23 August 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
INDIA
Industry-ITT MOOC partnership to reach up to 150,000
Seven leading Indian institutes of technology, Infosys, TCS, Cognizant and industry lobby Nasscom are coming together to launch free, online courses that could potentially help 100,000 to 150,000 people a year get high quality education and make them job-ready, writes Rica Bhattacharyya for The Economic Times.
RWANDA
MOOCs changing lives of genocide victims
Tujiza Uwituze worked hard and ranked near the top of her class in her Rwandan secondary school, but her education was poor by international standards. She lives with a great-uncle in Kigali and has US$75 in savings. Despite hard work and an intense desire to succeed, her dreams appeared out of reach – and might have been if not for an innovative project that could radically change her life, writes Jeffrey Bartholet for Scientific American.
CANADA
Visa slowdown could hurt universities
Thousands of international students planning to study in Canada might not be there when classes start in September because of a slowdown in processing visa applications outside the country, reports CBC News.
THAILAND
University apologises for Hitler banner
Thailand's premier university has apologised for displaying a billboard that showed Adolf Hitler alongside Superman and other superheroes, saying last week that it was painted by ignorant students who did not realise Hitler's image would offend anyone, writes Jocelyn Gecker for Associated Press.
CROATIA
Government aims to get sector up to EU standard
The Croatian government is developing plans to significantly boost its university sector despite concerns about the quality of tertiary education in the country, which joined the European Union on 1 July, writes Jonathan Dyson for Times Higher Education.
HONG KONG
More students chase university places
Competition for university places is tougher this year than last, as more secondary school students have achieved the minimum requirements for admission in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exam, writes Johnny Tam for the South China Morning Post.
AUSTRALIA
Universities lure Hong Kong students
As Hong Kong high school students received their final school marks last week, Australia's universities touted their main attractions to students at a Hong Kong education trade fair, writes Stephen McDonell for ABC News.
NEW ZEALAND
Higher education unites on early education
New Zealand’s eight universities have banded together to campaign against the government's proposal to exclude early childhood education from a new postgraduate qualification, writes Jody O’Callaghan for http://Stuff.co.nz.
FIJI
Pioneer research network formed
Three Fijian universities signed an agreement establishing the Pacific Islands Universities Research Network last week, writes Daniel Naidu for The Fiji Times Online. Comprising 11 universities from around the Pacific, the network hopes to improve communication and collaboration between Pacific Island universities.
SOUTH AFRICA
Universities lose academics to higher salaries
Academics are hitting the road for the promise of big money in the private and public sectors, write Nashira Davids and Philani Nombembe for Times Live. The trend has prompted a study by Higher Education South Africa, the vice-chancellors’ association.
UNITED STATES
Ex-politicians can make great university presidents
Critics of US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who has been appointed the next president of the University of California, say she has few academic credentials. Yet over the past 40 years the college presidents who've made the greatest advances for institutions have disproportionately been ex-politicians, writes Albert R Hunt for Bloomberg.
UNITED STATES
Universities’ revenue drive obscures broader mission
When the Supreme Court ruled that you couldn’t patent human genes, Ambry Genetics began offering women a test for the BRCA genes, which are linked to breast cancer. But last week, Myriad Genetics, the firm that has enjoyed a de facto monopoly on BRCA tests in recent years, sued – in conjunction with two universities – writes Timothy B Lee for The Washington Post.
IRAQ
Academics targeted in renewed violence
When Ali Anbori heard last week about the killing of his friend and colleague Ahmed Shaker, a professor at the University of Baghdad, he recalled how he had also at times in the past few years been the target of death threats, writes Cathy Otten for Al Fanar.
AFRICA
US universities looking at investment strategies
America’s wealthiest universities are venturing into Africa’s fast-growing frontier markets, in search of outsized investment returns that will allow them to offer scholarships, lure star professors and fund research, writes Tosin Sulaiman for Reuters.
IRAN
Foreign student numbers on the rise
Fourteen thousand foreign students are studying at Iran’s universities and efforts are under way to attract more international students, according to Minister of Science, Research and Technology Kamran Daneshjoo, reports Tehran Times.
CHINA
Liberal Peking University professor faces expulsion
A renowned professor has confirmed online rumours that his peers will decide whether he will be expelled from China's most eminent university after he made a series of remarks in favour of free speech and constitutional governance, writes Patrick Boehler for the South China Morning Post.
GLOBAL
American MOOC providers face international competition
Although talk of providers of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, has centred mostly on American companies and non-profit organisations like Coursera and edX, MOOC platforms in other countries have made it clear that they are also looking to stake a claim in this growing realm of higher education, writes Sara Grossman for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
UNITED STATES
Coursera raises US$43 million
Forget about teacher’s pet. Online education company Coursera is fast becoming an investor’s pet with a new US$43 million round of funding, writes Melissa Korn for The Wall Street Journal.
UNITED KINGDOM
Students offered role in bid to reform universities
Britain’s National Union of Students has been asked to help regulate institutions, as part of the government's latest bid to reform higher education. The move is part of a plan by ministers to give more powers to the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the body that hands grants to universities for research and teaching, reports the Press Association.
UNITED KINGDOM
Students – We can't get no satisfaction
Almost one year into the new fees regime, formal appeals and complaints against UK universities by students have shot up, and several campuses have seen protests against the way institutions are organising their finances. Meanwhile, dissatisfaction with the National Student Survey – the primary way in which undergraduates give feedback about their courses – is growing, writes Rebecca Ratcliffe for the Guardian.
ISRAEL
Army enlists universities to combat draft dodging
The Israeli Defence Force’s Human Resources Directorate chief, Major General Orna Barbivai, has sent a sharply worded letter to the Council for Higher Education revealing the large amounts of money inadvertently invested in funding draft dodgers' education, writes Telem Yahav for YNet News.
ISRAEL
Only a third of PhDs work in higher education
Only a third of people who have earned doctoral degrees in Israel are employed by universities and colleges, according to a survey conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics for the National Council for Research and Development, writes Judy Siegel-Itzkovich for the Jerusalem Post.
MYANMAR
Bill to restore some autonomy for universities
Autonomy for universities in Myanmar is likely to be granted soon, although the extent to which higher education will be allowed to operate free of state interference remains unclear in a country where students have long agitated against unpopular governments, writes Nyein Nyein for The Irrawaddy.
AFRICA
Education ministers meet over market-relevant skills
Education ministers from Ethiopia, Guinea, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan and Tanzania met last week in Addis Ababa with experts from Brazil, China, India and Korea to discuss how to produce market-relevant skills in Africa, writes Andualem Sisay for Africa Review.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
University funding boost to cater for increased students
The Papua New Guinea government is pouring K500 million (US$222 million) into universities to roll out and upgrade programmes, in order to increase the intake of students coming out of secondary schools, Higher Education, Science and Research Technology Minister David Arore said last week, reports The National.