01 September 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
CHINA: University enrolment crisis looms
For decades, attending university has been the Chinese version of the 'American Dream', promising a rise from rags to riches for those who have studied hard and invested heavily in education. But a recent slump in the number of students enrolling to take the college entrance examinations has awakened universities to an inconvenient truth: they will soon have to contend with a decreasing number of students, write Yao Yuan, Guo Jiuhui and Liu Baosen for Xinhuanet.
US: Enrolment growth outpaces faculty growth
Growth in enrolments has outpaced growth in public university and college faculty and staff in recent years, according to a new report issued by the State Higher Education Executive Officers, writes Andrea Fuller for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
US: Chinese agents exploit student influx
Leon Lin was ecstatic when he found out he'd be leaving home in southern China to study at the University of Connecticut. As the Chinese agent whom his parents paid US$5,000 to help him get into the school told him, the university's flagship campus at Storrs was a highly ranked institution, with 25,000 students and ready access to Boston and New York City, writes Daniel Golden for Bloomberg News.
TAIWAN: New plan to boost foreign student numbers
Taiwan's Cabinet approved a four-year NT$5.68 billion (US$196 million) plan on 26 May that will boost education sector competitiveness and promote the country as a hub of advanced learning in East Asia, writes Kwangyin Liu for Taiwan Today.
KOREA: Overseas study loses its lustre
Has the great Korean experiment in early overseas education failed? An increasing number of students who left the country at a young age are returning home to continue their university studies because they find it difficult to get jobs abroad. At the same time, the number of secondary school children going abroad is also declining, reports The Chosunilbo.
UK: Universities step up overseas recruiting
Access to university should be based on ability to learn, not ability to pay, the UK Prime Minister David Cameron insisted earlier this month, writes Harriet Swain for the Guardian. Denying reports that the government would allow universities to recruit above their student number limit so long as the extra students paid higher fees, he was adamant: "There is no question of people being able to buy their way into university," he said.
UK: 'Private sector threat is being ignored'
Ministers have been accused of ignoring a damning report highlighting the threat posed by private universities to the world-class reputation of British higher education, writes Daniel Boffey for The Observer. The coalition government is driving forward reforms to allow commercial companies to set up universities to compete with traditional institutions.
UK: Black students feel left out by 'white cliques'
University coursework should be marked anonymously to deal with concerns that potential bias against a "foreign-sounding name" can cost students marks, a report by the National Union of Students recommends. The report also urges universities to minimise "eurocentric bias" when drawing up curricula, reports Jeevan Vasagar for the Guardian.
SCOTLAND: University chief in new tribunal case
A Scottish university principal suspended from his post in controversial circumstances has launched a second tribunal case against his employers. Professor Bernard King, Principal of Abertay University in Dundee, believes he was discriminated against because he acted as a 'whistleblower' on behalf of other staff, writes Andrew Denholm for Herald Scotland.
INDONESIA: Universities asked to teach anti-graft
Indonesia's national anti-graft agency last week called for more universities across the country to offer anti-corruption classes to students. Abdullah Hehamahua, a senior adviser at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), said that because graft was categorised as an extraordinary crime, there needed to be serious efforts to introduce prevention policies into university curricula, reports the Jakarta Globe.
AUSTRALIA: Aptitude tests may better reflect ability
The Australian Council for Educational Research has issued a report suggesting that an emphasis on tertiary admissions scores is stopping hundreds of capable students from accessing university, writes Breanna Tucker for the Canberra Times.
CHINA: Mongol students protest shepherd's death
Ethnic Mongolians in northern China have held a rare protest in front of a government building over the death of a shepherd, reports the BBC. Crowds of students last week marched to the building in Xilinhot, a city in Inner Mongolia, rights groups said.
US: Many called, few chosen by top universities
Nicole Ederer was delighted when Columbia and Duke universities wooed her with e-mails and letters after she scored 214 out of 240 on the preliminary college entrance exam she took in her junior year. The 18-year-old high school senior said she spent about US$780 on 12 applications after mailings from top schools such as Duke. In the end she was rejected by Duke, Columbia and Cornell, and plans to attend the University of Maryland, writes Janet Lorin for Bloomberg News.
US: For-profits spend less on students - Report
For-profit colleges spend less than a third of the money on educating students than public universities do, even though for-profit schools cost nearly twice as much as public institutions, writes Chris Kirkham for the Huffington Post.
SOUTH AFRICA: Broadband for universities by year-end
By the end of December, every major campus of every university in South Africa will have top-class broadband connectivity to the South African National Research Network (Sanren), writes Farzana Rasool for IT Web.
KENYA: Student housing needs spur development
The Kenyan government policy of de-linking admission from bed capacity in universities and technical institutions is spurring rapid growth of property development in the country, writes Ngondi Mburu for Business Daily.
INDIA: Government mulls university bonds
The Ministry of Human Resource Development is considering allowing educational institutions to float bond issues for fund-generation, writes Kalpana Pathak for the Business Standard.
IRELAND: Scheme aims to re-skill jobless
The University of Limerick, University College Dublin, Dublin City University and University College Cork have all signed up to offer courses under a new programme offering higher education opportunities for those out of work, writes Jamie Smyth for the Irish Times.
VIETNAM: Ho Chi Minh City to relocate universities
Two thirds of universities and colleges will be relocated from the centre of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to its suburbs following a decision made last week by the HCM City People's Committee and the Ministry of Education and Training, reports Vietnam News.
PALESTINE: Fleeing students struggle with paperwork
International students returning to Palestine from universities in Libya and Yemen were appealing to the Ministry of Education last week for exemptions from records transfer requirements, saying that they could not obtain proper documents as uprisings hit their host nations, reports Ma'an News Agency.
BAHRAIN: University reopens amid tight security
Bahrain University welcomed back its first group of returning students last week, two months after the facility was ransacked amid violent clashes during the height of the country's unrest, writes Alicia de Haldevang for Gulf Daily News.
US-CANADA: Dismay at professorship for Larry Thompson
Civil rights groups on both sides of the Canada-US border are expressing their disgust after the man who played a key role in sending Maher Arar to a year of torture in Syria was made a law professor at the University of Georgia, writes Diana Mehta for The Canadian Press.
GERMANY: Student overcrowding 'untenable'
German public universities, already overcrowded, are bracing for even more students, writes Christopher F Scheutze for The New York Times. Florian Muhs, part of a student working group on overcrowding at the University of Frankfurt, says many come to him to complain. "There are not enough professors, and the rooms are not big enough," he said.
US: Faculty groups form campaign for higher education
Decrying what they said is an "assault" on higher education, college faculty groups from California and other US states launched a national campaign last Tuesday for a larger voice in education funding and policy decisions, writes Carla Rivera for the Los Angeles Times.
US: Most university heads prefer no tenure
The deteriorating number of tenured positions in higher education is a common source of concern for faculty, but few college presidents seem perturbed by the trend, writes Jack Stripling for The Chronicle of Higher Education.