21 February 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
IRELAND
Institutes of technology face funding shortfalls
There are major concerns over the future of up to 10 of the country’s 14 institutes of technology due to financial deficits and dwindling cash reserves, according to a major review of the sector, writes Carl O’Brien for The Irish Times.
CHINA-UNITED KINGDOM
Elite universities strive for stronger ties
The Russell Group of universities in the United Kingdom has signed an agreement with China 9, an association of nine top Chinese universities, to further educational collaboration between the two groups, writes Natalie Marsh for The PIE News.
UGANDA
Another university goes on strike
The acting vice-chancellor, faculty deans and several heads of department at Victoria University have laid down their tools in protest of the failure of the university management to pay their October salaries, writes Ronald Mugabe for New Vision.
SOUTH AFRICA
Zuma receives interim report on free higher education
The fees commission handed its interim report to President Jacob Zuma on 3 November, writes Jeff Wicks for News24. Zuma would study the report, compiled by the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training, and give directions on the way forward, the Presidency said in a statement.
JAPAN
Aung San Suu Kyi receives honorary doctorate
Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi made a nostalgic trip earlier this month back to Kyoto University, where she studied briefly in the mid-1980s. Suu Kyi received an honorary doctorate, the first the university has ever conferred upon an individual for commitment to freedom, democracy and human rights, writes Eric Johnston for The Japan Times.
EGYPT
Private universities told to ban ‘insulting’ research
Minister of Higher Education Ashraf al-Shihy has published a statement obliging private universities to review all research papers and thesis dissertations to ensure they do not include any “direct or indirect insult to societies or individuals belonging to any brotherly or friendly countries”, writes Mai Shams El-Din for Mada Masr.
MALAYSIA
Ministry maintains aim of 60,000 PhD holders by 2023
The Higher Education Ministry is committed to its aim of producing 60,000 PhD degree holders by 2023 to produce more highly educated people and meet the nation's need for research and innovation, reports Fernando Fong for New Straits Times.
SWITZERLAND
Universities fail to fulfil female quotas
The stated goal of having 25% women professors in Swiss universities by the end of the year will not be possible, reports Swissinfo.ch.
CANADA
Universities body approves anti-bias requirement
Members of the Universities Canada association voted recently in favour of a new criterion for membership related to non-discrimination, writes Elizabeth Redden for Inside Higher Ed.
SRI LANKA
World Bank gives US$85 million for research
The World Bank will be providing Sri Lanka with US$85 million in funding to improve the country’s research and development due to the lack of external funding in the field, reports the Daily Mirror.
CZECH REPUBLIC
Science spending continues to grow
Expenditure on research and development rose by CZK3.6 billion (US$147 million) in the Czech Republic in a year, according to the data the Czech Statistical Office released at a recent press conference, reports CTK.
KENYA
Universities warned not to admit unqualified politicians
Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i has cautioned universities against admitting unqualified students, especially politicians who he said are keen to acquire certificates ahead of the next general election, writes Ouma Wanzala for the Daily Nation.
IRAN
Universities suffer from low student numbers
Iran's universities are seeing a lack of students, following poor applications for the academic year which started in October, reports Fatih Karimov for Trend.
UNITED KINGDOM
Scottish minister to hold post-study visa talks
Scotland's international development minister is to hold talks with the United Kingdom government after it rejected calls for the reintroduction of a work visa system for international students, reports the BBC News.
CANADA
Court asked to enforce settlement on equity targets
The Canadian Human Rights Commission is taking the unusual step of asking the Federal Court to enforce a decade-old settlement that created equity targets for a prestigious research award because most universities have consistently failed over the years to give enough chairs to women and diverse candidates, writes Chris Hannay for The Globe and Mail.
SAUDI ARABIA
Graduates angry over apparent university nepotism
Saudi graduates struggling to find jobs are reportedly growing frustrated with the increasing number of relatives and family members of university presidents and officials granted roles at the institutions, reports Gulf Business.
NIGERIA
Government approves eight new private universities
The Federal Executive Council last week in Abuja approved eight new private universities in the country, reports News Agency of Nigeria.
UNITED KINGDOM
SA students in UK show solidarity with #FeesMustFall
South African students studying in the United Kingdom protested in solidarity with the Fees Must Fall movement last week, demanding that the state “engage meaningfully and humbly with student protestors” and “find practical solutions for a way forward which addresses the underlying issues in higher education”, writes Michael Moss for Groundup.
RUSSIA
Furore over university ‘protest potential’ survey claims
A group that has received financing from the Kremlin is under fire over a report that it has been secretly assessing the "protest potential" of students and staff at Russian universities and making its findings available to the authorities, writes Tom Balmforth for Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty.
INDIA
High-performing universities may get more autonomy
The human resource development ministry is introducing a carrot and stick approach under which the performing universities will get greater autonomy and poor performers will get their funding cut, writes Prashant K Nanda for Livemint.
CHINA
Government seeks more students from Southeast Asia
In a bid to improve collaboration in education and culture with ASEAN – Association of Southeast Asian Nations – countries, the Chinese government has revealed it hopes to see more students from Southeast Asia studying in China, reports The Jakarta Post.
CHINA-ISRAEL
Universities push the envelope of technology
As Chinese investors flock to Israel in search of new technologies, top universities there are forging cooperation agreements with their Chinese counterparts and firms for research and development as well as technology transfer services, writes Ma Si for China Daily.
MALAYSIA
Minister urges positive take on HE budget cut
The reduction in the allocation to the higher education ministry in the 2017 budget should be viewed positively, according to its minister, as it is in line with efforts to reduce the dependence of public universities on the government, reports Bernama.
NIGERIA
Era of wasteful university spending is over – President
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the era of wasteful spending was over and advised Nigerian universities to plough available resources into teaching, research and productive activities, reports the News Agency of Nigeria.
UNITED STATES
NSF asks universities to share rotator staff costs
The National Science Foundation, or NSF, has decided that universities should pay 10% of the salaries of faculty members working temporarily at the agency. It hopes the new policy will demonstrate its commitment to saving taxpayer dollars without alienating the academic community that it relies upon to stay on the cutting edge of basic science, writes Jeffrey Mervis for Science.