28 June 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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ALGERIA
Ministry imposes tougher rules on PhD students
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has announced strict new rules for doctoral students who fail to submit their theses in the requisite four years after ministry figures revealed that over 1,000 PhD projects were outstanding – some for up to nine years.
EGYPT
Ministry sees value in international students
While international students studying in Egypt currently generate US$186 million for the Egyptian economy, this figure is low by international standards. An ambitious government plan aims to double the number of international students by 2020-21 and increase their contribution to the country by as much as US$700 million.
HUNGARY
International university ‘in danger’, Ignatieff warns
A leading international university could be forced to shut down or leave the country after the government tabled a proposal to force foreign-funded universities to meet tough new conditions, including having campuses and offering a similar course in their home country. The Central European University is "in danger" of ceasing operations, according to the rector Michael Ignatieff.
INDIA
Uproar over violent mob attack on African students
An attack on African students in India last week has caused an uproar among students in the country and has sparked an investigation by India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who called the attack “deplorable”, while students said if the authorities failed to curb attacks, India’s aim to be an international higher education destination would be affected.
AUSTRALIA-CHINA
Sydney professor barred from leaving China
The barring of China scholar Feng Chongyi from travelling back from China to Australia where he holds a position at the University of Technology Sydney has unsettled academia and could have an impact on China research and collaborations between Australian and Chinese universities generally, academics fear.
GLOBAL
New data creates world’s largest university ranking
U-Multirank has published a new release of data drawn from 1,500 universities, creating the world’s largest university ranking, and throwing a spotlight on high-performing universities that might not be picked up by traditional international university rankings.
AFGHANISTAN
American University reopens, defying threats of attack
Defying threats of another deadly attack, the American University of Afghanistan has re-opened in Kabul with upgraded security. Classes restarted on Tuesday, seven months after militants stormed its compound, leaving 13 dead, including seven students and one lecturer, which forced the university to close down.
SOUTH AFRICA
Universities pay tribute to struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada
South African veteran activist Ahmed Kathrada, who died on Tuesday aged 87, has been hailed by universities for selflessly dedicating his life to fighting for freedom, justice, non-racialism and democracy.
GERMANY-KENYA
Stipend delays cause hardship for Kenyan students
Kenyan students studying in Germany on government of Kenya scholarships are facing serious difficulties – including losing their accommodation – because of the failure of the Kenyan government to pay its share of their scholarship stipends on time.
TAIWAN
Ministry tackles research integrity after NTU scandal
Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology has said it will set up an Office of Research Integrity to hold researchers to ethical academic standards in the wake of a major academic fraud scandal at the country’s top institution, National Taiwan University or NTU, which has severely damaged its research reputation.
UNITED STATES
Universities fear Trump indirect research payment cuts
The Trump administration’s plan to cut billions of dollars in research spending by eliminating indirect cost reimbursements – costs reflecting the legitimate expenses of providing scientists with labs and of complying with a host of essential services – would devastate university science, especially at public institutions, experts warned.
AFRICA
UN fellowships realigned to building Africa’s capacity
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has relaunched its fellowship programme in line with Africa’s transformative agenda to provide a platform for young African graduates to gain professional on-the-job experience in a range of development-related fields.
GERMANY
Controversial German professor ‘hounded by commissars’
The University of Bremen's student union has the right to call Berlin Professor of History Jörg Baberowski a ‘right-wing radical’, according to a ruling by Cologne District Court, but not to take his controversial statements about refugees out of context.
AUSTRALIA
Government recommits to long-term support for science
The Australian government has unveiled its new National Science Statement, which emphasises the long-term importance of science to the nation’s economy and society, and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Arthur Sinodinos has reassured universities by pledging that the government will act “strategically and systematically” to support it.
GERMANY
University tuition fees back on the election agenda
With elections ahead in Germany, the issue of tuition fees in higher education has resurfaced. Across the board tuition fees were abolished for public-funded universities in all of Germany’s federal states by 2014, but while Social Democrats reject fees, views are split among, and even within, some of the other parties.
AFRICA-TURKEY
Turkey’s ‘soft power’ reaches North African universities
A recently published higher education cooperation plan with Tunisia represents the latest milestone in Turkey’s plan to set up joint universities with North African Arab states in what is seen as an expression of cultural diplomacy or 'soft power' aimed at building regional alliances and partnerships.
GLOBAL
Dozens of academic journals appoint fake editor
Dozens of academic titles have offered a sham scientist a place on their editorial board during a sting operation by researchers investigating exploitation of academics by predatory journals. Their findings were published by Nature, the international weekly journal of science.
UNITED STATES
Education Department erodes student protections
Betsy DeVos, the new education secretary, hasn’t said much about her plans for higher education. But some observers already see a pattern in the department’s actions, deconstructing Barack Obama’s student loan protections and hiring employees from the profit sector.
SOUTH KOREA
Students end 150-day protest over for-profit campus
A five-month student protest over plans for a for-profit branch campus at South Korea’s most prestigious university came to an end after the university administration turned a water hose on the students the day after the country’s president Park Geun-Hye was ousted from office. Credit: Yonhap News
ZIMBABWE
Reinstated student vows to fight draconian powers
The University of Zimbabwe has readmitted two student leaders suspended two years ago on the basis of draconian regulations that students say they will continue to challenge.
PHILIPPINES
Senate passes bill for free public university tuition
The Philippines Senate has approved a landmark bill to provide free tuition for students in all state universities and colleges. Proponents say it is a collective victory for supporters of equitable access. Critics say making only tuition free is problematic because only the richer households have the resources to finance the other costs of higher education, including living expenses.
UNITED STATES
New ban halted, but foreign student applications fall
Two federal judges last week blocked President Donald Trump’s new executive order temporarily banning entry into the United States from six Muslim countries, while a new survey suggests international student applications are falling as a result of the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant stance and fear of further restrictions being imposed.
JAPAN
Push for foreign students to stay on to work in Japan
Japan is hiring foreign talent and it is now a top priority that international students attending Japanese universities stay on in the country, with the government offering new incentives such as subsidised company internships, help with finding jobs on graduation, stepped-up Japanese language courses and more streamlined processes for work visas after graduation.
CHINA
World-class universities policy fuels talent poaching
China’s headlong foray into creating world-class universities has caused an internal brain drain of talented academics from China’s poorer central and western regions towards the top-tier universities in the country’s major cities and regions.
GLOBAL
Universities must address local and global challenges
Universities face a dual and potentially conflicting responsibility to address both the local demands of society based on the race for global competitiveness and local and global demands to contribute to a more equitable and sustainable society, according to new report by the Global University Network for Innovation.