30 April 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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BRAZIL
Affirmative action students equal or outperform peers
Brazilian university students who are awarded quotas for race and low income or receive specific scholarships or loans have similar or better academic results than their classmates, according to a recent study, thus disproving the argument in Brazil that quota receivers displace better-qualified students and become worse professionals.
TAIWAN
New guidance on university tie-ups with mainland China
New guidelines are to be drafted by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education for university agreements with institutions in mainland China after a controversy erupted recently over universities signing agreements not to teach 'sensitive' subjects that criticise Beijing policies as a condition of taking in mainland exchange students.
UNITED KINGDOM
International students worth £25 billion to UK economy
International students studying in the United Kingdom now generate more than £25 billion (US$30 billion) for the economy and support around 206,600 jobs in university towns and cities across the UK, according to new figures. These students also paid an estimated £4.8 billion (US$5.8 billion) in tuition fees, accounting for more than 14% of total university income.
GLOBAL
Universities join global HE clearinghouse for refugees
The Institute of International Education and the Catalyst Foundation for Universal Education have launched an online clearinghouse to connect displaced students with opportunities to continue their education in safety around the world.
AFRICA
World Bank PhD skills programme seeks greater buy-in
Only five African countries have made their pledges and committed to the World Bank's Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology programme since its launch three years ago.

DENMARK
Doubling of PhDs has not affected quality – Analysis
Despite more than doubling the number of PhD students, Danish PhDs have maintained their high quality, according to new analysis, with three out of four international supervisors judging them to be 'very good' or 'good'. And an influx of international students has heightened the quality of PhD training, most supervisors say.
KENYA
Ongoing lecturer strike keeps students in limbo
Teaching and learning is yet to resume at public universities across the country as the unions representing the teaching staff had not, by late last week, reached an agreement with the government over salaries, keeping the studies of thousands of students in 33 institutions on hold.
NORWAY
In search of a new form of university governance
In Norway there is a growing resistance to university reforms and the present approach to governance, which is being dubbed 'New Public Management', is seen by academics as eroding autonomy in favour of increased central control that threatens risk-taking in research.
UNITED STATES
Universal basic income – Time for scholarly research?
As automation threatens more American jobs, the idea of providing a universal basic income is gaining traction among businessmen and advocates on the left and right. Scientists, unsure of how to tackle the issue or get funding to do so, have largely been stuck on the sidelines. Yet if any policy question needs a thorough examination, experts say, it is this one.
GLOBAL
Universities must find a way to challenge populism
Higher education needs a new focus based on democratic and global citizenship, according to Fernando Reimers, professor of international education at Harvard University, who defended the values of freedom and equality against the rise of populism, in a keynote speech at the co-hosted WISE – World Innovation Summit for Education – and Santander forum in Madrid on Tuesday.
UNITED KINGDOM
New student mobility figures show Erasmus Brexit risk
The proportion of students experiencing outward mobility has risen sharply, according to new research by Universities UK. But nearly one in two of those experiences were supported by the European Union’s Erasmus+ staff and student exchange programme from which the United Kingdom may be excluded after Brexit.
TAIWAN
University in row over deal with Chinese universities
A university in Taiwan has got itself into political hot water by signing written agreements with Chinese universities not to touch on sensitive political issues that might include Taiwanese independence, or the controversial ‘one China’ policy, while hosting students from the Chinese mainland.
JAPAN
Net widens in university jobs for ex-officials scandal
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.
NIGERIA-SOUTH AFRICA
Academics urge restraint in wake of xenophobic attacks
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.
INDIA
Universities fear political threat to free speech
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.
THAILAND
Academics to be disciplined for criticising junta
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”.
DENMARK
Government strengthens grip on universities again
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.
UGANDA
HE regulator stymied by private university court actions
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.
UNITED STATES
University leader advises patience as Trump era dawns
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.
MAURITANIA
Students demand more masters programmes
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.
CHINA
Party seeks tighter control of 29 top universities
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.
UNITED STATES
US university will not back down on Dalai Lama invite
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
International student numbers surge to record high
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.
EGYPT
Medical schools add female genital mutilation to curricula
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.
SWEDEN
Expert appointed to review internationalisation of HE
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.