22 January 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
Recovering from Hurricane Sandy
Monday’s howling winds and pounding rains largely gave way to quiet on Tuesday as Hurricane Sandy left many colleges and universities along the Atlantic coast of the United States damaged, without power, and waiting to determine when classes could begin again, writes Alexandra Tilsley for Inside Higher Ed.
Free speech at universities abysmal – Report
The “abysmal” state of free speech at Canadian public universities is stifling the right of students to speak their minds, according to a new report card that gives mostly failing grades to universities and their student unions, writes Sarah Boesveld for National Post.
Universities fight Quinn's plan to take control of pay
Irish universities are fighting plans to change the law to give the government absolute control over pay, conditions and staff numbers. University leaders have met Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to express reservations about proposed new legislation, writes Katherine Donnelly for the Irish Independent.
Proportion of academics with PhDs is 'low'
Questions have been raised about whether many scholars are "little or no better qualified than those they are teaching" following an analysis of the latest data on how many academics have a doctorate, writes Jack Grove for Times Higher Education.
Ben-Gurion University gets chance to reform department
Israel’s Council for Higher Education gave the controversial political science department at Ben-Gurion University a three-week deadline to commit to remedying problems pointed out by an international committee, reports Israel Hayom.
Former Penn State head charged over abuse case
Graham B Spanier, the former president of Pennsylvania State University who was once one of higher education's highest fliers, was charged on Thursday with conspiring to cover up child abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky, the former Nittany Lions football coach who was convicted in June on 45 counts of molestation, writes Brad Wolverton for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Saying ‘no’ to education cuts
Many countries in Central and Eastern Europe have trimmed back spending on education after the 2008 global financial crisis and its aftermath. But Poland and Lithuania have bucked that trend. Given the importance of a well-educated and skilled workforce for future growth, that may prove to have been the smart way to go, writes Judy Dempsey for The New York Times.
Rebirth of a university
On Cocody University campus, the biggest in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, workers are busy – finishing paint jobs, planting shrubs and installing tables and chairs for around 62,000 students (out of 85,000 in the whole country). The university is reopening after 18 months, writes Isabelle Rey-Lefebvre for the Guardian.
Nine new higher education partnerships with Indonesia
The United Kingdom and Indonesia further strengthened their education links last week, by committing to nine new long-term partnerships in higher education, reports the UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Universities can house only 20% of intake
For South African school-leavers who choose to enter higher education, getting an acceptance letter from the university of their choice is only half the battle won. For most students whose homes are nowhere near the institutions, finding a place to stay is a major struggle, writes Nontobeko Mtshali for The Star.
Government to turn five institutions into universities
Zambia’s government will spend about K31 trillion (US$6 million) over four years to transform five training institutions into universities, and establish a new one. It plans to have the six institutions operating in the course of next year, writes Fridah Nkonde for The Post.
Civility efforts seek better behaviour on campus
In a society where anonymous internet commenters freely lob insults, and politicians spew partisan barbs, the decline of basic civility isn't limited to academia. But the push for more polite discourse – often as an extension of more entrenched diversity efforts – is firmly taking root on campus, writes Alan Scher Zagier for Associated Press.
Rescinding of invitation elicits ‘Sovietisation’ charge
A leading British historian has accused a US university of “colluding in the Sovietisation” of Roman Catholic intellectual life after the university rescinded an invitation to a prominent liberal theologian who has argued the case for same-sex marriage, on the grounds that she dissents publicly from the church’s moral teachings, writes Lizzie Davies for the Guardian.
Court ruling sends chill through science community
Scientists reacted with alarm to the manslaughter conviction of six earthquake experts in Italy for failing to give adequate warning of the 2009 earthquake in the city of L'Aquila that killed 308 people, writes Chris Wickham for Reuters.
University postgraduate system 'failing UK economy'
The postgraduate system in the UK's universities is failing to produce the number of highly skilled staff needed by a modern economy, according to the Higher Education Commission, which says the system is geared towards attracting overseas students rather than training more UK students, reports Sean Coughlan for the BBC.
Feigning free speech on campus
Colleges and universities are supposed to be bastions of unbridled inquiry and expression, but they probably do as much to repress free speech as any other institution in young people’s lives. In doing so, they discourage civic engagement at a time when debates over deficits and taxes should make young people pay more attention, not less, writes Greg Lukianoff for The New York Times.
In rebuke to Taliban, college named for Malala
In a message of defiance to the Taliban, authorities in Swat have decided to rename a government college after Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head after demanding education for girls, writes Saima Mohsin for CNN.
Foreign states asked to share university cost burden
Foreign governments, most notably Germany, should help shoulder the cost of their citizens studying at Swiss universities, according to a report from higher education leaders, writes the NZZ am Sonntag.
Education 'must emerge as UK's stock in trade'
Universities' current charitable model of governance will prevent them from taking advantage of the higher education boom in emerging economies, Minister of Universities and Science David Willetts has argued, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
University researcher censured for ‘self-plagiarism’
A leading University of Toronto researcher has been censured for self-plagiarism – and “severe abuse of the scientific publishing system” – after a software program revealed his group had been recycling text from previous studies, writes Margaret Munro for Postmedia News.
Boost for investment in Arab education
Israel is preparing a NIS300 million (US$77 million) investment in higher education for its minorities, writes Ben Hartman for The Jewish Chronicle. Under the programme, institutions will have to offer remedial Hebrew courses, translate their websites into Arabic and make special counselling available to Arab students, or risk losing funds.
Graduates on fast track to doctoral degrees
At least 1,000 university graduates stand to be fast-tracked to earn doctoral degrees annually as the government moves to bridge the ever-widening ratio of university students to qualified faculty members, writes David Mugwe for Business Daily.
Ranking plan to shake up local universities
The announcement by Kenya’s Commission for Higher Education that it plans to start ranking universities has elicited mixed reactions, write Edith Fortunate and Esther Mwangi for Saturday Nation.
Education ministry reviews scholarship policy
The Mozambican Ministry of Education is reviewing its entire system for supporting students on higher education scholarships inside and outside the country, to see whether an increase in funds for the students is justified, reports AIM.
Performing under pressure
US state lawmakers increasingly want to tie public funding of higher education to colleges' performance. But yardsticks that reflect the differences between institutions and who they serve are hard to find. HCM Strategists and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are trying to fill that gap with a series of new research papers and issue briefs, writes Paul Fain for Inside Higher Ed.