28 October 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
Fee fairness debate opens up
A new fairness debate has cropped up in several American states this year and is beginning to change policy in Iowa, writes Kevin Kiley for Inside Higher Ed. Last month, the Board of Regents of the state, which oversees three universities, eliminated their policy of earmarking 20% of in-state tuition revenue for financial aid purposes. In doing so, the board launched a plan to reduce the sticker price of attending the universities by $1,000 a year.
University chiefs fret about commercialisation of science
Concerns about the commercialisation of Canadian research funding and international student recruitment were front and centre as Canadian higher education leaders gathered in Ottawa last week, writes Michelle Zilio for iPolitics.
Top thinkers form council to defend universities
A host of the UK's most esteemed thinkers have joined a campaign that calls for university autonomy, research free from short-term economic concerns and higher education that allows graduates to lead richer and more rewarding lives, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
Students, staff campaign against council changes
Students and staff want institutions to follow Melbourne University's lead and condemn proposed laws that strip their right to a place on governing councils. The push comes amid mounting fears that universities, including Monash, will support the state government's new legislation and deny students a council seat, writes Benjamin Preiss for The Age.
Rights of universities, academics ignored – NGO
Fundamental rights of universities and academics – such as academic freedom, university autonomy, collegiality and security of tenure – are ignored in Malaysia, an academic-based NGO said last week, reports Anisah Shukry for Free Malaysia Today.
Four universities launch unit to pool talent
Four government-funded universities in central and southern Taiwan formally launched a unit last week to integrate resources and jointly nurture talent, reports The China Post.
Cardiff Metropolitan University in merger reprieve
The Welsh education minister has been accused of a U-turn after withdrawing a consultation forcing a three-way merger of universities in south-east Wales. Leighton Andrews said Glamorgan and Newport universities want to merge sooner rather than later. Cardiff Metropolitan University, which has opposed the merger plan, will not be forced to join them for the time being, reports the BBC.
University criticised after lab mice die in superstorm
A week after super-storm Sandy flooded New York University’s medical research laboratories, critics are asking whether the laboratories did everything they could – and whether they followed government guidelines – to protect the research animals, writes Sharon Begley for Reuters.
Weekend courses find eager students
Since its opening three years ago in Kigali, Mt Kenya University has offered weekend programmes that are winning the hearts of learners in pursuit of higher education. Weekend study programmes are not a new concept in Kenya where the university originates, but in Rwanda MKU enjoys a monopoly, writes Anne Anjao for The Independent.
Overseas students 'starved'
Appalling conditions facing overseas students in Australia, including housing in overcrowded firetraps and abuse by host parents, have been highlighted by a New South Wales government-appointed task force, writes Melanie Kembrey for The Sydney Morning Herald.
Recovering from Hurricane Sandy
Monday’s howling winds and pounding rains largely gave way to quiet on Tuesday as Hurricane Sandy left many colleges and universities along the Atlantic coast of the United States damaged, without power, and waiting to determine when classes could begin again, writes Alexandra Tilsley for Inside Higher Ed.
Free speech at universities abysmal – Report
The “abysmal” state of free speech at Canadian public universities is stifling the right of students to speak their minds, according to a new report card that gives mostly failing grades to universities and their student unions, writes Sarah Boesveld for National Post.
Universities fight Quinn's plan to take control of pay
Irish universities are fighting plans to change the law to give the government absolute control over pay, conditions and staff numbers. University leaders have met Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to express reservations about proposed new legislation, writes Katherine Donnelly for the Irish Independent.
Proportion of academics with PhDs is 'low'
Questions have been raised about whether many scholars are "little or no better qualified than those they are teaching" following an analysis of the latest data on how many academics have a doctorate, writes Jack Grove for Times Higher Education.
Ben-Gurion University gets chance to reform department
Israel’s Council for Higher Education gave the controversial political science department at Ben-Gurion University a three-week deadline to commit to remedying problems pointed out by an international committee, reports Israel Hayom.
Former Penn State head charged over abuse case
Graham B Spanier, the former president of Pennsylvania State University who was once one of higher education's highest fliers, was charged on Thursday with conspiring to cover up child abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky, the former Nittany Lions football coach who was convicted in June on 45 counts of molestation, writes Brad Wolverton for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Saying ‘no’ to education cuts
Many countries in Central and Eastern Europe have trimmed back spending on education after the 2008 global financial crisis and its aftermath. But Poland and Lithuania have bucked that trend. Given the importance of a well-educated and skilled workforce for future growth, that may prove to have been the smart way to go, writes Judy Dempsey for The New York Times.
Rebirth of a university
On Cocody University campus, the biggest in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, workers are busy – finishing paint jobs, planting shrubs and installing tables and chairs for around 62,000 students (out of 85,000 in the whole country). The university is reopening after 18 months, writes Isabelle Rey-Lefebvre for the Guardian.
Nine new higher education partnerships with Indonesia
The United Kingdom and Indonesia further strengthened their education links last week, by committing to nine new long-term partnerships in higher education, reports the UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Universities can house only 20% of intake
For South African school-leavers who choose to enter higher education, getting an acceptance letter from the university of their choice is only half the battle won. For most students whose homes are nowhere near the institutions, finding a place to stay is a major struggle, writes Nontobeko Mtshali for The Star.
Government to turn five institutions into universities
Zambia’s government will spend about K31 trillion (US$6 million) over four years to transform five training institutions into universities, and establish a new one. It plans to have the six institutions operating in the course of next year, writes Fridah Nkonde for The Post.
Civility efforts seek better behaviour on campus
In a society where anonymous internet commenters freely lob insults, and politicians spew partisan barbs, the decline of basic civility isn't limited to academia. But the push for more polite discourse – often as an extension of more entrenched diversity efforts – is firmly taking root on campus, writes Alan Scher Zagier for Associated Press.
Rescinding of invitation elicits ‘Sovietisation’ charge
A leading British historian has accused a US university of “colluding in the Sovietisation” of Roman Catholic intellectual life after the university rescinded an invitation to a prominent liberal theologian who has argued the case for same-sex marriage, on the grounds that she dissents publicly from the church’s moral teachings, writes Lizzie Davies for the Guardian.
Court ruling sends chill through science community
Scientists reacted with alarm to the manslaughter conviction of six earthquake experts in Italy for failing to give adequate warning of the 2009 earthquake in the city of L'Aquila that killed 308 people, writes Chris Wickham for Reuters.
University postgraduate system 'failing UK economy'
The postgraduate system in the UK's universities is failing to produce the number of highly skilled staff needed by a modern economy, according to the Higher Education Commission, which says the system is geared towards attracting overseas students rather than training more UK students, reports Sean Coughlan for the BBC.