18 January 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
UNITED STATES
Obama proposes market-based rates for student loans
President Barack Obama last Wednesday proposed shifting federal student loans to market-based rates rather than the current system in which interest rates are fixed by law and subject to congressional whim, reports Reuters.
UNITED STATES
Pay gap threatens quality at some colleges – Report
A growing wage gap between public and private colleges, coupled with increased reliance on part-time instructors, threatens to degrade academic quality at certain universities, according to a new report from the American Association of University Professors, writes Tyler Kingkade for The Huffington Post.
UNITED STATES
Old ally sends droves of students to US
Which European country sends more students to US universities than any other? Is it Britain, which shares a common language and a reverence for ancient collegiate campuses? Or Germany, whose great research universities did so much to shape US higher education? The answer, it turns out, is neither, writes DD Guttenplan for The New York Times.
SWITZERLAND
Universities tested by foreign student influx
The rising influx of foreign students to Swiss universities is bringing more international talent to the country. But the debate on who foots the bill for welcoming such bright young minds is tying academics and legislators in knots, writes Matthew Allen for Swissinfo.
GREECE
Foreign students learn about economic crisis in situ
Khalid feels “at home” on the streets of Athens and Sheila sees “encouraging signs” of economic recovery in Greece, but Clemence admits to feeling “overwhelmed” by the “human impact of the crisis”. International students have gathered in Athens to take part in field trips organised by their universities in New York and Paris, reports Agence France Presse.
ISRAEL
Treasury to raise university tuition prices
A late-night meeting between finance ministry officials and student leaders last Monday revealed that the treasury is planning a multi-million shekel cut to the higher education budget, which will lead to a major increase in university tuition costs and likely to department closures and faculty firings, writes Ron Friedman for The Times of Israel.
EGYPT
Egyptian court supports universities’ independence
In a decision viewed as supporting the need for Egyptian universities to be free of government interference, the Alexandria administrative court has blocked an effort by the Ministry of Education to force twice-a-year evaluations of university staff, writes Mohamed Mahmoud for Al Fanar.
SAUDI ARABIA
Top education officials have unrecognised PhDs
As many as nine senior Saudi officials in the department of education in Riyadh are holding PhD degrees from universities not recognised by the Ministry of Higher Education, Al-Hayat newspaper reported last Sunday, quoting a department source, reports the Saudi Gazette.
UNITED STATES
Proposal to streamline online higher education
A proposed compact among US states unveiled by educational organisations and state officials last Thursday would create a kind of common market for online education and make it easier for institutions to enrol students anywhere in the country, reports Associated Press.
UNITED KINGDOM
Rich give back more to universities
Wealthy donors are coughing up record amounts for UK universities as tough economic times force the institutions to become more aggressive in raising funds, writes Alanna Petroff for CNNMoney.
EUROPE
University to boost overseas intake with feeder school
A leading university is to boost its number of overseas students with the creation of a feeder college on campus to prepare them for their studies, reports icScotland.
WALES
Welsh universities set for large funding increase
Overall funding for Welsh universities is set to increase by 13.6% next academic year, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
WALES
Students unite for launch of new university
Students from neighbouring universities joined together under one banner last week in the symbolic launch of Wales’ biggest higher education institution, writes Steffan Rhys for WalesOnline.
UNITED KINGDOM
Professor defends independence of fracking study
The lead author of a report that compared seismic activity caused by fracking to the energy produced by someone jumping off a ladder has insisted that his study was fully independent of big energy companies, writes Jonathan Brown for The Independent.
KENYA
New university to be named after Barack Obama
Siaya county in Kenya is set to benefit from a university named after US President Barack Obama, following a proposed plan by a Kenyan US-based professor, reports Eric Oloo for The Star.
UNITED STATES
Stanford to help build edX MOOC platform
Stanford University will team up with the non-profit edX founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University to develop an open-source web platform for free online courses, writes Nick Anderson for The Washington Post.
UNITED STATES
Essay-grading software offers professors a break
Imagine taking a college exam, and instead of handing in a blue book and getting a grade from a professor a few weeks later, clicking the ‘send’ button when you are done and receiving a grade back instantly, your essay scored by a software program, writes John Markoff for The New York Times.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities in crackdown on 'cut and paste culture'
The number of students caught cheating in university essays has more than halved following a major crackdown in the UK on the ‘cut and paste culture’, it emerged last week, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
NEW ZEALAND
Construction boom at city campuses
Auckland's universities are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on new buildings, transforming not only their campuses but also the shape of the city they serve. The unprecedented construction has provided some of the largest construction jobs in Auckland in recent years, writes Nicholas Jones for The New Zealand Herald.
UNITED STATES
What graduate students should know about the sequester
Research universities and graduate assistants across America are starting to feel the sequester's impact. The across-the-board US$85 billion in discretionary spending cuts began just one month ago, writes Delece Smith-Barrow for US News.
CANADA
Probe into policies that 'muzzle' state scientists
Federal policies that restrict what government scientists can say publicly about their work are about to be put under the microscope, reports Bruce Cheadle for the Canadian Press. Federal Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault has agreed to investigate how government communications rules on taxpayer-funded science impact on public access to information.
SOUTH AFRICA
University to hand over names in red-meat study
The University of Stellenbosch will reluctantly comply with a request by the Red Meat Industry Forum and Media24 to provide the names of retailers whose meat was sampled to determine its actual ingredients – against the wishes of the researchers, who believe the information should be kept confidential, writes Linda Ensor for BDLive.
AFRICA
Database to store African universities’ research
The Association of African Universities has been supporting universities in Africa to digitise research material and set up a database containing university research, it emerged at a recent workshop in Accra on “Institutional and National Digital Repository Collaborative Framework for African Academic and Research Institutions”, reports GNA.
UGANDA
East African universities to harmonise tuition fees
Higher education institutions in East Africa are set to harmonise tuition fees for students within the East Africa Community, reports the Daily Monitor.
TAIWAN
Google unveils new online learning service
Google Inc has unveiled a Chinese language version of its new service YouTube EDU, which allows internet users to access videotaped courses from three local universities, writes Helen Ku for Taipei Times.