news archive   2015  
Monday, 21 December 2015 //

Smartwatches banned from exam halls

image: (c) ESNAINTERNATIONAL (div) -- Universities across the world ban smartwatches in a bid to stop students cheating in exams, it has been reported from Australia, Italy, England and Japan. Kyoto University was the target of an unprecedented cheating scandal in 2011 ... read more 11.12.15

Russia deports 13 Turkish university students

ISTANBUL (cihan) -- Turkey’s relations with Russia, which have been strained ever since the latter’s jet was downed by Turkey on Nov. 24, took another twist as thirteen Turkish college students inscribed at Voronezh State University were deported ... read more 10.12.2015

The money MOOCs make by 2020

image: MOOC HULHUPUNE (m&m) -- According to a report, the global market of Massive Open Online Courses will grow from $1.8 billion today to $8.5 billion by 2020. The biggest challenge for MOOC is the difficulty in adopting server-based resources or a secured IT infrastructure. Moreover, there is huge return on investment in the MOOC market as opportunities for augmented performance are always increasing ... read more 07.12.2015

Broken higher education in Ukraine

KIEV (uwn) -- Low-quality teaching, ineffective bureaucracy and systemic corruption at all levels, which often makes degrees worthless, are not the only reasons to avoid Ukraine as a study destination ... read more 11.12.2015

Syrian student resources, over the thumb

NEW YORK (wes) -- An estimated 450,000 refugees from the Middle East are 18 to 22 years old and around 100,000 of them are eligible to enter university. While their exodus has lasting negative implications for the region’s future, in Europe the “lost generation” of university students for Syria are considered as potential talent and “assets for Germany and other European countries in the short and particularly the longer term” ... read more 07.12.2015

Friday, 18 December 2015 //

Malta: It’s neither “American”, nor a “university”

image: AUM

VALLETTA (times of malta) -- The plan to build a private university in Zonqor, Malta, backed by a huge investment of the Jordanian Sadeen Group, had a hard time passing parliament. The property motion was approved after a long night of debates about ecological issues and the institution’s name and status “university” ... read more | here | and here 15.12.2015

Spanish left promises to revise university law

image: PODEMOSMURCIA (la verdad) -- Javier Sánchez is the candidate of Podemos for the southwestern Spanish region Murcia. He said, if his party wins the elections, they will abolish the controversial law of former education minister Ignacio José Wert because it has “impaired equal opportunities” ... read more 15.12.2015

German researchers pledge help for refugees

BERLIN (nature) -- Many of the incoming people are well-qualified and motivated — a boon for the German economy. Germany’s main research-funding agency, the DFG, encouraged grant holders to consider hiring refugee scientists in their research ... read more | nature editorial 16.12.15

EU committee promotes the ‘entrepreneurial’ university

BRUSSELS (nether) -- The European Economic and Social Committee is pushing for more efforts to make universities more ‘entrepreneurial’ and ‘embedded in society’. The EESC, a 350-member consultative body of the EU, recommends managerial autonomy and a stronger involvement of businesses, social partners, civil society, regions and cities in the decision-making of higher education ... read more 9.12.2015

Thursday, 17 December 2015 //

EU youth get closer to intellectual property

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ALICANTE (pau) -- The EU’s intellectual property agency carried out a study about how EU citizens perceive intellectual property. Eight out of ten 15-24 year olds believe that buying counterfeit products has a negative economic effect, and two thirds agree that illegal downloading is a threat to the economy and jobs. However, 57 percent think illegally accessing copyright-protected content for personal use is acceptable ... read more 18.11.2015

Wednesday, 16 December 2015 //

Slovak higher education struggles with nepotism

BRATISLAVA (denník) -- Universities are probably the sector with the highest incidence of family ties in Slovakia. This is due to a selection process that needs to be reformed urgently, policy expert Martin Grančay argues. He sees an unhealthy interaction of the academic senate’s role, short-term contracts and the lack of rules for academic titles ... read more 14.12.2015

Berlin: Court bans tabacco promotion for students

image: Fox Searchlight PicturesBERLIN (tsp) -- The quarrel over tabacco vans near universities is over. A court in Berlin prohibited the promotion for cigarettes closer than 200 meters around universities, schools and kindergardens. Health campaigners hope the decision will be adopted by other German states ... read more 15.12.2015

Swiss students disapprove of brain-doping

BASEL (idw) -- Using drugs for cognitive enhancement is unfair – say two thirds of students in Switzerland in a recent survey. However, the 22 percent who have tried such substances are less critical ... read more 11.12.2015

Bad English at Dutch universities

image: tongueTHE HAGUE (nltimes) -- According to a survey by the student union LSVb, 57 percent of students indicated that their lecturer’s English is substandard and that they would have gained more knowledge if the lecture was just given in Dutch ... read more 09.12.2015

Tuesday, 15 December 2015 //

Infographic: Apple & education

image: apple
Monday, 14 December 2015 //

Belarus integrates further into Bologna Process

image: ODBMINSK (eurobelarus) -- In a recent workshop in Minsk, the Roadmap of Belarus’ integration into the European higher education area was discussed. One major step to achieve this, Sijbolt Noorda, head of the Magna Charta Observatory, is setting up a quality assurance system and the inclusion of students in the decision-making on various levels ... read more | and here 13.12.2015

Rhine-Main universities establish strategic alliance

MAINZ (eurekalert) -- The three presidents of universities in Darmstadt, Mainz and Frankfurt have signed a cross-border framework agreement. As centers of scholarship and research, they intend to promote the development of the Rhine-Main region as an international knowledge hub ... read more 11.12.2015

Deep university budget cuts in Wales

image: ESNACARDIFF (wales online) -- The Welsh government has reduced the regions higher education budget by 41 million pounds or 32 percent within the next two years. There is every chance this could lead to more tuition fees and the possibility of mergers further down the line ... read more 12.12.2015

EU to remove copyright obstacle to data mining

BRUSSELS (uwn) -- The European Commission has proposed an exception in the EU copyright legislation in order to give researchers and innovators the explicit right to process data on a large scale ... read more 11.12.2015

Friday, 11 December 2015 //

Erdoğan vows support to universities in southeast

image: govANKARA (saily sabah) -- The heads of 24 universities met with President resident Recep Erdoğan and conveyed problems of their universities. It is urgent, they said, to attract more academics to the region, which suffered for decades from underdevelopment because of deteriorated security. The meeting also focused on the diversification in the universities’ missions and the role of universities in regional development ... read more 10.12.2015

Dutch universities and Elsevier reach deal

THE HAGUE (the) -- Dutch universities and the publishing house Elsevier have reached a deal over institutional subscriptions that will lead to more academics being able to publish their work on an open access basis. The new three-year agreement ... read more | see also 10.12.2015

Cyber attack on British universities

image: (c) ESNALONDON (gizmodo) -- University students across the UK have been unable to submit work, after the academic computer network known as Janet came under cyber-attack. With term coming to a close, students have reportedly missed their deadlines for work, as submission systems have been largely inaccessible. The Register reports that the attackers haven’t yet made a ransom demand ... read more 08.12.2015

Most of Syrians arriving in Greece are students

GENEVA (unhcr) -- Almost 800,000 refugees arrived on the Greek Islands near Turkey in 2015. The vast majority of those surveyed were under 35. The most frequently mentioned occupation was student, followed by merchants and craftsmen, engineers, architects and doctors. Overall, the profile is of a highly-skilled population on the move ... read more 08.12.2015

Wednesday, 9 December 2015 //

Employment trends make university brands

image: Global Employability University Ranking

LONDON (the) -- One in four international recruiters choose students from preferred institutions. This is one result of the Global Employability University Ranking that show a shift of employers’ focus away from academic qualifications and students’ nationality ... read more | and here 12.11.2015

The de-intellectualisation of Austria

VIENNA (standard) -- In an effort to redesign the Austrian higher education and research landscape, the science ministry plans a series of measures. One is to ‘divert’ students from universities into universities of applied sciences with a shorter, technophilic professional education ... read more 03.12.2015

Swiss universities renew Microsoft licences until 2019

image: ESNAZURICH (inside-it) -- Swiss universities have renewed their software licence contracts with Microsoft until 2019. Criticism that (more) open source software should be used in order to save public funds has faded. The agreements have been negotiated by the foundation under private law SWITCH ... read more | and here 02.12.2015

Who profits from internal German student migration

MÜNCHEN (aw) -- The destinations of university graduates are not necessarily the regions where the education took place. The city states Hamburg and Berlin and the industrial south of Germany profit most from the student migration ... read more 07.12.2015

UK students rise up against soaring housing rents

image: Society for Community Organisation/PublicisLONDON (guardian) -- Student accommodation now takes up 95 percent of the maximum amount of finance available to students in the United Kingdom, according to the student union NUS. Demands for cuts and compensation spread as protests in London call for 40 percent reduction in accommodation costs ... read more 06.12.2016

Monday, 7 December 2015 //

Tunisia joins Horizon 2020

image: ECBRUSSELS (enpi) -- Researchers and innovators from Tunisia will now be able to participate in the EU programme Horizon 2020, under the same conditions as their counterparts from EU Member States and another 13 associated countries. The agreement was signed on 1 December ... read more 03.12.2015

Wiki algorithm reveals world’s most influential universities

BOSTON (technology review) -- The diversity of countries is greater in the Wikipedia list, including universities from Africa such as Al-Azhar University in Egypt. Japanese and Indian universities are more prominent. Germany is the second highest ranked country after the U.S. ... read more 07.12.2015

UK: Casual contracts threaten teaching quality

bannerLONDON (guardian) -- Job security in higher education eroding. In Great Britain, further and higher education are second only to the hospitality sector in their use of casual contracts. More than 24,000 university academics are on zero-hours contracts, according to the university union UCU ... read more 01.12.2015

Technical studies on the rise in Poland

WARSAW (thenews) -- This year, the largest number of candidates opted for IT, law and management ... read more 07.12.2015

European code on science misconduct to be updated

BRUSSELS (s|b) -- Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas this week told EU research ministers that the Commission will update the code of conduct for researchers, so as to better discourage fraud and other misconduct and reflect the fact that an increasing amount of publicly-funded research is carried out beyond the walls of the university lab ... read more 03.12.2015

Friday, 4 December 2015 //

EU keen to permit talent immigration

image: verkehrstechnik / ESNABRUSSELS (aca) -- The European Union is planning to harmonise entry and residence rules for non-EU students and researchers in its quest to attract top talent from around the world. The new rules, agreed upon informally among MEPs and Council Ministers earlier this month, would improve conditions for non-EU nationals pursuing studies or research in the EU by easing their movement within the Union and ensuring their equal access to the labour market in all member states ... read more 30.11.2015

Elsevier editors quit in battle for open access

LEIDEN (wired) -- The editors for the linguistics journal Lingua had finally had enough. On October 27, the journal’s six editors and 31 members of its editorial board quit. Their beef? The high fees Elsevier charges authors and academic institutions to see the journal. A lower price, the publishing house argued, would be “not sustainable” ... read more | and here 05.11.2015

Academics oppose UK airstrike in Syria

image: League of Man ChildrenLONDON (guardian) -- Ken Loach, Brian Eno and Frankie Boyle are among dozens of actors, writers, academics and trade union chiefs who have signed a letter telling David Cameron to keep British forces out of the air war on Syria ... read more 27.11.2015

Google pays favourable research results

WASHINGTON (business insider) -- Between 2011 and 2013, Google donated more than $760,000 to George Mason University in Virginia, which published a number of favourable research papers and ... read more 24.11.2015

More democracy for Greek universities?

image: left.gr

ATHENS (greek reporter) -- Education Minister Nikos Filis and Deputy Sia Anagnostopoulou believe there is not enough democracy in Greek universities and they want to give more power to the students. Not everybody is enthusiastic about their law proposals ... read more 27.11.2015

Thursday, 3 December 2015 //

Students and sex

image: daily starCAMBRIDGE/RHEINGAU -- Adolescent transgressions are such in a prudish society. In one case, a provocative video of students at the European Business School of Rheingau, Germany, has been erased from Vimeo and the students apologised. In another, the yellow press publicises the ‘best butt’ competition of Cambridge University students ... read more | and here 29.11.2015

Student aid in Portigal delayed for years

LISBON (tvi24) -- About a hundred students gathered at the gates of the Education Ministry in Lisbon in protest of delayed grant payments and bad study conditions ... read more 26.11.2015

Spanish higher ed on the path of liberalism

CORUÑA (la voz) -- Spanish universities are pushing towards more autonomy — at the cost of commercialisation. With the new academic year beginning, rectors (CRUE) and university councils (CCS) are lobbying in favour of a presidential governance system, legal and financial authority and a closer relationship with industry ... read more | and here 02.12.2015

Italian secret service on tour at universities

logoVENICE (agi) -- ‘Intelligence live’ is the title of a lecture at the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice which is part of a roadshow of the Italian secret service DIS around the country’s universities. In these lectures, 22 up to now, students learn about the work of the intelligence service, discuss current security issues and the involvement of research ... read more 27.11.2015

Wednesday, 2 December 2015 //

Austrian dreams of innovation leadership

image: BMWFWVIENNA (öj) -- The European Day at the Austrian ministry for science and economy was an occasion to present and discuss a comparative study on innovation systems. Austria, the authors write, should mimic the science policies of Sweden and Denmark: increase funding, but distributed in a competitive manner, privatisation through foundations, institutional mergers and shifting students from the universities towards the more vocational oriented universities of applied sciences ... read more | and here 27.11.2015

Prague universities sue President Zeman

PRAGUE (čtk) -- Charles University and the University of Economics have filed a criminal complaint with the municipal court against Czech President Milos Zeman for not appointing three nominated professors. In 2013, Zeman refused to appoint one of them due to his participation in the Prague Pride march of sexual minorities. Some observers noted that the homosexual Putna was a resolute critic of Zeman ... read more 20.11.2015

