28 May 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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GERMANY
GERMANY: More autonomy for universities
The German government has adopted a draft law that will suspend the country’s Higher Education Framework Act (HRG) and give greater autonomy to individual institutions. Announcing the new measure, Federal Education Minister Annette Schavan, of the Christian Democrats, said that this would allow more freedom and autonomy for higher education institutions.
ISRAEL
ISRAEL: Government back-down ends student strike
A five-week strike by more than 250,000 Israeli university and college students earlier this year was eventually abandoned after a deal with the government.
ISRAEL
Israel: Threatened university boycott abandoned
In a turn-about decision following heavy international legal pressure, Britain’s
University and College Union (UCU) has called off a threatened controversial boycott of Israel’s higher education institutions.
NORTH KOREA
NORTH KOREA: Learning stops as students must work
Close watchers of North Korean affairs were caught on the hop last week by reports that universities in the hermit kingdom would be closed from 27 June for up to 10 months while students are sent to work on farms, in factories and in construction.
AUSTRALIA
AUSTRALIA: University opens doors to flood victims
As flood waters continue to spread over a bigger proportion of the state of Queensland than the entire area of France and Germany combined, for John Price and his cattle dog cross Tike the evacuation centre based at CQUniversity in flood-bound Rockhampton has been a real blessing.
GLOBAL: Harvard toppled in new QS ranking
A university from outside the United States has topped the QS World University Rankings for the first time since their appearance in 2004. The University of Cambridge tops the global ranking, edging aside Harvard which has led the table since the rankings were inaugurated. Over that time Cambridge has never been rated lower than third and was runner-up in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
NEW ZEALAND
NEW ZEALAND: Quake closes three universities
Three of New Zealand's universities were closed after a large earthquake caused widespread damage to the South Island city of Christchurch. The quake happened early on the morning of Saturday 4 September and registered 7.1 on the Richter scale. It caused damage to the University of Canterbury, Lincoln University and the Christchurch campus of the University of Otago.
GABON
GLOBAL: Young graduates drive economic advantage
Countries with a high proportion of young people in university-level education will have a global competitive advantage in the future, even if the overall population has not benefitted from higher education, according to the latest Education at a Glance report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
VIETNAM
VIETNAM: Pledge to strengthen maths after Medal win
Vietnam has announced it will invest more than US$33 million by 2020 to develop its mathematics curriculum, following news that an expatriate Vietnamese mathematician, Dr Ngo Bao Chau, this year won the Fields Medal, widely regarded as the most prestigious global award in mathematics.
SINGAPORE
SINGAPORE: New Universities Trust to ensure funding
Singapore will set up a national endowment fund known as the Singapore Universities Trust to support higher education institutions through economic downturns, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced during his annual National Day Rally speech this week.
AUSTRALIA
AUSTRALIA: Plunging visas threaten universities
Visa applications from foreign students to study in Australian universities have dropped by 15,500, almost 12%, over the past 12 months, according to figures just released by the Department of Immigration.
IRAN
IRAN: Students caught up in 'sanctions' debacle
Iranian students hoping to sit English language examinations that open the doors to top US and British universities were caught in the crossfire of sanctions imposed by the US and the United Nations when exams were suspended for two weeks.
US: Regulating student loans
Although hailed as an important step to reining in the 'wild west' practices associated with student loans, Congress' recent financial reform legislation is not seen as going far enough in protecting the interests of the more than 18.2 million students who study in the US.
GLOBAL: New code to promote academic honesty
New international guidelines and a voluntary code on research integrity, are being drawn up as a result of consultations at the Second World Conference on Scientific Integrity held in Singapore on 21-24 July.
INDIA
INDIA-UK: Equal partners in education and research
Britain's partnership with India on education, research and innovation, should be a partnership of equals in recognition of India's growing economic importance, UK prime minister David Cameron said on a visit to the sub-Continent this week.
GABON
GLOBAL: North American Universities dominate web ranking
US universities maintain their domination of the latest Ranking Web of World Universities which seeks to measure universities' use of the web and commitment to open access.
FINLAND
Finland: University students struggle to complete
Finnish higher education students tend to be slow to complete their study programmes, on top of being among the oldest in Europe to start their tertiary studies in the first place. Only 37% reach the benchmark for a reasonable level of achievement set by the Government, according to analysis reported in the Aamulehti newspaper.
EUROPE
EU: Commission's biggest ever investment in research
The largest ever investment in research and innovation by the European Commission was announced by Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn on 19 July.
GREECE
GREECE: More students despite crisis
The annual Panhellenic Examinations results were announced on time by the Greek education ministry despite fears that they would not be ready due to threatened industrial action over a pay dispute. An estimated 14,000 additional higher education students will enrol this year following the government decision to abolish the base grade of 10 as an entry requirement.
RUSSIA
RUSSIA-GERMANY: Partners in new Year of Science
German Federal Education and Research Minister Annette Schavan has declared 2011 the German-Russian Year of Science. Her announcement followed consultations with her Russian colleague, Education and Science Minister Andrej Fursenko, in Yekatarinenburg.
THAILAND
THAILAND: Universities closed after crackdown
Universities and schools in Bangkok have been shut down this week alongside many businesses and the transport system as anti-government rallies and violent unrest continued in the Thai capital. Chulalongkorn University, in the heart of the area where running battles have been taking place between police and anti-government protesters since May 14, has its gates locked.
ASIA
ASIA: Hong Kong and Japan top latest rankings
Universities in Hong Kong and Japan dominate the upper echelons of the QS Asian university rankings released today, with universities in Singapore and South Korea also making a strong showing in the top 20. But China's universities have not performed as well as expected in the regional comparison.
POLAND
POLAND: Rector killed in presidential plane crash
Professor Fr Ryszard Rumianek, Rector of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, was among those on board the presidential plane that crashed near Smolensk in Western Russia last Saturday.
EUROPE'S RESPONSES TO ECONOMIC CRISIS
Austria:
In Austria, the economic crisis is seen as an argument for the government to discard previous promises (made before election) to increase investment in higher education (both in terms of level of funding as well as period to start the increase). There have also been cuts in funds for competitive research funding. Universities hope to be able to convince the government in upcoming negotiations to reinstall some of the promises made before the economic downturn. Reductions in private research funding are anticipated.
CORRECTION:
In a report published on 3 August last year regarding a network of children's universities (EUROPE: New network of children's universities)