29 May 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
US: Researchers demand destruction of terror tapes
A controversial US project that contains the testimonies of Troubles-era terrorists should now be wound up, according to the men who founded it, writes Liam Clarke for the Belfast Telegraph. The three men involved in the oral history project have said Boston College's decision to hand over material to the US authorities after requests from police in Northern Ireland has betrayed the trust of those involved.
US: Tenure goes on the defensive
It seems that tenure is always in the news in the US. Long an article of faith for most faculty members, tenure is being put on the defensive almost everywhere, including within the academy itself. During the past decade, the numbers of tenured and tenure-track professors have sharply declined from nearly half of academics to about one-third. Does anyone care? asks Milton Greenberg in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
US: Trial probes support for black colleges
A trial began last week in Baltimore, US, to settle a federal lawsuit that alleges that Maryland's historically black colleges receive too little funding and institutional support to fully overcome past generations of state-sponsored discrimination, writes Daniel de Vise for The Washington Post.
US: University offers Occupy Wall Street course
Columbia University is offering an Occupy Wall Street course in which postgraduate and senior students can earn a full course credit by getting involved in the movement's projects outside the classroom, writes Mike O'Brien for the Daily Mail.
PAKISTAN: Sindh University gripped by insecurity
Sindh University in Jamshoro, Pakistan, is currently facing a law and order crisis as alleged criminals who enjoy the support of certain political parties have been on the rampage and have resorted to targeting teachers, writes Jan Khaskheli for The News.
VIETNAM: Universities want more autonomy
Education experts have asked the Ministry of Education and Training to create conditions for universities to have more autonomy in making decisions regarding administration, recruitment and enrolment quotas, reports Viet Nam News.
CAMBODIA: Poor quality drives us abroad - Students
Corruption, funding shortages and an obsession with profit are plaguing the quality of university education in Cambodia, students say, driving them overseas in search of masters and PhD programmes, write Shane Worrell and Chhay Channyda for The Phnom Penh Post.
SCOTLAND: Christian college head claims unfair axing
A college principal has claimed he was dismissed from the post for being a white Christian. Professor Malory Nye, 47, is reported to have claimed he was dismissed from his job at the Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education in Dundee because its hierarchy viewed his race and religion as a threat to its Muslim values, writes Brian Donnelly for the Herald Scotland.
CHINA: Peking professor says reform a dead end
A professor at Peking University, one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in China, has gone out on a limb in recent remarks in Taiwan, denouncing the Chinese political system and saying that he and his colleagues have given up hope in the Communist Party, writes Zhong Yuan for The Epoch Times.
US-INDIA: Professor returns fire on Harvard
Subramanian Swamy is an outspoken man. That is what got him into trouble last July. While teaching economics at the Harvard University summer school, he penned a sharply worded column for a newspaper in India, where he is a prominent right-wing politician. Many readers thought his proposals would deny Muslims basic rights and incite riots. Some 40 Harvard professors called for his dismissal, writes Mary Carmichael for The Boston Globe.
INDIA: Top institutes to share content with MIT
Indian institutes of technology (IITs) have agreed to a proposal by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to join their OpenCourseWare community. This move will enable MIT students to access classroom content of the IITs online at the click of a mouse, reports The Times of India.
Universities reject higher education reform
Twenty out of 26 university senates last week rejected a draft reform of Czech universities and called for protest petitions and strikes, Daniel Feranc, secretary of the Charles University Academic Senate, told CTK. Work on the reform, which will introduce tuition fees, has been under way for years.
KENYA: Minister directs universities to double intake
Higher Education Minister Margaret Kamar has directed public universities to accept a double intake of students from this year to clear a backlog of more than 30,000 students by 2015, writes Mathews Ndanyi for the Nairobi Star. The government, she said, would give universities more funds this year to achieve the goal.
UK: Oxford agrees to reprint controversial Indian work
In a bow to pressure from scholars worldwide, Oxford University Press has said it will immediately reprint The Collected Essays of AK Ramanujan, an Indian scholar, poet and translator, and another book containing his work, writes Jennifer Howard for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
INDIA: State funds to help local universities compete
India's national government would give financial support as a protective measure to state universities, as envisaged in the 12th five-year plan, Association of Indian Universities president Prakash T Chande said last week. It would enable Indian universities to withstand competition from foreign universities, writes Sudha Nambudiri for The Times of India.
US: Top Indian students to pay in-state fees
There's good news for meritorious Indian students aspiring to pursue higher education in the US. American institutions have started charging foreigners with top academic records in-state tuition fees - the fees US students pay, which are less than those fixed for international students, writes N Arun Kumar for the Deccan Chronicle.
US: Apology, defence at Davis pepper-spray hearing
State lawmakers grilled University of California officials last Wednesday over the controversial pepper-spraying of student protesters at UC Davis, only to be warned by those administrators, however conciliatory, that more protests are inevitable if the legislature keeps cutting funds for higher education, writes Michael J Mishak for the Los Angeles Times.
US: Berkeley enhances aid for middle-class families
The University of California, Berkeley, is offering a new financial aid programme to help families whose gross annual income is $80,000 to $140,000, amid tuition increases and state funding cuts, writes Janet Lorin for Bloomberg.
US: For-profit college lobby blitz diluted new rules
Last year, the Barack Obama administration vowed to stop for-profit colleges from luring students with false promises, writes Eric Lichtblau for The New York Times. In an opening volley that shook the $30 billion industry, officials proposed new restrictions to cut off the huge flow of federal aid to unfit programmes. But after a ferocious response, the Education Department produced a much-weakened final plan that almost certainly will have far less impact as it goes into effect next year.
US: Universities block triple-X domain names
New .xxx addresses became available to the public last week, but some universities did not wait that long to secure important addresses, as a way to prevent adult content providers from profiting off them, writes Mike Snider for USA Today.
GLOBAL: Africa the loser in medical brain drain
Sub-Saharan African countries that train, and invest in, their doctors end up losing billions of dollars as the clinicians leave to work in developed nations, new research has found, reports IT-Online. South Africa and Zimbabwe have the greatest economic losses in doctors due to emigration, while Australia, Canada, the UK and the US benefit most from the recruitment of physicians educated in other countries.
AUSTRALIA: Chinese students learn vice of the dice
Chinese student Sai Meng arrived in Australia as a promising young scholar: captain of the best high school in Nanjing, two-time winner of the municipal essay competition and dux of his graduating class, writes Peter Cai for The Age. But Sai Meng (not his real name) did not finish his learning journey on the podium of a sandstone graduation hall. Instead, he spent his last days in Australia in a hospital ward under suicide watch.
UK: Cambridge University puts Newton papers online
The notebooks in which Sir Isaac Newton worked out the theories on which much classical science is based have been put online by Cambridge University. More than 4,000 pages have been scanned, including his annotated copy of Principia Mathematica, containing Newton's laws of motion and gravity, reports the BBC.
UK: Reading hopes Malaysia branch will bear fruit
The University of Reading aims to open a campus in Malaysia, becoming the latest in a growing band of UK universities to establish overseas offshoots, writes Sarah Cunnane for Times Higher Education. Reading's plans follow recent announcements from Lancaster University, which will partner with Guangdong University of Foreign Studies to open a campus in China, and the University of Nottingham, which has begun talks on a Shanghai branch that would be its third overseas campus.
UK: Universities risk aggressive marketing
Until recently, Britain's University of Kent prided itself on its friendly image. Not any more. Over the past few months it has been working hard, with the help of media consultants, to downplay its cosy reputation in favour of something more academic and serious, writes Harriet Swain for the Guardian.