20 October 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
IRELAND
New fund to boost international collaboration
A new fund – the International Academic Mobility Programme – will see €500,000 (US$586,000) made available to Irish higher education institutions to promote collaboration with global institutions in high potential markets, writes Kathleen McNamee for The University Times.
UNITED KINGDOM
Student loans – Minister pushes terminology change
Universities Minister Jo Johnson has suggested that student loans be renamed “graduate contribution” tax, writes Camilla Turner for The Telegraph. At a Tory party conference fringe event, he also said the government needs to "work on the language" around student loans, so that young people do not feel as though they are getting a bad deal.
INDONESIA-MALAYSIA
Roadmap to set out path towards increased collaboration
A higher education roadmap is being developed to pave the way for greater collaboration between Malaysia and Indonesia, writes Christina Chin for The Star.
SOUTH AFRICA
Subsidy withdrawals may follow predatory publishing probe
The Department of Higher Education and Training will probe claims about predatory publishing, and could withdraw subsidies paid out for the academic articles in question, writes Bekezela Phakathi for BDLive.
IRELAND
Students march to oppose student loan scheme
In a statement issued as thousands of students marched through Dublin to voice their opposition to a loan scheme, Irish Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor said the government was adamant no “undue financial pressure” should be placed on parents and students, writes Carl O’Brien for The Irish Times.
SWITZERLAND
College students turn to foreign universities for PhDs
Local media report that Swiss higher education colleges are teaming up with foreign universities to help their students obtain doctorates, because only a few Swiss universities are allowed to confer doctorates, reports Swissinfo.ch.
UNITED STATES
Globalisation of HE has raised stakes for spy agencies
The globalisation of higher education has raised the academic stakes for foreign and domestic intelligence services. In hidden ways, they are penetrating college campuses more deeply than ever, with troubling implications for national security and democratic values, writes Daniel Golden for The Boston Globe.
IRAQ
Kurdistan referendum ‘yes’ vote means uncertainty for HE
The expected resounding ‘yes’ vote in the Kurdish independence referendum on 25 September will throw the fate of non-Kurdish students and the governance of the region’s 30 universities into uncertainty, write Gilgamesh Nabeel and Jacob Wirtschafter for Al-Fanar Media.
ITALY
Rector under investigation for influencing appointments
The rector of Suor Orsola Benincasa University of Naples, Lucio D’Allesandro, is under investigation for allegedly helping the son of former minister Ortensio Zecchino get a research position at the institution, reports ANSA.
UNITED KINGDOM
Refused visas prompt concern over university conferences
A Nigerian lawyer and at least 14 African academics were unable to attend an international African studies conference held at Cambridge University in September because of visa problems and academics from different disciplines across the United Kingdom are reporting similar frustrations, warning that Britain is quietly closing its doors and damaging vital academic collaboration, writes Anna Fazackerley for the Guardian.
VIETNAM
More autonomy helps universities meet global standards
The government’s decision two years ago to allow autonomy for a number of universities has helped them meet international standards and improve quality of training, according to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Education and Training, reports Viet Nam News.
GLOBAL
Stanford tops list of innovative universities – again
The most innovative university in the world, for the third consecutive year, is Stanford University, according to the Reuters’ annual ranking of the World’s Most Innovative Universities, a list that ranks the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and power new markets and industries, writes David Ewalt for Reuters.
SOUTH AFRICA
HIV prevention pills now available to students
For the first time university and college students – the age cohort most at risk of contracting HIV – will be able to access an anti-retroviral prevention medication called Truvada which reduces the risks of contracting the disease by at least 90% if taken daily, writes Katharine Child for Times Live.
UNITED STATES
Attorney General attacks universities over free speech
Attorney General Jeff Sessions attacked American colleges and universities last week for being “politically correct”, infringing on students’ free-speech rights and capitulating to the demands of loud protesters, write Sari Horwitz, Debbie Truong and Sarah Larimer for The Washington Post.
MALAYSIA
Indian community appeals for more university places
The Indian community is appealing to the government to provide more places for Indian students in public universities, reports Bernama. Universiti Malaya Indian studies lecturer Professor M Rajantheran said the quota system in public universities had hampered the educational advancement of the Indian community.
UNITED STATES
Another university aims to eliminate all student loans
Brown University has initiated a US$120 million campaign to drop all loans from financial aid packages awarded to their undergraduates, writes Catherine Campo for CNBC.com. In doing so, Brown will become the 16th United States institution, and the sixth in the Ivy League (excluding Cornell and Dartmouth), to offer all of its undergraduates a loan-free education.
EGYPT
Ministry examines requests to establish new universities
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has examined about 10 requests to establish private and national universities before the end of this year. The ministry also plans to transform about 45 technical institutions affiliated to technological colleges into specialised technical colleges before the end of June, writes Abdel Razek Al-Shuwekhi for Daily News Egypt.
UNITED KINGDOM
Black-white student gap fuels concern over reading lists
Scottish universities have been urged to develop broader reading lists with fewer white authors amid concerns over a ‘stark’ attainment gap between black students and their white counterparts, writes Andrew Denholm for Herald Scotland.
TURKEY
Radical changes to university entrance system
A number of radical changes regarding entrance to universities in Turkey are on the way that will put the Turkish language and mathematics at centre stage, reports Hurriyet Daily News.
SOUTH AFRICA
New law spurs fears over independence of universities
Legal experts and academics have expressed concerns over new laws contained in the 2016 Higher Education Amendment Act which they believe will undermine the independence of South Africa’s universities, reports BusinessTech.
CZECH REPUBLIC
Government adds extra funds to universities' budget
The Czech government's leadership has agreed to raise the universities' budget by CZK3 billion (US$136 million) in 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek said during the government meeting last Monday, reports CTK. Belobradek also proposed a compromise of CZK35.6 billion (US$1.6 billion) for science and research.
CHINA
Universities shut the door on North Korean students
Some Chinese universities are restricting the admission of North Korean students and even blacklisting their scholarship applications as the nuclear weapons crisis escalates on the Korean peninsula, according to several college enrolment officers, writes Stephen Chen for South China Morning Post.
CHINA
Country aims for 40 world-class universities by 2020
The ‘double first-class’ project university list, a new impetus for the development of China's higher education sector, will soon be announced by China’s Ministry of Education and some universities have already informed the public that they are on the list, writes Li Yan for People’s Daily Online.
INDIA
Higher education set for overhaul
The higher education sector is set for a makeover as the government plans to implement a slew of measures such as a qualifying examination for PhDs, mandatory use of anti-plagiarism software for evaluating PhDs, assessment and accreditation of higher education institutions by third party agencies and granting full autonomy to top-ranked institutions, writes Mahendra Singh for TNN.
SOUTH AFRICA
State pays millions for predatory journal articles
The South African government spent between R100 million (US$7.5 million) and R300 million (US$23 million) over a 10-year period in subsidies for academic articles published in predatory journals, according to a South African Journal of Science study, writes Sarah Wild for Quartz.