02 September 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
SWEDEN: Universities prepare for tuition fee fallout
Wandering through the falling snow in front of the renowned law faculty at Lund University, Ukrainian maritime law student Anton Kulchytskyy has nothing but praise for Swedish higher education, writes Adam Mullett for The Local. "Sweden has always been world famous for its free and high quality education," he explains. But starting in the autumn of 2011, international students from outside Europe will face application fees and a hefty tuition bill for the privilege of pursuing a degree in Sweden.
UK: Higher tuition fees but only if you are English
The English face a university education 'apartheid' after Welsh students were told they would be exempt from a sharp rise in tuition fees, write Graeme Paton and Rosa Prince for The Telegraph. The Welsh Assembly government announced last week that it would heavily subsidise the degree courses of about 90,000 students each year, even if they studied at universities in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
NETHERLANDS: Students protest against funding cuts
Some 1,500 students demonstrated outside the parliamentary buildings in The Hague last Monday to protest against the government's plans to cut student funding, reports DutchNews. Currently students can claim a grant for four years but the government is planning to reduce this to three years.
INDIA: University staff march for funding hike
Thousands of employees from about 200 universities across the country gathered in Delhi on Wednesday and marched to parliament to press the government for hike in education funds, reports IANS.
US: Paying by the 'pound' for journals
The library at Albany Molecular Research Inc thought its days of buying its chemistry journals in print were over, writes Steve Kolowich for Inside Higher Ed. Then the publisher of a dozen of them raised the price of digital access to certain journals by as much as 183%. Now the institution is considering switching back to print subscriptions for some of the titles published by the American Chemical Society, and perhaps nixing several of the journals from its library shelves altogether.
US: Software tries to make studying feel like Facebook
Students live on Facebook. So study tools that act like social networks should be student magnets - and maybe even have an academic benefit - write Marc Parry and Jeffrey R Young for The Chronicle of Higher Education. At least that's the idea behind a new crop of web services sprouting up across higher education.
US: Professors give Wikipedia a facelift
The legitimacy of Wikipedia, the popular online user-edited encyclopedia, as an academic resource has long been doubted, writes Derek Schlom for The Tufts Daily, the student newspaper of Tufts University. A new pilot project created by the Wikimedia Foundation is attempting to reframe the site's reputation within the context of academia and purge inaccuracies from a portion of the site.
UK: University leads way with free research
Scotland's University of Glasgow, the alma mater of inventors James Watt and John Logie Baird, is making a bold attempt to get academic research commercialised by offering its intellectual property free of charge to British entrepreneurs, writes Jonathan Moules for the Financial Times. The move, a first for a UK university, is aimed at raising the profile of Glasgow's research achievements and helping companies maximise their competitiveness.
UK: How many entrepreneurs are universities producing?
Entrepreneurship seems to be the British government's favourite word, writes Lucy Tobin for The Guardian. A search of the online parliamentary database reveals 4,400 references to entrepreneurs in debate in the Houses of Lords and Commons and in Committee reports since the election in May. Where better to inspire entrepreneurship than on university campuses?
VIETNAM: 237 institutions complete self-assessment
According to the Ministry of Education and Training, 237 universities and junior colleges in Vietnam, including 100 universities, have completed self-assessment, reports VietNamNet Bridge. The ministry hopes that by 2015-20, 90% to 95% of schools will have completed the self-assessment process and will transfer to a new period of being assessed and accredited by outside organisations.
SOUTH AFRICA: New body to coordinate artisan training
South Africa's Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande last week launched a National Artisan Moderation Body that will coordinate artisan training countrywide for the first time since sectoral education and training authorities were established in 2000, writes Sue Blaine for Business Day. Estimates are that the country needs to produce 20,000 to 25,000 artisans a year but only trains between 8,000 and 10,000.