Lithuania to reduce number of universities

VILNIUS (global post) -- President Dalia Grybauskaite proposes to change the Science and Studies Law in order to reduce student numbers and the number of Lithuanian universities ... read more 16.11.2015

German pharma industry goes crowd-sourcing

image: Crowdsourced Testing SpAMUNICH (sz) -- Big Pharma in Germany is going new ways to raise ideas, find partners and create scientific partnerships. They publish their own calls for proposals in international networks, online and via universities, and lure inventive talents with juicy offers ... read more 30.11.2015

Tuesday, 1 December 2015 //

Chinese agenda for Central Eastern Europe

image: David DennisSUZHOU (fmprc) -- This week, the fourth meeting of China and leaders from Central and Eastern European countries took place in Suzhou, east China. Besides the trade and financial agreements (with a 10 billion dollar credit line for Eastern Europe), the participants agreed on enhanced technology transfer, student exchange and an education policy dialogue ... read more 24.11.2015

US assistance to Western Balkans

WASHINGTON (nra) -- In 2015, the United States has allocated more than 134 million dollars to advance the Western Balkans’ integration with the EU and NATO. Three million dollars were spent to strengthen vocational education and promote increased access to higher education ... read more 25.11.2015

More and more needy students in France

image: ESNA / Federico MazzoleniPARIS (sud ouest) -- Despite François Hollande’s electoral promise, in 2012, to give “priority to youth”, the number of French students living under precarious conditions is rising year by year. Last year alone, student numbers have grown by 65.000, rents went up by 12 percent, and tens of thousands of affordable flats are needed. Moreover, CROUS, the organisation responsible for student services and housing, sees its budget cut by 25 million euros in 2016 ... read more 27.11.2015

Record student numbers in Germany

BERLIN (az) -- The number of students in Germany has risen further to 2.8 million. Universities warned of underfunded student services. Critics see a lack of teaching staff, library places and student flats ... read more 25.11.2015

Financial illiteracy to save the world

image: Standards & Poor’s

LONDON (col) -- Standard & Poor’s Global Financial Literacy Survey is based on 150,000 interviews in 148 countries. The results show cultural interferences withstanding unbridled market expansion ... read more | video 22.11.2015
Monday, 30 November 2015 //

Right-wing hardliner as new Polish science minister

image: polskarazemWARSAW (wsws) -- After winning the elections in October, the nationalist Law and Justice Party (PiS) now commands a comfortable majority in both houses of parliament. It includes several anti-Russian hardliners. The new minister for science and higher education is Jarosław Gowin, a well-known ultra-reactionary, homophobe and opponent of the right to abortion. In his first statement he expressed his intention to reduce bureaucracy and foster innovation in Polish higher education ... read more 25.11.2015

Security measures at French universities

PARIS (vousnousils) -- Following the terrorist attacks of November 13, new security measures will be applied at French universities. In particular, this includes entry controls, more security staff ... read more 26.11.2015

Thousands of doctors leave Romania

image: PGMEEBUCAREST (new europe) -- In the last eight years, over 36,000 Romanian doctors, dentists and pharmacists sought work in another EU country. Only about 55,000 doctors were left in the country in 2014. Vasile Astarastoae, head of the Romanian College of Physicians, said that this dangerously lowers the health quality standards for the Romanian patients. “If you think that the situation is bad in Bucharest, in the rural areas it’s tragic” ... read more 24.11.2015

Educated Germans avoid social media

BERLIN (dw) -- The quality of education is on the rise in Germany. And that implies, uniquely amongst its peers, that fewer people in Germany will be using social media in the future ... read more 25.11.2015

Friday, 27 November 2015 //

Student immigration creates jobs

flagCARDIFF (pienews) -- A report released by Universites Wales shows that one Welsh job was created for every three non-EU students and every five EU students in the country. The consulting firm behind the study was able to demonstrate how economic impact flows further afield from areas that do not have a university through “ripple effects” ... read more 25.11.15

South Italian universities dwindle

NAPLES (uno) -- In four years, the Italian student population has shrunk by 6,8 percent. The southern universities record the highest losses: -40% in Reggio Calabria, -31% in Naples or 28% in Messina/Sicily ... read more 19.11.

Hungary’s brain drain

image: BBBUDAPEST (bb) -- Hungary’s brain drain is getting worse. Singles are more likely to seek work abroad and to go to the United Kingdom, whereas skilled workers and older Hungarians are much more likely to go to Germany. There are 86,000 “first generation” Hungarians employed long-term living abroad. Prior to the world financial crisis of 2008, only 17,000 Hungarians lived in the UK. By 2011 this number had already increased to 44,000 ... read more 20.11.2015

Uni Zurich trusts in technology against attacks

ZURICH (nzz) -- To enable students to lock class rooms from the inside in case of an attack (like in the US), the University of Zurich plans to add panic locks to a new alarm system ... read more 23.11.2015

OECD drums up for tuition fees

image: OECDBERLIN (tagesspiegel) -- The fact that the German federal states have abolished tuition fees altogether, is hard to digest for the liberal think-tank OECD. Its general secretary, Stefan Kapferer, took the opportunity during the annual presentation of the international report “Education at a Glance” in Berlin to complain about the lack of tuition fees. Dropping out (deciding to change career) is too easy for a student without the burden of cost, he said ... read more 24.11.2015

Thursday, 26 November 2015 //

Ryanair makes university history

image: Ryanair Fanpage

BERGAMO (messaggero) -- With its established airport for low-cost companies nearby, the University of Bergamo has changed. Rector Remo Pellegrini has reached out to other ‘airport universities’ to forge a long-term development plan ... read more 19.11.2015

New European legislation for non-EU students

BRUSSELS (esu) -- The European Commission, Parliament and Council have reached an agreement regarding new EU rules of entry and residence for non-EU students. This directive will merge and replace two existing directives and ensure that students have the right to stay at least 9 months after finishing their studies, the right to move within the EU during their stay and the right to work at least 15 hours a week ... read more 18.11.2015

Belgian imams must have a degree

image: VDFLIÉGE (rtl) -- The permission of preaching and the official recognition of mosques in Belgium will soon depend on an obligatory diploma for imams. After signing the agreement with the president of the Executive of Muslims, Noureddine Smaili, justice minister Koen Geens said: “We must evolve towards a European Islam” ... read more | and here 25.11.2015

Holland gets serious about open access

logoTHE HAGUE (nwo) -- The Dutch national research organisation NWO will tighten its granting conditions in the area of Open Access with effect from 1 December. All publications emerging from NWO funds must be immediately accessible to everybody from the moment of publication ... read more 26.11.2015

Occupation in Lausanne for refugees

LAUSANNE (swissinfo) -- Around fifty members of a group engaged in helping migrants have occupied a building of the University of Lausanne. Their aim to find support by the academic community was successful as 500 lecturers and students signed their petition within one day ... read more 23.11.15

Wednesday, 25 November 2015 //

European university mergers accelerate

image: EUABRUSSELS (bbc) -- Almost 100 mergers have taken place since the beginning of the century, according to the European University Association (EUA). And the pace is accelerating, with eight super-universities or clusters identified in 2012; 12 in 2013 and 14 in 2014. Mergers are a way of “streamlining”, says EUA director Thomas Estermann. Bigger universities can gain higher profiles and boost global reputations, he says ... read more 25.11.2015

Dutch students pull a nazi prank

LEIDEN (arutz sheva) -- As part of an apparent hazing ritual, students of the University of Leiden redecorated a Jewish freshman’s dorm room to look like a Nazi death camp, Dutch media reported ... read more 19.11.2015

Further concentration of UK science policy

image: University of ExeterLONDON (science) -- The governing Conservative Party proposes do create a head organisation on top of the seven research councils called Research UK. It would take over administrative duties and should be run by “a highly distinguished scientist, capable of delivering a managerially efficient organisation and of interacting effectively with Government” ... read more | and here 19.11.2015

Austria to be open access by 2025

VIENNA (economy austria) -- All publicly funded scientific research in Austria ought to be freely accessible online by 2025. This is the recommendation of the expert group Open Access Network Austria ... read more 19.11.2015

Secrets of medieval Europe’s large-scale publishing industry revealed

image: CCLONDON (independent) -- New research is revealing the trade secrets of Europe’s very first large-scale commercial publishing industry. Animal skin ‘paper’ that was just 1/15th of a millimetre thick enabled craftsmen in the 13th century to mass produce the world’s first lightweight books – an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 handwritten bibles. The market that created the demand for it was the huge expansion at that period in the number of so called ‘mendicant’ friars and in the number of university students. The first dozen great European universities were all set up in Italy, France, England and Spain between 1088 and 1243 ... read more 23.11.2015

Monday, 23 November 2015 //

Brussels universities closed

image: independent

BUSSELS (la libre) -- Universities, schools and the metro in Brussels will remain closed on Monday, as Belgium’s Prime Minister fears “an attack line in Paris”. Belgium has been the centre of investigations into to the Paris attacks, after it was discovered two of the suicide bombers lived in the district of Molenbeek, one of Belgium’s poor districts ... read more 22.11.2015

Belarus and Slovenia prepare university cooperation

LJUBLJANA (mfa) -- On her trip to Slovenia, Belarus deputy foreign minister, Alena Kupchyna, visited the economics faculty of the University of Ljubljana, where she met with administrators and students. They agreed on connecting the economic universities of both countries soon ... read more 19.11.2015

All eyes on Amsterdam

image: Bert BeelenAMSTERDAM (scienceguide) -- The Committee for Democratisation is the achievement of the university protest of the year: in a six-week occupation, students and lectureres of the University of Amsterdam forced the management to accept this new body’s powers. Now politicians and academics all over the country wait impatiently for its proposals of decentralisation and more participation. The stakes are high, says newly appointed committee head, Lisa Westerveld ... read more | interview 19.11.2015

Arbitrary university closures expected in Turkey

ISTANBUL (today’s zaman) -- A draconian new regulation that paves the way for the arbitrary closure of private universities and allows the vindictive seizure of their properties has come into effect, deepening concerns over the deterioration of the rule of law in Turkey ... read more 20.11.2015

Open University regional centre closures

bannerLONDON (bbc) -- Almost 500 jobs could disappear from seven Open University centres in England under controversial plans described as ‘catastrophic’ by the unions which represent staff at the institution. Thousands of students could be affected by the move, which would see the removal of vital services, such as careers counselling, study advice and support for disabled students. The seven affected centres with 494 staff are Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Gateshead, Leeds, London and Oxford ... read more | petition 05.11.15

Friday, 20 November 2015 //

UNESCO Science Report shows global disparities

bannerPARIS (chronicle) -- The number of researchers has risen by 21 percent to 7.8 million since 2007 with a corresponding explosion in scientific publications, according to the UNESCO Science Report: Towards 2030. But nearly three in four of the world’s researchers reside in the European Union, China, Russia, the United States and Japan ... read more 18.11.15

More foreign students in Sweden despite fees rise

OSLO (uwn) -- This year, the number of fee-paying students from outside Europe in Sweden rose by 30 percent. Tuition fees for non-European had been introduced in 2011 ... read more 18.11.2015

Michael Moore looks to Europe for education policy ideas

image: Michael MooreBETHESDA (edweek) -- Michael Moore, the director of provocative documentaries such as Bowling for Columbine, has a new film coming soon that explores solutions to various U.S. policy problems, including several in education, by heading to Europe ... read more 18.11.2015

US universities already tired of MOOCs?

HERLEEN (eadtu) -- Engagement to offer free online courses or MOOCs is increasing in Europe, studies show. In the US, the attitude of universities is more critical and their interest is shrinking ... read more 18.11.2015

Wednesday, 18 November 2015 //

9 in 10 German lecturers on temporary contracts

image: Bundestag

BERLIN (faz) -- Last week, an law amendment on working contracts at German universities and research institutions was discussed at an official hearing in Berlin. It is expected that the government will propose legal changes in December to stop abusive short-term contracts (e.g. cases like a lecturer working in 15 subsequent contracts in only six years). However, experts noted that the mellow changes continue to satisfy academic employers keeping the “flexibility” in their employment customs unchanged. Currently 92 percent of staff in German higher education is temporary ... read more | video 11.11.15

Catalonia: Rising fees deter students

BARCELONA (economista) -- Spending 25 percent of their income for university puts Catalonian students and their families worldwide into the top 5. The OECD average family pays 15 percent for higher education. Since fees have been increased in 2011, student numbers in Catalonia have fallen ... read more 13.11.2015

Vatican addresses ‘educational emergency’

logoROME (repubblica) -- Marking the anniversaries of two critical Vatican documents on education, the Congregation for Catholic Education is holding an international congress to address the growing “educational emergency” in Catholic education. The Congretation sees the emergency in a “decline of authority”, the shrinking number of teachers who are believers and the need to oppose a merely market-oriented education at Catholic schools and universities ... read more | video 11.11.2015

French student union demands more controls at universities

PARIS (mce) -- In a gathering of students after the terrorist attacks in Paris, the national student Union UNEF has been quoted demanding that “universities must be better controlled as it was the case after the Charlie Hebdo killings”. The science ministry estimates “several dozens” of students among the victims ... read more | and here 17.11.2015

Difficult balance of medical data protection

BRUSSELS (neth-er) -- The new EU General Data Protection Regulation will have a significant impact on how medical research is conducted and how a patient’s privacy is protected. Lawmakers disagree on what is the perfect balance between these two ... read more 05.11.2015

Monday, 16 November 2015 //

French Muslim students respond to the Paris attacks

image: EMF

PARIS (quartz) -- The Etudiants Musulmans de France, representing thousands of Muslim students in France, called the Paris attackers anti-Islamic cowards, and pledged their solidarity to France in a moving video ... read more 15.11.15

German-Arabian university cooperation

HÖXTER (nw) -- The Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe, a university of applied sciences near Hanover in north-west Germany, participates in a Master’s programme with six Syrian and Jordanian universities. The Master’s course is part of the EU-funded programme “Environmental Engineering und Climate Change” (MAPEC) ... read more 10.11.2015

Israeli expert says Europen universities are too tolerant

image: Amira HalperinLONDON (arutz sheva) -- In an opinion piece in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Dr. Amira Halperin of Hebrew University’s Truman Research Institute said, in the name of freedom of speech, terrorists are given almost free reign to incite at universities against Israel and Europe, and the wave of incitement at mosques likewise goes unchecked on the part of the European authorities ... read more 16.11.2015

Erdoğan uses universities as tool of state control

ISTANBUL (presstv) -- Police in Turkey have fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse demonstrating students who were protesting against how the government uses the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) as an instrument of state control ... read more 06.11.2015

Larger universities oversubscribe to EU science grants

BRUSSELS (uwn) -- According to a FP7 funding report, 41 percent of European Research Council (ERC) grants were awarded to the top 31 institutions. The highest number of applications was sent in from Italy (15 percent); Germany (12) and the UK (10.6) ... read more 13.11.2015

Friday, 13 November 2015 //

EU too reliant of “Seven Wise Men”?

image: AlchemieBRUSSELS (div) -- The EU Commission has created a new central instrument for scientific policy advice. The new High Level Group of Scientific Advisors of the EC Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) is composed of seven members with an outstanding level of expertise relevant for EU policy making. Critics consider SAM insufficiently evolved and developed ... read more | and here 10.11.

