24 May 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
CANADA
CANADA: Disclosing critical health information
Personal health information can be disclosed in emergency situations, say two of Canada's privacy commissioners, MacLeans reports. The issue recently arose when the family of 18-year-old Carleton University student Nadia Kajouji blamed the Ottawa university for failing to do enough to inform them of her depression or prevent her suicide.
UNITED STATES
US: Compromise over higher education act
A small group of US senators and representatives and their staffs are working at breakneck speed with the hope that Congress can wrap up its work by Memorial Day on compromise legislation to renew the Higher Education Act, reports Inside Higher Ed. But if a draft of the bill that is being circulated this week is any indication, numerous major issues remain unresolved and the measure, as currently written, could be a nightmare for colleges and the Education Department to carry out.
UNITED STATES
US: Students fail - professor loses job
Who is to blame when students fail? If many students fail - a majority even - does that demonstrate faculty incompetence, or could it point to a problem with standards? asks Scott Jaschik in Insider Higher Ed. These are the questions at the centre of a dispute that cost Steven D Aird his job teaching biology at Norfolk State University. On his way out, he has started to tell his story - one that he suggests points to large educational problems at the university and in society.
CZECH REPUBLIC
CZECH: Minister reveals plans to overhaul universities
Czech universities can expect big changes, reports Radio Prague. Last week Education Minister Ondřej Li?ka presented a 'white paper' proposing sweeping reforms of the country's higher education system, including a complete restructuring of the way Czech universities are funded - which could eventually lead to tuition fees - and calls for universities to cooperate more with the private sector. The plans are now up for public discussion until autumn, when new laws will be drafted.
UNITED KINGDOM
UK: Teach online to compete, universities told
Universities should make their course materials freely available online, according to a paper for the latest edition of ppr, the publication of influential think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research. The researcher and activist Leo Pollak argues that UK universities lag behind in providing course materials online but could innovate more than their US competitors, reports the Education Guardian.
UNITED KINGDOM
UK: Students 'told to lie' to boost rankings
Two senior lecturers have been caught telling students to lie in order to boost their college's ranking in crucial government-backed league tables, reports The Telegraph. Fiona Barlow-Brown and Fred Vallee-Tourangeau, psychology lecturers at Kingston University, were recorded urging undergraduates to give Kingston a glowing report in the National Student Survey, which measures how satisfied students are with their courses.
NIGERIA
N IGERIA: More than a million to sit university entrance exam
More than a million candidates were due to sit the Universities Matriculation Examination on 17 May at 1,979 centres across N igeria and in five foreign countries - a whopping 15% increase over last year as demand for higher education escalates - reports Leadership. The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board announced stringent security plans to keep the examination fraud-free.
SOUTH AFRICA
SOUTH AFRICA: Institute paves way for Africa's Einstein
The next Einstein is in the pre-primary class of a township school about 100 kilometres from Cape Town and will need the help of the Muizenberg-based Aims (African Institute of Mathematical Sciences) if she is to achieve her full potential. Physics Nobel laureate for 2004 David Gross made this hypothetical prediction last weekend in support of Aims's Einstein Initiative, which seeks to recruit and nurture the brightest maths and science graduates on the African continent, reports the Cape Times.
SOUTH AFRICA
SOUTH AFRICA: University hotel to meet tourism need
The University of Johannesburg plans to build a teaching and training hotel to tackle the growing need for tourism and hospitality managers, reports the Mail & Guardian. A 2007 audit of skills revealed that 8,000 tourism and hospitality managers will be needed in the next three years. The hotel will help students to integrate the theory and practice of conferencing, food and beverage services and accommodation management - and grow the university's capacity to host lecturers and students from around the world.
TURKEY
TURKEY: New entrance testing for would-be students
The president of the Higher Education Board has announced plans to introduce a new testing system for students seeking to pursue higher education in Turkey, reports Today's Zaman.
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Professor Yusuf Ziya Özcan said the plan includes a test that would be offered several times each year, instead of the current system of holding an annual Student Selection Examination.
BANGLADESH
BANGLADESH: University research in a sorry state
Lack of funding and well qualified teachers is undermining research in Bangladesh, reports the Daily Star. The University Grants Commission, or UGC, is supposed to award 12 scholars a year for outstanding research. But as little quality research is being conducted at public or private universities, only 20 lecturers have been honoured in the four years since 2002, according to a UGC publication.
