31 August 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
SOUTH AFRICA
Bureaucracy blamed for university’s research decline
There is no doubt that the University of the Witwatersrand has pockets of excellence, and many talented academics who are players on the global stage. However, some staff say this excellence is being dragged down by inefficient bureaucracy, writes Sarah Wild for Business Day. Staff and students protested at the university on Thursday.
NIGERIA
Fund seeks to promote ‘demand-driven’ research
Incentives in the form of a N3 billion (US$18.5 million) grant may soon come the way of tertiary institutions with bias towards ‘demand-driven’ research, the Tertiary Education Trust indicated last week, write Karls Tsokar and Mohammed Abubakar for The Guardian Nigeria.
EUROPE
Universities face fines for failing to widen access
Scotland’s Education Minister Mike Russell has said he wants to rapidly increase the proportion of pupils from deprived areas entering higher education, using “carrots and sticks”, without providing details, writes Simon Johnson for The Telegraph.
UNITED KINGDOM
Data show Oxbridge-chances divide
More than one in seven schools and colleges are failing to send any pupils to the UK's top universities, new figures show, writes Alison Kershaw for The Independent. Almost two-thirds do not send any teenagers to Oxford or Cambridge, according to government data.
PAKISTAN
France provides scholarships for 90 students
Under a needs-based scholarship programme, the French government will support 90 promising students from six Pakistani universities in the fields of social science, business and architecture, reports The News.
BOTSWANA
Party head attacks local academics
The president of the Botswana National Front, Duma Boko, attacked University of Botswana academics at the party’s conference last weekend, saying professors were failing the country and its people despite the massive investment that has been pumped into their PhDs, writes Sakarea Makgapha for The Botswana Gazette.
GLOBAL
An end to higher education’s monopoly on credibility
The times they are a changin’, and I’d like to suggest they are changing in a way that has massive implications for education: sources of credibility – once the domain of expensive degrees – are becoming democratised, decentralised and diversified, writes Michael Ellsberg for Time.
CHINA
More disadvantaged students to be enrolled in college
Some 570 Chinese universities and colleges have promised to enrol a total of 10,000 more students from the country's 14 least developed areas in central, southwest and northwest China this year. This is the first time that China's universities will offer privileged admission to students from poverty-stricken areas, writes Zhang Wan for http://Crienglish.com.
UNITED KINGDOM
Funders seek research integrity upgrade
Major science funders in the United Kingdom are to introduce a set of principles on research integrity as a condition for receiving their grants. Launched last week, the Concordat to Support Research Integrity describes itself as an attempt to provide “a comprehensive national framework” for research governance, writes Daniel Cressey for Nature.
UNITED KINGDOM
UK likely to ease student visa norms
Under pressure from education and industry leaders to review recent curbs on student visas, British Prime Minister David Cameron is likely to reverse policy and remove international students from official immigration figures, reports the Press Trust of India.
RUSSIA
State to sponsor students abroad, with a catch
In the manner of Peter the Great, who sent court nobility to study abroad to modernise Russia, the government will pay for a foreign education for university graduates who promise to return home to work for three years, writes Natalya Krainova for The Moscow Times.
AUSTRALIA
Uncapped student market to cost more than expected
Enrolments in Australia's newly uncapped market for students are outstripping predictions and will force the federal government to fund tens of thousands more places than anticipated, writes Susan Woodward for Times Higher Education.
UNITED KINGDOM
Increased state loans for private college courses
Students on private college courses such as animal chiropractic care, acupuncture and ‘contemporary person-centred psychotherapy’ have been eligible to receive state-subsidised funding during the past two years, with one private institution being given state loan access for nearly 100 sub-degree vocational courses in a single day, writes John Morgan for Times Higher Education.
CANADA
University to renegotiate deal with businessman
Carleton University says the CAD15 million (US$15 million) donor agreement for its showcase school of political management, fronted by Preston Manning, does not reflect the university’s academic policies and will be renegotiated, writes Bruce Cheadle for The Canadian Press.
UNITED STATES
Push for more scientists, but where are the jobs?
Michelle Amaral wanted to be a brain scientist. But three years after earning a doctorate in neuroscience, she gave up trying to find a permanent job in her field. She took an administrative position at her university, experiencing firsthand an economic reality: there are too many laboratory scientists for too few jobs, writes Brian Vastag for The Washington Post.
UNITED STATES
Romney student loan plan criticised
Mitt Romney promises to usher private lenders back into the federal student loan market in a bid to decrease default rates and increase efficiency if he becomes America’s president, but such a move could cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars over a decade without saving students money, according to higher education analysts, writes Tracy Jan for The Boston Globe.
UNITED STATES
States offer indebted students incentives to relocate
Got student debt? Move fast, and some cities will help you pay it off. Some cities and counties in the US looking to revitalise offer an incentive – help repaying student loans – to graduates who agree to relocate to their borders. "Can it be a win-win for graduates and struggling communities?" asks Kimberly Railey for The Christian Science Monitor.
CHINA
Deputy positions mushroom at universities
Two heads are better than one, as the saying goes. But when it comes to running a university, scholars and web users in China are debating whether it is necessary for one president to have dozens of deputies, writes Xuyang Jingjing for Global Times.
ISRAEL
Anger over UNESCO science chair at Gaza university
Relations between Israel and UNESCO have reached a new low following the organisation's inauguration of a chair in astronomy, astrophysics and space sciences at the Islamic University of Gaza, which Israel identifies with Hamas, writes Barak Ravid for Haaretz.
UNITED STATES
Penn State report ‘has implications for all colleges’
Behind the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal at Penn State lay a series of failures all the way up the university’s chain of command – shortcomings that were the result of an insular and complacent culture in which football was revered, rules were not applied and the balance of power was dangerously out of whack, writes Richard Pérez-Peña for The New York Times.
UNITED STATES
Court ruling sparks fears over confidential IRA archive
Secret testimony from an IRA woman who bombed the Old Bailey can now be handed over to the Police Service of Northern Ireland as part of its investigations into one of the most controversial murders during the Troubles, a US court has ruled, writes Henry McDonald for the Guardian.
SOUTH AFRICA
Policy body to review criticised law degree
The Council on Higher Education is in discussion with the South African Law Deans' Association about a review of the LLB degree, which has been criticised for many years for its failure to prepare graduates adequately for the profession, writes Nivashni Nair for Times Live.
NIGERIA
Licence withdrawal – Affected universities cry foul
Since Nigeria’s National Universities Commission announced the suspension of the licences of seven private universities on 4 July, reactions have poured in from stakeholders of the affected institutions, write Dayo Adesulu, Favour Nnabugwu and Laju Arenyeka for Vanguard.
UNITED KINGDOM
Oxford University record donation cuts fees for poorest
Oxford University will use a record donation to abolish the tuition fee increase for its poorest students – keeping fees at £3,500 (US$5,411) per year. In a bid to remove financial barriers, eligible students will also receive funding for all living costs, writes Sean Coughlan for the BBC.
UNITED STATES
First school of philanthropy to be launched
Recognising the increasing role of non-profit organisations in today's economy, Indiana University is poised to launch America’s first School of Philanthropy, writes Chris Sikich for The Indianapolis Star.