World Round-up
Across South Korea, universities are hosting their spring festivals, allowing students to drink and party on campus, often to live performances by K-pop artists, which are considered the highlight of the annual events. The shows are funded through the school budget and can cost tens of millions of won per singer or band depending on their popularity – generally too much for rural universities to afford, which is where the discrepancy between them and universities in Seoul arises, write Nam Yoon-seo and Lee Sung-eun for Korea JoongAng Daily.
Israeli university chiefs on Thursday 25 May blasted a coalition law bill set to be discussed in the upcoming cabinet meeting that would outlaw waving the Palestinian national flag anywhere in Israel, alleging that if it passes, it would trigger a “wave of academic boycotts of Israeli institutions all around the world”, reports The Times of Israel.
Moscow’s prestigious Higher School of Economics (HSE) announced on Thursday 25 May that it will pay for the education of those who fight in Ukraine and their family members, reports The Moscow Times.
Student leaders from various South African universities said that they were rejecting the National Student Financial Aid Scheme’s (NSFAS) plan to take over the payment of student allowances from universities, writes Ntuthuzelo Nene for EyeWitnessNews.
Higher education is biting its nails watching the debt ceiling timer tick down in Washington. Colleges and universities are working in the background on contingency plans if the United States defaults, a scenario that would lead to consequences experts say even they can’t fully comprehend, writes Lexi Lonas for The Hill.
Six Hungarian universities hit with a European Union ban on accessing Horizon Europe and Erasmus+ funds could have a case, according to a leading expert on Hungarian constitutional law commenting after the universities lodged appeals to the Court of Justice of the European Union, claiming the move is unreasonable, disproportionate and lacks solid factual basis, writes Thomas Brent for Science|Business.
PhD students in the United Kingdom have called for more action from funders and universities to address the cost-of-living crisis, writes Rachel Magee for Research Professional News.
The European Commission and South Korea have agreed to move forward with formal negotiations on association to Horizon Europe, the European Union’s €95.5 billion (US$102 billion) multiannual research and innovation programme, writes Florin Zubascu for Science|Business.
There is a mental-health crisis in science – at all career stages and across the world. Graduate students are being harassed and discriminated against, paid meagre wages, bullied, overworked and sometimes sexually assaulted. It doesn’t get much better for early-career researchers struggling to land long-term employment. And established senior researchers face immense pressure to win grants, publish in high-profile journals and maintain their reputations in highly competitive fields, writes Shannon Hall for Nature.
The Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) in Ghana has published the first batch of the names and details of 30 of its borrowers who have defaulted in repayment of their loans, reports
The future of thousands of current students and recent graduates at Ugandan universities is in danger after it emerged that courses they are pursuing, or completed, are “expired”, writes Damali Mukhaye and Lydia Felly Akullu for Monitor.
University of Cape Town (UCT) Council Chairperson Babalwa Ngonyama resigned on Monday 22 May, blaming a lack of fairness in the independent panel appointed by the council in 2022 to “look into governance-related issues at the university”, writes Philani Nombembe for Times Live.
The Biden administration in the United States wants to use the earnings of adults who didn’t go to college as a new benchmark to gauge whether graduates of career education programmes are gainfully employed, writes Katherine Knott for Inside Higher Ed.
Universities in Victoria and New South Wales have banned the recruitment of students from some Indian states as Australia’s federal government has voiced fresh concern over increasing visa fraud, writes Clay Lucas for The Sydney Morning Herald.
More than 14,000 people have signed a letter protesting against the approval of a new science law in Mexico on 29 April. They say that the legislation – the General Law on Humanities, Sciences, Technologies and Innovation – consolidates power over science with the government and ignores the wishes of the research community, writes Myriam Vidal Valero for Nature.
University principals in Scotland shared “eye-watering” pay rises worth a combined £300,000 (US$372,000) while staff and students struggled with the cost-of-living crisis, writes Calum Ross for The Scotsman.
Palestinians said on Sunday 21 May that Palestinian Authority security forces have resumed their crackdown on university students suspected of affiliation with Hamas, writes Khaled Abu Toameh for The Jerusalem Post.
The University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University in Scotland received nearly £400,000 (US$496,000) from the Pentagon in the United States since 2012 in order to study the likes of marine animal behaviours and underwater AI machine learning, writes Jon Hebditch for Aberdeen Live.
Foreign students hoping to study in Japan as part of the country’s huge drive to attract 400,000 foreign students may have to settle for third-rate rural campuses that are miles from major cities, experts have warned, writes Noah Eastwood for iNews.
