26 April 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
AUSTRALIA
Corruption rife in international student sector
Australia's leading universities, including the prestigious University of Sydney and the Australian National University, have engaged corrupt education agents who are falsifying the academic records of prospective international students to ensure their acceptance into the Australian tertiary system, writes Lisa Visentin for Brisbane Times.
GERMANY
Researchers welcome €5 billion science funding boost
Germany’s ruling political parties have agreed to plough €5 billion (US$5.4 billion) more into science from 2018 to 2028. The deal, announced on 16 April, is not a government commitment, but it is a strong indication that the country will continue its healthy support for scientific research, writes Quirin Schiermeier for Nature.
TURKEY
Plan to create university system for Syrian refugees
More than 40,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey would have been college bound before the war, but attempts to continue university studies in Turkey have largely been a failure. Now, the head of a network of private higher education institutions, Enver Yucel, is offering an ambitious solution: an accredited university system, with coursework in Arabic and English as well as Turkish, on campuses along the Turkish border, writes Deborah Amos for National Public Radio.
NETHERLANDS
University of Amsterdam chief quits over student protests
The student protests at the University of Amsterdam have led to the resignation of management board chair Louise Gunning. Gunning, who was appointed in 2012, has been under fire for her handling of the dispute, particularly her decision to end the occupation of the university administration centre by sending in riot police, reports Dutch News.
CHILE
Students return to streets over free education pledge
Chilean students marched through Santiago on 16 April to demand the government fulfil pledges to guarantee free higher education, reviving a protest movement that captured global headlines three years ago, writes Javiera Quiroga for Bloomberg.
YEMEN
Saudi air attacks shut down universities
Students have been shut out of Yemen’s classrooms since the Saudi-led air attacks started on 26 March. Those attacks have also killed hundreds of schoolchildren and damaged schools and universities, writes Faisal Darem for Al-Fanar Media.
UNITED KINGDOM
Student support for Liberal Democrats drops
More than half of final-year undergraduates say they would never vote Liberal Democrat because of its U-turn on tuition fees which saw charges rise to £9,000 (US$13,500) a year, a new poll of more than 13,000 students has found, writes Sarah Cassidy for The Independent.
HUNGARY
Ministry completes overhaul of university programmes
Hungary’s Ministry of Human Resources has completed the overhaul of university programmes, with the goal of harmonising higher education with the demands of the economy and society to improve the competitiveness of education, the labour market and the economy, reports Hungary Today.
UNITED KINGDOM
SNP pledges support for lower English tuition fees
The prospect of tuition fees being reduced to £6,000 (US$9,000) in England have been boosted by the Scottish National Party or SNP’s decision to support the policy, which is thought to have been motivated in part by anticipation of a significant funding windfall, writes Chris Havergal for Times Higher Education.
SAUDI ARABIA
New international university aimed at expats
Realising the decades-old dream of expat parents, a Saudi business group led by Prince Saud bin Musaed has taken the initiative to open an international university in Jeddah, offering degrees in engineering, automobile mechanics and business management, writes PK Abdul Ghafour for Arab News.
NIGERIA
Buhari urged to scrap foreign scholarships
The Commonwealth Youth Council chairperson, Ahmed Adamu, has urged Nigeria’s president-elect Muhammadu Buhari to abolish foreign scholarships in the country when he assumes office on 29 May, writes Wale Odunsi for Daily Post.
CANADA
Universities raise concerns over note-sharing website
Academics and administration officials at Concordia and McGill universities are raising concerns over Course Hero, a note-sharing website for students which boasts more than just notes, reports CBC News.
UNITED STATES
Dr Oz defends medical advice amid calls for firing
Columbia University vice-chair of the department of surgery, Mehmet Oz, or ‘Dr Oz’ as he is better known, defended himself recently against criticism from other medical professionals, who say that some of the TV host's advice and product endorsements lack scientific backing, writes Jim Lenahan for USA Today.
UNITED KINGDOM
Charlie Hebdo university event in Belfast called off
Queen's University Belfast has said an event on the fallout from the Charlie Hebdo murders in France was cancelled as no risk assessment had been completed, reports BBC News.
NEW ZEALAND
Universities hit by increase in copyright licences
Universities are going to have to cumulatively shoulder an extra NZ$330,000 (US$250,000) financial burden because of an increase in copyright licences, but the cost won't be passed on to students, writes Rebecca Quilliam for The New Zealand Herald. And a test case in the Court of Appeal will affect the universities' ability to negotiate future costs of copyright licence fees.
IRELAND
Students get academics to write essays for €50 an hour
A proliferation of online services for third-level students offering “pay as you go” essays has prompted universities to review their policies against plagiarism, write Joe Humphreys and Michael O’Byrne for The Irish Times.
UNITED STATES
Families are spending more on tuition
Public colleges and universities used to depend mostly on state funding to keep their doors open, but they are increasingly relying on money from families paying ever-rising tuition, writes Danielle Douglas-Gabriel for The Washington Post.
SOUTH AFRICA
A vice-chancellor speaks out against xenophobia
Dear Foreign National Student,
Today I once again hang my head in shame as we continue to threaten, harass and even kill you and your family members and friends on the streets of South Africa. Yet this week many of you will stride across graduation stages in South African universities to obtain degrees. One of you, a student at my university, wrote to tell me that you will achieve the award for top student in economics even though you came here from Zimbabwe without a cent in your pocket.
UNITED KINGDOM
Vice-chancellors lobby Brussels on research cuts
Around 30 UK vice-chancellors travelled to Brussels to lobby European policy-makers against potential cuts to research funding, writes Jack Grove for Times Higher Education.
SOMALIA
Al-Shabaab attack Somali education ministry
Gunmen stormed the headquarters of Somalia’s education ministry in the country's capital, Mogadishu, last Tuesday after a suicide car bombing, a two-pronged attack that killed at least 12 people and injured 16 others, write Omar Nor and Jason Hanna for CNN.
AUSTRALIA
Universities crack down on cheats
Several Sydney universities caught up in a cheating scandal that includes students using essay writing services say they are responding and cracking down on the new cheating method, writes Jean Kennedy for ABC News.
GLOBAL
A higher profile for LinkedIn
LinkedIn has become a company to watch in higher education. Earlier this month the job networking site announced it would spend US$1.5 billion to buy lynda.com, an online course portal, writes Paul Fain for Inside Higher Ed.
UNITED STATES
The rich universities get rich faster
The higher education wealth gap is growing – not just between those who do or don’t have college degrees but among colleges themselves, writes Melissa Korn for The Wall Street Journal.
MALAYSIA
Chinese universities to accept Malaysian exam results
Results of the Chinese language examination in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, or Malaysian Certificate of Education, will soon be recognised by China, marking a success for the Malaysian Chinese Association’s efforts to boost the language, writes Adrian Chan for The Star.
INDIA
Enhancing mobility across institutions
To ensure seamless mobility of students across higher education institutions in India as well as abroad, the University Grants Commission has formulated guidelines for the adoption of a uniform Choice-Based Credit System across all the universities in 19 undergraduate courses, reports Times News Network.