31 July 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
AUSTRALIA
Elite universities outperformed on graduate earnings
There is no earnings advantage to attending a ‘sandstone university’ compared with less prestigious institutions, a major economic study has found. The latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey found graduates from the elite Group of Eight universities earn no more on average than those who attended regional universities and less than those attending other universities, writes Matthew Knott for The Sydney Morning Herald.
UNITED KINGDOM
Home Office confirms move to crack down on visa fraud
International students in the UK will be banned from working while they are studying and will be forced to leave when their degree finishes in an attempt to crack down on visa fraud, the Home Office has confirmed, writes Lucy Sherriff for Huffington Post.
INDIA
Ministry reverses foreign collaboration permissions order
Higher education institutions will not need cabinet nod for collaboration with foreign institutions, an order from the cabinet secretariat said. The latest order communicated to the Human Resource Development Ministry is the reversal of an earlier order from the cabinet secretariat which said every memorandum of understanding with a foreign institution would need to pass through the cabinet, writes Brajesh Kumar for Hindustan Times.
CHINA
Universities barred from offering extra benefits
Universities are not allowed to lure students with unreasonable perks such as excessive scholarships or placement promises, the ministry of education announced recently in a notice regulating university recruitment, writes Zhao Xinying for China Daily.
SINGAPORE
Universities adopting 'flipped classroom' learning
Introducing free online courses, converting facilities to suit ‘flipped classroom’ learning, and exploring new pedagogies that leverage on mobile technology. These are some of the initiatives that Singapore universities are working on, as institutions around the world find new ways to accommodate students' changing learning habits, writes Calvin Yang for The Straits Times.
CHINA-UNITED STATES
Chinese seek US college admission at any price
Jessica Zhang, a 21-year-old Chinese student from Jiangsu Province, says her English wasn't strong enough to fill in her US college admission form. So her parents paid three consultants US$4,500 to fill out the application, write her personal essay and compose teacher recommendation letters. She says she's unaware that her application could be considered fraudulent and even get her expelled, write Shen Lu and Katie Hunt for CNN.
JAPAN
Ashamed by president’s support for security bills
More than 70 professors and other faculty members at Kyoto’s Doshisha University say they are “ashamed” by comments from their president, Koji Murata, in support of a set of security bills at a Diet committee hearing last week, writes Tomohiro Osaki for The Japan Times.
INDIA
Universities told to cap PhDs and check plagiarism
Universities may attract penalties, including a freeze of grants, if its teachers are found to be guiding more than eight PhD students at any given point in time as part of a drive to plug lacunae in research. The University Grants Commission will also ask all universities to use anti-plagiarism software to ensure that thesis papers reflect genuine research, writes Basant Kumar Mohanty for The Telegraph India.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities allowed to raise fees beyond £9,000 – Chancellor
Universities will be able to raise fees from their record level of £9,000 (US$14,000) a year, the Chancellor George Osborne has declared, making it clear that those that could show good quality would be allowed to raise their fees by the level of inflation from the year 2017-18, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.
UNITED STATES
Department dismisses Asian groups' Harvard complaint
The US Department of Education has dismissed a complaint filed against Harvard University earlier this year by 64 Asian-American groups, including four Indian-American organisations, that had accused the Ivy League institution of discriminating against Asian-origin applicants in its admissions process, reports the Press Trust of India.
TURKEY
CEO criticises quality of universities
Kenan Yavuz, the CEO of SOCAR Turkey, the Turkish arm of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, said recently via his twitter account that the Higher Education Board, known as YÖK, has set up an unsustainable state of affairs among Turkish young people, claiming that he throws the CVs of university graduates in the garbage, reports Today’s Zaman.
SOUTH AFRICA
Calls for end to corruption at student funding body
Newly appointed Stellenbosch University Vice-Chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers has said the government should put more energy into sorting out the corruption that has dogged the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and seen countless disadvantaged youths missing out on higher education opportunities, writes Bekezela Phakathi for Business Day.
PAKISTAN
Youngsters view tennis as springboard to college
On the tennis courts of a posh Islamabad country club, veteran coach Mahboob Khan drills his charges, but they aren’t dreaming of the pristine lawns of Wimbledon. For these young Pakistanis, taking up tennis has a more practical application – as a ticket to a top US university on a sports scholarship, reports AFP.
PAKISTAN
Universities on alert after terrorist recruitment warning
The vice-chancellors of all public sector universities in Lahore have beefed up security and vigilance on campuses and hostels following a directive of the provincial home ministry with a warning that terrorists may use students and campuses for their ‘evil designs’, writes Shabbir Sarwar for Daily Times.
GREECE
Universities lose access to digital journals
The latest victims of Greece’s crisis have been students and academics who have lost access to electronic journals, a vital source to continue their research and studies, due to non-payment, writes Anastasios Papapostolou for the Greek Reporter.
NETHERLANDS
Elsevier journal editors ‘may be asked to resign’
Universities in the Netherlands are preparing to ask their researchers to resign from editorial positions with Elsevier journals amid a deadlock over a new subscription deal with the publisher, writes Paul Jump for Times Higher Education.
RUSSIA
Officials moot ‘anti-revolutionary’ university course
Amid the Kremlin's mounting fears of ‘colour revolutions’ – a term favoured by Moscow to describe political protests that toppled Russian-backed administrations in several former Soviet states in recent years – the defence ministry has proposed educating all Russian students on how to combat any such revolts in their own country, writes Anna Dolgov for The Moscow Times.
UNITED STATES
Former university scientist sentenced for faking results
A former Iowa State University researcher who fabricated the results of an experimental HIV vaccine was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison recently. He was also ordered to pay US$7.2 million to the US National Institutes of Health that funded the research, writes Vishakha Sonawane for International Business Times.
PAKISTAN
Education body plans five new universities, 36 campuses
The Higher Education Commission plans to set up five new universities and 36 campuses besides upgrading nine existing institutions into fully-fledged university campuses across the country, writes Riazul Haq for The Express Tribune.
JORDAN
Syrians see limits of an education in refuge
With no end in sight for the conflict in Syria, a growing number of Syrian refugees in Jordan realise they can no longer put their education on hold. But the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against them, and not only for those living in refugee camps with scant electricity and few material resources, writes Michael Pizzi for Al Jazeera.
MOROCCO
Arts graduates are a burden – Minister
Lahcen Daoudi, the minister of higher education, said earlier this month in Rabat that holders of a BA in arts and humanities will be a burden on their families and on the community, writes Larbi Arbaoui for Morocco World News.
RUSSIA
BRICS Network University to expand access to education
Establishing the BRICS Network University will broaden access to higher education for the young people from the bloc's member countries, the head of the Russian federal agency for international cooperation, or Rossotrudnichestvo, said earlier this month, reports Sputnik International.
ZIMBABWE
Presidential scholarship ‘a drain on fiscus’
Is the Presidential Scholarship still relevant? That is the million dollar question as the Zimbabwe government fails to pay fees at South African universities on time, resulting in some beneficiaries turning into destitutes, writes Phyllis Mbanje for The Standard.
UNITED STATES
Rubio calls for breaking up higher education 'cartel'
The US risks missing innovation opportunities if it doesn't lower corporate taxes and move to reinvent higher education, including creating a new university accreditation process, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said last week, reports John McCormick for Bloomberg.
CHINA
University 'sells' top graduates online to employers
The fierce competitiveness of today's job market has driven one university dean to look online, write Jessica McKay and Edward Chow for Mail Online. He Hua, the dean of Kunming University in south west Yunnan, has set up a store on the digital marketplace Taobao where employers can browse and “buy” young graduates.