17 January 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
UNITED KINGDOM
Scottish universities agree to measures to widen access
All Scottish universities have agreed to accept poorer students with lower exam grades in a bid to boost the number of working-class undergraduates, writes Andrew Denholm for the Herald Scotland.
SOUTH AFRICA
Alliance partners fight over prospect of student fee rise
A public relations spat has broken out between the African National Congress Youth League and its youth alliance partner in the South African Communist Party against the backdrop of rising tension at universities over the prospect of fee increases, writes Bekezela Phakathi for BDLive.
UNITED STATES
Cornell University welcomes 12-year-old college freshman
When he was two, Jeremy Shuler was reading books in English and Korean. At six, he was studying calculus. Now, at an age when most kids are attending middle school, the exuberant 12-year-old is a freshman at Cornell University, the youngest the Ivy League university has on record, writes Mary Esch for Associated Press.
UNITED STATES
The new North-South divide: public higher education
Recent data shows that southern states have been disproportionately cutting spending on public higher education, forcing tuition increases that make their colleges and universities among the least affordable for the poorest families – who already face some of the nation’s highest poverty rates, writes Timothy Pratt for The Hechinger Report.
EUROPE
Research system ‘cannot afford’ to lose Swiss and UK
The whole European research system would suffer if it no longer included the UK and Switzerland, according to the president of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, one of the world's leading universities, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education.
CHINA
Scepticism over latest ‘world-class’ universities plan
China is eager to improve the standing of its higher education sector, wanting it to match the country’s economic clout, but a blueprint released late last year aimed at boosting the construction of “world-class universities and world-class majors” has been widely criticised as “old wine in a new bottle”, writes Alice Yan for South China Morning Post.
UNITED KINGDOM
PM set to scrutinise student visa numbers again
Prime Minister Theresa May is set to scrutinise the number of student visas being granted to United Kingdom university applicants in a fresh attempt to reduce immigration, writes Peter Yeung for the Independent.
NETHERLANDS
English language takes over at universities
A survey by a local newspaper has indicated that more than half of Dutch university courses are now taught entirely in English in a bid to keep institutions competitive, to reflect the internationalisation of education and to attract foreign students, reports Dutch News.
UNITED STATES
Trump loses latest bid to derail university fraud lawsuit
Donald Trump and his now-defunct real-estate university lost another legal attempt to block former students from suing as a group in a California case accusing the Republican presidential candidate of fraud, writes Erik Larson for Bloomberg.
SOUTH AFRICA
Top academic warns against a second 0% fee increase
Professor Jonathan Jansen has warned that another 0% fee increase for tertiary institutions will be a death knell for universities, writes Lauren Kansley for the Mail & Guardian.
UNITED STATES
University rejects ‘safe spaces’ and ‘trigger warnings’
University of Chicago students should not expect to get ‘trigger warnings’ before professors talk about sensitive topics, or ‘safe spaces’ where they can gather with others to avoid a speaker whom they find offensive, entering students were told recently, writes Susan Svrluga for The Washington Post.
COLOMBIA
An integrated vision for higher education
With little international recognition, Colombia has been more engaged with international trends in higher education than just about any other country in Latin America. In fact, Colombia seems to be the only country in Latin America that has developed and sustained a coherent national policy for the development of higher education for several decades, taking into consideration the major issues confronting all countries today, writes Liz Reisberg for Inside Higher Ed.
CAMBODIA
Government eases tax burden for private universities
All private higher education institutions in Cambodia will only have to pay a 1% tax on their income till 2018, according to a prakas or regulation issued by the Ministry of Economy and Finance recently, to help shoulder the government’s financial burden for expanding access to university education, reports the Khmer Times.
MEXICO
Catholic university defends president’s thesis
A Catholic university in Mexico City said the president of Mexico met the requirements for graduation with a law degree, while acknowledging parts of his 1991 thesis were plagiarised, reports Catholic News Service.
UKRAINE
Acting rector detained on suspicion of bribery
Volodymyr Kharchenko, the acting rector of National Aviation University of Ukraine, was detained on 26 August on charges of taking a €100,000 (US$112,000) bribe for a job appointment. In turn, Kharchenko claims he was set up, writes Veronika Melkozerova for the Kyiv Post.
SOUTH AFRICA
Universities told to account for rapes
Four top South African universities have been summoned to account for how they use their budget to advance gender transformation and monitor gender violence on campuses, writes Roland Mpofu for IOL.
VIETNAM
Universities still searching for more students
Hundreds of universities are continuing to seek students to fulfil enrolment goals as less prestigious state-owned and private universities as well as state-owned universities have complained they lack students, which is a new phenomenon, reports VietNamNet Bridge.
FINLAND
Many foreign students stay on after graduating
A high percentage of foreign students enrolled in institutions of higher education remain in Finland after their graduation, said CIMO, an expert organisation providing services on international mobility and cooperation, reports Finland Times.
AUSTRALIA-SINGAPORE
More Singaporeans pursue degrees in Australia
More Singaporeans are heading Down Under for their university degrees, on the back of the fall in the Australian dollar last year. And, with Singapore recognising more degrees obtained there, numbers are expected to pick up even more, writes Amelia Teng for The Straits Times.
AFRICA
Swazi king launches SADC university
On his first day as chairman of the Southern African Development Community or SADC, His Majesty King Mswati III of Swaziland announced the launch of the SADC University of Transformation, writes Gugu Simelane for the Swazi Observer.
AUSTRALIA
Oldest working scientist fights to stay on campus
At the age of 102, Australia's oldest working scientist says he has not given up hope he can retain his office and freedom on campus after a Perth university told him to leave his post, writes Laura Gartry for ABC News.
TURKEY
University purge hits secularists, boosts conservatives
Turkey’s crackdown after the 15 July putsch has been swift and expansive, sweeping through the military, judiciary and higher education. The government declared a state of emergency and said it has detained more than 40,000 people as it hunts for suspected affiliates of the man officials accuse as the mastermind, Fethullah Gülen, a United States-based Turkish imam who has denied any role, write Joe Parkinson and Emre Peker for The Wall Street Journal.
AZERBAIJAN
Turkish university staff fired over alleged Gülen links
A university in Azerbaijan has fired 50 Turkish educators for alleged links with Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom Ankara blames for an unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey in July, reports Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty.
GLOBAL
Study finds link between university numbers and GDP
A new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research discovered an established link between the number of universities in a country and its gross domestic product, writes Abby Jackson for Business Insider.
CHINA
Universities to retain all income from research findings
A government circular has said that Chinese universities will have autonomy in transferring the intellectual property from scientific research and shall keep all the earnings, reports Xinhua.