shake up for-profit higher education.
RUSSIA
Cost of tuition at universities may double this year
The cost of tuition at Russian universities may double this year, due to the devaluation of the national currency, the ruble, and the consequences of the financial crisis in the country, according to latest predictions of analysts of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science.
EUROPE
KU Leuven tops new ranking of innovative universities
Belgium’s KU Leuven has topped the first Reuters ranking of Europe’s Most Innovative Universities, with the United Kingdom’s Imperial College London and Cambridge University coming second and third. Germany took 24 of the top 100, beating the UK which took second place with 17. But the Republic of Ireland now boasts more top 100 innovative universities per capita than any other country in Europe.
CHINA
Protests force climbdown on university access quotas
At least five provinces in China have scrapped a scheme announced last month to adjust university admissions quotas to improve access for students from poorer provinces, after fears that parent protests during the sensitive national university admissions test period could spread to more provinces.
LIBYA
Drastic measures needed to rebuild higher education
Poor investment, weak capacity and security, as well as political instability and onerous bureaucracy in war-torn Libya have produced a higher education system characterised by inadequate infrastructure and graduates poorly prepared for jobs, according to a new report.
AFRICA
24 centres of excellence for East and Southern Africa
The World Bank Group’s board of executive directors has approved a US$140 million credit for eight Eastern and Southern African countries to set up 24 centres of excellence in universities to strengthen postgraduate training and research in priority sectors.
ASIA
Excellence drive is short on innovation and creativity
Cultural attitudes among parents who see higher education simply as a route to a good job, and limited government investment in research, are holding back innovation and creativity, according to Tony Chan, president of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, which is currently hosting the Asia Universities Summit.
UNITED STATES
Colleges use job-market data to shape curriculum
Colleges are using big data to design courses – increasingly they are crunching job-market data, which are more up to date and precise than ever before, to develop more programmes geared to preparing students for, and giving them the skills they need to join the workforce.
DENMARK-NORWAY
Universities lead growth in healthcare innovation
There is increasing recognition of the value of healthcare innovation sector research and a growing trend in Nordic countries to look at further strengthening health research and advanced degree teaching with increased international participation.
AFRICA
Pilot study fills data gaps for regional STEM project
Benchmarking as a tool for improving quality in African universities was the focus of the first regional benchmarking and capacity building workshop organised by the Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology – PASET – and held in Abuja, Nigeria last week.
EUROPE
EU should ease work permit terms for foreign graduates
The European Union should reform its legal labour migration policies and make it easier for people graduating in the EU to obtain a work permit in the EU, in order to attract its fair share of the global talent pool, according to a new OECD report.
AUSTRALIA
Fourfold increase in students studying abroad – Survey
The number of students studying abroad as part of their Australian university degree has grown fourfold over the past decade, amid high satisfaction ratings for those overseas study programmes, according to research carried out for Universities Australia.
KENYA
Funding boost for students, universities and research
Kenya’s cash-strapped higher education sector has received a boost after government increased funds to public universities by 8% – more than double an earlier planned raise. There is extra cash for research and for loans for students, who will also be more likely to get internships following a raft of policy and fiscal measures announced on Thursday.