16 January 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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World Round-up
AUSTRALIA
First-year attrition rates show increase
First-year university students are leaving their original chosen courses at a higher rate than ever as new data shows about one in five commencing bachelor students left their original course in 2014, and about 15% dropped out completely, writes Liz Burke for News.com.au.
INDIA
Cabinet approves higher education financing agency
To give a major push for the creation of high quality infrastructure in premier educational institutions, the union cabinet last week approved the establishment of the Higher Education Financing Agency, reports IANS.
CHINA
World leaders congratulate scholarship recipients
Tsinghua University welcomed its first cohort of high-flying students under the prestigious Schwarzman scholarship recently amid a fanfare of praise from world leaders, writes Sarah Karacs for the South China Morning Post.
NETHERLANDS
University body defends growth of English courses
The Netherlands’ university association has defended the growth of English-language courses at Dutch institutions, arguing that it will “enhance the quality of education”, boost the country’s “innovative strength and competitiveness” and attract international students, writes Ellie Bothwell for Times Higher Education.
CHINA
Demand for pricey international schools is 'insatiable'
International preparatory schools from abroad are booming in China thanks to growing demand from parents who are seeking different pathways for their children to attend college overseas, and who can increasingly afford more options, writes Nomaan Merchant for Associated Press.
ZIMBABWE
Universities to retrench staff and cut salaries
State universities are set to retrench staff and cut salaries of their workers as part of rationalisation measures to improve the financial position of the institutions and help reduce the country’s wage bill gobbling 97% of the revenue, reports the Sunday News.
UNITED STATES
Post-9/11 resilience shows in international student data
President Barack Obama marked the 15th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks by honouring American “resilience”. This resilience is also shown in the attractiveness of the United States higher education institutions among international students, write Rahul Choudaha and Di Hu for Forbes.
UNITED KINGDOM
Brexit fails to deter EU students… this year
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union doesn’t appear to have dented the number of EU students planning to start degrees in the United Kingdom in the coming weeks, though senior figures warn the vote could take a more serious toll next academic year, writes Denise Roland for The Wall Street Journal.
CHINA
Account of harassment on campus lifts lid on taboo topic
A Chinese undergraduate’s exposé of alleged sexual harassment on a prestigious Beijing university campus has grabbed the country’s attention and lifted the lid on a taboo topic in China, write Lucy Hornby and Luna Lin for the Financial Times.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities test ‘name blind’ applications
Four British universities – located in Exeter, Huddersfield, Liverpool and Winchester – have launched an experiment to try out ‘name blind’ applications in an effort to tackle ethnic, religious or gender discrimination. It is the first such effort at British higher education institutions although similar procedures are already in place at multiple private and public enterprises, writes Rick Noack for The Washington Post.
SOUTH AFRICA
Student fees protest earns ‘Newsmaker of The Year’ award
The student protest movement dubbed #FeesMustFall was named the National Press Club’s 2015 Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University Newsmaker of the Year at a ceremony in Pretoria on 9 September, reports Times Live.
AUSTRALIA
Online university provider continues to shed students
Australia's largest online education provider, Open Universities Australia, continues to shed students as it struggles to adapt its business model to the highly competitive environment in higher education, writes Tim Dodd for Australian Financial Review.
ISRAEL
New higher education plan to support innovation
The Council for Higher Education unveiled its new multi-year plan last week, allocating an additional NIS6.8 billion (US$1.8 billion) to the higher education system over the course of the next six years, reports The Jerusalem Post.
UNITED KINGDOM
Universities ‘concerned’ by exclusion from visa pilot
Scottish universities have hit out at plans to allow four English institutions – Imperial College London, Oxford, Cambridge and Bath – to evade controversial immigration restrictions on graduates looking for work following their degrees, writes Paris Gourtsoyannis for The Scotsman.
NORWAY
Qualifications passport to speed up refugee integration
Faced with a flood of refugees, Norway has tested a new fast-track procedure to evaluate the qualifications of those who arrive in the country without proper documentation of their academic degrees or professional certificates, writes Burton Bollag for Al-Fanar Media.
UNITED KINGDOM
Top universities consider new campuses in Europe
Leading British universities are considering opening campuses in Europe in order to keep crucial research funding and partnerships, amid uncertainty over the consequences of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. The idea comes as universities wrestle with how to reassure students and academics across the world that they will not close their doors to Europe, writes Anna Fazackerley for the Guardian.
SOUTH AFRICA
How PhD graduates are battling to break into academia
Academics staying in their university positions beyond retirement are good for mentoring younger scholars, but are hogging positions newly qualified researchers need to break into the higher education teaching and research space, writes Noloyiso Mtembu for the Sunday Independent.
AUSTRALIA
Universities 50% better off than a decade ago – Study
Cries of penury from universities facing a 20% funding cut are ringing hollow in light of new analysis that reveals the sector is 50% better off in real terms than it was a decade ago, writes Julie Hare for The Australian.
PAKISTAN
Pakistan to send 10,000 scholars to US for PhD studies
The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan will send 10,000 scholars to the United States for PhD studies from next year in critical areas of agriculture and food security, medical and allied health sciences, energy, water, climate change, and advanced digital technology, among others, reports Dunya News.
RUSSIA
Universities urged to modernise to compete globally
An analytical publication on international relations, Russia Direct, issued a report on the modernisation of higher education in Russia. Its main conclusion: In order to stimulate start-ups it is imperative for universities to rethink the relationship between teaching and research, writes Victoria Zavyalova for Russia Beyond The Headlines.
PHILIPPINES
University entrants set to face drug tests
The government of the Philippines is planning to introduce mandatory drug tests for all new college students, an official for the Commission on Higher Education said. The measure is the latest step in President Rodrigo Duterte's effort to battle illegal drugs in the country, reports Aljazeera.
ISRAEL
University heads concerned over status of Torah education
The Association of University Heads in Israel asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to re-examine his position that equates Torah education with academic degrees, in a letter sent by the group recently, reports The Jerusalem Post.
NETHERLANDS
Technology universities may have to limit admissions
The Netherlands’ universities of technology have warned they may have to restrict new admissions to their current level unless the government increases its funding, reports Dutch News.
UNITED STATES
New film examines the push to commodify higher education
Should higher education be a profitable commodity or a public good? That’s the central question in the documentary “Starving the Beast”. Filmmaker Steve Mims turns his camera on the complicated battle over public universities and comes up with a movie that might be dry, but also feels necessary, writes Stephanie Merry for The Washington Post.
INDIA
No takers for Sanskrit courses despite centre's push
The central government has been pushing Sanskrit as a study medium, but there seem to be no takers for the Vedic language. One-third of nearly 150 departments of higher education in Sanskrit had to shut down in the last three years due to low enrolment in Sanskrit courses, writes Richa Sharma for The New Indian Express.