01 October 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
CANADA
CANADA: Professor's lecture prompts FBI call
A University of Victoria professor of indigenous studies says the FBI called her after she gave a lecture in the United States about Native American land rights, reports CBC News.
TAIWAN
TAIWAN: Some courses off-limits to Chinese students
The Ministry of Education last week published a set of guidelines stipulating that Chinese students are prohibited from enrolling in university departments related to national security, reports Focus Taiwan.
SOUTH AFRICA
SOUTH AFRICA: Free State wins global award
The University of the Free State has won the World Universities' Forum award for best practice in higher education during 2010, reports Sipho Masondo for The Times.
AUSTRALIA
AUSTRALIA: New body to rank rankers
University rankings are likely to proliferate and become more specialised, creating the need for a new kind of meta-ranking service that sorts and rates comparative data, writes Julie Hare for The Australian.
IRELAND
IRELAND: Students face hefty debts under loan plan
College graduates would have to repay a debt of at least EUR25,000 (US$32,825) under a student loan scheme being considered by the Department of Education, writes Seán Flynn for The Irish Times.
SCOTLAND: EU students 'exploit' local universities
Scottish ministers claim that thousands of European students are exploiting Scotland's free university system to avoid paying escalating fees in their home countries. Latest admissions figures show the number of students from other EU countries taking up places at Scottish universities has nearly doubled in a decade to almost 16,000 last year, at a cost of nearly £75 million (US$118,83), writes Severin Carrell for The Guardian.
INDIA
INDIA: Women engineering student numbers soar
Women have more than doubled their number across the country's engineering colleges over the past decade, pushing against one of the most resilient glass ceilings in Indian academia, writes Charu Sudan Kasturi for The Hindustan Times.
UNITED STATES
US: California cuts 'imperil culture of innovation'
California's culture of innovation, which propelled the growth of Silicon Valley and Hollywood, was built on a public higher-education system that spawned 56 Nobel Prize winners and is home to one campus that produces 1,000 engineers a year, writes Oliver Staley for Bloomberg. Now, Governor Jerry Brown's proposed 16% cut in the higher education budget means that the elite University of California system may no longer be able to guarantee admission to the top 12.5% of the state's high school seniors.
UNITED STATES
US: University takes aim at campus gun law
The University of Utah's president asked school trustees last Tuesday to help thwart possible legislation allowing the open display of firearms on campus, a move that could reopen a contentious debate between educators and lawmakers over gun policies, writes Brian Maffly for The Salt Lake Tribune.
INDIA
INDIA: New rules open doors to private universities
The University Grants Commission (UGC) plans to recognise private universities set up through Acts of parliament for the first time under new regulations that remove a statutory obstruction to setting up private universities nationally, writes Charu Sudan Kasturi for The Hindustan Times.
UNITED KINGDOM
UK: 'Dumbing down' of grades
Degree results obtained by The Sunday Telegraph show six out of 10 students were handed either a first or an upper second in 2010, compared with just one in three graduates in 1970, writes David Barrett for The Telegraph.
KASHMIR: 'Seditious' literature lecturer freed
Kashmir University lecturer Noor Muhammad Bhat, arrested on charges of sedition on 9 December, was released from police custody on New Year's Day after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court granted Bhat interim bail on a surety bond of 25,000 Rupees (US$551), writes Naseer Ganai for India Today.
IRAN
IRAN: Overhaul to purge Western influences
Iran is overhauling its education system to rid it of Western influence, the latest attempt by the government to fortify Islamic values and counter the clout of the country's increasingly secularised middle class, writes Thomas Erdbrink for The Washington Post.
NIGERIA
NIGERIA: University leaders from diaspora
Four of the nine vice-chancellors to be appointed for the new universities that will be established this year are expected to come from the Nigerian diaspora, reports Elizabeth Archibong for Next.
SWEDEN
SWEDEN: New fees may weaken universities
From the autumn semester, students from countries outside Europe will have to pay for university education in Sweden, leading to fears of a decrease in foreign students and a drop in the number of courses and programmes, writes Mats Öhlén for The Stockholm News.
INDIA
INDIA: Higher education IT plan stalls
The digital highway is ready but it is snaking into a black hole in 5,000 colleges in a country that has staked its future on information technology, writes Basant Kumar Mohanty for The Telegraph.
WALES: Cuts threaten low-demand courses
Financial pressures could see university courses in low demand being discontinued at a time of cuts to higher education, writes Claire Miller for The Western Mail.
UNITED STATES
US: Professors accept retirement buyouts
Darrell Fasching planned to keep teaching religious studies at the University of South Florida until he was offered a year's salary of about $90,000 to retire and give up tenure rights earned over almost three decades at the school, write David Mildenberg and Janet Lorin for Bloomberg.
IRELAND
IRELAND: Rethink of honorary degrees
Universities have been criticised for spending almost £300,000 (US$465,180) on "questionable" honorary degrees that "devalue" the academic achievements of students, writes Elaine Loughlin for The Belfast Telegraph.
EUROPE
EUROPE: Wave of university mergers
In Finland, the creation of the new Aalto University, the product of a merger of three institutions, is a cornerstone of a new national higher education strategy.
UNITED KINGDOM
UK: Applications rise ahead of fee hike
University candidates are racing to submit their applications ahead of the tripling of tuition fees from autumn 2012, writes Jeevan Vasagar for The Guardian. Figures released recently show that applications received before Christmas rose by 2.5% compared with the same period the year before, to reach a record high - with 335,795 candidates chasing places for 2011 entry.
CANADA
CANADA: Tribute to historian David F Noble
Critical historian of science and technology David F Noble died suddenly on 27 December within a few days of being admitted to hospital, writes Denis G Rancourt for Pacific Free Press.
SINGAPORE
SINGAPORE: Record donation for NTU's medical school
The yet-to-open medical school of Nanyang Technological University has received a record donation of S$400 million (US$309 million), the largest contribution yet made to a tertiary institution here, writes Amelia Tan for The Straits Times.
UNITED KINGDOM
UK: Open University offers model for others
Forty years ago this month a radical innovation arrived in higher education. The new Open University (OU) began to admit students who did not have the qualifications to get into other institutions, reports The Economist.
JORDAN
JORDAN: Headgear ban to curb violence
The widening phenomenon of brawls between members of rival Jordanian tribes on university campuses has prompted one university to take an extreme step: banning of the traditional Jordanian headdress, the shemagh, inside university confines, writes David E Miller for The Media Line.