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World Round-up
DUBAI: Mobile phones to be used as study tools
Students at Abu Dhabi University will soon be able to register for courses, check their grades, take quizzes and contribute to classroom discussions on their mobile phones as the university launched its pilot of an application called Blackboard Mobile last week. As many as 75 students will participate in the trial before it is rolled out to other regional universities in September, writes Erin Conroy for The National.
UNITED STATES
US: Libyans students allege government coercion
In an apparent effort to control the public narrative in the wake of rare protests that have spread throughout Libya, the country's government is threatening to withdraw scholarship funding from citizens studying in the United States unless they attend pro-government rallies in Washington this weekend, reports Evan Hill for Al Jazeera.
MOROCCO
MOROCCO: Graduates struggle to find jobs
At the top of a four-storey cafe down a back road in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, Rachid Chaoui keeps the array of zips and buckles on his snug-fitting jacket done up to the neck to ward off the winter cold. He sips mint tea and ignores the football match playing on a large flatscreen television set. He is not happy, writes Giles Tremlett for the Guardian.
CHINA
CHINA: Universities chase rankings - study
A recent study shows that moving up in the rankings lists is a general ambition of China's universities, and that rankings affects their strategic planning, reports Pang Qi for Global Times. The study, conducted by Liu Niancai, dean of the Graduate School of Education in Shanghai Jiao Tong University, researched 16 Chinese and international rankings.
UNITED STATES
US: Obama budget sustains Pell grants but cuts perks
In a 2012 budget blueprint that administration officials portrayed as austere and Republicans derided as profligate, President Barack Obama kept his promise to privilege spending on education and research - though not without some potential pain for programmes important to colleges and students, writes Doug Lederman for Inside Higher Ed.
UNITED KINGDOM
UK: Minister issues warning over fees
Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, has warned that there will be more cuts to higher education if too many universities opt to charge maximum tuition fees, reports Angela Harrison for the BBC.
UNITED KINGDOM
UK: New visa system gives priority to academics
Academics are to be prioritised in the government's shake-up of the visa system. Under Home Office proposals, the points system for Tier 2 (skilled work) visas will be overhauled to prioritise PhD-level occupations with domestic shortages, including research and higher education teaching positions, writes Paul Jump for Times Higher Education.
WALES: Basic fees to be lower than England
Basic university tuition fees will be £2,000 (US$3,234) lower in Wales than in England, it has been announced. Education Minister Leighton Andrews has opted for a basic fee level of £4,000 in Wales, rather than the £6,000 which will apply over the border, reports the BBC.
UAE
UAE: Sorbonne officially opens in Abu Dhabi
More than a year after classes began, the University of Paris Sorbonne's Abu Dhabi campus on Al Reem Island was opened officially last week, with the help of the French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, who was making his first visit to the region, writes Caline Malek for The National.
SAUDI ARABIA
SAUDI ARABIA: Ministry plans online university
The Higher Education Ministry last week announced a plan to establish an electronic university, reports PK Abdul Gafour for Arab News. "We have been trying to establish an electronic university for the last one-and-a-half years to provide bachelor and masters degrees," said Muhammad Al-Ouhali, Deputy Minister for Education Affairs.
INDIA
INDIA: US promises to cooperate over sham university
The US has promised to cooperate with India to resolve the issue of Indian students affected by a sham US university. But America said it was hard to say what was possible, pending a full probe, reports the Indo-Asian News Service.
MAURITIUS
MAURITIUS: Indian universities aid 'knowledge hub' bid
Private Indian universities setting up campuses in Mauritius are helping the island nation off the African coast to realise its vision of transforming into a knowledge hub, reports Sify.
INDIA
INDIA-AFRICA: Higher education ties take shape
India's pledge to help set up a string of higher education and vocational training institutions in Africa, as part of an initiative to bolster the country's role on the continent, is finally taking shape, with the first site expected to open its doors in less than a year, writes Vir Singh for The New York Times.
CANADA
CANADA: Doctor's report pulled over plagiarism concern
When a medical ethics report co-authored by a top Canadian doctor was published, it was hailed as "required reading" for all health-care providers and medical students. Now, people can't distance themselves from the report fast enough, writes Margaret Munro for Canada.com.
ISRAEL
ISRAEL: Lecturers press for anti-leftist probe
Faculty members at Bar-Ilan University last week urged the Council for Higher Education to examine claims by two of its lecturers that they were denied promotion because of their leftist political activities and opinions, writes Or Kashti for Haaretz.
INDIA
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
UNITED STATES
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.
UNITED STATES
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.