World Round-up
Africa is fast becoming a key priority on the European Union’s foreign policy agenda and research and innovation have a role to play in deepening the partnership – but investment and integrated strategies are needed to encourage more cooperation, writes Goda Naujokaityte for Science|Business.
In a step decried as a setback to freedoms in the country, Kuwait plans to enforce gender segregation at universities, writes Ramadan Al Sherbini for Gulf News. The latest signal for the ban came from Kuwaiti MP Mohammad Hayef who quoted Education Minister Adel Al Manea as having agreed to scrap registration for mixed lectures.
The United States biotech and pharmaceutical company Moderna on 15 September announced signings of contracts with the academic-industry cooperation foundations of Korea University Medical Center in Seoul and Chosun University in Gwangju on the research and development of medicines using the messenger ribonucleic acid, or mRNA, platform, writes Ji-Hyun Lee for the The Korea Economic Daily.
A House of Lords committee in the United Kingdom has blasted the Office for Students for a lack of independence from government and for losing trust with “many of its providers”, writes Joshua Stein for FEWeek.
The University of Bolton in England has applied to change its name to the University of Greater Manchester. Vice-Chancellor George Holmes said the move would “more accurately reflect the geographical area” the university inhabits beyond Bolton, reports BBC News.
A landmark senate inquiry into sexual consent laws has recommended the Australian federal government immediately establish an independent taskforce to hold universities and colleges to account on sexual violence, writes Claudia Long for ABC News.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities in Nigeria has said it is unconstitutional for the federal government to completely halt funding of public universities, writes Omotayo Bamgbose for the Nigerian Tribune.
About 30 universities and polytechnics held stop-work meetings across New Zealand on Thursday 14 September to highlight to politicians how much they’re struggling financially, writes Cushla Norman for 1News.
The government of Hungary will provide every university with the necessary funding to ensure their participation in European research cooperation programmes, the culture and innovation ministry said on Wednesday 13 September, reports The Budapest Times/MTI.
More than one in four universities in the United Kingdom are operating food banks for students in response to the cost-of-living crisis, according to new research, writes Katerina Vittozzi for Sky News.
An influential academic association representing lecturers specialising in Middle Eastern studies has called on United Kingdom universities to drop a controversial definition of antisemitism endorsed by the British government because of concerns it is being used to target students and staff critical of Israel, writes Areeb Ullah for the Middle East Eye.
After only one year, Florida has temporarily suspended a highly controversial, state-wide survey required under a new state law compelling public colleges and universities to ask students and faculty annually to identify political bias in college classrooms, writes Sandra McDonald for the Orlando Sentinel.
Malaysia’s Ministry of Higher Education will provide research matching grants between industries and university teaching hospitals from next year, said its minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, reports Bernama.
India’s University Grants Commission has launched a capacity-building programme for the holistic development of 1.5 million higher education teachers and to inculcate ethics as well as human values in alignment with the National Education Policy 2020, reports ANI.
New York University, one of the largest private universities in the United States, with an endowment of over US$5 billion, plans to divest from fossil fuels, following years of pressure from student activists, writes Dharna Noor for The Guardian. The move represents a significant win for the climate movement, organisers said.
A Lords committee in the United Kingdom has warned that higher education providers in England have an “unhealthy dependency” on international students, to compensate for frozen tuition fees and increased costs, writes Vanessa Clarke for BBC News.
Jordan’s Higher Education Council announced on Monday 11 September that a limit would be placed on the number of students studying medicine and dentistry at universities for the years 2023-24 and on to 2027-28 owing to unemployment and under-payment of graduates in these two specialisations, reports Jordan News.
The Johns Hopkins University’s proposal for a doctoral physical therapy programme hangs in limbo as the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore and the University of Maryland, Baltimore claim the prospective degree is duplicative of their own programmes and would cause them harm, writes Sabrina LeBoeuf for the Baltimore Sun.
South Africa’s Mangosuthu University of Technology has suspended academic activities to mourn its founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, writes Nokwanda Ncwane for The South African.
Washington University in St Louis will stop prescribing gender medications to minors, the institution said on Monday 11 September, citing “unacceptable” legal liability under a new Missouri law banning such treatments, writes Virginia Hughes for The New York Times.
