21 October 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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AUSTRALIA
Rankings results show ‘risks posed by HE cuts plan’
The threat from Chinese universities to Australian universities' standing in international rankings, demonstrated in the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, has led to claims that a planned AU$2.8 billion (US$2.2 billion) government cut to universities’ funding will weaken their competitiveness internationally.
UNITED STATES
Trump’s DACA decision bars door into higher education
United States President Donald Trump’s decision last week to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, programme for children of undocumented immigrants without a clear legislative solution leaves them unable to enrol in college or university and prompted stern rebukes from US higher education leaders.
INDIA
Plan for universities to hold jobs for foreign faculty
India wants to hire more foreign academics to boost its performance in international university rankings. But plans to keep one in five faculty jobs for foreign academics have led to fears that universities will have to pay the cost without any increase in funding.
UNITED KINGDOM
Government unveils post-Brexit science position paper
The United Kingdom will seek a far-reaching agreement to strengthen science and innovation collaboration with European partners post-Brexit and would prefer to design a new type of deal than build on existing precedents, according to the government’s position paper.
FRANCE-GERMANY
France and Germany start joint climate change research
France and Germany have launched a joint research programme as a contribution to implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. The programme, part of the French ‘Make our Planet Great Again’ initiative, invites climate, energy and earth system scientists worldwide to engage in research in the two countries.
NORTH KOREA
PUST stays open, but British Council suspends teaching
Despite new travel curbs on United States passport-holders and tension over missile tests and military manoeuvres, the private Pyongyang University of Science and Technology or PUST, which teaches in English, is staying open. But the British Council has suspended language teaching at all North Korean universities.
KENYA
Foreign firms to plug universities’ infrastructure gap
Foreign financial institutions and private equity funds are lining up millions of dollars to invest in Kenya’s higher education, potentially helping to narrow the damaging infrastructure gap facing the sector.
HONG KONG
Pro-independence banners re-emerge on campuses
Banners advocating Hong Kong’s independence from China have re-emerged at several Hong Kong university campuses despite moves to tear them down at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in a renewed show of defiance following the jailing of three former student leaders.
AFRICA
New survey to assess challenges facing young scholars
What are the unique challenges faced by researchers and academics early in their careers and how can they be better supported? A new study – geared towards early-career scholars in all disciplines in Africa – is set to find out.
RUSSIA
Government steps up funding for elite universities
The Russian government is stepping up its funding of the 5-100 programme aimed at getting five universities into the global top 100 in international rankings, conceding that it has faced significant challenges due to underfunding and budget cuts.
ASIA
Geopolitics are hitting Chinese student flows in Asia
There was relief in Taiwan last week as mainland Chinese are once again enrolling in Taiwan’s universities after China curbed student exchanges across the Taiwan Strait due to tense relations between the two sides, but overall the number of Chinese students has halved since last year.
HONG KONG
Academics targeted after student activists are jailed
In the wake of the internationally-condemned jailing of former student leaders of Hong Kong’s 2014 student movement, including an elected legislator Nathan Law, academics who were active in the movement have become the latest target.
AUSTRALIA
Minister dismisses critics of university funding cuts
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham has dismissed vice-chancellors’ opposition to his proposed budget cuts for higher education, saying that universities can find efficiency savings to allow for the shortfall. But universities say STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – will suffer most.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities must fight ‘unfair’ claims of elitism
Universities are facing a crisis of public confidence born of being “unfairly categorised as elite, aloof and detached from individuals, communities and day to day challenges” and must fight back, according to Alistair Jarvis, the new chief executive of Universities UK.
AFRICA
Tunisia in new bid to attract Sub-Saharan students
A series of new measures to reverse the sharp decline in numbers of Sub-Saharan African students in Tunisia over the next three years has been unveiled.
TANZANIA
Commission stops new enrolments in 19 universities
The Tanzania Commission for Universities will not withdraw its decision to bar 19 universities, including three international institutions, from admitting new students for the 2017-18 academic year starting this September, owing to concerns over quality.
DENMARK
Is interest in language courses in critical freefall?
Questions are being raised about the fate of Denmark’s national languages plan following the presentation of the government budget for 2018, which contains barely a trace of measures addressing the freefall of interest in language courses at universities.
UNITED STATES
Academics organise to fight fascists on campuses
In an effort to push back against far-right rallies, racism and Islamophobia on campus, some academics have formed a coalition of scholars called the Campus Anti-Fascist Network and its members – academics, university staff and students – are growing.
ZIMBABWE
New student loan scheme – A 'half-baked' plan?
A student union representative has described Zimbabwe’s new student loan scheme – supported by US$1 billion put together by the state and six local financial institutions – as a “half-baked cake”, catering only for those whose parents are formally employed.
CHILE
Students and rectors oppose state university reforms
The state universities bill, now in Parliament, introduces changes to their governance, institutional system, rules of employment for academics and non-academics and government financing. But it has come under heavy criticism from students and rectors of the same universities it is supposed to back.
CHINA
CUP reverses China censorship after academic uproar
Cambridge University Press or CUP has reversed its decision to block access in China to more than 300 articles deemed sensitive to the Beijing government after China specialists and academics condemned its decision, made public earlier this month, to cave into pressure from China.
UNITED KINGDOM
Pressure rises to take students out of migration target
The prime minister is under mounting pressure to remove international students from the target of cutting immigration from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands a year following the release of new figures showing that nearly all students leave the country on time.
GERMANY
HE funding, tuition fees pushed in federal elections
Research spending and higher education funding are on the agenda for the September federal elections, with the Free Democratic Party pushing for fairer funding for universities and tuition fees paid after graduation in what is likely to become a coalition government.
NIGERIA
National agency partners with academia to fight corruption
The country’s anti-corruption agency is partnering with the National Universities Commission to sponsor 20 doctoral theses engaging with anti-corruption issues over the next 10 years and to introduce an anti-corruption course for all students at undergraduate level.
SWEDEN
International students face residency clampdown
The Swedish Migration Agency has rejected more than 10 residence permits for international students admitted for a study place and grants at Swedish universities, claiming they have not adequately demonstrated that their primary aim for coming to Sweden is to study.