22 December 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
UNITED KINGDOM
Vice-chancellors – Tackle extremism or face charges
University vice-chancellors could be found in contempt of court if they refuse to implement ministerial directions to tackle extremists on campus, the United Kingdom security minister has warned. James Brokenshire also said lecturers were expected to report students if they had concerns about them being drawn into extremism or terrorism, writes Alan Travis for the Guardian.
CHILE
Minister promises free higher education by 2016
Chile’s Minister of the Interior Rodrigo Peñailillo announced earlier this month that university education would be free by 2016, reports Telesur.
FRANCE
Plans for top-10 mega-university
Imagine the chagrin of French universities whenever international rankings are published. The top places are invariably filled with the United States and United Kingdom academic powerhouses. And then coming up fast are ambitious Asian universities. French universities are conspicuous by their absence. That could all change from next year, writes Sean Coughlan for BBC News.
ECUADOR
High hopes for US$1 billion ‘university city’
It is 2043 and this burgeoning city of 100,000 is a high-tech Mecca. Ecuador – once known for its crude and bananas – is now the Silicon Valley of the tropics, the Singapore of the Andes. That’s the vision authorities see in the swirling dust kicked up by dozens of bulldozers and more than 2,000 construction workers at a remote site almost two hours from the capital, writes Jim Wyss for Miami Herald.
MEXICO
Officials confirm first student in case of missing 43
A steady stream of neighbours, friends and classmates stepped into the half-light of Ezequiel Mora's two-room adobe home last Sunday to offer their condolences for the death of his son Alexander, the first of 43 missing college students to be confirmed dead, write Christopher Sherman and E Eduardo Castillo for Associated Press.
AUSTRALIA
Anger over ‘misleading’ university reform adverts
The opposition in Australia is calling for the government to axe its controversial advertising campaign, which was launched across television, radio and print media last week to promote proposed changes to higher education, writes Stephanie Anderson for SBS.
INDIA
Universities asked to delete 'racial' clauses from rules
Taking note of a regulation issued by Bharathiar University in Coimbatore recently with alleged overtones of racism, the University Grants Commission has asked all universities and institutes across India to delete from their regulations clauses that imply racial or other discrimination, reports PTI.
UNITED KINGDOM
Cambridge graduates most likely to get a job – Report
Cambridge University has come top of an international league table ranking institutions on the employability of their graduates, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.
UNITED STATES
After 'Rolling Stone'
As journalism experts debate what went wrong in the reporting and publishing in Rolling Stone of "A rape on campus", advocates who have been pushing colleges to do more on sexual assault are considering the ramifications of having an article that bolstered the arguments turn out to be seriously flawed, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed.
INDIA
Scholarships fail to attract foreign students
Out of 3,465 scholarship slots offered by the federal government to foreign students to pursue higher education in India, 1,361 (39%) remained unused in 2013-14, states the annual report of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, writes Kanchan Srivastava for DNA.
SOUTH AFRICA
Nation falls short of research and development goals
South Africa has once again failed to meet its ambitious research and development targets, with the percentage of gross domestic product spend on R&D stagnating at 0.76%. This puts the total R&D spend for 2012-13 at about R24 billion (US$2 billion), writes Sarah Wild for Mail & Guardian.
SOUTH AFRICA
Universities offer online courses worldwide
Two top South African universities are, for the first time, offering massive online open courses – MOOCs – to thousands of students through international MOOC providers, writes Tanya Farber for BDLive.
CANADA
First university partially divests from fossil fuels
Concordia University in Montreal announced it would be divesting CAD5 million (US$4.4 million) of its endowment fund from fossil fuels to establish a special sustainable investment fund, reports the Vancouver Observer.
TURKEY
Arab students find homes in Turkey
Like many other students in the Arab world, Egyptian student Mohamed Hassan is looking at Turkey – a nation on the edge of the Middle East that is working to become a global higher education destination and is attracting students fed up with poor education quality at home or conflict that is tearing through the region, writes Sarah Lynch for Al-Fanar.
EGYPT
University students protest Mubarak verdict
Student protests erupted in several universities across Egypt amid anger over a court decision to dismiss charges against former president Hosni Mubarak over the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising against him, reports Al Jazeera.
INDIA
China to co-fund first Indian rail university
China has proposed to co-fund India’s first railway university and hand-hold the Indian Railways as it takes baby steps in making the centre for learning a reality. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently promised to set up four such universities in the country, and the government is set to start work on the first one, writes Avishek G Dastidar for The Indian Express.
SOUTH AFRICA
Minister threatens Afrikaans university with closure
Higher Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande will have private university Academia's registration withdrawn if it remains exclusively Afrikaans, reports News24.
IRELAND
Indian giant gives lifeline to struggling universities
India's richest company, the Tata group, is forging a deal to transform Ireland into the world's first stop for e-learning and earn millions for the country's floundering universities. Senior executives from Tata, which has a market capitalisation of €134 billion (US$166 billion), met Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton to progress the plans last week, writes Sarah McCabe for http://Independent.ie.
UNITED STATES
Bill Cosby resigns as trustee of alma mater
Bill Cosby stepped down as a trustee of his beloved Temple University following renewed accusations that he had drugged and sexually assaulted a string of women over many years. The 77-year-old entertainer has been a high-profile booster for his alma mater in Philadelphia and a board member since 1982, reports Associated Press.
GREECE
Over 100,000 Greek scientists working abroad
In the midst of the financial crisis that hit Greece over five years ago, young people are leaving the country in search of a better future. This is another tragic side effect of the crisis that has cost Greece some of its brightest young scientists, writes Ioanna Zikakou for Greek Reporter.
FINLAND
Universities to introduce quotas for first-time applicants
In future, universities and other higher education institutions must reserve study places for applicants who have not accepted a study place in a degree programme or completed a degree in a Finnish higher education institution, reports Helsinki Times.
SINGAPORE
Australian universities lose appeal
Fewer Singaporeans are heading ‘Down Under’ to pursue higher education, with the decline picking up pace in recent years, reports Amanda Lee for Channel NewsAsia.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities give seminars to gifted but poorer pupils
Children as young as 11 are set to be offered classes at universities including Cambridge in a bid to help the brightest comprehensive pupils from poorer areas secure places at top institutions, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.
GLOBAL
‘Nature’ journals now free, as open access gains steam
The public now has unprecedented access to dozens more research journals, including the prestigious Nature, as publisher Macmillan announced that 49 of its titles will be available through a free content-sharing model, writes Jeff John Roberts for Gigaom.
UNITED STATES
Colleges continue to put price hikes burden on poorest
As institutions vie for income and prestige, the net prices they’re charging the lowest-income students, after discounts and financial aid, continue to rise faster on average than the net prices they’re charging higher-income ones, according to an analysis of newly released data the universities and colleges are required to report to the US Department of Education, writes Jon Marcus and Holly K Hacker for The Hechinger Report.