23 March 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
EGYPT
Two universities start religion-blind admissions
Ain Shams University administrators and others will no longer ask students about their religious affiliations on academic forms, a move that follows last year’s policy change by cross-town rival Cairo University, writes Jacob Wirtschafter for Al-Fanar Media.
GLOBAL
South Korea tops the charts in research and development
In the battle of ideas, Sweden climbed to second place, Finland cracked into the top five, but South Korea dominated the 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index, which scores economies using factors including research and development spending and the concentration of high-tech public companies, write Michelle Jamrisko and Wei Lu for Bloomberg.
UNITED KINGDOM
Lords call for ban on 'contract cheating'
The fraudulent essay industry must be outlawed, leading academics and lords have urged as figures reveal that more than 20,000 students are buying professionally written essays every year, writes Harry Yorke for The Telegraph.
VIETNAM
Ministry sets stricter requirements for doctorates
The Ministry of Education and Training has set stricter requirements for doctorates, hoping that changes in the new regulations will shift the quality of PhDs to the regional level, writes Thanh Mai for VietNamNet Bridge.
CHINA
Officials announce plans for 16 new top universities
In an ambitious blueprint, Chinese officials have announced intentions to set up 16 top universities by 2030, spreading across several provincial regions outside Beijing and Shanghai, where a number of famous universities are already situated, reports China.org.cn.
UNITED STATES
Concerns over bid to end university tenure
Lawmakers in two states recently introduced legislation that would eliminate tenure for public college and university professors. The bills, along with the recent gutting of tenure in Wisconsin and other events, have some worrying about a trend, writes Colleen Flaherty for Inside Higher Ed.
INDIA
Education institutions to adopt villages for development
Leading higher education institutions will adopt villages, carry out field studies and come up with developmental solutions which could be implemented by district authorities under a unique initiative planned by the central government, reports PTI.
TAIWAN
Associations urge Tsai to address talent ‘drought’
Five higher education associations recently issued a joint statement calling on President Tsai Ing-wen to address a perceived “drought” in the nation’s talent pool in the same way she handles matters of national security, saying Taiwan is being “sidelined” by the international community in the field of higher education, writes Sean Lin for Taipei Times.
IRAQ
Iraqi forces raise flag at university in push against IS
Iraqi special forces raised the Iraqi flag above the buildings at the Mosul University complex on 13 January as they continued the battle for control of the city against Islamic State militants, reports Fox News.
UAE
Eight universities sign link with UAE Space Agency
Academics have welcomed an agreement between the UAE Space Agency and eight universities to develop manpower for the country’s space industry, writes Melanie Swan for The National.
AFGHANISTAN
Private universities asked not to hire foreign teachers
The Ministry of Higher Education has stressed the importance of appointing Afghan teachers in the private sector-run universities and other higher education institutions and asked these institutions to avoid extending visas to foreign teachers, writes Mohammad Halim Karimi for Pajhwok Afghan News.
UNITED KINGDOM
Brexit studies centre opens at Birmingham university
Birmingham City University is to launch a Centre for Brexit Studies to foster understanding of the national impact of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, writes Alexander Ma for the Independent.
EAST AFRICA
New model to harmonise higher education fees
The Inter-University Council for East Africa is working to introduce a tool for calculating unit costs to help harmonise higher education fees, as part of its contribution to promoting equal opportunities for all higher education students in the region, writes James Karuhanga for The New Times.
GERMANY
Private money stirs up sceptical German universities
In a first for Germany, a privately funded institute joins forces with a state-owned university. The move promises innovation but also opens fault lines between private and public interests, writes Stefani Hergert for Handelsblatt Global.
UNITED STATES
Public research universities ramp up global recruitment
Huge cuts in government funding to public universities in the United States has led affected institutions to ramp up their recruitment of international students to offset the budget shortage, new research has revealed, reports Study International.
GERMANY
Elsevier deal impasse severs journal access
At least a dozen German research institutions have started the new year without access to Elsevier journals after an acrimonious breakdown in licence negotiations between the country’s research organisations and the publisher, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education.
UNITED KINGDOM
Lords signal strength of opposition to HE bill
Peers have struck an early note of opposition to government plans for the opening of higher education to competition, highlighting the risk of a cross-party revolt against the proposals, write Helen Warrell and Henry Mance for Financial Times.
CROATIA
Education minister found guilty of plagiarism
According to unofficial reports, the Committee for Ethics in Science and Higher Education has found Croatian Minister of Science and Education Pavo Barisic guilty of plagiarism, writes Vedran Pavlic for Total Croatia News.
SOUTH AFRICA
Universities face thousands of first-year queries
The beginning of the New Year has seen universities scrambling to keep up with the large number of applications received, with many students bound to be left disappointed as spaces are limited, writes Avantika Seeth for City Press.
INDIA
Ministry revives national student testing service idea
The Ministry of Human Resource Development has moved a note for the cabinet to set up an independent body dedicated to entrance tests for higher education, on the lines of the Educational Testing Service in the United States, writes Ritika Chopra for The Indian Express.
IRELAND
Over 70% of students drop out of certain college courses
New figures show that more than 70% of students do not get beyond their first year of college in some higher education courses, writes Carl O’Brien for The Irish Times.
UNITED KINGDOM
University strategist outlines brighter side of Brexit
British universities will establish global networks and recruit the world's "best and brightest" students outside of the European Union, Oxford University's head of Brexit strategy has claimed, writes Harry Yorke for The Telegraph.
NETHERLANDS
Pressure mounts on lecturers as student numbers rise
Almost seven in 10 university academic staff say they have to work under a lot of pressure and 70% do at least six hours’ overtime a week, reports DutchNews.nl.
UNITED KINGDOM
SOAS students call for rethink of Eurocentric curriculum
Students at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, or SOAS, are calling for white philosophers to be largely removed from the curriculum to better represent the university's focus on Asia and Africa, writes Lucy Pasha-Robinson for the Independent.
JAPAN
Are female scholars taken seriously in Japan?
Not many women attend the University of Tokyo, colloquially known as Todai. Less than 20% of its undergraduates are female and now, it appears, the school itself is wondering if it shouldn’t do more to raise that rate, writes Philip Brasor for The Japan Times.