17 August 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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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.
KENYA
As strike ends, universities commit to making up lost time
After 54 days of strike action, teaching and learning finally resumed in public universities in Kenya last week Tuesday with university councils being tasked with re-working the semester timetable to make up for lost time.
SWEDEN
Appeal heard against international student fee ruling
The university that was successfully sued by an international student over the quality of its provision in a course for which she paid tuition fees, has been to the court of appeal to try to have the verdict of the district court annulled.
NORWAY
Fees for international students put on election agenda
Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen said the Conservative Party will include a proposal to introduce “moderate tuition fees” for students from outside the European Economic Area, in its party manifesto for the general election this autumn.
UNITED STATES
Trump plans deep cuts to higher education spending
President Donald Trump’s spending priorities include a 13% cut for the United States Department of Education and decreases for agencies that provide academic research, prompting claims that this would signal the end of the US’s role as a global innovation leader and would not be supported by Congress.
AFRICA
Power of e-learning for renewable energy sector – Study
At a time when distance education and e-learning are becoming increasingly popular and accessible, there remains insufficient awareness around the use of educational technologies in the field of renewable energy and its benefits in African higher education, according to a recent study.
UNITED STATES
Universities in US and Europe denounce new travel ban
Universities in the United States and Europe have spoken out against President Donald Trump’s new travel ban issued on 6 March, voicing alarm at the impact it will have on international students but also on the US’s ability to attract the best talent.
GLOBAL
QS subject rankings dominated by Harvard and MIT
Among institutions, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology dominate the latest subject rankings. Among countries, the United States and the United Kingdom dominate the top echelons. Countries from Africa, Latin America and the Middle East are absent from the top 10 in almost every subject. But China has increased its share of top-50 places.
AFRICA
Science policy foiled by institutional capacity – Report
Despite the fact that two-thirds of African countries have policies and strategies in place for science, technology and innovation, the capacity of the continent’s higher education institutions and associated research centres to implement them remains very low.
BRAZIL
Affirmative action students equal or outperform peers
Brazilian university students who are awarded quotas for race and low income or receive specific scholarships or loans have similar or better academic results than their classmates, according to a recent study, thus disproving the argument in Brazil that quota receivers displace better-qualified students and become worse professionals.
TAIWAN
New guidance on university tie-ups with mainland China
New guidelines are to be drafted by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education for university agreements with institutions in mainland China after a controversy erupted recently over universities signing agreements not to teach 'sensitive' subjects that criticise Beijing policies as a condition of taking in mainland exchange students.
UNITED KINGDOM
International students worth £25 billion to UK economy
International students studying in the United Kingdom now generate more than £25 billion (US$30 billion) for the economy and support around 206,600 jobs in university towns and cities across the UK, according to new figures. These students also paid an estimated £4.8 billion (US$5.8 billion) in tuition fees, accounting for more than 14% of total university income.
GLOBAL
Universities join global HE clearinghouse for refugees
The Institute of International Education and the Catalyst Foundation for Universal Education have launched an online clearinghouse to connect displaced students with opportunities to continue their education in safety around the world.
AFRICA
World Bank PhD skills programme seeks greater buy-in
Only five African countries have made their pledges and committed to the World Bank's Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology programme since its launch three years ago.

DENMARK
Doubling of PhDs has not affected quality – Analysis
Despite more than doubling the number of PhD students, Danish PhDs have maintained their high quality, according to new analysis, with three out of four international supervisors judging them to be 'very good' or 'good'. And an influx of international students has heightened the quality of PhD training, most supervisors say.
KENYA
Ongoing lecturer strike keeps students in limbo
Teaching and learning is yet to resume at public universities across the country as the unions representing the teaching staff had not, by late last week, reached an agreement with the government over salaries, keeping the studies of thousands of students in 33 institutions on hold.