06 July 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
Research heavyweights break cover on independence
The presidents of the Royal Society, the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences have warned that Scottish independence would damage UK-wide research, and research in Scotland in particular, reports Times Higher Education.
Geopolitics – The difference between UK, Australian HE
Higher education in Australia shares similarities with the United Kingdom, but its relationship with China sets it apart, writes Simon Marginson for the Guardian.
Research evaluation creates ‘perverse’ consequences
The changing nature of research evaluation in higher education in the United Kingdom is creating perverse and damaging consequences. Higher education research is increasingly characterised by ‘McDonaldised’ audit cultures that reduce complex issues of quality to quantified assessment measures, writes David Collinson for the Financial Times.
University heads form body to counter academic boycotts
The Committee of University Heads in Israel announced last week the establishment of a forum to counter academic boycotts against Israel, writes Lidar Gravé-Lazi for The Jerusalem Post. Professor Zvi Ziegler, professor emeritus at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and chair of the Inter-University Senate, will head the panel.
Scholarships to raise number of foreign students
Turkey is increasing its international scholarships in an effort to become a global education hub, according to officials. There are more than 54,000 international students from around the world enrolled in Turkish universities with over 13,000 of them funded by government education programmes, reports the Daily Sabah.
Number of foreign university teachers on the rise
The share of foreigners among teaching and research staff employed by Finnish universities has increased from roughly 10% to 20% over the past few years. Today, Finnish universities provide employment to approximately 3,000 foreign lecturers and researchers, roughly 1,000 more than in 2010, reports Helsingin Sanomat.
Universities screen would-be lecturers for militancy
Malaysia’s Ministry of Education always ensures that public universities screen all would-be lecturers to ensure that none are involved in militant and negative activities, reported Bernama as police hunted an Islamic studies lecturer for alleged militancy.
US scholar and Tohti supporter denied entry to China
When Elliot Sperling, an American professor, landed in Beijing after a 12-hour flight from the New York area last weekend, he found himself dragged by border officers into a back room in the airport for an interrogation. They then marched him back to the same United Airlines jet that he had flown in on, despite the fact he had arrived with a valid one-year tourist visa, writes Edward Wong for The New York Times.
Higher degree graduates face battle in job market
Graduates with higher degrees in China are feeling the pinch in the job market as competitors with lower education levels rise on par and catch up as magnets for employers, reports Xinhua.
Massive growth in Nigerian university students
Newly crowned as Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria is the latest developing country to rapidly expand the number of international students it sends to Australia, writes Tim Dodd for the Financial Review.
First regional research and education network
Leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has entered into a strategic partnership with Computer Warehouse Group to deploy Nigeria’s first research and education network, reports This Day.
Universities in the line of fire
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants and Iraqi government forces reportedly clashed last week on the campus of Tikrit University, one of several major public universities in Iraq – along with the universities of Anbar and Mosul – writes Elizabeth Redden for Inside Higher Ed.
Top UK universities oppose global comparison tests
Oxbridge and other elite British universities are opposing attempts by the OECD to introduce PISA-style tests to compare students from higher education institutions around the world, according to a top official at the developed nations’ body, writes Helen Warrell for the Financial Times.
Thousands of students pay for essays
Up to 100,000 students a year now use dozens of shady companies to produce bespoke pieces of work guaranteed to secure high marks, write Simon Wright and Colin Cortbus for the Daily Mirror.
Free-speech advocacy group sues four universities
Arguing that free speech is being stifled at college campuses across the United States, a Philadelphia-based advocacy group last week filed lawsuits against four universities, seeking to force the schools to revise policies that the group says restrict some forms of speech, writes Jennifer Medina for The New York Times.
New university law to raise quality of education
Peru has finally approved a New University Law, after two years of debate in the education committee and more than 15 years in parliament, the president of the National Congress announced, reports Andina.
Outcry over Hillary Clinton’s university speeches fees
At least eight universities, including four public institutions, have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for Hillary Rodham Clinton to speak on their campuses during the past year, sparking a backlash from some student groups and teachers at a time of austerity in higher education, writes Philip Rucker for The Washington Post.
Opposition mounts against education minister
Opposition lawmakers in South Korea stepped up their offensive last week against Education Minister-designate Kim Myung-soo, and further accused him of misconduct during his teaching years, reports The Korea Herald.
Bogus academic claims tarnish Serbia's ivory tower
A Serbian minister stands accused of plagiarism and his mentor appears to have lied about having a doctorate, in twin scandals that have cast a long shadow over the Balkan nation’s ivory tower, reports AFP.
University denies political interference in dean’s removal
Professor Datuk Dr Mohammad Redzuan Othman's tenure was not extended after a transparent election process, University of Malaya has said in a statement. Last week the university denied allegations that its dean of the faculty of arts and social sciences was removed due to political interference, reports The Malaysian Insider.
Universities’ anger over plan for medical school
A proposed law that would allow the privately-run Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland to call itself a university has sparked controversy, writes Katherine Donnelly for the Irish Independent.
Universities fear losing common research area
With the referendum on Scottish independence less than three months away, the biggest higher education battleground has been over whether a separate Scotland would be allowed to continue charging English students tuition fees under European Union law – and if not whether this could lead to a flood of English ‘fee refugees’ heading north of the border, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
Pistorius trial sparks surge in law degree applicants
South African universities have seen a surge in applications to study law which they are attributing in part to the national obsession with the Oscar Pistorius trial, writes Aislinn Laing for The Telegraph.
University cracks down over Nazi salute
North West University will introduce a compulsory human rights course for all students and has banned all initiation rituals on its campuses, writes Tebogo Monama for the Pretoria News.
Lecturers’ body to probe Capilano protest art case
The Canadian Association of University Teachers has taken on the case of Capilano University art instructor George Rammell, whose protest art was seized by the university administration last month, writes Brent Richter for North Shore News.