01 December 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
Vice-chancellor criticises 'back door route' in to university
Sir David Bell, who led the Department for Education until the start of this year, said that letting in working-class students with lower A-level grades than their middle-class counterparts was “patronising” and could be seen as a “back door route in”, writes Julie Henry for The Telegraph.
Top universities join hands to boost quality
Two top Chinese universities – Beijing Foreign Studies University and Renmin University of China – have come together to nurture high-quality students by signing a strategic cooperation agreement in Beijing on 15 May, writes Luo Wangshu for China Daily.
Private universities present petition to president
South Sudan’s Association of Private Universities, or APU, handed over a petition to the office of President Salva Kiir in response to a recent statement by the minister of higher education, science and technology threatening to close down 22 private universities for not meeting required standards, writes Lagu Joseph Jackson for The Citizen.
University closes ranks behind vice-chancellor
The University of KwaZulu-Natal is standing behind its embattled vice-chancellor, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, as claims of perjury are investigated against him, writes Lee Rondganger for the Daily News.
Quebec students reject tuition fee deal
For the second consecutive day, student associations last week voted almost unanimously against a tentative agreement with the government and supported further strike action as the wave of protest against last weekend’s deal on tuition fee hikes appeared unstoppable, writes Rhéal Séguin for the Globe and Mail.
Plans for new risk-based quality assurance regime
Unscheduled investigations of standards at universities could be triggered by indicators including poor student satisfaction survey scores, graduate employment data and low levels of ‘professional accreditation’ of teaching staff, England's funding council has proposed, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education.
Universities paid top staff an unapproved €8 million
New figures show that universities in Ireland paid almost €8 million (US$10.3 million) in unauthorised allowances to senior academics over a six-year period to 2011 without the approval of the Higher Education Authority. This is despite legislation that stipulates its approval must be sought, writes Carl O’Brien for The Irish Times.
The PhD now comes with food stamps
"I am not a welfare queen," says Melissa Bruninga-Matteau. That's how she feels compelled to start a conversation about how she, a white female adjunct professor, with a PhD in medieval history, came to rely on food stamps and Medicaid, writes Stacey Patton for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Outsourced teachers call for change
If you were doing the same job at the same level as another person but were paid less and enjoyed fewer social welfare benefits simply because you were an outsourced worker, how would you feel? Li Huan (not her real name), a teacher at Shenyang Normal University in Shenyang, is in exactly that position, writes Chen Xin for China Daily.
Women still face pay gap at universities
University faculties have become more inclusive of women in recent decades, though salaries for female staff still trail that of their male counterparts, new figures show, reports Postmedia News.
Prior learning poised to enter mainstream
The practice of granting credit for learning and knowledge gained outside the traditional academic setting goes back decades. But prior learning assessment mostly occurs behind the scenes, partially because colleges avoid loudly advertising that they believe college-level learning can occur before a student interacts with faculty members, writes Paul Fain for Inside Higher Ed.
Educity Iskandar attracts three UK universities
The 142-hectare campus at Educity Iskandar in Malaysia will be shared by no fewer than eight international universities, including three from the United Kingdom, writes Frederika Whitehead for the Guardian.
Minister orders closure of 21 private universities
Twenty-one private universities in Sudan have been ordered to close. Education Minister Dr Peter Adwok told the press in Juba last week that the decision had been made after the ministry commissioned a study into all private universities in the country, writes Waakhe Simon Wudu for Oye! Times.
Why Bahraini human rights matter in Dublin
Controversy over the involvement of Ireland’s Royal College of Surgeons in Bahrain has prompted new guidelines on human rights for colleges with operations abroad, writes Mary Fitzgerald for The Irish Times.
Ruling boosts freedom of expression at universities
In a ruling that bolsters freedom of expression at Canadian universities, the Alberta Court of Appeals last Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that found two brothers were wrongfully punished for criticising their professor on Facebook, writes Jen Gerson for the National Post.
Conservatives defend fired writer on race
Conservative commentators and think-tanks have rushed in recent days to the defence of embattled journalist Naomi Schaefer Riley, who was fired from her job as a blogger with the respected Chronicle of Higher Education for questioning the value of black studies programmes, writes Ben Wolfgang for The Washington Times.
Two universities crack down on free speech rights
Two prominent Indonesian institutions – Diponegoro University (Undip) in Semarang in Central Java and Gadjah Mada University (UGM) in Yogyakarta – have stopped students from holding activities discussing lesbian or gay issues, write Ainur Rohmah and Bambang Muryanto for The Jakarta Post.
Calls for free land for private universities
A planning commission group has sought massive government support, including free land to the private sector entering higher education, as its Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia pitched for across-the-board fee hikes in universities, reports the Press Trust India.
Legal education starts to move online
The law school of Washington University announced last Tuesday that it would offer, entirely online, a masters degree in United States law intended for lawyers practising overseas, in partnership with 2tor, an education technology company, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.
University-led expedition reveals oldest Mayan calendar
In the rainforest-covered ruins of a Mayan city dating back more than 1,100 years, a Boston University-led excavation has turned up the oldest evidence of that civilisation’s mastery of astronomy – a precise lunar calendar scrawled on what appears to be an ancient blackboard, writes Carolyn Y Johnson for The Boston Globe.
U-turn on plagiarism cases raises questions
An investigation into the recent unanimous decision of the Karachi University syndicate to withdraw cases of plagiarism against three senior teachers shows that the decision was taken not only in disregard of past resolutions of the syndicate but also of the results of multiple inquiries conducted by the university over four years, writes Faiza Ilyas for Dawn.
Aid to the Arab world – Soldiers or scholars?
And so it came to pass that in 2012 – a year after the Arab awakening erupted – the United States made two financial commitments to the Arab world that each began with the numbers one and three, writes Thomas L Friedman, a columnist for The New York Times.
Military secrets leak from US universities
For 15 days in late 2009, internet users in 36 countries including China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan viewed sensitive information about US weapons technology that was supposed to be for American eyes only, writes Daniel Golden for Bloomberg.
Quebec’s university spring highlights public tradition
As 180,000 students continued their 12-week strike against tuition increases, and police responded with concussion grenades, pepper spray, batons, kettling and mass arrests, Quebec’s major city is becoming ungovernable, writes Jesse Rosenfeld for Now.
President condemns deadly university attack
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan last week condemned the “murderous terrorist attack” on worshippers at a university in the northern city of Kano that left about 20 people dead, reports News 24.