02 May 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
UNITED KINGDOM
Students to get more say over how universities are run
Once, UK students were expected to do little more than sit in a few lectures and take notes. No longer. Not only have they become more active learners, they are also increasingly being invited to offer opinions about what they are taught, how they are taught it, and even strategic decisions about how their university is run, writes Harriet Swain for the Guardian.
UNITED KINGDOM
Lecturers 'pressured to pass students, inflate grades’
A whistle-blowing professor has lifted the lid on what he brands the "corrupt" exam system at universities in the UK, in which lecturers are being pressured to pass underperforming students, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.
UNITED KINGDOM
Oxford University offers £22,000 to Scottish students
Oxford University is to provide up to £22,000 of financial support per student from Scotland in a move to encourage more applications. Those from low-income families will be eligible to apply for a mix of bursaries and fee waivers, writes Seonag MacKinnon for the BBC.
UNITED STATES
Companies shape curricula in university partnerships
Kevin Peterson, who helped General Electric redesign a tool to speed up the disassembly of gas turbines last year, is listed on the patent application as one of the inventors. Now, at the age of 20, he is working on a rocket-launch system in Alabama for Boeing, write Craig Torres and Steve Matthews for Bloomberg.
MALAYSIA
Social sciences and humanities academies in the works
A Social Sciences and Humanities Academy will be established across all universities in Malaysia to bridge the gap between science and humanities, writes Sylvia Lool for the New Straits Times. Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the academy would create a social and human sciences tradition in the post-colonial nation state.
INDIA
Professors receive show cause notices after TV debate
After the cartoon controversy in which a Jadavpur University professor was arrested, the West Bengal government has issued show cause notices to two public college professors for appearing in a television programme where they allegedly made “anti-government” comments, reports the Press Trust of India.
JAPAN
State universities set for major overhaul
Japan’s Education Ministry has formulated a policy to promote the further reorganisation of national universities by allowing one independent administrative entity to operate several universities in different prefectures, reports The Yomiuri Shimbun.
UNITED STATES
Students flock to graduate science programmes
Data are strangely absent from most discussions about the inadequacies of science education in the United States. But a new report from the National Science Foundation finds that the number of Americans pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering has risen sharply over the past decade and is at an all-time high, writes Jeffrey Mervis for Science.
INDIA
New regulation bans caste discrimination on campuses
Caste discrimination on campuses in India is now punishable, under a new regulation of the University Grants Commission, writes Ritika Chopra for Mail Online India. This is the first time that harassment and victimisation of students from scheduled castes and tribes at the hands of teachers and peers has been clearly defined.
AUSTRALIA-INDIA
Work limits eased for cash-strapped Indian students
Australia has decided to offer additional work options for Indian students to help them cope with the impact of rupee depreciation. They will also be allowed to work for unlimited hours per week, reports Times News Network.
AUSTRALIA
Universities to explain benefit of research
Australian academics from a dozen universities will be required to explain to industry experts the economic and social value of hundreds of research projects from the past 20 years, under guidelines for a trial designed to measure the wider benefits of taxpayer-funded academic work, writes Justin Norrie for The Conversation.
TURKEY
Creationism asserting itself in academia
As Islam takes on a more visible public profile in Turkey, academia is becoming a battleground over the theory of evolution. Scholars who espouse creationist ideas are becoming more assertive in challenging Darwinism, writes Dorian Jones for http://Eurasianet.org.
SOUTH AFRICA
‘Too many foreign whites in universities’
South Africa’s large labour federation COSATU wants universities to give priority to local students instead of international ones. It believes the high number of international students blocks access for local students who are more deserving, writes Bongekile Macupe for The Sunday Independent.
CHINA
Putting students to the test
They’ve been at it for years now, cramming for China’s annual university entrance exam, some of them hooked up to oxygen canisters and intravenous drips of amino acids during late-night and weekend study marathons, writes Mark McDonald for International Herald Tribune. The whole country is in on it.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities launching more start-ups
More companies are successfully ‘spinning out’ of UK universities, official figures show, as education institutions get better at identifying the commercial applications of innovation. But funding problems remain, writes James Hurley for The Telegraph.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities face steeper fines for over-recruiting
England's universities were fined almost £21 million (US$33 million) for recruiting too many students this year, more than double the £8 million they were fined last year, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education.
IRELAND
Universities to be penalised for staff salary top-ups
Universities that topped up the salaries of senior staff to the tune of €8 million (US$10 million) over a six-year period are being punished, writes Katherine Donnelly for the Irish Independent.
UNITED STATES
Ten universities commit to more financial aid disclosure
Ten US colleges and universities have committed to providing more information to students about tuition and other costs, including estimated monthly loan payments after graduation, as part of a federal push to improve disclosure, in a bid to help prevent financial-aid recipients from overextending themselves, writes Jim Puzzanghera for the Los Angeles Times.
UNITED STATES
Obama criticises Congress over student loan inaction
With a 1 July rate increase on education loans approaching, US President Barack Obama told students in Las Vegas last week that it is Congress’ job to move swiftly to prevent the rise, even as Republicans in Washington accused him of ignoring their most recent proposals and refusing to negotiate, write Rosalind S Helderman and Amy Gardner for The Washington Post.
CZECH REPUBLIC
Minister scraps university reform bill
Czech Education Minister Petr Fiala has withdrawn draft universities reforms and will redraft another controversial bill on financial aid to students, he told journalists after meeting rectors of Czech universities last Thursday, reports the Czech News Agency.
INDIA
Manipal University mulls first Indian campus in China
Manipal University is in talks with Chinese officials to open the first campus of an Indian university in China, writes Ananth Krishnan for The Hindu. The Karnataka-based private university is exploring a tie-up with Tianjin University and Shanghai's Tongji University to provide training in information technology and sciences.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities under fire on fair access
Student leaders have described as "truly awful" the record of Scottish universities on admitting students from poorer backgrounds. They said older universities each typically recruit fewer than 100 students from deprived backgrounds, reports the BBC.
ISRAEL
Tel Aviv University cancels Wagner concert
Tel Aviv University announced last Monday that it would not permit a scheduled Wagner concert to take place on its campus, after it had evoked angry protests, write Talila Nesher and Boam Ben Zeev for Haaretz.
PHILIPPINES
Ban on ‘oversubscribed’ courses still in effect
The Philippines Commission on Higher Education has repeated its moratorium or ban on undergraduate and graduate programmes in five courses it deems ‘oversubscribed’ because there is very little demand for the students finishing those courses, writes Gigi Munoz-David for Manila Standard Today.
EUROPE
Ministers back European Union research scheme
European Union ministers for research and innovation last week reached agreement on the structure of the EU's Horizon 2020 research programme, writes Dave Keating for European http://Voice.com. The programme, which has a planned budget of €80 billion (US$99 billion) for 2014-20, was proposed by the European Commission in December.