07 December 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
SOUTH AFRICA
State trying to ‘capture universities through new bill’
The controversial draft Higher Education Amendment Bill only seeks to facilitate state "capture" of universities, while the sector is on the verge of economic collapse, says South Africa’s opposition party the Democratic Alliance, writes Bekezela Phakathi for BDLive.
UNITED KINGDOM
Weak students should not attend university – OECD report
A major international report suggests that students who are struggling with literacy and numeracy should not be able to go to university, reports the Telegraph.
AUSTRALIA
Sydney university takes a stand on maths
The University of Sydney will lead the attack on declining standards and falling enrolments in mathematics by requiring students in a range of courses, including science, engineering, commerce and IT, to have passed maths, at minimum of intermediate level, in year 12, writes Tim Dodd for the Financial Review.
UNITED STATES
Public universities see surge in out-of-state students
America’s most prominent public universities were founded to serve the people of their states, but they are enrolling record numbers of students from elsewhere to maximise tuition revenue as state support for higher education withers, write Nick Anderson and Danielle Douglas-Gabriel for The Washington Post.
INDIA
University classes resume after suicide-linked protests
After two weeks of massive protests over the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula, classes resumed at the University of Hyderabad last Monday, reports The Times of India.
UNITED KINGDOM
Top universities reject PM’s racial diversity criticism
The United Kingdom’s top universities have rejected criticism they are not doing enough to promote racial diversity after Prime Minister David Cameron said discrimination against minorities in the upper echelons of British life “should shame our country”, writes Andrew Ward for Financial Times.
MALAYSIA
Government to review policy of sending students abroad
The government agency Majlis Amanah Rakyat will review its policy of sponsoring students to study abroad, in line with the government's desire to turn Malaysia into a regional education hub, reports Bernama.
BURUNDI
Public universities suspend breakfast over money
Students attending Burundi's public universities are going without breakfast because the government can no longer afford it, underscoring the fragile state of Burundi's economy amid violent unrest, writes Eloge Willy Kaneza for Associated Press.
UNITED KINGDOM
Rhodes’ statue is not the sole focus of Oxford campaign
Cecil Rhodes – or at least the statue of him perched above the entrance of Oriel College, Oxford – isn’t falling. The college announced on 29 January that despite the efforts of Rhodes Must Fall Oxford, a student-led organisation calling for its removal, the 19th-century statue will stay, writes Barbara Speed for New Statesman.
ITALY
Academics call for boycott of Israeli universities
Italian academics have signed a petition calling for a boycott of Israeli universities due to their “notorious complicity” with the country’s “state violence”, reports The Times of Israel.
CHINA
Offers of global elite scholarships boost soft power
An expert on international affairs has said Beijing is ramping up efforts to entice foreign elites with university scholarships in a bid to build its “soft power”, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
UNITED KINGDOM
Gates Foundation calls for closer scrutiny of colleges
A powerful foundation has joined the chorus calling for more accurate information to measure what Americans are getting for the hundreds of billions of dollars per year they invest in higher education, writes Jon Marcus for The Hechinger Report.
UNITED KINGDOM
EU students fill gaps at UK universities
Rising numbers of European Union students are applying to United Kingdom universities – while the number of home applicants has fallen, writes Eleanor Harding for the Daily Mail. Statistics published by admissions service UCAS show 45,220 EU residents have applied to attend UK universities this autumn, up 6% on the same point last year.
INDONESIA
Government eases visa requirements for foreign students
Visa requirements for foreigners applying to study in Indonesian universities have been eased in a bid to attract more international students, writes Liza Yosephine for The Jakarta Post.
PERU
Market and state do battle over higher education law
“Education cannot be regulated by the market,” declared Peru’s President Ollanta Humala following the approval of the ‘University Law’ which ushers in some of the most sweeping changes that Peruvian higher education has ever seen, writes Simon Wilson for Latin Correspondent.
IRAN
Gradual opening of HE sector likely as sanctions lifted
Experts predict that the lifting of sanctions on Iran is likely to lead to a “gradual opening” of its higher education sector, but collaborations with neighbouring Gulf nations will be limited, writes Ellie Bothwell for Times Higher Education.
SOUTH AFRICA
New university bill aims to improve accountability
Parliament was told in a briefing last week that proposed changes to laws governing tertiary institutions should not be seen as a "blank cheque" giving Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande unrestricted powers, writes Bekezela Phakathi for BDLive.
HUNGARY
Academicians criticise central bank's education giving
A group of prominent economists at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences has criticised the central bank’s educational programmes, saying they promote the views of its leadership at public expense and breach rules governing universities – allegations the bank has rejected, writes Marton Eder for Bloomberg.
UNITED KINGDOM
Global pharma groups reveal tie-up with universities
Three of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical groups have teamed up with a trio of Britain’s top universities to create a £40 million (US$57 million) fund to help turn promising scientific research into new medicines, writes Andrew Ward for Financial Times.
AUSTRALIA
Major institutional reforms approved in ‘secret meeting’
The governing body of the University of Sydney voted to shrink its number of faculties from 16 to six and cut elected positions from its senate in what critics have called a "secret meeting" late last year, writes Angela Lavoipierre for ABC.
CHINA
Beijing eases work restrictions for foreign students
The Beijing authorities have announced new policies that will make it easier for international students to work and hold internships in the city’s buzzing tech district, Zhongguancun, writes Sara Custer for The PIE News.
RUSSIA
Only 10% of institutes can make breakthroughs – Putin
Only 10% of Russia’s state educational and research institutes can make breakthrough developments, President Vladimir Putin recently told a meeting of the Council for Science and Education, reports TASS.
UNITED STATES
Rich universities continued to attract more aid in 2015
America’s colleges are raking in more money than ever before. The Council for Aid to Education estimates they had a US$40.3 billion haul in 2015, a record for its annual survey of higher education fundraising, writes Melvin Backman for Quartz.
INDONESIA
Minister denies calling for university LGBT ban
Amid a backlash following his statement on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, students, Muhammad Nasir, the minister of research, technology and higher education, defended himself last Tuesday, denying he called for a ban on gays and lesbians from the campus of the University of Indonesia, reports Rappler.
NORTH KOREA
US university student detained for 'hostile act'
North Korea has announced the arrest of a university student from Ohio accused of posing as a tourist to commit a “hostile act” against the reclusive nation, writes Alexandra Zavis for the Los Angeles Times.