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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.
In a report published on 3 August last year regarding a network of children's universities (EUROPE: New network of children's universities)
SOUTH AFRICA: Funding not tackling the skills crisis
Skills shortages have become a permanent political issue in South Africa and are constraining innovation and economic growth as well as undermining efficiency and service delivery, write University of Pretoria academics Roula Inglesi and Anastassios Pouris in an upcoming article in the South African Journal of Science. Based on a study of graduate trends, they propose the higher education funding formulas be revised and weightings introduced that give preferential support to priority disciplines.
POLAND: Academic ranking group formed
Intense interest in university and faculty rankings around the world has resulted in the establishment of an international observatory on academic ranking and excellence. Described by its founders as a "partnership of rankings practitioners and academic analysts of rankings", the aim is to develop a way of making the now-numerous rankings of universities and their departments credible.
NEW ZEALAND: No nukes – now no American studies
More than 20 years after New Zealand effectively banned US warships from its harbours, the country is set to lose its only stand-alone American studies programme, in part because of anti-American sentiment among young New Zealanders. The University of Canterbury has proposed a restructuring of its college of arts that would mean the end of American studies. The university cites relatively low student numbers and says the subject is not a core humanities programme.
UK: British universities narrow gender gap
The gender pay gap in British universities is narrowing and women are slowly catching up with their male colleagues. A study by the University and College Union of figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency shows there has been a steady decline in the gap in pay over the past six years.
New minister puts internationalising HE on agenda
Internationalising higher education curricula is high on the agenda for India’s new Minister for Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar, along with the establishment of foreign universities in the country and collaboration between Indian universities and the world’s best.
What editors’ revolt means for scholarly publishing
It was the kind of exit designed to make a statement. Last week all six editors and all 31 editorial-board members resigned from Lingua, a prominent linguistics journal, after a disagreement with the journal’s publisher, Elsevier. The announcement re-energized concerns about the relationship between academics and for-profit companies, and the future of scholarly publishing.
Psychologists in crisis over findings on ‘torture’ allegations
Critics are predicting mass resignations from the American Psychological Association over its role in supporting the use of “enhanced” interrogation techniques by US national security agencies, detailed in the findings of an independent investigation.
Fear cyber university contest could lead to ‘ranking’
South Korea's Ministry of Education plans to hold a contest searching for best teaching and learning practices at cyber universities. The official objective is to improve quality but there is some concern it could lead to a system to evaluate and rank cyber universities that provide online courses.
Universities body orders review of campus safety
Widespread public outrage at the brutal gang r ape in New Delhi in December that resulted in the death of the 23-year-old medical student victim has forced India’s higher education regulatory body, the University Grants Commission, to review the safety of women in higher education institutions.
Universities to vet foreign students for ISIS links
The Malaysian government has told universities in the country – including private universities and foreign branch campuses – to step up monitoring of students to prevent Islamic radicalisation after recent attacks in Malaysia and Bangladesh.