26 July 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
THAILAND
PM invokes sweeping powers to reform universities
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has invoked Section 44 of the interim constitution to tackle chronic problems in the tertiary education sector, writes Dumrongkiat Mala for Bangkok Post.
TURKEY
Probes against academics declared ‘illegitimate’
Turkey’s Council of State has issued a stay of execution on a decision by Turkey’s Higher Education Board prescribing the application of its own disciplinary regulations in probes against academics, rendering ‘illegitimate’ a number of probes opened up since November 2015, writes Esra Ülkar for Hurriyet Daily News.
UNITED STATES
Texas professors sue to block guns in classrooms
Three University of Texas professors have filed suit in federal court in a bid to halt a state law that lets people with concealed-handgun licences bring pistols into classrooms, saying the measure would have a chilling effect on academic freedom, writes Jon Herskovitz for Reuters.
AUSTRALIA
Universities to get tough over foreigner admissions
The entry of mediocre foreign students into Australia is likely to be restricted with new norms making education institutions responsible for the genuineness of their admissions, which will be reflected in their ratings. However, students opting for top universities will have much easier entry, with no questions asked about financial support by the immigration department, writes R Ravikanth Reddy for The Hindu.
IRELAND
Brexit may lead to surge in third-level students
Education authorities are concerned that the fallout of the Brexit vote will lead to a dramatic increase in the number of Irish and other European students in higher education in Ireland, writes Carl O’Brien for The Irish Times.
IRAN
Thousands sign petition calling for professor’s release
More than 5,000 academics and authors have signed a petition for the Iranian government to free Professor Homa Hoodfar, a Canadian-Iranian academic who was imprisoned in the country last month, writes Ellie Bothwell for Times Higher Education.
UNITED STATES
Public colleges chase out-of-state students
A state audit in March reinforced what many California parents already suspected: on a constant hunt for more revenue, the prestigious University of California system gave favourable admissions treatment to thousands of higher-paying out-of-state and foreign students, to the detriment of Californians, writes Stephanie Saul for The New York Times.
CHINA-RUSSIA
Countries establish universities' association
The heads of some of China and Russia's leading universities met recently to discuss Chinese-Russian cooperation in scientific and educational fields, and signed a declaration to establish an association of universities, writes Arthur Dominic Villasanta for China Topix.
SOUTH KOREA
Universities studying ways to make inroads abroad
South Korean universities, which are worried about their futures due to dropping birth rates, are studying ways to make inroads abroad, reports The Korea Herald.
CANADA
Bias in science funding favours big universities
A new analysis notes a steady decline in grants going to investigators at small Canadian universities in recent years. Researchers at Trent University in Ontario believe that they have demonstrated that a “systemic bias” underlies this trend, writes Rebecca Trager for Chemistry World.
GLOBAL
Online 'university of anywhere' opens to refugees
An online university is offering 500 refugees from Syria's civil war free places on its degree courses, writes Sean Coughlan for BBC News.
INDIA
Destination remains unpopular with foreign students
Despite various government endeavours, India continues to struggle to become a popular education destination. Of a targeted 450,000 foreign students only 31,000 turned towards India to seek higher education, writes Rohinee Singh for Daily News and Analysis.
SOUTH AFRICA
Revenue service to help track students owing billions
Tax authorities are helping to track down former students who owe billions on their National Student Financial Aid Scheme loans, writes Louise Flanagan for Cape Times.
GERMANY
University plans to rewrite controversial funding deal
In a surprise move, President of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany Georg Krausch recently announced plans to overhaul controversial contracts governing the use of a €150 million (US$167 million) donation from a philanthropic foundation, writes Hinnerk Feldwisch-Drentrup for Science.
SRI LANKA
Businessman calls on alumni to train graduates for jobs
Sri Lanka’s Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Thilak Karunaratne said government action from 2005 to 2014 to absorb graduates without any specific duties had spelt disaster for the new government and the people, reports Daily News.
UNITED KINGDOM
University denies home students are ‘losing out’
Scotland’s oldest university has hit back at suggestions that the higher education sector “prefers” fee-paying students from England over those from Scotland, writes Andrew Denholm for Herald Scotland.
UNITED STATES
Clinton pitches tuition-free college
In a pitch to college students and their families, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton expanded the scope of her higher education platform last week with a proposal to eliminate tuition at public colleges and universities for many students, writes Lauren Camera for US News.
GLOBAL
‘Top universities to offer online degrees in five years’
Leading universities will offer fully accredited undergraduate courses online within five years, says the founder of a leading United States online university network, writes Sean Coughlan for the BBC.
UNITED KINGDOM
Survey turns up higher rate of research misconduct
Nearly one in five United Kingdom researchers has fabricated data, while one in seven has committed plagiarism, according to a recently published survey of 215 British academics, writes Bob Grant for The Scientist.
TAIWAN
Part-time lecturers protest unfair pay at universities
Part-time lecturers working at private universities and members of the Taiwan Higher Education Union protested last week in front of the Ministry of Education, calling on it to promulgate rules to ensure that some 46,000 lecturers at private institutions are paid the same hourly rates as their counterparts at public institutions, writes Sean Lin for Taipei Times.
AUSTRALIA
Universities ponder impact of staff ‘casualisation’
An increasingly heavy reliance on academic casual positions – believed to have risen by 221% between 1989 and 2013 – has prompted universities to question whether staffing patterns are undermining the education experience of students, writes Julie Hare for The Australian.
HONDURAS
Student protests close national university
Honduran riot police arrested at least 12 students on 1 July, out of hundreds who occupied the buildings of the National Autonomous University of Honduras to protest against the privatisation of universities across the country, reports Telesur.
SOUTH AFRICA
Fee increase could reignite higher education protests
In a move that could reignite #FeesMustFall protests, university fees could rise by as much as 6% in 2017 following a 2016 moratorium that set institutions and the state back billions of rand. However, #FeesMustFall campaigners say they will dig in their heels and fight any proposed increases again, if needs be, writes Fiona Forde for BDLive.
CHILE
President ratifies free universal education bill
Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet last Wednesday endorsed her government’s goal of making free universal higher education a reality for Chilean youth, reports PGurus.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
University abandons academic year after student unrest
The University of Papua New Guinea's council has terminated all teaching activities for the remainder of the year, after a student boycott of classes led to violence, writes Eric Tlozek for ABC News.