18 August 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
AFRICA
Kagame calls for more higher education investment
Rwanda's President Paul Kagame said recently that Africa still grapples with low numbers of graduates in tertiary education and research and called for heavy investment in the sector, writes Peter Mugabo for News of Rwanda.
UNITED KINGDOM
Multimillion fund to boost science recruitment
The government is to invest £100 million (US$130 million) into recruiting skilled scientists from around the world. The Ernest Rutherford Fund will be used to provide fellowships for early career and senior researchers. They will come from not only developed economies but also India, Brazil and Mexico – emerging research powerhouses, reports Laboratory News.
UNITED STATES
Civil War-era law used to punish scientific fraudsters
Duke University is at the heart of a potentially blockbuster lawsuit involving three of its scientists. The suit is the latest attempt to use a 19th-century law for relatively new purposes: putting universities on the hook for grant money that went to researchers found guilty of fraud, write Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky for Stat News.
SOMALIA
University returned to federal government after 10 years
The African Union Mission in Somalia last week handed back to the federal government a university which it has used as a military base over the last decade, writes Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban for Africa News.
UNITED KINGDOM
Tuition fees architect calls for their scrapping
Tuition fees have become so "politically diseased" they should be scrapped, says one of the politicians who designed them, writes Caroline Mortimer for the Independent.
GREECE
Opposition leader calls for autonomous universities
Greece needs modern, autonomous universities that will serve an open society, New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an article published in Kathimerini newspaper’s Sunday edition, in which he urged people to block a government bill on universities that will "turn back the clock many years", reports Capital.gr.
INDIA
President unveils online education portal
President Pranab Mukherjee recently launched the SWAYAM – Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds – and SWAYAM Prabha platforms which offer digital classrooms at school, college and university levels with the help of internet and satellite connectivity to the remotest corners in the country, reports The Indian Express.
KENYA
Politicians among those who have certificates revoked
A number of universities have revoked degree and diploma certificates awarded to students through fraudulent means, among them politicians, as they comply with tough requirements from the higher education regulator, writes Ouma Wanzala for the Nation.
UNITED KINGDOM
Stressed students demand more time for exams, essays
New figures show that the number of university students demanding extra time in exams due to mental health problems has surged in recent years, writes Luke Mintz for The Telegraph.
GLOBAL
Global south universities launch climate consortium
Universities from the world’s least developed countries have launched a cooperative programme aimed at ending their dependence on climate experts and expensive consultants from rich countries, writes Mantoe Phakathi for Climate Change News.
AUSTRALIA
Win for university staff as 457 visa eligibility relaxed
Lecturers, vice-chancellors and other leading staff members in Australian universities can now breathe sighs of relief as the government has restored the four-year visas with a pathway to permanent residency for this particular group, reports Study International.
ISRAEL
Bill proposes 25% hike in international student fees
The Knesset plenum recently passed a bill 32-0 that proposes allowing universities and colleges subsidised by the state to raise their annual tuition by up to 25% for international students, writes Udi Shaham for The Jerusalem Post.
IRAQ
Universities start rebuilding in post-Islamic State era
As the Iraqi-led coalition reclaims territory from the Islamic State, some of Iraq’s 10 shuttered universities are showing signs of recovery as teachers and students volunteer or raise money to reconstruct their campuses, and government officials prepare Iraqi higher education for the post-Islamic State era, writes Gilgamesh Nabeel for Al-Fanar Media.
HONG KONG
Hong Kong’s new leader in education spending spree
School leavers looking to continue their studies and contract teachers hoping for full-time jobs will benefit as Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor outlined her extra funding plan for education, writes Peace Chiu for South China Morning Post.
GLOBAL
Big data reveals patterns in HE names lists
Using lists of names collected from publicly available websites, two University of Chicago researchers have revealed distinctive patterns in higher education systems, ranging from ethnic representation and gender imbalance in the sciences, to the presence of academic couples, and even the illegal hiring of relatives in Italian universities, reports Science Daily.
UNITED KINGDOM
Open University issues warning over £2bn skills gap bill
Inaugural research by the Open University suggests that a severe skills gap is costing United Kingdom businesses more than £2 billion (US$2.6 billion) a year as companies struggle to find workers with the right attributes, writes Bradley Gerrard for The Telegraph.
AUSTRALIA
Universities attack higher education reform package
Universities have taken aim at Education Minister Simon Birmingham’s higher education reform package in submissions to a Senate inquiry, singling out changes to the way postgraduate places are allocated and performance-contingent funding for particular derision, writes Julie Hare for The Australian.
KENYA
Universities paralysed as staff strike resumes
Activities were paralysed in public universities after employees downed tools to protest the delayed payment of their salary awards, reports the Standard.
SOUTH AFRICA
Climate change report reveals strong research linkages
A joint report by the Department of Science and Technology and the Academy of Science of South Africa on the impact of climate change has revealed strong international research linkages, with many South African scientists serving in leadership positions in international climate change research and assessment bodies, reports the Cape Argus.
SINGAPORE
Universities are agents for city-wide change – Minister
Universities can play a huge part in transforming cities as they help to transform knowledge into new ideas, new businesses and new jobs, said Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung last week, writes Prisca Ang for The Straits Times.
PAKISTAN
PhD scholars protest lack of jobs
Members of the PhD Doctors' Association Pakistan staged a protest demonstration last week against the Higher Education Commission for failing to provide them with regular jobs, writes Muhammad Faisal Kaleem for the Daily Times.
UNITED STATES
Fighting to keep leaders who are academics
Faculty members at the University of Wisconsin at Madison want to kill a state budget proposal that would ban the university system’s Board of Regents from requiring the system president and campus chancellors and vice-chancellors be academics themselves, writes Coleen Flaherty for Inside Higher Ed.
ALGERIA
Student claims university censored her political thesis
A PhD student in Algeria says her university is withholding her degree because of objections to the political content of her thesis, writes Ahmed Rouaba for the BBC.
JORDAN
Cabinet approves university and subject ranking system
Ministers have approved the drafting of a by-law to establish a ranking system linked to specific criteria, including scientific research and publications, the number of faculty members and enrolled students, in addition to the ratio of foreign students to the total number of students, among others, according to Higher Education Minister Adel Tweisi, writes Laila Azzeh for The Jordan Times.
CHINA
Communist Party stresses leadership over universities
A meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee last week emphasised the party's authority over higher education institutions, reports Xinhua.