03 July 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
INDONESIA
Students flocking to join Islamic-based institutions
Students are flocking into Islamic-based higher education institutions as the government plans to turn Indonesia into a global centre for Islamic study, writes Hans Nicholas Jong for The Jakarta Post.
UNITED KINGDOM
Rise in student complaints against universities
Figures from 2014 reveal that more than 2,000 students submitted complaints against universities in the UK, up 3% on last year and the highest number recorded in the report's 10-year history, writes Josie Gurney-Read for The Telegraph.
CHINA-UNITED STATES
Universities to launch technology and design programme
Funded by a US$40 million investment from Microsoft Corporation, the University of Washington and China’s elite Tsinghua University will launch a new programme in Seattle in 2016 to focus on technology and design innovation – a cooperative move between nations for whom technology has been a sore point in recent years, writes Melissa Korn for The Wall Street Journal.
IRELAND
Students suffer ‘crippling’ housing shortage
The college and university accommodation crisis in Ireland has become “so chronic” that students are being forced to sleep rough, share a bed with strangers – or give up on studying altogether, writes Aftab Ali for The Independent.
IRAN-UNITED STATES
US universities on symbolic visit to Iran
A group of senior United States university representatives has visited Iran, in what is believed to be the biggest academic delegation since the 1970s, writes Sean Coughlan for the BBC.
CHINA
Number of mainland students heading to Hong Kong drops
The number of Chinese mainland students applying to Hong Kong universities has dropped by more than 30%, according to several local universities, with observers claiming the decline was likely prompted by the region's unstable political environment, writes Yuen Yeuk-laam for Global Times.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities under scrutiny over China ties
High-tech collaboration between British universities and China’s aerospace sector is under scrutiny as US authorities investigate links between Beijing’s biggest military aircraft manufacturer and Iran’s ballistic missile programme, writes Charles Clover for Financial Times.
ETHIOPIA
Higher education boom built on shoddy foundations
Ethiopia’s higher education infrastructure has mushroomed in the last 15 years. But the institutions suffer from curricula being abandoned due to funding cuts, unqualified – but party-loyal – lecturers, and shoddily built institutions. The rapid growth of Ethiopia’s higher education system has come at a cost, but it is moving forward all the same, writes George West for the Guardian.
ARMENIA
Major universities hold rector elections
Ahead of the new academic year, leading Armenian universities are holding rector elections with new promises and new expectations, writes Gohar Abrahamyan for Armenia Now.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Crumbling Goma University stands up to the state
The University of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo was once a status symbol for the whole country – today it is a symbol of state failure and viewed as a stronghold of resistance to President Joseph Kabila's controversial third term bid, reports Deutsche Welle.
AUSTRALIA
Scientists map hospital superbug's genome
The genome of the superbug that has put hospital authorities across the globe on alert has been mapped, raising hopes that scientists could finally tame the bacterial bandit that has been linked to Australian deaths, writes Bridie Smith for The Age.
JAPAN
Country still mulling lethal research whaling
Japan has not yet decided if it will resume killing whales as part of its Antarctic research whaling programme, but the country believes it has the right to do so, writes Dennis Normile for Science.
UNITED STATES
Major marijuana research barrier goes up in smoke
Medical marijuana advocates and researchers are celebrating a surprise decision by the Obama administration to scrap reviews that delayed – sometimes for years – private and state-funded research into marijuana’s medical value, writes Steven Nelson for US News and World Report.
AUSTRALIA
Foreign student boom could fill the resource export gap
More foreign students started courses in Australian universities, colleges and English schools in 2015 than any year in history, a huge rebound driven by the lower dollar, easier visas and a scheme that allows them to stay for 18 months after graduation, writes Tim Dodd for Australian Financial Review.
UNITED KINGDOM
Harassment of women ‘endemic' at universities
British universities are failing to respond to endemic levels of harassment against female students as new evidence raises questions about campus safety, reports Afua Hirsch for Sky News. A survey of female students at universities across the United Kingdom found one in three has experienced discrimination or sexual harassment, with more than half of those instances taking place on a university campus.
CANADA
Education exports – Is Canada missing out?
Canada could be missing out on billions of dollars in revenue from education exports because the country, which is sitting in seventh place as a destination, could be much higher up the list. But low visa processing times, uncoordinated branding efforts and, according to experts, a general disconnect between academic institutions and all levels of government are hurting the country’s ability to attract international students, writes Daina Lawrence for The Globe and Mail.
GLOBAL
Mixed fortunes for Singapore's overseas campuses
This summer, the editing labs and sound engineering stations at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in Asia will fall silent for good. The campus, set upon three-acres of prime property in central Singapore, is closing less than 10 years after opening due to millions of dollars of debts, writes Leisha Chi for BBC.
ISRAEL
Academics complain of covert boycott of higher education
Israel is experiencing a “dormant boycott” by academics, Council of University Heads President Professor Menachem Ben-Sasson said recently, addressing a Knesset education committee meeting on academic boycotts, reports The Jerusalem Post.
JAPAN
Universities urged to fly national flag, sing anthem
The guidelines do not apply to universities, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a parliamentary committee in April that displaying the Hinomaru – flag – and singing the anthem should be “carried out correctly” at universities operated with public funds, reports The Japan Times.
CUBA
US university entrance exams coming to Cuba
Two popular United States university entrance exams will soon be offered in Cuba for the first time, a development that signals US education institutions’ appetite for recruiting prospective students in the newly opened communist nation, writes Lindsay Gellman for The Wall Street Journal.
BRAZIL-UNITED STATES
Brazil proves fertile ground for US for-profits
As United States-based for-profit education companies continue to face stricter regulations and slumping enrolments and revenues at home, some are venturing abroad in the name of diversification, with Brazil being a main destination, writes Elizabeth Redden for Inside Higher Ed.
UNITED KINGDOM
University chairs to be elected under new bill
Key figures in Scotland’s universities could face being elected into the job as a result of new legislation published by the Scottish government, reports The Scotsman. The Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Bill puts forward plans for a major shake-up of how universities are governed.
INDIA
Delhi government approves higher education loan scheme
The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi recently approved an education scheme under which loans of up to Rs1 million (US$15,670) will be provided to students pursuing higher education in the national capital, reports Press Trust of India.
UNITED KINGDOM
University of Cambridge to hire ‘professor of Lego’
One of the world's best universities is planning to hire a professor – of Lego. The lucky candidate will be the head of a research department at the prestigious University of Cambridge. Officials say the role is expected to be created within the faculty of education after the university received £4 million (US$6.3 million) in donations from the Lego Foundation, reports The Telegraph.
UNITED STATES
University censured over Salaita job withdrawal
A leading academic group voted on 13 June to censure the University of Illinois’ flagship campus over its decision not to hire a professor following his anti-Israel Twitter messages, a vote the university’s chancellor said would have repercussions, reports Associated Press.