China’s largest academic research database, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, or CNKI, has been handed another huge fine by regulators – this time for mishandling personal information, writes Ding Rui for Sixth Tone.
Ten Philippine higher education institutions have partnered with Chinese universities to strengthen cooperation through people exchanges and resource mobilisation, reports the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The Gambia’s Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology has signed a performance contract with tertiary and higher education institutions under its jurisdiction, writes Mam Nabou Kah for The Point.
Türkiye’s Council of Higher Education (YÖK) has arranged for students studying at universities in Adiyaman, Hatay, Kahramanmaras and Malatya, who were affected by the Kahramanmara-centered earthquakes on 6 February, to study in programmes at other state universities equivalent to those they were registered in and have the same instruction language, upon their request, reports the Daily Sabah and AA.
The Ministry of Education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has cemented its commitment to fostering strong ties with Türkiye by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Council of Higher Education in Türkiye, writes Ashfaq Ahmed for the Gulf News.
The number of students in Lithuanian higher education institutions has almost halved compared to 15 years ago. With universities and colleges risking extinction, the hope is foreign students, but they are still few in Lithuania, writes Jurate Anilionyte for LRT.
A significant number of universities in the United Kingdom are still taking millions of pounds in cash as payment for tuition fees and accommodation, making them vulnerable to criminal gangs and money laundering, according to a study, writes Sally Weale for The Guardian.
A new freedom-of-speech champion for United Kingdom universities has promised to be impartial and non-political as he takes up his new role, writes Pat Hurst for the Independent.
University staff in the United Kingdom say they will strike during freshers’ week unless employers agree to discuss their demands over pay and working conditions, writes Mabel Banfield-Nwachi for The Guardian.
The Classic Learning Test (CLT) is the United States college admissions exam that most students have never heard of. An alternative to the SAT and ACT for only a small number of mostly religious colleges, the test is known for its emphasis on the Western canon, with a big dose of Christian thought. But on Friday 8 September, Florida’s public university system is expected to become the first state system to approve the CLT for use in admissions, writes Dana Goldstein for The New York Times.
The University of Rwanda (UR) is now part of the Australia-Africa Universities Network (AAUN), a network of leading universities in Australia and Africa connecting researchers and academics under institutional partnerships, writes Alice Kagina for The New Times.
Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko announced on Monday 4 September that universities across Russia have admitted 8,500 veterans of the war in Ukraine and their children this academic year, reports The Moscow Times.
Nigeria’s state security services on Monday 4 September asked university vice-chancellors and heads of tertiary education institutions to discourage their students from engaging in acts that can cause unrest, as the country faces widespread strike action over the cost of living, writes Camillus Eboh for Reuters.
Universities in New South Wales, Australia, will release more than 12,000 early first-round offers to Higher School Certificate (HSC) students this week after a crackdown on admissions stopped institutions handing out places before trial exams, writes Lucy Carroll for The Sydney Morning Herald.
The South African government is still firmly committed to increasing spending on research and development (R&D) to 1.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), despite a decline in R&D spend as a proportion of GDP stretching back to 2018, writes William Brederode for News24.
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has issued a directive banning universities from independently engaging in contracts with international non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The announcement came to light through reports on Friday 1 September, writes Asma Sajid for ProPakistani.
Over 500 Israeli academics working at universities around the world signed a petition on Sunday 3 September backing protests against the government’s plans to overhaul the judiciary, warning that the upheaval around the issue will sap Israel of its brain power unless the legislation is halted, reports The Times of Israel.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has appointed Professor Berhanu Nega, minister of education, as the chancellor of Addis Ababa University (AAU), reports Borkena.
For the first time ever, more than half of Japan’s private universities were unable to fill their enrolment quotas for the school year that began in April, reports The Asahi Shimbun.
Some universities in New Zealand are reluctant to set deadlines for ensuring Maori and Pacific students are as successful as other groups of students, writes John Gerritsen for RNZ.
The National Taiwan University’s (NTU) student association said this week the university’s Student Counselling Committee has passed a proposal for mental health leave that allows students to take leave when they are feeling mentally unwell, for up to three days per semester, reports Taipei Times and CNA.
Several Ontario universities are removing course location and other information from their public websites as a safety measure, as faculty representatives look to be more involved in efforts to prevent harassment and hate crimes on campus, writes Nairah Ahmed for The Canadian Press.
