26 March 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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EGYPT
Student union elections put on hold pending new rules
The holding of student union elections, scheduled for November, has been thrown into doubt after the country’s higher education authorities announced a delay in the polls until relevant rules are worked out.
HONG KONG
Universities’ non-local students ‘not diverse enough’
Hong Kong universities are not diverse enough, according to a just-released Hong Kong government Audit Commission report. It notes that students from mainland China made up 76% of non-local students at Hong Kong’s public universities in the past academic year.
UNITED KINGDOM
£2bn increase in research spending per year announced
The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a “major increase” in research and development funding with a commitment to spend £2 billion (US$2.5 billion) per year more by 2020-21. But critics say the increase falls way short of the recommended target of 3% of gross domestic product.
SOUTH AFRICA
Free higher education – President appeals for patience
President Jacob Zuma has appealed for patience while the national fees commission he set up to investigate the feasibility of fee-free higher education concludes its inquiry. The appeal follows the release last week of the commission’s interim report, criticised by the opposition Democratic Alliance as “a slap in the face” for students.
SOUTH KOREA
University told to revoke place of Park aide’s daughter
The Ministry of Education has said the admission of Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of President Park Geun-hye’s confidante Choi Soon-Sil, to the prestigious Ewha Womans University should be revoked after an investigation found the university had manipulated admissions rules to give Chung a place.
UNITED STATES
Watch list of 'anti-American' professors stirs fears
The establishment of a watch list "to expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students, promote anti-American values, and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom" seems a chilling development to many professors in the current political climate.
DENMARK
Do more to lure and keep international academics – DEA
Universities should be more ambitious in their strategies to attract and retain international staff, including expanding the use of English as a working language at universities, according to a government-funded report by the think tank, DEA. Otherwise they risk losing recruited talent to other countries.
EUROPE
European students given grants to support refugees
The European Students' Union has launched a Small Grants Programme to help its member student unions contribute to securing the refugees’ fundamental human rights and stimulating a sense of belonging to the national and European community.
UNITED STATES
International students top one million for first time
The number of international students enrolled in United States colleges and universities topped one million last year for the first time, an annual tally says. And US students earning academic credit abroad continues to climb, though at a much slower rate of growth and in far fewer numbers.
GLOBAL
Mobility of African students – Europe losing ground
Students from Africa account for more than one in 10 students worldwide studying abroad – a mobility rate twice as high as the global average – with about a fifth from North Africa, and more than a half from countries where French is spoken.
GLOBAL
International African students in France – A profile
France retains the top position globally for African students studying degree programmes abroad, although numbers have declined sharply with 92,205 enrolled in 2013 compared with 113,936 in 2012 – a drop of 19% – according to UNESCO figures reported in a new study from Campus France, the agency that promotes French higher education globally.
UNITED KINGDOM
MPs urge government to bat for science in Brexit talks
The government should make an immediate commitment to exempt European Union scientists and researchers already working in the United Kingdom from wider potential immigration controls, and include measures to attract skilled researchers during the Brexit negotiations, MPs on the Science and Technology Committee have demanded.
MALAYSIA
Australian universities in row over student freedoms
Two Australian universities with branches in Malaysia have become embroiled in a row over written warnings to students of disciplinary action if they are found attending “illegal gatherings” – a reference to major anti-government rallies in different parts of the country at the weekend.
GLOBAL
Subject reputation key to postgrad institution choice
The desire to attain qualifications that are recognised globally is the primary influencer for prospective postgraduates across the world when choosing a study destination country. But subject-specific reputation, followed by overall institutional reputation, is the key priority when deciding on a destination institution, according to a new survey.
THAILAND
Junta moves to tackle university governance problems
The Thai government has invoked Section 44 of the country’s interim constitution, which gives it sweeping powers “for the sake of reforms in any field”, to deal with chronic problems afflicting a number of universities, raising fears that the autonomy long enjoyed by higher education institutions is under threat.
MALAYSIA
Research quality still lagging despite huge expansion
Huge investment in higher education research and development in Malaysian universities since 2000 has not led to qualitative gains and increased innovation that would help boost a flagging economy and close the skills gap in the country, a new report on innovation policies by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says.
GLOBAL
World Academy of Sciences grows, launches new network
The World Academy of Sciences, the science network for the developing world, has elected 40 new fellows – more than half from China and India – bringing the number of academy members to more than 1,200 from some 95 countries. At last week’s 27th General Meeting held in Rwanda, the academy also launched a new wing for young scientists.
EUROPE
Expansion of Europe’s research universities networks
European research networking has been strengthened with a decision on Friday to expand the League of European Research Universities to 23 members – with the addition of the University of Copenhagen and Trinity College Dublin from 1 January next year – and the launch in Brussels on 21 November of the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities.
TURKEY
EUA board member is first rector removed after decree
A European University Association or EUA board member has become the first rector to lose their job under new state of emergency decrees, which were issued at the end of October as part of the government’s ongoing response to the failed coup attempt on 15 July this year.
GERMANY
Rectors seek more responsibility for quality assurance
The German Rectors’ Conference has presented proposals for a new accreditation system for study programmes which gives higher education institutions more responsibility for the quality of their programmes. The proposals were adopted at the organisation’s general meeting in Mainz in mid-November.
DENMARK
Highly educated immigrants boost economy – Analysis
The inward migration of foreign experts, including university teachers and researchers, is good business for Denmark regardless if they are coming from India, China or Germany, according to a new analysis of Danish registry statistics – among the most complete in the world.
SINGAPORE
Funding hike for humanities, social sciences research
After years of concentrating research funding on science and technology, Singapore last week announced a major rise in funding for social science and humanities research worth SG$350 million (US$252 million) over the next five years – an increase of 45% compared to the Ministry of Education spending on research in these areas over the previous five years.
CHINA
New law set to affect foreign university applications
As China last week passed a law banning some private for-profit schools that cater to middle-school children, there is some concern that this could affect the quality and preparedness of Chinese students applying to universities in Western countries, including the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia.
GERMANY
Tuition fees to be reintroduced for non-EU students
Tuition fees are to be reintroduced for international students in Germany’s south-western state of Baden-Württemberg. The state government says that it needs the money to cover costs.
GLOBAL
China overtakes UAE as top host of branch campuses
The number of international branch campuses worldwide reached 249 by the end of 2015, a 26% increase since 2010; and China has overtaken the United Arab Emirates as the country hosting the highest number, according to a new report.