01 September 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
UAE
Oral exams may stop culture of cheating – Study
Replacing written exams or coursework with oral assessment may help to stop potentially high levels of cheating by students in universities in Gulf states, writes Jack Grove for Times Higher Education.
SAUDI ARABIA
Two students jailed for forging papers
A court in Dammam has sentenced two Saudi students to one year in prison and a SR5,000 (US$1,300) fine for forging seals on their certificates, reports Arab News.
UNITED KINGDOM
University under fire for My Little Pony conference
Campaign groups have criticised the University of Brighton after it admitted to funding a My Little Pony Conference and research on penalty shoot-outs. £400 (US$660) of public money was spent on the day-long My Little Pony conference, with nine hours of talks on the 30-year history of the brightly coloured horse toys, reports The Telegraph.
HUNGARY
Central Bank’s education programme under scrutiny
Hungary's central bank is spending vast sums on an economics education programme, partly funded by printing new money that must be invested in government bonds, raising questions about whether the move represents a form of backdoor government financing, writes Margit Feher for The Wall Street Journal.
UNITED STATES
Colleges provide campus snooze rooms
In college in America, the best grades are usually considered to be the product of sleepless nights. Now, universities nationwide are setting up designated rooms for napping or expanding existing spaces to show students that they don’t have to sacrifice sleep to do top work, writes Olivia B Waxman for Time.
EGYPT
Cairo to ban politically affiliated student groups
Politically affiliated student groups and activities will be banned from the Cairo University campus with the start of the new academic year, writes Jihad Abaza for Daily News Egypt.
FINLAND
Few students move beyond hometown to study
A vast majority of students at Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences are reluctant to move far from their home towns, suggests a review of the places of domicile of students who started higher education studies last year, reports Helsinki Times.
VIETNAM
Universities still have too little autonomy – PM
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has bemoaned the slow process of delegating more power to universities to enhance their autonomy, saying the relevant agencies should accelerate the process to improve the quality of education, reports VietNamNet Bridge.
KENYA
Universities told to increase postgraduate numbers
Public and private universities in Kenya must ensure that 25% of their students are at postgraduate level if the country is to achieve Vision 2030, writes Rawlings Otieno for the Standard Digital.
IRAQ
Islamic state advance closes eight universities
Eight universities across northern Iraq have been shuttered and appear unlikely to open soon after the sweep of extremist fighters through the region, writes Gilgamesh Nabeel for Al-Fanar.
PALESTINE
Scholarship students to be airlifted to Turkey
Turkey plans to airlift 129 students from Gaza who were granted scholarships for outstanding achievements, reports Daily Sabah. The students, who will study at universities in Turkey, cannot leave the Gaza Strip due to the deteriorating security situation in the wake of Israel's attacks.
UNITED KINGDOM
More students charged maximum tuition fees
Figures show that the number of British universities charging blanket £9,000 (US$14,900) tuition fees for all undergraduate courses will soar by 50% this year, writes Graeme Paton for the Telegraph.
SOUTH AFRICA
Government to stop racism in higher education
The South African government will implement several measures to stop racism and discrimination in educational institutions, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said recently, reports Sapa.
BOLIVIA
Indigenous universities graduate first students
Bolivian President Evo Morales handed out degrees to the first graduates of the country’s three indigenous universities recently at a joint graduation ceremony, asserting that they would fight colonialism as well as honour the memories of indigenous Bolivian heroes, writes Rick Kearns for Indian Country.
CHINA
New US joint venture college opens its doors
Duke Kunshan University, a new joint venture in higher education between China and the United States, welcomed its first students on 20 August, joining New York University Shanghai which opened in 2012, reports China Daily.
WALES
Student leaders 'shocked' by cuts to hardship fund
Welsh student leaders say they are "shocked" that funding for students in financial difficulty is being cut. Ministers had given universities £2.1 million (US$3.48 million) a year for the Financial Contingency Fund but now say higher tuition fee income means institutions can afford to fund the scheme themselves, reports BBC News – Wales.
UNITED KINGDOM
Foreign students will compete against us – Vice-chancellor
Universities are being forced to teach overseas students who return home with skills that help build their countries to compete against the United Kingdom, a leading vice-chancellor has warned, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.
UNITED KINGDOM
Government fees stance ‘incompatible with EU law’
A former judge of the European Court of Justice has said the Scottish government’s plan to continue its existing tuition fee policy after independence would be “incompatible” with European Union law and “could not survive challenge” in the courts, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
IRELAND
Universities using the points system to inflate demand
The chair of a universities task force on reforming admissions procedures in Ireland has admitted that colleges have been artificially inflating points by offering courses with a small student intake, writes Joe Humphreys for The Irish Times.
UNITED KINGDOM
Ebola – Universities on alert as new term begins
Universities in the United Kingdom have been put on alert to be ready for a potential outbreak of the Ebola virus when the new term starts in September, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.
UNITED STATES
Universities chase big defence dollars
Some of America’s most elite universities are deep into defence lobbying, often hiring Washington-based firms to press Congress and the Pentagon to fund their science projects. It’s all about Big Research and Big Money, writes Austin Wright for Politico.
UNITED KINGDOM
Journal allows authors to update their research
The open access journal eLife has launched a new type of article that will allow authors to report significant additions to their original research, writes Núria Radó-Trilla for Times Higher Education.
CHINA
Macau scholar’s sacking raises freedom concerns
An associate professor of political science at the University of Macau, Bill chou Kwok-ping, believes that his contract was not renewed because of his political activism, raising concerns about academic freedom in the Chinese territory, writes Austin Ramzy for The New York Times.
UNITED STATES
Rising confidence in online higher education
Online higher education is steadily gaining favour as a credible alternative to the traditional classroom, writes Timothy Zimmer for Forbes.
THAILAND
Troubles with Thai Studies
As human rights in Thailand deteriorate under a military junta, Harvard is collaborating with key supporters of the recent coup to create a permanent Thai Studies programme at the university, writes Ilya Garger for The Harvard Crimson.