26 June 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
UNITED KINGDOM
Professor defends independence of fracking study
The lead author of a report that compared seismic activity caused by fracking to the energy produced by someone jumping off a ladder has insisted that his study was fully independent of big energy companies, writes Jonathan Brown for The Independent.
KENYA
New university to be named after Barack Obama
Siaya county in Kenya is set to benefit from a university named after US President Barack Obama, following a proposed plan by a Kenyan US-based professor, reports Eric Oloo for The Star.
UNITED STATES
Stanford to help build edX MOOC platform
Stanford University will team up with the non-profit edX founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University to develop an open-source web platform for free online courses, writes Nick Anderson for The Washington Post.
UNITED STATES
Essay-grading software offers professors a break
Imagine taking a college exam, and instead of handing in a blue book and getting a grade from a professor a few weeks later, clicking the ‘send’ button when you are done and receiving a grade back instantly, your essay scored by a software program, writes John Markoff for The New York Times.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities in crackdown on 'cut and paste culture'
The number of students caught cheating in university essays has more than halved following a major crackdown in the UK on the ‘cut and paste culture’, it emerged last week, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
NEW ZEALAND
Construction boom at city campuses
Auckland's universities are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on new buildings, transforming not only their campuses but also the shape of the city they serve. The unprecedented construction has provided some of the largest construction jobs in Auckland in recent years, writes Nicholas Jones for The New Zealand Herald.
UNITED STATES
What graduate students should know about the sequester
Research universities and graduate assistants across America are starting to feel the sequester's impact. The across-the-board US$85 billion in discretionary spending cuts began just one month ago, writes Delece Smith-Barrow for US News.
CANADA
Probe into policies that 'muzzle' state scientists
Federal policies that restrict what government scientists can say publicly about their work are about to be put under the microscope, reports Bruce Cheadle for the Canadian Press. Federal Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault has agreed to investigate how government communications rules on taxpayer-funded science impact on public access to information.
SOUTH AFRICA
University to hand over names in red-meat study
The University of Stellenbosch will reluctantly comply with a request by the Red Meat Industry Forum and Media24 to provide the names of retailers whose meat was sampled to determine its actual ingredients – against the wishes of the researchers, who believe the information should be kept confidential, writes Linda Ensor for BDLive.
AFRICA
Database to store African universities’ research
The Association of African Universities has been supporting universities in Africa to digitise research material and set up a database containing university research, it emerged at a recent workshop in Accra on “Institutional and National Digital Repository Collaborative Framework for African Academic and Research Institutions”, reports GNA.
UGANDA
East African universities to harmonise tuition fees
Higher education institutions in East Africa are set to harmonise tuition fees for students within the East Africa Community, reports the Daily Monitor.
TAIWAN
Google unveils new online learning service
Google Inc has unveiled a Chinese language version of its new service YouTube EDU, which allows internet users to access videotaped courses from three local universities, writes Helen Ku for Taipei Times.
POLAND
Europe's new university destination?
Poland – hardly a traditional top choice for international students – is trying to rebrand itself as Europe's new education destination, writes Anthony Ash for the Guardian. It has long lagged behind other countries in terms of attracting students from abroad.
EUROPE
Rise in graduate giving boosts university funds
Scottish universities have enjoyed an increase in the amount of money they get in donations from former graduates, according to new figures. Official statistics show the sector's endowment income increased between 2010-11 and 2011-12 from around £29 million (US$44 million) to nearly £33 million, writes Andrew Denholm for Herald Scotland.
PAKISTAN
University accused of helping fake degree holder
Punjab University has been hit by a scandal that has not only damaged its credibility but also cast severe doubts over the authenticity of the degrees issued by the university and of the degrees of MPs verified by the instituiton during the past three years, writes Usman Manzoor for The News.
AUSTRALIA
Strike threat over limits on research
Melbourne University academics are preparing for industrial action over concerns that academic freedom could be limited under a new agreement. Academics fear that the university is seeking the power to make them redundant if their research fails to match their department's ''research direction'', writes Benjamin Preiss for The Age.
IRELAND
Universities defend spending millions on rats and mice
Universities have defended spending more than €1.7 million (US$2.18 million) on tens of thousands of live rats and mice for medical experiments over the past two years, writes Treacy Hogan for http://Independent.ie.
UNITED STATES
University puts 'stomp Jesus' lecturer on paid leave
A Florida Atlantic University instructor involved in a controversial ‘stomp on Jesus’ class assignment has been placed on paid leave, with the institution citing concerns for his safety, writes Scott Travis for Sun Sentinel.
SYRIA
Students killed in Damascus University attack
At least 15 students were killed and 20 others injured when mortar bombs landed on the canteen of Damascus University's college of architecture, state-run media and opposition activists in Syria said, reports Aljazeera.
CYPRUS
Thousands of students protest against bailout
Thousands of school and university students in Nicosia, Cyprus, last week protested outside parliament and at the presidential palace against the bailout memorandum and the troika , writes Maria Gregorou for Cyprus Mail.
UNITED STATES
Coursera's contractual elitism
If you wonder why your university hasn’t linked up with Coursera, the massively popular provider of free online classes, it may help to know the company is contractually obliged to turn away the vast majority of American universities, writes Ry Rivard for Inside Higher Ed.
UNITED STATES
Harvard asks alumni for help with online course
Alumni of elite colleges are accustomed to getting requests for money from their alma mater, but the appeal that Harvard sent to thousands of graduates last Monday was something new: a plea to donate their time and intellects to the rapidly expanding field of online education, writes Richard Pérez-Peña for The New York Times.
UNITED STATES
State budget officers seek overhaul of HE funding
Public colleges and universities face a funding crunch, state budget officers from across the United States said last Wednesday, as the fiscal watchdogs called for reforms and even broached the possibility of boosting state spending to limit tuition fee increases, writes Lisa Lambert for Reuters.
UNITED KINGDOM
Fury as university bosses accept big pay rises
Bosses of Britain’s top universities came under fire last week for accepting big pay rises as their staff suffered cuts. Pay and benefits for university vice-chancellors increased, on average, by more than £5,000 (US$7,500) in 2011-12, writes Mark Ellis for the Mirror.
ZIMBABWE
Government owes state universities millions
The Zimbabwean government owes the country's state universities and colleges a total of US$64 million in unpaid cadetship grants, a development that has compromised service delivery at most institutions, a senior official has said, writes Daniel Nemukuyu for The Herald.