international

University Reconsiders Cancellation of 'Charlie Hebdo' Conference

Queen’s University Belfast is reconsidering its decision to cancel a conference about the murders at Charlie Hebdo, The Guardian reported. Patrick Johnston, the university’s vice chancellor, said in a statement that the university has commissioned a risk assessment for the conference that will inform any decision about it. “Queen’s is, and will remain, a place where difficult issues can be discussed,” Johnston said.

Conference organizers said last week that the event was canceled due to Johnston's concerns about security risks and the reputation of Queen’s, while the university said that the conference was canceled because organizers had not completed a risk assessment (a claim that some academics at Queen’s have contested). 

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Students Criticize New Logo at U of Warwick

Students at the University of Warwick, in Britain, are criticizing a new logo, saying it doesn't reflect the university and was a waste of money to create. A petition raises concerns that "University of" will be dropped, and states that students have reacted with "visible shock and displeasure" when shown the logo. Times Higher Education reported that the university is standing behind the logo and that officials said students were consulted while it was being developed.

 

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Bill Clinton Leaves Laureate Position

Bill Clinton is stepping down as honorary chancellor of Laureate International Universities, announced Laureate Education Inc., a for-profit that is among the world's largest higher education providers. Clinton concludes a five-year contract with the company.

His wife, Hillary, this month announced her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. As a result, scrutiny of the Clintons' many connections and roles has notched up in recent weeks.

Ernesto Zedillo, the former president of Mexico, will assume a similar position with Laureate. Zedillo will be a presidential counselor with Laureate International Universities, which enrolls nearly one million students, with a heavy focus on Latin America. He will advise the company and its 80 institutions on academic innovation and private and public sector collaboration.

"Laureate students represent the next generation of leadership. I have seen a commitment to quality and leadership throughout the Laureate network, and I have enjoyed being a part of it," Clinton said in a written statement. "President Zedillo will be a remarkable ambassador. I am sure he will have a positive impact on the organization and, most important, on its current and future students.”

European commission leader plans to push international and gender diversity to promote research

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European Union's new research commissioner tries to sell his agenda.

Treasury Dept. Paves Way for U.S. Publication of Syrian Books

Publishing groups are praising a recent move by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to amend Syrian sanctions regulations to authorize U.S. citizens to engage in transactions related to the publishing and marketing of Syrian manuscripts, books, journals and newspapers. 

The Association of American University Presses, the Association of American Publishers's Professional/Scholarly Publishers division and the PEN American Center issued a statement on Wednesday commending the amendment as “a step in the right direction” while noting concerns about exceptions for government-related publications. The groups, which wrote a joint letter to OFAC in January seeking revision of the trade regulations, have in the past fought successfully for similar changes to the Cuba, Iran and Sudan sanctions.

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Conference on 'Charlie Hebdo' Murders Canceled

A conference at Queen’s University Belfast on the January murders at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has been canceled, Times Higher Education reported. Organizers of the conference said the university’s vice chancellor opposed the planned symposium due to concerns about security risks and the university’s reputation; Queen’s declined to comment on the matter. 

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U of Hong Kong Backtracks on Required Study in China

The University of Hong Kong will not require its undergraduate students to visit mainland China, an administrator there said Monday amid blowback from students concerned about China's growing influence on the former British colony, The New York Times reported. A senior official at the university described as "clumsy" his remarks to students last week that "if students do not wish to go to China, they should not come to Hong Kong U."  The Times quoted the president of the university's student union as saying that students should be free to choose where they study abroad, and that mainland China should not be required.

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In Protest Fallout, U of Amsterdam Board Chair Quits

Louise Gunning has resigned as chair of the University of Amsterdam management board amid criticism of her decision to send in riot police to break up a student sit-in, Dutch News reported. Students have questioned whether university leaders continue to consult with students and faculty members.

 

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U of Hong Kong Wants Students to Study on Mainland

The University of Hong Kong has announced plans to require all students to spend time studying in mainland China and also in another country, The South China Morning Post reported. Details of the requirement and any exemptions are still being worked out. Generally, there is strong support for the idea that students should study abroad. But some are concerned about the impact on students who for various reasons (such as past participation in protests) are unable to or do not want to study in mainland China.

 

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Investigation finds major gaps in protections for workers who built NYU's Abu Dhabi campus

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An investigative report found that about a third of the workers who constructed New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus were not covered under publicly articulated labor protections.

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