19 February 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
CHINA: The road to China
China is no longer a sleeping dragon when it comes to drawing foreign students as the world shows growing interest in the country, writes Tan Ee Loo in The Star, Malaysia. According to the government-affiliated Chinese Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange, the number of international students in the country is 162,695.
MALAYSIA: Courting Chinese students
“Why study in Malaysia” ads, and the opening of a Malaysia Education Office in Beijing recently and similar offices in Dubai, Jakarta and Hanoi, show the government’s commitment to promoting the country as an education hub, writes Celeste Fond of Beijing Express. Malaysia hopes to double its current 50,000-strong contingent of foreign students by 2010.
UK: Drop in foreign students may hit universities
The head of Britain’s prestigious University College, London, has raised fears about the future of one of the country’s most economically valuable exports – university education – if demand from international students starts “levelling off”, reports the Financial Times.
UK: Women miss out on university places
Older women and people from minority ethnic groups are least likely to secure university places, according to research from the University admissions service, Ucas, reports Education Guardian. Some 87,000 potential students who applied to university in 2006 failed to secure a place – up from 84,000 in 2005 and 76,000 in 2003.
FRANCE: State sells shares to modernise universities
The French government says it has raised €3.7 billion (Us$5.4 billion) to help pay for a plan to modernise universities by selling a small stake in Électricité de France, the giant power company, reports the International Herald Tribune.
AUSTRALIA: Sector slips in international rankings
AN overall decline in the higher education sector's international performance highlights the challenge faced by the new Rudd Government in achieving its education revolution, reports The Australian Higher Education. In the two big world rankings of university performance, Australia's international standing has slumped despite some strong individual performances.
PAKISTAN: Senate committee calls for S&T universities
The Senate Standing Committee on Education, Science and Technology has stressed the need to establish S&T universities in Pakistan to accelerate development and to improve the quality of life of the people, reports the Daily Times.
NIGERIA: Union says state is neglecting engineering
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has accused Nigeria’s federal government of not encouraging admission into engineering and technology courses in polytechnics, reports the Daily Champion. It called for the development of science teaching at secondary schools, and of the informal education sector.
AFRICA: Call to expand space programmes
African leaders have been urged to expand space science, in a drive to meet Millennium Development Goals, reports the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Space experts from around world gathered in Nigeria’s capital Abuja this week to attend the first regional Space for Africa conference.
MEXICO: Turmoil at university with US ties
Amid years of unrest at a Mexican university known to attract American scholars and students, the rector seen as responsible for the instability has left, and those left behind are wondering what will happen next, reports Inside Higher Ed.
US: Colorado in $2.85 million sex assault settlement
The University of Colorado agreed to pay $2.85 million to settle lawsuits by two women whose allegations of being sexually assaulted by football players led to the departures of the school's president and athletic director, reports Bloomberg.
CUBA: Activists demand independent universities
Cuban students and young professionals have collected 5,000 signatures petitioning the government to allow universities that would operate independently of the state while encouraging freedom of speech and demonstration, reports the International Herald Tribune.
INDIA: University fees may be hiked
Students enrolling for higher education in India may have to pay higher fees on a par with school fees, despite opposition from the human resource development ministry, reports Hindustan Times. The University Grants Commission has constituted a committee to examine a proposal to charge fees to meet up to 20% of university expenses.
INDIA: Most graduates unemployable, says Kalam
Skills deficiencies among graduating students is higher education’s biggest challenge, according to former President APJ Abdul Kalam, reports The Hindu.
KENYA: Student loans go to the rich
University loans do not benefit deserving students, a minister has claimed. Assistant education minister Dr Kilemi Mwiria said 97% of students who applied for loans were successful – but many came from rich families, while Kenya’s loans scheme was supposed to support students from impoverished families, report The Nation.
UK: Challenge extremism in debate, says Rammell
Universities must challenge violent extremism through open debate but accept that security requires limits to personal freedom, higher education minister Bill Rammell has urged, reports Education Guardian.
UK: Clashes as Holocaust denier appears at Oxford
Angry protesters clashed with police on Monday before an Oxford University student debate on free speech at which convicted Holocaust denier David Irving had been invited to speak, reports Reuters.
US: Calm down the intellectual rights frenzy
“Universities frequently spend considerable time (and enrich plenty of lawyers) worrying about the intellectual property implications of collaborations with businesses.
US: Professor pleads guilty to wife manslaughter
An Ivy League professor has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, for beating his wife to death with a chin-up bar as she wrapped Christmas presents last year, telling a judge he "just lost it" during an argument, reports Associated Press.
CANADA: Strikers reject university offer
Despite striking union members voting 85% to reject a University of Saskatchewan contract offer, university president Peter MacKinnon says he still believes workers’ pay increases should be tied to performance on the job, reports The Star Phoenix.
SAUDI ARABIA: Malaysians to help set up open learning
The Ministry of Higher Education has sought the collaboration of a Malaysian company in setting up an open university in the Kingdom, reports Arab News. Also, around 600 Saudi students are expected to pursue higher education in Malaysian universities at the by the end of this year.
SOUTH AFRICA: Law degree quality questioned
Concerns over the declining quality of law graduates are fuelling calls from top legal minds to probe the reintroduction of a five-year LLB degree, reports the Mail and Guardian. A top judge said there had been many complaints, including from the judiciary, that “standards are not as they used to be”.
NIGERIA: More must access higher education
N igeria should aspire to give 20% of eligible candidates access to higher education by 2020, according to former executive secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Peter Okebukola, reports This Day. Currently the country's higher education participation rate is only 8% of the eligible population.
SOUTH AFRICA: Wits starts first writer residency
Residence programmes are the best breeding grounds for good literature around the world - and the first South African university-based writers' residency programme has just been established, reports The Weekender. Pumla Gqola, associate professor of literary, cultural and media studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, and her colleague Thembinkosi Goniwe are spearheading the Wits Humanities Writers Residency.
US: Breakthrough could boost stem cell research
Rival scientists in Japan and the United States have announced that they successfully turned human tissue, rather than embryos, into cells that behave like embryonic stem cells. The research seems certain to accelerate the pace of stem cell research, and could lead the Bush administration to re-think its virtual ban on funding for this controversial field, reports the Boston Globe.