29 March 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
CHINA: Top scholars share open courses online
China now has its version of Harvard open courses. Twenty courses provided by 18 top Chinese universities went online last Wednesday, China's latest attempt to disseminate teaching resources within the nation and promote Chinese culture globally, writes Chen Jia for China Daily.
INDIA: Red tape tangles US universities' entry
The United States has cited Indian bureaucracy and uncertainty over the Foreign Education Providers Bill as two major bottlenecks for setting up campuses of its foreign universities in India, writes Chetan Chauhan for the Hindustan Times.
INDIA: Scottish university opens maiden campus
In a move aimed at boosting India-Scotland relations in the field of education, Scotland's Education Minister Michael Russell inaugurated the first campus of a Scottish university in Noida on the outskirts of Delhi last Wednesday, reports The Economic Times.
MIDDLE EAST: Focus turns to higher education
Recent upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa can be traced largely to the region's youth - millions of young people facing widespread unemployment and seeing a dearth of opportunities ahead of them. Now, academics are seeking to focus on the role that higher education can play to address their concerns, and the crucial steps that officials need to take to achieve this, like engaging with institutions outside the region, standardising curricula and finding alternative sources of financing, writes Sara Hamdan for The New York Times.
UK: Value of degrees to be revealed for first time
Official work force surveys are to quiz respondents about which universities they attended, revealing which institutions are most and least successful at producing graduates who go on to certain careers, writes Julie Henry for The Telegraph.
UK: Universities launch tuition fees price war
The career plans of thousands of students have been thrown into confusion after it emerged that one in five universities is seeking to reduce its fees, with only weeks to go before the application deadline, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.
WALES: Lower-fee universities may get more students
Universities in Wales that are prepared to lower their tuition fees could be allowed to bid for extra students under proposals being considered by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, writes Gareth Evans for Western Mail.
AUSTRALIA: University applications on the rise
Applications for university places next year are on the rise as universities compete to attract a wider range of students, while those already enrolled stay for longer and complete their courses at a greater rate, writes Jen Rosenberg for The Sydney Morning Herald.
GHANA: Universities to benefit from $10m ESRI support
Ghanaian universities have been selected among 100 across Africa to benefit from US$10 million assistance from the Environmental Systems Research Institute, the world's leading Geographic Information Systems developer, reports Ghana Business News.
SWAZILAND-CHINA: Universities sign pact
Five universities from Taiwan have signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Swaziland, writes Welcome Dlamini for the Times of Swaziland.
GLOBAL: 'Big Bang Theory' fuels physics boom
The Big Bang Theory, a California-based comedy that follows two young physicists, is being credited with consolidating the growing appetite among teenagers for the once unfashionable subject of physics. Documentaries by Brian Cox have previously been mentioned as galvanising interest in the subject, writes Mark Townsend for The Observer.
US: Penn State child abuse case holds bigger lessons
The child sex abuse scandal that has rocked Pennsylvania State University is, say college and university officials far from the institution, not only a cautionary tale but also a very big teachable moment, writes Ron Scherer for The Christian Science Monitor.
CANADA: University defends right to censure students
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms should not apply to a university's decision to discipline students, a Canadian court heard last week. The University of Calgary is at the Alberta Court of Appeal, attempting to overturn a lower court decision that found the school infringed upon the freedom of expression of twin brothers Keith and Steven Pridgen when it sanctioned them for criticising their professor on Facebook, writes Daryl Slade for Postmedia News.
US: Disingenuous data may be part of bigger problem
Iona College acknowledged last week that its former provost had, for nearly a decade, manipulated and misreported student-related data to government officials, accrediting bodies, bond rating agencies and others, writes Doug Lederman for Inside Higher Ed. As the new president of the New York Roman Catholic college described the steps it had taken to prevent such individual unethical behaviour in the future, some observers in higher education said they believed the case indicated the existence of a larger problem.
UK: Oxford denies sponsor has hold over chair
A University of Oxford job advert apparently requiring its L'Oréal professor of marketing to carry out work for the global cosmetics giant was "unfortunately phrased", the university has said amid concerns over academic freedom, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education.
UK: University of Warwick joins New York consortium
The University of Warwick has joined a global consortium led by New York University to set up a new applied sciences and engineering campus in the American city. The bid, which is currently being considered by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is the latest attempt by the region to strengthen its links with the US, writes Kat Keogh for the Birmingham Post.
US: A sister's eulogy for Steve Jobs
Mona Simpson is a novelist and a professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. Since 1988, she has held the Sadie Samuelson Levy Chair in Languages and Literature at Bard College. She delivered a eulogy for her brother Steve Jobs on 16 October 2011, at his memorial service held at Stanford University, which was published by The New York Times last Monday. Of all the articles that followed Jobs' death, Simpson's eulogy probably provides the deepest insight into the visionary Apple leader.
UK: Universities body issues warning over visa reform
The Universities UK action group has issued a warning about Britain's reputation in education after new figures revealed that the government's curb on overseas students had reduced their numbers by 11,000 and led to more than 450 colleges pulling out of the market, writes Alan Travis for the Guardian.
SOUTH KOREA: Universities' creative accounting exposed
Private and public universities in South Korea have engaged in creative accounting practices resulting in excessive hikes in tuition fees, writes Kim Eun-jung for Yonhap News Agency.
US: Magic is no solution to education crisis
In the early 20th century, the distinguished philosopher Alfred North Whitehead observed: "The task of the university is the creation of the future..." Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust noted that this creative work is done by educating "those to whom the future belongs, and by generating the ideas and discoveries that can transform the present and build a better world", writes Jonathan R Cole for the Huffington Post.
US: Colleges grapple with Chinese students
Dozens of new students crowded into a lobby of the University of Delaware's student centre at the start of the academic year. With the exception of one lost-looking soul from Colombia, all the students were from China, write Tom Bartlett and Karin Fischer for the Chronicle of Higher Education.
US: Strings attached to Chinese institute offers
When a Beijing organisation with close ties to China's government offered Stanford University $4 million to host a Confucius Institute on Chinese language and culture and endow a professorship, it attached one caveat: the professor couldn't discuss delicate issues like Tibet, writes Daniel Golden for Bloomberg.
CANADA: New statement on academic freedom
Canada's university presidents have jointly adopted a new statement on academic freedom, pledging support for the right of faculty members to follow their ideas in teaching and research, without inappropriate interference, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed.
UK: Students face radical admission reforms
In a report published last week, Britain's Universities and Colleges Admissions Service proposes scrapping the current system in which students apply for courses based on predicted grades. Under reforms that could be introduced in 2016, teenagers will sit exams as early as Easter and A-level results will be published at the start of July, instead of mid-August. Applications would also be limited to just two choices - instead of the current five - and all degree courses would start in October, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
ISRAEL: Education ministry to battle brain drain
No less than 1,500 Israeli scientists and researchers have left Israeli universities in recent years to join top academic institutions overseas. To combat the brain drain, the education ministry will establish 30 special institutes that will offer academics excellent conditions for research and, according to the plan, lure them home, writes Tamar Trabelsi-Hadad for Ynet News.