30 April 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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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.
UNITED STATES
Rush to save climate change data before Trump era
Scientists, librarians and digital historians from a growing number of universities have begun a crowdsourced effort to copy and archive thousands of federal government websites and data sets related to climate change, the environment and other areas of scientific research that they fear could become compromised or inaccessible under the incoming Trump administration.
GLOBAL
OECD: Research funding cuts threaten global innovation
A decline in government funding of science and technology research in some countries – including four of the world’s 10 biggest economies – could pose a threat to innovation at a time when global challenges such as climate change and ageing populations demand solutions, according to a new OECD report.
AUSTRALIA
Government proposes research infrastructure roadmap
The government has released a draft 10-year National Research Infrastructure Roadmap to ensure Australia’s future research spending will target priority areas to build on the country’s research strengths. It recommends setting up a national advisory group to provide advice on planning and investment.
CHINA
Boom in foreign institutional links in art, culture
The inauguration last week of the new Shanghai campus of the Sino-French Institute of Art and Design Management attended by top Communist Party officials and arts and museum representatives from around the country, marks another booming area for foreign institutional collaborations with China.
UNITED KINGDOM
Cambridge predicts two-thirds drop in EU students
Cambridge University has warned MPs that the United Kingdom leaving the European Union “poses a significant risk to higher education and research activities in the UK” and it is anticipating a two-thirds reduction in admissions of students from EU countries.
SOUTH AFRICA
Universities announce maximum fee hikes for 2017
In a move likely to set university management structures on a collision course with student protesters calling for free higher education, at least seven universities have made public their plans to increase fees in 2017.
KENYA
Bill casts doubt over universities’ foreign campuses
Kenyan public universities could soon be barred from operating campuses in foreign countries without government approval if a bill introduced for debate in parliament is passed.
INDIA
Political meddling causes Nalanda University turmoil
The resignation of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen from the governing board of Nalanda University followed by the resignation of its chancellor, George Yeo, former foreign minister of Singapore, over interference in the university's autonomy, leaves the project to revive the ancient institution without its international leadership.
UNITED STATES
Will higher education be ‘Trumped’ by state lawmakers?
As the impact of the 2016 elections takes shape in statehouses, there are early signs that some policy proposals made by President-elect Donald J Trump are prompting reactions from governors and state legislators and there is widespread uncertainty over the direction that his nominee for education secretary will take.
AFRICA-SOUTH KOREA
South Korean institutes join skills development partnership
Two leading South Korean institutes have formalised their commitment to helping Sub-Saharan Africa build greater capacity in science and technology in the region, according to World Bank officials.
GERMANY
Lecturer warns of threat to research transparency
A German finance expert has warned that the country’s federal states could be entering a “dangerous race to the bottom” regarding legislation on transparency in cooperation between industry and higher education. Christian Kreiss of Aalen University believes that cooperation agreements should be publicly accessible in order to guarantee academic freedom.
CHINA
Exam rules herald major shake-up of business education
Strict new rules were scheduled to come into force last week for business schools in China recruiting Chinese students for MBA and short Executive MBA courses, with institutions no longer allowed to set their own entrance exams – part of the country’s drive to root out substandard programmes with low or non-existent barriers to entry.
EUROPE
EC announces members of High Level Group on research
The European Commission, or EC, has selected its 12-member High Level Group on maximising the impact of European Union research and innovation programmes.
GLOBAL
China leads but India rises in new university ranking
Chinese higher education institutions dominate the Times Higher Education BRICS and Emerging Economies University Rankings 2017, published on Wednesday, taking six of the top 10 places, with Peking University coming top and Tsinghua University second. India comes second on the number of institutions included.
AFRICA
Gathering of ministers calls for more African PhDs
African science and education ministers have called for bold and urgent steps to increase the number of PhD holders produced on the continent every year, as well as the establishment of an African research chair initiative, and the development of mechanisms to harness research mobility on the continent.
RUSSIA
Internationalisation ‘could transform Russian science’
Russian science is characterised by very low rates of publication, citation and joint international authorship, relative to system and university size. But a vigorous internationalisation policy could kickstart its transformation, according to a new paper by Professor Simon Marginson, director of the Centre for Global Higher Education at the UCL Institute of Education.
SWEDEN
Government tables plans to strengthen research quality
The government has unveiled plans to strengthen the quality of research – by investing in more research time for existing staff and opening up routes into a research career, especially for women – in a bill presented to parliament last Monday. It includes a commitment to double the share of women professors to achieve gender parity by 2030.
GHANA
Graduate unemployment plays key role in elections
Benbella Akuffo Asare, a 24-year-old university graduate, has been looking for work as a teacher for over a year. He says he has applied for more than 500 jobs since graduating from the University of Education, Winneba in Ghana and finishing his mandatory one year of national service in 2015. Unemployment has become a cause for growing concern for many Ghanaians as they prepare to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections on 7 December.

UNITED STATES
Campuses weigh up tactics against student deportations
Following the election of Donald Trump with a pledge to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy – which enables some undocumented students to stay on in the country for renewable intervals without fear of deportation – university leaders are pondering how far they can go to resist any policy change.
ALGERIA
Ministry launches e-masters degree project
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has launched an e-masters degree on an experimental basis in five universities as part of an attempt to address the challenge of high graduate unemployment.