EC wants youth to have a say in decision making

BUSSELS (neth-er) -- Martine Reicherts, newly appointed head of the European Commission’s directorate-general for education and culture (DG EAC), said in an interview, that during her term she wants to make sure that “youth will be more involved in political decision-making and feel more engaged in societal issues” ... read more 10.11.2015

Dutch universities dodge flex contract rules for lecturers

image: Esel und MöhreTHE HAGUE (dutch news) -- Dutch universities are getting around changes in the rules on temporary contracts by offering lecturers a fixed contract for one lecture a week plus a short-term contract for the rest of their work. The set up breaks the terms of the universities’ pay and conditions agreement, the paper says, and makes it particularly difficult for lecturers to get a mortgage ... read more 12.11.2015

Science and sexism: In the eye of the Twitterstorm

LONDON (science) -- Social media inflates the public discussion about the persistent problem of sexism in science ... read more 11.11.2015

Science 2.0 in numbers

HAMBURG (zbw) -- A survey among 1300 German researchers shows Wikipedia as the main social media tool they use, followed by Dropbox and professional networks such as Research Gate ... read more 10.11.2015
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 //

International academics step up for the Mosque of Cordoba

image: CCCÓRDOBA (el país) -- One hundred scientists from 36 universities in Spain, the US, UK, France, Portugal, Ireland, Turkey, Chile, Germany and Morocco released a joint statement against the appropriation of the Great Mosque of Cordoba by the Catholic Church. Using a Franco-era piece of legislation, the local diocesis registered the historic site as its own for just a few euros in 2006 and is now changing its Muslim character. They removed the “Mosque” from its name from all promotional tourism materials and declared the name of the building is the “Santa Iglesia Catedral de Córdoba” the previous year. The mosque was built over an older church in the 8th century, during the Arab occupation of Spain, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 ... read more | and here 05.11.2015

Huge class divide at Irish universities

DUBLIN (independent) -- The big class divide in third-level education is exposed in new figures showing how students from better-off families take most of the places in Ireland’s universities ... read more 10.11.2015

Brussels: First university on the stock market

logoBRUSSELS (de standaard) -- The Free University of Brussels (VUB) is the first university in Europe to be listed on the stock market. The institution has issued bonds worth 61.5 million euros, money, says rector Paul de Knop, it needs to expand. A critical threshold of privatisation has been passed, critics say and ask: Will students be confronted with the bill if revenues were lower than predicted? At the same time, the Arts and Philosophy faculty’s budget was cut by 800,000 euros ... read more | and here  2.11.15

Worrying funding trends at European universities

BRUSSELS (inside highered) -- The commercialisation of university funding has grown, as performance-based criteria have become more important all over Europe. Another worying trend, according to a new report of the European University Association, are shown by countries like Denmark and Finland with their decrease of formerly stable budgets ... read more 09.11.2015

Monday, 9 November 2015 //

UK government lifts tuition fees cap

image: LSE Library

LONDON (guardian) -- Universities in England will be allowed to charge students more than 9,000 pounds per year for tuition under a Green Paper published by the government that links improvements in teaching quality with fee increases. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) and the Office for Fair Access will disappear, with many of their functions taken over by a new structure, the Office for Students. Up to 10,000 young people marched through the city streets in protest ... read more | and here 06.110216

Turkey’s universities next on Erdoğan’s list?

ISTANBUL (al-monitor) -- Following the electoral success of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP and the seizure of critical TV channels with layoffs and arrests, it is feared that soon university administrations and properties will be brought under the control of pro-government trustees, too ... read more 06.11.2015

Arctic University before conception

image: Library of CongressMURMANSK (barents observer) -- With the Arctic becoming an object of steadily growing attention, Murmansk Oblast establishes the “Arctic University” to prepare Barents students for jobs in Arctic oil and gas projects. With the support of president Vladimir Putin, 600 professors and teachers are going to instruct 12.000 students ... read more 06.11.2015


Read also (in German):
Battle for the Arctic

Hungary: Engineers in short supply

BUDAPEST (reuters) -- Employers face a shortage of skilled workers in Hungary. About half a million of Hungary’s 10 million people left for better paid jobs in western Europe. In the IT sector there are 20,000 empty jobs and the gap in the car sector has also reached tens of thousands ... read more 03.11.

Finland pushes for university specialisation

HELSINKI (yle) -- Imminent cuts and an open letter by education minister Sanni Grahn-Laasonen caused widespread resentment at Finland’s universities. The minister urges universities to specialise by 2025 ... read more 03.11.2015

Wednesday, 4 November 2015 //

Italian exodus

image: ESNAROME (ilsole24ore) -- The number of new students at Italian universities has dropped by 7 percent in the last five years. This decrease has taken place nearly entirely in southern Italy, exacerbating the structural disadvantage of the region. A vicious circle, being excluded from additional public funds, southern universities raise tuition fees, such as the University of Naples with an increase of 400 euro only this year ... read more 02.11.2015

New Swiss-Russian scientific cooperation

MOSCOW (ch) -- In an official meeting, a new scientific and technological cooperation agreement was signed by Swiss and Russian counterparts in Moscow. 25 joint research projects were approved, covering fields such as robotics, bioinformatics, political science and literature ... read more 28.10.

Germany: Supervisor of plagiarised PhDs to be punished

image: University MünsterMÜNSTER (forschung & lehre) -- The first time after several cases of plagiarised doctoral theses in medicine have been discovered the University of Münster, in northwestern Germany, plans to hold a supervisor responsible. The faculty of medicine now considers, after 23 cases of plagiarism in 2014, to discontinue payments and benefits ... read more 01.11.2015

How does digital innovation impact study travel?

LONDON (pienews) -- An increasing number of service industries have shifted their operations away from the analogue and into the digital. But what effect is this having on the landscape of study travel? Some stakeholders are developing a variety of online platforms and attempting to increase their market penetration … read more 23.10.2015

Russian students win gold in chess

image: EUSA

YEREVAN (eusa) -- 82 participants from nine countries took part in the first edition of the European Universities Chess Championship in October. The Russian teams – the female as well as the male team from the Ural State Mining University – won gold. The next EUC in mind sports will take place in 2017 in Fuengirola, Spain ... read more 11.10.2015

Monday, 2 November 2015 //

European students oppose TiSA

image: (c) ESNA

BRUSSELS (esu) -- The European Student Union (ESU) demand an exclusion of education and other public services from the scope of TiSA, the international trade agreement under negotiation by over 50 countries (incl. the ones represented by the EU). ESU sees TiSA as a “threat for public responsibility” and endangers “education, both in terms of access and quality”. Two weeks earlier, 250.000 students and citizens took the streets in Berlin in protest against TTIP and TiSA ... read more 27.10.2015

30,000 protested against Danish cuts to education

COPENHAGEN (university post) -- 30,000 heeded the call made by 30 student unions and academic organisations to raise their voices against the planned Danish government 8.7 billion crowns (1.2 billion euros) cut of education funding over the next four years ... read more 30.10.2015

Commission adopts 2016 Work Programme

logoBRUSSELS (ec) -- The European Commission is to invest almost 16 billion euros in research and innovation in the next two years under the Horizon 2020 programme. On 27 October, the European Commission adopted its 2016 Work Programme, which contains among ten priorities a ‘New Skills Agenda’ and measures for working parents ... read more 27.10

Finland to charge international students

HELSINKI (fgnews) -- The Finnish government has submitted a bill to reintroduce tuition fees to be imposed on non European students: 1,500 euro per academic year in BA and MA programmes taught in languages other than Finnish and Swedish ... read more 24.10.2015

Neoliberal students gather in Heidelberg

image: zero booksHEIDELBERG (ef) -- 400 participants were expected to a conference of the neoliberal student association Students for Liberty in Heidelberg. Praising Friedrich von Hayek and promoting market-oriented social change, the speakers condemned the patronising state and praised “Austrian economics” and free trade ... read more 30.10.2015

ESNA 2015
Friday, 30 October 2015 //

White House commits to Open Access

image: Susan Lesch CCWASHINGTON (infojustice) -- The White House released its 2016-2017 Open Government National Action Plan, which includes commitments to expand access to open educational resources and the results of federally funded research. The commitment has been highly anticipated since this summer, after more than 100 civil society organisations had rallied for it ... read more

TTIP endangers Open Access and Open Source

SAN FRANCISCO (eff) -- Open access isn’t explicitly covered in any of the secretive trade negotiations that are currently underway. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t have a negative impact on those seeking to publish or use open access materials ... read more 21.10.2015

Google ranks top searches for overseas students

logoLONDON (bbc) -- The university website is the modern prospectus — and the battle for students is taking place online. Google has revealed data about the top destinations for where people are searching for university information abroad ... read more 28.10.15

In Germany, only 2% of Bachelor courses in English

BERLIN (spiegel) -- A high entry barrier to universities for thousands of refugees currently arriving in Germany will be linguistical. Only two percent of Bachelor courses are offered in English ... read more 25.10.2015

Siemens in business with Hungarian universities

image: GOV / Károly ÁrvaiBUDAPEST (bbj) -- The Hungarian subsidiary of Siemens is donating modern automatising products and development software to four Hungarian universities. The equipment will compliment the technological facilities of workshops. Also this month, President Viktor Orbán inaugurated a publicly cofinanced training centre of Siemens in Budapest ... read more | and here 27.10.2015

Thursday, 29 October 2015 //

UK academics announce Israel boycott

image: The GuardianLONDON (newsweek) -- Hundreds of British professors and lecturers are planning an academic boycott of Israel’s institutions of education, saying the schools are complicit in Israeli violations of international law. The boycott was announced in a full-page ad in The Guardian and was a direct response to an ad published in the same paper a week earlier, in which 150 British authors, artists, and musicians - including Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling - expressed their opposition to a cultural boycott of Israel ... read more | and here 27.10.2015

Counterfeit degrees help Syrians escape to Europe

DAMASCUS (worldcrunch) -- Hundreds of Syrian university degrees are reportedly being forged every day, putting the reputation of Syrian academics at serious risk. But counterfeiters say their only concern is helping their countrymen find a “safe way out” ... read more 27.10.2015

Horizon 2020 success rates down

image: UNAVBRUSSELS (cw) -- The percentage of research proposals winning grants in the early stages of Horizon 2020, Europe’s main research funding programme, is down sharply compared to FP7. A Commission report has caused concern among the research community and EU officials. “What is clear is that the funding situation of universities in many countries across Europe is getting more and more difficult,” says Lidia Borrell-Damián, director at the European University Association ... read more 28.10.2015

Erasmus+ for India?

NEW DELHI (education diary) -- At a workshop in New Delhi, a delegation of the EU with the Association of Indian Universities discussed participation opportunities in EU-funded programmes such as Erasmus+ and Marie Curie Actions ... read more 26.10.2015

Russian universities focus on subject-based rankings

image: government.ruMOSCOW (rbth) -- Russian universities will aim to rise in international subject-based rankings, rather than institutional ones, vice premier minister Olga Golodets told reporters. This was due to a different organisational structure of Russian institutions, she said, “for example, you’ll hardly find universities in other countries that only teach medicine” ... read more 22.10.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015 //

€1 billion for Italian research in 2016

image: campus biomedicoROME (corriere) -- In 2016, Italian universities can assume 5000 researchers in permanent contracts, education minister Stefania Giannini has announced. This will inverse the loss of thousands in the last ten years, she said. The one billion euros for this purpose are part of the 2.5 billion euro budget of the National Research Programme (PNR) for 2015 and 2016 allocated to: internationalisation, research infrastructures, human resources, private-public partnerships and South ... read more | and here 26.10.2015

Spain: Private universities intransparent

MADRID (tele5) -- Half of Spains universities do not reveal publicly the employment status of their staff. This, among other results, emerged from a transparency study in Spanish higher education. The study also shows that 80 percent of public universities publish their statistics on the web, while only 31 percent of the private institutions do so ... read more 28.10.2015

Friday, 23 October 2015 //

France reduces funding for Grandes Écoles

image: logoPARIS (savoirs) -- Private universities in France, such as Grandes Écoles, lament the decrease of their state funding which was reduced by one percent in 2015. However, cuts in the years before were 7 and 13 percent respectively ... read more 21.10.2015

Saudi students face racial discrimination in Eastern Europe

VIENNA (ibt) -- Saudi students face racial discrimination at a number of universities including Slovenia, Romania, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic, a diplomat has alleged ... read more 19.10.2015

Public universities is the US in decline

image: (c) ESNAWASHINGTON (csmoitor) -- If the current pace of state funding continues, some estimates suggest that the system of state public universities could vanish within the next 100 years. Both conservative states like Kansas, and more liberal ones like California, have recently struggled with declines in revenue and thus, in student support ... read more 21.10

Nijmegen students unheard

NIJMEGEN (ans) -- Students of the University of Nijmegen, a city in eastern Netherlands near to Germany, have protested against a higher threshold to pass the first years of studies. They consider it a lack of democracy that the Executive Board of the university does not have to heed the student union’s voice in the matter ... read more 23.10.2015

University of Siena founded 775 years ago

image: ESNASIENA (intoscana) -- She has passed her seven years of crisis, says rector Angelo Riccaboni, who will open the 775th academic year of the University of Siena. The university’s future focus will be on internationalisation, it will welcome 500 rectors from 88 nations at the conference of the International University Association (IAU). The alma mater also celebrates the 750th birthday of Dante Alighieri whose Divine Comedy marks the beginning of Renaissance in Europe ... read more 28.10.2015

Thursday, 22 October 2015 //

Christmas is over for science publishers

image: ESNANIJMEGEN (standard) -- Only after the 14 Dutch universities stepped up united against the corporate power of the big scientific publishing houses (Springer, Taylor & Francis, Elsevier, Wiley, Sage and MacMillan), things started to change. Elsevier has still time to respond to an offer, otherwise all Dutch universities will cancel their subscriptions by the end of the year ... read more 20.10.

