21 October 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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AFRICA
New university to produce experts on regional integration
In a bid to hasten the slow pace of regional integration in Eastern and Southern Africa, the first cohort of students of a virtual university focused on the study of regional integration are to be admitted in September.
MALAYSIA
Universities do not have genuine autonomy, report says
Despite 17 of 20 public universities in Malaysia being awarded ‘autonomous’ status, academics have questioned whether there has been a real commitment by the government to devolve more powers to universities.
AFRICA-CHINA
Self-reliance a key to successful academic partnerships
African universities should establish clear guidelines and timelines to ensure greater self-reliance when entering partnerships, especially with partners in the Global North, according to higher education and policy experts attending the inaugural Africa-China-World Bank Education Partnership Forum.
NORWAY
Strong punishment for misuse of the title ‘Professor’
The Ministry of Education and Research is proposing new legislation to punish unauthorised use of the title of professor. Those falsely using the title in full or in part will be punished by fines of up to NOK188,000 (US$22,700).
EUROPE
High Level Group says EU must double research budget
A group of experts selected by the European Commission to recommend what changes to make to the current European Union research programme Horizon 2020 when it ends in three years' time, has called for a doubling of the budget and for it to pay more attention to the gap between science and innovation.
UNITED STATES
Surveys split on outlook for international enrolment
The results of two surveys give conflicting messages about the willingness of international students to take up places they have been offered on courses in United States universities, with cautious optimism over undergraduate enrolment and widespread gloom over postgraduate enrolment.
UNITED KINGDOM
Tuition fee regime is no longer progressive, says IFS
The current regime of high tuition fees and large student maintenance loans is giving universities 25% more funds per student per degree, but is leaving poorer students with debts one-third higher than richer students, according to an Institute for Fiscal Studies or IFS report.
AFRICA
Governments called to invest more seriously in research
Academics attending the inaugural Africa Conference for Research, Innovation and Development, organised by the University of Zimbabwe in conjunction with the European Alliance for Innovation, urged African countries to invest more in research and innovation to help in the continent’s development.
NORWAY
One in four humanities academics have not published
There are pockets of excellence but no institutions reached the highest levels of international performance and more than one in four research staff have not published, according to the first critical evaluation in three decades of Norwegian research and higher education in the humanities.
INDIA
Government rushes closure of Kashmir universities
The government has rushed colleges and universities in Kashmir into a surprise early summer break in advance of expected political protests on the anniversary of the death of a popular rebel commander, which last year pushed Kashmir into five months of curfews, demonstrations and shutdowns.
EGYPT
Engineering union to introduce test for graduates
Egypt’s engineering union is planning to introduce licensing tests for graduates in an effort to boost professional standards and curb the number of engineers attending private engineering schools, amid complaints about the quality of graduates.
KENYA
Universities in push to meet new PhD coursework rules
Kenyan universities are rushing to enforce a new rule requiring that their PhD programmes include at least one year of coursework, but questions are being raised over the practicality of the new rule and the impact it might have on the rate at which Kenyan PhDs are produced.
AUSTRALIA
Ministry makes comparing admissions information easier
New benchmarks for admissions information will make it easier for students to compare entry requirements for institutions as they weigh up different study options, an issue that has become more important as the number of pathways into university has broadened to reflect the diversity of student demand.
EGYPT-SOUTH KOREA
Higher education cooperation plan unveiled
In what has been described as a ‘win-win’ deal, South Korea and Egypt have unveiled a higher education cooperation plan that includes the establishment of a joint institution, networking among universities in the two countries, and enhanced student and academic mobility.
EUROPE
Commissioner urges huge expansion of EU research
European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen favours a significant expansion of the European Union’s research budget for 2021-28, he told the Science Business Network conference in Brussels on 27 June, suggesting that a 50% increase to €120 billion (US$137 billion) would be a “good target”.
UNITED STATES
Travel ban ruling offers universities temporary relief
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that President Donald Trump’s second order banning entry from six majority-Muslim countries can be partially implemented, but not in the case of international students admitted to US universities and academics invited to lecture on their campuses.
INDIA
World-class universities plan has caste action flaw
Ministers have to rethink the plan to elevate 20 top universities to ‘world-class institutions’, because it runs afoul of the country’s affirmative action policy, under which half of university places must be reserved for students from socially 'backward classes'.
AFRICA
Centres of Excellence project – ‘A model that works’
A mid-term review shows that the first phase of the World Bank-funded Africa Centres of Excellence project focused on West and Central Africa is on track, with strong indications that the project might be considered for further funding.
GLOBAL
US dominates, China second in Shanghai subject rankings
United States universities took 32 top positions out of 52 in this year’s ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, followed by China with eight, the Netherlands with five and the United Kingdom with three. The top institution was Harvard University with 15 top spots, while Massachusetts Institute of Technology landed five.
UNITED STATES
Universities look for upside of Trump and Brexit effect
International educators in the United States and Europe appear to be moving beyond the twin shocks of last year’s Brexit vote and a Donald Trump presidency and are now engaging in some soul-searching as they enter the recovery stage.
SRI LANKA
Government seizes control of private teaching hospital
The government has approved a proposal made by the higher education and health ministers to take over a leading private medical teaching hospital following violent clashes involving protesters who are demanding it be closed down.
KENYA
Academics emerge as key players in upcoming elections
As Kenya goes to the polls in August this year, university lecturers are playing central roles in the heated electoral process.
RUSSIA
Russia to triple the number of international students
Russia plans to more than triple the number of foreign students studying at its universities over the next eight years, with a 50% increase by 2019. New courses will be introduced and Russian citizenship offered to top applicants to attract more international students.
UNITED KINGDOM
Elite universities stumble in first teaching ratings
Top research-intensive universities are among those achieving the lowest rating in the first results of the Teaching Excellence Framework – which rates teaching quality and student outcomes at universities and is believed to be the first scheme of its kind globally.
AFGHANISTAN
Abducted US, Australian professors plead for release
The two senior professors of the American University of Afghanistan under the custody of the Taliban have appeared in another video released by the militants, urging Washington and Canberra to enter prisoner swap deals to secure their liberty.