26 March 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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EUROPE
Universities face funding pressure right across Europe
In at least 20 out of 24 European countries, funding for higher education has either been cut or has not kept pace with increases in student numbers, according to new data published by the 2016 Public Funding Observatory.
SINGAPORE
Students sue NYU over ‘subpar’ branch campus education
In a lawsuit that, if it is successful, could have major implications for the way United States universities teach degrees in overseas branch campuses, three former students of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Singapore are suing NYU, alleging its now defunct branch in Singapore failed to provide the quality of education they expected.
NORTH KOREA
N Korean leader says university must be ‘world class’
North Korea’s top higher education institution, Kim Il-sung University in the capital Pyongyang, must advance to become a “world-class institution”, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said in a letter to students, staff and professors of Pyongyang’s institution.
ALGERIA
Ministry unveils new roadmap for university education
Algeria has unveiled a new roadmap for higher education and research in efforts to build a knowledge-based economy by raising educational standards, improving the employability of graduates and revitalising research.
UNITED KINGDOM
Student visas targeted in drive to cut migrant numbers
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced that major new restrictions on overseas students will form a key part of the government’s commitment to reduce immigration. The government will consult on whether to link student visas to the quality of courses and institution with a view to cutting the number of international students at some universities.
EUROPE
LERU and Eastern European universities join forces
LERU, the League of European Research Universities with 21 member universities in Western Europe, and a group of seven research universities in Central and Eastern Europe have agreed to work together on key challenges, including within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research programme, and improve research conditions across the continent.
SOUTH AFRICA
Government stakeholder forum fails to end student unrest
A multi-stakeholder forum at which the piloting of a fee-free funding model for students from poor and working-class families was announced has failed to bring an end to ongoing student unrest across the country’s campuses.
Photo Credit: Alon Skuy
THAILAND
Deported activist talks to student massacre memorial
A Hong Kong activist who was deported before being due to address the 40th anniversary commemoration of the Thammasat University massacre, in which students were hung from trees, burnt alive or shot by militias, was allowed to address students via Skype on Thursday.
AFRICA
Report calls for emphasis on inequalities research
A scarcity of funds for research and lack of academic freedom in universities across Sub-Saharan Africa are key drivers to low academic scholarship, including inequalities research, according to a joint report by UNESCO, the International Social Science Council and the University of Sussex.
EGYPT
Outrage as lawmaker calls for university virginity tests
A call by a member of the Egyptian parliament to subject female university applicants to virginity tests has outraged academics and women’s advocates in this conservative Middle East country.
GERMANY
University student accommodation problem growing
Students in Germany are having increasing difficulty in finding accommodation, according to a recent survey covering major university cities. In the majority of the cities examined, the housing situation for students appears to have worsened.
SOUTH AFRICA
Student protests spiral out of control, one man dies
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma instructed ministers to “deal with the mayhem that is destroying our institutions of higher learning”, as violent student protests closed universities, injured several people and claimed the life of a university cleaner. By Thursday, 17 of the country’s 26 public universities were no longer operating fully.
CHINA-UNITED STATES
US universities in China have academic freedom – Report
A dozen United States universities operating in China in partnership with Chinese institutions say they enjoy academic freedom, but the majority face internet censorship and other restrictions, a just-released report by the US Government Accountability Office has found.
RUSSIA
Minister suspends mergers, casts doubt on Project 5-100
Olga Vasilyeva, the recently appointed Minister of Education and Science, has suspended the process of consolidation of domestic universities initiated by her predecessor, and has suggested a rethink of Project 5-100, the drive to get five universities into the top 100 of the world’s leading universities by 2020.
UNITED KINGDOM
Medals system to be used to rate university teaching
The government has published details of how university teaching will be assessed – with ratings of gold, silver and bronze awarded – in the second year of trials of its Teaching Excellence Framework for universities in England.
BANGLADESH
Counter-terrorism measures target university teachers
In a new set of measures against campus extremism in the wake of recent major terrorist attacks, Bangladesh’s Education Ministry has asked all universities to check the background of teachers and staff they wish to recruit in order to exclude those known to be linked to militant activities or terrorist organisations and to prevent the radicalisation of students.
AFGHANISTAN
New leader at American university after terror attack
Amid uncertainty, persistent threats of terrorist attacks and kidnapping, the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul has appointed a new president with expertise in security. The university has yet to reopen since a suicide bomber killed 13 people at the university in August.
UNITED KINGDOM
MPs launch enquiry into Brexit impact on HE
The parliamentary Education Committee has launched an inquiry into the impact of Brexit on higher education with the aim of informing the public and influencing the Brexit negotiations.
DENMARK
Call to step up long-term job mobility of researchers
The discovery that sharks swimming off Greenland may have been alive since before the French Revolution was one example used by Minister of Higher Education and Science Ulla Tørnæs for taking measures to improve the long-stay research mobility and strengthen internationalisation.
SINGAPORE
Survey raises questions about TNE employment outcomes
Singaporeans graduating from degree programmes at private higher education institutions, including some providing transnational education or TNE degrees from British and Australian universities, are finding it harder to land graduate jobs compared to graduates of Singapore’s high-ranking public institutions, a survey by Singapore’s Council for Private Education has found.
SWEDEN
University leaders lack international experience
Only one Swedish higher education institution, Jönköping University, has a rector or pro-rector with extensive international experience, according to an annual index of internationalisation announced last week.
GLOBAL
UK takes top spot from US but slides in global ranking
The University of Oxford has become the first institution outside the United States to take top spot in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, but two-thirds of the United Kingdom’s top 200 universities lost ground, and some other European countries also fared badly, as a second ranking in a fortnight shows the continuing rise of Asia at Europe’s expense.
AUSTRALIA-CHINA
Donor resigns over Chinese ‘political’ links scrutiny
Concerns over Chinese ‘soft power’ influence on Australian universities has led to the resignation of a well-connected Chinese donor as chair of a China-Australia think tank at the University of Technology Sydney.
SOUTH AFRICA
Students protest over 8% tuition fees hike decision
Several universities in South Africa shut down or faced disruptions as student protests erupted in the wake of last Monday’s long-awaited recommendation by Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande to allow universities to raise fees for 2017 by up to 8%.
GLOBAL
Facebook founder ploughs $3bn into disease research
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Facebook, and his wife Priscilla Chan have announced ambitious plans to invest US$3 billion over the next decade in helping scientists build new tools and technologies to “cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century”.