Meanwhile, a European university initiative demanding that “research funding should go to research, not to publishers” has gathered over 440 supporters ... read more 15.10.2015

“I can has cheezberger?” — Solidarity among scientists

INTERNATIONAL (bbc) -- It might be against the law to download copyrighted material without paying for it. But some scientists are using a Twitter hashtag to help their colleagues to get access to research papers ... read more 21.10

Muslim hackers attack French universities

intrud3rsPARIS (cryptosphere) -- A hacker crew has cracked and defaced the websites of various French universities (and of NASA in the United States). They wrote the defaces were retaliation for anti-Muslim bigotry and racism in the French system. “We do not like the French educational system, we think that we’re being imprisoned.” The group claims to be preparing a much larger strike against the entire French post-secondary system ... read more 20.10.2015

One in five British youngsters depressed or anxious

LONDON (bbc) -- A study on the wellbeing of UK citizens in school and student age found a high level of satisfaction, but also progressively more negative perceptions of their own physical health. Universities are asked to engage more ... read more 20.10.2015

Where Estonian students would like to work

VILNIUS (baltic course) -- According to a poll, one third of Estonian students would prefer to work in the public sector, half in the private sector; Skype is the most valued employer for them, followed by the State Forest Management Centre ... read more 21.10.2015

Wednesday, 21 October 2015 //

Britain plans tougher English tests to cut international student numbers

image: UK Home OfficeLONDON (div) -- British ministers are on a “collision course with universities” over plans to introduce tougher English Language tests to cut the number of international students coming to the country by 25,000 a year. Prime Minister, David Cameron, has pushed for Britain’s language tests to become tougher, while the Home Secretary, Theresa May, wants to crackdown on those students who can’t speak proper English ... read more 14.10.2015

French students march over universities crisis

PARIS (the local) -- Students took to the streets of Paris on Friday to protest against the sorry state of French universities, which are suffering from overcrowding and a chronic lack of funding ... read more 16.10.2015

Norway expands internationalisation to new countries

OSLO (nordic page) -- Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa and Japan are not countries that Norway have cooperated extensively with in higher education and research. Education minister, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, wants to change this ... read more 14.10.2015

Spanishg research director fired for political stance

image: Ángel SánchesSEVILLA (science insider) -- Juan José Negro, head of one of Spain’s premier ecology institutes says he has been dismissed for publicly voicing his opposition to a controversial mining project. More than 300 Spanish ecological groups issued a public statement condemning the move as “regrettable political interference” that is “curtailing the independence of public and committed science” ... read more 07.10.2015

No news for Maltese universities

VALETTA (malta independent) -- The Maltese budget for 2016 includes a stipend for elder citizens going to universities and a higher allowance for Gozitan students. The trade unions critizised the budget for a lack of concrete proposals in education and the fact that the pension age has been raised, which could disincentivise people from pursuing their studies at doctorate and post-doctorate level ... read more 12.10.2015

Tuesday, 20 October 2015 //

Universities in images

image: Abrams

BERLIN (esna) -- Following his books on the world’s most beautiful libraries and opera houses, the photographer Guillaume de Laubier now turns his lens toward a new aspect of world heritage: universities ... read more | or here

TTIP — clash of education systems

BERLIN (spektrum) -- The German rector’s conference (HRK) has asked the European Commission to exclude education from the transatlantice trade treaty TTIP. In Europe, they say, education is a public service, in the US a private investment. Some spurious arguments to mellow the academic community’s critical stance on the trade deal ... read more 15.10.2015

Chinese business school invests in Zurich

image: CEIBSZURICH (financial times) -- While European business schools continue to investigate ways of moving into the China market, one Chinese school, CEIBS, which was set up in Shanghai 20 years ago, has turned the tables by acquiring a European business school for 16.5 million Swiss francs (15 million euros) ... read more 16.10.2015

OECD replaces AHELO

PARIS (uwn) -- The OECD plans to replace the discredited Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes. AHELO’s successor project with the aim of “benchmarking higher education systems performance” apparently comes much closer to the OECD’s usual market-oriented rhetoric ... read more 15.10

The business education competition ranking race run

image_ WEFGENEVA (wef) -- The global thermometer of university health is always on, one ranking hunts the next, today it is the “Global Competitiveness Report 2015-16” assessing 140 economies on the quality of their education systems as evaluated by business leaders ... read more 9.10.

Monday, 19 October 2015 //

Financially drained Greek universities on their knees

image: Nikos FilisATHENS (efsyn) -- The budget of Greek universities was 1/4 short this year, and it will be further 20 percent lower in 2016. That’s why rectors asked education minister Nikos Filis to exempt them from paying municipal taxes, reduce their tariffs for electricity and give them more leeway in handling with university endowments. However, the ministry is intent upon changing the way rectors are elected ... read more | and here 12.10

Scientific mafia strikes in Serbia

BELGRAD (carsa) -- Serbia has witnessed a huge overproduction of doctorates in the last years. The number of PhD students has increased eightfold since 2007, and so has the commerce of exam results and fake degrees. The business of scientific fraud has become a million-euro business in Serbia and the pressure on whistleblowers is high ... read more 12.10.2015

Private universities in Portugal: higher fees, but discounts

image: Jorge CarvalhoLISBON (económico) -- After a steep drop in applications, Portugal’s private universities offer tuition fee discounts of 80 percent as well as grants for excellent students. Between the discounts and the fact that fees have been raised recently, is a logical connection, says Ricardo Leite Pinto, vice-chancellor of Universidades Lusíada ... read more 13.10.2015

Turkish students attacked in Poland

SŁUPSK (news.pl) -- A group of students from Turkey were attacked and told to “go back to their country” on Monday in Słupsk, northern Poland. Police have arrested three men aged between 29 and 41 for beating the four exchange students in the city’s university district ... read more 12.10.2015

How to make Spanish students ‘entrepreneurial’

image: OECDMADRID (economista) -- At an event at the US embassy in Madrid, the American company Amway presented a survey comparing entrepreneurial attitudes in Spain and the US. The survey, expanding into 36 further countries, suggests discontent of Spanish students and thus the need to change the educational offer in favour of more entrepreneurialism ... read more | and here
Friday, 16 October 2015 //

Science publishers cash in double with Open Access

image: Room for Discussion

BRUSSELS (ec) -- EU science commissioner Carlos Moedas and Dutch state secretary Sander Dekker have called on scientific publishers to adapt their business models to new realities. In a meeting, they reiterated the Commission’s commitment to Open Access. In their joint statement, excessive profits of science publishers remained unmentioned, but not the fact that publishers now, in a phase of transition, ‘double-dip’ i.e. accept payment twice for OA and for journal subscriptions ... read more 12.10.2015

Next calls for Horizon 2020

BRUSSELS (seenews) -- The European Commission will expand funding available under the Horizon 2020 programme to almost 16 billion euros, with 1 billion specially earmarked for energy-related activities within the new 2016-2017 work programme ... read more | press release 15.10

Students have little impact on UK general elections

image: Garry KnightLONDON (huffpost) -- Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, it appears, cannot rely on students to return Labour to power as they had far less impact on the general election than expected, higher education experts have said. Those hit by a trebling of tuition fees failed to wield their strength at the ballot box ... read more 15.10.2015

Highest respect for teachers in China

LONDON (bbc) -- Teachers in China have the highest levels of public respect, according to an international study comparing their status in 21 countries. Next on the winner’s rostrum are teachers in Greece and Turkey ... read more 1510

The manna of foreign students

mapBRATISLAVA (slovak spectator) -- Slovaks who study in the Czech Republic bring more than 24 million euros to its economy every year – paying taxes, for accommodation, food and entertainment ... read more 12.10.2015

Thursday, 15 October 2015 //

Refugees and MOOC economics in Vienna

image: kon-ceptVIENNA (standard) -- With 50.000 euros, the Technical University and the University of Economics in Vienna have started bulding a production studio for massive open online courses. As student numbers rise, TU vice-rector Kurt Matyas admitted, digital offers are necessary. At the same time, MOOCs for refugees are being tested ... read more 08.10.2015

University of Edinburgh’s impressive impact

EDINBURGH (sn) -- The University of Edinburgh adds £2 billion annually to the Scottish economy. For every £1 invested by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the University generates £9.53 for the Scottish economy, according to an economic impact study ... read more 07.10.2015

Wallonia: Hidden cuts of public scholarships?

image: VietnamBRUSSELS (sudinfo) -- The Federation of French-speaking students in Belgium, FEF, accuses Walloon education minister Jean-Claude Marcourt of concealing cuts in student grants amounting to 15 million euro in his amendment to the higher education law. Marcourt has denied allegations that the application for scholarships would become more dificult as “unfounded speculations” ... read more | and here 27.09.2015

Danish research has to tighten the belt

COPENHAGEN (uwn) -- The Danish research community has reacted angrily to the government’s proposal to cut 1.4 billion crowns (190 million euros) off next year’s 22 billion crown research budget ... read more 02.10.2015

Switzerland: Call for noncommercial research

logoBERN (blick) -- In its latest report, the Swiss Science and Innovation Council has called for more basic research which is not guided by particular economical interests. Science policy should heed more citizens’ concerns and create free spaces instead of forcing scientists into a corset of competition. The Council also demands more emphasis on domestic science careers and not only the intake of foreign researchers ... read more 5.10.15

Wednesday, 14 October 2015 //

France: 35 measures to improve student life

image: abacapressPARIS (le monde) -- At the anniversary of French student centres CROUS, president François Hollande announced measures to improve living conditions of students. These measures include more staff for student support, more help for incoming and outgoing students, encouraging voluntary engagement, health advice and longer library opening hours ... read more | and here 08.10.2015

Norway increases budget for education and research

OSLO (gov) -- The will be more public money for vocational training and kindergardens in 2016, the Norwegian government has announced, and funding for higher education will increase by 100 million crowns (11 million euros) in 2016. Funding for research and development will grow by 2.1 billion crowns (229 million euros) next year ... read more 07.10.2015

Mobile payment app at University of Barcelona

logoBASEL (yahoo) -- The eWallet provider cashcloud is currently showcasing its mobile payment solution at the University of Barcelona. Their app covers key functions relating to purchases, payments, collecting bonus points and social messaging. Olaf Taupitz, managing director of the company, promised after the third-largest university in Spain with approximately 87,000 students, “similar campaigns at other universities in the medium to long-term” will follow ... read more 12.10.2015

University of Stuttgart builds a research factory

STUTTGART (stn) -- Construction works of a 27-million-euro factory Arena 2036 on the campus of the University of Stuttgart have begun. The factory is a publicly funded cooperation project between the university, industry (BASF, Bosch, Daimler et al.) and major regional research institutes ... read more

EU reforms Bulgarian research infrastructure

image: MONSOFIA (ec) -- For the first time, an EU Member State —Bulgaria— has made voluntary use of the Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility (PSF), that gives governments practical support to reform their public research and innovation structures ... read more 08.10.2015
Tuesday, 13 October 2015 //

Half of EU’s tertiary education underfunded

image: ECCOPENHAGEN (baltic course) -- At a conference, organised by the Commission and the European Investment Bank in October 2015, EU commissioner Tibor Navracsics underlined the need to reverse the alarming trend of underinvestment for education in the member states. Only half of the EHEA countries invest more than 1.3 percent of their GDP in tertiary education. Additionally, for many of them, funding for Research & Development takes up a big part of this budget ... read more 07.10.2015

China now spends more on science than the EU

BEIJING (science alert) -- By 2020, China could be spending more on science than even the US. An effort to get rid of dodgy research and academic fraud, however, is still necessary ... read more 07.10.2015

New Seal of Excellence for regional research policy

image: ECBRUSSELS (neurope) -- By awarding a “Seal of Excellence” to top quality research projects submitted under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, regions will be able to more easily make quality research investments under structural and  other funding sources ... read more 12.10.2015

Scottish rectors disfavour elections

EDINBURGH (scotsman) -- A Scottish law proposal to democratise universities has met with harsh opposition. Timothy O’Shea, principal of Edinburgh University, said elections for university chairs, as foreseen by the Higher Education Scotland Bill, could give ministers far-reaching powers over higher education, changing the way universities were governed ... read more 13.10.

