international

Cambridge Drops Video With Controversial Historian

The University of Cambridge has dropped a fund-raising video because many objected to its inclusions of David Starkey, a noted historian of Tudor England whose comments on modern society have been criticized as racist by many, The Telegraph reported. An open letter to the university said that including Starkey made many other alumni uncomfortable about being featured in the video or contributing to the fund-raising campaign. Cambridge officials said that they always planned to take down the video, but did so early because of concerns they were hearing. Starkey told the Telegraph: “I was asked to contribute by the university, which I love, and to which I owe a profound debt. In due course, the university will decide what is right, proper and expedient. I shall be happy to accept that decision."

French Geography Professor Was Among Paris Victims

Matthieu Giroud (right), a geographer who was associate professor at Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée, was among those killed in Friday night's terrorist attacks in Paris. His research focused on the social effects of gentrification. More details on his life and career may be found here.

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In South Africa, push continues for free tuition and adequate support

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In South Africa the struggle for free tuition -- and fundamental university transformation -- continues after massive student protests.

Loyola U Maryland President Meets with Students in Paris

The president of Loyola University Maryland traveled to Paris to meet with study abroad students following Friday's terrorist attacks. The Reverend Brian Linnane, who is in London for a sabbatical this semester, is posting blog posts about his visit to Paris here.

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U of York Apologizes for Statement on 'Men's Day'

The University of York, in Britain, has apologized for a press release announcing that it would celebrate "International Men's Day" this week. Many critics said that the university's support for the day suggested a lack of awareness of the many inequities facing women in academe. The university's apology said that "the main focus of gender equality work should continue to be on the inequalities faced by women, and in particular the underrepresentation of women in the professoriate and senior management."

EdX MOOC courts questions about censorship and academic freedom

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Has edX become a platform for a Chinese propaganda course?

Chinese Professor Punished for "Radical Opinions"

The removal of Liang Xinsheng from his position as deputy head of the English department at Lingnan Normal University, in China, for allegedly publishing “radical opinions” on social media, has raised concerns of a further crackdown on free expression, the South China Morning Post reported. New Chinese Communist Party guidelines issued last month restrict members from challenging party policies and criticizing party leaders.

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Author discusses new book arguing that China's universities are rising while America's decline

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Author discusses new book arguing that China's universities are rising while America's are in decline.

Regulatory Help for Nepali Students Affected by Earthquake

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is suspending certain rules to allow Nepali students who are experiencing economic hardship due to the April 25 earthquake to request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours during the academic year and reduce their course load while maintaining their status on the F-1 student visa. The notice of the changes was published Monday in the Federal Register.

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Experiences of Indian Academics in Britain

A recently published study of Indian academics working at a research-intensive university in the United Kingdom challenges the “discourse of disadvantage” common in discussing the experiences of foreign academics. The study by Dulini Fernando, of the University of Warwick’s business school, and Laurie Cohen, of Nottingham University’s business school, is based on interviews with 32 early- to midcareer researchers in science and engineering fields. Fernando and Cohen found that the respondents’ single-minded focus on research and publishing over teaching, combined with their competitiveness, resilience, and work-centeredness enabled the international academics to advance in British universities.

The Indian academics in the sample also successfully leveraged their “ethnic capital” -- that is, “advantages pertaining from one’s ethnicity such as cultural knowledge and networks.” The academics were, for example, able to use their connections and cultural knowledge in India as an asset in collaborating with leading British researchers.

In short, the article highlights the unique advantages enjoyed by Indian academics, while also raising concerns about their relative (self-reported) weakness in teaching, which, the article notes, is becoming an increasingly important indicator in measuring faculty performance at British universities.

“Rather than considering international colleagues as deficient and in need of remedial support, our data reveal considerable strengths and unique advantages,” the article states. “Home academics might benefit from listening to some highly agentic international colleagues’ career accounts, in particular how they manage research alongside other work commitments, how they balance home and work and how they develop strategic research partnerships. Likewise international academics may be able to learn about citizenship and teaching from home colleagues.”

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