Australia’s University of Melbourne has cleared a philosophy lecturer at the centre of a boycott campaign by trans rights activists of any disciplinary breach for attending a women’s rights rally gatecrashed by neo-Nazis, writes Chip Le Grand for The Sydney Morning Herald.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Education has approved the merger plan of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech) and Hwa Hsia University of Technology, the first ever in Taiwan involving public and private universities, write Chen Chih-chung and Chao Yen-hsiang for Focus Taiwan.
Alumni are criticising a small New York Christian university for firing two employees who refused to remove gender pronouns from their email signatures, writes Josh Marcus for the Independent. In April, Raegan Zelaya and Shua Wilmot, residence hall directors at Houghton University, were fired from their positions, after they put “she/her” and “he/him” on their emails.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives on Tuesday 16 May announced the setting up of a task force to review the pay scale systems of higher education institutions across the country so ‘top talent’ could be recruited and retained, writes Saif ur Rehman for Geo News.
The United Kingdom’s University of Oxford will cut its ties with the Sackler family, whose wealth came from addictive opioid drugs, removing the family’s name from buildings, galleries and positions funded through their donations, writes Richard Adams for The Guardian.
The next generation faces a “bleak future” if proposed cuts to higher education in Northern Ireland go ahead, the head of Queen’s University Belfast has warned, write Jonathan McCambridge and Claudia Savage for PA. The university’s president and vice-chancellor, Professor Ian Greer, also said the damage to the Northern Ireland economy caused by the cuts would take years to recover from.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law on Monday 15 May banning the state’s public colleges and universities from spending money on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programmes, writes Jaclyn Diaz for NPR.
The vice-rectors for education of the Rectors’ Council of Finnish Universities (UNIFI) have presented a proposal for a new scoring model for certificate-based admission to universities, reports the Helsinki Times.
A report into the affairs of the University of South Africa (UNISA) that was commissioned by Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande recommended that the university be placed under administration, writes Ndaedzo Nethonzhe for EyeWitness News.
The higher education watchdog in the United Kingdom has warned that an over-reliance on tuition fees from overseas students – especially those from a single country such as China – is a financial risk for English universities, writes Eleanor Busby for the Independent.
Private universities in Kenya have welcomed the government’s new funding model for higher education institutions, which will see scholarships offered only to students who join public universities, writes Dennis Musau for Citizen Digital.
A Wageningen University professor has been told he may not lead any research projects for two years after admitting that he had for years named a Saudi university as his main employer in academic publications, reports Dutch
College programmes that leave graduates underpaid or buried in loans would be cut off from United States federal money under a proposal issued on Wednesday 17 May by the Biden administration, but the rules would apply only to for-profit colleges and a tiny fraction of programmes at traditional universities, writes Collin Binkley for Associated Press. Opponents, however, say the scope is too narrow to help most students.
To help expand the local tech talent pool, TikTok on Monday 15 May launched a programme to teach tertiary students in Singapore how to build apps like its video-hosting platform that can reliably handle large amounts of user traffic, writes Tay Hong Yi for The Straits Times.
The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has demanded that central and all provincial governments increase the budget for public sector universities across the country in the new annual budget 2023-24, writes Afshan S Khan for The News.
United States President Joe Biden used a commencement address at Howard University to appeal to young black voters, offering a preview for how his campaign plans to regain waning enthusiasm from a key demographic, writes Emily Olson for NPR.
State university workers in Zimbabwe have accused Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Amon Murwira of plotting to “loot” their pension, medical aid and funeral policy contributions, writes Silas Nkala and Nhau Mangirazi for News Day. They are contesting a move by Murwira to set up a joint pension, medical aid and funeral assurance fund without their consent.
Students in the United Kingdom have voiced fear their degrees will be “devalued” amid a marking boycott by lecturers as part of an ongoing pay dispute, writes Rebecca McCurdy for the Evening Standard.
State universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs) in the Philippines are seeking an increase in tuition and miscellaneous fees after the five-year moratorium lapsed last year, which signals a “bigger storm” coming, the chief of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) told a Senate panel on Thursday 11 May, writes Cecille Suerte Felipe for The Philippine Star.
Several universities in the country have come up with innovations meant to improve the lives of Ugandans. However, funding from the government has been low and many end up disappearing. Government’s ‘empty commitment’ to fully funding innovation initiatives is a constant cause for concern in mainly public institutions of higher learning, writes Busein Samilu for Monitor.