New Confucius Institute in Bratislava

logoBRATISLAVA (slovak spectator) -- Last year’s debates seem long forgotten, when a polemical campaign against the cultural branch of Chinese foreign policy, the Confucius Institutes, in the US, in Europe and especially in the UK swept through the media. A new Confucius Institute has juat been opened at the British Comenius University in Bratislava ... read more 13.10.2015

Monday, 12 October 2015 //

Stanford Unibersity distances itself from von der Leyen

image: BMVGBERLIN (welt) -- Stanford University has issued a statement distancing itself from Ursula von der Leyen, the German defense minister suspected of plagiarism who lists study activities at the Californian institution in 1993 and 1995 in her CV. The university release reads “we would consider people who list things of that nature on a resume as misusing the Stanford University name” ... read more 11.10.2015

Fake students at Cyprian universities

NICOSIA (in-cyprus) -- Recent surprise inspections of the education ministry at colleges and universities around Cyprus have uncovered that they were bringing in third national foreigners into the island on student visas simply so that they can work. A large number of students do not even set foot in their colleges ... read more 10.10.2015

‘Incestuous recruiting’ at French universities

logoPARIS (the local) -- In a feature article, the online paper The Local highlights basic problems of the French university system. One of the “biggest problems” besides overcrowding and underfunding seems to be elitism and “incestuous recruiting” of graduates among the political and corporate elites ... read more 09.10.2015

YOUR OPINION: Would Brexit damage British universities?

LONDON (guardian) -- The British newspaper The Guardian asks readers to share their views about the effects of the UK leaving the EU on the university and research sector ... participate 09.10.2015

First European Chess University Championship

image: ashotyanYEREVAN (armenpress) -- The European Chess Universities Championship is held for the first time, 25 university teams representing nine countries participate in the event. Armenian education minister Armen Ashotyan welcomed the 82 athletes in Yerevan saying that no effort will be spared to assure them that they came to a chess superstate ... read more 08.10.2015

Friday, 9 October 2015 //

Commission launches initiative to help refugee scientists

logoBRUSSELS (ec) -- With this initiative the European Commission is helping concentrate under a single portal potential actions aimed at researchers and scientists coming to Europe as refugees and asylum seekers. Interested institutions can now flag their offers – be it positions, internships or training courses – with the ‘science4refugees’ emblem ... read more 05.10.2015

Global shortage of teachers

PARIS (unesco) -- New UNESCO projections, released on World Teachers’ Day, show that massive teacher shortages will continue to deny millions of children the right to primary education ... read more 05.10.2015

Next round of Russia’s 5-100 project

image: UNNMOSCOW (pienews) -- Russia’s campaign to internationalise universities and the project to push five of them up into the top 100 of international rankings has begun its second application phase. To receive special funding, universities must present international strategies including mobility tactics, business plans, research facilities, campus infrastructure improvements and management reorganisation. According to Julia Selyukova, head of university marketing and development for the project, the universities must also contribute a substantial amount of their own funding in order to see their plans succeed ... read more 06.10.2015

European university mergers mapped

BRUSSELS (ansa) -- The European University Association has produced an interactive website where all registered university merger since 2000 are displayed ... read more 08.10.2015

German plagiat discredits medicine PhDs

image: cduBERLIN (dpa) -- The recently discovered plagiarism in the doctoral thesis of German defense minister, Ursula von der Leyen, sheds a negative light on doctoral degrees in medicine, German physicians say. The general number of PhDs in Germany, as the number of students, is rising: 28.000 in 2014 compared to 23.000 ten years before ... read more 05.10.2015

Thursday, 8 October 2015 //

Universities fear assessment of teaching quality

image: OECDPARIS (the) -- Commenting on the project for teaching quality at universities, AHELO, Andreas Schleicher, OECD director for education and skills, told journalists that it cannot be launched at present following “very high” resistance, particularly from elite institutions. He added that an “insufficient” number of governments were also willing to run with the project. He suggested that universities needed to demonstrate their worth as they “no longer have a very strong voice in the debate in the economy and corporate sector on what kind of skills are needed for the 21st century. And that’s worrying” ... read more 02.10.2015

Germany: Students and refugees compete for flats

BERLIN (tagesspiegel) -- 2300 applicants for a place in a student dorm — that’s a record in Berlin. Rents in shared appartments are skyrocketing, too: in Munich to an average of 540 euros. A new factor are refugees, as soon as they will leave their first accomodations, experts say, they will look for cheap flats in cities like students ... read more | and here 29.09.2015

‘Pretty curious’ campaign is not pc

image: pinterestLONDON (nature) -- An initiative of a British power company to encourage girls to study science has met much criticism. One concerned scientist tweeted from Tunbridge Wells, the assumption “that most girls want to be pretty, and that it’s a potential mechanism to interest them in STEM, is sexism.” The company admitted the intention to attract attention and a “diverse, skilled workforce” and because the UK overall is facing a shortage of engineers.... read more 01.10.2015

Rat race of internationalisation

POZNAŃ (inside highered) -- Researchers who asked if internationally well connected scientists in Europe are more productive in terms of publications, found their expected surprise: yes they are ... read more 01.10.2015

Educated fins are drawn abroad

HELSINKI (ht) -- An estimated 15,500 people —including roughly 10,000 Finnish citizens— emigrated from Finland in 2014. The majority are of working age and usually hold a higher education degree, and many of them in the fields of commerce and technology. The longer they stay abroad, the less likely they are to return ... read more 05.10.2015

Wednesday, 7 October 2015 //

Financial gamblers in the Austrian student foundation

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VIENNA (standard) -- The management of the Austrian student foundation lost over 2 million euros through speculation with risky derivates. The foundation was set up by the national student union ÖH in the 1950s to provide student housing. None of the responsibles has been punished ... read more 02.10.2015

What British universities get from the EU

LONDON (fullfact) -- Only Germany received more from the Commission’s research fund than the UK in 2007-2013, and not by much. British universities are heavily represented in the top 50 of higher education institutions ranked by success attracting in EU grants ... read more 05.10.2015

BP Off Campus

logoWARWICK (guardian) -- Students at one of Britain’s top universities have written to their chancellor calling on him to shut down a BP archive based at the campus library in what amounts to an escalation of campaigns against fossil fuel companies ... read more 04.10.2015

Undercover agents at Romanian universities

BUCAREST (df) -- Your best friend — a spy? many students ask. But the police sends undercover agents who behave like students into the university to discover corruption. And they are successful ... read more 05.10.2015

France: University autonomy in terms of real estate

image: ESNAPARIS (l’opinion) -- Should universities have more freedom to create income through their real estate? That is the question —the magic keyword is “devolution”— that some commentators of the financial squeeze of French universities answer with a yes. But to pass property from the State to the universities is a complicated process ... read more 30.9.15

Tuesday, 6 October 2015 //

Extraordinary scale of PhD fraud in Russia

image: CCMOSCOW (the) -- With more than 3,500 falsified theses identified by the anti-plagiarism group Dissernet in the past two years, PhD forgery is now an “integral part of Russia’s statehood”. But unlike in the West, says Dissernet’s founder Andrey Rostovtsev, “most of the authors under scrutiny have most probably never written a single page of their dissertations and might have never read them or even seen them at all” ... read more 04.10.2015

Low success rate of Horizon 2020 bids

BRUSSELS (uwn) -- Of nearly 73,000 applications during the first 18 months of Horizon 2020, the average success rate was 12.9 percent, down from 18.5 percent in the previous FP7, with some sub-programmes reporting success rates well below ten percent ... read more 02.10.2015

Universities buy goods made with forced labour

image: Greenpeace Switzerland / ESNA

LONDON (national) -- Universities across the UK, as well as throughout Europe, are purchasing electronics manufactured through forced labour, according to a new report. While young European students enjoyed their summer break, thousands of Chinese students, some as young as 15, were deployed to the assembly lines of the world’s biggest electronics manufacturers. If they refuse, they will be denied receiving their diploma ... read more | and here 5.10.15

The political corruption of Greek academia

ATHENS (euroscientist) -- The combination of abundant highly qualified scientists and brain drain in most extreme in Greece. The roots of this problem affect European science at-large, they lie in the lamentable lack of funding, stiff hierarchical systems that stifle young investigators, nepotism, general corruption, and political interference ... read more 05.10.2015

Monday, 5 October 2015 //

VW scandal - a wake-up call for regulatory science

logoLONDON (nature) -- The research community has an opportunity here. It must use the Volkswagen crisis to highlight a broader problem: how regulatory science is funded, conducted and used ... read more 29.09.2015

High expectations: a new university hospital

AUGSBURG (aa) -- When ready in 2018, Augsburg’s new university hospital will create 100 new professorhips and attract companies to the southern German city region, says president Sabine Doering-Manteuffel ... read more

Campus of Strasbourg becomes a park

image: CCSTRASBOURG (badische) -- The University of Strasbourg, the biggest since three institutions have merged, will transform its campus into a park. An investment of about 7 million euro, more than half by the French state, will flow into this transformation from grey to green ... read more 02.10.2015

Roma III gets serious with student-centred investments

ROME (div) -- While a recent report condemns hiking tuition fees in Italy which vary between universities and regions and reflect in no way social and regional concerns, the third university of Rome has announced a special investment programme. Roma III will put 600,000 euro in reducing fees, student assistance and mobility ... read more 24./28.09.2015

Platform launched against corruption in education

image: Council of EuropePRAGUE (prague post) -- The Council of Europe has today launched at the Charles University a new “platform” to fight corruption in education: the Pan-European Platform on Ethics, Transparency and Integrity in Education (ETINED). A recent Transparency International survey indicates a public perception of corruption in education from 6 to 72 percent ... read more 01.10.2015
Friday, 2 October 2015 //

Turkish opposition woos students and universities

image: CHP

ANKARA (worldbulletin) -- Turkey’s main opposition party CHP presented their manifesto for the upcoming general election on November 1st. Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu promised that he would remove the Higher Education Board (YOK) and universities would become independent, adding that students would receive grants and graduates would be sent abroad to do their doctorates ... read more 30.09.2015

Dutch Machiavellian struggles

THE HAGUE (scienceguide) -- Red tape is a bad word. And education minister Jet Bussemaker who promises less bureaucracy by merging the institutions that supervise university quality and efficiency into one, first met with approval among rectors. But now they feel uneasy about the growing state control coming along with the envisaged Higher Education Authority ... read more 30.9

Armenia supports Belarus’ Bologna integration

image: govYEREVAN (armenpress) -- Armenia as a country, who had assumed Bologna Secretariat for the last three years, has always assisted its partner Belarus, as education minister Armen Ashotyan emphasised. He promised to pass his integration experience in the European Higher Education Area to Belarus as well as to other members of the Eurasian Economic Union ... read more 29.9.15

Bulgarian education minister: Parties out of academia!

SVISHTOV (dnevnik) -- Political parties ought to stay out of universities, education minister Todor Tanev said in his inaugural speech of the academic year in Svishtov, northern Bulgaria. He alluded to a conflict involving his ministry this summer about the appointment of the rector of the Economics Academy in Svishtov ... read more | and here 28.09.2015

Cryptocurrencies into science

logoLONDON (nature) -- 14.6 million Bitcoin units are in circulation, market value: 3.4 billion dollar. And on 15 September, Bitcoin officially came of age in academia with the launch of Ledger, the first journal dedicated to cryptocurrency research ... read more

Thursday, 1 October 2015 //

100 global minds across disciplines

image: BabelMILAN (the) -- A new book celebrates 100 of the academics, artists and activists who have been boldest in crossing disciplinary boundaries. Gianluigi Ricuperati, creative director of the Domus Academy in Milan, asked a number of young people under 25 with a deep interest in arts and culture to offer their suggestions ... read more 30.9.15

UK: Student housing business booms

LONDON (property wire) -- London’s full time student population is expected to rise by 50 percent in the next ten years while capital flows into student housing is expected to triple ... read more 29.09.2015

New York wants to make Computer Science mandatory

image: NiklemNEW YORK (think progress) -- New York City mayor Bill de Blasio plans to make computer science mandatory in all public schools. De Blasio’s $81 million (€72 million) plan feeds on the city’s booming tech scene, which has grown almost 60 percent since 2007 and accounts for nearly six percent of the U.S. private job workforce ... read more 16.09.2015

More Portuguese want to study

LISBON (público) -- Both public and private universities in Portugal show a continuing increase of applications. At the private Universidade Europeia the number of applicants has risen by 30 percent ... read more 28.09.2015

German racist reminds scientists of licensing issues

image: Gangolf JobbBERLIN (science) -- A German scientist and inventor is revoking the license to his bioinformatics software for researchers working in eight European countries because those countries allow too many immigrants to cross their borders. The affair shows that it is important for scientists to be knowledgeable about licensing issues when using software ... read more 29.09.2015

Tuesday, 29 September 2015 //

Open Access — publishers cash in double

image: THELONDON (the) -- Cash registers are ringing at Elsevier, Springer, Wiley, Taylor & Francis as well as Oxford and Cambridge University Press. Not only did the big science publishers divert attention from decades of overbilling academic libraries for journal subscriptions at public expense, not only did they consolidate their balance sheets by engaging in Open Access and labelling prepaid online publishing as ‘gold’. Now extra profits are generated by ‘double-dipping’ or pocketing Author Publication Charges (APCs) for OA publishing without lowering their subscription revenues ... read more | and here 24.9.15

French universities crisis

PARIS (independent) -- Welcome to the French university system. There is almost no selection; fees are minimal; classes are gigantic; and the first year failure rate is high ... read more 25.09.2015

“Flanders is too small for five top universities”

image: KULBRUSSELS (div) -- By claiming that “Flanders is too small for five top universities” Rik Torfs, rector of the Catholic University of Leuven, has triggered a heated debate in the Durch speaking part of Belgium. His elitist provocation was taken badly from his colleagues of other universities ... read more | and here | and here 21.09.2015

Gender quotas getting smart

HEIDELBERG (science 2.0) -- There is no perfect way to assure gender balance in academia, a recent report suggests ‘smart quotas’ that take into account the number of available, qualified candidates ... read more 24.09.2015

‘Overeducation’ — a case for immigration policy

image: ESRIDUBLIN (euractiv) -- If over- education is explained by factors such as excess supply of graduate labour, is there a role for policy, as Adele Bergin argues? A recent study examines the relationship between migrant status and labour market mismatch ... read more 22.09.2015

Monday, 28 September 2015 //

Science in the lobby trap

posterBRUSSELS (orf) -- Medicine, food, health — more and more complex sectors require scientific counsel, especially on a European level. But observers criticise that corporate interests use a scientific disguise (by setting up and funding think-tanks) to safeguard their interest. The NGO Corporate Europa Oberservatory (CEO) demands more transparency and the inclusion of critical stakeholder groups in advisory panels. These are exactly the concerns that led to the demand of the dismissal of the European Commission’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Anne Glover, last year ... read more 22.9.

