09 February 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
UNITED STATES
Heavyweight publishers sue free-textbook start-up
Boundless Learning Inc says it will liberate college students from big textbook bills with free online versions built from public web content. But the Boston start-up is being accused of copyright infringement by three of the largest educational publishers in the world. They say it creates its texts by stealing from well-known textbooks, writes Michael B Farrell for The Boston Globe.
INDIA
Universities lock horns over plagiarised paper
Two major universities in the city of Coimbatore have locked horns after a research paper published by one of them more than two years ago figured in an international scientific journal bearing the credentials of a research student and an associate professor from the other university, writes Binoy Valsan for The Times of India.
UNITED STATES
Online ‘ivy' university to test global education market
Traditionally, for-profit colleges have operated on the lowest rungs of America's educational ladder, catering to poor and lower middle-class students looking for a basic, convenient degree or technical training. Aspiring Ivy Leaguers have remained far out of the industry's sights. That is, until now, writes Jordan Weissmann for The Atlantic.
SOUTH AFRICA
President announces R2.5 billion for FET colleges
The National Skills Fund and sector education and training authorities are to allocate R2.5 billion towards the refurbishment and construction of new further education and training (FET) college campuses over the next three years, President Jacob Zuma announced last week, writes Henry Lazenby for Engineering News.
ISRAEL
University heads may have to be professors
Israel’s Council for Higher Education is expected to require that presidents of all higher education institutions be professors, council sources said last week. The council stipulated in 2003 that all college presidents must be professors, but no such prerequisite was expressly stated for universities, writes Asaf Shtull-Trauring for Haaretz.
AUSTRALIA
Universities persist with alternative health
Universities will continue to offer alternative therapies including Chinese medicine and acupuncture in spite of increasing pressure to distance themselves from non-medical therapies, write Jen Rosenberg and Carolyn Webb for The Sydney Morning Herald.
UNITED STATES
Faculty and administrators hold divergent views on cuts
It sometimes seems that university administrators and faculty inhabit different worlds. And that’s even true at the one national conference each year devoted to bringing together faculty union leaders with the administrators they face across the negotiating table, writes Kaustuv Basu for Inside Higher Ed.
UNITED STATES
College debt places burden on senior citizens
The burden of paying for college is wreaking havoc on the finances of an unexpected demographic: senior citizens, writes Ylan Q Mui for The Washington Post with Bloomberg.
UNITED KINGDOM
Five Welsh universities to reduce fees next year
Half of Wales’s 10 campus-based universities will reduce their tuition fees to £7,500 (US$11,800) next year, writes Gareth Evans for Wales Online. Glamorgan, Trinity Saint David, Swansea Metropolitan, Newport and Cardiff Metropolitan universities have all chosen to lower the cost of their courses.
UNITED STATES
Bird flu research cleared for publication
Two controversial papers on bird flu will be published by scientific journals this year after the go-ahead was given by a US biosecurity panel, writes Ted Thornhill for the Daily Mail.
UNITED STATES
California schools mull asking students if they are gay
California’s college and university system is looking into asking students about their sexual orientation on enrolment forms and applications. Given the size of the California system – which includes 144 campuses – the idea is seen as a potential litmus test for whether other states might follow suit, writes Daniel B Wood for The Christian Science Monitor.
CANADA
Canadian professors are world’s highest paid
Never mind the Ivy League; new research shows that professors in the ivory towers of Canada are on average the best paid in the world, writes Louise Brown for The Star . In a new study of public university salaries in 28 countries – from the knowledge hubs of Asia to the powerhouses of Great Britain and the US – it is Canadian professors who outstrip all others in their pay’s purchasing power.
CHINA
The next internship frontier
James Critelli knew only five words of Mandarin, but he didn’t let that stop him from applying last year for a summer internship in China, writes Alison Damast for Bloomberg Businessweek. Critelli, now a junior at Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, was placed last summer with an investment bank and energy think-tank in Shanghai through CRCC Asia, a company that specialises in placing college students and recent graduates with internships in China. For Critelli, the experience was well worth the nearly $4,000 price tag the company charged for the two-month experience.
COLOMBIA
Guerrillas ‘infiltrate’ Colombian universities
Bogota's Government Secretary Antonio Navarro Wolff said guerrilla groups are infiltrating Colombian universities, according to local media reports last week. Navarro's comments come after the death of a student in the central city of Tunja last week and the deaths of three youths in Bogota. Police said the students were killed by their own homemade bombs and influenced by guerrillas, writes Arron Daugherty for Colombia Reports.
INDIA
Local universities trail Chinese in research
Chinese higher education institutions are three times ahead of their Indian counterparts in research performance, a new comparative study has shown, exposing the deep chasm between the centres of higher learning in two Asian giants, reports the Deccan Herald.
RUSSIA
Russia moves to rate its own universities
After it was reported this month that not a single Russian university had cracked The Times Higher Education’s ranking of top 100 schools by academic reputation, Education Minister Andrei Fursenko said that Russia was in the process of creating its own rating system, writes Sophia Kishkovsky for The New York Times.
INDIA
Report highlights ‘emergency’ in higher education
India is facing an emergency in higher education, according to the India Labour Report by TeamLease Services. According to the report, the situation has been caused by low college enrolment, an employability crisis of unskilled labour and lack of flexibility in the education sector, reports Business Standard.
UNITED KINGDOM
Major university admissions shake-up axed
Radical proposals to allow students to apply for degree courses after receiving their A-level results were dropped last week following concerns it would cut sixth-form teaching time and undermine the quality of exam marking, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
CANADA
Universities embrace Brazilian student offer
Thousands of Brazilian students will fill the halls of Canadian universities over the next four school years as part of the rising South American country’s project to send vast numbers around the world to study science, writes Campbell Clark for The Globe and Mail.
UNITED KINGDOM
'Squeezed middle' universities fear student number fall
A ‘squeezed middle’ of English universities is expected to suffer sharp falls in student numbers this autumn, according to figures published last week, writes Jeevan Vasagar for the Guardian.
AFGHANISTAN
Plan to double number of students in India and Turkey
Afghanistan proposes to double the number of its students in Indian and Turkish universities as part of moves to boost educational standards in the war-torn country, reports the Press Trust of India.
SOUTH AFRICA
Calls to revitalise the humanities
The government’s focus on maths, science and technology in higher education had come at the expense of the humanities, which should be revitalised in the interest of South Africa’s overall development, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said last week. Nzimande — who holds a doctorate in sociology — was referring to seriously declining student enrolment and falling graduation rates in the humanities and social sciences, writes Karl Gernetsky for Business Day.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities join forces in bid to boost spin-outs
Scotland’s universities are joining forces to increase the number of spin-out companies they launch and the amount of their research being licensed out to industry. Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Strathclyde universities have submitted plans to the Scottish Funding Council for a ‘modular’ system that could be used by institutions to boost business formation rates, writes Peter Ranscombe for The Scotsman.
INDIA
Students fall victim to burgeoning ‘fake’ universities
After studying for two years to be a teacher, Anam Naqvi found out that the degree her school offers is worthless. Now, instead of attending classes and finishing a mandatory internship, she and her classmates protest every day outside the gate to their university in the northern city of Aligarh, writes Rama Lakshmi for The Washington Post.
UGANDA
Scholar blames World Bank for low university standards
Renowned scholar Professor Mahmood Mamdani has blamed the World Bank for the poor quality of university education in Uganda and across Africa. Mamdani particularly attributed Makerere University's current woes and fading glory to the World Bank’s ill-fated structural adjustment policies on education, writes Francis Kagolo for The New Vision.