31 August 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
Islamic state advance closes eight universities
Eight universities across northern Iraq have been shuttered and appear unlikely to open soon after the sweep of extremist fighters through the region, writes Gilgamesh Nabeel for Al-Fanar.
Scholarship students to be airlifted to Turkey
Turkey plans to airlift 129 students from Gaza who were granted scholarships for outstanding achievements, reports Daily Sabah. The students, who will study at universities in Turkey, cannot leave the Gaza Strip due to the deteriorating security situation in the wake of Israel's attacks.
More students charged maximum tuition fees
Figures show that the number of British universities charging blanket £9,000 (US$14,900) tuition fees for all undergraduate courses will soar by 50% this year, writes Graeme Paton for the Telegraph.
Government to stop racism in higher education
The South African government will implement several measures to stop racism and discrimination in educational institutions, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said recently, reports Sapa.
Indigenous universities graduate first students
Bolivian President Evo Morales handed out degrees to the first graduates of the country’s three indigenous universities recently at a joint graduation ceremony, asserting that they would fight colonialism as well as honour the memories of indigenous Bolivian heroes, writes Rick Kearns for Indian Country.
New US joint venture college opens its doors
Duke Kunshan University, a new joint venture in higher education between China and the United States, welcomed its first students on 20 August, joining New York University Shanghai which opened in 2012, reports China Daily.
Student leaders 'shocked' by cuts to hardship fund
Welsh student leaders say they are "shocked" that funding for students in financial difficulty is being cut. Ministers had given universities £2.1 million (US$3.48 million) a year for the Financial Contingency Fund but now say higher tuition fee income means institutions can afford to fund the scheme themselves, reports BBC News – Wales.
Foreign students will compete against us – Vice-chancellor
Universities are being forced to teach overseas students who return home with skills that help build their countries to compete against the United Kingdom, a leading vice-chancellor has warned, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.
Government fees stance ‘incompatible with EU law’
A former judge of the European Court of Justice has said the Scottish government’s plan to continue its existing tuition fee policy after independence would be “incompatible” with European Union law and “could not survive challenge” in the courts, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
Universities using the points system to inflate demand
The chair of a universities task force on reforming admissions procedures in Ireland has admitted that colleges have been artificially inflating points by offering courses with a small student intake, writes Joe Humphreys for The Irish Times.
Ebola – Universities on alert as new term begins
Universities in the United Kingdom have been put on alert to be ready for a potential outbreak of the Ebola virus when the new term starts in September, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.
Universities chase big defence dollars
Some of America’s most elite universities are deep into defence lobbying, often hiring Washington-based firms to press Congress and the Pentagon to fund their science projects. It’s all about Big Research and Big Money, writes Austin Wright for Politico.
Journal allows authors to update their research
The open access journal eLife has launched a new type of article that will allow authors to report significant additions to their original research, writes Núria Radó-Trilla for Times Higher Education.
Macau scholar’s sacking raises freedom concerns
An associate professor of political science at the University of Macau, Bill chou Kwok-ping, believes that his contract was not renewed because of his political activism, raising concerns about academic freedom in the Chinese territory, writes Austin Ramzy for The New York Times.
Rising confidence in online higher education
Online higher education is steadily gaining favour as a credible alternative to the traditional classroom, writes Timothy Zimmer for Forbes.
Troubles with Thai Studies
As human rights in Thailand deteriorate under a military junta, Harvard is collaborating with key supporters of the recent coup to create a permanent Thai Studies programme at the university, writes Ilya Garger for The Harvard Crimson.
UK government tightens student visa rules
From November, it will be even more difficult for Indian students to travel to the United Kingdom for education, writes Kounteya Sinha for TNN. Britain recently announced a fresh crackdown on student visas as further measures of the Immigration Act came into force.
Record numbers win university places
The proportion of students in the United Kingdom passing A-levels dropped for the first time in three decades following the former education secretary's clampdown on exam results, writes Richard Adams for the Guardian. But the results triggered record numbers being accepted to university.
Universities attract more students from EU countries
So far, 4,070 students from across the European Union have been accepted to study in Scotland, an increase of 10% compared to the same time last year, writes Andrew Denholm for Herald Scotland.
Hundreds complain over university application rejections
The Higher Education Advisory and Complaint Portal received a total of 130 complaints just two days after its launch, says Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin, indicating the need to push for reforms in the Education Ministry's selection process into public universities, writes Zakiah Koya for The Malaysian Insider.
Professors call for Israeli universities boycott
Professors of the University of León joined the academic boycott of Israel, which now brings together more than 200,000 Spanish teachers and researchers who demand an end to the occupation of Palestine, reports Prensa Latina.
Retired professors recalled to cover university deficit
The Cuban government has authorised universities to hire professors already retired in the same positions they had before retiring, in order to cover a deficit of educators, reports EFE.
Universities' switch to Google Apps stokes privacy fears
Many cash-strapped Italian universities – including the Sapienza University of Rome, the University of Parma and the University of Ferrara, to name a few – have switched to Gmail in the past few years. Others, such as the University of Turin, have joined the list this summer. In the past, the news would have passed largely unnoticed, but times have changed, writes Federico Guerrini for ZDNet.
Columnist calls for 'demolition' of top universities
Turkey's most prestigious universities were the target of a pro-government columnist, who wrote that they should be replaced with schools promoting Turkish culture and claimed their students are “willing agents of other cultures”, reports Today’s Zaman.
New university to be continent’s ‘rival to Harvard’
High school graduates in South Africa and the rest of the continent will soon have an additional university choice as a network of 25 pan-African universities, aimed to rival the likes of Harvard and Yale, is due to come on stream, writes Andiswa Maqutu for BDLive.