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World Round-up
UNITED KINGDOM
Little hope for net migration change soon
An MP close to David Willetts has admitted defeat on hopes to withdraw students from net migration figures in the near future, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education. Paul Uppal, parliamentary private secretary to David Willetts, the UK universities and science minister, spoke at a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference last week.
UNITED KINGDOM
Business schools were ‘used as a cash cow’ – Willetts
Universities were guilty in the past of “extracting money” from business school students without giving them good quality teaching. That is the view of David Willetts, the universities and science minister, who made the comments during a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference as he launched a charter for business schools that help small businesses and start-ups, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education.
UNITED STATES
Student loan default rates continue steady climb
The percentage of borrowers who defaulted on federal student loans within two years of starting repayment has increased for the sixth year in a row, while the rate for defaults measured over a three-year period rose by a similar amount, according to figures released last Monday by the US Department of Education, writes Andy Thomason for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
UNITED STATES
Who really runs American universities? And who should?
If American universities are to survive what's happening to the country, many brave, sound judgments will have to be made by faculty and administrators, often working together, but often by challenging one another, writes Jim Sleeper for Huffington Post.
NEW ZEALAND
Students blocked from university fee meeting
Auckland University students will be locked out of an upcoming meeting to discuss potential fee increases, following concerns about staff safety, reports ONE News.
GREECE
Austerity plans push universities to point of collapse
After the University of Athens announced it could no longer function because of lay-offs demanded by the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank, universities in Thessaloniki, Patras, Ioannina and Crete have followed suit. All say that cuts in administrative staff, including guards and archivists, have made it impossible to keep their doors open, writes Helena Smith for the Guardian.
GLOBAL
200 Islamic universities seek greater collaboration
Scholars from 200 universities across the Muslim world last week resolved to work for greater academic interaction, create an Islamic universities’ pool of scholarship, and initiate joint research and development programmes, writes Riazul Haq for The Express Tribune.
AUSTRALIA
New education minister vows to fix university system
Australia’s Coalition government has nominated international education as its highest priority for the sector, saying it will move quickly to fix a sector reeling from Labor's "obsession with things like 457 visas", writes John Ross for The Australian.
KENYA
Kofi Awoonor – The literary world pays tribute
Writers and poets from around the world have joined in mourning following the news that Professor Kofi Awoonor, a Ghanaian poet and diplomat, died after sustaining injuries during the terrorist attack on Westgate Mall in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, writes Alice Vincent for The Telegraph.
FRANCE
Science safeguarded in national budget
Research and higher education funding have been left largely unchanged in France's new draft budget, despite the country continuing to grapple with a stubbornly high public deficit, writes Barbara Casassus for Nature.
CANADA
Cyber attacks a growing problem for universities
With cyber attacks on the rise in Canada, universities are trying to protect not only valuable research in fields like biochemistry and engineering, but also the vaunted culture of openness that makes universities unique, writes Eric Andrew-Gee for The Star.
GLOBAL
More American universities target UK students
The number of US institutions marketing themselves to British students has almost doubled in just four years, in a bid to capitalise on mounting interest in overseas study combined with a backlash over rising tuition fees in the UK, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
UNITED STATES
Universities seek new ways to rank themselves
He may be the leader of the free world, but when President Barack Obama proposed that the government grade universities based on their cost and success rates, a lot of other people were ahead of him, writes Jon Marcus for The Hechinger Report.
EGYPT
Cairo University begins new term without disruption
Last Sunday students flocked to Cairo University, Egypt’s largest centre of higher learning, for the first day of a new academic year. Despite calls for civil disobedience by some groups that support ousted president Mohamed Morsi, the campus buzzed with activity, writes Osman El Sharnoubi for Ahram Online.
SINGAPORE
Universities set to dig deep for expansion
At universities in land-strapped Singapore, students may one day borrow books from an underground library, attend lectures in a subterranean auditorium or even swim in an Olympic-size swimming pool below sea level, writes Calvin Yang for The New York Times.
THAILAND
Minister criticises ‘unfair’ university entrance exams
Thailand’s Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng has repeated his call for universities to cut the number of recruitment rounds held through direct admissions, to ensure fairness to poor students, writes Lamphai Intathep for Bangkok Post.
UNITED STATES
Universities struggle to make patents pay
In the push to get academic research out of the ivory tower – and to make money – university technology transfer offices are becoming less choosy about their partners, writes Heidi Ledford for Nature.
UNITED KINGDOM
England has ‘too many’ universities
England has “too many” universities and some are likely to close, the director general of the Confederation of British Industry has warned. John Cridland was given a rough reception over his views at a fringe meeting at the Labour conference in Brighton last week, with the Million+ group of newer universities rejecting his argument, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education.
UNITED KINGDOM
University acceptances bounce back
Information from the admissions service, UCAS, shows that 445,820 UK and European Union students had been accepted for degree courses 28 days after A-level results. This is up from 408,480 at the same point last year, but slightly down on 2011, the final year before tuition fees rose, when the figure was 465,070, writes Katherine Sellgren for BBC News.
UNITED STATES
Stanford asks court to resolve Kai-shek papers dispute
Stanford University has asked a US district court to help resolve a dispute among the descendants of Chiang Kai-shek over who owns the former Chinese leader’s diaries and private papers, writes David Knowles for New York Daily News.
GLOBAL
Harvard sues Milton Keynes school over rights to name
One is a world-renowned American university. The other is a technical college in a Buckinghamshire town known for having lots of roundabouts. But now a cross-Atlantic David versus Goliath fight that pits Harvard University in Massachusetts against Havard School in Milton Keynes is being waged at the High Court in London, writes Sam Masters for The Independent.
TURKEY
Anti-Erdogan student protesters face possible jail term
An Ankara prosecutor has demanded six years in prison for 45 university students who held a protest against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the launch ceremony of a Turkish satellite in December 2012, reports Hürriyet Daily News.
EGYPT
Cabinet clarifies origins of campus security proposal
Egypt's interim cabinet said last Wednesday that a proposal to grant university security guards arrest powers was requested by the Supreme Council of Universities and not the Ministry of Justice, reports Ahram Online.
UNITED KINGDOM
College reverses Muslim face-veil ban after protests
A college has abandoned its ban on Muslim face veils after a storm of local protest, a planned demonstration and the involvement of the prime minister, writes James Meikle for the Guardian. Birmingham Metropolitan College climbed down despite Prime Minister David Cameron and the Department for Education endorsing its right to have such a policy.
INDIA
Government scuppers university's China plans
Following home ministry orders, India’s University Grants Commission asked Manipal University to scrap plans for academic collaboration involving exchanges of students and academics with Beijing Institute of Technology, one of the world's top engineering schools, writes Seethalakshmi S for The Times of India.