03 March 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
TURKEY
Two academics expelled after joining Gezi protests
In the latest fallout of last summer's Gezi Park protests against the government's redevelopment plan for a park in central Istanbul, two academics have been expelled from Marmara University's faculty of communication for joining the protests, reports Today's Zaman.
CAMBODIA
Women still falling off higher education ladder
According to the United States government's federal research division, at the height of Cambodia's development in 1970 - before the civil war and the Khmer Rouge obliterated the country's educational infrastructure - only 730 of the University of Phnom Penh's 4,570 students were women. The situation has improved since then, but women still lag well behind, write Will Jackson and Vandy Muong for Phnom Penh Post.
POLAND
Drop in student enrolment threatens universities
After growing rapidly for two decades, higher education enrolments in Poland peaked in 2009, having risen fivefold to almost two million. This year, the numbers have tailed off and are set to fall farther, even though Poland's university enrolment rate is the fourth highest among OECD nations, writes Jack Grove for Times Higher Education.
CANADA
All eyes on university after Israel boycott referendum
Universities across the continent are said to be watching proceedings at the University of Windsor. Eyes are on the student government. The university's student alliance held a controversial referendum on whether to support the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which asks for a boycott of any business that has ties with Israel, reports CBC News.
CANADA
Is there a 'rape culture' at Canadian universities?
They are all disturbing cases. Three Canadian universities, in different regions of the country. Episodes of male sexual aggression and, beyond that, an alleged assault. And three similar responses from the universities' leaders, identifying each campus with 'rape culture', writes Brian Hutchinson for National Post.
UNITED STATES
Cost a growing factor in college decisions - Survey
A new survey of America's college freshmen has found that the percentage attending their first-choice institution has reached its lowest level in almost four decades, as cost and the availability of financial aid have come to play an influential role in decisions of where to enrol, reports Associated Press.
UNITED STATES
State education cuts fuel student debt crisis
Biola Jeje (22) graduated from Brooklyn College last May with a degree in political science and a mission: force lawmakers to address the US$1.2 trillion student debt crisis, writes Patricia Sabga for Aljazeera America. "It's unfair that it's happening to us, and we're even being sort of blamed for the amount of debt that we're being put in," she said from the offices of New York Students Rising, where she serves as state-wide coordinator.
SOUTH AFRICA
University councils 'need upgrading'
Until recently, university councils did not have a collective voice. But the new University Council Chairs Forum South Africa, or UCCF-SA, aims to rectify this. The vision of the organisation is to promote cooperative governance and transformation of universities, within a unified coordinated higher education system, writes Jairam Reddy for Mail & Guardian.
UNITED KINGDOM
Students vote 'no' to independence in mock poll
As the debate for and against Scottish independence hots up, a group of students has given a good idea of which way they would be voting after rejecting the motion in a mock referendum, writes Lucy Sherriff for The Huffington Post UK.
UNITED STATES
Universities top the list for hackers
Universities were the sector most attacked by cyber criminals across the world in 2013, as hackers abused their large and porous networks to get to intellectual property sometimes vital to national security, writes Hannah Kuchler for Financial Times.
UNITED STATES
Dissident warns of Chinese spies in scholarly guise
A prominent Chinese dissident who moved to the United States after being fired by Peking University last year has warned of the dangers of academic exchanges with China, saying that Beijing had sent spies as visiting scholars, writes David Brunnstrom for Reuters.
UNITED STATES
Obama's budget fails to calm science community
In his budget released last Tuesday, US President Barack Obama proposed setting funding for the National Institutes of Health at US$30.2 billion this upcoming fiscal year. But in a reflection of the angst felt by biomedical researchers across the country, even those who stand to benefit are warning that it is insufficient, writes Sam Stein for Huffington Post.
IRELAND
Colleges can be 'universities' in foreign students bid
Colleges and institutes of technology in Ireland will be allowed to describe themselves as a 'university' when trying to attract foreign students, writes Fionnan Sheahan for hIndependent.ie. Education Minister Ruairi Quinn is to change the law to allow non-universities "in limited circumstances" to describe themselves as a university.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities acting as 'extension' of visa authorities
More than 150 academics have claimed in a joint letter that universities are acting as an 'extension' of government immigration authorities, and eroding the trust of their students in the process, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
SWEDEN
Foreign graduates being lost to visa curbs and fees
Sweden prides itself on being a country that welcomes immigrants, but foreigners like Chinese engineering student Zhao Shuqi may be excused if they think otherwise, reports AFP. During her years at Stockholm's Royal Institute of Technology, or KTH, she has experienced an abrupt change in policy that has introduced fees for students from nations outside the European Union.
UNITED STATES
Online courses prompt debate about ownership
As online courses soar in popularity, a battle is beginning over who should own them, writes Sarah Butrymowicz for The Hechinger Report. Although little noticed, it is a fight that could change longstanding traditions about faculty control of classes they create, and influence the future and success of online higher education.
UNITED STATES
Colleges cagey on financial aid criteria
At the centre of the admissions and financial aid process in American colleges is a massive information imbalance. Institutions make decisions with detailed data about each applicant that goes well beyond test scores and transcripts. Students are not so lucky. Institutions offer comparatively little information about exactly who they are awarding aid to and for what, writes Marian Wang for ProPublica.
RUSSIA
India, Russia to sign degree recognition agreement
In an attempt to increase educational and student exchanges, Russia and India will sign an agreement on the mutual recognition of higher education diplomas, writes Alessandro Belli for RIR.
INDONESIA
Ministry needs more researchers with PhDs
Indonesia's Education and Culture Ministry has encouraged researchers to obtain doctoral degrees as part of its efforts to improve the quality of higher education, reports The Jakarta Post.
SOUTH AFRICA
HIV vaccine on its way - Minister
Sustained research programmes will eventually lead scientists to develop a vaccine for the prevention and treatment of HIV, South Africa's Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said last week. He was addressing reporters in Johannesburg after the announcement of the discovery of a method to develop antibodies able to kill multiple strains of HIV, reports Sapa.
UNITED KINGDOM
Students want Imran Khan sacked as chancellor
Students at a British university have demanded that Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan be sacked as their chancellor as he has failed to attend any of its graduation ceremonies since 2010, reports Zee News.
UKRAINE
As heads roll, few tears shed for education minister
As opposition lawmakers in Ukraine continue their purge of government officials, one ouster causing particular glee is that of the minister of education and science, Dmytro Tabachnyk, writes Daisy Sindelar for Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty.
CHINA
Students rush to join the Communist Party
Universities in China are home to a strange mix of political emotions. To the Communist Party’s deep concern, many young lecturers have little enthusiasm for Marx, whose ideas are still officially supposed to ‘guide’ intellectual life on campuses. Many students, by contrast, are desperate to join the Communist Party – recruitment levels are at an all-time high. Ideology plays little part, reports The Economist.
UNITED STATES
Colleges grapple with racial tension
A brochure for the University of Michigan features a vision of multicultural harmony, with a group of students from different racial backgrounds sitting on a verdant lawn, smiling and conversing. The scene at the undergraduate library one night last week was quite different, writes Tanzina Vega for The New York Times.
EGYPT
Concern grows over academic freedom
The indictment in Egypt of a well-known professor on charges of espionage has sparked new concerns about academic freedom. The military-backed government is carrying out a widespread crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group that until last year governed the country. Some political scientists say they can no longer speak freely for fear of being accused of supporting the Brotherhood, writes Ursula Lindsey for The Chronicle of Higher Education.