31 May 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
AUSTRALIA
Online challenge to campus life
Online education is pushing some traditional campuses to the brink of extinction and universities will have to reinvent their role to preserve a bricks and mortar presence. That stark view emerged from university leaders at a conference in Melbourne on high-speed broadband and higher education, writes Benjamin Preiss for The Age.
UNITED STATES
Race-neutral university admissions can work – Report
As the US Supreme Court revisits the use of race in college admissions, critics of affirmative action are hopeful the justices will roll back the practice. A new report out last week offers a big reason for their optimism: evidence from at least some of the nine states that don't use affirmative action that leading public universities can bring meaningful diversity to their campuses through race-neutral means, writes Justin Pope for Associated Press.
EUROPE
Universities ordered to admit deprived students
Scotland's Education Secretary Michael Russell has ordered elite universities to admit hundreds more students from the most deprived backgrounds under a £10 million (US$16.2 million) initiative, writes Andrew Denholm for The Herald.
WALES
Report fuels fears of super university job losses
A government report outlining the case for a new ‘super’ university in southeast Wales has raised fresh concerns over potential job losses and campus closures. Documents obtained by the Western Mail, made public for the first time, suggest the integration of university systems would improve “efficiency and effectiveness in delivery”, writes Gareth Evans for Wales Online.
YEMEN
Students protest for separation of education and politics
Sana’a University students staged a demonstration on Wednesday demanding that studies resume separate from the political conflict inundating the university and Yemen. Students also continued to refuse the presence of military personnel on campus, writes Ashraf Al-Muraqab for Yemen Times.
NIGERIA
No more honorary degrees for politicians
The Association of Vice-chancellors of Nigerian Universities has drawn up guidelines that ban tertiary institutions from awarding honorary degrees to serving politicians, reports Channels Television.
UNITED KINGDOM
Public schools threaten university boycott
Schools should plan a repeat of action staged against Bristol almost a decade ago if institutions attempted to engineer their intake to hit controversial new admissions targets, said Chris Ramsey, the universities spokesperson for the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
EUROPE
Why some academics publish more
Motivation and the ability to network have a far greater impact on research productivity than age, gender, job satisfaction, managerial support or teaching load, writes Matthew Reisz for Times Higher Education.
UNITED STATES
Public research universities in peril – Report
They're the pride and backbone of American higher education, doing essential research and educating en masse the next generations of scientists and engineers. But a new report argues that the mission of the country's 101 major public research universities is imperilled by budget cuts amounting to a fifth of their state funding over the past decade, writes Justin Pope for Associated Press.
BRAZIL
For-profits beat global peers on loan breaks
Anhanguera Educacional Participacoes SA, Brazil’s largest for-profit university, and its two biggest Brazilian competitors are beating global peers after student loans tripled when the government reduced interest rates and made repayment easier, write Denyse Godoy and Fabiola Moura for Bloomberg Businessweek.
CHINA
Coursera to offer courses in Chinese
Chinese students head overseas in huge numbers, but some may no longer feel the need to leave home for education. Coursera, the online education platform that offers free courses from universities worldwide, is aiming to net some of the biggest consumers of overseas higher learning – Chinese – write Su Zhou and Lin Jing for China Daily.
INDIA
Higher education gets a growth pill
Concerned over declining public expenditure on higher education, India’s central government is ready with an ambitious scheme to encourage states to improve the quality and reach of higher education, writes Ritika Chopra for Mail Online India.
UNITED KINGDOM
Pricey private college draws protesters on first day
For most new students, the first day at university involves nothing more taxing than collecting timetables and planning a night out. But the first cohort of students at philosopher AC Grayling's new £18,000-a-year (US$29,000) private university had to brave a gang of egg-throwing protesters last week as they arrived for the start of term, writes Kevin Rawlinson for The Independent.
UNITED KINGDOM
Academics say high fees will keep out the poor
Poor students face being priced out of university by the UK government’s education policies, 400 leading academics have claimed. In an open letter to Education Secretary Michael Gove, the signatories, including dozens of professors from top universities, say there has been a “seismic shift” in the public provision of higher education, writes Mark Ellis for the Mirror.
ISRAEL
Protest over Ben-Gurion University bias claim
A petition has been circulating asking for the cancellation of the Council of Higher Education sub-committee’s decision not to allow students to register in Ben-Gurion University’s politics and government programme starting in the 2013-14 academic year, writes Danielle Ziri for The Jerusalem Post.
UNITED STATES
Mixed returns for endowments
An uneven economic year yielded uneven results for the largest university endowments, with reports released last week revealing a range of results, from a fractional loss on investments for Harvard to a healthy gain for MIT, writes Richard Pérez-Peña for The New York Times.
UNITED STATES
Pressure on chancellors shows in high turnover
It’s tough being a university chancellor these days, and nobody knows that better than University of North Carolina Chancellor Holden Thorp, who announced this month that he will resign next June after two tough years of academic and athletic scandals, writes Gregory Childress for The Herald Sun.
RUSSIA
Education gives China an edge over Russia, LSE says
China and Russia are natural business partners, but China has a headstart in developing its economy after investing more in education over the past two decades than Russia, said the new director of the London School of Economics, reports Jonathan Earle for The Moscow Times.
CANADA
More graduates needed, says universities body
Canada’s economy could be in trouble if universities do not start churning out more graduates from all fields of study, including the arts and humanities, says the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada, writes Matthew Pearson for Ottawa Citizen.
INDIA
Industries may soon get a role in higher education
India is preparing to involve industries in higher education in an effort to boost both research and employability. The Human Resource Development Ministry expects this will, in addition to employability, solve issues related to land availability and finance, writes Prashant K Nanda for Livemint.
SOUTH AFRICA
Two different MBAs on the cards
Fears in South Africa that the academic status of an MBA degree could be officially considered no better than an honours degree or postgraduate diploma appear to have been overcome, writes David Furlonger for the Financial Mail. But business schools are split over recommendations that would demand higher entry standards for students but also give them the choice of a less academically demanding programme.
AUSTRALIA
Queensland universities make foray into MOOCs
Brisbane's original sandstone university is set to give academic content away for free as part of a revolutionary programme transforming the business of higher education around the globe, writes Katherine Feeney for The Sydney Morning Herald.
UNITED KINGDOM
Durham University accepts Kuwaiti sheik's £2.5 m gift
Durham University has accepted a £2.5 million (US$4 million) donation from a Kuwaiti sheik forced to quit as the country’s prime minister amid corruption allegations, writes Mark Tallentire for The Northern Echo.
EUROPE
New EU group aims to tackle education challenges
The European Commission has launched a new high-level group on the modernisation of higher education, with seven leading academic and business figures. The group will address this issue as part of a comprehensive three-year review of the sector across the European Union, writes Martin Banks for The Parliament.
GLOBAL
Coursera expands slate of universities and courses
Coursera, a start-up online education company that has enrolled 1.35 million students in its free online courses since it began just five months ago, is now more than doubling – to 33 – its partners, universities that will offer classes on its platform, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.