26 March 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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AUSTRIA
Austrian chancellor presents ‘Plan A’ for universities
Higher education funding in Austria is to be based more strongly on enrolment and performance agreements, according to a new paper submitted by the country’s Chancellor Christian Kern. Entry restrictions would be applied where necessary, although tuition fees are ruled out.
AUSTRALIA
Minister strives to lift student success rate
The federal Education and Training Minister has urged students to research where they choose to study if they plan to go to university, as the government released new data on Wednesday showing university student completion rates have dipped and a third of students do not complete their studies within six years.
UGANDA
Makerere students struggle to meet fee payment deadlines
Just weeks after Uganda’s flagship Makerere University recommenced operations after a government-ordered shutdown, thousands of its final-year students now face the possibility of failing to graduate as they struggle to meet stringent new fee payment policy requirements.
PHILIPPINES
Budget scraps tuition fees for all state universities
The first budget under the administration of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, signed into law on 22 December, includes allocations to scrap tuition fees in all state universities and colleges from the 2017 academic year, as part of a significant increase in the country’s education budget.
AFGHANISTAN
Video appeal by professors abducted by armed group
Two professors of the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul who were abducted last year, have called on the United States government to free Taliban fighters in exchange for their release, in a video released on Wednesday. Officials have declined to comment amid ongoing efforts to liberate them.
EUROPE
Research bodies seek changes to EU copyright proposals
Five key European research organisations have called on legislators to modify current European Union copyright reform proposals, including broadening exceptions from copyright on text and data mining, to facilitate research and innovation in a digital environment – or risk impeding progress in one of the most dynamic parts of the economy.
NIGERIA
State agency takes the lead in university corruption cases
A recent series of investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission into allegations of corruption against high-level university staff is challenging the traditional autonomy of university governing councils.
JAPAN
Rapid expansion of defence research divides academics
Academics in Japan are bitterly divided over defence ministry grants to universities for defence-related research, with such funding receiving a dramatic boost this year amid declining general research budgets for universities over the past decade.
EGYPT
Supreme Council pushes to secure university autonomy
Despite reports of thousands of students and scholars remaining in prison and a tightening of control of universities, the Supreme Council of Universities is pushing for autonomy and academic freedom to be established through governance reform.
ZIMBABWE
Government funds unlikely to meet campuses needs
A fiscally constrained Zimbabwe government has allocated a meagre US$23.2 million to both kick-start new and complete existing infrastructure projects at its burgeoning universities. The amount is far less than what is needed to effect real physical improvements on all of the country’s campuses.
UNITED KINGDOM
Choppy waters ahead for international student demand
Demand from international students for places at United Kingdom universities will be hit by the impact of Brexit and other global changes, but could the negative effects be softened by the Trump effect in the United States? Two new pieces of analysis offer some interesting insight.
NORWAY
Survey reveals high unmet demand for study abroad
There is a huge mismatch between student aspirations to study abroad and the number of students actually doing so, according to a new survey. It found that most students have thought about taking a whole or part of their education abroad, but currently only 10% of Norwegian students study abroad.
SOUTH KOREA
Spate of arrests in Ewha University ‘favours’ scandal
The repercussions of the scandal over the admission to a prestigious women’s university in Seoul of Chung Yoo-ra, daughter of the South Korean president’s confidante Choi Soon-sil, are beginning to take their toll, with a spate of arrests on charges related to criminal corruption and academic fraud.
KENYA
School of law to start year without foreign students
No foreign law graduate is to be admitted to the Kenya School of Law for the 2017-18 academic year following a decision last year by the Kenya Council of Legal Education to bar the admission of law graduates from other universities in the East African region.
GLOBAL
‘Global university rankings data are flawed’ – HEPI
Governments and institutions should ignore leading international university rankings because they are “unreliable” and “methodologically flawed" and fail to identify the ‘best’ universities in the world, according to a new analysis by the United Kingdom higher education think tank, the Higher Education Policy Institute or HEPI. But ranking organisations say they are constantly working on improvements.
EGYPT
Medical professors in alleged organ trafficking racket
Egyptian authorities recently busted what they said was the biggest illegal organ trafficking ring in the country’s history. The suspects include medical professors at the universities of Cairo and Ain Shams, Egypt’s two main public academic institutions, the Health Ministry said.
EUROPE
Horizon 2020 endangered by low success rate, says EUA
Horizon 2020 is endangered by critically low application success rates due to insufficient funding at the European Union and national levels, according to a consultation among the 850 member institutions of the European University Association or EUA. The concern is reinforced by the findings of the recently released Horizon 2020 Monitoring Report.
AFRICA
Research and education internet networks on rise in Africa
Nine African countries have successfully established a sustainable National Research and Education Network promoting internet access to global educational resources and facilitating interaction at national and regional levels among universities and research institutions – boosting research productivity over the last decade.
CHINA
Caltech gift tops year of generous Chinese giving to HE
A US$115 million donation to California Institute of Technology or Caltech in the United States from Chinese billionaire Chen Tianqiao and his wife Chrissy Luo tops a generous year for donations to international education and research institutions from Chinese philanthropists.
GERMANY
Stop playing off refugees against students – DSW
Germany’s Student Welfare Service, or DSW, has warned that students and refugees seeking accommodation should not be played off against each other in the face of a growing shortage of affordable housing. It called on federal, state and local governments to ensure that ample affordable housing is provided for students and refugees alike.
BANGLADESH
Education ministry blocks foreign university branches
The University Grants Commission wants to allow foreign university branches but the Education Ministry has blocked approval in at least two known applications – from a United Kingdom branch campus and from Monash University in Australia – despite introducing regulations two years ago to enable foreign universities to open branches.
SOUTH KOREA
Ewha University role scrutinised by corruption hearing
South Korea’s National Assembly last week focused on the role of the prestigious Ewha Womans University as part of its fourth round of hearings into an influence peddling scandal surrounding embattled South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
SWEDEN
Mobile researchers have higher productivity – Study
Mobile researchers get higher citation rates and they are also more productive than the average, according to a study of researcher mobility at 28 Swedish higher education institutions that provides new and detailed data on how researchers move between institutions, nationally and internationally.
AFRICA-JAPAN
South Africa, Japan universities unite for development
Collaboration between South African and Japanese universities should become a catalyst for sustainable development in South Africa and across the African continent. It would also play an enormous role in the realisation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 – a programme aspiring to create prosperity through inclusive growth and sustainable development.
DENMARK
Students oppose bill to limit funding of second degrees
Members of Parliament are expected to vote on Monday 19 December in favour of a measure that will make it impossible to obtain student financing or a second degree at a Danish higher education institution if you have already completed a degree at the same or higher level.