20 August 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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CANADA-FRANCE
Deal boosts student mobility between France and Canada
Canada and France have signed a cooperation agreement to improve professional opportunities for students studying for a degree in 'French as a foreign language' in France. The agreement will pave the way for cooperation between the leaders of 34 French and Canadian universities and increase student mobility between the two countries.
FRANCE
University president is Macron’s new minister for HE
Frédérique Vidal, president of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, was appointed Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation on 17 May, in the new government of Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, under President Emmanuel Macron.
NORWAY
International standing required for university status
Norway’s quality assurance agency is now assessing an institution's international standing in particular fields before granting university status, but the move is proving controversial with some university leaders, who say it is too geared to usefulness for industry and not enough to addressing global challenges.
ZIMBABWE
Desperate students look to campus politics for solutions
Higher education students, tired of enduring high levels of economic stress and desperate for political change, are joining campus-based student unions in their numbers despite concerns around the strong alignment of such groups to national political parties.
UNITED STATES
Universities still grappling with travel ban limbo
The uncertainty over the outcome of challenges to President Donald Trump's travel ban means students from affected countries who go home to visit family and friends in the summer might not be able to return to the United States. Universities are drawing up plans to house and provide a means of earning an income to those who opt not to take the risk of leaving the country.
SOUTH KOREA
New president to reduce tuition fees, jobs favouritism
South Korea’s newly elected president, Moon Jae-in, has made breaking down the near-monopoly of the country’s top universities on the best jobs a cornerstone of his campaign and has repeated a pledge made by different parties in past elections to bring down tuition fees – which are among the highest in the world.
AUSTRALIA
Budget 2017 – Students pay more, universities have less
There were few surprises when the federal government handed down its annual budget on 9 May but there were also no cheers. Nationwide, universities and their students were appalled: The 2017 document announced by Treasurer Scott Morrison confirmed what the critics had called 'a double whammy’ that would hit universities and their students hard.
NORTH KOREA
University calm after two foreign academics detained
Pyongyang University of Science and Technology has said it is not issuing any particular instructions for the protection of its foreign staff in North Korea in the wake of the recent detention by North Korean authorities of two American professors teaching there.
DENMARK
New employment outcomes criteria in university funding
Minister of Higher Education and Science Søren Pind has endorsed a ministry proposal to base 10% of budget allocation on higher education institutions’ graduate employment outcomes, as part of a reform of university funding, which is currently linked to the number of exams passed.
UNITED KINGDOM
Labour party plans to abolish university tuition fees
The Labour Party, currently the main opposition party, will abolish university tuition fees “once and for all” if it wins power at the general election, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell announced on 10 May in Mansfield. It will also restore maintenance grants.
SWEDEN
International student fee case goes to high court
Mälardalen University has appealed to the High Court to overturn the verdict reached in Svea Hovrätt, the Court of Appeal, which ruled that it must repay international student Connie Dickinson – now Connie Askenbäck – the tuition fees she paid for a course which was evaluated as being of 'poor quality'.
TUNISIA
Students protest changes to judges’ examination criteria
The Tunisian government’s decision to overhaul the system of educating and examining law students wishing to become judges has sparked widespread student dissent. Students have been boycotting examinations and classes, while staging protests and demonstrations, although a partial retreat by the government has mollified some protestors.
PALESTINE
Palestinian research set for open access before 2020
Palestinian universities have moved a step closer to raising the visibility of locally produced research following a meeting to evaluate a European Union-funded collaborative project that aims to collect, document and provide access to scientific research produced at universities in Palestine by 2020.
GERMANY
Call for pact to tackle affordable student housing shortage
The German Student Welfare Service or Deutsches Studentenwerk, which represents Germany’s 58 student services organisations, has made an urgent appeal to federal and state governments to provide more housing for students as soaring rent levels have made affordable housing for students scarce.
UNITED STATES
Is Trump stifling science-based policy-making at EPA?
The Trump administration’s removal of several academic experts from a scientific advisory board at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has renewed concern about the government’s commitment to fact-based policy-making. Two new bills will also create hurdles for scientific input at the agency whose mission includes the US's leadership role in protecting the global environment.
EGYPT
University sacking exposes religious, political tensions
The administration of Egypt’s state-run Al-Azhar University in Cairo dismissed its president last week after he had accused a prominent Muslim researcher of apostasy in what appears to be a power tussle between the traditional university and a head of state determined to fight violent radicalism.
KENYA
Top university wins national science parks design tender
Plans by the Kenyan government to establish science and technology parks across the country have moved a notch higher after the University of Nairobi was awarded a tender to design a 10-year master plan for the establishment of the parks as well as incubators.
ASIA
New Asian universities’ alliance to increase mobility
A new alliance of Asian universities has held its inaugural meeting in Beijing pledging to increase student and faculty mobility between Asian countries to counter the tendency of professors and students to look towards the West.
AUSTRALIA
Universities alarmed by further cuts to government funding
The federal government has confirmed university fears that it plans further cuts to higher education spending along with sharp increases in student fees. Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham announced the cuts last Monday night after noting that university funding was at record levels and had grown "above and beyond the costs of their operations".
SWEDEN
Inquiry heralds reform of HE governance and funding
The government has announced that Professor Pam Fredman, rector of the University of Gothenburg and president of the International Association of Universities, has been selected to lead a government investigation into university governance and financing and propose reforms.
INDIA
Court challenge to drastic PhD programme cuts at JNU
The implementation of drastic cuts to MPhil and PhD programmes at India’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, or JNU, in New Delhi must now await a final decision by the Delhi High Court, which is hearing a writ petition filed by a group of students challenging the reductions.
FINLAND
Tuition fees and cuts hit internationalisation of HE
Finland is facing a sharp drop in applications by non-European Union and European Economic Area students and an outflow of scientists, according to media reports. The introduction of tuition fees for international students and cuts in university funding are being blamed.
NIGERIA
University admission reform – Pushing private education?
Two civil society organisations have said they will jointly mount a legal challenge to recent changes to university admissions criteria that require all candidates to list at least one private university in their applications for admission.
EUROPE
Universities should be flexible on admitting refugees
National authorities and higher education institutions should take a flexible approach to the recognition of degrees, periods of study and prior learning of refugees, in line with the Lisbon Recognition Convention, according to a new study by the European Students’ Union.
BANGLADESH
New semester system forced on private universities
Bangladesh’s private universities are opposing a government move to reform the existing academic year ostensibly to streamline the curriculum and reduce tuition costs for students. In April Bangladesh’s University Grants Commission sent letters to private universities directing them to introduce a two-semester system by 2018.