22 June 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
PAKISTAN
Higher education ‘in serious crisis’
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, in its latest report, has said that higher education in the country is in “serious crisis” and has discussed the issue of the devolution of the Higher Education Commission to the provinces after the 18th Amendment, writes Kashif Abbasi for Dawn.
UNITED KINGDOM
Election pledges put research at heart of economy
As the election approaches, the two main parties have both promised to increase research and development from 1.7% to 3% of gross domestic product, although only the Labour Party has specified a timeframe. It’s the first time both major parties have committed to such a huge increase in funding in their manifestos and it would translate to billions more for science and technology, writes Maria Burke for Chemistry World.
ZIMBABWE
Activists ridicule plan for Robert Mugabe University
Activists in Zimbabwe have ridiculed plans to build a Robert Mugabe University, adding that naming an educational institution after the veteran leader would be "palpably unfair and a monument of Zimbabwean injustice", reports News24.
MALAYSIA
Malaysian university autonomy is only ‘superficial’
Through a staggered approach, 17 of 20 public universities have received autonomous status. Yet, if one is to compare the autonomous status granted to Malaysian public universities by the government and the universal definition of autonomy, it is evident that the autonomy enjoyed by these universities is merely superficial, writes Dr Wan Chang Da for the Malay Mail Online.
AUSTRALIA
Vocational training is better pathway to jobs – Report
A new report urges parents to seriously consider encouraging their school-leaving children to study a vocational course rather than a university degree because, in many cases, it is a pathway to better jobs, writes Tim Dodd for Financial Review.
PUERTO RICO
University chief quits ahead of arrest order
The head of Puerto Rico's largest public university announced on 23 May that she had resigned just hours before she faced arrest for failing to reopen an institution that has been shut down by a student strike for nearly two months, writes Danica Coto for Associated Press.
INDIA
University going all out to attract foreign students
Delhi University has announced that it will be conducting a special drive to enrol more foreign students, especially from African countries, apart from extending the deadline for online registration for foreign nationals, and setting up an email and helpline for their queries, reports The Hindu.
HUNGARY-UNITED STATES
US rejects talks with Hungary over higher education law
According to the US State Department, the United States has no intention of negotiating with Hungary about its new higher education law, which could force a top university founded by US financier George Soros out of the country, reports Reuters.
PAKISTAN
Staff body threatens to close universities
An umbrella body of university staff associations has warned that they may call for a strike in universities across the country unless teachers are granted representation on key decision-making forums at the International Islamic University, Islamabad, reports The Express Tribune.
FINLAND
Debate over tuition fees heats up, boils over
The debate over tuition fees heated up, and briefly boiled over, following a recent seminar organised in Helsinki by the Finnish Economic Association, reports the Helsinki Times.
UNITED STATES
Trump budget would slash student aid and research
The Trump administration released a 2018 budget proposal last week that delivered on expectations for drastic cuts to student aid programmes and university-based research while substantially reshaping federal student loan programmes, writes Andrew Kreighbaum for Inside Higher Ed.
MOROCCO
Statistics show over half of students fail to graduate
Morocco's Minister of Education Mohamed Hassad has revealed statistics showing that more than half of students enrolled do not graduate, reports MENAFN.
INDIA
University rushes to fill 4,000 permanent faculty posts
With barely days left to begin the much-awaited admission process in the country's most-prestigious university, the administrators of the University of Delhi are still grappling with how to fast fill the vacant 4,000 positions of permanent faculty, most of which are still occupied by ad hoc professors, writes Arpan Rai for India Today.
HONG KONG
Hong Kong research funding shortfall hits HK$12 billion
Hong Kong’s main public funding body for academic research says it needs an extra HK$12 billion (US$1.5 billion) to maintain its current level of support for universities, with its cash surplus set to dry up in two years, writes Peace Chiu for South China Morning Post.
IRELAND
Education minister announces plan to outlaw essay mills
The education minister is looking to clamp down on 'essay mills' that are selling work to third-level students, writes Stephen McNeice for News Talk.
AUSTRALIA
Vocational education lacks long-term strategy – Expert
A leading expert says the AU$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion) Skilling Australians Fund for vocational education announced in the federal budget is welcome, but Australia needs a longer term strategy to ensure that the vocational side of tertiary education can be expanded to meet student needs, writes Tim Dodd for Financial Review.
VIETNAM
World Bank offers support to autonomous universities
The World Bank’s board of executive directors on 15 May approved US$155 million in financing to strengthen the research, teaching and institutional capacity of three autonomous universities and improve the management of Vietnam’s higher education system, reports The Financial.
UNITED STATES
Top university to hold black only graduation ceremony
Harvard University will host a graduation ceremony exclusively for black students, organisers have announced as more than 170 students and 530 guests have signed up to attend the event, which will be held on 23 May, writes Niamh McIntyre for the Independent.
SRI LANKA
World Bank grants US$100 million for higher education
The World Bank board of directors on 12 May approved US$100 million in financing for Sri Lanka's higher education sector, to raise enrolment in key disciplines, improve the quality of degree programmes and promote research, reports Colombo Page.

UNITED STATES
Tuition discounting climbs amid weak enrolment
Tuition discounting at private colleges and universities is up again. Tuition revenue is straining to keep up. And enrolment is weak, writes Rick Seltzer for Inside Higher Ed.
MOROCCO
China extends invitation to higher education students
China is bent on establishing relations in Morocco. Having initiated more than 80 businesses in the Kingdom, the Asian country is now opening up its higher education system to Moroccan students, writes Amira El Masaiti for Morocco World News.
KENYA
Professional bodies must stop ‘harassing’ universities
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i has cautioned professional bodies against creating chaos in universities by inciting students over programmes' accreditation, writes Augustine Oduor for the Standard.
INDIA
Plan for common engineering college test under review
The central government is reviewing its plan to introduce a common entrance test for admission to engineering colleges across the country from 2018, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said last week, reports The Economic Times.
SOUTH AFRICA
Shock at news of university medical school scam
KwaZulu-Natal Health provincial leader Sibongiseni Dhlomo registered his shock after a syndicate selling spots at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Nelson Mandela School of Medicine was busted this month, writes Jeff Wicks for Times Live.
UGANDA
125 doctorates expected from new Swedish funding
The Swedish government has agreed to support the training of 125 PhD and 147 masters students and 65 post-doctoral fellows over the next five years, following a new cooperation agreement reached with five public universities in Uganda which will see support go to 17 research teams, writes Prisca Baike for The Observer.