09 October 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
US: Colleges grapple with Chinese students
Dozens of new students crowded into a lobby of the University of Delaware's student centre at the start of the academic year. With the exception of one lost-looking soul from Colombia, all the students were from China, write Tom Bartlett and Karin Fischer for the Chronicle of Higher Education.
US: Strings attached to Chinese institute offers
When a Beijing organisation with close ties to China's government offered Stanford University $4 million to host a Confucius Institute on Chinese language and culture and endow a professorship, it attached one caveat: the professor couldn't discuss delicate issues like Tibet, writes Daniel Golden for Bloomberg.
CANADA: New statement on academic freedom
Canada's university presidents have jointly adopted a new statement on academic freedom, pledging support for the right of faculty members to follow their ideas in teaching and research, without inappropriate interference, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed.
UK: Students face radical admission reforms
In a report published last week, Britain's Universities and Colleges Admissions Service proposes scrapping the current system in which students apply for courses based on predicted grades. Under reforms that could be introduced in 2016, teenagers will sit exams as early as Easter and A-level results will be published at the start of July, instead of mid-August. Applications would also be limited to just two choices - instead of the current five - and all degree courses would start in October, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.
ISRAEL: Education ministry to battle brain drain
No less than 1,500 Israeli scientists and researchers have left Israeli universities in recent years to join top academic institutions overseas. To combat the brain drain, the education ministry will establish 30 special institutes that will offer academics excellent conditions for research and, according to the plan, lure them home, writes Tamar Trabelsi-Hadad for Ynet News.
US: India, Israel universities vie for 'genius' grant
New York's quest to lure a 'genius school' attracted seven applications from 17 top institutions in three states and four countries, writes Erin Einhorn for New York Daily News. "All of the submissions were stronger than anything we could have possibly imagined," Mayor Michael Bloomberg gushed last week as he announced the proposals.
MALAYSIA: Clamp-down on private universities
Malaysia's higher education ministry is amending the Private Institutions of Higher Learning Act to allow for sterner action, including higher fines, against private universities for various offences, reports the official agency Bernama.
INDIA: Government to link higher education institutes
At least 15 million students pursuing higher education will be able to share information, lab experiments and classroom content as the Indian cabinet last week approved a proposal to connect 572 universities, 25,000 colleges and 2,000 polytechnics as part of its mission to promote technology usage in higher education, writes Prashant K Nanda for Livemint.
MALAWI: Lecturers refuse to return to class
Lecturers at the University of Malawi's Chancellor College say they will only return to the classroom after their concerns over academic freedom are fully addressed, writes Peter Clottey for Voice of America.
PAKISTAN: Universities rally to boost social sciences
Five public sector universities in Pakistan will form a consortium to promote social sciences and arts, reports The Express Tribune.
SOUTH AFRICA: Poor response to student debt offer
Poor students who have outstanding debts at universities across the country have responded slowly to the call by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimade to apply for special funding to clear their debt, writes Lesego Masemola for The New Age.
US: Students urged to seek jobs beyond Wall Street
The financial industry has long concentrated its search for new blood on the well-manicured campuses of America's elite universities, where job prospects after graduation may be the one thing even higher than tuition fees. But that pipeline to talent is facing some push-back, writes Nathaniel Popper for the Los Angeles Times.
US: Stanford receives $150 million to fight poverty
Stanford University's Graduate School of Business has received a $150 million gift, one of the largest in the university's history, to create an institute to alleviate poverty through entrepreneurship, writes Sue Dremann for Palo Alto.
US: Wikipedia tops list of plagiarised sources
Where are students finding the materials they plagiarise in their papers? According to a new study, Wikipedia tops the list for both secondary and college students. But as a category, encyclopaedia sites are among the least popular sources, coming in behind four other types of information outlets, including both academic sites and paper mills, writes David Nagel for Campus Technology.
US: Uproar over university's 'lifestyle' statement
A university in Georgia, US, has people in an uproar over a new document that would rule out gay people as prospective employees on campus. Adopted by the school's board of trustees, the 'personal lifestyle statement' is a mandatory employee document that could result in termination for those who refuse to sign it, writes Gina E Ryder for the Christian Post.
CHINA-AFRICA: Universities to boost collaboration
The 2011 UNESCO-China-Africa University Leaders Meeting was held last week in Paris at the headquarters of the United Nations agency, aimed at boosting collaboration between Chinese and African universities, reports the Xinhua news agency.
AUSTRALIA: Universities put revenue before standards
The state of Victoria's ombudsman has uncovered worrying evidence that universities have been putting the need for student fee revenue ahead of the ability of students to complete their courses, apparently enrolling students with too-poor English skills, writes Andrew Trounsen for The Australian. But universities have rejected the criticism.
HONG KONG: An open door to foreign students
Well-positioned in world university rankings, Hong Kong has an open-door policy towards international students. The Hong Kong government has invested HK$1 billion (US$128 million) in a bursary fund, with the interest to be used to fund scholarships for international students, writes Stephen Hoare for The Independent.
US: High cost of community college dropouts
A new national study reports that federal, state, and local governments in the US invested nearly $4 billion in full-time community college students who subsequently dropped out after their first year, writes Rita Giordano for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
US: Real higher education costs now clearer
How much will college really cost? For American families, the answer may soon become clearer. Starting on 29 October, any college or university participating in federal student aid programmes must have a net-price calculator on its website, writes Emily Glazer for the Wall Street Journal.
UK: Education spending 'falling fastest since 1950s'
Public spending on education in the UK is falling at the fastest rate since the 1950s, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The independent financial researchers say spending will fall by 13% in real terms between 2010-11 and 2014-15, writes Sean Coughlan for the BBC.
UK: Drop in soft subject applications
Softer university subjects such as communication studies and creative arts have seen a drop in applications of up to 40% as students seek value for England's controversial £9,000 (US$14,400) tuition fee, according to figures released last week, writes Victoria Ward for The Telegraph.
UK: 'Free' Oxbridge masters degrees under fire
It is as traditional as punting, elite clubs and one-to-one tutorials with dusty dons, but the 'complimentary' masters degrees awarded to Oxford and Cambridge graduates is under fire, writes Julie Henry for The Telegraph.
ISRAEL: 'Privatised enclaves' rise in universities
Study programmes funded by non-public sources in Israeli universities have doubled during the past six years. The number of such programmes has risen from 26 to 51 in a trend that is at variance with a decision reached in 2007 by Israel's Council for Higher Education to withhold recognition of new study programmes, writes Asaf Shtull-Trauring for Haaretz.
US: Political science 'too slow to change' - Report
Political science is being held back as a discipline by its failure to sufficiently engage in issues of race and inequality, and by the homogeneity of its faculty members, according to a report released last week by the American Political Science Association, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed.