28 June 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
CHINA
Universities accused of ideological weakness
China’s anti-corruption watchdog has accused 14 top universities of ideological infractions after a months-long investigation, as the country’s ruling Communist Party broadens its political control over educational institutions, reports the Financial Times.
ISRAEL
West Bank settlement university to double in size
Ariel University is to double in size within the next five years, according to a plan now being promoted by Education Minister Naftali Bennett. Ten or 12 new buildings are to be added for new faculties in research and teaching at the university, located in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, in occupied Palestinian territory, as well as a new medical school, to be named after US billionaire businessman Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam, write Lior Dattel and Ronny Linder-Ganz for Haaretz.
INDIA
Students can opt for fully online degree courses soon
Students and working professionals will soon be able to obtain a degree online and it will be recognised by higher education regulator, the University Grants Commission. The human resource development ministry has decided to allow universities to offer such degrees and is drafting rules, writes Neelam Pandey for Hindustan Times.
ITALY
Unions denounce unequal R&D investment
Labour unions and PhD student associations in Italy have criticised the government’s focus on research and development that comes at the expense of the nation’s universities after €200 million (US$223 million) was allocated to the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa at the end of May, writes Santiago Sáez Moreno for Chemistry World.
TUNISIA
Researchers probe the roots of youth radicalisation
The ministry of higher education and scientific research has allocated TND2.5 million (US$1 million) over four years to support academic efforts to better understand the roots of radicalisation in young people, and how to combat it. Four research projects have been selected for support under the initiative – one in the humanities and social sciences, and three in engineering and technology, writes Khaoula Sliti for Al-Fanar.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities face strikes as market revolution bites
Academics in Crewe are waiting in limbo. The campus, which is run by Manchester Metropolitan University, is the main centre for higher education in south Cheshire. But in February it was confirmed it would close in the summer of 2019, with 160 academic jobs at risk, and last week those academics were planning to stage a two-day walkout in protest. Welcome to life at the sharp end of the market revolution in English higher education, writes Rebecca Ratcliffe for the Guardian.
UNITED STATES
At colleges, demographic changes everywhere but the top
Although diversifying the makeup of student bodies has been a major effort on college campuses in recent years, when it comes to the college president’s office, there has been little change: a new national survey has found that the typical college president continues to be a white man in his early 60s, writes David W Chen for The New York Times.
SOUTH AFRICA
Research shows universities' reliance on foreign donors
A key finding of the Annual Survey of Philanthropy in Higher Education is a heavy dependence on overseas donors by South African higher education. While comprising only 7% of supporters, they contribute more than half (52%) of philanthropic income for local universities, reports BizCommunity.
NETHERLANDS
Universities of technology start €75m investment fund
Dutch universities Eindhoven, Enschede and Wageningen are each putting €1.5 million (US$1.6 million) into a €75 million investment fund, Innovation Industries, which will help finance projects stemming from their own R&D programmes, reports Dutch News.
CHILE
Students protest to demand universal education
The Confederation of Chilean Students held a march on 21 June to reject and oppose the proposed reforms to higher education offered by the government, continuing the movement for universal higher education in Chile, reports TeleSUR.
AUSTRALIA-UNITED KINGDOM
Cambridge University refuses to return Aboriginal spears
The University of Cambridge has refused a request by an Australian man to return important Aboriginal artifacts taken by British explorer Captain James Cook nearly 250 years ago, writes Harry Pearl for Reuters.
ZIMBABWE
Talking with Turkey for release of jailed students
The Zimbabwean government is seeking the release and extradition of three Zimbabwean students who are being held in prison in northern Cyprus for drug trafficking, reports Zimeye. The news follows revelations that Zimbabwean students studying in Cyprus were being forced into crime and prostitution after being offered fake university scholarships.
UNITED STATES
Thousands mourn death of student detained by North Korea
Celebrating the life of an American college student who was detained in North Korea for over a year and died shortly after returning home in a coma, a packed crowd of mourners gathered last Thursday as Otto Warmbier's loved ones shared stories about his affinity for hugs, thrift-store clothes-shopping and little-known rap music, writes Dake Kang for Associated Press.
GLOBAL
More universities add blockchain to course lists
In recent months, there has been a surge in the demand for blockchain professionals. Recognising this opportunity, several universities have added blockchain studies to their fields of study to tailor their educational offerings to these new developments in the job market, writes Alex Lielacher for Bitcoin Magazine.
UNITED KINGDOM
Brexit leaves EU students wary of UK universities
A month ago the United Kingdom government announced that all European Union students entering university this year or next will receive the UK national rate of tuition for the entirety of their studies – even after the UK leaves the bloc as expected in 2019. But, writes Dave Keating for Deutsche Welle, what about the EU students that start after 2018?
SOUTH AFRICA
‘Xenophobia fears behind African student enrolment dip’
Fewer African students are coming to universities in South Africa due to xenophobia fears and long visa delays – and it could be affecting the future rating of the country’s universities, writes Carien du Plessis for News24.
NORTH KOREA-UNITED STATES
Released student’s family adjusts to a different reality
The father of an American college student who was imprisoned in North Korea and was returned to his home state of Ohio in a coma says the family is "adjusting to a different reality", writes Dake Kang for Associated Press.
UNITED STATES
Predatory journal list author faces ongoing harassment
Months after an academic librarian deleted lists of ‘predatory’ journals and publishers from his blog, a website with derogatory comments about his academic qualifications and mental health remains online, writes Carl Straumsheim for Inside Higher Ed.
ISRAEL
Minister defends bid to ban politics in universities
Education Minister Naftali Bennett, and a university professor he commissioned to write a code of ethics that would prevent academics from expressing political opinions, both defended the controversial document from harsh criticism, writes Stuart Winer for The Times of Israel.
TURKEY
Universities’ shutdown displaces 66,000 students
The Turkish government has since last summer closed down 15 universities across the country over their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, forcing 66,000 students to look for somewhere else to continue their education, reports Turkish Minute.
THAILAND
Universities urged to adapt in face of fewer enrolments
Thai universities need to move with the times to survive as they brace for declining enrolments, according to the president of the Council of University Presidents of Thailand, writes Dumrongkiat Mala for the Bangkok Post.
UNITED KINGDOM
Oxford University under fire for take-home exam decision
Oxford University has been blasted for its “insulting” decision to allow students to sit exams at home in an attempt to close the gender gap, as a leading historian warns that the decision implies that women are the “weaker sex”, writes Camilla Turner for The Telegraph.
QATAR-UNITED STATES
US universities in Qatar wary of diplomatic upheaval
A diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf has left US universities with campuses in Qatar wondering what will happen next, with a global rescue firm watching the situation closely and working on contingency plans, writes Susan Svrluga for The Washington Post.
SOUTH AFRICA
Sex-for-marks lecturers could be ‘named and shamed’
Lecherous lecturers who demand sex in return for good marks could be named and shamed if students attending a Durban conference get their way, writes Barbara Cole for the Daily News.
UNITED KINGDOM
Oxford University dons lose new vote over retirement age
Academics at Oxford University have failed in a new bid to challenge rules forcing them to retire at 67, reports the BBC.