22 November 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
CHINA
Chinese and UK universities forge new links
Universities in the United Kingdom and China have announced a series of new partnerships, expanding opportunities for students to learn overseas, reports People’s Daily. David Willetts, the UK universities minister, revealed the new initiatives during the biggest ever trade mission to China last week.
UNITED KINGDOM
The fight for gender equality is ‘far from over’
University degrees were first offered to women in the UK in 1878, but last week, in front of the London headquarters of Universities UK, which claims to be “the voice for UK universities”, it appeared that the fight for equality is far from over, writes Emma Pearce for The Telegraph.
UNITED KINGDOM
London students defy university protest ban
Large crowds of students protested in London last Wednesday against police violence on campuses and privatisation of universities in the United Kingdom. The protests came in defiance of the University of London's recent ban on sit-in protests on its campuses, reports Aljazeera.
SOUTH AFRICA
Policy targets attendance at FET colleges
South Africa’s Department of Higher Education and Training has set its sights on improving the outcomes of further education and training colleges by promulgating a new policy that will compel student attendance and punctuality, writes Bekezela Phakathi for Business Day.
KENYA
Government launches bandwidth service for universities
The Kenyan government through the ICT Authority and the Kenya Education Network Trust has officially launched the KENET Network, a US$22.5 million internet bandwidth service that connects member institutions at competitive and sustainable prices, writes Nick Sato for HumanIPO.
CHINA
Top university reveals admissions graft – Report
Officials are being paid up to CNY1 million (US$164,000) for admissions to a top university in Beijing, the offical Xinhua news agency reported last week. The report came in the wake of a corruption case involving Beijing-based Renmin University, writes Angela Meng for the South China Morning Post.
GLOBAL
Humanities studies under strain
In the global marketplace of higher education, the humanities are increasingly threatened by decreased funding and political attacks, writes Ella Delany for The New York Times. Financing for humanities research in the United States has fallen steadily since 2009, and in 2011 was less than half of 1% of the amount dedicated to science and engineering research and development.
UNITED KINGDOM
Government stops private colleges taking new students
Private colleges in England have been thrown into chaos after the government acted to stop half from recruiting any more students from Britain and the European Union to study for higher national diplomas and certificates, write Shiv Malik and Andrew McGettigan for the Guardian.
MYANMAR
University students return to live on campus
Myanmar’s government will allow first-year university students to live on campuses across the country starting from this month, according to Acting Education Minister Dr Myo Myint. It will be the first time students have been allowed to live in university halls of residences since the student uprisings of 1996, reports Eleven.
ISRAEL
UK minister asked to help curb academic boycott moves
In a meeting this week with UK Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts, Israeli Science Minister Yaakov Peri slammed the academic boycott campaign and urged Willetts "to try and put some more influence on vice-chancellors to see who are the speakers, who are the leaders for the movement", reports Ben White for Middle East Monitor.
GREECE
Universities reach a stalemate
New developments suggest that there is a high probability that the academic semester of the universities in Athens will be lost. Administrative employees at the University of Athens and the National Technical University of Athens announced a new 48-hour strike last week. In the meantime, five of the nine schools at the National Technical University are occupied by students, writes Ioanna Zikakou for Greek Reporter.
UNITED STATES
Who are MOOCs good for?
In a new magazine profile of Sebastian Thrun, the Udacity founder calls his company’s massive open online courses – MOOCs – a “lousy product” to use for educating underprepared college students. That assertion has prompted a chorus of ‘I told you so’ from critics in academe, writes Steve Kolowich for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
CANADA
French universities reject secular charter
Quebec’s largest university is rejecting the Canadian province’s secular charter as a useless measure, adding to signs of a growing revolt against Parti Québécois’ controversial bill, writes Ingrid Peritz for The Globe and Mail.
CANADA
Concern over money motive in internationalisation
It is time for promoters of international student programmes to stop acting as if they are “white knights”. That is the view of Hanneke Teekens, one of many scholars studying the internationalisation of higher education who are worried about the ethical pitfalls that have opened up with the meteoric rise in the number of foreign students in the West, writes Douglas Todd for The Vancouver Sun.
CHINA
Students want equal education for all
China's higher education is getting more accessible for the disabled, but students say more facilities for the mobility-challenged are needed, writes Xu Lin for China Daily.
UGANDA
Makerere University issues terror alert
Makerere University has issued a terror alert in an effort to forestall any terror attacks on the institution after numerous reports in recent months that terrorists were plotting to attack Uganda, writes Innocent Anguyo for New Vision.
UNITED STATES
Chomsky links high tuition fees and corporate culture
The World Innovation Summit for Education released an interview with Noam Chomsky recently in which the noted linguist discussed, among other things, how high student tuition fees indoctrinates students into corporate culture, writes Scott Kaufman for The Raw Story.
UNITED KINGDOM
Poorest students face £350 million cut in grants
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is considering cutting £350 million (US$571 million) in grants to the UK's poorest students and slashing £215 million from ring-fenced science funding in order to plug a £1.4 billion hole in its finances, report Shiv Malik, Richard Adams and Órla Ryan for the Guardian.
UNITED KINGDOM
New ethical code to save students from rogue agents
The British Council will publish an online database listing all the agents around the world who have signed up to a new ethical code of practice in the wake of several cases involving conflicts of interest – with the agent being paid by both student and university – writes Richard Garner for The Independent on Sunday.
CHILE
Presidential frontrunner proposes ‘free’ university
As presidential candidate Michelle Bachelet prepares for a second round of voting on 15 December in Chile, for what would be a second term in office, her campaign has released a proposal to provide universal access to higher education at no cost to students, writes Joel Fensch for PanAm Post.
CYPRUS
University becomes first to accept Bitcoins for fees
The University of Nicosia has become the first in the world to accept the digital currency Bitcoin for tuition and other fees, writes Constantinos Psilides for Cyprus Mail. Chief financial officer Dr Christos Vlachos said that digital currency was an inevitable technical development.
INDIA
New university offers liberal arts alternative
For decades, India’s institutes of technology and management have been seen as the pinnacle of the country’s higher education. Yet a group of successful professionals and entrepreneurs, some of them alumni of these universities, have come together to establish an alternative to what they say is an educational paradigm that overly emphasises technical capabilities while neglecting vital skills like critical thinking, communications and teamwork, writes Max Bearak for The New York Times.
SAUDI ARABIA
Yemeni university branches ordered closed
Yemen’s higher education minister has ordered the closure of all Yemeni university branches in Saudi Arabia, writes Ibrahim Naffee for Arab News. Students enrolled in distance learning courses at the universities will now be unable to obtain their bachelor degrees.
AUSTRALIA
Female students outnumber males
Girls outperform and outstay boys in school and, as a result, they go on to university in ever greater numbers. According to new statistics from the federal education department, the number of female students in higher education jumped by 33.5% between 2002 and 2012, compared with a 22% rise for males, reports Geoff Maslen for The Sydney Morning Herald.
MALAYSIA
Experts worry over quality of young doctors
Concerns are being raised about the quality of young doctors in Malaysia, with the country's biggest doctors' association raising the red flag on foreign medical colleges and experts also warning of sub-standard local training, writes Yong Yen Nie for The Straits Times-ANN.