South Africa’s government has unveiled measures it hopes will curb gender-based violence in the country’s universities, writes Mapaballo Borotho for Research Professional News.
Laureano and Camila Ortega Murillo, offspring of Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega and Vice-President Rosario Murillo, have recently given political speeches praising their parents and ranting against their foes at university inaugural addresses. They spoke of a “multipolar world”, the country’s “creative economy”, and the end of “the global US dollar dictatorship”, writes Wilfredo Miranda for EL PAÍS.
European Union Research Commissioner Mariya Gabriel was called to Sofia on Tuesday 9 May to form the next government of Bulgaria, throwing a spanner in the works during a decisive time for EU research and innovation policy, writes Goda Naujokaityte for Science|Business.
More and more people with higher education are appealing for help due to poverty, AMI (Portugal’s international medical assistance foundation) warned on Wednesday 10 May, noting that “very low salaries” do not allow them to cope with their needs, reports Lusa News Agency.
India has invited top Canadian universities to set up local campuses during discussions at the meeting of India-Canada Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment (MDTI) in Ottawa that was co-chaired by trade ministers of both countries, reports the Financial Express.
Tens of thousands of doctors and nurses are set to be trained via apprenticeships in a major expansion of plans to help fix the NHS workforce crisis, writes Rebecca Thomas for the Independent.
Six Hungarian universities have decided to lodge legal complaints against the European Union for freezing funds for the Erasmus programme, reports
Nigeria’s Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has said it will provide the necessary support to ensure that Nigerian students evacuated from Sudan are integrated into Nigerian universities, writes Seun Opejobi for Daily Post.
Dutch Education Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf this week announced his intention to overhaul the binding study advice (BSA) system for universities in the interests of better student mental health and well-being. Under the new rules, which come into effect in the 2025-26 academic year, students would have to achieve 30 out of 60 credits to pass the first year instead of the current threshold of 45 credits, writes Victoria Séveno for IAmExpat.
Indian Government policies vis-à-vis the welfare of minorities, especially Muslims, have come under the scanner as a massive decline is noticed in the enrolment of Muslims in higher education in 2020-21 compared to figures for other communities, which have shown an upward trend, reports Clarion India.
The Irish Universities Association (IUA) says the minister for higher education cannot have a veto over annual funding plans for research awards, writes Katherine Donnelly for
On the surface, Argentina’s public universities are some of the most inclusive in the world: Tuition is free, and there’s no application process, entry exam, nor caps on admission. Inclusivity has long been a governing principle for public universities here. But while anyone can begin a degree, few make it to graduation – and only one-fifth of college-aged Argentines enrol in the first place, writes Erika Page for The Christian Science Monitor.
South Africa’s former public protector Professor Thuli Madonsela has called on politicians to stop meddling in university internal affairs, saying they have done enough polarising the country for parochial political gains, writes Unathi Nkanjeni for Times Live.
Donald Trump has pledged to seize the endowments of universities that practise positive discrimination as part of a far-reaching plan to overhaul higher education in the United States, writes Lila Randall for The Telegraph.
The number of Hong Kong students with reported mental health problems shot past 1,400 in the last academic year, more than doubling from four years ago, with experts and educators blaming the 2019 protests and the COVID-19 pandemic, reports the South China Morning Post. The hardest hit were students in tertiary education institutions, where the number tripled from under 250 in 2018-19 to 776 this year.
A wave of student occupations has shut down schools and universities across Europe as part of a renewed youth protest campaign against inaction on climate breakdown. Twenty-two schools and universities across the continent have been occupied as part of a proposed month-long campaign, writes Damien Gayle for The Guardian.
Over 80 major Jewish organisations spanning the American political spectrum have signed a blistering letter imploring members of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to reject a resolution proposing an academic boycott of Israeli universities, writes Dion J Pierre for the Algemeiner.
New York State lawmakers are eyeing a ban on the practice of early admission to colleges and universities as the legislative session nears its end, with progressives claiming the practice is racist, writes Zach Williams for the New York Post.
Each claim brought against a university or student union under proposed free speech legislation in the United Kingdom could set the institution back more than £180,000 (US$227,000) in legal costs and non-pecuniary losses, MPs have heard, writes Chris Parr for Research Professional News.