BANGLADESH: 32 universities get innovation fund
Thirty-two universities in Bangladesh will get grants from the Academic Innovation Fund provided by the World Bank through the University Grants Commission by next month, Mizan Rahman reports for Gulf Times. Among the universities, 29 are public and three are in the private sector, officials of the Education Ministry said.
RUSSIA: Scientists protest luring foreign researchers
Russian scientists and university researchers are protesting a Kremlin effort to attract scientists from overseas to work in Russia, saying the government should raise the wages it pays to Russians instead, writes Anna Nemtsova for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
PHILIPPINES: Protests erupt over university funding cuts
Students, academics and officials of state universities in the Philippines on Thursday protested against a billion-peso (US$25 million) cut to the budgets of state universities and colleges, reports ABS-CBN.
INDONESIA: Mixed reviews for private universities
Motorbikes deliver students - some with helmets over their head-scarves, others with laptops slung across their shoulders - down the wide, tree-lined boulevard, past the mosque's gold dome, around a fenced-off excavation site where a ninth-century Hindu temple was uncovered this year, and onto the campus of the Islamic University of Indonesia, writes Liz Gooch for The New York Times.
INDIA: Top universities improve research index scores
At a time when scientific and research agencies are worried about fewer academics taking up research, it comes as a surprise that most of the top 50 Indian universities have remarkably improved their H-index scores in the latest rankings by the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies in New Delhi, writes D Suresh Kumar for The Times of India.
INDIA: 44 million higher education students in 10 years
India's higher education enrolment will increase to 44 million from the current 14 million in a decade, the central government said recently. Private players, distance education and foreign education providers will play key roles in ensuring this growth, reports LiveMint.
US: Low graduation rates at for-profit colleges
A new report on graduation rates at for-profit colleges by a non-profit research and advocacy group charges that such colleges deliver "little more than crippling debt", citing federal data that suggests only 9% of the first-time, full-time bachelor degree students at the University of Phoenix, the nation's largest for-profit college, graduate within six years, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.
US: AIDS-tainted razors sent to animal researcher
The FBI and University of California at Los Angeles police are investigating a new round of threats from anti-animal research activists who claimed to have sent AIDS-tainted razor blades and a threatening message to a research professor, a university spokesman said on Tuesday, writes Michael Martinez for CNN.
US: Yale set to return 4,000 Inca treasures to Peru
As Peru counts down to the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Machu Picchu by the American explorer Hiram Bingham, thousands of artefacts taken from the breathtaking lost city of the Incas could soon be returned to the country, writes Stephen Foley for The Independent.
SOUTH AFRICA: University divided on affirmative action
The University of Cape Town was once a citadel of white privilege on the majestic slopes of Devil's Peak. At the height of apartheid, it admitted few black or mixed-race students, and they were barred from campus dormitories, even forbidden to attend medical school postmortems on white corpses, writes Celia W Dugger for The New York Times.
IRELAND: Country looks to academe to re-ignite economy
In an audio-research lab strewn with guitars, Dan Barry and his colleagues at the Dublin Institute of Technology fiddle with a computerised tool that can comb the Irish Traditional Music Archive and locate a jig by its tempo or other traits. An Irish company has already licensed the technology, and the researchers are hoping other companies will follow suit, writes Goldie Blumenstyk for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
UK: Aimhigher brought down by coalition axe
A national programme that aims to widen participation in higher education in the UK is to be scrapped, writes Rebecca Attwood for Times Higher Education. Speaking at a Universities UK conference in London last week, David Willetts, the universities and science minister, said funding for the Aimhigher programme would cease next year.
CHINA: Top universities to use common entrance exam
Seven prestigious universities in China announced last Sunday that they would begin using the same independent examination - besides the national one - to test students hoping to gain entrance to them in 2011, reports the official Xinhua agency.
CHINA: Seven universities to assist Tibet University
Seven of China's inland universities, including Peking University, signed 'pairing' assistance agreements in Beijing with Tibet University on 21 November, reports the Chinese government newspaper People's Daily.