03 September 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
CHILE: Striking students break off talks
Leaders of Chile's striking students broke off negotiations with the government last week, complaining of official intransigence over their demands for free public education, writes Eva Vergara for Associated Press. Hours after the talks collapsed, a student march for free education was broken up by police, using water cannons and tear gas.
FRANCE: Sarkozy's reforms herald French 'Ivy League'
Radical plans to create a French 'Ivy League' are gathering pace as the first winners of a new elite universities scheme worth EUR7.7 billion (US$10.1 billion) start to receive cash, writes Jack Grove for Times Higher Education.
NEW ZEALAND: Canterbury University staff asked to quit
Canterbury University is calling on staff to consider taking voluntary redundancy as it struggles to balance the books after losing students because of the earthquake that struck the city earlier this year, reports TVNZ.
UK: Thousands of university places may go to colleges
Up to 6,000 undergraduates will be taught at colleges instead of universities from next year as part of a UK coalition government plan to drive down student tuition fees, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
UK: Lecturers threaten strike over pension changes
Lecturers at half of Britain's universities have threatened to stop marking students' work unless a battle over their pensions is resolved, writes Jessica Shepherd for the Guardian.
UK: Oxford head warns cuts could lead to brain drain
Cuts to government funding of universities mean the UK is now "treading water" and risks losing top academics and students to its international competitors, the vice-chancellor of Oxford University has warned, writes Jessica Shepherd for the Guardian.
WALES: Calls to wind up University of Wales
The vice-chancellors of five Welsh universities have called for the University of Wales to be wound up following highly damaging revelations in a TV programme last Tuesday, writes Martin Shipton for Wales Online.
JAPAN: University mulls change to academic calendar
Discussion on starting in the autumn and graduating Japanese students in the late spring or autumn has been around since the 1980s, but the debate has moved up a gear with news that the University of Tokyo, known as Todai, is mulling the move. An internal panel is expected to report by the end of the year, reports David McNeill for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
SOUTH AFRICA: MBA plan 'not a downgrade'
The debate in South Africa over the academic status of a master of business administration degree was about a 'technical issue', rather than downgrading the qualification, Council for Higher Education CEO Ahmed Essop said last week, writes Karl Gernetzky for Business Day.
AUSTRALIA: Push for research funding overhaul
A leading scientist says Australia is squandering its intellectual wealth through a federal system of short-term grants rewarding publication of academic papers ahead of long-term research to develop and manufacture new products, writes Rosslyn Beeby for The Canberra Times.
CANADA: Intellectual centre of gravity 'shifting west'
Ontario universities are lagging behind their counterparts in Alberta and British Columbia, a higher education expert said last week in a bleak forecast made just days before voters were to head to the polls, writes Matthew Pearson for The Ottawa Citizen.
EGYPT: Mubarak-era university president resigns
Maged El-Deeb, president of Ain Shams University, has officially submitted his resignation letter to Egyptian Minister of Higher Education Moataz Khorshed, writes Nada Hussein Rashwan for Ahram Online.
MALAWI: Students accuse council of contempt
The president of Malawi's Chancellor College students union, Patrick Phiri, said last week that students would file contempt charges against the university council. Students said the council, charged with running the University of Malawi, had refused to reopen two of its college campuses despite a high court ruling, reports Peter Clottey for Voice of America.
PAKISTAN: Turkey to help set up technology parks
Turkish experts will assist Pakistan's Higher Education Commission in establishing technology parks in Pakistani universities, writes Peer Muhamamd for The Express Tribune.
GLOBAL: Professors take academic road to the East
A decade ago most aspiring business professors headed West, to the US. These days they are heading in the opposite direction: Asia is becoming the hotspot for the top management thinkers, writes Della Bradshaw for the Financial Times.
UK: Universities 'over-report' on foreign students
A new report shows that British lecturers and staff have raised concerns over student absence or activities on more than 35,000 occasions in the past two years, writes Tom Whitehead for The Telegraph. The report raises fresh concerns that the student visa system is still open to widespread abuse by those looking to stay in the UK illegally.
US: Harvard endowment rises to US$32 billion
Harvard University has consolidated its position as the richest university in the world, with the value of its endowment rising by 20% to £20.7 billion (US$32.4 billion), reports the BBC. It means the United States university has added £4.4 billion to the value of its endowment in a single year. As an international comparison, a report last week showed that the annual turnover for the entire UK higher education system is £26 billion.
US: Princeton adopts open access policy
The movement to make research freely available got a high-profile boost last week with the news that Princeton University's faculty has unanimously adopted an open access policy, writes Jennifer Howard for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
US: Too many rules in higher education, study finds
After surveying more than 2,000 higher education officials about which federal regulations they find too burdensome, a federal panel now has its answer: almost all of them, writes Libby A Nelson for Inside Higher Ed.
DENMARK: Online network to recruit Chinese talent
Denmark last week launched the first-ever website to enable talented Chinese students and professionals to connect directly with Danish universities and firms, reports Xinhua.
JAPAN: Universities under-utilise facilities - survey
Many of Japan's most prestigious universities spend huge amounts of money on unutilised and unnecessary facilities, reports the Mainichi Daily News.
NIGERIA: Staff strike cripples universities
There was total compliance last week with the one-week nationwide warning strike by Nigeria's Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, which disrupted examinations in the nation's premier University of Ibadan and the University of Jos and paralysed academic activities in others, reports Afrique en Ligne.
ZIMBABWE: Under-resourced universities under threat
The Zimbabwean government has threatened to shut down under-resourced universities, saying the institutions are compromising education standards, according to The Africa Report.
TAIWAN: 'Spying' professor under investigation
Prosecutors in Taiwan last week investigated Wu Chang-yu, an associate professor in the Central Police University's department of administrative management, in connection with passing information on activities of Chinese and foreigners in Taiwan to China, writes Lin Ching-Chuan for Taipei Times.
JORDAN: Displaced medical students to study locally
All Jordanians studying medicine in Yemen and Libya will be accepted at local universities provided that they pass the entrance exams prepared by the medical faculties of the institutions, a senior official said last week, reports The Jordan Times.