22 December 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
UNITED KINGDOM
Investment in universities could buy a visa
Visas will be auctioned off to overseas millionaires or offered in exchange for investment in hospitals and universities, under new government proposals, writes Claire Carter for The Telegraph.
UNITED STATES
Language academics condemn Israel's entry policies
By a vote of 60-53, America’s Modern Language Association delegate assembly has approved the contentious Resolution 2014-1, which censures Israel for “denials of entry to the West Bank by US academics who have been invited to teach, confer, or do research at Palestinian universities”, writes Ruth Starkman for Haaretz.
GLOBAL
Massive open online courses shake up higher education
Massive open online courses are seen as a game changer in education. But they worry the establishment, even as more universities rush to introduce them, writes Katherine Forestier for South China Morning Post.
CANADA
Ontario to launch central hub for online classes
Ontario's government will spend CAD42 million (US$38 million) establishing a centre that aims to drive new online learning opportunities for university and college students across the province, writes James Bradshaw for The Globe and Mail/s].
INDIA
Universities gain authority over technical schools
The University Grants Commission last week approved a regulation giving universities absolute power over quality control in technical education including engineering, management and pharmacy, writes Basant Kumar Mohanty for The Telegraph.
UNITED STATES
New York University expansion plan blocked by judge
New York University has been blocked by a state judge from beginning much of a two million square foot expansion in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighbourhood, writes Christie Smythe for Bloomberg.
NIGERIA
US college denies awarding minister’s masters degree
The institution where Stella Oduah, Nigeria's aviation minister, obtained her masters degree continues to be shrouded in mystery as St Paul's College, the American university where she is believed to have received the certificate, has denied awarding the qualification, writes Ben Ezeamalu for Premium Times.
UNITED KINGDOM
Cambridge University 'hope' for biblical manuscript bid
Cambridge University has said an appeal to raise £1.1 million (U$1.8 million) to buy an early biblical manuscript it has held for 30 years is "progressing well", reports the BBC.
UGANDA
Makerere wins international technology award
Makerere University in Uganda has beaten stiff competition from six international universities to emerge the winner of last year’s higher education solutions network contest, writes John Agaba for New Vision.
MALAYSIA
Turkish prime minister receives honorary degree
Malaysia and Malaysian universities have sided with Turkey during hard times, said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Kuala Lumpur, reports World Bulletin. At a ceremony hosted in his honour, Erdogan was presented with an honorary doctorate by Malaysia's International Islamic University.
UNITED STATES
Backlash against academic association’s Israel boycott
With its recent vote to boycott Israel’s higher education institutions to protest the country’s treatment of Palestinians, the American Studies Association has itself become the target of widespread criticism and ostracism, writes Peter Schmidt for The Chronicle of Higher Education
CANADA
Teacher body calls for closure of Confucius institutes
The Canadian Association of University Teachers, or CAUT, is calling on universities and colleges to cut ties with Confucius institutes, which it says are “subsidised and supervised by the authoritarian government of China”, writes Omid Ghoreishi for Epoch Times.
CHINA
Fewer candidates take graduate entrance test
China’s 2014 national graduate school entrance examination, which took place last weekend, saw a drop in the number of candidates this year, writes Zhang Yue for China Daily USA. Admission officials said the end of free postgraduate courses might be behind the decline in numbers.
INDIA
University rankings to add ‘India-specific’ parameters
Indian institutions could improve their scores dramatically in Times Higher Education's World University Rankings as the British magazine has agreed to develop and include India-specific parameters for assessment, writes Urmi A Goswami for The Economic Times.
INDIA
Only 10% of students have access to higher education
Access to education beyond higher secondary schooling is a mere 10% among the university-age population in India, writes Rema Nagarajan for TNN. This is the finding of a report authored by development economist Abusaleh Shariff of the Delhi-based Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy and Amit Sharma, research analyst for the National Council of Applied Economic Research.
EUROPE
Europe waters down transnational 'research buddy' plan
Europe’s latest research funding programme includes, for the first time, money for ‘low-performing’ member states to set up research centres in their regions, in partnership with well-established institutions from other countries. But some observers were disappointed this month when the European Union announced that the host countries will manage the centres – a rule that critics say could be challenging for fledgling institutions and perhaps perpetuate problems, such as nepotism, that have contributed to their poor performance in the first place, writes Lucas Laursen for Nature.
CANADA
The real problem – Too much university?
Just before New Year’s Day Prince Andrew, the third child of Queen Elizabeth, ushered in 2014 by giving an interview to The Telegraph on one of his favourite subjects: the economy-crippling surplus of Britons in university. The situation is similarly grim in Canada, writes Tristin Hopper for National Post.
UNITED STATES
Tech titans compete with universities
Wooing this year’s best graduate students in economics are familiar faces from Princeton, Harvard and other American universities seeking assistant professors – and eBay’s not yet three-year-old economic research team, reports Bloomberg.
UNITED KINGDOM
Labour moots 'debt-free' degree plan
Plans to allow 50,000 would-be graduates a year to acquire ‘debt-free’ honours degrees, part-funded by their employers, are being considered by the Labour party in order to tailor university education more closely to the needs of business and young people, writes Toby Helm for the Guardian.
VIETNAM
University enrolment to remain the same next year
Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bui Van Ga has assured students that there will not be major changes in university enrolment procedures for next year, reports VietNamNet Bridge.
SINGAPORE
Education landscape sees gradual shift in 2013
From having more niche programmes to more courses in universities, the secondary and post-secondary education landscape in Singapore is seeing a gradual shift to one that can accommodate multiple pathways, reports Channel News Asia.
INDIA
Professor suspended for 'exposing' vice-chancellor
The University of Mumbai has issued a letter of suspension to economics professor Neeraj Hatekar for allegedly misinforming the media about irregularities by the vice-chancellor, and thus breaching the code of conduct, writes Vinamrata Borwankar for Daily News Analysis.
UNITED STATES
American Studies Association votes to boycott Israel
Proponents of an academic boycott of Israel hailed last week's endorsement by the American Studies Association as a sign that American scholars' attitudes have shifted significantly, writes Beth McMurtie for The Chronicle of Higher Education. In an online poll, 66% of the 1,252 members of the association who voted chose to back a resolution put forth by the group's governing council.
GLOBAL
Israeli universities boycotted by American scholars
Israeli academia, often seen by the right as a bastion for left-wing, dovish sentiment, has been stung by a vote to boycott higher education in the country by an American academic association in protest against Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, writes Ben Lynfield for The Independent.
GLOBAL
Standards fall as HE growth outstrips postgrad study
The average lecturer around the world has only a bachelor degree because postgraduate study has not kept up with global growth in undergraduate enrolment, according to a leading higher education expert, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.