21 October 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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UNITED STATES
The reckoning begins at university in racism storm
The University of Virginia, site of the white supremacist rally and clashes that ignited a nationwide debate about race hate and free speech, is pondering how it could have done more to support its students or even stem a tragedy, and how to move forward.
EGYPT-MOROCCO
Countries lag in ‘disability-friendly’ campus movement
The poor participation in university education in Morocco by young people with disabilities has been highlighted in a recent report presented to the United Nations.
UNITED STATES
University leaders fear rise of hate events on campus
Following the white supremacist demonstrations that imploded last weekend with the death of a counter-protester in a Virginia college town, university leaders across the United States are consulting legal experts on what they can do to prevent similar outbursts on their campuses.
GLOBAL
Asian countries increase share of top 500 universities
United States universities continue to dominate in the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities released last week by the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, with Harvard University remaining top for the 15th year running. But the number of top 500 universities from Asian countries is increasing.
CHINA
China pressures respected journal to censor articles
A major academic publisher in the United Kingdom has caved in to China’s official censors and has blocked online access from that country to more than 300 articles in a leading academic journal – The China Quarterly – amid a Chinese government crackdown on 'Western' views.
INDIA
March for Science highlights parlous state of research
Thousands of students, scientists and supporters gathered in 30 Indian cities to support the country’s ‘March for Science’ earlier this month. They were joined by many government scientists despite receiving emails forbidding them from taking part.
EAST AFRICA
University regulators curtail Kenyan expansion spree
Universities are facing a tough regulatory regime that has crippled expansion strategies that have seen Kenya’s universities spread their wings across most areas of the country and into neighbouring countries such as Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda and Uganda.

SWEDEN
Plan to broaden access to HE raises funding questions
A proposal by the Minister for Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson to broaden access to universities, sent out for consultation last month, has sparked a row over whether it can be achieved without providing more funding for teaching.
AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND
Universities raise their investment in fundraising
Universities in Australia and New Zealand are stepping up investment in fundraising and alumni engagement amid growing institutional awareness of the “powerful impact” of philanthropy, and sharp rises in the size of the largest gifts, according to a new report on charitable giving to universities.
GLOBAL
Commonwealth consortium to offer youth development degree
An initiative aimed at improving access to certified courses in youth work has been launched by Commonwealth countries which will support 16 universities from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Europe to offer a low-cost, internationally recognised Commonwealth bachelor degree in youth development work.
NIGERIA
Academics’ union banned over strike on unpaid salaries
As it embarks on an indefinite nationwide strike over what it claims are unfulfilled government promises, the Academic Staff Union of Universities is reeling from a ban imposed on its local branch based at Kogi State University.
DENMARK
MPs want to scrap HE funding and study-time reforms
The major political parties apart from the Social Democrats want to scrap the unpopular recent reform speeding up students’ time to graduation – even though it is working – and end the linking of funding of university subject study places to employment outcomes.
AUSTRALIA
Funding package to cost universities a billion dollars
Federal spending on higher education looks set to fall by AU$1 billion (US$797 million), according to Universities Australia Chair Professor Margaret Gardner, who said government’s spending on higher education would cut funding for universities and increase fees for students so they would pay more for less.
JAPAN
Regional universities a new focus of research excellence
A Japanese government plan to set up world-class centres for basic research in regional universities will strengthen its international competitiveness and narrow the gaping divide between Japan’s elite research institutions and regional universities.
INDIA
IIMs gain greater autonomy, can award MBAs under new law
India’s prestigious Indian Institutes of Management or IIMs are set to gain increased autonomy after the lower house of parliament passed a bill anointing them ‘institutions of national importance’.
SINGAPORE
University suspends professor after foreign spy charge
The National University of Singapore has terminated the employment of Professor Huang Jing, identified on 4 August as a spy by Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs. The university said in a statement on the same day that Huang had been suspended without pay “with immediate effect”.
NORTH KOREA
US travel ban will hit teaching at private university
A United States decision to ban all travel by US citizens to North Korea from September will affect Pyongyang’s only private university, Pyongyang University of Science and Technology in the North Korean capital, which employs a significant number of US citizens on its teaching staff.
NORWAY
Debate over foreign researcher numbers, quota proposal
Summer time in Norway, from June to mid-August, is normally quiet for universities. But not this summer – possibly due to general elections looming in September. Internationalisation has been high on the agenda, with controversy over the growing number of international researchers and a proposal to impose a quota on their numbers.
ZIMBABWE
Criticism over planned Robert Mugabe university
In a widely criticised move, the Zimbabwean government has announced plans to build a US$1 billion science and technology university named after its long-time ruler, 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.
EUROPE
19 cities bid for European Medicines Agency post-Brexit
Nineteen European cities have bid to host the European Medicines Agency, which will be relocated from London as a result of Brexit. The agency does not conduct research but draws on hundreds of top scientists from across the world for expert working groups.
RUSSIA
Government cuts 40% of state-funded university places
The Russian government is pushing on with plans to cut 40% of state-funded places in domestic universities in 2018 and to cut teaching jobs at state universities.
UNITED KINGDOM-UNITED STATES
Google accused of paying millions for research backing
Google, the global internet company, has paid academics at United States and United Kingdom universities millions of dollars to produce hundreds of papers supporting its policy interests, according to a report by the Campaign for Accountability, a non-profit watchdog, which has published a database of alleged beneficiaries.
CHINA
Cash rewards soar for research published overseas
Cash rewards to China’s scientists for research published in overseas journals have risen dramatically – reaching more than US$160,000 for papers appearing in the most prestigious Western journals, according to a just-published analysis, and dwarfing the average professor’s salary of US$8,600.
UNITED STATES
International students may have to renew visas yearly
A change to foreign student visa policies reportedly being discussed at the United States Department of Homeland Security would require international students to reapply annually for permission to stay in the United States.
UNITED KINGDOM
Sharp fall in university applications from UK and EU
Applications to United Kingdom higher education undergraduate courses for 2017 are down 4% on last year. This includes a 4% drop in applications from the UK and a 5% drop in applications from the European Union. But applications from other countries have risen by 2%.