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World Round-up
NEPAL: Government prepares to set up open university
With the Open University Nepal Initiative's new offices on the premises of the Ministry of Education, the government is gearing up to establish the much-awaited open university, writes Rudra Pangeni for the Himalayan Times.
CANADA: First Nations, universities sign unique pact
A historic agreement has been struck between the leaders of First Nations and universities in Atlantic Canada to enhance educational opportunities for aboriginal people, reports CBC News.
IRELAND: New higher education rules 'a debacle'
New rules governing appointments in the higher education sector are a "debacle", a senior civil servant has claimed. In a scathing confidential assessment sent to senior education figures, Martin Shanagher, assistant secretary at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, says the moves will "penalise'' research activity, and were made without considering the full implications, reports Sean Flynn for the Irish Times.
AUSTRALIA: Foreign students 'allowed to underperform'
Gigi Foster knows her disturbing research findings on international students won't make her many friends. In a university sector grown dependent on international fee revenue, it might not do much to progress her academic career either, writes Andrew Trounson for The Australian.
UK: British universities ditch Libyan deals
A string of universities said they had pulled out of a deal with Tripoli to train hundreds of health workers, writes Michael Howie for The Telegraph. The disclosure came as official statistics showed virtually every university in Britain is being paid by the Libyan government to educate students.
INDIA-US: 12 Tri-Valley students freed of radio tag
Twelve of 18 Indian students of the closed Tri-Valley University in California in the United States are now free of radio collars, the Ministry of External Affairs has told the National Human Right Commission, writes Vineeta Pandey for Daily News & Analysis.
INDIA: Deemed universities face fee, admission curbs
Private 'deemed' universities (institutions with considerable autonomy) will no longer be free to decide their fees or admission policies. The Human Resource Development Ministry has decided to let the University Grants Commission enforce its first-ever regulations on tuition fees and admission at deemed universities, writes Basant Kumar Mohanty for the Telegraph India.
GERMANY: University funding fears as states scrap fees
The German university fee system is on the brink of collapse after another state confirmed it would abolish charges for students following a change in local government, writes Alexandra Topping for the Guardian.
CANADA: McGill fined $2 million for raising MBA fees
Quebec's government has fined McGill University $2-million for the school's unilateral decision to raise its tuition fees for an MBA from $1,700 to $29,500, writes James Bradshaw for the Globe and Mail.
UK: Universities may face fines for high fees
The UK's coalition government is considering a Soviet-style central intervention policy to effectively fine individual universities in England if they impose unreasonable tuition fees next year, write Patrick Wintour and Allegra Stratton for the Guardian.
JORDAN: Ministry to rate universities and courses
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific research is currently drafting a system to rate public and private universities and courses, writes Khetam Malkawi for Zawya. Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Wajih Owais said the measure was aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of universities and courses.
PALESTINE: Hamas police raid Gaza campus
The Al-Azhar University in Gaza City last week accused Hamas police of storming the office of its president and abusing him verbally, reports Khaled Abu Toameh for the Jerusalem Post. The university said that Hamas policemen in civilian clothes raided the office during a meeting between the president and board of trustees.
US: Probe into anti-semitism on California campus
The US Department of Education is investigating a faculty member's complaint that a series of pro-Palestinian events at a California university crossed the line into anti-semitism and created a hostile environment for Jewish students, reports the Washington Post.
SOUTH AFRICA: University mulls ties with Ben-Gurion
The University of Johannesburg held a seminar last Wednesday to begin deliberating the future of its academic ties with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, writes Ben Hartman for the Jerusalem Post.
UK: Oxford set for record state school intake
Oxford University is on course to have the highest ever proportion of state school pupils in its undergraduate intake this autumn. Figures recently published by the institution show that just 41.5% of offers were made to private school candidates, writes Jeevan Vasagar for the Guardian.
UK: Underperforming vice-chancellors may lose pay
The UK's main lecturers' union has welcomed proposals for vice-chancellors to have a portion of their pay withheld if they fail to perform well in their job, writes Hannah Fearn for Times Higher Education. Individual heads could lose up to 10% of their pay under the plans set out this week by Will Hutton in his final report on fair pay in the public sector.
MALAYSIA: Universities rapped for politicking
The Malaysian prime minister has called for a reduction in politicking on university campuses, especially in the appointment of vice-chancellors, reports The Star. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that at times the politicking surrounding the appointment of university leaders was so intense that it surpassed that of a political party.
UGANDA: 70,000 to miss out on university
Over 70,000 students may this year miss admission to university, both private and public, because they did not get the required two principal passes or because the institutions do not have enough vacancies, writes Conan Businge for Sunday Vision.
INDIA: Reality check on foreign university bill
Only 21% of Indian students in the US who participated in the most comprehensive study yet of their future plans said they would have stayed in India for higher education even with access to American teachers. The finding is significant because it comes as parliament is set to debate the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill aimed at allowing top foreign universities into India, writes Charu Sudan Kasturi for Hindustan Times.
AFGANISTAN: No-fee colleges struggle for funds
Already coping with war, poverty and corruption, Afghan colleges are struggling under a government policy that forbids them from charging tuition fees, writes Josh Boak for the Washington Post.
US: University presses urged to work together
Operating in this digitally powered era of 'information hyperabundance', university presses still get most of their sales revenue from print sales. But they're also putting more and more energy into trying electronic, open-access and non-traditional publishing - and are likely to be experimenting for a very long time. So says a new report made public last week by the Association of American University Presses, writes Jennifer Howard for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
US: Tuition shock hits business majors
Differential tuition, where schools charge different prices to individual students based on their major or field of study, is becoming an increasingly popular funding mechanism at resource-stretched public research universities in the US, reports Bloomberg Business Week.
US: For-profits: A 'disturbing' educational model
For investors, it was an impressive story: Bridgepoint Education used seed money from Warburg Pincus in 2005 to buy a struggling religious college with 300 students in Clinton, Iowa, and turned it into an online behemoth with 78,000 students and $216 million in profits last year, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.
UK: Despots and academia: More scandals 'likely'
The London School of Economics, which is trying to repair the damage done to its reputation by its links with the Gaddafi regime in Libya, is not the only UK university that has accepted money from repressive governments, writes Andy McSmith for The Independent. Saudi Arabia has been a much more lavish investor in British higher education than Libya.
UK: The age of the self-starter
A million young Britons are out of work and prospects for many others are grim. But across the UK a growing number of twenty-somethings, fired up with a new spirit of entrepreneurship, are using their laptops to start their own businesses, writes Elizabeth Day for The Guardian.