21 April 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
UK: Students to begin wave of occupations
Students are planning a wave of campus occupations and protests in the run-up to nationwide strikes next week. Occupations called by the student group National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) ahead of the trade union day of action on 30 November have already happened at Birmingham and Cambridge universities, writes Shiv Malik for the Guardian.
EU: European parliament backs Chilean students
The European parliament has thrown its support behind the demands of Chilean students for free higher education and condemned the excessive use of force by the country's security apparatus in a letter to President Sebastián Piñera and Education Minister Felipe Bulnes, writes Joe Hinchliffe for The Santiago Times.
UK: University downplays new 'climategate' emails
The university at the centre of the 'Climategate' email-hacking controversy moved swiftly last week to play down the significance of a new batch of messages between global warming researchers released on the eve of a major UN climate conference, writes Michael McCarthy for The Independent.
CHINA: Ministry encourages independent entrance tests
China's Ministry of Education has promised to promote multiple measures to spot talented young people and send them for higher education, writes Chen Jia for China Daily. It has encouraged top universities to use independent examinations, besides the national one, to test students hoping to enter universities in 2012.
AUSTRALIA: Racism 'rife' in universities, study finds
Accusations of alcoholism, jibes about skin colour and being overlooked for promotion are all forms of discrimination indigenous staff continue to face in Australian universities, a new study has found, writes Jen Rosenberg for The Sydney Morning Herald.
ISRAEL: Committee moots closure of politics department
In an unprecedented move, an international committee appointed by Israel's Council for Higher Education has recommended that the politics and government department at Ben Gurion University be shut down unless it addresses some of the problems pointed out by the committee, writes Tamar Trabelsi-Hadad for Ynetnews.
UK: Universities 'oblivious' to racism - Professor
Universities are "oblivious" to racial inequalities and are failing to act on problems because, it has been argued, they "see themselves as liberal and believe existing policies ensure fairness", writes Matthew Reisz for the Times Higher Education.
SCOTLAND: St Andrews students to apologise to Obama
The Conservative Association at the University of St Andrews is to write to US President Barack Obama to apologise after an effigy of him was burned, reports the BBC. The incident is understood to have taken place on 18 November on the Fife town's East Sands beach.
RUSSIA: Foreign degree verification process scrapped
In an effort to attract more brainpower, Russia has made it easier for foreign students to enter Russian universities, reports RT.com. Starting in 2012, the complex procedure of foreign diploma verification will be automatic. Those willing to get a degree in Russia will simply need to have their diplomas translated.
UK: 'Soft' courses axed ahead of funding cuts
Universities have axed 5,000 degree courses in preparation for cuts in state funding and the trebling of tuition fees, due to take effect in 2012, writes Kate Loveys for the Daily Mail. Figures show there are 38,147 courses on offer through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service for entry in 2012, down a staggering 12%, from 43,360.
UAE: Students to be offered cash-for-grades incentives
It is a problem every parent, and every teacher, has faced: how best to motivate students to work and study. In the United Arab Emirates, the government has decided to try an approach many exasperated parents have considered: cash payments for good grades, writes DD Guttenplan for The New York Times.
UK: Universities to pay incentives to lure students
Institutions across the country, including City University London and Leicester, Surrey and Northumbria universities, are introducing payments to attract candidates with the best exam grades, writes Julie Henry for The Telegraph.
INDIA: Revival of Nalanda University hits trouble
Plans to revive Nalanda University in India, one of the world's oldest seats of learning, as a totem of Asia's renaissance are facing trouble as supporters admit to little progress in fund-raising, reports AFP.
INDIA: 'Unfit' universities may revert to colleges
With the committee of experts appointed by the Supreme Court categorising 44 'deemed' universities, 16 from Tamil Nadu, as unfit to be universities, they are likely to revert to functioning as affiliated colleges, writes B Aravind Kumar for The Hindu.
EAST AFRICA: No move on pan-regional universities
The East African Legislative Assembly has rejected a bid to have free movement of education services through the creation of a regional body to accredit tertiary institutions within the East African community, reports the Daily Monitor. However, the debate will resume in the assembly in January 2012.
AUSTRALIA: University abolishes honours degree
Margaret Morgan had her future mapped out. She would complete her bachelor of advanced science in biology, do honours next year and follow up with a doctorate. But changes at her university, Macquarie, have forced her to reconsider her plans, write Dan Harrison and Jen Rosenberg for The Age.
NIGERIA: Google boosts universities' connectivity
Internet giant Google is partnering with Nigerian universities to remove internet access barriers and to equip them with free communication tools, reports Business Day. Through Google Apps Supporting Programmes, a Google initiative aimed at increasing internet use in universities across Africa, the company supports institutions to use technology more effectively for research and collaboration.
KENYA: High-speed internet for technical colleges
Technical institutions in Kenya are set to benefit from high-speed internet in the next financial year in a government-led initiative. The move will help institutions share resources and improve the quality of research, writes Fredrick Obura for The Standard.
EAST AFRICA: Development bank aids universities
The African Development Bank has approved a total of US$124 million for the improvement of three centres of excellence in higher education in Uganda, Rwanda and Mali, writes David Muwanga for East African Business Week.
GLOBAL: Call for more Muslim-owned universities
Muslim ownership and management of private universities and colleges in Muslim-majority countries and Muslim-minority communities need to be strengthened to cater for the increasing demand for higher education arising from growth in Muslim populations, reports Malaysia's official agency Bernama.
CHILE: Universities fail transparency law standards
According to a study recently released by Chile's Consejo para la Transparencia, the Council for Transparency, state universities are not living up to agreements outlined in the transparency law, reports I Love Chile.
IRELAND: Labour accused of cheating students
Pre-election pledges by the Labour Party about reversing student registration charges and not reintroducing formal fees amounted to "cheating students to win votes", the Dáil (parliament) was told, writes Marie O'Halloran for The Irish Times.
UK: Professors lambasted for failure to mentor
A lack of leadership and the failure to support and mentor junior colleagues have been highlighted in a major study of the professoriate, writes Jack Grove for Times Higher Education. Of 1,200 academic staff from lower grades who responded to a survey commissioned by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, more than half (53%) said they did not receive sufficient help or advice from professorial staff.
UK: Universities forced to reveal animal test details
Universities will be forced to reveal details of controversial research, including testing on monkeys, after a tribunal ruling made it harder for them to claim exemption from freedom of information requests, writes Jonathan Brown for The Independent.
US: Berkeley reveals plan for centre in China
The University of California, Berkeley, announced last week that it plans to open a large research and teaching facility in Shanghai as part of a broader plan to bolster its presence in China, writes David Barboza for The New York Times.