Scotland risks being ‘anti-science’ with GM ban

EDINBURGH (scotsman) -- Scientific advice in favour of corporate interest is being held against civil society, once it is overruled. But governments maintaining their antipathy for transgenic crops are sensibly balancing public consent with scientific evidence. However, the Scottish government allegedly risks a reputation as being “anti-science” over a ban recently imposed on genetically modified crops ... read more | and here 25.09.2015

Tallinn University of Technology sets out ‘Nordic ambition’

image: TUTTALLINN (sciencebusiness) -- The newly-elected rector of Tallinn University of Technology (TUT), Jaak Aaviksoo is casting his gaze towards the wealthy Nordic countries. “I want to build partnerships with leading technical universities in the North.” With Estonia’s reputation as a tech-star long since established, working with the best technology-driven universities in Finland and Sweden is a high priority ... read more 24.09.2015

Czech Republic: Foreign students pay 1bn crowns in taxes

PRAGUE (čtk) -- 35,000 foreign students at Czech universities and colleges bring about one billion crowns (37,000 euro) to the state budget annually, this is the sum collected in VAT from their spendings ... read more 24.09.2015

Science without Borders to be suspended

logoBRASILIA (folha) -- Owing to lack of funds, Brazilian has decided to suspend the offer of new scholarships as part of the programme Science Without Borders. Launched in July 2011, the programme has become one of President Rousseff’s flagship policies. After the creation of 101,000 places by last year, the promise for her second term was to create another 100,000. But next year’s budget, a total of 2.1 billion real (470 million euro), is only enough to cover students who are already abroad ... read more | and here 7.9.15

Friday, 25 September 2015 //

Portuguese universities on strike

image: snesupLISBON (observador) -- For the first time in six years, Portuguese professors and researchers across the country went on strike in protest against cuts and precarity yesterday. António Vicente, speaking for the national teachers’ union SNESup and addressing the umcoming government, said budgets have been reduced by 30 percent over the last five years and half of the professors work on short-term contracts, while work loads are rising ... read more | video 22.09.2015

Heavy student accomodation crisis in Ireland

DUBLIN (irish times) -- Ireland’s seven universities have called for “urgent remedial action” to address the student accommodation crisis. They claim a funding gap on campuses of 2 billion euros ... read more 22.09.2015

Financial irregularities at Madrid universities

logoMADRID (el mundo) -- An audit by the Chamber of Accounts uncovered “continuous irregularities” in the way four public Madrid universities conducted their financial affairs. The supreme control body said that several contracts of the university authorities and the Community of Madrid should be decared null as they are inconsistent with the law and contravene “principles of transparency, equality and non-discrimination” ... read more 17.09.2015

MOOCs for Russia

MOSCOW (russia direct) -- Last week, a new Russian online educational platform was launched. OpenEdu is the first site in Russia to offer students massive open online courses (MOOCs) equal in weight to more traditional modes of study ... read more 22.09.2015

Europe pushing for a world-class start-up culture

image: ESNA

HELSINKI (business insider) -- “As technology upends industries and lifestyles at breakneck pace, the Old Continent is not producing any of the online giants like Google, eBay or Facebook. Its best and brightest prefer to emigrate to Silicon Valley.” The campaign for deregulation continues ... read more 21.9.15

Thursday, 24 September 2015 //

First US colleges slash tuition fees

image: Rosemont CollegeWASHINGTON (div) -- The first two American colleges are slashing their tuition fees by over 40 percent. Rosemont College in Philadelphia and Utica College in New York promised to lower fees starting next autumn ... read more | and here 16.9.15

Ukraine faces “serious brain drain”

KIEV (interfax) -- As the Ukraine is shifting closer to Western Europe, including liberalised markets and mobility, education minister Serhiy Kvit warns that “the problem of a brain drain is quite serious now.” Only “developing international relations, promoting education and training our students and professionals in the best Western universities, teaching them foreign languages,” he believes, “will prevent emigration of Ukrainian researchers and intellectuals” ... read more

Lomonossov University to build her own Silicon Valley

image: ОИЯИ / JINRMOSCOW (occrp) -- 28 year-old Katerina Tihonova, previously known as an acrobatic rock-and-roll dancer and allegdly Vladimir Putin’s daughter, is heading a 110 billion ruble (1.5 billion euro) project to double the size of Moscow State University (MSU). She supervises a fund, established in 2012 and generously supported by the State energy companies Rosneft and Transneft, which is aimed at developing the concept of the MSU Science and Technology Park to encourage collaboration between the university and hi-tech corporations ... read more | and here 22.09.2015

Scientific interest vs. privacy rights

LONDON (nature) -- Public unease about online privacy is rising, as private companies operate as data brokers and many scientists argue that there are legitimate scientific uses of using data retrieved and cross-referenced from various sources, including public records ... read more 22.09.2015

IBM Watson enters Spanish universities

logoMADRID (tech week) -- The Technical University of Madrid (UPM) has partnered with IBM to launch courses with access to the company’s Watson computer. The courses are the latest step in a larger effort by IBM “to fuel an ecosystem of innovators who will help make cognitive computing the new standard of computing”. UPM is the first Spanish university to enter into such a cooperation, according to IBM, there are 100 such partnerships, 13 of which in Europe ... read more | video on WATSON 21.09.2015

Wednesday, 23 September 2015 //

Rush on French universities

image: webradio.univ-paris13PARIS (afp) -- With 65.000 more students enrolling this year (exceeding a total of 2.5 million), French universities are worried how to cope. “Universities are burnt out”, Jean-Loup Salzmann, president of the rectors conference CPU, told the press. “It is as if we were to create two new universities a year,” he said, warning that if university funding will be the same as last year, “already 300 million euros are lacking” ... read more 16.09.2015

Polish public universities in a financial crisis

WARSAW (prawna) -- Despite major cost-cutting efforts, many Polish universities are in financial trouble. Ten out of 101 public institutions report a negative annual result in 2014. However, public expediture in education and science is expexted to fall further below 0.7 percent of GDP ... read more 1809

Hostile climate against Anti-Mafia University

image: CCCATANZARO (gdc) -- Adriana Musella is exhausted. The head of the national association against the mafia Riferimenti considers returning the premises made available by the city of Limbadi in Calabria, southern Italy, for the construction of a research university on organised crime in Italy. The property had been seized from a former mafia boss, but eversince, members of the association including Musella herself, who lives under police protection, have been threatened ... read more 17.09.2015

Students occupy Athens Technical College

ATHENS (kathimerini) -- Protesters have prevented teachers and students entering the Athens Technical College (TEI) since Sunday, September 13, demanding that convicted anarchist Nikos Romanos be given leave from prison with an electronic tag to study at the institution ... read more | and here 21.9.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 //

EIB grants record loan to Oxford

image: EIBLUXEMBOURG (express) -- The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide 200 million Pound (275 million Euro) for Oxford University’s programme of improvement and expansion of research and teaching facilities. The United Kingdom is the largest beneficiary of EIB university lending, receiving 1.45 billion Pound (2 billion euro) in the last five years, prompting fears that British researchers might not remain impartial in the run up to the ‘Brexit’ referendum ... read more | and here 17.9.

Austria takes the ‘golden’ road to Springer

BERLIN/WIEN (standard) -- The Austrian Academic Library Consortium and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) have reached a deal with science publisher Springer. The three-year licensing agreement subscribes to 2.000 journals and gives Austrian scholars prepaid “golden open access” to 1.600 Springer publications. After a similar agreement with Dutch universities in late 2014, Springer hopes to finalise comparable deals in the United Kingdom and Germany ... read more | and here 17.09.2015

German universities: satisfaction along the money line

logoBERLIN (focus) -- A triennial survey on the ‘mood’ of German rectors found an overall improvement compared to three years ago. Most satisfaction with public policy, however, were where the money went — to excellence programmes and to private universities.
The survey called Hochschul-Barometer also highlights German university managements’ stronger focus on internationalisation ...
read more 17.09.2015

Danish ‘code of conduct’ for internationalisation

COPENHAGEN (pienews) -- The Danish government has released a new ‘code of conduct’ for higher education institutions that recruit international students, with the aim to making it easier for them to access information about courses, student services, tuition fees and living costs ... read more 18.09.2015

Euro-Mediterranean Institute of Technology launched

logoFEZ (ufm) -- The Euro-Mediterranean Institute of Technology, which was created with engineering schools and universities of from Morocco, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, has admitted its first 192 students. Their joint-diplomas will be recognised by the Moroccan and the French government and the European network of engineering schools ... read more 14.09.2015

Monday, 21 September 2015 //

Science advisors for the EU Commission appointed

image: govBRUSSELS (ec) -- The European Commission is eager to appoint a new group of scientists to advise it, departing from the previous system with a single chief scientific adviser. Now there are 150 nominations. The members of the group shall be chosen by the end of October, science commissioner Carlos Moedas said, and operative by the end of the year ... read more | and here 15.09.2015

Ericsson extends research programme across Europe

LAS VEGAS (cable) -- Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson is to expand its 5G research and development programme —on network technology for mobile devices— to include new partners across Europe. Among them are technical universities such as Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa; TU Dresden; Universidad Carlos III of Madrid and King’s College London ... read more 18.9.

“Ban on profession” widespread in Belarusan education

image: belarus magazineMINSK (eurobelarus) -- “Ban on profession” is a phenomenon that is almost forgotten in our days, but it is still widespread in the Belarusan education system. According to public records, there are about 500 cases of lecturers banned for ideological reasons. Often it is hidden by the universities, but also by the dismissed teachers themselves, hoping to find work in private schools ... read more 18.09.2015

Fraud detection software works in Spain

BARCELONA (euronews) -- The Open University of Catalonia —one of Europe’s largest online universities— has been perfecting its anti-plagiarism software for the past five years and cheating has dropped by 80 percent ... read more

Bank of Lithuania funds university research

logoVILNIUS (baltic course) -- The Bank of Lithuania (LB) and Vilnius University have founded a research centre with the aim of attracting foreign economists who, jointly with local scientiests, cary out joint research projects, prepare seminars, conferences, publications, and exchange good experiences in the fields of banking and finance. The centre’s focus lies on risk management, analysis of new financial products, shadow economy, and fiscal policy ... read more 18.9.15

Friday, 18 September 2015 //

Belarus between Bologna Process and nation-building

image: Flying UniversityMINSK (eurobelarus) -- While transformations according to the Bologna Process in Belarus will result in a brain-drain, some forces in the country want to see a National University established as a means of nation-building. Education expert Tacciana Vadalazhskaja explains the current challenges Belarus is facing in higher education ... read more 10.09.2015

German-Russian research relations improving

BONN (df) -- Despite the tensions, on a political level, between Russia and Germany since the Ukraine crisis, their scientific relations flourish. DAAD expert, Thomas Prahl, sees co-operation on all levels increasing ... read more

Edward Snowden addresses UK students

image: UofGGLASGOW (sputnik) -- Former CIA contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed the extent and methods of mass surveillance used by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain’s GCHQ spy agency, has called on students to oppose plans to increase surveillance powers ... read more 15.09.2015

New university in southern Luxembourg

ESCH-BELVAL (df) -- No tuition fees, but excellent research conditions: In the old steel town Esch-Belval in southern Luxembourg this week a new university opened ... read more | and here 15.09.2015

Wikipedia under fire for relationship with Elsevier

logoBERKELEY (ars technica) -- Scientific publisher Elsevier has donated 45 free ScienceDirect accounts to “top Wikipedia editors” to aid them in their work. Michael Eisen, one of the founders of the open access movement, fears that this will encourage Wikipedia editors to add references to articles behind Elsevier’s paywall — and thus trigger commercial activity ... read more | and here 14.9.15

Thursday, 17 September 2015 //

Eastern training network in nuclear technology

logoMINSK (belTA) -- Three Belarusian universities plan to take part in the regional education and training network in nuclear technology STAR-NET. This network will include 13 universities of six states: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Kazakhstan. STAR-NET, initiated by Russian research universities in 2008, aims to foster cooperation between educational institutions and nuclear industry-oriented training centres to ensure the continued availability of talented human resources in the field ... read more 15.09.2015

International students in France reach 300K

PARIS (the local) -- Close to 300,000 international students will be in France this year. Moroccans (34,000), Chinese (30), and Algerians (22) dominate, around 9,000 from Germany and Italy respectively ... read more 15.09.2015

Universities worldwide embrace cryptocurrency

logoLONDON (coindesk) -- Mexico’s Universidad de las Américas Puebla became the first institution in Latin America to welcome bitcoin on campus last month, after a coffee shop began accepting payments in the cryptocurrency. Which are the most crypto-friendly universities across the globe? ... read more 14.9.15

Scottish university cities offer juicy investments

EDINBURGH (property wire) -- University cities in Scotland offer the best areas for profit for buy to let investors in the UK, with the overall best average rental yield in Edinburgh ... read more 14.09.2015

