22 February 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
JAPAN
Kinki University ditches its saucy name
In a move aimed at sparing students and faculty embarrassment, a Japanese private university named Kinki University has ditched its distracting former English name for a more benign moniker, reports Kyodo News.
GLOBAL
Student put 50 million stolen research articles online
Alexandra Elbakyan is a highbrow pirate in hiding. The 27-year-old graduate student from Kazakhstan is operating a searchable online database of nearly 50 million stolen scholarly journal articles, shattering the US$10 billion-per-year paywall of academic publishers, writes Michael Rosenwald for The Washington Post.
UNITED STATES
Forbes lists best value US colleges
The average student attending a four-year, in-state public college pays about US$19,500 in tuition each year. Is that an investment worth making? Forbes has made answering that question a little easier with its Best Value Colleges 2016 rankings, published online Tuesday, writes Julia Glum for International Business Times.
CHINA-UNITED KINGDOM
UK universities want ‘transparency’ on TNE from China
UK university staff have cited the lack of transparency around Chinese transnational education, or TNE, legislation as one of the main barriers halting higher education partnerships between the two countries, writes Ellie Bothwell for Times Higher Education.
AUSTRALIA
Slash university loan repayment threshold – Report
A Grattan Institute report released on Tuesday has recommended the income threshold for university debt repayments should be cut by A$12,000 (US$9,200), saving A$500 million every year, reports Australian Associated Press.
CHINA
Five-year plan boosts basic research funding
Research into cosmic evolution, the structure of matter, the origins of life and understanding how the brain works all deserve strengthened support, according to China's latest 5-year development plan, which could triple funding for basic research by 2020, writes Hao Xin for Science
INDIA
Crackdowns on university students condemned
Over 300 academicians, activists, artists and writers published a statement condemning the state violence and unlawful detention at the University of Hyderabad and crackdowns at other institutions, reports First Post.
INDIA
Government to fund science scholars’ post-doc research
The government has embarked upon a scheme to fund ‘pure science’ scholars who have completed their PhDs to enable them to continue their post-doctoral research in India, reports Press Trust of India.
PAKISTAN
Concern about universities violating plagiarism policy
The Higher Education Commission has expressed concerns at universities not following the commission’s plagiarism policy by not taking action on plagiarism complaints against their faculty, reports The Express Tribune.
BANGLADESH
Cabinet approves university accreditation council law
The Bangladesh government last week approved in principle the draft of ‘The Accreditation Council Law, 2016’, with a view to ensuring standards of higher education in the country, reports The Daily Star.
THAILAND
Majority agree with new university year
A slight majority of people agree with the new academic year for universities as it falls in line with the international and ASEAN – Association of Southeast Asian Nations – bi-semester system, according to the result of an opinion poll carried out by the National Institute of Development Administration, reports Bangkok Post.
UNITED KINGDOM
Latest university access policy change prompts criticism
Short-term policy-making risks jeopardising efforts to widen participation in English higher education, it has been warned, after yet another change in the national approach to encouraging those from disadvantaged backgrounds to apply to university, writes Chris Havergal for Times Higher Education.
UNITED STATES
Cash-hungry university changed its admission standards
The University of California System is frequently lauded as one of the best public education systems in the world. But a scathing new state audit of the system tells a story of manipulation of admissions standards for financial gain, writes Abby Jackson for Business Insider.
SOUTH AFRICA
Minister approves infrastructure funds to universities
The Department of Higher Education and Training has allocated R1.9 billion (US$129 million) towards improving the infrastructure, student housing and maintenance, among other things, at 24 state-owned universities, reports SA News.
KENYA
Exam board dissolved and senior officers arrested
The Kenya National Examinations Council's board was dissolved on 24 March over the irregularities that marred national examinations in 2015, and nine senior officers were arrested, writes Ouma Wanzala for The Nation.
BELGIUM
Universities scramble to help students after attacks
The terrorist attacks in Brussels last Tuesday prompted universities in and around the city to cancel classes and to organise transportation and shelter for students who were stranded as mass transit there shut down, writes Tyler Kingkade for The WorldPost. Meanwhile, American universities scrambled to locate their students in Europe.
UNITED KINGDOM
Wanted: Social scientists with more quantitative skills
A study for the British Academy to compare the quantitative skills taught by universities in the United Kingdom and 16 leading international universities, has found that many institutions in Europe, North America and Australasia reach “much higher levels of achievement”, writes Matthew Reisz for Times Higher Education.
PHILIPPINES
Rise in school-leaving age to hit university admissions
In the Philippines, where university diplomas are proudly displayed in living rooms, higher education institutions are recession-proof enterprises, writes Felipe Salvosa for Financial Times. But when universities reopen next term, the unthinkable will happen – there will be no freshmen enrolling and thousands of tenured faculty will be made redundant.
GERMANY
Reforms give university researchers greater security
After years of campaigning by the union for education and science, the German government has passed a law that will improve the conditions that apply to contract employment in research, writes Andrew Bonnell for The Australian.
UNITED STATES
Heavy recruitment of Chinese students sows discord
At first glance, a huge wave of Chinese students entering American higher education seems beneficial for both sides, write Douglas Belkin and Miriam Jordan for the Wall Street Journal. But on the ground, campuses are struggling to absorb the growing influx – a dynamic confirmed by interviews with dozens of students, college professors and counsellors.
GLOBAL
From a teaching perspective, 'impact' looks different
In a blog based on the opening seminar of the UCL Institute of Education’s Centre for Global Higher Education, Paul Ashwin took a fresh look at the thorny concept of the impact of university teaching, reports Times Higher Education.
CANADA
Top universities worried about health research reforms
The heads of Canada’s biggest research universities have added their voices to criticism of reforms at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, calling for a moratorium on further changes until an independent review is held, writes Elizabeth Payne for Ottawa Citizen.
UNITED STATES
The public good of public research universities – Study
Public research universities in the United States are anchors of stability and growth in their regions – vital to economic development and the creative economy, according to a new report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
INDIA
Plan to equate research time with teaching experience
Researchers have reasons to cheer. India’s University Grants Commission recently announced that time spent by a student in doing research for a PhD degree will be counted as teaching experience when they apply for direct recruitment to faculty positions in colleges and universities, writes Gauri Kohli for Hindustan Times.
EGYPT
Government invites firms to apply to create MOOCs
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has launched a tender for local firms to help establish MOOCs – massive open online courses – under the Ministry of Higher Education, writes Mohamed Alaa El-Din for Daily News Egypt. It is the first effort to introduce MOOCs at such a scale in Egypt.