21 October 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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SWEDEN
High court eases restriction for foreign PhD students
A high court ruling will put an end to a bureaucratic catch-22 implemented by the Swedish Tax Agency that ultimately has made it more difficult for foreign PhD students to live and study in the country.
AFRICA
AAU celebrates 50 years as voice of higher education
African governments should never have to make a choice between basic and higher education and would not want to get into arguments with foreign agencies about priorities around education, according to Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the opening of the 50th anniversary conference of the Association of African Universities in Ghana last week.
AUSTRIA
Vice-chancellors fear ‘worst-case scenario’ on funding
A collapse in talks over universities’ new funding arrangements in advance of the summer recess and federal elections due in the autumn could force universities to freeze admissions and suspend teaching of some subjects, vice-chancellors have warned.
AUSTRALIA
Universities too heavily reliant on foreign students
Of the more than 520,000 international students enrolled in Australian universities, colleges and schools this year, nearly one in three are from China. Of these, more than 50,000 are enrolled in the nation’s universities. Foreign students now contribute more than AU$5 billion (US$3.7 billion) annually to university incomes which amounted to AU$28 billion in 2015.
SOUTH KOREA
Push for jail terms over university admissions scandal
South Korea’s prestigious Ewha Womans University in Seoul – under the spotlight of investigations into a corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of the country’s former president Park Geun-hye – faces renewed scrutiny.
ASIA
China student quota to Taiwan universities halved
The number of students from mainland China who will be allowed to study in Taiwan this year has been slashed, with implications particularly for Taiwan’s private universities which offer the majority of places available to students from mainland China.
NIGERIA
Higher education – An antidote to Boko Haram
In the wake of a series of suicide bomb attacks this year on the University of Maiduguri by Islamic extremist terror group Boko Haram, academics have called for the government to revamp education and vocational training in order to discourage the recruitment of young men and women as cannon fodder by the militant extremist group.
UNITED STATES
International educators confront a new political reality
The biggest buzz at last year’s conference of NAFSA: Association of International Educators was about a survey of prospective international students that showed nearly two out of three would reconsider studying in the United States if Donald Trump became president. Conference goers thought the findings scary. They also thought such a thing could never happen.
NORWAY
University governance debate rages on
Structural reform of Norwegian higher education has led to heated debates regarding the governance and leadership of universities. Now an intervention in the debate by an influential law professor, Jan Fridthjof Bernt, is adding fuel to the fire as he recommends a total overhaul of the governance structure at universities.
GERMANY
Student grant levels too low, survey finds
The Deutsches Studentenwerk – German Student Welfare Service – has called for an increase in federal government grant support for students in response to the findings of a survey by the Berlin-based Institute for Education and Socio-Economic Research and Consulting.
EAST AFRICA
Calls to boost universities’ PhD science training capacity
Strengthening the capacity of East African universities to train PhD and post-doctoral academics in areas such as human nutritional sciences, agriculture, technology, engineering and mathematics is urgently needed to develop local scientific capacity and help the region to achieve its development goals.
RUSSIA
First ‘Monument to an Anonymous Peer Reviewer’
A Monument to an Anonymous Peer Reviewer – believed to be the world’s first – has been unveiled at top Russian institution the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Two Nobel Prize winners and researchers across the world supported a crowdfunding campaign that enabled a “useless piece of concrete” to be transformed into an artwork.
INDIA
STEM focus to drive ‘world-class’ universities scheme
India’s plan to develop 20 world-class universities will favour institutions strong in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM subjects, experts said last week as the human resource development ministry sent its proposals for the new Institutions of Eminence scheme to the cabinet for approval.
AUSTRALIA
International student numbers up 15% on last year
Australia has bolstered its popularity as a world-class education destination with new data showing international student numbers jumped up by 15% in the first three months of this year compared to 2016.
CAMEROON-NIGERIA
Calls for release of students jailed over Boko Haram joke
Amnesty International has called for the release of three students sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment by a military tribunal in Cameroon after they shared a joke among each other about the recruitment criteria of Nigeria-based extremist Islamic group Boko Haram.
THAILAND
Minister allows foreign universities in special zones
Thailand is poised to issue a new decree that will allow foreign universities to operate in its special economic zones under a plan approved last week by the cabinet and military junta. The decree will permit foreign universities to be set up with exemptions from the normal rules and will be irrevocable, enabling universities to make long-term plans.
VIETNAM
Government to ease rules on foreign investment in HE
A new government decree to ease the way for foreign investment in education in Vietnam, likely to be approved by the country’s leadership as early as June, will streamline procedures and reduce bureaucracy for setting up foreign branch campuses in the country.
ALGERIA
Ministry to close 25% of its research laboratories
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has announced the dissolution of 25% of the research laboratories in the country following a “thorough and complete” evaluation of the structure of the current national research system.
TURKEY
Professor, teacher arrested on day 75 of hunger strike
A professor and a school teacher, detained by police on the 75th day of their hunger strike in the capital, Ankara, have been arrested. Police were concerned that the strike – against being dismissed from their jobs via statutory decrees issued since the failed coup attempt – would become a 'death fast', sparking a wider protest movement.
CHILE
Restrictions eased on postgraduate scholarships abroad
The approximately 2,000 beneficiaries of Becas Chile, the country’s largest provider of postgraduate scholarships for studying abroad, have mostly welcomed changes to the conditions attached to the scholarships, except for the failure to scrap the requirement to return to Chile after graduation.
SWEDEN
Foreign PhD candidates in battle against bureaucracy
The Swedish Association of University Teachers and Researchers is now asking international doctoral candidates in Sweden to report if they have been treated unfairly by the Swedish Migration Agency in decisions to reject permanent residence, so that it can seek a ruling by the higher migration appeal court.
LIBYA
Disgruntled university staff strike over unpaid bonuses
Libya’s higher education teaching staff – already fed up with what they believe is inadequate government funding for higher education and lack of security – began an indefinite strike on 23 May over the issue of overtime and bonus payments, effectively shutting higher education institutions throughout the country.
UNITED STATES
Yale postgraduates on hunger strike over labour terms
Postgraduate students at the prestigious private university Yale are protesting in support of union demands for fair wages and benefits that faculty members – whose classes they teach – enjoy. But they are fighting a broader downward trend in unionisation that looks set to continue.
LATIN AMERICA
HE improving but much remains to be done – World Bank
Providing good-quality higher education to low-income and middle-class students in Latin America and the Caribbean, who are joining universities and technical colleges in droves, is a big challenge for this group of countries, according to a World Bank report released on 17 May.
EAST AFRICA
Heads of state declare common HE area
Heads of East African states declared the transformation of the East African Community into a Common Higher Education Area, which will facilitate the recognition of academic certificates and the transfer of credits from higher education institutions across the region, at their summit on 20 May in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.