international

Magna Carta Exhibit Moved From Chinese University

A traveling exhibit featuring an original copy of Magna Carta has been abruptly relocated from a Chinese university museum to the British ambassador’s residence, The New York Times reported. The document was originally supposed to be exhibited at Renmin University, in Beijing. The Times said it was not clear why the exhibit was moved, but noted the importance of the document in the development of Western-style constitutional democracy, which is seen by Chinese Communist Party leaders as a threat to their rule.

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U of British Columbia finds the university failed to protect a professor's academic freedom

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Board chair of U of British Columbia resigns as the university releases an investigative report into "a cascading series of events" triggered by his phone call to a faculty member.

Arab Enrollments Increase at Israeli Universities

Israeli universities are seeing gains in Arab enrollments, Haaretz reported. This academic year, 14.4 percent of bachelor’s degree students in Israel will be Arabs, up from 9.8 percent in 1999-2000. During the same time period, the percentage of master's students who are Arab increased from 3.6 percent to 10.5 percent this year. Among Ph.D. students, the increase was from 2.8 percent to 5.9 percent. Also during the same time period, the percentage of Arab students who are women increased from 61.7 percent to 67.2 percent.

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The Questions Asked of Oxford Applicants

The University of Oxford has released a list of sample interview questions prospective students could face in advance of the Oct. 15 application deadline, Times Higher Education reported. Oxford’s director of admissions and outreach, Samina Khan, said the university released the sample questions to dispel “myths” surrounding the interview process: “We want to underscore that every question asked by our tutors has a purpose, and that purpose is to assess how students think about their subject and respond to new information or unfamiliar ideas,” Khan said.

The Times Higher Education article includes explanations from Oxford professors of the reasoning behind the sample questions. The questions include: “Why is income per head between 50 and 100 times larger in the United States than in countries such as Burundi and Malawi?” (for philosophy, politics and economics applicants), “Do bankers deserve the pay they receive? And should government do something to limit how much they get?” (for economics and management applicants), “Why is sugar in your urine a good indicator that you might have diabetes?” (for biomedical sciences applicants), “Place a 30-centimeter ruler on top of one finger from each hand. What happens when you bring your fingers together?” (for engineering applicants), and “Can archaeology ‘prove’ or ‘disprove’ the Bible?” (for Oriental studies applicants).

Immigrants Are Greater Share of Science Workforce

Immigrants to the United States are making up a larger share than in the past of the science and engineering workforce, according to a new report from the National Science Foundation. Among the data points in the study:

  • From 2003 to 2013, the number of scientists and engineers residing in the U.S. rose from 21.6 million to 29 million. A key subset of that increase was a rise in the number of immigrant scientists and engineers, which went from 3.4 million to 5.2 million.
  • Immigrants went from making up 16 percent of the science and engineering workforce to 18 percent.
  • The number of immigrant scientists from India increased 85 percent from 2003 to 2013. Other countries of origin and their increases include: the Philippines at 53 percent and China (including Hong Kong and Macau) at 34 percent.
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Cairo U Bans Faculty From Wearing Face Veils in Class

Cairo University is banning faculty from wearing the niqab, a veil worn by some Muslim women that covers the face, in classrooms, Ahram Online reported. The university’s president said the decision was made to "ease communication with students," but others have criticized the ban as discriminatory.

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At Generation Study Abroad summit, discussions focus on how to double U.S. study abroad participation

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At the Generation Study Abroad summit, a shared goal is to increase -- and diversify -- the pool of American students going overseas.

U of Hong Kong Council Rejects Candidate with Pro-Democracy Ties

In a case that’s been closely watched for its academic freedom implications, the University of Hong Kong’s governing council voted 12 to 8 to reject the appointment of Johannes Chan Man-mun to a pro vice chancellor post, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday. Chan, a former law dean, is widely perceived as being punished for his support for democracy and his close ties to Benny Tai Yiu-ting, a co-founder of the Occupy Central movement.

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4 North Seattle College Students Killed in Crash

Four international students at North Seattle College were killed on Thursday in a collision between a charter bus and an amphibious "Ride the Ducks" tour vehicle that left dozens of others injured, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. The college said the bus was carrying about 45 students and employees from its international programs office to a new student orientation event at the Seattle Mariners' stadium, Safeco Field.

The college said several students remained in critical condition on Thursday evening, and other students and an employee sustained serious injuries. The crash occurred on Seattle's Aurora Bridge.

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Student Questioned for Reading Terrorism Studies Textbook

Staffordshire University, in England, has apologized to a student who was questioned by a university official after he was seen reading a terrorism studies textbook in the library, The Guardian reported. Mohammed Umar Farooq, who was enrolled in the university’s terrorism, crime and global security master’s program, said he was asked his views on homosexuality, the Islamic State and Al Qaeda. Farooq said he was so unsettled by the incident that he chose not to continue his program.

Staffordshire’s apology to Farooq came after a three-month investigation. The university said it was responding to a “very broad duty … to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.” A new law imposing a duty on universities to counter extremist ideology went into effect in the United Kingdom this week.

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