U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on Wednesday stayed a federal appeals court's order requiring Boston College researchers to turn over oral history transcripts to the British government, citing the scholars' planned appeal to the high court, The Boston Globe reported. Ruling in July in a case involving research into the violence in Northern Ireland during the period known as the "Troubles," the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit concluded that concerns about confidentiality, academic freedom and scholarly research could not trump government's interest in investigating crime.
The chair of Britain's Association of Business Schools has criticized that government's spending focus on science and technology disciplines over all others, Times Higher Education reported. Angus Laing, the chair, and also the dean of business and economics at Loughborough University, said that STEM disciplines had achieved "totemic status" in government, but that other fields needed support as well. "While these STEM disciplines are necessary conditions for innovation, for a flourishing knowledge based economy, they are far from sufficient," he said at the association's annual meeting.
"Britain has a fine and proud research tradition in STEM. We unquestionably punch above our weight. Yet in commercializing innovations, in business development, in building global-scale industry leaders and brands, we lag behind our international rivals," Laing added. Business schools should be seen not as "institutional cash generators" but as "innovation generators for society," he said.
Germany's education minister, Annette Schavan, is under scrutiny following an investigation by the University of Düsseldorf that suggested she plagiarized her Ph.D. dissertation, Spiegel Online reported. "Not only because of a pattern recurring throughout the work, but also because of specific features found in a significant plurality of sections (in the work), it can be stated that there was a clear intention to deceive," said a report on the investigation.
A significant number of passages in Schavan's dissertation "show the characteristics of a plagiaristic approach," the report added. Schavan, who until now has not commented specifically on the charges, told Südwest Presse: "It is rather striking that a confidential report written by a university professor is given to the press before the person concerned even knows of its existence. I completely reject the charges."
Mexican authorities on Monday raided three teachers colleges in the state of Michoacan, where students have been hijacking buses and trucks to protest changes in the curriculum, the Associated Press reported. In clashes Monday, 176 protesters -- who have been trying to take over the campuses -- were detained, and 10 police offers were injured.
The Australian Human Rights Commission has issued principles to protect the rights of international students enrolled in Australia. The principles are intended as a guide for universities, government entities and others on which the students rely for fair treatment. The four principles call for "enhancing the human rights of international students," "ensuring all international students have access to human rights and freedom from discrimination protections," "understanding the diverse needs of international students" and "empowering international students during their stay in Australia." For each principle, a series of concrete measures are outlined. For instance, enhancing the human rights of international students is defined as including access to health care while in Australia, affordable places to live, access to safe public transportation and more.
A small group of women in China are protesting discriminatory admissions policies by shaving their heads, ABC News reported. The women are protesting policies under which some universities are admitting men with lower scores on the national admissions test than the minimum required for women at their institutions.