The head of a European university group has defended cross-border research collaboration, as politicians in the European Union and United States seek to weaken socio-economic ties with nations they perceive to have hostile potential, writes Andrew Silver for Research Professional News.
In the midst of an ongoing debate over the expulsion of university professors, student unions across Iran have voiced their protest against gender segregation in classrooms, reports Iran International.
There’s a new player in Horizon Europe: the universities of applied sciences, a broad term for second-tier higher education institutes such as polytechnics, regional colleges and institutes of technology that were set up as teaching-only bodies but which over time have moved into research, writes Goda Naujokaityt for Science|Business.
Local newspaper Volkskrant reports that the number of Dutch Studies students in the Netherlands has halved in the past decade. But in Eastern European universities, the Dutch language is an increasingly popular study choice, reports NL Times.
A private equity fund with a strong presence in the international higher education sector and a Spanish university are reportedly in the frame of those interested in investing in private Greek higher education, writes Apostolos Lakasas for Kathimerini.
Egypt has launched a major new initiative with scholarships and residency rights to attract more international students to the country’s universities as part of transforming Egypt’s higher education institutions into fourth-generation schools, writes Aya Salah for Ahram Online.
A higher education textbook on Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era has been published and is now available nationwide, reports Xinhua.
After putting a hold on admitting new students, Toronto Metropolitan University Cairo reportedly has offered the 39 students enrolled the opportunity to complete their studies in Toronto, Canada, writes Mohammad El Hawary for Al-Fanar Media.
Attempts by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to spread his populist philosophy across Europe have reached the United Kingdom, with an outpost of a heavily Orbán-influenced educational institute planned for London, along with significant sponsorship for groups linked to right-wing Conservatives, write Flora Garamvolgyi and Peter Walker for The Guardian.
Tens of thousands of students in the Republic of Ireland have received their Leaving Certificate results. The qualification is similar to A Levels in the United Kingdom. But unlike in the UK, measures for minimising COVID-19 disruption to students have continued this year and marks were artificially boosted by nearly 8%, reports the BBC News.
Researchers in Nicaragua say the government’s takeover of a prominent private university has dealt another serious blow to academic freedom and scientific autonomy in the country, writes Kata Karáth for Science.
Two months after the United States Supreme Court dealt a blow to race-based affirmative action in higher education, Brazil reaffirmed and extended its own system, writes Naiara Galarraga Gortázar for El País.
The United States government has extended for six months a key symbolic agreement to cooperate with China in science and technology. The agreement was due to expire on 27 August, and its short-term extension has revived researchers’ hopes that the 44-year-old pact will continue, writes Natasha Gilbert and Gemma Conroy for Nature.
Over 500 days since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, universities up and down the country joined Ukrainians across the world in celebrating its 32nd Independence Day – which marks Ukraine’s Declaration of Independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 – on 24 August, writes Rachel Magee for Research Professional News.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Nigeria has urged the new administration of President Bola Tinubu to without further delay ensure payment of the eight months’ withheld salaries of the lecturers on the account of “the 2022 patriotic strike action triggered by government’s failure” to honour agreements reached with the union, writes Clement Idoko for the Nigerian Tribune.
Quebec university administrators, professors and students are rejecting an idea by the federal housing minister that Canada could cap the number of international study permits it issues as a way to ease the country’s housing shortage, writes Jacob Serebrin for The Canadian Press.
The National Universities Commission (NUC) of Nigeria says the implementation of the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) will begin by September 2023, reports the Daily Nigerian.
The initial investigation into the death of a first-year student of India’s Jadavpur University on 9 August has revealed that the victim was paraded naked in the corridor of the second floor of a hostel minutes before he fell from there and died. While sharing the details of the preliminary probe, Kolkata Police said that the teen was “sexually molested”, news agency PTI reported.
A comprehensive new plan aimed at helping students across Chile look after their mental health has been lauded by the country’s undersecretary for higher education, writes Sophie Hogan for The PIE News.
Universities in Ireland have been called on to start trialling new ways to collaborate internationally in a bid to reduce the sector’s emissions from international air travel, writes Jess Casey for the Irish Examiner.
