02 August 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
ASIA
ASEAN states commit to Australia’s New Colombo Plan
All 10 members of ASEAN – the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – have agreed to participate in Australia's New Colombo Plan encouraging Australian students to study at universities in Southeast Asia, reports SBS.
RUSSIA
Medvedev orders creation of Crimean Federal University
Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has issued a directive about establishing a Crimean Federal University named after Vladimir Vernadsky. The directive was posted on the Russian government's website, reports ITAR-TASS.
UNITED STATES
Scholar’s job offer revoked after Gaza Tweets
A few weeks ago Steven Salaita had reason to be pleased. After a full review by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he had received a generous offer of a tenured, associate professor position there – the normal contract was offered, signed by the institution, he had received confirmation of his salary, a teaching schedule, everything except the final approval of the UIUC chancellor, writes David Palumbo-Liu for Salon.
CHINA
Pro-democracy academic to act over 'discrimination'
An associate professor of political science says he will lodge a complaint with Macau's labour authority claiming that his employer, the University of Macau, discriminated against him based on his political beliefs, writes Raquel Carvalho for South China Morning Post.
MYANMAR
Minority Rohingya Muslims still deprived of education
Just over two years ago, minority Rohingya Muslims and majority Buddhists studied side by side in the capital of Rakhine state in western Myanmar. This symbiotic relationship changed drastically after anti-Muslim violence erupted in the town of Sittwe in mid-2012, when authorities banned hundreds of the mostly darker-skinned Rohingya from returning to university, part of a system of racial segregation imposed in the name of keeping the peace, writes Joshua Carroll for Al Jazeera.
UNITED KINGDOM
MPs challenge government on fees and research
Parliamentarians have warned that it is “highly doubtful” the Scottish government’s position on tuition fees would be legally sustainable if the country became independent, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
UNITED STATES
No more ‘A’ quotas for Princeton
A faculty-led committee at Princeton University is recommending that the institution changes its 10-year-old grading policy which caps the number of A's a department can give, a practice that critics have called ‘grade deflation’, writes Nicole Mulvaney for Times of Trenton.
INDIA
Minister attracts scorn over Yale degree claim
After more than two months on the job, Smriti Irani, the new Indian government’s minister of human resource development, still has not said publicly whether she graduated from any Indian university. Last weekend the former Bollywood actress reignited a controversy over her academic credentials by saying she had gone to Yale, writes Shanoor Seervai for The Wall Street Journal.
UZBEKISTAN
Islamic studies students complain of entry exam bias
Islamic studies students applying to study at Tashkent University in Uzbekistan have described their university entry exam as a ‘scandal’ after they found questions probing their opinions regarding the Central Asian state's secular laws, reports World Bulletin.
UKRAINE
Indian students to move to 'safer' universities
After two months of uncertainty, there's some good news for Indian students studying medicine and other professional courses in eastern Ukraine. They will be transferred to other universities in safer parts of the country, reports The Times of India.
AUSTRALIA
Senate blocks cuts to university funding
The Tony Abbott government's savings drive has taken another hit after the senate blocked A$435 million (US$408 million) in university cuts originally proposed by Labor, writes Matthew Knott for The Sydney Morning Herald.
RUSSIA
Four universities banned from accepting new students
Russia's state education watchdog, Rosobrnadzor, has added four universities to a list of educational institutions that will be prohibited from enrolling new students from this autumn, the agency said in a statement last week, reports The Moscow Times. The addition of two universities in Moscow and two in Dagestan bring the list of educational institutions blacklisted in recent days to 12.
UNITED STATES
Appeals panel upholds race in university admissions
In a long-running affirmative action case, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit last week upheld the University of Texas at Austin’s consideration of race as one of many factors in admissions, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.
UNITED STATES
How one college handled a sexual assault complaint
A New York Times examination of a case, based in part on hundreds of pages of disciplinary proceedings – usually confidential under federal privacy laws – offers a rare look inside one college’s adjudication of a rape complaint amid a roiling national debate over how best to stop sexual assaults on campuses, writes Walt Bogdanich.
GREECE
Unrest throws students' plans into chaos
Just as Alexandros’ examinations were due to start, a strike by administrative workers – with the support of many students and professors – shut Athens Polytechnic for two weeks. That, in turn, threatens the 24-year-old electrical engineer’s chances of embarking on a graduate course in the United Kingdom in October, writes Kerin Hope for AFP.
SOUTH KOREA
Danwon students to get special admission to colleges
Rival political parties have agreed to give students of Danwon High School in South Korea special consideration for admission to higher education because they were unable to study after nearly 300 of their schoolmates died during the Sewol ferry disaster, writes Jung Min-ho for the Korea Times.
CHINA
Property power couple launches education fund
The rags-to-riches couple who founded Chinese real estate company Soho China are setting up a US$100 million endowment to send underprivileged Chinese children to elite universities around the world, reports The Wall Street Journal.
FINLAND
Overseas academics claim discrimination in recruitment
Universities in Finland are keen to build international profiles as attractive institutions that meet or surpass global standards of teaching and research. But some international academics say they are being bypassed for permanent tenure in favour of Finns – and they're calling for more transparent hiring practices from universities, reports YLE.
INDIA
UGC cautions universities against violating norms
India’s University Grants Commission has again cautioned universities against the awarding of degrees in violation of provisions, following the recent controversy surrounding the four-year undergraduate programme of Delhi University, reports PTI.
UNITED KINGDOM
Unions object to zero-hours lecturer advert
A university risks “damaging the reputation of higher education in Scotland” by advertising for a new lecturer to join its staff on a zero-hours contract, union leaders have claimed, reports The Scotsman.
AUSTRALIA
The MOOC revolution that never happened
It is two years since Coursera began offering massive open online courses, or MOOCs, that threatened the very existence of universities and the increasingly expensive education they offered. Two years on, the avalanche-tsunami-revolution never came and universities are not only still standing, they have, by-and-large, been remarkably unaffected by the free courses now offered by a couple of hundred universities around the world, writes David Glance for The Conversation.
UNITED KINGDOM
College body calls for greater freedom for FE
Britain’s Association of Colleges wants further education institutions to enjoy some of the same freedoms as higher education institutions, to help tackle skills shortages and boost the economy, reports the Times Educational Supplement.
GHANA
Technical universities to drive socio-economic growth
The Ghanaian government’s policy of converting polytechnics into technical universities will take off in September 2016, to help reposition them as strategic institutions for training highly-skilled human resource to drive socio-economic development, reports VibeGhana.
IRELAND
Students with fewer than 300 points struggle to stay in college
Financial hardship among students has increased in the past four years and is a factor in college dropouts, suggests a report from the Higher Education Authority. Drop-out rates from some lower socio-economic groups have increased while students from farming and professional families were least likely to drop out, writes Fiona Gartland for The Irish Times.
PAKISTAN
Business and education unite for knowledge economy
The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan have signed a memorandum of understanding to work jointly towards creating a knowledge economy, reports PT.