Iranian President Hassan Rohani is calling for more freedom for students and professors at his country's universities, Radio Liberty reported. In a speech at Tehran University, Rohani said that he thought it a "shame" that professors and students "are not able to express their viewpoints." Further, he said that government officials should stop blocking scholars from attending international academic conferences.
The Consortium of China 9 Research Universities has joined with three other international associations in releasing a statement of 10 characteristics of research universities, including -- notably within a Chinese context -- a commitment to academic freedom.
Specifically, one of the characteristics identified in the "Hefei Statement on the Ten Characteristics of Contemporary Research Universities" is "[t]he responsible exercise of academic freedom by faculty to produce and disseminate knowledge through research, teaching and service without undue constraint within a research culture based on open inquiry and the continued testing of current understanding, and which extends beyond the vocational or instrumental, sees beyond immediate needs and seeks to develop the understanding, skills and expertise necessary to fashion the future and help interpret our changing world."
Other characteristics identified in the statement include autonomy, a commitment to civil debate, and a dedication to research integrity.
The Association of American Universities, the Group of Eight Australia, and the League of European Research Universities joined with the leaders of nine elite Chinese research universities in sighing the statement at the C9 consortium's meeting in Hefei, China.
A new report from the British Council forecasting the growth in international students finds that over the next decade growth in higher education enrollments will slow from about 5.0 to 1.4 percent per year. India, Indonesia, Brazil, Nigeria and China will dominate that growth. Students from China and India will continue to make up more than a third of all outwardly mobile students, while Germany, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Turkey will also send significant numbers of students overseas. The United States and the United Kingdom will retain their positions as leading destinations for international students through 2024.
Egyptian authorities have released two Canadian professors who have been held for seven weeks, reportedly in terrible conditions, The Globe and Mail reported. The professors were arrested (for reasons that have been unclear) during an anti-government protest. The professors are John Greyson, an associate professor of film at York University, and Tarek Loubani, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Western Ontario. They were planning to travel to Gaza, where Greyson was to explore the possibility of making a documentary and Loubani was involved in a program to train local doctors.
Many students at Kaposvar University, in Hungary, wore only underwear to class Thursday to protest a new dress code at the institution, AFP reported. The rector recently announced that male students would be required to wear dark suits and shoes, while women would be required to wear a jacket, blouse and trousers or long skirts. Students are planning another protest at which they will wear only flip-flops and beach towels.