02 March 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
GLOBAL: New caution for US universities overseas
It is a modern version of the quest for 'gold, God and glory' that drove explorers overseas in centuries past. For the last decade, American college presidents have been obsessed with expanding abroad, looking to tap new markets, spread the gospel of American higher education and leave a glamorous global legacy, writes Justin Pope for Seattle Pi. But like most empire-builders, they have found the reality on the ground more challenging than expected.
US: Congress mulls ways to stop 'reverse brain drain'
The US Congress is debating how to overhaul the nation's immigration system in an effort to get foreign nationals who earn advanced degrees at American universities to stay and work in the country to help the US stay globally competitive. Some are calling it a 'reverse brain drain', writes Meredith Buel for Voice of America.
AUSTRALIA: Universities join border control
For the first time universities will learn the immigration track record of their overseas students, writes Bernard Lane for The Australian. "This will give providers a much better sense than they currently have of the integrity of the students they recruit," said senior immigration official Kruno Kukoc.
UK: Universities given 14 days to justify fees
Hundreds of thousands of students applying for university places in Britain in 2012 are facing weeks of uncertainty over the government's attempt to persuade institutions to lower tuition fees, write Jonathan Brown, Richard Garner and Charlie Cooper for The Independent.
UK: Council issues guidelines for university gifts
Universities in the UK must make public their ethical guidelines for accepting gifts, according to new advice drawn up after the scandal over donations to the London School of Economics by the Gaddafi regime, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
US: Student case puts spotlight on affirmative action
Abigail Fisher, a white student, says she was denied admission to the University of Texas because of her race. She sued in the federal district court in Austin, causing Judge Sam Sparks to spend time trying to make sense of a 2003 supreme court decision allowing racial preferences in higher education, writes Adam Liptak for The New York Times.
US: Science foundation launches virtual institute
The National Science Foundation, in part looking to moderate the effect of reduced federal funding, is investing in a pilot programme to encourage international support of American research, writes Katherine Long for Brown Daily Herald.
CANADA: Arctic university hit by federal cuts
Federal cuts to a unique effort to provide higher education in Canada's Arctic region are renewing debate about how to bring much-needed training, skills and human development to northerners, writes Bob Weber for iPolitics.
TUNISIA: Niqab ban at universities incites debate
A heated debate flared in Tunisia after a female student wearing a niqab was denied admission at Sousse University. There were protests at universities in Tunis, Sousse, Bizerte and Sfax, writes Monia Ghanmi for Magharebia.
BAHRAIN: Where a Facebook 'like' gets you expelled
For Eman Oun, 20, life was Bahrain Polytechnic. As a business student, she spent her days being an active member of the school's campus community. Even though the new academic year started on 18 September, Oun is stuck at home, writes Sara Yasin for Index on Censorship.
JAPAN: Tohoku universities scramble for applicants
Tohoku region universities and junior colleges affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake are struggling to attract applicants to take entrance examinations for the upcoming academic year, reports The Yomiuri Shimbun.
PHILIPPINES: 'No permit, no exam' bill reaches senate
Philippine senator Manny Villar is sponsoring the senate version of a bill prohibiting colleges and universities from disallowing students with unpaid fees from taking examinations, earlier passed by the house of representatives, writes Jonathan de Santos for Sun Star.
SOUTH AFRICA: Third university under administration
South Africa's Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande gave stakeholders at Walter Sisulu University until Wednesday last week to raise any concern before he appoints an administrator and decides on measures needed to prevent the institution's collapse, writes Karl Gernetsky for Business Day.
SOUTH AFRICA: Student politics turns into big business
University politics is becoming big business on campuses throughout South Africa as 'tenderpreneurs' - people who use political connections to obtain tenders - recruit student leaders to help them go after big government-funded contracts, writes Zine George for Dispatch Online.
NIGERIA: Three in five lecturers have no PhD
At least 61% of an estimated 35,000 lecturers in Nigeria are still on the lowest rung of academics, 'lecturer 1', according to the National Universities' Commission, which regulates university education in the country, writes Judd-Leonard Okafor for the Daily Trust.
US: Cornell teams with Israeli school in New York bid
Cornell University is seeking to bolster its bid to construct an engineering and applied science campus in New York City by teaming up with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, writes Joseph de Avila for The Wall Street Journal.
UK: No-frills college offers half-price degrees
A 'no-frills' university college offering teaching seven days a week and degrees for around half the price of traditional universities will start recruiting students next week, writes Jeevan Vasagar for the Guardian.
SCOTLAND: Four agricultural colleges plan merger
A "rural university college for Scotland" is set to be created by the merger of four of the country's further and higher education institutions. The Scottish Agricultural College looks set to merge with three 'land-based' colleges in a process which would affect thousands of students, reports The Scotsman.
US: Billion dollar green challenge for campuses
The Sustainable Endowments Institute, along with 15 partner organisations, last week launched the Billion Dollar Green Challenge to encourage higher education and non-profit institutions to invest a total of $1 billion in green revolving funds to finance energy efficiency improvements, writes Joshua Bolkan for Campus Technology.
CHILE: Student leaders seek support abroad
Representatives of Chile's confederation of university students, Confech, will travel to Europe to seek international support and raise the profile of their push for sweeping reforms to the nation's education system, writes Joe Hinchliffe for the Santiago Times.
HUNGARY: Students protest higher education bill
More than 1,000 students protested against the government's new higher education concept in front of the University of Debrecen in eastern Hungary last week. The students gathered in protest against cuts in funding and an expected curtailment of student rights and autonomy, reports Politics.hu.
UK: Universities could be bought 'in six months'
A private equity firm or private higher education provider will buy a UK university in whole or part "within the next six months", according to a legal expert. The prediction by Glynne Stanfield, a partner in the education group Eversheds, came as government documents revealed that a US private equity firm, Warburg Pincus, had twice met with David Willetts, the universities and science minister, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education.
UK: Business-backed technical colleges to open
A new wave of comprehensive colleges backed by firms including the developers of the BlackBerry, Toshiba, Boeing and Rolls Royce will open in England next year as part of a new generation of vocational schools in which businesses will help shape the curriculum, write Jeevan Vasagar and Jessica Shepherd for the Guardian.
UK: Internet ends neat chancellorship succession
Cambridge University's chancellorship, a ceremonial post created in 1246, has long passed serenely among aristocrats, bishops, generals and princes. Dons in dark gowns would meet in ivy-covered colleges to orchestrate the transition. Now, the internet age has spoiled all that, writes Frances Robinson for The Wall Street Journal.
UK: University to scrap first-class degrees
University College London will stop telling students whether they have received a first, second or third, and instead give them an American-style 'grade point average', writes Julie Henry for The Telegraph. The new system gives students a score based on all the courses they have taken as undergraduates.