05 May 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
UNITED STATES
How to measure student success comes under review
A long-held wish of many community colleges is on the verge of becoming reality: the US Education Department has announced its plans to change how student success is measured in higher education, taking into account students who transfer, part-time students and students who are not attending college for the first time, writes Libby A Nelson for Inside Higher Ed.
IRAQ
Religious leader resists segregation of students
The Iraqi religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr has said that it is better to educate university students with “religion and good morals” instead of segregating the sexes, writes Dina al-Shibeeb for Al Arabiya.
AFGHANISTAN
Furore over high university entrance exam failure
Afghan education officials have become embroiled in controversy after a record number of students failed the national university entry examinations last week, reports Frud Bezhan for Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty.
AUSTRALIA
Cash crisis as universities change course
More people want to be doctors, nurses and dentists, but a new analysis warns that universities are going to struggle to cover the cost of teaching them, writes Emma Macdonald for Canberra Times.
AUSTRALIA
Arts suffer after university caps axed
The creative arts have fallen out of favour under the government’s decision to axe the cap on university student places, while the lure of high wages and strong job prospects has led to more demand for engineering courses, writes Misha Schubert for The Age.
UNITED STATES
Professional certificates gain favour over degrees
Reggie Herndon returned to college because he wanted to change careers. What he didn’t want was another degree, writes Jon Marcus for Time. Herndon, a University of Tennessee graduate, is on his way instead to finishing a nine-month professional certificate in counter-intelligence from Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania, which he hopes will bolster his odds of landing a job as an intelligence analyst.
UNITED KINGDOM
Fears grow over planned cuts to charity tax
UK Business Secretary Vince Cable has joined the growing political backlash against Treasury plans to cut tax relief on charity donations, warning that the move could hurt British universities, writes James Kirkup for The Telegraph.
EUROPE
Oxford and Vatican digitise 1.5 million ancient texts
Oxford's Bodleian Libraries and the Vatican's Biblioteca Apostolica plan to digitise 1.5 million ancient texts to make them available online. The two libraries announced the four-year project after receiving a £2 million (US$3.1 million) award from the Polonsky Foundation, reports the BBC.
SAUDI ARABIA
Agencies selling bogus degrees exposed
The Ministry of Higher Education has uncovered 110 offices selling forged degrees from non-Saudi universities, press reports said last week. Under-secretary Muhammad Al-Ouhali said agencies had been supplying bogus degrees for several years, reports Arab News.
CHINA
Nine stand trial for selling fake US degrees
Nine suspects stood trial in a local court in Beijing last Monday for selling fake degree certificates from universities in the United States to defraud people of about 3.4 million yuan (US$540,000), writes Cao Yin for China Daily.
UNITED STATES
Physicist and seminal Chinese dissident dies
Fang Lizhi, whose advocacy of economic and democratic freedoms shaped China’s brief era of student dissent that ended with the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and his exile, died on Friday in Tucson, Arizona, writes Michael Wines for The New York Times.
UNITED STATES
California shooting unlikely to deter Chinese students
Though shaken by the shooting deaths of two Chinese students near the University of Southern California, China is unlikely to slow its pace of sending students to US universities. The deaths of graduate students Qu Ming and Wu Ying last week in what police suspect was a bungled carjacking, came amid a big jump in the number of Chinese pursuing higher education in the US, reports Fox News.
UNITED STATES
Pepper spray report criticises school leaders, police
University of California – Davis police violated policy and used poor judgment in pepper-spraying student demonstrators in November, while institutional leaders badly bungled the handling of that campus protest, according to a highly critical report released last week, write Larry Gordon and Chris Megerian for the Los Angeles Times.
UGANDA
Staff shortages crippling universities
A new report from the auditor general’s office shows that there is a need for close to 3,000 lecturers and others in more senior positions in four of Uganda’s five public universities. Institutions that urgently need more academics include Makerere, Gulu, Mbarara and Kyambogo, write Conan Businge and Mary Karugaba for New Vision.
SOUTH AFRICA
Plan to nurture humanities and social sciences
In an attempt to cure stagnant enrolments and high failure rates in the humanities and social sciences at universities, the South African government plans to establish an institute that will encourage academics to network, share information and undertake research, writes Tebogo Monama for Sowetan.
GREECE
Universities look abroad to prove viability
In response to the severe financial crisis, Greek academics are seeking collaborations with foreign students and institutions to prove that they are still thriving, writes Marianna Tsatsou for Greek Reporter.
WALES
Funding council ‘forces through’ 20% cut in places
The University of Wales, Newport, has started “emergency discussions” after the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales confirmed that the number of students entering the institution would be cut by more than a fifth in 2013-14, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
UNITED KINGDOM
New student profile prompts re-think on campus alcohol
A London university is considering establishing alcohol-free zones on its campuses because so many of its students consider drinking to be immoral, writes Jessica Shepherd for the Guardian.
HUNGARY
President and rector resign amid plagiarism scandal
Hungarian President Pál Schmitt resigned from his largely ceremonial post last Monday amid a storm of criticism over what he called “unfounded allegations” of plagiarism in his 1992 doctoral thesis, writes Palko Karasz for The New York Times.
CHINA
Ministry steps up scrutiny of overseas education ads
China's Ministry of Education has stepped up the scrutiny of advertisements for overseas study programmes in an attempt to uncover the issuing of illegal or counterfeit diplomas, reports the official news agency Xinhua.
TAIWAN
College tuition freeze to continue – Minister
China’s Education Minister Chiang Wei-ling has assured the public that university tuition fees will not be raised this semester despite numerous calls made by local higher education institutions to do so following a years-long tuition freeze, writes Joseph Yeh for The China Post.
CHINA
First Sino-US university to open in 2013
The first Sino-US higher education institution – New York University Shanghai – will start to admit undergraduate students in 2013, sources from the university said last week, writes Wang Hongyi for China Daily.
SINGAPORE
Yale values to be tested in new college
On the edge of a small park in Singapore’s financial district lies ‘Speakers' Corner’, a courtyard that serves as the only place where public demonstrations are allowed. Elsewhere, the government more strictly curtails activism and freedom of expression. But Yale administrators say Yale-NUS College will create a new space for political discourse in the nation, write Ava Kofman and Tapley Stephenson for Yale Daily News.
TAIWAN
Degree holders increase to 39% of population
The number of Taiwanese with a college, university or other type of higher education degree has increased every year to 39% of the population in 2009, statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior have revealed, reports the Taipei Times.
FRANCE
Debate on higher tuition fees gains momentum
In the face of the economic downturn, French higher education is beginning to debate openly the prospect of introducing higher tuition fees – but university presidents warn that the country must boost scholarships and state funding before making any change, writes Clea Caulcutt for Times Higher Education.