01 May 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
THAILAND
Brain drain fears spark scholarship plan
Thailand’s Education Ministry plans to grant 25,000 full scholarships to produce university lecturers with doctorates, to prepare for a looming academic shortage, reports Bangkok Post. The PhD scholarships for lecturers will be offered for study locally and abroad.
FRANCE
Universities court world’s brightest students
The French government has started unveiling a series of reforms aimed at making its universities more attractive to foreigners, with a new emphasis on drawing in the brightest students from developing countries, writes Joseph Bamat for France24.
UNITED KINGDOM
PhD system risks leaving overseas students in the cold
UK universities are wrestling with a ‘two-tiered’ approach to delivering PhDs as a result of the introduction of the research councils’ doctoral training centres, a conference has heard, writes Elizabeth Gibney for Times Higher Education. And international students are losing out.
UNITED KINGDOM
More degree courses 'empty' after tuition fees rise
Rising numbers of degree courses are lying empty after failing to attract any students following a sharp hike in tuition fees, according to new research, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
CANADA
Battle brews over intellectual property rights
There's a battle brewing in the world of Canadian academia, writes Diana Mehta for The Canadian Press. On one side stands Access Copyright, a collective that has provided institutions access to a pool of protected intellectual work for more than two decades while distributing royalties to the writers, artists and publishers it represents.
TUNISIA
Academics perceive threat to university freedom
When Tunisians revolted against the Ben Ali regime in January 2011, the protesters were joined by many academics hoping to see an end to censorship. But newly won freedom for research and teaching in Tunisia again finds itself under threat, writes Martina Sabra for http://Quantara.de.
CHINA
University access policy for athletes under review
A Chinese system that places promising athletes in prestigious universities while the less athletic compete in annual entrance examinations is spurring controversy and may be reformed in this year’s entrance examination, writes Yiqi Sun for UPI.
INDIA
Joint vocational university under discussion
India and Germany are planning to set up a jointly funded vocational university, reports IANS. The university is likely to be based in one of the major cities of India and will provide technical education.
AFRICA
Sharp upturn in e-learning revenues
Self-paced electronic learning revenues in Africa may hit US$512.7 million by 2016, according to the latest forecast. The continent is said to be experiencing a sharp upturn, and e-Learning Africa forum says it is no longer just an end user of new products from the Western world and others, writes Stanley Opara for Punch.
UNITED KINGDOM
Huge university salaries condemned
Scottish universities employ 88 people who earn the same as the First Minister's £140,000 (US$213,000) salary or more, reports icScotland. Just two principals across the 18 institutions earn less than the leader of the Scottish government, according to figures from the National Union of Students.
EUROPE
Universities' draft code under attack
A new draft code of conduct to improve the governance of Scottish universities has been attacked as weak and vague, writes Andrew Denholm for Scotland Herald. The criticism comes after the code was published by a steering group of experts chaired by Lord Smith of Kelvin.
IRELAND
Demand for technology courses soars by 51%
There has been a 51% increase in applications to technology courses in Irish higher education over the past five years, a new study by the Higher Education Authority has found, writes Louise Holden for The Irish Times.
AUSTRALIA
Sydney University criticised for blocking Dalai Lama
One of Australia's most exclusive universities has been accused of bowing to China after calling off a talk to students by the Dalai Lama, reports the Guardian.
UNITED KINGDOM
University to investigate segregated-debate claims
An investigation is under way after reports that seating at a second university debate was segregated between men and women, writes Tom Moseley for The Huffington Post UK.
EUROPE
Sham journals scam authors
Scientific publishing, meet cybercrime. Two reputable European science journals have fallen prey to identity theft by criminals who have created counterfeit journal websites. These online doppelgangers have duped hundreds of researchers into paying author fees, with the ill-won gains being funnelled to Armenia, writes Declan Butler for Nature.
UNITED KINGDOM
MI5 warns universities on cyber spying
UK security services have warned universities to be more vigilant in protecting themselves against cyber attacks by foreign powers seeking to poach intellectual property at the frontier of science and technology, writes Helen Warrell for the Financial Times.
UNITED KINGDOM
How Margaret Thatcher transformed universities
Margaret Thatcher’s legacy to universities was revolutionary. Her legacy to schools, though, was mixed. And it was as prime minister rather than in her earlier role as secretary of state for education and science (1970-74) that she exercised her greatest influence, writes Terence Kealey for The Telegraph.
UNITED STATES
Obama proposes market-based rates for student loans
President Barack Obama last Wednesday proposed shifting federal student loans to market-based rates rather than the current system in which interest rates are fixed by law and subject to congressional whim, reports Reuters.
UNITED STATES
Pay gap threatens quality at some colleges – Report
A growing wage gap between public and private colleges, coupled with increased reliance on part-time instructors, threatens to degrade academic quality at certain universities, according to a new report from the American Association of University Professors, writes Tyler Kingkade for The Huffington Post.
UNITED STATES
Old ally sends droves of students to US
Which European country sends more students to US universities than any other? Is it Britain, which shares a common language and a reverence for ancient collegiate campuses? Or Germany, whose great research universities did so much to shape US higher education? The answer, it turns out, is neither, writes DD Guttenplan for The New York Times.
SWITZERLAND
Universities tested by foreign student influx
The rising influx of foreign students to Swiss universities is bringing more international talent to the country. But the debate on who foots the bill for welcoming such bright young minds is tying academics and legislators in knots, writes Matthew Allen for Swissinfo.
GREECE
Foreign students learn about economic crisis in situ
Khalid feels “at home” on the streets of Athens and Sheila sees “encouraging signs” of economic recovery in Greece, but Clemence admits to feeling “overwhelmed” by the “human impact of the crisis”. International students have gathered in Athens to take part in field trips organised by their universities in New York and Paris, reports Agence France Presse.
ISRAEL
Treasury to raise university tuition prices
A late-night meeting between finance ministry officials and student leaders last Monday revealed that the treasury is planning a multi-million shekel cut to the higher education budget, which will lead to a major increase in university tuition costs and likely to department closures and faculty firings, writes Ron Friedman for The Times of Israel.
EGYPT
Egyptian court supports universities’ independence
In a decision viewed as supporting the need for Egyptian universities to be free of government interference, the Alexandria administrative court has blocked an effort by the Ministry of Education to force twice-a-year evaluations of university staff, writes Mohamed Mahmoud for Al Fanar.
SAUDI ARABIA
Top education officials have unrecognised PhDs
As many as nine senior Saudi officials in the department of education in Riyadh are holding PhD degrees from universities not recognised by the Ministry of Higher Education, Al-Hayat newspaper reported last Sunday, quoting a department source, reports the Saudi Gazette.