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World Round-up
CANADA: Large group of university chiefs to visit India
The largest delegation of Canadian university presidents ever to travel abroad – and the largest delegation of university presidents ever welcomed by India – will undertake a seven-day mission in India in November, writes Paul Davidson for The Vancouver Sun.
INDIA: Urgent need to deregulate higher education
India's National Knowledge Commission chairman Sam Pitroda last week stressed the need to deregulate education, calling it the need of the hour, reports India Edunews.
UK: LSE raises spectre of private universities
Some of Britain's leading universities could consider going private if the government decides to retain a cap on tuition fees – potentially pricing students out of the market, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.
UK: Record rush to beat fees rise
An unprecedented 74,234 candidates had completed applications for courses beginning in the autumn of 2011, more than ever before at such an early stage, writes Tim Ross for The Telegraph. Up to 220,000 candidates could be left without places next summer if the 4.2% year-on-year rise in applications continues, topping the record 210,000 students who missed places this year.
AUSTRALIA: Elite universities warn of threat to quality
The academic integrity and international competitiveness of Australia's universities face being seriously compromised, writes Julie Hare for The Australian. This would occur if the government goes ahead with plans to approve thousands of additional student places without a corresponding boost to the sector's funding.
EAST AFRICA: Low quality universities hinder growth
The poor quality of university education in the East African Community (EAC) is eating away the region's skills base, adding a fresh layer of challenge to the bloc's quest for faster growth and the dream of integration, writes Mwaura Kimani for Business Daily.
SOUTH AFRICA: Student body calls for free tuition in 2011
All school-leavers should have free university education from 2011, the South African Students Congress (Sasco) said last week, reports Sapa. "There must be no students that will be excluded on the basis that they cannot afford or they owe fees," Sasco president Mbulelo Mandlana told reporters in Johannesburg.
INDIA: University mulls centre for Pakistan studies
The Panjab University (PU) in north India is considering setting up a centre for Pakistan studies for the systematic study of India's relations with its neighbour.
NEW ZEALAND: Plan to raise entrance bar
New proposals have been made to lift the bar for university entrance as universities clamp down on domestic enrolments, with government funding caps keeping growth down, writes Antonio Bradley for The Dominion Post.
UAE: Academic City turns down 25 universities
Dubai International Academic City has turned down 25 applications from international universities to set up their branch campuses in the Tecom Investment's Education Cluster because they failed to meet best practices and international standards, reports Muaz Shabandri for Khaleej Times.
INDIA: LSE to help set up top universities
The London School of Economics will collaborate with the Reliance Foundation, run by the promoters of India's largest corporate house, in setting up world-class universities in the South Asian nation, reports the Economic Times.
CANADA: Panel says name and shame fakers
A blue-ribbon panel says Canadian academics found to have faked data, plagiarised and engaged in serious misconduct should be named publicly, reports Margaret Munro for Postmedia News.
US: Universities pursue ties with schools in Mexico
The leaders of the nation's most prestigious universities are reaching out to their counterparts in Mexico, saying more partnerships between the two countries could help with some of the border's most intractable problems, reports Jeannie Kever for The Houston Chronicle.
NORTH AMERICA: Big drop in maths skills of students
The mathematics skills of students entering Canadian and US universities have declined sharply in recent years, with many students unable to do basic arithmetic. Educators are divided on how much it matters, writes Anne Kershaw for University Affairs.
MALAYSIA: Foreign intake to be hiked
The Higher Education Ministry is confident that the targeted increased intake of foreign students will help spur the economy, reports The Star.
AUSTRALIA: High drop-out rates cost $1.4 billion
Student attrition in Australia's universities comes at a cost of more than $1.4 billion (US$1.36 billion) a year, or an average of $36 million (US$35.2 million) an institution. A new study of 12 universities found attrition rates ranged from a low of 9.7% to a high of 24.2%, with an average of 17%, reports The Australian.
BRAZIL: Affirmative action on the rise
Affirmative action programmes have spread rapidly across Brazil's higher education institutions. Afro-Brazilians seeking a university education now have access to opportunities that were unreachable just decades ago, writes Amy Erica Smith for Americas Quarterly.
US: Blacks, Hispanics trail in higher education
Higher education attainment rates for college-aged African-Americans and Hispanics have dropped across the board, according to a report, Minorities in higher education 2010, from the American Council on Education, a nonprofit that represents college leaders, writes Skyler McKinley for Youth Today.
UK: Supermarket to pay student fees
A supermarket chain says it will pay for students' university fees if they enrol in a degree course it is sponsoring, heralding a new era of commercialisation in England's university system, writes Jessica Shepherd for The Guardian.
INDIA: New red tape upsets universities
A newly formed association of universities has criticised several proposed laws to reform higher education, saying they would 'over-regulate' the sector and undermine the autonomy of institutes, reports The Telegraph.
SOUTH KOREA: Too many graduates for too few jobs
Well-educated graduates are struggling to find decent jobs amid concerns of a mismatch between industry and academia, reports Korea's JoongAng Daily.
INDIA: Move to improve staff training
With the aim of improving professionalism in the management of universities and colleges, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued guidelines on "training and development of academic administrators in higher education", reports The Times of India.
SRI LANKA: 15 private universities on the way
Providing educational opportunities to all students is behind a move to set up 15 private universities in Sri Lanka, reports Hiran H Senewiratne for The Island.
INDIA: Minister defends ban on Mistry novel
Chief minister Ashokrao Chavan last week justified the Mumbai University's decision to withdraw Rohinton Mistry's novel Such a long journey on the grounds that it contained "very bad language", reports Prafulla Marpakwar for The Times of India.
GERMANY: Group to audit university rankings
University rankings organisations could soon find themselves on the receiving end of the kinds of evaluations that have made them so newsworthy and influential, writes Aisha Labi for The Chronicle of Higher Education.