28 May 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
ETHIOPIA
Higher education boom built on shoddy foundations
Ethiopia’s higher education infrastructure has mushroomed in the last 15 years. But the institutions suffer from curricula being abandoned due to funding cuts, unqualified – but party-loyal – lecturers, and shoddily built institutions. The rapid growth of Ethiopia’s higher education system has come at a cost, but it is moving forward all the same, writes George West for the Guardian.
ARMENIA
Major universities hold rector elections
Ahead of the new academic year, leading Armenian universities are holding rector elections with new promises and new expectations, writes Gohar Abrahamyan for Armenia Now.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Crumbling Goma University stands up to the state
The University of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo was once a status symbol for the whole country – today it is a symbol of state failure and viewed as a stronghold of resistance to President Joseph Kabila's controversial third term bid, reports Deutsche Welle.
AUSTRALIA
Scientists map hospital superbug's genome
The genome of the superbug that has put hospital authorities across the globe on alert has been mapped, raising hopes that scientists could finally tame the bacterial bandit that has been linked to Australian deaths, writes Bridie Smith for The Age.
JAPAN
Country still mulling lethal research whaling
Japan has not yet decided if it will resume killing whales as part of its Antarctic research whaling programme, but the country believes it has the right to do so, writes Dennis Normile for Science.
UNITED STATES
Major marijuana research barrier goes up in smoke
Medical marijuana advocates and researchers are celebrating a surprise decision by the Obama administration to scrap reviews that delayed – sometimes for years – private and state-funded research into marijuana’s medical value, writes Steven Nelson for US News and World Report.
AUSTRALIA
Foreign student boom could fill the resource export gap
More foreign students started courses in Australian universities, colleges and English schools in 2015 than any year in history, a huge rebound driven by the lower dollar, easier visas and a scheme that allows them to stay for 18 months after graduation, writes Tim Dodd for Australian Financial Review.
UNITED KINGDOM
Harassment of women ‘endemic' at universities
British universities are failing to respond to endemic levels of harassment against female students as new evidence raises questions about campus safety, reports Afua Hirsch for Sky News. A survey of female students at universities across the United Kingdom found one in three has experienced discrimination or sexual harassment, with more than half of those instances taking place on a university campus.
CANADA
Education exports – Is Canada missing out?
Canada could be missing out on billions of dollars in revenue from education exports because the country, which is sitting in seventh place as a destination, could be much higher up the list. But low visa processing times, uncoordinated branding efforts and, according to experts, a general disconnect between academic institutions and all levels of government are hurting the country’s ability to attract international students, writes Daina Lawrence for The Globe and Mail.
GLOBAL
Mixed fortunes for Singapore's overseas campuses
This summer, the editing labs and sound engineering stations at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in Asia will fall silent for good. The campus, set upon three-acres of prime property in central Singapore, is closing less than 10 years after opening due to millions of dollars of debts, writes Leisha Chi for BBC.
ISRAEL
Academics complain of covert boycott of higher education
Israel is experiencing a “dormant boycott” by academics, Council of University Heads President Professor Menachem Ben-Sasson said recently, addressing a Knesset education committee meeting on academic boycotts, reports The Jerusalem Post.
JAPAN
Universities urged to fly national flag, sing anthem
The guidelines do not apply to universities, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a parliamentary committee in April that displaying the Hinomaru – flag – and singing the anthem should be “carried out correctly” at universities operated with public funds, reports The Japan Times.
CUBA
US university entrance exams coming to Cuba
Two popular United States university entrance exams will soon be offered in Cuba for the first time, a development that signals US education institutions’ appetite for recruiting prospective students in the newly opened communist nation, writes Lindsay Gellman for The Wall Street Journal.
BRAZIL-UNITED STATES
Brazil proves fertile ground for US for-profits
As United States-based for-profit education companies continue to face stricter regulations and slumping enrolments and revenues at home, some are venturing abroad in the name of diversification, with Brazil being a main destination, writes Elizabeth Redden for Inside Higher Ed.
UNITED KINGDOM
University chairs to be elected under new bill
Key figures in Scotland’s universities could face being elected into the job as a result of new legislation published by the Scottish government, reports The Scotsman. The Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Bill puts forward plans for a major shake-up of how universities are governed.
INDIA
Delhi government approves higher education loan scheme
The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi recently approved an education scheme under which loans of up to Rs1 million (US$15,670) will be provided to students pursuing higher education in the national capital, reports Press Trust of India.
UNITED KINGDOM
University of Cambridge to hire ‘professor of Lego’
One of the world's best universities is planning to hire a professor – of Lego. The lucky candidate will be the head of a research department at the prestigious University of Cambridge. Officials say the role is expected to be created within the faculty of education after the university received £4 million (US$6.3 million) in donations from the Lego Foundation, reports The Telegraph.
UNITED STATES
University censured over Salaita job withdrawal
A leading academic group voted on 13 June to censure the University of Illinois’ flagship campus over its decision not to hire a professor following his anti-Israel Twitter messages, a vote the university’s chancellor said would have repercussions, reports Associated Press.
VENEZUELA
Professors on $30 a month flee abroad for better jobs
Venezuela has already lost many of its brightest young professionals to better paying jobs in more stable countries, and now the South American country is also losing the professors who trained them, writes Jorge Rueda for Associated Press.
EUROPE
Copyright change may unlock research treasure trove
What would happen if academics could join the dots between the huge number of research articles that have been published digitally? Academics argue there are links waiting to be discovered that could help us tackle the most pressing questions facing society, in areas ranging from healthcare to the humanities, writes Helen Lock for the Guardian.
CHINA
Universities face rising survival crisis
Despite the huge army of high school seniors pursuing higher education, Chinese universities face a growing survival crisis after decades of explosive expansion as the number of students taking what is generally considered the single most important test any Chinese person can take, the gaokao, has fallen for five straight years since 2009, reports Xinhua.
PAKISTAN
200,000 Axact fake degrees sold in Gulf countries
Not hundreds or a few thousand, but over a staggering 200,000 people from the Gulf countries bought fake online degrees and diplomas from dubious Pakistani IT firm Axact in the past four years, writes Mazhar Farooqui for XPRESS.
UNITED KINGDOM
Government identifies 190 fake universities
A government service exposing fake, online universities has identified 190 bogus institutions selling qualifications as part of a multi-million pound industry, writes Callum Paton for International Business Times.
INDONESIA
Reports of fake degrees and diplomas on the rise
The Indonesian National Police say more complaints have been lodged against higher education institutions that are alleged to have issued fake degrees since the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education filed a report against one such institution last month, writes Fedina S Sundaryani for The Jakarta Post.
TURKEY
Academic research on Syrian asylum seekers blocked
The Higher Education Council, known as YÖK, has reportedly written to universities warning them to first request permission from the Interior Ministry if they are planning on embarking on any sort of academic research concerning Syrian asylum seekers based in Turkey, writes Arife Kabil for Today’s Zaman.