Yet another ranking

rankeLONDON (div) -- European heavy weight ETH Zurich, with 10,000 staff and an annual turnover of 1.5 billion euro, made it into the top ten of the latest QS university rankings. Meanwhile, Thomson Reuters, partner and data provider for THE university rankings, set out to find “the world’s top 100 innovative universities empirically”, distinguishing and thus promoting patent protection and commercialising of scientific discoveries ... read more 15.09.2015

Wednesday, 16 September 2015 //

Counter-revolution against the democratic university

logoAMSTERDAM (joop) -- Dutch education minister, Jet Bussemaker, wants to undo the democratic reforms introduced at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) after protests and occupations last spring.
The rebellion of students and staff had put an end to financial mismanagement and the commercialisation of university property by creating participatory structures, which the minister —despite her lip service at that time— wants to abolish now to put the former top-down managerial powers back in place ...
read more 10.9.15

Scholarships in Luxemburg are not sufficient

LUXEMBOURG (le quotidien) -- An evaluation of student aid in Luxembourg showed that it does not support students from low and average income households enough. Especially children from families living under the minimum wage and families with many children are penalised ... read more 11.09.2015

Will Erdoğan’s illegal palace become a university?

image: IMCTVISTANBUL (today’s zaman) -- Some want the palace, Turkish prime minister Recep Erdoğan had built illegally in an environmentally protected area of Ankara (for 400 million euro), to be demolished. From a recent architectural competition however, proposals emerged to transform it into a university campus, a museum or a nursing home ... read more 14.05.2015

The needle eye into Czech universities

PRAGUE (df) -- Entrance exams to enroll at a Czech university are a long procedure every year. 10,000 pupils are applying for 26 universities and they have to pass written and oral tests ... read more 21.08.2015

ESS becomes ERIC

image: ESS

LUND (div) -- The multidisciplinary research centre European Spallation Source (ESS) is the world’s next-generation neutron source currently under construction in Lund, Sweden. The co-operative project of 17 countries has now been approved by the EU Commission as European Research Infrastructure Consortium, or ERIC ... read more | and here 08.09.2015

Tuesday, 15 September 2015 //

The pros and cons of Polish internationalisation

image: DK /PGAWARSAW (inside highered) -- Internationalisation of universities is becoming a new mantra for the Polish government. In June, the science ministry signed an agreement with the UAE to attract more of their students. It already has similar agreements with Oman, Malaysia, and China. Daniel Kontowski, an early-stage researcher in sociology, and Philip Altbach, an old-school scholar on higher education policy, analyse this strategy in a dialogue (part one) ... read more 13.9.15

EU funders claim fair recruitment

MANCHESTER (the) -- Universities could lose up to a quarter of European Union research funding if they fail to comply with new rules designed to promote fair recruitment, a Brussels official has warned. Breaches of the rules designed to stamp out sexism, nepotism, localism and cronyism when hiring researchers could lead to severe financial penalties for those who have won European Research Council awards ... read more 14.09.2015

Study reveals major risks of university IT security

logoNEW YORK (ars technica) -- An American internet security firm has published a study (unfortunately à l’américaine they need a gun or a race to create interest, so it’s in form of a ranking) that highlights the major security risks, universities are running because of their unsafe IT structures or internet behaviour ... read more 11.09.2015

Russia and India forge science cooperation

MOSCOW (focus) -- India and Russia are working on a “general agreement” on collaboration in science and technology, which will enable the countries to exchange ideas on technology, scientists and students ... read more 12.9.15

Students fall for housing scam in Dublin

hände

DUBLIN (irish times) -- Two Austrian students who found a flat in Dublin on Facebook, were swindled out of 550 euro by a fake landlord ... read more 14.9.15

Monday, 14 September 2015 //

“Policy Reviews in Higher Ed” calls for papers

coverLONDON (srhe) -- The London-based Society for Research into Higher Education has launched a new biannual journal, titled “Policy Reviews in Higher Education”. Policy here is conceived as relevant to all areas of higher education activity, including transnational education, university governance, quality assurance, academic work, curriculum development and student learning, occurring at the local, regional, national and international levels. Comparative analyses across higher education systems are particularly encouraged. The first edition is now open for proposals ... read more

Danish university budget - no exception

COPENHAGEN (uwn) -- Science minister, Esben Lunde Larsen sees no reason why Danish universities shall not contribute to government budget reductions “on a par with other governmental institutions” ... read more 04.09.2015

Jo Johnson: Open UK higher education market

image: JJ facebookLONDON (telegraph) -- Universities should be allowed to fail in a “properly-run market”, the British universities minister, Jo Johnson, said and added, announcing a lift of the moratorium on bids for degree-awarding powers from new institutions: “This government values competition. We want a diverse system that can offer different types of higher education” ... read more 09.09.2015

Car-sharing companies fish for students

BERLIN (shz) -- Car-sharing companies in Germany are luring students with special offers: 1,99 euro per hour and no taxes, no repairs, no assurance. But car-rental firms are close on the heels ... read more 10.09.2015

Transgender panic at German college

image: CabaretPOTSDAM (pnn) -- The initiative of a working group at a vocational college in Potsdam, near Berlin, shows clearly: the German path to tolerance is still long. A toilet, tagged ‘unisex’ for transgender people, caused panic attacks and rape accusations ... read more 05.09.2015

Friday, 11 September 2015 //

(Swedish) Catholics like it this way

Reagan Thatcher

STOCKHOLM (unt) -- Student representatives are always good to send up a trial balloon. Therefore, some ambitious members of Swedish christian-democratic student unions launched a debate saying “Swedish universities need more freedom and a company-style management” ... read more 9.9.15

French government excludes increase of tuition fees

PARIS (educpros) -- A revised national strategy for higher education in France has been handed over to President Francois Hollande. Concordantly, the state secretary for higher education, Thierry Mandon, assured that a raise of tuition fees “would contradict our social model”. The student union UNEF said a freeze of fees is “not sufficient” and announced mobilisations ... read more | and here

Portuguese rectors instruct the upcoming government

image: MCTIISBON (ao) -- The National Federation of Teachers (Fenprof) wants the next Portuguese government to commit itself to rescind 12 measures introduced by the current education minister Nuno Crato. Among their demands: the revision of privatisation and municipalisation of universities along with the hiring and evaluation processes ... read more 04.09.2015

Italy: how to make students richer by magic

ROME (l’espresso) -- A change in the academic income calculation (Isee) has made many Italian students richer — so it seems. But oh, one quarter of them don’t qualify for public student aid anymore! In an online petition, student unions call for immediate government intervention ... read more 8.9.15

Students pay £600 million for flats in London

image: e j harris

LONDON (property wire) -- The 107,000 international students studying in London contribute some 600 million pound (825 million euro) in rental income to the capital’s rental market. The wealthiest Chinese, Russian and Malaysian students typically spend up to £1,500 per week to live in plush addresses in Mayfair, Knightsbridge and South Kensington ... read more 09.09.2015

Thursday, 10 September 2015 //

No moratorium for ‘reactionary’ Spanish university law

image: RastojoOVIEDO (el comercio) -- In a motion to the Asturian parliament, members of the opposition party Podemos demanded a moratorium on the ‘reactionary’ higher education law LOMCE, named after former national education minister, José Wert. The same motion in twelve of the autonomous regions of spain has been rejected by the new education minister, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo ... read more 03.09.2015

Danish university budget - no exception

COPENHAGEN (uwn) -- Science minister, Esben Lunde Larsen sees no reason why Danish universities shall not contribute to government budget reductions “on a par with other governmental institutions” ... read more 04.09.2015

A free credit card for students

genius cardPERUGIA (pt) -- It’s called ‘Genius Card’, a free credit card for students provided by Unicredit Bank, that representatives of the University of Perugia have proudly presented. The old university in central Italy has a traditional relation with Unicredit and expects improvements in the financial transactions of students. The card was presented in a press conference by university’s rector, Franco Moriconi, and the head of the regional bank branch ... read more 08.09.2015

French students more indebted

PARIS (les echos) -- The average amounts borrowed by French students are rising. Not only the number of borrowers climbs, the volume of credit does, too. Time for an old-school socialist bank regulation? ... read more 07.09.2015

Push for more university commercialisation in Norway

image: NIFUOSLO (nifu) -- A new evaluation report concludes that the Norwegian universities’ technology transfer has become more professional. The report also shows that commercialisation has become a more accepted activity among Norwegian researchers. At the same time, it urges universities to do more to strengthen the culture for commercialisation ... read more

Wednesday, 9 September 2015 //

EU and China launch new Co-Funding Mechanism for research and innovation

flagBEIJING (ec) -- Between 2016 and 2020, the EU expects to put 100 million euro into a new co-funding mechanism with the ‘Middle Kingdom’. China will match corresponding resources in support of joint research and innovation activities in strategic areas including energy, health, agriculture, biotechnology, green transport, sustainable urbanisation, ITC, and mobility of young researchers ... read more 07.09.2015

Midi-Pyrénées and Paris are R&D champions

PARIS (la croix) -- From a comparison of investment into research and development in France emerged that the regions Midi-Pyrénées and Île-de-France (around Paris) have scored highest. While the former spent 4.8 percent of its GDP, the latter invested most in absolute figures, 18.5 billion euro in 2012. 41,000 people are full-time employed in R&D in France ... read more

Tehran to welcome five scientific delegations from Europe

image: The Oslo Times Political Cartoonist, Soheil Akbarpouran NaraniTEHRAN (mehr) -- Deputy science minister, Hossein Salar Amoli, said five scientific delegations from European countries are due to visit Iran in the near future. A large academic delegation from Austria arrived in the Iranian capital on Monday, 7th September, after German vice-chancellor Siegmar Gabriel was first to come in July. Improving international relations on one hand didn’t prevent the regime however, to execute 694 persons in the first half of 2015 ... read more 08.09.2015

University for refugees launches crowdfunding campaign

BERLIN (the) -- An online university for refugees in Berlin has launched a crowdfunding campaign. Several universities in Germany have signed up to the initiative, while the organisation is in the process of seeking more partners in the UK ... read more 07.09.2015

Higher education in Greece after the bail-out

image: DeligneATHENS (uwn) -- The austerity imposed on Greece by the Eurogroup lingers on. Last year’s law on higher education can’t be passed; ATMs abroad and research project funds were blocked, in the long run it is the suspension of all library subsriptions, the early retirements, the scientific brain drain and students’ restricted choices that will be harder to reverse ... read more 04.09.2015

Tuesday, 8 September 2015 //

Top down mergers in Hungarian higher education

image: cassandroBUDAPEST (eduline) -- 200 protesters waited at the press conference where Hungarian state secretary for higher education, László Palkovics, announced the merging and restructuring of universities earlier this month. Corvinus University and the University of West Hungary will be partly integrated, despite objections from these institutions; others will be merged completely ... read more | and here 1.9.15

STEM more popular in Flanders

BRUSSELS (engineeringnet) -- The Agoria Barometer, counting the applications of students for technology studies in Flanders, rose in one week from 4000 to 5500. “We need 9000 each year to fill all vacancies in technological jobs,” says Agoria director Wilson De Pril ... read more 1.9.15

Great Britain: higher fees, lower standards

image: Uk euro coinLONDON (scmp) -- In an attempt to lure more European students, British universities have lowered the A-level grade required for entry and are offering bursaries and other inducements to fill their places. At the same time, the smear campaign against defaulters on student loans from the EU continues ... read more 06.09.2015

Greece lowers entrance hurdels

ATHENS (kathimerini) -- Almost a quarter of university and technical college departments have accepted new students that attained less than 50 percent in their entrance exams, once considered the pass mark ... read more 26.8.15

Slovak universities could lose accreditation

image: mineduBRATISLAVA (spectator) -- The number of universities in Slovakia could be reduced if some of them fail to rectify their shortfalls. One of the biggest problems is the lack of scientific publications in international journals and the disproportionate publication in the Slovak language ... read more 04.09.2015
Monday, 7 September 2015 //

Finland announces big investment in education

image: SGLHELSINKI (ht) -- The Finnish government announced to invest one billion euros in its spearhead Education minister, Sanni Grahn-Laasonen is now eager to provide urgent funding primarily, to encouraging the digitisation of basic education, and to knowledge-hubs created through co-operation between research and higher education ... read more 02.09.2015

EU backs project to test students across Europe

BRUSSELS (the) -- A new project to create an “internationally comparable” test of what students learn across European higher education is to launch with a 500,000 euro grant from the EU. This autumn will see the start of a feasibility study ... read more 04.09.2015

New open-access journal to publish entire research cycles

image: rolling stones, sticky fingers revisitedSOFIA (eurekalert) -- A new journal promises a paradigm shift in academic publishing: for the first time, it advertises, materials from all stages of the research cycle can be published, across a broad suite of disciplines. All its contents —including reviews and comments, data and code— will receive a persistent unique identifier, will be permanently archived and made available under open licenses without any access embargo ... read more 01.09.2015

US university abandons paper books

MARYLAND (umuc) -- For the first time, a major American university has replaced 100 percent of its undergraduate textbooks with no-cost digital resources ... read more 27.08.2015

VAT hits hard on private schools in Greece

image: ESNAATHENS (kathimerini) -- The EU-imposed raise of VAT tax on Greek businesses endangers private schools, too. Some private schools, offering preparatory courses for the university exam, are now in danger. Middle-class parents fear an increase of education costs ... read more 6.9.2015

Friday, 4 September 2015 //

Anti-European French students unite

La Cocarde - logoPARIS (la croix) -- A new anti-European student union under the name of La Cocarde has been officialy launched. It unites republicans, souvereignists, gaullists and some ultra-national students from 16 regions of France. This severs the “cordon sanitaire” towards the fascists of Front National. Their leader, Marine Le Pen, founded an organisation to win the students’ hearts, the collectif étudiant Marianne, just one year ago ... read more 01.09.2015

