A scandal over former high-level government officials being given jobs at universities after lobbying on their behalf by the education ministry has caused a growing public furore and investigations into dozens of cases have been opened. Photo Credit: The Japan Times
Nigerian academics have called for restraint and greater investment in education and training in the wake of recent attacks by Nigerian students on the premises of South African companies in Abuja and threats to South African nationals as reprisals for February’s xenophobic outbreaks in Gauteng, South Africa.
Many Indian universities, particularly in the capital New Delhi, are becoming increasingly concerned by politically driven attempts to curb freedom of speech after a University of Delhi college seminar titled ‘Cultures of Protest’ spilled out of the debating hall and sparked violent street clashes and demonstrations, with thousands attending a march on 28 February.
A network of academics and human rights organisations have called on Thailand’s Mahidol University to drop a disciplinary investigation against faculty members of the university’s Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies after they issued a statement condemning the ruling junta’s “unchecked and unaccountable use of power”.
Søren Pind, the Danish minister of higher education and science, has surprised everybody by endorsing an extensive new legislative proposal on the governance of higher education institutions, giving the government the final choice on the appointment of heads of university boards.
The Uganda National Council of Higher Education says it is being frustrated by the tendency of some private universities to seek remedy from the courts rather than engage with the regulator in the interests of preserving quality.
In the age of Donald Trump, higher education administrators need patience and calm, says Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California system. Despite Trump’s rhetoric causing major anxiety at universities, it is still unclear whether "the bark is worse than the bite", she says.
Students have raised concerns in a recent report about the lack of masters degree programmes being offered by universities, a situation they believe is thwarting their academic and professional aspirations.
New inspections to be conducted of the party committees of 29 top universities in China – including Peking University, Tsinghua University, Beijing Normal University and Nanjing University – as part of the country’s anti-corruption campaign is the latest move by the government to tighten ideological control of universities, experts say.
A university in California has said it will not back down over its decision to invite the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, to this year’s commencement ceremony, despite strenuous objections among mainland Chinese student groups.
Australia saw a surge in international student numbers, up 10% to 554,179 last year, according to Department of Education and Training figures – and a new student satisfaction survey shows a record nine out of 10 international tertiary students were satisfied or very satisfied with the education they have received.
In a bid to curb the age-old practice, Egyptian medical students are to study female genital mutilation as part of their training in a country where more than 80% of mutilations are believed to be conducted by medical workers.
Minister of Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson earlier this month appointed Agneta Bladh, chair of the Swedish Research Council, as a special examiner of the internationalisation of higher education and research, charged with addressing the low international mobility rates of students, university teachers and researchers.
New rules for the admission of foreign students to one of China’s top universities in Beijing has sparked a heated debate in the country over standards being lowered for international students and the perception that Chinese students who have obtained foreign nationality are getting into prestigious institutions by the back door.
The Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson last Tuesday demanded tough new penalties for university students who use essay mills – websites that provide custom written essays – and called on university and student bodies to do more to address the growth of such services.
With United States President Donald Trump’s policy of cutting immigration and tightening visa norms yet to fully kick in, current uncertainty over US policies is already having an impact on Indian students seeking admission to US universities, according to private education consultants in India handling overseas applications.
A sense of urgency tempered by a call for pragmatism permeated discussions last week at the annual conference of the Association of International Education Administrators in Washington as international educators considered how best to respond to the politics of uncertainty under a Donald Trump presidency.
The African Academy of Sciences and the Association of Commonwealth Universities have selected 37 African researchers from different African universities for the third cohort of a programme supporting early career researchers in the field of climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The Indonesian government has doubled its contribution to a scholarship endowment fund this year to provide more opportunities for graduate and doctoral students to study at home and overseas and in response to increasing calls to improve access to universities for students from poorer provinces.
A petition has been launched by the student union at Technische Universität Berlin calling for the withdrawal of an honorary doctorate awarded to Turkish Premier Binali Yildirim, maintaining that he “plays a crucial role in the authoritarian restructuring of the country”, which has included the arbitrary dismissal of thousands of academics and the detention without due process of some.
Lawmakers have criticised Hong Kong’s higher education funding body, the University Grants Committee, for subsidising students from mainland China and from overseas while thousands of local students are unable to receive government assistance.
The Russian government plans to increase the quota for international students studying at domestic higher education institutions by 30% this year – up to 200,000 places, according to the official press service.
European Commission officials are expected to hold talks with government representatives in Bulgaria over the alleged mismanagement of funds in the operational programme Science and Education for Smart Growth in the European Union budget.
Low mobility among young researchers within Asia and globally may be hampering wider research collaboration, exchange of ideas and more creative and innovative research, says a wide-ranging new study of young scientists in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
The arrest and threatened deportation of a 23-year-old Mexican immigrant who was brought to the United States illegally when he was seven – but had a valid work permit under Barack Obama’s deferred action programme – has rekindled the fears of undocumented college students nationwide.