The Indian government will put more money into quality higher education – especially its prestigious medical, technological and management institutes, in a bid to propel them towards ‘world-class’ status – according to budget plans announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley last week.
The Sri Lankan government has received the green light to allow private universities after a landmark court judgment last week ruled that the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine – the country’s first private medical university – can legally issue medical degrees. The case has long sparked protest action by public university students and doctors – and 21 students were arrested during another march on Thursday.
Export earnings from selling Australian higher education to foreign students reached a record high of nearly A$22 billion (US$16.8 billion) in 2016 – an astonishing 17% increase on the total for the previous year and the biggest annual growth rate since 2010.
A White Paper produced by Norway’s government, aimed at boosting quality in higher education, provides universities with a “toolbox and framework” to raise standards. There is stress on improving teaching, and on introducing practical training and compulsory international collaboration in all study programmes.
Zimbabwe’s universities are reeling under crippling cuts to funding which have seen the salaries of lecturers cut by half as the country’s economic situation continues to worsen.
University of Hong Kong Vice-chancellor Peter Mathieson, who defended the rights of students to protest in favour of Hong Kong’s democratic values, unexpectedly resigned for a new post in the United Kingdom before his tenure at one of Asia’s top universities was due to expire. This follows almost two years of controversies over student activism and academic freedom.
Officials from at least one university in Iran tried to eliminate traces of ongoing religious discrimination, as at least 15 students belonging to the Baha’i religious minority were expelled from universities during December 2016 and January 2017, the United States-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported.
Several Egyptian universities have changed their examination systems in an attempt to curb mass cheating, a shift that has triggered mixed reactions.
A civil society movement to collectively address a ‘systemic’ crisis in South Africa's education system was launched last week. The National Education Crisis Forum comes in the wake of student protests that last year plunged the country’s universities into a state of paralysis.
United States President Donald Trump has signalled his intent to tighten control on federal funding for and public dissemination of scientific research, a move that appears to be aimed primarily at climate change and energy policy and threatens to "disrupt core operations" of the US Environmental Protection Agency, according to ProPublica, a non-profit news organisation.
India’s University Grants Commission has moved to crack down on the use of so-called ‘predatory’ academic publishers and drive up the quality of published research by issuing a list of approved journals for publishing research papers. From now on academic promotion and recruitment will be linked to research published on the approved list.
Due to a shortage of funds, the Russian government is making significant cuts to its programme for achieving five top-ranking world-class universities and has forced the suspension of the government-subsidised student loan programme.
Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission this month issued a public notice listing 153 illegal universities and degree-awarding institutions, but academics say the rising trend of fake universities cannot be discouraged without punitive action against management of the bogus institutions.
Chronic delays in the payment of lecturer salaries by the federal government are causing major disruptions in Nigerian universities and have already brought some to a standstill. Despite the recession, however, salaries and allowances of all political office holders continue to be paid on time.
International human rights group Amnesty International is calling on the government of Sudan to launch urgent investigations into allegations of arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and persecution of students from the country’s troubled Darfur region by Sudanese security forces.
Concern over the widening persecution of researchers and journalists under autocratic governments was raised by a panel of higher education and NGO representatives at a meeting in Bonn, Germany on 25 January, who called on Germany to apply more leverage to promote academic freedom abroad.
Amid recent incidents of university graduates being engaged in terrorist attacks, researchers have warned that a growing number of economically inactive graduates in Bangladesh could be turning to extremism.
The introduction of tuition fees for foreign students had only a marginal effect upon the more than SEK23 billion (US$2.6 billion) higher education budget in 2015. But it has been a game-changer at the vast majority of Swedish higher education institutions, which now take internationalisation work more seriously.
The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University opened its first overseas office this month, in Tunisia, in what has been hailed by the university’s president as an opportunity to “bring the world to Harvard and Harvard to the world”. Among local higher education experts canvassed by University World News, hopes for the initiative seem equally high.
A 21-year-old senior at the University of Evansville has a job waiting for him when he graduates, but he doesn’t "know what is going to happen" as a result of an expected presidential order halting resettlement of Syrian refugees and suspending travel from six Muslim countries.
After a United States court charged Umair Hamid, an executive of Axact, a Pakistan-based IT company that allegedly defrauded tens of thousands of people in many countries including the US by selling fake diplomas and degrees, Pakistani authorities decided this month to revisit the case.
The European University Association sees positive signals on United Kingdom participation in Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ in Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy. The Scientists for EU group is less optimistic but sees other ways the UK can strengthen its partnership with the European Union – by collaborating to build up Europe’s science infrastructure.
The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities has called for significant increases in European funding through Horizon 2020 and the next Framework Programme, FP9, and improved success rates for applicants, to ensure continued applications and optimal impact.
There has been no shortage of predictions about what to expect under the administration of President Donald J Trump. But any forecast of how a man with no experience in elected office, no demonstrated interest in the process of policy-making, and a record of contradictory and dishonest pronouncements will govern should be read with caution.
A new technology park is to be set up on formerly disputed territory along Hong Kong’s border with China to enhance research collaboration between universities on both sides and establish an international higher education and technology hub.