China's leading universities are dropping English as one of the required subjects on the required admissions examinations, Xinhua reported. At most universities, English is being dropped as a requirement for the test taken by prospective science and engineering majors (who will be tested in math and physics) and for art students (who will be tested in Chinese and math). Yu Han, an enrollment officer at Tsinghua University, told Xinhua that English was eliminated in order to attract more students with exceptional talent in the subjects they plan to study.
New Hampshire's Higher Education Commission extended its approval of the troubled St. John International University, in Italy, until June 30, at its meeting last week. This is the second such short-term extension the commission has granted, as members requested that the for-profit institution present additional information on enrollment and financial data at their May meeting.
A site visit team described the financial fragility of the institution and high turnover of senior staff. It issued 15 recommendations, including the hiring of a president and provost with American higher education experience.
The team's report also notes that several members of St. John’s board -- which mostly consists of prominent New Hampshire residents – have not visited the campus. The institution has fielded multiple lawsuits from former employees for breach of contract or unpaid wages.
Three students at Senegal's largest university, the University of Cheikh Anta Diop, set themselves on fire Friday, as protests escalated over the way credits are counted in the geography department, the Associated Press reported. The students survived because friends threw sand on them to put out the fires. The changes in the credit rules have the effect, the students said, of forcing them to spend another year at the university, instead of graduating. Other students are on a hunger strike over the issue.
The University of Tokyo is planning to replace its admissions exam within five years, The Japan Times reported. In its place a new system will be created, based in large part on interviews and on recommendations from the high schools of applicants.
The cost of tuition and living for international students in Australia has increased 166 percent since 2002, The Australianreported. An analysis by the Boston Consulting Group estimates total annual costs for the average international student in Australia as being $44,000, compared to $37,000 for international students in the U.S. and $30,000 for those studying in England. The article cites exchange rates as one critical factor in the increase.
More than 100 protesters marched to the Higher Education Ministry in Sri Lanka on Tuesday calling for an increase in the number of public universities, Xinhua reported. The news service reported that more than 144,000 students pass the university entrance each year, but there are only spots for 22,000.
University College London is investigating reports that an event organized by the Islamic Education and Research Academy segregated the audience by gender, The Guardian reported. Students reported being told that women had to sit in the back, while spaces were provided up front for men, or for male-female couples.
Female students in Liberia face widespread harassment, including the expectation that they will have sex with instructors or risk being failed, The Guardian reported. Women report that the power of male instructors is so strong that they can force women to retake courses if they refuse to have sex with their professors.