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World Round-up
INDIA: Arts education under threat – experts
With very little attention given to arts education in Indian universities, the country's classical art forms could end up as the biggest casualty, reports Sify.
CHINA: Plagiarism professor stripped of prize
A 45-year-old former professor who has been embroiled in a plagiarism scandal for the past three years has been stripped of a top national award by China's Ministry of Science and Technology, reports China Daily-Asia News.
NORWAY: Foreign students flock to free universities
Norwegian colleges and universities are reporting an increased application rate from foreign students, as Norway has become the only country in Europe to continue offering tuition-free higher education to all, regardless of country of origin, reports News in English.
GLOBAL: Elite universities are tested on diversity
David Lammy is still mad. In December, Lammy, a former British higher education minister, currently serving as a Labour Party Member of Parliament, released figures showing vastly different success rates for white and black applicants to the UK's two oldest universities – Oxford and Cambridge. But have other countries done any better meeting the challenges of diversity? asks DD Guttenplan in The New York Times.
RUSSIA: US-style college exams take hold
Two years into a controversial Kremlin-backed experiment to bring post-Soviet education in line with Western practices and introduce standardised nationwide college testing, the Russian version of the American SAT has gathered a number of critics and provoked angry reactions from teachers and parents, reports Sophia Kishkovsky for The New York Times.
IRELAND: Fury over about-turn on tuition fees
Angry Members of Ireland's legislative assembly have again vowed to oppose increased university fees after a revised independent report overturned its initial conclusion that they should stay at current levels, writes Noel McAdam for the Belfast Telegraph.
TAIWAN: Recruitment of Chinese students begins
Universities and colleges in Taiwan are gearing up to attract mainland Chinese students after the ministry of education announced last week the quota allotted to each of them for the 2011 academic year, which will start in September, reports Focus Taiwan.
TURKEY: Growth in foreign academic numbers
Little more than a decade ago, the number of foreign academics at Turkish universities would scarcely have been enough to hold a good panel discussion. Today, they could staff an entire major institution in the United States, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.
US: High enrolment strains two-year colleges
Community colleges, long regarded as the most accessible realm of higher education, are becoming more difficult to access thanks to record enrolments combined with belt-tightening by state legislatures, writes Kevin Helliker for The Wall Street Journal.
US: Charges against Muslims ignite free speech debate
When administrators at the University of California, Irvine, decided to suspend the Muslim Student Union for a quarter over the disruption of a speech last year by the Israeli ambassador to the US, most thought the latest controversy on campus had ended. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas of Orange County, however, disagreed – and filed misdemeanor criminal charges last week against the 11 student protesters, accusing them of disturbing a public meeting and engaging in a conspiracy to do so, reports The New York Times.
PUERTO RICO: Professors announce strike
The Puerto Rican Association of University Professors has staged a 24-hour strike in support of students who have clashed with police during protests over a new fee, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.
INDIA: Fears of more fraudulent universities in US
The allegedly tainted Tri-Valley University might not be the only US educational institution to indulge in immigration fraud. Overseas education consultants from Andhra Pradesh who have details of educational institutions in the US note that there are more universities which have been violating immigration rules while admitting students, reports Nikhila Henry for The Times of India.
INDIA: Higher education regulator winds down
The wait has begun for the quiet burial of the country's apex higher education regulator. In a clear signal of the winding down of the 54-year-old behemoth, the government plans to avoid appointing a full-fledged chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) after economist Sukhdeo Thorat, reports Charu Sudan Kasturi for Hindustan Times.
CANADA: Tories accused of academic witch hunt
Two University of Ottawa professors, vocal critics of the federal Conservative government, say they have become targets of a new political intimidation tactic aimed at using their private, personal information against them, write Susan Delacourt and Bruce Campion-Smith for The Star.
BRAZIL: Business moves to support academic research
When the world's second-biggest mining company said last year that it would open three state-of-the-art research centres in Brazil, it marked the most visible development yet in the changing relationship between business and academe there, writes Andrew Downie for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
WALES: Fees headache as Oxbridge sets mark
Universities in Wales could be forced to charge £9,000 (US$14,400) in tuition fees after two of the UK's leading institutions appeared to set the trend for higher education, writes Gareth Evans for Western Mail. A report by Cambridge University's working group argues that it would be "fiscally irresponsible" for the elite institution to charge less than the maximum. The announcement came as a number of Oxford University academics suggested their institution will also need to raise fees to at least £8,000.
US: Public sector research produces valuable drugs
New research finds that a surprising number of valuable new drugs and vaccines approved in the United States have arisen wholly from research funded by the public sector, writes Amanda Gardner for Bloomberg Businessweek.
CHINA: Hong Kong gears up for four-year degree
Universities in Hong Kong are counting down towards one of the most significant transformations ever attempted in the territory's higher education sector, and the logistics are daunting: thousands of extra students, hundreds of new lecturers, realms of new curricula to write and hours of additional courses to fill, writes Liz Gooch for The New York Times.
US: Evacuated students did not want to leave Egypt
Study abroad staff evacuating students from Egypt last week all noticed a trend: many students did not want to leave, writes Sam Petulla for Inside Higher Ed. Were it up to them, they would still be watching the events from dorm rooftops, talking to local activists about chasing down police and scrambling to collect souvenirs.
US: Academic defies threats after taunts by anchorman
Seventy eight-year-old leftwing academic Frances Fox Piven is the latest hate figure for Fox News host Glenn Beck and his legion of fans, writes Paul Harris for The Observer. While she has decided to shrug off the inevitable death threats that have followed, she is well aware of the problem. "I don't know if I am scared, but I am worried," she said as she sat in a bar on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
US: Slight rise in college donations in 2010
America's colleges and universities received charitable contributions of $28 billion in 2010, an increase of 0.5% from the previous year, according to the annual survey by the Council for Aid to Education, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.
SCOTLAND: University suspends vice-chancellor
A Scottish university has taken the unusual step of suspending its highly regarded principal following a dispute over his role and the future direction of the institution, writes Andrew Denholm for The Herald Scotland.
SRI LANKA: Private sector invited to fund research
The government will give income tax concessions to private sector companies that invest in research at local state universities in Sri Lanka, reports Kelum Bandara for the Daily Mirror.
KENYA: Noose tightens on bogus colleges operators
People who operate bogus colleges risk three years in jail or a fine of Sh1 million (US$12,323) as the government initiates measures to weed out institutions offering fake or substandard certificates, writes Benjamin Muindi for The Nation.
KENYA: Job data to determine university grading
Universities will soon be evaluated on how their graduates are employed or create employment opportunities, writes Benjamin Muindi for The Nation.