The University of Papua New Guinea has ended the academic year early as a result of student protests that have led to violence, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported. The chancellor, Nicholas Mann, cited an atmosphere of “mob rule, intimidation, harassment and violence” in explaining the decision to end the academic year more than a semester early. Students began boycotting classes in early May to protest the prime minister's handling of corruption allegations. Police fired on and wounded student protestors in a widely reported incident June 8.
Italian police have charged a homeless man with aggravated murder in connection with the death of a University of Wisconsin-Madison student, NBC News reported. Beau Solomon, a sophomore personal finance major, was last seen at a pub around 1 a.m. on Friday, just hours after his arrival in Rome for a summer program at John Cabot University. His body was found in the Tiber River on Monday. Thousands of dollars had reportedly been charged to his credit card.
Recent events at the University of Northern Iowa may illustrate the impact of changes in the Saudi government's rules on eligibility for a generous scholarship program that has boosted enrollment of students from Saudi Arabia at many American colleges and universities. The rules generally make it more difficult to win scholarships to programs or colleges that are not near the top of the rankings. Many have wondered what the impact would be on colleges that have welcomed Saudi scholarship students but who may not be eligible for the scholarships going forward.
The Des Moines Register reported that as of May, the University of Northern Iowa had received four applications from Saudi Arabia. At the same point last year, the university had received 94 applications. Saudi students are the top group among the university's foreign students, and account for $3.5 million in tuition revenue.
An economics scholar at the University of Cambridge attended a faculty meeting naked last week in protest of the British vote to leave the European Union, theIndependent and the Telegraph reported. Victoria Bateman, a lecturer and fellow in economics, had the words “Brexit leaves Britain naked” written on her stomach and breasts. She reportedly sat through the two-hour economics faculty meeting without colleagues mentioning her nudity.
Bateman did not immediately return an Inside Higher Ed message seeking comment on Monday.
Citizens of European Union countries who are currently enrolled in U.K. universities and those planning on entering in the fall will receive the loans and grants for which they are eligible for the duration of their courses of study, the Student Loans Company announced Monday. Last week’s vote in favor of Britain exiting the European Union has raised uncertainties about the status of current and future E.U. students, who currently pay domestic student tuition rates and are eligible for the same student loans as British students.
The American Anthropological Association has issued a statement censuring the Israeli government for what it describes as “policies and practices that threaten academic freedom and the human rights of Palestinian and Israeli scholars.”
Specifically, the association is seeking changes to Israeli policies that it says result in the following: "restricted freedom of movement for Palestinian academics and foreign academics going to the West Bank and Gaza," "restricted access to publications among libraries at West Bank and Gaza universities," "disparities in internet access that restrict academic pursuits at West Bank and Gaza universities," "unjust denial of full accreditation for Al-Quds University" (a Palestinian institution in the West Bank), "unjust denial of freedom of expression to Palestinian and dissenting Jewish faculty and students at Israeli universities," "unjust denial of freedom to Palestinian students for gathering and action," and "undue delays of salary payments to West Bank and Gaza university faculty."
Academic leaders, scholarly societies and student groups sent out a flurry of statements on Friday reacting to the British vote to exit the European Union, which many in higher education oppose and worry could harm research and inhibit the movement of students and scholars to and from the U.K.
Statements from the British Academy, which represents scholars in the humanities and the social sciences, and the Royal Society, which represents scientists, stressed the importance of mobility and the need to maintain financial support for research, which benefits from E.U. funding sources.
In various statements, U.K. university leaders -- about 100 of whom had signed an open letter prior to the vote opposing a leaving the E.U. -- affirmed their institutions' international outlooks and sought to assure current European students and staff that they are welcome and wanted. They also stressed that major changes are not expected to happen overnight: the process of Britain negotiating the terms of a withdrawal from the E.U. is expected to take at least two years.
In one such statement, Michael Arthur, the president and provost of University College London, wrote, “This morning, I have reassured UCL staff and students that, barring unilateral action from the U.K. government, the vote to leave the European Union does not mean there will be any immediate material change to the immigration status of current and prospective E.U. students and staff, nor to the U.K. university sector’s participation in E.U. programs such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+," programs for research funding and student exchange, respectively.
The National Union of Students expressed disappointment in the vote outcome. Pre-election polling from YouGov showed that young people overwhelmingly supported Britain remaining in the E.U. -- among 18- to 29-year-olds, 73 percent supported remaining in the union -- and in the university towns of Cambridge and Oxford, more than 70 percent of voters favored remaining, according to local election results reported by the BBC.
“This is clearly not the result that many young people wanted or voted for, but most important now is to ensure that students and young people are involved in the decisions that have to be made that will shape their future,” Megan Dunn, the national president of the student union, said. “We have urgent questions about how the vote to leave will affect students, particularly E.U. students in the U.K. and U.K. students studying in the E.U., and call on the government to offer clear assurances to them about their situation.”