12 February 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
INDIA
Phantom writing industry takes over campuses
Once upon a time, there were ghostwriters to rustle up books, articles and speeches. Today, they'll also draft your PhD thesis, MBA assignment, project report and research proposal. All for a price, of course. The phantom writing industry is growing on campuses across India, write Saira Kurup and Shobha John for Times News Network.
SUDAN
New student arrests as protest enters fifth day
On the fifth day of demonstrations against the deteriorating economic situation in Sudan, the police arrested several students, reports Radio Dabanga. At least seven sustained injuries, after armed sympathisers of the ruling party entered the compounds of universities in the capital Khartoum.
ZIMBABWE
Presidential scholarship scheme hits cash crisis
Zimbabwe’s Presidential Scholarship Programme, administered by President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, has been hit by a financial crisis that threatens the livelihood of nearly 4,000 Zimbabwean students studying at universities in South Africa, writes Ray Ndlovu for The Financial Gazette.
UNITED STATES
Take back power from business, university body demands
Universities need to update guidelines on industry collaboration to reinstate academic rights that have been “seriously eroded” over the past generation, a report by the American Association of University Professors has said, writes Elizabeth Gibney for Times Higher Education.
UNITED STATES
Stanford University gains foothold in China
On the walls of the stunning new multimillion-dollar Stanford Centre in China are hand-painted Chinese landscapes and scenes from the Palo Alto, California, campus – signs of a new cross-Pacific partnership that offers great promise as well as some perils for the university, writes John Boudreau for San Jose Mercury News.
AUSTRALIA
Admissions centre opens to private college applications
Six private colleges in Australia will be included for the first time in the Universities Admissions Centre application process, which will give the private sector greater weight, writes Jen Rosenberg for The Sydney Morning Herald.
VIETNAM
Inspection reveals misconduct in joint programmes
A recent inspection in Vietnam revealed misconduct in joint programmes between Hanoi National University and its foreign counterparts between 2006 and 2010, reports Vietnam Net. Up to 16 out of 20 programmes lacked project details required or did not have the documents to confirm their legal status, and graduates may lose their degrees.
CHILE
Seven universities accused of illegal profiteering
Seven Chilean universities have been found to have financial irregularities related to illegal profiteering, according to a report by an investigative committee in the Chamber of Deputies, writes Andrew Chow for the Santiago Times.
UNITED STATES
Virginia University board to rethink ouster of president
The University of Virginia’s governing board will at a meeting next week consider reinstating President Teresa Sullivan, even as the leader of the embattled board defended the unpopular ouster that threw the flagship university into turmoil, reports Associated Press.
UNITED KINGDOM
Suu Kyi collects Oxford honorary doctorate, finally
“The past is alive,” Aung San Suu Kyi told a distinguished audience in Oxford last week, collecting an honorary doctorate of civil law 19 years after it was first offered to her. “It never goes away.” She rolled back the years, recalling the time in the mid-1960s when she was the only Burmese student in Oxford, writes Peter Popham for The Independent.
UNITED STATES
Joseph Heller memorabilia on show at university library
Students more accustomed to computer screens than manual typewriters are getting a chance to sit at author Joseph Heller's stained wooden desk and type on the battered Smith-Corona he used to compose his acclaimed novel Catch-22, writes Susanne M Schafer for Huffington Post.
INDIA-UNITED STATES
Eight educational tie-ups announced
India and the US last week announced eight institutional partnership projects for the first Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative awards, in a milestone in the educational ties between the two countries, reports the Press Trust of India.
EUROPE
Economic crisis threatens educational rift
The economic crisis in Europe could open up a major divide in university funding across the continent, the European University Association has warned, writes Elizabeth Gibney for Times Higher Education.
RUSSIA
Rankings spur interest in international engagement
When it comes to the internationalisation of higher education, the Russian Bear has remained in hibernation, write Jason Lane and Kevin Kinser for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Such a situation is surprising when one considers the amount of internationalising activity engaged in by the other emerging economies of the BRIC group.
UNITED STATES
Report warns of threat to universities’ competitiveness
A panel of business and academic leaders has warned that funding cuts to higher education are hurting the global competitiveness of US research universities, the latest sign of financial strain that is intensifying battles over school leadership and has led to several high-profile departures of university presidents, write Jack Nicas and Cameron McWhirter for The Wall Street Journal.
UNITED STATES
College costs rise by 15%
When college tuition bills come in, be prepared for a shock. The average tuition fee at a four-year public university in America climbed 15% between 2008 and 2010, fuelled by state budget cuts for higher education and increases of 40% and more at universities in states like Georgia, Arizona and California, reports Associated Press.
CHINA
Weak euro lures students westwards
Computer science major Zhang Yuqing decided to quit her college in Beijing this year and apply to one of the grandes écoles in France, an idea inspired by the weakening of the euro, write Wang Zhuoqiong in Beijing and Li Xiang for China Daily.
AFGHANISTAN
Higher education overwhelmed by demand
The Afghan higher education system has capacity for 34,000 students, but thousands more are being admitted into universities to meet demand. Steps are being taken to create new places, but for now some students have to settle for any department they can get, writes Samira Sadat for Afghanistan Today.
UNITED KINGDOM
Private providers to compete ‘on level playing field’
Private providers are to compete directly with universities for undergraduate places for the first time, after the UK government announced that it aimed to bring them under the same controls on the number of students accessing public loans, and the same quality assurance regime, as the rest of the sector, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
UNITED KINGDOM
Fear over government plan to create more universities
Small specialist colleges in Britain will be given new powers to become universities in the biggest expansion of higher education in 20 years, it was revealed last week, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
AUSTRALIA
Sharper profile of academic workforce on the way
The quality of teaching in higher education could become clearer if plans to collect more and better data about academics go ahead, writes Bernard Lane for The Australian.
ISRAEL
Bill outlawing university Nakba Day events scuppered
Knesset legal advisor Eyal Yinon took the unusual step last week of preventing members of Israel’s house of representatives from introducing a bill that would make holding Nakba Day events at universities illegal, or even a criminal offence, writes Michal Shmulovich for The Times of Israel.
SOUTH AFRICA
Major boost for distance learning
Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has thrown his weight behind the “progressive development” of South African distance higher education as an “indispensable and integral component of our national higher education system”, writes Victoria John for the Mail & Guardian.
UNITED KINGDOM
Students to get more say over how universities are run
Once, UK students were expected to do little more than sit in a few lectures and take notes. No longer. Not only have they become more active learners, they are also increasingly being invited to offer opinions about what they are taught, how they are taught it, and even strategic decisions about how their university is run, writes Harriet Swain for the Guardian.
UNITED KINGDOM
Lecturers 'pressured to pass students, inflate grades’
A whistle-blowing professor has lifted the lid on what he brands the "corrupt" exam system at universities in the UK, in which lecturers are being pressured to pass underperforming students, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.