29 November 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
New law paves way for arbitrary closure of universities
A draconian new regulation that paves the way for the arbitrary closure of private universities and allows the vindictive seizure of their properties has come into effect, deepening concerns over the deterioration of the rule of law in Turkey, reports Today’s Zaman.
Court summons education records of minister
A Delhi court has summoned – from Delhi University and the Election Commission – the records of educational qualifications of Union Minister for Human Resource Development Smriti Irani, writes Nirnimesh Kumar for The Hindu.
University makes indigenous course a requirement
The University of Winnipeg has officially given the green light to a new requirement that all students, starting in the next university year, take at least one indigenous studies course in order to graduate, reports CBC News.
Princeton may scrub US president’s name over racist ties
Princeton University has pledged to consider renaming buildings dedicated to former United States President Woodrow Wilson in the latest US campus effort to quell student complaints of racism by tweaking names, titles and mascots, reports Reuters.
Clash looms over private universities
The University Grants Commission and Smriti Irani's Human Resource Development Ministry appear headed for a showdown over a proposal to allow private universities to set up campus outside the parent state and abroad, writes Basant Kumar Mohanty for The Telegraph India.
Re-arrest of academic sparks international outcry
More than 5,000 academics have signed a petition calling for the release of jailed Colombian academic Miguel Ángel Beltrán, whose detention has been labelled an attack on scholarly freedom, writes Jack Grove for Times Higher Education.
Backlash over students' decision to cancel yoga class
A mind-bending act of political correctness has sparked an international backlash on social media after student leaders at the University of Ottawa halted free yoga classes because of concerns that its practice was not sufficiently sensitive to yoga’s cultural roots, writes Andrew Duffy for Ottawa Citizen.
Maori success in education calls for celebration
Maori success in education is being celebrated as new research shows more are graduating from university – with more than half being the first in their immediate family to do so, writes Corazon Miller for NZ Herald.
Association votes to boycott Israeli universities
Members of the American Anthropological Association voted recently in favour of adopting a motion to boycott Israeli academic institutions, reports The Jerusalem Post.
Government announces new university funding formula
The government last week announced a new formula for funding public universities, designed to ensure efficient use of the funds, reports Malaysian Digest.
Universities sue president for not naming professors
Charles University and the University of Economics have filed a criminal complaint with the Prague Municipal Court against Czech President Milos Zeman for not appointing three nominated professors, reports CTK.
Loophole-ridden retirement system threatens HE
Having barely recovered from the protests over the history curriculum in July, the Ministry of Education finds itself under pressure again – this time over failing to prevent the undue influence of high-ranking officials who serve in positions at private universities right after their retirement, writes Christine Chou for The China Post.
English students pay world’s highest tuition fees
Students in England now pay, on average, the highest university tuition fees in the world, around six times more than those studying in Switzerland and Italy, and fees could rise even higher after it was announced universities could decide how much they charge if they can prove they offer good-quality teaching, writes Lucy Sherriff for The Huffington Post.
Leak shows president supported liberal scholar’s bid
The president of the University of Hong Kong showed support for Johannes Chan Man-mun shortly before the institution's governing body blocked him from taking up a key managerial post, a new recording of a key closed-door meeting in September leaked last week revealed, writes Stuart Lau for the South China Morning Post.
University chiefs punished for ‘hedonism and dishonesty’
Three Chinese university chiefs have been ‘named and shamed’ for allegedly engaging in illicit acts of “hedonism and dishonesty”. The punishments – the latest example of President Xi Jinping’s offensive against corruption within the Communist Party – were dished out to top officials at the Communication University of China, state media reported last week, writes Tom Phillips for the Guardian.
Job-hunting students report dirty dealing by employers
More than 60% of universities in Japan received complaints from students this year about a practice known as owahara, in which companies coerce applicants into halting their job hunt elsewhere in exchange for an informal offer of employment, reports JIJI.
More degrees from India to be recognised
The Malaysian government will take necessary actions to recognise more degree programmes from India, especially in information technology and engineering, reports Bernama.
Review proposes single agency for science funding
A government-commissioned review says United Kingdom science funding should be determined by a single independent agency. It argues this body should liaise with a committee of ministers, chaired by a senior cabinet figure, writes Pallab Ghosh for BBC News.
First gender-focused university to be established
The Kerala government is getting ready to set up a first-of-its-kind university in the country, exclusively for research-oriented studies related to gender, reports PTI.
University vice-chancellors' earnings 'out of control'
Revelations that leading academics in the UK are earning more than £600,000 (US$916,000) while other staff have seen their pay cut, is evidence that the benefits awarded to vice-chancellors are “completely out of control”, according to a universities union, writes Richard Adams for the Guardian.
Universities warned over alleged 'gaming' of rankings
Several universities are being threatened with tough penalties for allegedly providing data that would artificially boost their performance on prestigious research rankings used to allocate government funding, writes Matthew Knott for Sydney Morning Herald.
Students, staff still in limbo over university closures
Normally buzzing with youthful high energy, Professor Blas Dorta's biology classroom at the Central University of Venezuela is eerily quiet. The university has been closed by administrators since September because of what they say is insufficient government funding. So are nine other Venezuelan public universities, leaving a total of 380,000 students in limbo, write Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul for Los Angeles Times.
Robot competes for top university places
Researchers in Japan are one step closer to their goal of getting an artificial intelligence accepted by Tokyo University. The artificial intelligence, called Todai Robot Project, has passed the standardised Japanese universities entrance exam with higher than average marks, making it clever enough to get into most Japanese universities, writes Cara McGoogan for Wired.
Inefficiencies take higher education to breaking point
A flawed higher education system has been an issue in Lithuania for many years, but the recent data and a growing discontent with inefficiencies in the higher education system among prominent education specialists, economists, students and the heads of the state, suggests it has reached a breaking point, reports Xinhua.
Universities to create Chinese-language academic index
Several universities in Taiwan and China signed an agreement last week, with the aim of establishing a system to index Chinese-language academic journals, write Stanley Cheung and Kay Liu for CNA.