18 October 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
SINGAPORE
Universities are agents for city-wide change – Minister
Universities can play a huge part in transforming cities as they help to transform knowledge into new ideas, new businesses and new jobs, said Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung last week, writes Prisca Ang for The Straits Times.
PAKISTAN
PhD scholars protest lack of jobs
Members of the PhD Doctors' Association Pakistan staged a protest demonstration last week against the Higher Education Commission for failing to provide them with regular jobs, writes Muhammad Faisal Kaleem for the Daily Times.
UNITED STATES
Fighting to keep leaders who are academics
Faculty members at the University of Wisconsin at Madison want to kill a state budget proposal that would ban the university system’s Board of Regents from requiring the system president and campus chancellors and vice-chancellors be academics themselves, writes Coleen Flaherty for Inside Higher Ed.
ALGERIA
Student claims university censored her political thesis
A PhD student in Algeria says her university is withholding her degree because of objections to the political content of her thesis, writes Ahmed Rouaba for the BBC.
JORDAN
Cabinet approves university and subject ranking system
Ministers have approved the drafting of a by-law to establish a ranking system linked to specific criteria, including scientific research and publications, the number of faculty members and enrolled students, in addition to the ratio of foreign students to the total number of students, among others, according to Higher Education Minister Adel Tweisi, writes Laila Azzeh for The Jordan Times.
CHINA
Communist Party stresses leadership over universities
A meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee last week emphasised the party's authority over higher education institutions, reports Xinhua.
UNITED STATES
Donald Trump may face new legal action over university
Donald Trump could face new legal action over his controversial Trump University venture, after a new suit was filed in federal court, reports Adam Gabbatt for the Guardian.
NIGERIA
University builds trench to stop Boko Haram attacks
Authorities in north-eastern Nigeria have begun digging a 27km trench around the University of Maiduguri to prevent attacks by Boko Haram Islamist militants, reports the BBC.
JAPAN
PM popularity falls as veterinary school scandal grows
Polls show that a scandal involving the Japanese prime minister and a veterinary school operated by his close friend is leading to higher disapproval ratings for Shinzo Abe, writes Elizabeth Shim for UPI.
IRELAND
Universities accused of ‘misleading’ Dáil committee
Senior officials from colleges including the University of Limerick, Dublin Institute of Technology and University College Cork have appeared before the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee to answer allegations over unauthorised severance packages, conflicts of interest and poor corporate governance, writes Carl O’Brien for The Irish Times.
SOUTH AFRICA
Former university finance chief tackles minister
A year after she was fired as the chief financial officer of the University of Zululand, Josephine Naicker is taking on Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande over investigative reports on alleged corruption at the institution, writes Nokuthula Ntuli for the Sunday Tribune.
NIGERIA
Eight universities to receive uninterrupted power
The Rural Electrification Agency has signed a memorandum of understanding with eight federal universities and one teaching hospital for the first phase of the federal government’s Energizing Education Programme, reports the Daily Trust.
PAKISTAN
VCs told to name universities after national heroes
The Higher Education Commission has directed vice-chancellors of public sector universities to ensure titling of their respective institutions under the names of national heroes and not ideologies based on religion, ethnicity or politics, writes Khalid Hasnain for Dawn.
MALAYSIA
Ministry steps up efforts to curb honorary degree misuse
The government is stepping up its efforts to prevent another avenue from being misused to gain titles and academic qualifications – honorary doctorates, writes Yuen Meikeng for The Star.
UNITED STATES
Partially reinstated travel ban received mixed response
The Supreme Court’s decision last Monday to allow a limited version of the Trump administration’s travel ban to take effect, carving out exceptions that appear to exempt university students, faculty and lecturers, has received mixed responses from academics, writes Susan Svrluga for The Washington Post.
UNITED KINGDOM
Combustible cladding found on university housing blocks
Combustible cladding has been found on university accommodation blocks as fears grow that hundreds of thousands of people across the United Kingdom could be living in unsafe housing in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, writes Lucy Pasha-Robinson for the Independent.
UNITED KINGDOM
Spike in students caught cheating in Welsh universities
The number of students caught cheating in Welsh universities has risen by almost 50% in two years, writes Shane Brennan for Daily Post. Across Wales, allegations of cheating went from 1,370 in the academic year of 2013-14 to 2,044 in 2015-16.
CHINA
Universities accused of ideological weakness
China’s anti-corruption watchdog has accused 14 top universities of ideological infractions after a months-long investigation, as the country’s ruling Communist Party broadens its political control over educational institutions, reports the Financial Times.
ISRAEL
West Bank settlement university to double in size
Ariel University is to double in size within the next five years, according to a plan now being promoted by Education Minister Naftali Bennett. Ten or 12 new buildings are to be added for new faculties in research and teaching at the university, located in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, in occupied Palestinian territory, as well as a new medical school, to be named after US billionaire businessman Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam, write Lior Dattel and Ronny Linder-Ganz for Haaretz.
INDIA
Students can opt for fully online degree courses soon
Students and working professionals will soon be able to obtain a degree online and it will be recognised by higher education regulator, the University Grants Commission. The human resource development ministry has decided to allow universities to offer such degrees and is drafting rules, writes Neelam Pandey for Hindustan Times.
ITALY
Unions denounce unequal R&D investment
Labour unions and PhD student associations in Italy have criticised the government’s focus on research and development that comes at the expense of the nation’s universities after €200 million (US$223 million) was allocated to the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa at the end of May, writes Santiago Sáez Moreno for Chemistry World.
TUNISIA
Researchers probe the roots of youth radicalisation
The ministry of higher education and scientific research has allocated TND2.5 million (US$1 million) over four years to support academic efforts to better understand the roots of radicalisation in young people, and how to combat it. Four research projects have been selected for support under the initiative – one in the humanities and social sciences, and three in engineering and technology, writes Khaoula Sliti for Al-Fanar.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities face strikes as market revolution bites
Academics in Crewe are waiting in limbo. The campus, which is run by Manchester Metropolitan University, is the main centre for higher education in south Cheshire. But in February it was confirmed it would close in the summer of 2019, with 160 academic jobs at risk, and last week those academics were planning to stage a two-day walkout in protest. Welcome to life at the sharp end of the market revolution in English higher education, writes Rebecca Ratcliffe for the Guardian.
UNITED STATES
At colleges, demographic changes everywhere but the top
Although diversifying the makeup of student bodies has been a major effort on college campuses in recent years, when it comes to the college president’s office, there has been little change: a new national survey has found that the typical college president continues to be a white man in his early 60s, writes David W Chen for The New York Times.
SOUTH AFRICA
Research shows universities' reliance on foreign donors
A key finding of the Annual Survey of Philanthropy in Higher Education is a heavy dependence on overseas donors by South African higher education. While comprising only 7% of supporters, they contribute more than half (52%) of philanthropic income for local universities, reports BizCommunity.