28 May 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
CHILE
Two students killed amid huge education protests
Chile has been hit by another round of protests on the part of student groups demanding substantial reforms to the country’s education system. Amid the nationwide protests, two student activists were killed on 14 May, reports TeleSUR English.
AUSTRALIA
Thousands of students protest against federal budget
Police have clashed with university students and forcibly removed a 15-year-old girl in a heated protest against higher education changes outlined in the federal budget, writes Jane Lee for The Age.
EUROPE
Language laws repress many universities – Rector
The rector of Maastricht University, the second youngest university in the Netherlands, claims that universities in Europe are being choked by the laws that compel them to use their native language as the medium of instruction instead of English, reports Day News.
FINLAND
Universities support intention to charge tuition fees
Major Finnish universities expressed their support recently for the incoming government's move to charge tuition fees for university students from outside the European Union or European Economic Area, reports Xinhua.
SOUTH KOREA
Universities in hot seat over use of reserve funds
Students across Korea are preparing to sue over the excessive reserve funds they say their universities have accumulated. Acting on the assumption that colleges are continuing to set aside fees from tuition in reserve funds rather than using them to improve the quality of education, students are demanding their money be returned, reports Korea JoongAng Daily.
UNITED KINGDOM
Academics feel pressure to bump up student grades
Almost half of academics have experienced pressure in the last three years to bump up student grades or stop students failing, according to a Guardian survey of university staff, write Claire Shaw and Rebecca Ratcliffe for the Guardian.
VENEZUELA
University students running out of resources
A simple walk around the university grounds of the Central University of Venezuela offers an eerie display of decay and neglect. The main campus, designed by architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva in the 1950s and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, has been deteriorating for years, writes Franz von Bergen for Fox News Latino.
SOUTH KOREA-UNITED KINGDOM
Aberdeen University opens campus in South Korea
Aberdeen University is to become the first British higher education institution to open a campus in South Korea, adding to the growing list of international branches seeking extra money abroad, writes Ian Johnston for The Independent.
UNITED STATES
Six Chinese citizens, academics face espionage charges
The US government has charged six Chinese nationals, including three professors, with economic espionage, saying they stole secrets from two companies that develop technology often used in military systems, reports Reuters.
SWITZERLAND
‘Outward looking’ universities boost sector rankings
Switzerland’s higher education system has been ranked second in the 2015 Universitas 21 global ratings, standing out on the criterion of ‘international outlook’. However, this is the area under threat after an anti-immigration vote last year, writes Isobel Leybold-Johnson for Swissinfo.ch.
MALTA
Act ushers in lower requirements for university status
Recent changes to the Education Act have resulted in lower requirements for education institutions to be recognised as universities, writes Kevin Schembri Orland for Malta Independent.
IRAN
Professors call for end to interference in universities
A group of 700 Iranian university teachers have sent a letter to the government calling for an end to what they say is “unprecedented interference” in the internal affairs of universities, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
INDIA-RUSSIA
Pact to form higher education association
In an effort to strengthen Indo-Russian ties, the university communities of both countries recently entered into a memorandum of interest to establish a foundation for the formation of the Russian-Indian Association of Institutions of Higher Education, reports The Economic Times.
AUSTRALIA
University cash to pay for national research facilities
Its latest budget reveals that Australia’s government is removing funding from university grants to keep key national research facilities running, writes David Cyranoski for Nature. The nation's 2015-16 annual budget, released on 12 May, was met with concern from university heads who say that they are increasingly uncertain about the sustainability of the tertiary education system after a few years of funding cuts and job losses.
KENYA
Universities offer anti-terror studies after attacks
Universities in Kenya have launched anti-terrorism courses for students joining them from September in efforts to curb terror attacks targeting learning institutions. The courses, according to officials in charge of academic affairs, will be compulsory and examined alongside other common units, reports Xinhua.
CHINA-HONG KONG
University postpones army visit amid student protest
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, scene of the first major pro-democracy rally that kicked off a 79-day Occupy Central campaign in the former British colony, said it has postponed a planned visit from the Chinese military after vocal opposition from students, reports Radio Free Asia.
EUROPE-UNITED STATES
Pact to facilitate Large Hadron Collider collaboration
Laying the groundwork for what they said would be a new era of scientific cooperation, leaders of European and American particle physics initiatives signed an agreement at a White House ceremony recently to share the spoils of their research in the coming decades, writes Dennis Overbye for The New York Times.
NEW ZEALAND
Universities’ plan for boost in world rankings
Universities could get a leg-up in international league tables through closer links with the government's Crown Research Institutes, writes John Gerritsen for Radio New Zealand.
CAMBODIA
Ministry set to resume university assessments
The education ministry will resume inspections of universities next month following a complete overhaul of the government’s higher education accreditation body, with initial plans for experts to assess the country’s top 10 universities before expanding the initiative, writes Maria Paula Brito for The Cambodia Daily.
AUSTRALIA
University pulls plug on climate sceptic’s centre
The Australian government’s controversial move to host a think tank headed by noted global warming sceptic Bjørn Lomborg has unravelled – for now. But Australia’s education minister has vowed to find a new home for the centre at a willing institution, writes Leigh Dayton for Science.
CANADA
Social media campaign to raise profile of research
In a bid to tell Canadians what they’re paying for when their tax dollars are used to fund research, a biomedical engineering professor, Molly Shoichet, is set to officially launch Research2Reality, a CAD$400,000 (US$335,000) social-media campaign she is spearheading that is designed to shine a spotlight on the work of academic researchers across the country, writes Ivan Semeniuk for The Globe and Mail.
UNITED STATES
For-profit sector makes substantial cuts
The dramatic collapse of Corinthian Colleges isn't the only shake-up happening in for-profit higher education, as a broad swath of the sector is shutting down or selling off campuses after years of declining revenue and enrolment, writes Paul Fain for Inside Higher Ed.
UNITED KINGDOM
Edinburgh students protest over fossil fuels decision
Defiant students have pledged to continue a campus occupation until Edinburgh University reverses its decision to invest in fossil fuels, reports Edinburgh Evening News.
JAPAN
University courses help women re-enter job market
A growing number of women are taking college courses aimed at helping them re-enter the job market after leaving due to marriage or having a child, writes Naohiro Yoshida for The Yomiuri Shimbun.
NETHERLANDS
Business calls for higher education quality boost
Dutch companies have written to Education Minister Jet Bussemaker urging her to boost the standard of Dutch university and college education, the Volkskrant reported recently. The two big Dutch employers’ organisations, VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland, say they are unhappy with the quality of the Dutch higher education system.