28 February 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
CHILE
Government set to honour free higher education pledge
Chilean Education Minister Nicolas Eyzaguirre has said the government will start providing free higher education in 2016, reports IANS. "President Michelle Bachelet has clearly said that free education will begin in 2016, and we are going to honour that promise," Eyzaguirre said recently.
GLOBAL
US universities reap benefits of surge in overseas study
The ambitions of Chinese students are shifting: no longer are they attracted just by the glittering names such as Harvard. Pursuit of education abroad is becoming an end in itself. Universities far less renowned than Georgia Tech are reaping the benefits. More than 800,000 Chinese went abroad to study at all levels in 2012 and 2013. In those two years they made up more than a quarter of the 3 million who had done so since China began opening to the outside world in 1978, reports The Economist.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities 'impose illegal contracts on students'
University students can have their fees increased or their degree course altered on a whim as a result of unfair contract terms imposed by British universities, according to a recent investigation, writes Kate Palmer for The Telegraph.
LIBYA
Pro-Islamic State militants seize university – Residents
Militants claiming loyalty to Islamic State have seized the university in the central Libyan city of Sirte, residents said, days after a video showed them staging a convoy parade, reports Reuters.
ISRAEL
Gaza students still barred from West Bank universities
Palestinian students from Gaza are still prevented by Israel from studying at West Bank universities, after an announcement last week to the contrary was retracted as a mistake, writes Ben White for Middle East Monitor.
JORDAN
Higher education flunks a national test
More than half of Jordanian universities failed a recent national proficiency exam held by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, writes Saba Abu Farha for Al-Fanar Media.
GLOBAL
Web of ‘diploma mills’ preys on Arab students
A global network of fraudulent online universities is using high-pressure sales tactics and phony scholarships to extract money from students who end up with worthless degrees, writes Benjamin Plackett for Al-Fanar Media.
GERMANY
Bertelsmann moves into university business
Germany’s Bertelsmann has agreed to take a controlling stake in United States-based Alliant International University as the first step in a plan to build a global network of universities to share research and data, write Harro ten Wolde and Joern Poltz for Reuters.
NEPAL
World Bank approves funds for higher education reform
The World Bank on 19 February approved a US$65 million credit for the Nepal Higher Education Reforms Project to help address the human resource needs of the country and add to the national knowledge base, reports the Financial.
CYPRUS
Losing the student dollar
Private higher education institutions are demanding faster procedures to process student visas to third country nationals, saying Cyprus is losing the chance of becoming a regional education centre, writes Evie Andreou for Cyprus Mail.
TURKEY
Anger grows at universities over killing of nationalist student
Protests took place in various universities across Turkey last week against the killing of a student during a clash between supporters of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, at Izmir-based Ege University, reports Today’s Zaman.
UNITED STATES
University reverses Iranian admissions ban
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst has reversed a controversial new policy that would have barred Iranian students from certain science and engineering programmes, the institution announced recently. The move followed consultations with the US State Department and outside counsel, writes Elizabeth Redden for Inside Higher Ed.
RUSSIA
Battle for university places deflates Crimea euphoria
Alexandra Kartokhina always dreamed of studying in a big city. She even went to a Russian school in her native Crimea to help her achieve her ambition of studying in St Petersburg. But now that dream has been tainted. After winning a place at a university in Russia's second city on an equal footing with other students, she has to deal with "the eternal squabbles" over accusations that Crimeans are stealing "Russian" places, writes Elizabeth Piper for Reuters.
UNITED STATES
Harvard and MIT sued over lack of closed captions
Advocates for the deaf on Thursday filed federal lawsuits against Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, saying both universities violated anti-discrimination laws by failing to provide closed captioning in their online lectures, courses, podcasts and other educational materials, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.
IRELAND
Bill sparks fears of political interference in universities
The presidents of the seven Irish universities have written to the government expressing dismay at plans to introduce legislation which they claim will allow ministers to appoint “cronies” to spy on their operations, writes Joe Humphreys for The Irish Times.
UNITED KINGDOM
European universities to be part of UK admissions
British sixth-formers will be able to apply to continental European universities through the UK admissions system for the first time, under a landmark reform that will transform the higher education market, writes Lucy Ward for the Guardian.
FRANCE
University Muslim veil debate re-ignites
The debate over wearing veils at public universities has resurfaced after reports of professors singling out women for wearing hijabs. Both politicians and the public are struggling to find a balance between French secularism and religious tolerance, writes Liza Malykhina for France24.
CANADA
Government to relax university foreign worker rules
Universities have persuaded the federal government to relax new rules on how they hire temporary foreign workers that they say made it more difficult to recruit global academic talent, writes Simona Chiose for The Globe and Mail.
CANADA
Quebec to triple university fees for students from France
Students from France hoping to take advantage of a partnership extending Quebec’s cheap tuition fees to French citizens will soon be sorely disappointed, reports CBC News.
DENMARK
'Worst idea ever' to end English education
The suggestion by the Danish People's Party, or DF, that Denmark's universities should stop offering courses in English was roundly criticised by political opponents and readers, who said that the real losers would be Danish students, reports The Local.
UNITED STATES
Alumnus donates US$300 million rare library to Princeton
Musician, musicologist, bibliophile and philanthropist William H Scheide, a 1936 Princeton University alumnus who died in November at age 100, has left his extraordinary collection of some 2,500 rare printed books and manuscripts to Princeton University. With an expected appraised value of nearly US$300 million, it is the largest gift in the university's history, reports News at Princeton.
UNITED STATES
Finding the right formula
Performance-based funding in higher education is spreading, with 35 states either developing or using formulas that link support for public colleges to student completion rates, degree production numbers or other metrics, writes Paul Fain for Inside Higher Ed.
AUSTRALIA
Universities on notice in teacher quality overhaul
Universities and colleges churning out substandard teaching graduates risk losing their accreditation, under a sweeping overhaul of teaching degrees, writes Lauren Wilson for News Corp Australia Network.
AUSTRALIA
Abbott government urged to abandon research cuts
Universities are pleading with the Abbott government to abandon its threat to axe funding for major programmes supporting 30,000 researchers if the Senate refuses to support the deregulation of university fees, writes Matthew Knott for The Sydney Morning Herald.
SOUTH KOREA
Four universities face recruitment ban
Four universities will be banned from accepting foreign students for one year, starting this autumn semester, as punishment for poorly managing non-Korean students, reports The Korea Times.