Enrolment in basic science majors at Vietnamese universities has dwindled in recent years, with many students opting for more lucrative fields upon graduation, reports VietnamNet. This trend has raised concerns over a potential imbalance in the job market, leaving basic sciences with a shortage of qualified professionals.
Australian government spending on research has dropped to its lowest on record, triggering a warning from universities, writes Paul Osborne for Australian Associated Press.
Another bodyguard of the vice-chancellor of the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa has died. He was travelling on the R63 between Qonce and Alice when a vehicle collided with the vehicle he was in, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, writes Abongile Jantjies for SABC News.
As funding for graduate students, postdocs and research-granting councils stagnates, Canada could lose a generation of talent, warn scientists. And the risk is that such a brain drain wouldn’t just be the result of students leaving the country – but scientific research altogether, writes Joe Friesen for The Globe and Mail.
After years of attacking higher education, it seems the government has finally succeeded in conquering Israel’s research universities. Education Minister Yoav Kisch has recommended appointing Professor David Schwartz from the private Ono Academic College to the position of deputy chairman of the Council of Higher Education in Israel. The council is expected to approve the appointment this week, writes Lior Dattel for Haaretz.
The senior academic faculty at a number of universities in Israel were due to strike on Monday 1 May, the academic staff’s coordination committee announced, reports The Jerusalem Post.
Jack Ma, co-founder and former chairman of Alibaba Group, has been invited to be a visiting professor at Tokyo College, a new organisation run by Japan’s University of Tokyo, reports Reuters.
Private universities in the provinces of South Korea are becoming increasingly dependent on foreign students as the population shrinks and young Koreans stare fixedly at the capital, reports The Chosunilbo.
Pakistan’s first private university to expand its operations in Africa, the Aga Khan University (AKU), celebrated the start of construction of its new campus in Kampala, Uganda, at a ceremony attended by the First Lady of Uganda, Her Excellency Janet Museveni, and Princess Zahra Aga Khan, writes M Waqar Bhatti for The News.
As United States college admission decisions pour in and students weigh their options, some institutions are putting the poorest students at a surprising disadvantage: there are 17 colleges and universities where the lowest-income students may end up paying more out of pocket than the highest-income ones, writes Fazil Khan for The Hechinger Report.
Russia’s war against Ukraine has had widespread negative impacts outside the country’s borders. Among them is a drop in interest in Russian studies at Czech universities and a gradual loss of academic contacts, reports Radio Prague International.
India’s University Grants Commission (UGC) has launched a unified recruitment portal, CU-Chayan, for the recruitment of faculty in central universities, reports the Hindustan Times. Currently, all 46 central universities conduct recruitment processes through their individual portals, and advertise the vacancies on their official websites and newspapers.
The European Parliament’s industry, research and energy committee wants to kickstart the process of creating a European regulation to protect academic freedom, writes Goda Naujokaityte for Science|Business.
Languages are out but artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and health are in, as Australian universities chop and change courses to cut costs and meet student demand, write Madeleine Heffernan and Lucy Carroll for The Sydney Morning Herald.
Academics have warned that Ireland risks being left behind by the rest of the European Union unless the country funds its higher education research sector to the same level as neighbouring countries, writes Carl O’Brien for The Irish Times.
The heads of Scotland’s higher and further education institutions were told by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) on Tuesday 2 May the money announced in December’s budget was now “not available”. They were reportedly informed the Scottish government needs the cash to meet other priorities, writes Calum Ross for The Scotsman.
Dutch universities are increasingly reluctant to admit PhD students with a Chinese scholarship, Trouw reports after speaking to 12 universities. The Ministry of Education is investigating the risks of the scholarship financed by the Chinese government, reports the NL Times.
Labour is set to abandon its promise to scrap university tuition fees in England if it wins power, its leader has said, reports Paul Seddon for BBC News. Sir Keir Starmer told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the party was “likely to move on from that commitment”, blaming the economic backdrop.
More and more Namibians are applying for programmes offered by the University of Namibia’s School of Medicine, which receives over a thousand applications annually for only 70 available places, writes Albertina Nakale for New Era.
Academic and professional staff from five Victorian universities went on strike on Wednesday 3 May, cancelling lectures and tutorials and massing in Melbourne’s CBD in a co-ordinated push for higher pay and an end to the sector’s heavy reliance on casual labour, writes Adam Carey and Nicole Precel for The Age.
Howard University, the renowned historically black institution in the United States that was founded to educate freed slaves, has selected a historian of Latin America as its next president, as the university’s leaders hope to continue its trajectory of surging enrolment and research growth, writes Vimal Patel for The New York Times.
