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 Timesreported. 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.
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.
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.
The former head of Herguan University, in California, has pleaded guilty to visa fraud and agreed to pay $700,000 and serve up to two years in prison, the San Jose Mercury Newsreported. Jerry Wang was indicted in 2012 on fraud charges that related to the for-profit university’s enrollment of foreign students who come to the U.S. on visas.
Herguan remains certified by the federal government to host international students, although officials at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Friday that they have moved to revoke the institution’s certification.
Kenya and Kenyan higher education, still reeling from the recent mass murder of Christian students at Garissa University College, suffered another tragedy Sunday. One student at the University of Nairobi died in a stampede and more than 100 were injured after an electrical explosion, Reuters reported. The students feared that their campus was being attacked by the same terror group that was responsible for that attack on Garissa, and so jumped out of windows and did anything they could to leave a dormitory.
Julia O’Sullivan, dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, is considering legal action against critics, many of them professors, who have been urging her removal, The Globe and Mail reported. Faculty members have criticized recent decisions on the budget and the elimination a bachelor's degree in education. O'Sullivan's lawyer said that she is being unfairly maligned for decisions made by her bosses. She “may be only a messenger and decisions have been made by the university and by government. The dean is charged with communicating those decisions. Public castigation at that level is offensive and could cause reputational damage,” said the lawyer.
James Ritchie, a male student, has resigned as women's officer of the student union at the University of Tasmania. Ritchie's recent election to that post set off a furor. He has said repeatedly that he is committed to fighting discrimination against women.
A petition calling for his removal states that support for women's equality isn't the only qualification for the position. "The role of women’s officer is more than just about ‘doing things’ for women students, it is also about representation. In what have historically been male-dominated institutions, with a persistently patriarchal culture, it is important that women’s rights, needs, interests and concerns in the university context are voiced through someone elected to directly represent them. In light of persisting social issues of gender inequality, discrimination and under-representation of women in positions of influence and power at university and beyond, we believe it is not much to ask that women students are ensured a dedicated student representative to not only represent their specific concerns as a student body, but also to simply carve out and ensure space for women in the Tasmanian University Union Student Representative Council," the petition says.
In his resignation statement, Ritchie criticized those who called for his ouster. "How can we as a society expect our men to stand up for women if they are mocked and insulted for trying to help the cause?" he wrote. "I challenge all those that have ridiculed me and asked me to resign, what are you going to do now? How are you going to ensure as a community we work to eradicate discrimination and injustice for women? This still takes place daily around the world. Surely a starting point cannot be hating those who are wanting to do good."