A new directive from China’s Ministry of Education calls for stepping up “patriotic education” efforts – including for students studying at universities abroad, The New York Timesreported.
“Assemble the broad numbers of students abroad as a positive patriotic energy,” says the directive, which was publicized by the state news outlet Xinhua on Tuesday. “Build a multidimensional contact network linking home and abroad -- the motherland, embassies and consulates, overseas student groups, and the broad number of students abroad -- so that they fully feel that the motherland cares.”
Dortmund Technical University, in Germany, has closed its prayer room after disputes over the actions of Muslim students in the room, the Associated Press reported. Some Muslim students required Muslim women in the room to wear veils and to be seated separately from men during services. Such practices violate university rules on gender equity.
The University of Copenhagen announced that it is cutting more than 500 teaching, research, service and administrative jobs -- 7 percent of its total staff -- in response to government cuts to its budget. The university also said it would be reducing its Ph.D. student intake by 10 percent and is evaluating the financial viability of some of its medical science and small language programs.
Copenhagen announced last month that it would halt the intake of new students in 13 small language and area studies programs -- including Eskimology, Finnish and Turkish -- and close some of them (which ones to be determined) for good.
A senior Egyptian prosecutor said the body of a University of Cambridge student who disappeared in Cairo has been found with signs of torture, the BBC reported. Giulio Regeni, 28, was a Ph.D. student in the politics and international studies department at Cambridge and a visiting scholar at the American University in Cairo. His research was on trade unions and labor rights, a sensitive subject in Egypt.
Regeni, an Italian national, was last seen on the night of Jan. 25, when he left home to meet a friend in central Cairo. His body was found beside a road on Wednesday. The cause of death has not yet been determined; his body had bruises, knife wounds and cigarette burns.
The Saudi government approved more restrictive eligibility rules for its foreign university scholarship program on Monday, Reuters and the Saudi Gazette reported. Details of the new rules are vague, but they would appear to make the scholarship program more academically elite. The Saudi government is facing a budget deficit due to low oil prices and is looking for ways to reduce state spending.
Saudi Arabia's foreign university scholarship program, started in 2005, has led to big increases in the number of Saudi students at U.S. universities. Nearly 60,000 Saudi students were enrolled at American colleges in 2014-15, making Saudi Arabia the fourth-largest country of origin for international students in the U.S.
A new alliance between Arizona State University, King’s College London and the University of New South Wales will focus on cross-border research on issues related to health, social justice, sustainability and innovation. At a launch event in London next week, the universities plan to announce the inaugural group of more than 60 “PLuS Alliance” fellows, who will come from across the three institutions and who will receive stipends to cover travel and other costs. A pool of money will be available for research projects. The universities plan to announce the first joint research initiatives, on sustainability, at next week’s event.
The College of William & Mary announced that one of its students "apparently" contracted the Zika virus while traveling in Central America during winter break. According to the university’s announcement, the student is expected to recover fully and there is no known health risk for others on campus.
The World Health Organization on Monday declared a public health emergency related to the spread of the Zika virus. Though the mosquito-borne virus usually causes mild symptoms, public health officials are concerned about a suspected causal link between infection during pregnancy and microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads.