23 October 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
AUSTRALIA
Number of Indian university applicants rebounds
The number of students from India applying to study at Australian universities has more than doubled over the past year, largely because, according to industry representatives, they want a quality education not just a pathway to permanently migrate to Australia, writes Stephanie March for Australia Network News.
INDIA
Country-specific THE rankings indicators soon
Times Higher Education’s ranking agency has agreed to draw up an India-specific indicator that would help global education stakeholders and international students judge Indian educational institutions, writes Shashi Tharoor for TNN.
UNITED KINGDOM
Student visa system fraud exposed in BBC investigation
The Home Office has suspended English language tests run by a major firm after BBC Panorama uncovered systematic fraud in the student visa system, reports Richard Watson for the BBC.
NEW ZEALAND
University councils to downsize
New Zealand’s government has decided to go ahead with plans to make university councils smaller and remove the requirement to have staff and student representatives on them, writes Sarah Robson for 3News.
IRELAND
College fee hikes back on table in funds row
Universities are to launch a new campaign warning Ireland’s education minister that he faces a stark choice: give more Exchequer money to higher education institutions or raise fees substantially from 2016, reports Independent.ie.
VIETNAM
Universities struggle to meet staff requirement rules
Universities have complained that the requirement of the Ministry of Education and Training of having one lecturer with a PhD and three with masters for every major is unfeasible in Vietnamese conditions, reports VietNamNet Bridge.
BELARUS
Universities prepare to join Bologna process
Belarusian universities are getting ready to join the Bologna process, the first protector of the Belarusian State University Mikhail Zhuravkov told reporters before the opening of an international seminar titled “Erasmus Mundus as a Catalyst for Internationalisation: Sharing best practices and exploring future perspectives”, reports BelTA.
NORTH KOREA
Crackdown on private education overlooks real issue
Private education began booming in North Korea some 10 years ago and has led the country’s elite, foreign currency earners and merchants to pay to educate their children. Music, computers and foreign languages such as English have been the most popular courses, but others are offered as well, comments Andrei Lankov for Radio Free Asia.
UNITED STATES
Weakness of campus sexual assault policies revealed
When Julia Dixon, a 2011 graduate of the University of Akron in Ohio, began compiling research to file a federal Clery Act complaint against her alma mater for the mishandling of sexual assault cases, she had a lot of ground to cover, writes Katie JM Baker for Newsweek.
UNITED KINGDOM
AC Grayling’s elite university loses faith in A-Levels
An elite university established as a rival to Oxbridge is to ignore pupils’ final A-level results because of “increased mistrust” in the traditional sixth-form exam. New College of the Humanities in London is making “unconditional offers” based on pupils’ prior exam scores and performance in interviews, following concerns that the gold standard qualification fails to mark out the brightest students, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
PAKISTAN
All public universities to offer Chinese language course
The Pakistan-China Institute in Islamabad in collaboration with the University of Karachi’s Latif Ebrahim Jamal National Science Information Centre is launching courses on “Basic Chinese Language” in all public sector universities across Pakistan through video-conferencing, writes Shoaib Saleem for Pakistan Today.
ZIMBABWE
Scholarship students barred from universities over fees
Zimbabwean students on government scholarships to Russia are sleeping in the open at railway stations after being removed from university accommodation over failure to meet their financial obligations, writes Nelson Sibanda for The Zimbabwean.
FRANCE
Hollande pledges to avoid cuts to science funding
French President François Hollande last week promised to spare the research and higher education budget from savings of €50 billion (US$67 billion) that his government has pledged to find over the next three years to rein in its massive public deficit, reports Nature.
IRAN
President calls for political tolerance in universities
“Universities should be free for making statements and criticising…These are the places where people should think globally and act nationally." Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani made the remarks, reported by Iranian state IRINN TV, while addressing heads of Iranian universities in Tehran, report Umid Niayesh and Saeed Isayev for Trend.
TURKEY
Erdogan government curtails academic freedom
As I diligently followed the 2012 protest and government reactions, I challenged a colleague to a bet. I suggested that by December 2013 there would be ‘new and updated’ campus regulations affecting both students and academics. It was a close call, since on 29 January the Official Gazette announced that the YÖK – the higher education board – had updated the 1982 regulations for all university personnel, writes Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor.
UNITED KINGDOM
The Americanisation of higher education
Britain’s grading system is broken. At least, that’s what critics are saying about the 200-year-old tradition of classifying undergraduate degrees into five categories, from first class to fail. In an attempt to improve the system, 21 universities started to experiment in November with an American-style grade-point average, writes Lucy Hodges for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
GLOBAL
Report lists six key technologies for higher education
Virtual assistants, flipped classrooms and the ‘quantified self’ are three of the six technological developments that will have a significant impact on higher education within the next five years, according to the NMC Horizon Report: 2014 higher education edition, released by the New Media Consortium and Educause, writes David Nagel for Campus Technology.
UNITED KINGDOM
‘Education technology fears may retard change’
Not enough is being done to allay the fears of education professionals who see developments in education technology as intimidating, the chancellor of the Open University has warned, writes Josie Gurney-Read for The Telegraph.
PHILIPPINES
Two universities align calendars with overseas partners
The Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines last week announced that they were shifting their academic calendars from August to May, aligning their schedule with overseas partners and ensuring that graduates would have a global outlook, reports GMA News.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities accused of scrimping on staff pay
Scotland’s universities are spending a smaller proportion of their money on staff costs despite seeing their overall income rise to £3 billion (US$4.9 billion) last year, according to a new report, writes Chris Marshall for The Scotsman.
UNITED KINGDOM
University applications hit record high
The proportion of British 18-year-olds applying to university has reached its highest-ever level, according to figures for undergraduate applications in 2014 – thanks to a surge in applications from London and among women, write Richard Adams and Libby Page for the Guardian.
WALES
Researchers perform above the UK average – Report
Researchers in Wales are performing above the UK average and productivity is better than most countries of a similar size, according to a new report published last week, reports Wales Online.
SOUTH AFRICA
Funding aid for higher education falls short
Half of the students in South Africa who qualify for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme will not be funded because of a shortage of money. The scheme’s CEO Msulwa Daca told parliament’s standing committee on appropriations that despite funding increasing significantly over the past five years, it still fell short, writes Bekezela Phakathi for Business Day.
UNITED STATES
Hard times at Howard University
Historically black colleges and universities once held a monopoly. Today they struggle to compete with elite colleges that have stepped up recruiting for the best and brightest black students. Last week Howard University announced that it was cutting about 200 staff positions, writes Charlayne Hunter-Gault for The New York Times.
UNITED STATES
College endowments show strong growth
The nation’s college and university endowments – often used to fund scholarships and professorships – had strong growth last year, according to a report released last week. That’s a bit of good news for higher education institutions under pressure to hold down tuition costs amid some enrolment declines, writes Kimberly Hefling for AP.