30 July 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
Senate blocks cuts to university funding
The Tony Abbott government's savings drive has taken another hit after the senate blocked A$435 million (US$408 million) in university cuts originally proposed by Labor, writes Matthew Knott for The Sydney Morning Herald.
Four universities banned from accepting new students
Russia's state education watchdog, Rosobrnadzor, has added four universities to a list of educational institutions that will be prohibited from enrolling new students from this autumn, the agency said in a statement last week, reports The Moscow Times. The addition of two universities in Moscow and two in Dagestan bring the list of educational institutions blacklisted in recent days to 12.
Appeals panel upholds race in university admissions
In a long-running affirmative action case, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit last week upheld the University of Texas at Austin’s consideration of race as one of many factors in admissions, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.
How one college handled a sexual assault complaint
A New York Times examination of a case, based in part on hundreds of pages of disciplinary proceedings – usually confidential under federal privacy laws – offers a rare look inside one college’s adjudication of a rape complaint amid a roiling national debate over how best to stop sexual assaults on campuses, writes Walt Bogdanich.
Unrest throws students' plans into chaos
Just as Alexandros’ examinations were due to start, a strike by administrative workers – with the support of many students and professors – shut Athens Polytechnic for two weeks. That, in turn, threatens the 24-year-old electrical engineer’s chances of embarking on a graduate course in the United Kingdom in October, writes Kerin Hope for AFP.
Danwon students to get special admission to colleges
Rival political parties have agreed to give students of Danwon High School in South Korea special consideration for admission to higher education because they were unable to study after nearly 300 of their schoolmates died during the Sewol ferry disaster, writes Jung Min-ho for the Korea Times.
Property power couple launches education fund
The rags-to-riches couple who founded Chinese real estate company Soho China are setting up a US$100 million endowment to send underprivileged Chinese children to elite universities around the world, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Overseas academics claim discrimination in recruitment
Universities in Finland are keen to build international profiles as attractive institutions that meet or surpass global standards of teaching and research. But some international academics say they are being bypassed for permanent tenure in favour of Finns – and they're calling for more transparent hiring practices from universities, reports YLE.
UGC cautions universities against violating norms
India’s University Grants Commission has again cautioned universities against the awarding of degrees in violation of provisions, following the recent controversy surrounding the four-year undergraduate programme of Delhi University, reports PTI.
Unions object to zero-hours lecturer advert
A university risks “damaging the reputation of higher education in Scotland” by advertising for a new lecturer to join its staff on a zero-hours contract, union leaders have claimed, reports The Scotsman.
The MOOC revolution that never happened
It is two years since Coursera began offering massive open online courses, or MOOCs, that threatened the very existence of universities and the increasingly expensive education they offered. Two years on, the avalanche-tsunami-revolution never came and universities are not only still standing, they have, by-and-large, been remarkably unaffected by the free courses now offered by a couple of hundred universities around the world, writes David Glance for The Conversation.
College body calls for greater freedom for FE
Britain’s Association of Colleges wants further education institutions to enjoy some of the same freedoms as higher education institutions, to help tackle skills shortages and boost the economy, reports the Times Educational Supplement.
Technical universities to drive socio-economic growth
The Ghanaian government’s policy of converting polytechnics into technical universities will take off in September 2016, to help reposition them as strategic institutions for training highly-skilled human resource to drive socio-economic development, reports VibeGhana.
Students with fewer than 300 points struggle to stay in college
Financial hardship among students has increased in the past four years and is a factor in college dropouts, suggests a report from the Higher Education Authority. Drop-out rates from some lower socio-economic groups have increased while students from farming and professional families were least likely to drop out, writes Fiona Gartland for The Irish Times.
Business and education unite for knowledge economy
The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan have signed a memorandum of understanding to work jointly towards creating a knowledge economy, reports PT.
The slow death of Turkish higher education
Academic freedom is not something Turkey is known for, and recent legislation on higher education makes sure that it will stay that way for years to come, writes A Kadir Yildirim for Al Jazeera. The government of the Justice and Development Party, in a push to exert greater control over higher education, has proposed legislation undermining the autonomy of private universities and the academic freedom of professors.
Four-year degree imbroglio spurs action
The Delhi University undergraduate imbroglio appears to have speeded up the government's decision to restructure the higher education regulatory set-up, writes Urmi A Goswami for The Economic Times.
New law sees private universities use state curriculum
Private universities will have to offer the same curriculum as state-run universities under a new education law, according to a senior official from the Department of Higher Education, writes May Thinzar Naing for Myanmar Times.
Are universities going the way of record labels?
This last decade of the music industry presages the coming decade of education. Choice is expanding at every level, from pre-school to graduate school. The individual course, rather than the degree, is becoming the unit of content. And universities, the record labels of education, are facing increased pressure to unbundle their services. So what will the future of education look like? asks Martin Smith for The Atlantic.
Research heavyweights break cover on independence
The presidents of the Royal Society, the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences have warned that Scottish independence would damage UK-wide research, and research in Scotland in particular, reports Times Higher Education.
Geopolitics – The difference between UK, Australian HE
Higher education in Australia shares similarities with the United Kingdom, but its relationship with China sets it apart, writes Simon Marginson for the Guardian.
Research evaluation creates ‘perverse’ consequences
The changing nature of research evaluation in higher education in the United Kingdom is creating perverse and damaging consequences. Higher education research is increasingly characterised by ‘McDonaldised’ audit cultures that reduce complex issues of quality to quantified assessment measures, writes David Collinson for the Financial Times.
University heads form body to counter academic boycotts
The Committee of University Heads in Israel announced last week the establishment of a forum to counter academic boycotts against Israel, writes Lidar Gravé-Lazi for The Jerusalem Post. Professor Zvi Ziegler, professor emeritus at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and chair of the Inter-University Senate, will head the panel.
Scholarships to raise number of foreign students
Turkey is increasing its international scholarships in an effort to become a global education hub, according to officials. There are more than 54,000 international students from around the world enrolled in Turkish universities with over 13,000 of them funded by government education programmes, reports the Daily Sabah.
Number of foreign university teachers on the rise
The share of foreigners among teaching and research staff employed by Finnish universities has increased from roughly 10% to 20% over the past few years. Today, Finnish universities provide employment to approximately 3,000 foreign lecturers and researchers, roughly 1,000 more than in 2010, reports Helsingin Sanomat.