Universities Estonia, a body bringing together the rectors of Estonia’s universities, wants the Russian citizens currently studying at higher education institutions in Estonia to be able to complete their studies in Estonia and then either continue their studies at the next level of education or stay in Estonia to enter employment, reports The Baltic Times.
New data shows there is a growing number of Israeli startups originating in universities and medical centres, accounting for almost 13% of all new startups set up in 2020, writes Shoshanna Solomon for The Times of Israel.
The Morrison government’s allowing people on student visas to work unlimited hours created a “Ponzi scheme” that was exploited ruthlessly by some education agents, an international education conference was told on 19 April, writes Julie Hare for AFR .
Many universities in Cuba have announced that they will not be resuming classes on 24 April. The reason for this is the fuel crisis in the country. Higher education centres in Villa Clara, Holguin, Havana, Cienfuegos and Sancti Spiritus were affected, writes Esmond Harmon for The Cleveland American.
Six out of 19 Japanese universities surveyed by the [iI]Mainichi Shimbun have expressed views or set guidelines for their students on using interactive artificial intelligence (AI) including the ChatGPT chatbot, now being adopted for a rapidly expanding list of applications, reports Mainichi Japan.
President William Ruto has announced that his administration will from May unveil a new funding model for universities and Technical and Vocational Training Institutions, writes Lindwe Danflow for The Star.
Emerging economies have seen a sharp rise in foreign students at their universities. The US and other developed nations in Europe and elsewhere have traditionally been popular destinations for students venturing abroad, but more people are now heading to Turkey, Argentina and other fast-growing economies to pursue higher education, write Maya Shimizu and Momoko Kidera for Nikkei.
The students’ representative council (SRC) of the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) will not attend this week’s graduation ceremony in protest over the exclusion of more than 1,000 graduands from the ceremony over unsettled accounts, write Edward Mumbuu and Van Wyk Amutenya for New Era Live.
A parliamentary committee in New Zealand has heard that stagnating public funding for university stipends is skewing the profile of the early career research workforce and reducing the number who can be supported, writes Jenny Sinclair for Research Professional News.
Representatives of 32 Vietnamese universities attended a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City Tuesday to discuss solutions to attract students from the US, home to many of the world's top schools, writes Minh Nga for VnExpress.
England and Chelsea star Raheem Sterling has launched a scholarship fund aimed at closing the gap in the number of Black British students who go to university, reports the BBC.
The number of female candidates in the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations has been rising by leaps and bounds over the past few years, with girls taking advantage of the increasing educational opportunities despite societal challenges. Educationists have urged the government to now address the dropout rate of female students, as it is imperative to ensure that all students complete their education, writes Mamun Abdullah for Dhaka Tribune.
In a memorandum to Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, private universities argue that a move to admit all qualified students to public universities will cripple their institutions and now want to be included in the placement process, writes Jacinta Mutura for The Standard.
According to a report, law and financial services remain “elitist industries”, with more than half of employers only hiring from eight top universities, writes Sarah Lumley for Wales Online.
Former New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern says she will take up three fellowships at Harvard University in the United States later this year, reports ABC News.
The screening of a controversial film asserting that women are defined solely by their biological sex has been cancelled by Edinburgh University after trans rights activists occupied entrances to the venue, writes Severin Carrell for The Guardian.
A cross-party group of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have reported back strong concerns about a deterioration of academic freedom in Hungary, as well as issues of self-censorship among researchers and wider problems with government influence over the media, courts, arts and culture, writes Thomas Brent for ScienceBusiness.
More than 12 per cent of Hong Kong’s secondary school students chose to leave the city for tertiary education last year, with Britain overtaking Taiwan as the second most popular destination after mainland China, writes William Yiu for The South China Morning Post.
Hodgepodge conversions of traditional grade point averages, based on the A-to-F convention, to a 100-point-percent scale is creating a storm of discontent among some students, reports Korea JoongAng Daily.
Australia’s University of Wollongong (UOW) said on Thursday 20 April that it has not placed any ban or restriction on applications from Indian students, nor on students from any specific Indian states or regions, reports The Economic Times.
Researchers in Australia have welcomed a proposal to limit government ministers’ power to veto the grant-funding decisions of one of the country’s major research funders. Under the rules, a minister would be able to intervene in only rare cases where there are national security concerns, and would need to justify the decision to parliament, writes Dyani Lewis for Nature.