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World Round-up
Exam reforms ‘will wreck education’
Education Secretary Michael Gove’s exam reform will “wreck” the English education system, the head of admissions to Oxford University warned last week, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.
Oklahoma colleges step up recruitment in Brazil
In a few months, Luan will begin classes at the University of Oklahoma's college of architecture. This semester he is one of 36 Brazilians in the university’s 'English as a Second Language' programme. A growing number of students from the Latin American nation are coming to Oklahoma universities, reports Menafn.
Study shows deterioration in higher education
The state of Israel’s higher education has steadily deteriorated over past decades, according to a new study released by the Taub Centre for Social Policy Studies in Israel last Monday, ahead of the beginning of the academic year, writes Danielle Zir for The Jerusalem Post.
Universities ignore Uzbekistan human rights record
A string of British universities has established links with higher education institutions in a country whose human rights record is widely condemned as one of the worst in the world, with the full support of the British government, write Ian Cobain and Lidia Kurasinska for the Guardian.
India wins support for Nalanda from seven countries
Last Thursday India signed agreements with seven countries pledging their commitment to the ambitious Nalanda University project being built near the ruins of the ancient academic institution, writes Manmohan Singh for Press Trust of India.
Delhi University shop at centre of publishing row
A cramped, one-room shop tucked away in India's Delhi University seems an unlikely battleground for a publishing war that, academics warn, threatens quality of and access to higher education in the world’s second most populous nation, reports AFP.
Education minister promises action on red-tape reform
Australia’s Education Minister Christopher Pyne has promised more action to cut red tape after the national regulator seized the initiative with its own package of reforms, writes Bernard Lane for The Australian.
Bringing universities to refugee camps
The Dadaab refugee camps in northern Kenya sit in a bleak landscape; remote, dusty and arid, they are sun-scorched by day and whipped by fierce dust storms that blow up seemingly out of nowhere. While there is access to primary and secondary education, opportunities for tertiary education have been extremely limited over the years, writes Ginanne Brownell for The New York Times.
Congress urged to revoke student aid changes
A mere US$600 stood between Christian Fair (20) and his future this semester, when the United States Department of Education denied his parents a loan to help pay for tuition fees and textbooks, writes Elvina Nawaguna for Reuters.
Admissions reflect spike in Indian student numbers
Ireland has seen a 100% growth in the number of Indian students in the September round of admissions this year as compared to last year, although the base has been very small, growing from an average of 1,000 in 2012, as indicated by Ambassador Feilim McLaughlin, writes Ankita Ramgopal for Business World.
Google signs deal with education network
Search-to-smartphones giant Google has drawn up a framework agreement with UK education technology body Janet which will make it easier for colleges and universities to make the move to Google Apps using a contract which has been approved by Janet as meeting UK legal requirements, writes Steve Ranger for ZDNet.
Stanford's chemistry Nobel honours computer science
When he conceived his prestigious prizes in 1895, Alfred Nobel never imagined the need to honour an unknown field called computer science. But the next best thing happened last Wednesday: computing achieved an historic milestone when the Nobel Prize for chemistry went to a trio of researchers for groundbreaking work using computers to model the complex chemistry that sustains life, writes Lisa M Krieger for Inside Bay Area News.
Militants kill students in college attack
Suspected Islamic extremists attacked an agricultural college in the dead of night, gunning down dozens of students as they slept in dormitories and torching classrooms, the college provost said – this is the latest violence in north-eastern Nigeria's ongoing Islamic uprising, write Adamu Adamu and Michelle Faul for The Associated Press.
Students clash as Morsi turmoil continues
Rival groups of students, some armed with guns and Molotov cocktails, clashed across Egypt last Sunday, state media and security sources said, as violence triggered by the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi spread to universities, reports Reuters. At least 29 people were wounded in fighting between groups for and against the ousted Islamist leader on at least three campuses, said the reports
Students 'short-changed' by universities – Expert
Students in Britain are receiving a “less demanding” experience than those in other European countries, raising serious questions over university standards, it is claimed. Workload is believed to be around a quarter less than the average recommended by the higher education watchdog, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
Study accuses universities of promoting white privilege
US colleges and universities are guilty of promoting “white racial privilege”, according to a report produced by Georgetown University and funded, in part, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, writes Timothy Dionisopoulos for Campus Reform.
Chinese dissident finds new academic home after NYU
Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng is set to join the conservative Witherspoon Institute in New Jersey following his departure from New York University, which he says forced him to leave because of pressure from the Chinese government, writes Stoyan Zaimov for The Christian Post.
China said to be holding Japan-based professor
A Chinese specialist in Sino-Japanese affairs who has been living in Japan appears to have been detained by the Chinese government since late July and is being questioned about his activities, according to Chinese academics and a Japanese newspaper, writes Jane Perlez for The New York Times.
Academics’ lack of productivity under the spotlight
Claims that nearly 40% of academic staff at La Trobe University have been research inactive for six years or more are indicative of a wider malaise and not confined to that institution, according to a leading commentator, writes Andrew Trounson for The Australian.
Universities spend millions on staff disputes
Universities have spent an average of nearly €2.7 million (US$3.7 million) a year on external legal fees since 2006 with up to two thirds going towards resolving staff disputes, writes Niall Murray for the Irish Examiner.
As US pullout nears, anxiety over future of university
Like just about everything else that the West has built in Afghanistan over the past decade, the American University of Kabul remains half-complete, heavily reliant on foreign aid for the foreseeable future and seized by a paralysing question: How much will endure after the US military leaves by the end of next year? asks Ernesto Londoño for The Washington Post.
Little hope for net migration change soon
An MP close to David Willetts has admitted defeat on hopes to withdraw students from net migration figures in the near future, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education. Paul Uppal, parliamentary private secretary to David Willetts, the UK universities and science minister, spoke at a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference last week.
Business schools were ‘used as a cash cow’ – Willetts
Universities were guilty in the past of “extracting money” from business school students without giving them good quality teaching. That is the view of David Willetts, the universities and science minister, who made the comments during a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference as he launched a charter for business schools that help small businesses and start-ups, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education.
Student loan default rates continue steady climb
The percentage of borrowers who defaulted on federal student loans within two years of starting repayment has increased for the sixth year in a row, while the rate for defaults measured over a three-year period rose by a similar amount, according to figures released last Monday by the US Department of Education, writes Andy Thomason for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Who really runs American universities? And who should?
If American universities are to survive what's happening to the country, many brave, sound judgments will have to be made by faculty and administrators, often working together, but often by challenging one another, writes Jim Sleeper for Huffington Post.