02 August 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
University fined for lax admissions standards
Bar-Ilan University was fined by the Council of Higher Education last week for admitting students without bachelor degrees to graduate programmes. The council's oversight and enforcement committee rejected Bar-Ilan's appeal of an earlier decision to forbid any special exceptions for students without bachelor degrees from applying to advanced programmes, writes Talila Nesher for Haaretz.
Gujarat University head arrested on atrocity charge
Gujarat University Vice-chancellor Dr Parimal Trivedi was arrested last week in a three-year old atrocity case filed against him by a college professor. A local court later granted him conditional bail after asking him to furnish a Rs25,000 (US$509) bond and surrender his passport, writes Mahesh Trivedi for Khaleej Times.
Company promotes outsourcing work to academics
A company that employs researchers to work on a complex problem can instead outsource it to scientists and researchers from top Indian academic institutions to find a solution. That's what Xerox India Research, the youngest global research lab of the US$22-billion leading company, is doing, writes TE Raja Simhan for The Hindu Business Line.
The future of academic publishing
These are the most uncertain times in living memory for academic publishing. After decades of bumping along with an antique publishing model, researchers have suddenly woken up and found that they are strong. More than 4,700 have signed a pledge not to write, review or edit for Elsevier journals, in a movement The Economist has called the Academic Spring. How did we get here? asks Mike Taylor in The Independent.
Professor retention a major challenge for universities
Attracting and retaining the world's brightest students is on the mind of every university official. But a new, unprecedented study in the journal Science suggests leaders in higher education face an understated, even more pressing challenge: the retention of professors, reports Science Codex.
Innovation: The best and worst of times
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." The opening line of Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities is perhaps an apt description of the status of innovation in China today. In terms of political stability and research funding, few would argue that China is in "the best of times", free from the upheavals and setbacks that checkered the first 30 years of the modern People's Republic of China, writes Cong Cao for China Daily.
Private universities multiply to meet demand
Hundreds of private colleges and universities have opened in China in the past decade in response to soaring demand for higher education. The private institutions offer millions of students a no-frills education and a better shot at a paycheck after graduation as China continues its quest to gain influence in the world economy, writes Sarah Butrymowicz for The Washington Post.
Higher education welcomes student visa changes
International students will more easily be able to apply for visas following changes announced by federal immigration and citizenship minister, Chris Bowen. The changes mean that the number of assessment levels across a range of student visa subclasses will be reduced, making the visa application process easier for students from 29 countries, writes Alison McMeekin for The Daily Telegraph.
Net student flow ratio one of world’s best
Australia is running a booming trade surplus on education with the largest net student number among the global education industry's major players, writes Stephen Matchett for The Australian. Dr Daniel Edwards, a senior research fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research, measured the ratio of international students hosted by 109 countries to their nationals going overseas to study.
Union warning over uncapped university offers
A 4% increase in the latest round of offers at Australian universities will place overstretched teaching staff under more strain and lower the quality of education for ballooning student ranks, the higher education union warned last week. Latest figures show that in the wake of the government’s move to uncap places from this year, the number of offers has risen to 220,000, reports The Conversation.
Institutions count cost of exceeding student cap
English universities have exceeded their numbers cap by thousands of students this year as applicants flocked to avoid higher tuition fees, and large fines are expected, with London Metropolitan University alone facing a hit of up to £6 million (US$9.4 million), writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education.
A bad week for international higher education
It was not a good weekend for international higher education, writes Kevin Kiley for Inside Higher Ed. An audit released by the American state of North Dakota found that poor record-keeping and a lack of oversight at Dickinson State University resulted in hundreds of foreign students – mostly from China – receiving degrees despite not having completed required coursework.
Wealth gap at top of higher education widens
For the 99% of colleges, it was a pretty good fundraising year. For the 1% of super-wealthy elite, it was a much better one that catapulted them even farther ahead of the pack, writes Justin Pope for Associated Press. The latest annual college fundraising figures out last week show donations to colleges and universities rose 8.2% in fiscal 2011, crossing back over the $30 billion mark for just the second time ever.
Praise and caution from colleges for Obama budget
President Barack Obama's budget for the 2013 fiscal year, released last week, reaffirms his commitment to community colleges and college access, targeting scarce federal resources to job training and student aid programmes, writes Kelly Field for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Universities given six months for reform responses
All tertiary institutions have been given six months to respond to official proposals which would result in the merger of many smaller colleges and the development of regional clusters of universities or institutes of technology, writes Carl O’Brien for The Irish Times.
New bill to open university jobs to competition
The Ugandan government last week unveiled new legislation that seeks, among other things, to open up top jobs in public universities to competition as part of a wider plan to stop what legislators called a fraudulent recruitment system, writes Yasiin Mugerwa for The Monitor.
Students arrested in protest blitz
Riot police and private security swooped on a residence at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus in an attempt to quell student protests. The university is also investigating a threat made against the lives of Indian and white students on its Facebook page. A parent who saw the post last Wednesday said she feared for her daughter’s safety, writes Leanne Jansen for Independent Online.
Government stops university diplomas
The federal government has stopped universities from running national diploma programmes, urging them to adhere strictly to their approved mandates of awarding degrees and higher degrees, write Kunle Awosiyan and Clement Idoko for the Nigerian Tribune.
Cameron admits defeat in battle over access tsar
David Cameron has admitted defeat in his battle to prevent Professor Les Ebdon being appointed director general of the Office for Fair Access (Offa), the universities access body seen by some Conservatives as a threat to excellence in universities, writes Patrick Wintour for The Guardian.
Students in British university surge
The British Council expects a 35% to 50% increase in the number of Hong Kong students who will be accepted by British universities this year. More than 3,200 students were accepted in 2011, and this year there has been a 37% surge in applications so far, writes Kenneth Foo for The Standard.
Ariel centre moves closer to becoming a university
The Ariel University Centre of Samaria now qualifies as a university, according to a report prepared by the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria. But the bid to recognise the centre as a university has prompted hundreds of academics to urge Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar to revoke the process, writes Talila Nesher for Haaretz.
Bologna fails to unite through education – Study
The European ideal of uniting the continent through education appears a waste of time according to new research into student mobility and common curricula, writes Stephen Matchett for The Australian.
Council calls for 'urgent review' of visa policy
The organisation charged with promoting British education overseas has rounded on the government over its student visa changes, calling for an “urgent review” of the policy to avert damage to the economy and the possible closure of university departments, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education.
Taking more campus seats, foreigners pay the freight
This is the University of Washington’s new maths: 18% of its freshmen come from abroad, most from China. Each pays tuition of $28,059, about three times as much as students from Washington State. And that, according to the dean of admissions, is how low-income Washingtonians – more than a quarter of the class – get a free ride, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.
Big jump in students taking global graduate exam
As an indication that more Indian students are looking at foreign countries like the US for higher education, the Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, witnessed an increase of 43% in students taking the test from India last year, reports the Deccan Chronicle.