04 July 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
UNITED STATES
Detection of academic fraud on the rise
In the technical world of bioinformatics, the two University of Kansas computer scientists were riding high in 2009. Mahesh Visvanathan and Gerald Lushington published three articles with an international audience. They were invited to make a poster presentation at a conference in Sweden, writes Alan Bavley for The Kansas City Star.
UNITED STATES
‘Turnitin’ now turns to college applications
The detection of wholesale cheating in US college applications is on the rise due to the use of Turnitin for Admissions, an anti-plagiarism database service that compares student essays to an immense archive of other writings, writes Larry Gordon for Los Angeles Times.
UNITED STATES
Elite college admits it exaggerated SAT figures
Claremont McKenna College, a small, prestigious California school, said last week that for the past six years it has submitted false SAT scores to publications like US News & World Report that use the data in widely followed college rankings, write Daniel E Slotnik and Richard Perez-Pena for The New York Times.
SOUTH AFRICA
White students claim ‘racial targeting’
A racial dispute over the admissions policy at South Africa’s only veterinary institute has resurfaced with allegations that white students are being unfairly refused entry in favour of black students, writes Mogomotsi Magome for Independent Online.
UNITED STATES
Two top universities in racial discrimination probe
The US Education Department is probing complaints that Harvard University and Princeton University discriminate against Asian-Americans in undergraduate admissions, writes Daniel Golden for Bloomberg.
UNITED KINGDOM
Some Cambridge academics object to Chinese gift
A number of Cambridge lecturers object to the substantial gift from the Chong Hua Foundation, which is set to create a chair of Chinese development at a new Centre of Development Studies, write Alex Spillius, Peter Foster and Malcolm Moore in Shanghai for The Telegraph.
INDONESIA
US invests $19 million in HE
The United States will invest $19 million in Indonesian higher education over the coming years through its higher education leadership and management programme, reports The Jakarta Post.
UNITED STATES
Obama puts HE on notice
US President Barack Obama put higher education squarely in his rhetorical sights during the State of the Union address last Tuesday, calling for plans to reduce the interest rate on student loans, extend popular tax credits and shore up support for community colleges’ job training programmes, writes Libby A Nelson for Inside Higher Ed.
UNITED STATES
Students bear the burden of state cuts
Over the past year, state funding for higher education in America has declined by nearly 8%. In real terms, that amounts to $6 billion less being funnelled into the nation’s public colleges and universities at a time when the demand for the degrees they provide is at an all-time high, writes Kayla Webley for Time.
UNITED KINGDOM
Private universities plan dropped
A Higher Education Bill, which was to be introduced in the forthcoming Queen’s Speech, has now been delayed indefinitely and is unlikely to be published before 2015. The new legislation was designed to make it easier for private colleges, including big American education firms, to set up new universities in Britain, write Robert Winnett and Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
UNITED KINGDOM
Teaching grants slashed by 18%
Teaching grants to English universities are to be cut by 18% in the next academic year, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills revealed last week, writes Vivienne Russell for Public Finance.
CZECH REPUBLIC
Students oppose university reforms
They’ve been a thorn in the side of the university reform movement from the start, and last year President Václav Klaus called them parasites. They’re the students speaking out against changes that would introduce tuition fees, along with a slew of other measures they say strip public universities of their autonomy, writes Emily Thompson for The Prague Post.
JAPAN
Universities mull switch in calendar
More than 40% of national universities in Japan are to consider following in the University of Tokyo’s footsteps by switching the start of the academic year for undergraduates from spring to autumn, a Kyodo News survey showed last week, reports The Mainichi Daily News.
CAMBODIA
Private universities create vibrant hub
Millions of tourists travel to Cambodia every year to visit the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat, an influx that has helped transform a small, laid-back village into a thriving and cosmopolitan town. But the explosion of tourism has also done something less predictable. Siem Reap, which had no universities a decade ago, is now Cambodia’s second largest hub for higher education, writes Thomas Fuller for The New York Times.
MALAYSIA
Universities given autonomy ‘to excel’
Five universities in Malaysia have been given the autonomy to become innovative and competitive institutions, said Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin last week. The aspects covered by the autonomy were governance, finance, human resources, academic management and student intake, reports the official agency Bernama.
INDIA
Plan moots greater college autonomy
Stating that there is a major “structural weakness” in India’s higher education system with the growth of universities in the form of affiliated institutions, the University Grants Commission has proposed that autonomous colleges – those with potential for excellence and more than 3,000 students – can be converted into universities during the 12th Plan, reports Mihika Basu for Indian Express.
IRELAND
University presidents oppose new university
Any government plan to establish a new university in the southeast of Ireland makes no sense when the current system is seriously underfunded and battling for its survival, according to seven university presidents, writes Seán Flynn for The Irish Times. There are also plans for two other new technology universities.
UNITED STATES
Who gets to see published research?
The battle in the US over public access to federally financed research is heating up again. The basic question is this: When taxpayers help pay for scholarly research, should those taxpayers get to see the results in the form of free access to the resulting journal articles? Jennifer Howard reports for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
UNITED KINGDOM
Students seek to overturn protest ban
Lawyers are seeking to overturn a high court injunction that prevents students at one of the UK's biggest universities from staging occupation-style protests, writes Jessica Shepherd for the Guardian.
UNITED KINGDOM
New service to help internationalise
The UK government has launched a new cross-department venture to encourage universities to expand internationally, writes Sam Creighton for Times Higher Education. The HE Global Integrated Advisory Service, announced by Foreign Secretary William Hague, aims to bolster the competitiveness of UK institutions in the increasingly crowded global education market.
AUSTRALIA
Axe alternative medicine study - Call
More than 400 doctors, medical researchers and scientists have formed a powerful lobby group to pressure universities to close down alternative medicine degrees, writes Kelly Burke for Melbourne Weekly.
SOUTH AFRICA
Study probes engineering failure rates
The Engineering Council of South Africa has embarked on a research campaign, the results of which will aid in understanding the challenges tertiary institutions face in achieving higher pass rates in engineering bachelor degrees, writes Dimakatso Motau for Engineering News.
UNITED KINGDOM
More universities teach media studies
The number of universities and colleges in Britain that offer degrees in media studies has tripled in the last decade, while the number that teach physics has slumped by almost a third, a think-tank has found, writes Jessica Shepherd for the Guardian.
ASIA
Asian countries collectively top US R&D spend
Ten Asian countries, including some developing countries in South East Asia, have as a bloc caught up with the global leader in research and development investment, the United States, according to a US report published this week, writes Mico Tatalovic for SciDev.
UNITED STATES
State funding for top universities dropped by 20%
US per-student state funding for public research universities dropped about 20% between 2002 and 2010, according to a report released last week by the National Science Board, the policy-making arm of the National Science Foundation, writes Kevin Kiley for Inside Higher Ed.