CANADA
CANADA: Commonwealth scholarships for rich countries axed
The British government is axing its Commonwealth scholarship programme for students from Canada and several other countries - a move its advocates say is shortsighted, reports the Globe and Mail. Instead, Britain will focus on funding awards for scholars from countries such as China and India, which it considers more important to its "foreign policy success".
INDIA
INDIA: 'Third grade' western universities unwelcome
India does not want 'third grade' Western universities or other foreign institutions that are not interested in complying with the country's higher education regulations, Minister of Higher Education Arjun Singh has warned, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education news blog. He added that inferior Western universities wanted to go to India because it was a "virgin area" and because they could not compete in their own countries. While Singh said he was not opposed to foreign institutions, "the real universities should come".
AUSTRALIA
AUSTRALIA: Fee shift will lead to more foreign students
University students will no longer be able to buy their way into prestige courses under changes introduced by the Labor Government, but universities say the end to full fee-paying places will force them to recruit more international students, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
SOUTH AFRICA
SOUTH AFRICA: Poor students turn to crime, prostitution
Greedy university students in South Africa are resorting to crime so that they can splash out on fashionable clothing and trendy cellphones, writes Prega Govender in the Sunday Times. Figures obtained from several tertiary institutions paint a startling picture of the extent of criminal activity by students around the country.
ETHIOPIA
ETHIOPIA: Huge new science institute planned
Ethiopia's Ministry of Education is to construct an institute of science that will enrol close to 40,000 students a year, reports Addis Fortune. The new institute will be located in Dukem, 37 kilometres east of the capital Addis Abeba. The decision follows a budget planning exercise by various ministries, and was prompted by a desire to boost natural science enrolments, sources disclosed.
UNITED KINGDOM
UK: Assessors wreathed in secrecy
British academics have become so frustrated by secrecy surrounding the research assessment exercise, or RAE, that they are being forced to deploy the Freedom of Information Act against their own assessors, reports The Times.
UNITED KINGDOM
UK: Foundation degrees growing in popularity
The growth in the number of students taking foundation degrees is on track to meet the government's target of 100,000 by 2010, a report published last week suggests. But it warns that employers may not be prepared to pay for the cost of teaching the courses, reports the Education Guardian.
UNITED STATES
US: New salvo in fight over immigrants
Many states have debated the legality of extending in-state tuition rates to students living in the United States illegally. In North Carolina, the debate over the legality of a more fundamental matter - admitting undocumented students at all - has only just begun, writes Inside Higher Ed.
UNITED STATES
US: Biggest campus drug bust at San Diego State
Police have arrested 96 people - 75 of them students - in the largest campus drug bust in the country at San Diego State University, law enforcement sources say. ABC News reports that police picked up the individuals for charges stemming from possession and sales of cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy and other drugs, which Damon Mosler, chief of narcotics for the San Diego District Attorney's Office, estimated was worth approximately $100,000.
PAKISTAN
PAKISTAN: Higher education generating dividends
The ambitious higher education reform programme launched in Pakistan in 1999 is now paying dividends and at present more than 2,500 government funded scholars are studying for a PhD abroad and 3,500 at home, reports Associated Press of Pakistan. So said Federal Education Minister Ahsan Iqbal at the first Asia-Europe Education Ministers Conference held in Berlin last week.
UNITED STATES
US: Summit on HE's role in development globally
About 200 university presidents, split almost equally between American colleges and institutions abroad, gathered in Washington last week for an invitation-only summit on the role of higher education in furthering social and economic development on a global scale, reports Inside Higher Ed. The US Departments of Education and State hosted the star-studded summit. "The idea is to leverage every possible opportunity to expand opportunity," said Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.
UNITED STATES
US: Rwanda leader - Africa's higher education challenges
Rwandan President Kagame said the despite its indisputable role in socio-economic transformation, higher education in Africa was not always accorded the importance it deserves, reports The New Times in Kigali. He was delivering a keynote address at the opening of the Higher Education Summit for Global Development in Washington DC, which was convened by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and aimed at expanding the impact of US and foreign higher education institutions in worldwide social and economic development.
ISRAEL
ISRAEL: Treasury holding higher education hostage
A few days before the end of his short term as deputy chairman of the Council for Higher Education, Professor Itzhak Galnoor has warned that Israel's higher educational system is in danger of collapse, reports Haaretz. He blames the Finance Ministry, which in recent years has cut about 20% of the budget for higher education.
INDIA
INDIA: Doors open wide for foreign universities
An increasing number of foreign universities are opening programmes in India, reports Transcript. According to a study by the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration in New Delhi, 131 Indian institutions - mostly business schools - currently work in partnership with British and American universities.