17 October 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
FINLAND
Universities join forces to attract foreign students
Five Finnish institutions of higher education, together with education export company Edunation, are aiming to bring 150,000 new foreign students into their programmes by the year 2020, reports Yle.fi.
YEMEN
Houthi militia terminate dozens of Sanaa academics’ jobs
Houthi militias are rapidly recruiting new staff and officials at Sanaa University and appointing academic leaders loyal to it, while terminating the positions of dozens of academics, employees and assistants as part of its plan to take full control over the educational institutions in Yemen, writes Islam Saif for Al Arabiya.
SOUTH AFRICA
Top-rated scientists face drastic funding cuts in 2018
The National Research Foundation will slash funding for some of the top scientists in the country as it restructures one of its key funding programmes for ‘rated’ researchers, writes Tamar Kahn for BDLive.
UNITED STATES
University tracks rise in student visa denials
California State University, Long Beach said there’s been a sharp increase in the number of international students denied student visas by United States officials abroad. University officials tallied about a dozen visa denials for students entering this semester, three times more than last year, writes Adolfo Guzman-Lopez for Southern California Public Radio.
IRAN-IRAQ
Iranian universities make inroads into Iraq
After much delay, the first stone of Al-Mustafa Al-Amin University, funded and run by Iran’s Islamic Azad University, was laid on 14 August in Iraq. The university is a clear victory for Islamic Azad and Iran’s soft power ambitions in the region, writes Zep Kalb for Al-Monitor.
SOUTH KOREA
Government to curb private university entrance fees
A government study of private universities' entrance fees shows the institutions are collecting too much. The education ministry conducted the study on 80 private four-year universities, as part of efforts to have the universities cut their entrance fees to alleviate the financial burden on students and their families, writes Kim Bo-eun for The Korea Times.
EGYPT
Students strike out as new campus dress codes imposed
Students on Egypt’s public university campuses have struck out against new regulations on dress codes that prohibit a range of fashion choices, from ripped jeans, baggy or tight fitting pants, “revealing” clothes that “evoke the desires of male students” and galabeyas, to certain hairstyles that some administrators have called “disgusting” and judge to be at the root of sexual harassment, writes Mai Shams El-Din for Mada Masr.

UNITED STATES
University students warned of possible nuclear attack
University of Hawaii administrators have warned all students to be ready for a nuclear attack from North Korea, sending out a campus-wide email last week explaining what to do if Kim Jong Un launches an attack, writes Julia Glum for Newsweek.
NIGERIA
Islamic scholars clamour for more universities
Islamic scholars have called for the establishment of more universities to cater for the learning needs of Muslim students globally. The call was made in a communiqué issued at the end of a four-day International Conference on Islamic Universities in Osogbo, reports Vanguard.
KENYA
Gunmen kill two university staff en route to campus
Two staff members were killed and several students were wounded in Kenya when gunmen fired on vehicles carrying students to the Technical University of Mombasa campus in coastal Kwale county last Tuesday, a police official and a witness said. The identity of the gunmen was unclear, reports AFP.
GLOBAL
Downtown universities help fuel urban ecosystem – Study
For years, proponents of increased downtown development and innovation districts have spoken of the important interplay between universities, start-ups and local jobs. Cities such as Pittsburgh, which has seen its stock rise as a centre for technology and innovation, found that local universities such as Carnegie Mellon served as catalysts for commercial and creative growth, writes Patrick Sisson for Curbed.
GLOBAL
Major cities losing scientific publication dominance
Research suggests that the world's major cities, including New York, London and Tokyo, are losing their predominant position in the production and circulation of scientific articles, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of the journal Scientometrics, reports Phys.org.
UNITED KINGDOM
Spin-outs still suffer from lack of funding
United Kingdom universities punch above their weight as hubs for innovation. Yet some complain that despite policy-makers’ commitment to supporting research projects on their journey to commercial viability, funding is still a problem, writes Janina Conboye for the Financial Times.
AUSTRALIA
Calls for university vigilance over foreign influence
Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham has reminded Australian universities to be vigilant about their academic integrity and independence. His comments follow increasing concerns about China's influence within the nation's higher education sector, writes Stephanie Borys for ABC News.
CHINA
Medical, law graduates open restaurant to top up incomes
A group of 16 doctors and lawyers who graduated from two of China’s leading universities – Tsinghua and Peking – have opened a restaurant in Beijing to supplement their incomes, and are offering discounts to customers who have had academic articles published in Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index or Chinese Social Sciences Citation Index in the past five years, writes Catherine Wong for South China Morning Post.
HUNGARY
New deal with US college may save elite university
The prestigious Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, seems to have found a way around a threat to close it down. The university had been affected by a law change that is widely thought to be politically motivated, writes Alison Abbott for Nature.
AUSTRALIA
Universities urged to crack down on contract cheating
Universities are being urged to block websites that sell essays, identify cheating ‘hot spots’ and consider publishing data on breaches of academic integrity, writes Henrietta Cook for The Sydney Morning Herald.
FRANCE
Climate scientists oppose call for foreign researchers
French President Emmanuel Macron made global headlines in June when he called on foreign scientists to join his ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’ project on fighting climate change. But in France, not all researchers are happy about the invite, writes Romain Brunet for France24.
INDIA
Academics issue warning over ‘truncated’ HE commission
The government has been sitting on appointments to key posts in the University Grants Commission, forcing the higher education regulator to make do with an ad hoc arrangement, although two search panels had shortlisted possible candidates at least four months ago, writes Basant Kumar Mohanty for The Telegraph India.
MALAYSIA-OMAN
Oman ministry blacklists four Malaysian universities
The Higher Education Ministry of Oman has banned Omani students from attending four Malaysian universities due to alleged academic and administrative abuses by the universities, writes Beatrice Nita Jay for New Straits Times.
KENYA
Foreign travel ban violates rights of lecturers – Dons
University lecturers have demanded the immediate withdrawal of the travel restriction recently imposed by the government, writes Ouma Wanzala for the Nation. The Universities Academic Staff Union said the move had adversely affected many members, who are frustrated by delays in processing requests.
AUSTRALIA
Cuts ‘may push more universities into deficit’
The universities peak sector body has warned that 10 universities may tip into deficit if the government’s AU$2.8 billion (US$2.2 billion) higher education savings package goes through, writes Bernard Lane for The Australian.
VIETNAM
Universities struggle to find qualified academic staff
Despite a raft of applications for nine lecturer vacancies announced in July, Ho Chi Minh City University of Transport has been unable to fill any of the positions owing to a lack of candidates with PhDs, reports Viet Nam News.
JAMAICA
Universities join forces to ease shortage of engineers
The chronic shortage of qualified engineers in Jamaica could soon be a thing of the past as three of the island’s leading universities have forged a partnership which will see them training at least 1,000 annually, writes Nadine Wilson-Harris for The Gleaner.
SAUDI ARABIA
University to establish driving school for women
Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University announced on 30 September that it is ready to establish a driving school for women in cooperation with the relevant authorities. The university made the announcement on their Twitter account, adding that their decision comes in line with the Royal directive to allow women to drive equally with their male peers in the Kingdom, reports Arab News.