South Africa’s University of KwaZulu-Natal will not hesitate to take action against anyone involved in acts of violence, intimidation and the destruction of property, the institution said on Tuesday 22 August. The warning comes after the William O’Brien examination venue in Pietermaritzburg was set alight and completely gutted at around 10pm on Monday night, writes Lethiwe Makhanya for The Witness.
The University of Sydney’s reputation has been tarnished by its partnership with Australia’s biggest sports gambling companies, according to multiple federal MPs who want hundreds of thousands of dollars to be immediately returned to bookmakers, writes Henry Belot for The Guardian.
On 27 March the Taliban arrested and jailed Afghan education activist Matiullah Wesa. The cofounder of a non-profit group dedicated to promoting education in rural parts of Afghanistan, he had been speaking out to demand that the Taliban reverse their decisions in 2022 to close high schools for girls and ban girls from university, writes Ruchi Kumar for NPR.
An emergency student accommodation fund, a cut in fees and increases in grants are all being considered ahead of the Budget in Ireland, writes Elaine Loughlin for the Irish Examiner.
Yalda Azamee blinked back tears as she stared down at the American consular officer. “He did not even give me a chance to explain myself; he rejected me right away. He didn’t even look at my documents,” she said, rushing out of the United States embassy building on to the streets of Islamabad to cry. It was the second time her application for a US student visa had been rejected, writes Ava Sasani for The Guardian.
The BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are planning to launch a new university ranking system, reports The Economic Times. The decision, made by BRICS education ministers gathered in Mpumalanga, South Africa, follows concerns raised about the current rankings, which have faced criticism for their failure to encompass impartial data.
The University of Liberia has revealed a plan to introduce a bachelor degree programme in Chinese language and culture, writes Lincoln G Peters for The New Dawn.
Failure to merge two of South Australia’s biggest universities could cost the new entity AUD250 million (US$160 million), one of the institutions has warned — but students say questions remain unanswered about job losses and the impact on education, write Stephanie Richards, Josephine Lim and Bernadette Clarke for ABC News.
The University and College Union (UCU) in the United Kingdom has said university strikes are set to continue in September after negotiations with employers broke down, writes Nathan Standley for BBC News.
Tuition fees make up most of Vietnamese universities’ total income, a stark contrast from other universities in the world, where state budgets play the largest role, reports Duong Tam for VNExpress.
The Kenyan government has put university bosses on notice for defying set guidelines and fees regulations under the new funding formula, writes Lewis Nyaundi for The Standard.
All levels of government need to collaborate to get more housing built in Ontario, but that work also needs to include the post-secondary education sector, says a report published on Thursday 17 August by a University of Ottawa-based think tank, writes Allison Jones for The Canadian Press.
South African Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has given the board of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) until 30 August to tell him how they plan “to correct all the challenges” around the direct payment system of allowances to beneficiaries, writes Prega Govender for Business Live.
The Council of Rectors is slated to discuss next month under what conditions and exceptions universities in Estonia could be given the opportunity to charge for higher education in Estonian-language degree programmes – in cases where a student wants to earn their second or further bachelor, masters or doctoral degree, writes Jane Saluorg for ERR.
The University of Chicago became the first of 17 elite colleges, including the University of Pennsylvania, to settle a case that accused the schools of illegally conspiring to fix financial aid packages offered to students, keeping down the amounts offered and limiting competition, writes Susan Snyder for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Online Turkish newspaper Diken has reported that the Turkish Higher Education Council (YÖK) has instructed private universities not to extend contracts with academics who voice dissenting opinions in the media, reports MedyaNews.
Construction workers at Michigan State University hit something hard earlier this summer while installing hammock poles into the ground outside a residence hall. A closer inspection then revealed it was the foundation of a 140-year-old observatory that was demolished in the 1920s and – over the course of a century – became buried underground, writes Lauren Aratani for The Guardian.
Several faculties at the University of Khartoum have resumed student exams starting on Saturday 12 August, reports Dabanga. Higher education in war-torn Sudan is facing pressing challenges as some campuses have been plundered, and others reportedly being used by the army as military barracks.
Universities will have to take advice from an external working group on how to manage sexual violence on their campuses as rising tensions threaten to bring down the head of peak body Universities Australia, writes Julie Hare for the Financial Review.
