20 December 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
INDIA: University fees may rise every three years
The central government will push for a 10% hike in university fees every three years in a bid to nurse the institutions to financial health, a move that could have a far-reaching impact on India's resource-strapped higher education system, writes Prashant K Nanda for Livemint.com.
IRELAND: Students to pay more after fees reversal
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn performed a U-turn on a key election promise last week by admitting he would not reverse a EUR500 (US$719) hike in college registration fees. And the minister refused to rule out the introduction of higher education fees and further student charges, another pre-election pledge, writes Edel O'Connell for The Independent.
CHINA: Top university accused of selling out
Corporate sponsorship is part of life for universities in the UK and US, which regularly raise hundreds of millions of pounds from donors. As Chinese universities race to transform themselves into world-class institutions, they are increasingly looking outwards for funding. But Tsinghua University's decision to rename its No 4 Teaching Building, in large gold letters, as the Jeanswest Building seems to have crossed a line, writes Malcolm Moore for The Telegraph.
AFGHANISTAN: Graduating against the odds
Students chat happily on manicured lawns, proudly donning their black graduation robes and snapping photos of each other with family and friends. It is 26 May, graduation day at the American University of Afghanistan - the first since the university opened in 2006 - and the violence and misery of this country's decades-long war could not seem further away, writes Erin Cunningham for the Chronicle of Higher Education.
US: Government to monitor fee increases
The US federal government will attempt to restrict the rise of college tuition from 1 July. After that date, colleges with large tuition increases will be required to report to the Department of Education the reason for the increase and the actions that will be taken to minimise costs. The department will publish much of the reports for the public online, writes Meagan Clark for Times Observer.
ISRAEL: Ministry announces sites for research centres
The sites for the first four research centres of the Israeli Centres for Research Excellence (I-CORE) programme were announced by the Education Ministry last week, part of a multi-year plan to strengthen Israel's position as a global leader in academic research and stem the brain drain of Israeli academics, writes Ben Hartman for the Jerusalem Post.
INDIA-GERMANY: Higher education summit?
India has proposed to host an Indo-German higher education summit this year to explore issues such as mutual recognition of qualifications and joint research programmes, reports the Daily News and Analysis.
AUSTRALIA: Standards for overseas students' safety
Universities will need to provide housing guarantees to international students when the Australian Human Rights Commission releases its minimum standards for student safety later this year, writes Yuko Narushima for the Sydney Morning Herald.
AUSTRALIA-CHINA: Chinese classes miss point
China's mass circulation newspaper, China Daily, has highlighted the paradox of Chinese who go abroad to study English only to find themselves in a classroom full of their countrymen, writes Bernard Lane for The Australian.
UK: No-confidence campaign launched
A campaign for a nationwide vote of no confidence in the government's higher education reforms has been launched by a group of academics and students at the University of Oxford. The movement urges student unions and academic bodies across the country to put forward motions expressing no confidence in the policies of David Willetts, the Universities and Science Minister, writes Simon Baker for Times Higher Education.
UK: Call to action over dearth of black professors
Leading black academics are calling for an urgent culture change at UK universities as figures show there are just 50 black British professors out of more than 14,000, and the number has barely changed in eight years, reports Jessica Shepherd for The Guardian.
UK: Rush for university places wanes
The surge in the number of university applicants has finally waned after a decade of record rises, amid concerns that higher tuition fees are already deterring students, writes Kate Loveys for the Daily Mail.
CHINA: Mongolian students locked in
Authorities in the Inner Mongolia region of China have closed the gates of major universities and colleges in the wake of protests sparked by the death of a herder at the hands of a mining truck driver, reports Radio Free Asia.
MALAYSIA: Raffles Education to set up university
Singapore-based Raffles Education, one of the largest private education groups in the region, is setting up a university in Johor, Malaysia, reports Xinhuanet. According to the Straits Times, the new institute, Raffles University Iskandar, will be located in Johor's Iskandar EduCity, an education hub located in the town of Nusajaya just across a link with Singapore.
CHINA: University enrolment crisis looms
For decades, attending university has been the Chinese version of the 'American Dream', promising a rise from rags to riches for those who have studied hard and invested heavily in education. But a recent slump in the number of students enrolling to take the college entrance examinations has awakened universities to an inconvenient truth: they will soon have to contend with a decreasing number of students, write Yao Yuan, Guo Jiuhui and Liu Baosen for Xinhuanet.
US: Enrolment growth outpaces faculty growth
Growth in enrolments has outpaced growth in public university and college faculty and staff in recent years, according to a new report issued by the State Higher Education Executive Officers, writes Andrea Fuller for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
US: Chinese agents exploit student influx
Leon Lin was ecstatic when he found out he'd be leaving home in southern China to study at the University of Connecticut. As the Chinese agent whom his parents paid US$5,000 to help him get into the school told him, the university's flagship campus at Storrs was a highly ranked institution, with 25,000 students and ready access to Boston and New York City, writes Daniel Golden for Bloomberg News.
TAIWAN: New plan to boost foreign student numbers
Taiwan's Cabinet approved a four-year NT$5.68 billion (US$196 million) plan on 26 May that will boost education sector competitiveness and promote the country as a hub of advanced learning in East Asia, writes Kwangyin Liu for Taiwan Today.
KOREA: Overseas study loses its lustre
Has the great Korean experiment in early overseas education failed? An increasing number of students who left the country at a young age are returning home to continue their university studies because they find it difficult to get jobs abroad. At the same time, the number of secondary school children going abroad is also declining, reports The Chosunilbo.
UK: Universities step up overseas recruiting
Access to university should be based on ability to learn, not ability to pay, the UK Prime Minister David Cameron insisted earlier this month, writes Harriet Swain for the Guardian. Denying reports that the government would allow universities to recruit above their student number limit so long as the extra students paid higher fees, he was adamant: "There is no question of people being able to buy their way into university," he said.
UK: 'Private sector threat is being ignored'
Ministers have been accused of ignoring a damning report highlighting the threat posed by private universities to the world-class reputation of British higher education, writes Daniel Boffey for The Observer. The coalition government is driving forward reforms to allow commercial companies to set up universities to compete with traditional institutions.
UK: Black students feel left out by 'white cliques'
University coursework should be marked anonymously to deal with concerns that potential bias against a "foreign-sounding name" can cost students marks, a report by the National Union of Students recommends. The report also urges universities to minimise "eurocentric bias" when drawing up curricula, reports Jeevan Vasagar for the Guardian.
SCOTLAND: University chief in new tribunal case
A Scottish university principal suspended from his post in controversial circumstances has launched a second tribunal case against his employers. Professor Bernard King, Principal of Abertay University in Dundee, believes he was discriminated against because he acted as a 'whistleblower' on behalf of other staff, writes Andrew Denholm for Herald Scotland.
INDONESIA: Universities asked to teach anti-graft
Indonesia's national anti-graft agency last week called for more universities across the country to offer anti-corruption classes to students. Abdullah Hehamahua, a senior adviser at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), said that because graft was categorised as an extraordinary crime, there needed to be serious efforts to introduce prevention policies into university curricula, reports the Jakarta Globe.
AUSTRALIA: Aptitude tests may better reflect ability
The Australian Council for Educational Research has issued a report suggesting that an emphasis on tertiary admissions scores is stopping hundreds of capable students from accessing university, writes Breanna Tucker for the Canberra Times.