international

British minister for universities criticizes Ivy admissions

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Cabinet member in charge of higher education policy says wealthy donors "buy a place" for offspring at elite American institutions.

The fund raising drive for Syrian scholars and students continues

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A campaign to fund scholarships and fellowships for Syrian students and professors is well under way. The first grantees reflect on the situation they left behind and their hopes to help Syria rebuild.

Hungarian Students Protest Tuition Plan

Thousands of Hungarian students held rallies in Budapest last week to protest government plans to make most university students pay tuition, Reuters reported. Starting next year, the government plans to cut by two-thirds the number of students whose university education is subsidized by the government, forcing the others to pay tuition. Government officials say that they need to cut costs to deal with a national deficit, while students say that the government should be investing in the future leaders of the country.

 

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A MOOC for British Universities

Twelve British universities have created Futurelearn as a platform for MOOCs (massive open online courses) to be available free to anyone in the world, Times Higher Education reported. Courses will be offered by:

  • Cardiff University
  • King's College, University of London
  • Lancaster University
  • The Open University
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Southampton
  • University of St. Andrews
  • University of Warwick

Study finds scientific benefits from labs that are internationally diverse

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Teams with foreign students from many parts of the world produce more papers and receive more citations, study finds.

Deaths of 4 Students Lead to Protests in Sudan

Sudan is seeing major student protests this week in the wake of the deaths of four students at Gezira University who participated in a protest over tuition rates, AFP reported. Protest organizers said that the four students were among participants in a peaceful protest that was disrupted by a pro-government student group. University officials said that the students drowned.

 

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Life and Death of St. John's U. Administrator

Cecilia Chang, who killed herself last month while on trial on multiple charges, had been a prominent administrator at St. John's University, in New York. An article in The New York Times examines her record in helping to bring millions of dollars of grants to the university, and also the charges she faced of fraud, embezzlement and of forcing international students to do personal work for her. The article also provides details about her grisly suicide.

 

Yale-NUS Faculty Respond to AAUP

Faculty at Yale-NUS College say they weren’t consulted on the American Association of University Professors’ recent open letter raising concerns about academic freedom at the Singapore-based institution. A response signed by 25 members of the Yale-NUS faculty states that no members of the AAUP consulted with them "about any of our own assessments of, concerns about, and active efforts to promote and secure (i) academic freedom; (ii) the rights of faculty, staff, and students; and (iii) shared faculty governance at Yale-NUS College." The letter invites the AAUP to consult with Yale-NUS faculty in the future. 

Yale University’s joint campus with the National University of Singapore has been a source of controversy in New Haven; in April, Yale College faculty approved a resolution expressing concern about Singapore's historical lack of respect for civil and political rights, and urging Yale to promote principles of non-discrimination and uphold civil and political liberties on campus and in the society at large.

Jill Campbell, a Yale professor of English who helps maintain a Web site on Yale and Singapore, said that members of the AAUP had access to that site and its extensive archive of public statements and documents on Yale-NUS, as well as news articles and op-eds from critics and supporters of the campus. “Thus, the members of the AAUP Committee had access to all the statements about Yale-NUS policies and positions that members of the Yale community, alumni, or the general public have access to,” she said.  

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How China Monitors Student Groups

Chinese authorities closely monitor student organizations and use the power to deny recognition or interrogate members to send strong signals about topics or activities to avoid, The Los Angeles Times reported. Further, the oversight may become more intrusive. Xi Jinping, presumed to be China's future president, recently said that universities should increase "thought control" over students, adding that "university Communist Party organs must adopt firmer and stronger measures to maintain harmony and stability in universities."

 

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Profs in Ukraine Say They Are Being Urged to Grade Unfairly

Faculty members at several universities in Ukraine say that they are being urged by their bosses to give low grades to students, Kyiv Post reported. The professors say that they have been told that the government doesn't have enough money for all the student stipends that have been awarded, and that low grades will disqualify some recipients. The Education Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

 

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