Weeks after a scholarly paper he wrote about the 2019 election results set off a political firestorm, Sabyasachi Das, an assistant professor of economics at Ashoka University, has resigned from his position at the private university based in Sonepat, Haryana, reports The Wire. His resignation was confirmed to The Wire by at least two faculty members, but there has been no official statement from the university yet.
Members of Nicaraguan youth organisations in exile have denounced the repressive actions imposed by the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo against Managua’s Central American University (UCA). Many fear the current de facto restrictions are the prelude to a full confiscation of Central America’s first private centre of higher education, reports Havana Times.
Afghanistan’s universities are ready to readmit female students, but an education official said on Saturday 12 August the ruling Taliban’s leader has the ultimate say on when that might happen — if it happens at all, writes Riazat Butt for AP.
Hundreds of international students’ plans to start UK university courses this autumn have been derailed after testing organisation Pearson revoked some of its online English language exam results following cheating suspicions, writes Helen Packer for The PIE News.
Addis Ababa University (AAU), the first state university in Ethiopia, has received its academic and administrative autonomy which frees it from interference from the government and politicians, reports New Business Ethiopia.
Massey University is reportedly planning to build a “major face-to-face campus” in Singapore, despite recently asking hundreds of New Zealand staff to consider voluntary redundancy, writes Esther Taunton for Stuff.
A new twist on a traditional treatment for chronic constipation developed by scientists at a university in Hong Kong has become the first Chinese medicine botanical drug to win approval for clinical trials in the United States, writes Sammy Heung for the South China Morning Post.
More than 56,000 students have already applied for the first phase of the national competition for access to higher education, which ended on Monday 7 August, writes Iris Lavan for Portugal Pulse. According to data updated daily on the website of the Directorate-General for Higher Education, by the end of Sunday, the first phase of the competition already had 56,434 candidates. The figure is slightly lower than last year when 58,110 young people had applied with one day to go before the deadline.
Israel’s public broadcaster KAN reported that Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich ignored an appeal from National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi to release NIS200 million earmarked for east Jerusalem development because it included NIS2.5 million in funding for Arab students to participate in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Homesh preparatory course, writes Troy O Fritzhand for The Jerusalem Post.
A first-year student of Jadavpur University (JU) died early on Thursday 10 August from injuries suffered after a fall from the second-floor balcony of the university’s boys' hostel the previous night, barely two days after moving in on Monday at the start of the academic session, reports TNN.
The federal government will contribute AUD6.4 million (US$4.1 million) towards developing an Indigenous-led ‘world-class’ higher education institute in the remote Northern Territory, writes Samantha Dick forABC News.
Supporters of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan have protested outside the University of Hull against a visit by the judge who jailed him, reports BBC News. Humayun Dilawar flew to the UK after sentencing Khan last week to three years in prison for alleged corruption. The judge is attending a training course on human rights and the rule of law at the East Yorkshire university.
Some universities and vocational schools are slow in refunding tuition to visa-denied foreigners who can't study in Korea, with some refunds taking over a year, reports Korea JoongAng Daily. With many foreigners living abroad during their application process, many have no choice but to just wait until they get their money back.
Our Watch Chief Executive Patty Kinnersly will lead a working group examining on-campus safety and stopping sexual assault, writes Andrew Brown for The Canberra Times. The organisation is a national leader in the prevention of violence against women and their children. Education Minister Jason Clare said the group would begin its work next week.
Eight of the 13 Dutch universities are putting up the fees for new Ukrainian students in the coming academic year, broadcaster NOS said on Wednesday 9 August, reports Dutch
Peter Antwi Boasiako, the deputy director general of the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, has called on regulators to cut down on the number of students enrolled on less demand-driven and industry-led programmes at various universities, reports Ghana Business News.
South Africa’s main universities body has warned that new financial aid rules for students, which sparked protests around the country, are causing instability in the sector and pose a threat to university finances, writes Munyaradzi Makoni for Research Professional News.
The Cabinet Office plans to survey domestic universities and research institutes to discern whether they have taken measures to prevent the overseas outflow of advanced technology, according to sources, reports The Yomiuri Shimbun.
A professor who was accused of research misconduct has sued Harvard University and the authors of a blog who made the allegations, writes Susan Svrluga for The Washington Post.