German law against ‘precarity’ in higher education

BERLIN (stz) -- A law proposal of German science minister Johanna Wanka wants to put an end to unfair short-term employment at universities. More than 80 percent (approximately 400,000) junior scientists or lecturers in Germany work under ‘precarious’ conditions with insecure career prospects ... read more 02.09.2015

Dutch push for university disintegration

image: Rathenau Instituut / ESNATHE HAGUE (turkse) -- “The days of the university for everyone are numbered” — that’s how the Dutch liberal think-tank Rathenau Instituut starts its latest opinion-making foray. The autors, Patricia Faasse and Barend van der Meulen, put the public function and democratic structure of universities into question and advocate their regional and functional specialisation ... read more 28.08.2015

Trouble for medicine students in Luxembourg

LUXEMBOURG (l’essentiel) -- Medicine students in Luxembourg are worried. Since a law change in neighbouring Belgium, for many of them, the continuation of their studies in the Belgian partner universities is no longer guaranteed ... read more 31.08.2015

A university in a refugee camp

image: Yvelyne Wood

GENEVA (le temps) -- The visual artist Yvelyne Wood has dedicated her work to the women in contemporary wars. She has now also launched an initiative to open a university in a refugee camp in Burundi. The central African country is relatively stable, she explains in an interview, relations with the authorities and the UN agency for refugees, HCR, are positive. The youngsters are highly motivated and especially women are encouraged to apply. National universities are not accessible for refugees ... read more 31.08.20152015

Thursday, 3 September 2015 //

Horizon 2020 threatened of further cuts

image: LERUBRUSSELS (leru) -- A group of European research universities is warning that within the EU institutions new plans are ripening to divert further funds from the research programme Horizon 2020 to other purposes. “It is terrible to witness how Finance Ministers have become the gravediggers of the EU’s research policy and budget”, states Kurt Deketelaere, secretary-general of the university association LERU ... read more 31.08.2015

European education and training cooperation: new priorities

BRUSSELS (ec) -- After a mid-term stocktaking, the EU Commission proposes six new priority areas for ‘Education and Training 2020’ ... read more 1.9.15

Pro-EU stance of British universities under attack

LONDON (breitbart) -- Opponents of Great Britain’s EU membership criticise the association Universities UK for campaigning in favour of it ... read more

Spanish flat shares for students are Europe’s cheapest

image: ESNA

MALAGA (expatica) -- While Spanish shared housing costs (229 euro) are well below the European average (350 euro), students in the UK pay almost four times as much (808 euro), a study shows ... read more 31.08.2015

Lazy attitude among Danish students?

COPENHAGEN (the local) -- Higher education minister, Esben Lunde Larsen says a “culture shift” is needed among Danish university students who often show up unprepared in class. 30 percent of professors have given their students passing marks even though they should have failed ... read more

Wednesday, 2 September 2015 //

Estonia rolls up the sleeves

image: Priit Simson / delfiTALLINN (delfi) -- In its vividly debated report, the Research and Development Council (RDC) recommends far-reaching reforms of the Estonian higher education and research landscape. According to the author, RDC expert Gunnar Okk, a pooling of university and research resources would improve quality and enhance internationalisation efforts. Among other proposals, he also advocates an intelligent student loan system ... read more 25.8.15

Poland opens up for foreign students

WARSAW (the) -- The Polish government has introduced measures to promote further internationalisation of its higher education system by bringing in more foreign students. First of all: the upfront payment of tuition fees has been abolished ... read more 30.08.2015

Protest against new ‘sharing policy’ of Elsevier

boycott elsevierBERLIN/ZURICH (div) -- Late April this year, Elsevier made troubling changes to its “sharing policy”: authors now have to wait up to four years before they can share an Elsevier-published manuscript through repositories. A new petition calls for boycott. A recent study at the of ETH Zurich found out that a switch to open access —even to paid “golden open access”— would reduce the university’s susbscription costs significantly ... read more 31.08.2015

New ways of cheating

AMSTERDAM (scienceguide) -- American researchers found a new way of cheating being used in online education to receive good grades. It is called CAMEO cheating, a technique particular to MOOCs ... read more 26.09.2015

The downside of Hillary Clinton’s Education Plan

image: M. NozellNEW YORK (forbes) -- Hillary Clinton’s higher education plan is extensive and expensive. 350 billion dollars over ten years are intended to help students out of the debt trap and secure funding for institutions, but ... read more 28.08.2015

Tuesday, 1 September 2015 //

New European Director-General for Education

image: creative europeBRUSSELS (aca) -- The newly appointed Director-General of DG Education and Culture, Ms Martine Reicherts, is to assume the post on 1 September 2015, after eight years of holding the same position in DG “Publications Office” in Luxembourg. The change in DG EAC is the result of a broader reshuffling in the Commission ... read more 31.08.2015

An e-book VAT exemption for schools in Europe?

INTERNATIONAL (good-e-reader) -- Every European country has different rates of VAT that it charges for digital and print. This has become increasingly difficult for schools, colleges and universities to invest into e-textbooks and e-books in an meaningful way. Should they be exempt from the tax? ... read more 24.08.2015

How to appoint a professor in the Czech Republic?

image: CRPRAGUE (ihned) -- In her first appearence in the new academic year, new Czech education minister Kateřina Valachová announced a “final consenus” for the appointment of professors. Appointments have been an apple of discord between rectors and President of the State Miloš Zeman, who intervened with his veto several times in the last year ... read more 21.08.2015

Little trust in university advertising

LONDON (the) -- Prospective students in the UK are most likely to trust information about universities that they perceive to be impartial —such as university websites and printed prospectuses— and place only limited weight on advertising and social media, a study suggests ... read more 26.08.2015

Monday, 31 August 2015 //

Universities fail to solve problems of society

image: Jeffrey SachsVIENNA (presse) -- The American economist and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, Jeffrey Sachs, said universities should engage more in solving problems of society, “especially in regard of the new aims of sustainable development. They could support governments in technical and political questions. As of today,” he said, “they are not playing this role sufficiently” ... read more 25.8.15

Increase of competitive funding in Austria

VIENNA (standard) -- The share of external funding at Austrian universities is steadily growing, reaching 600 million euro or one sixth of their overall annual budget. Only 25 percent of this income are non-public investments of private companies ... read more 27.08.2015

Dismantling Portuguese humanities — on the sly

image: universidadepluralMINHO (público) -- During the summer holidays, in August, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) published the results of the national competition for the funding of scientific projects. To avoid public attention, critcs say, since a growing number of project proposals of humanities and social science institutes have been rejected ... read more 30.08.2015

Catalan universities are the most expensive in Spain

BARCELONA (ibercampus) -- Tuition fees in Spain are highest in Catalonia, ranging from 1,500 to 2,400 euro p.a. Madrid which recently lowered fees by ten percent, is second in this ranking. Only one in five Spanish students get any public support, the OECD average is twice as high ... read more 30.8.15

Russia plans numerous university mergers

image: govMOSCOW (uwn) -- Russian education minister, Dmitry Livanov, announced plans of the government to close the majority of inefficient universities that provide poor education. Parts of these institutions will be merged into the large, multi-profile universities. It is expected that most of the universities that will close will be private higher education institutions ... read more 28.08.2015

Saturday, 29 August 2015 // special: university culture

The contagious madness of the new PC

image: CC pixabayLONDON (spectator) -- It’s becoming pretty clear, as the academic year rolls on, that some of our brightest youngsters have caught a virus, a mental one. It might be called political correctness, but it is weirder and more damaging than that ... read more 28.08.2015

Israeli university debaters winEuropean championship

VIENNA (jerusalem post) -- Stav Singer and Iddan Golomb, a pair of debaters from Tel Aviv University, brought home a gold trophy from the European Universities Debating Championship that took place in Vienna over the past week. More than 700 students from all over Europe participated ... read more 09.08.2015

European Universities Badminton Championship coming up

image: EUSABRØNDBY (bec) -- Warsaw will host the 10th European Universities Badminton Championship between August 31 and September 6. Partners in over 45 countries throughout Europe will organise it ... read more 26.08.2015

8 student-friendly cities in Europe

NOTTINGHAM (independent) -- From the World Heritage sites of Coimbra and Bamberg, to the medieval streets of Padua, there are lesser-known university cities in Europe for students to visit before term begins ... read more 14.8.15

The oldest universities are Arabian

logoMILAN (avvenire) -- Neither Greek, nor Roman models inspired the first European universities in the 11th and 12th century. Just like the first Enlightenment in thought and science, our academic roots are Arabian. Institutions like Al-Azhar in Cairo or Bayt al-Hykma in Baghdad were famous and flourishing throughout the Orient from where great scholars imported advanced concepts of knowledge production ... read more 27.08.2015

Friday, 28 August 2015 //

Corruption at Ukrainian universities persists

Yegor Stadny.  image: IROKIEV (kyiv post) -- According to a recent poll, one third of students in Ukraine said they had faced corruption at the university. The real numbers might be even higher, said Yegor Stadny, director of a think tank on educational issues. Low-quality education fuels the problem, he said, and in most cases corruption is initiated by underperforming students, not by teachers. At the same time, cases of “rotten rectors” are not rare ... read more 27.08.2015

Finnish higher ed in the stranglehold of “austerity”

HELSINKI (counterpunch) -- Last Saturday the 22nd, around 10.000 citizens went down to the streets of Helsinki to protest against the governmental austerity measures. Overall, approximately 500 million euro will be cut from higher education institutions. The government intends to freeze the university index, cut research funding and ... read more | and here 26.08.2015

Paper mills threatening academic integrity

image: ESNAJOHANNESBURG (enca) -- At a conference about plagiarism held in the Czech Republic in June 2015, one speaker revealed that one in five Australian undergraduate students had admitted to buying or intending to buy assignments on the Internet. The business is booming. One site claims to receive two million hits each month for its 5,000 free downloadable papers. Another claims to employ university professors to guarantee the quality of work ... read more 21.08.2015

Scottish universities fear loss of autonomy and funding

EDINBURGH (extra) -- Scottish universities could lose hundreds of millions of pounds worth of funding under plans to give the government greater control over their management, according to university principals ... read more 24.8.

Shorter titles get more citations

LONDON (science) -- Articles with shorter titles tend to get cited more often than those with longer headers, concludes a study published today in the journal Royal Society Open Science ... read more 25.08.2015

Thursday, 27 August 2015 //

Russia limits US influence at Kazhak universities

Marcel de Haas. Source: limburgsejagers.nl

ASTANA (eurasianet) -- Marcel de Haas, a NATO-trained, retired Dutch army official and until recently professor at Nazarbayev University in the Kazhak capital, complains about being fired. According to him, a lecture on the Russian-Ukraninian conflict has been cancelled following a complaint by Ruslan Kuznetsov, the defense attaché at the Russian Embassy. De Haas’ lecture would have misled the students, Kuznetsov wrote in a letter to the university, explaining “what is operating in Ukraine is a U.S.-controlled ultranationalist regime that aims to destabilise the situation in southeast Europe, broaden the market for American goods and services, and gain control over the energy infrastructure of Ukraine”. De Haas has been dismissed from the university shortly after ... read more 24.08.2015

Charles University opens doors to asylum seekers

PRAGUE (radio prague) -- Charles University has decided to open up to migrants who are seeking asylum in the Czech Republic. Four faculties have offered to provide free tuition and accommodation to refugees who have been granted asylum and residence permits and who have passed the entrance exam ... read more 25.08.2015

Belgian students in dire straits

image: Federico Mazzoleni / ESNABRUSSELS (rtbf) -- More and more young Belgians need social welfare support to survive. Since 2005, their number has risen from 35,000 to 50,000. The number of students in need increased as well: by 158 percent in Brussels, and by over 60 percent in Wallonia and Flanders ... read more 31.07.2015

Serbian students’ petition against Montenegrins

BELGRADE (balkan insight) -- A petition calling for the abolition of free tuition privileges for Montenegrin citizens in Serbia has caused a stir. But student parliaments in Belgrade, Nis, Novi Sad, Kragujevac and Mitrovica (Kosovo) condemned the petition, calling it malicious and untrue ... read more 13.8.15

German universities take care of the super rich

image: Hirst - Love of GodLONDON (pr newswire) -- The University of Cologne takes the top spot in a ranking of tertiary institutions in Germany and Austria in terms of the size of their ultra high net worth (UHNW) alumni populations. Germany is home to more than 19,000 of these individuals with a combined net worth of 2.5 trillion euro, making it the country with the second largest UHNW population in the world after the US ... read more 25.08.2015

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 //

Croatia invests in retaining scientists

image: vlada.gov.hrZAGREB (dnevnik) -- New measures allow Croatian universities to hire young scientists. An investment of up to 2 billion kuna (260 million euro) in the next decade shall retain 1,500 research assistants in the country and stop the brain drain, as science minister Vedran Mornar said. There will be non automatic employment but a mechanism of tenders to assure excellence, he added ... read more | in English 31.07.2015

More trust in Open Access

LONDON (biomed central) -- Results of a new survey by Nature show that confidence in open access publishing is growing ... read more 18.08.2015

Fake peer review

logoINTERNATIONAL (washington post) -- Academic publisher Springer has retracted 64 articles from ten of its journals after discovering that their reviews were linked to fake e-mail addresses. The announcement comes nine months after 43 studies were retracted by BioMed Central (one of Springer’s imprints) for the same reason. Springer and Holtzbrinck (owner of MacMillan/Nature) have recently merged, forming the company Springer Nature ... read more 18.8.15

Swedish universities hit hard by cutbacks

STOCKHOLM (uwn) -- In the government’s budget proposal for 2016, presented by finance minister Alexander Stubb, spending will be reduced by around 900 million euro. The savings to be made in schools and higher education amount to approximately 210 million euro ... read more 20.08.2015

French state secretary for higher ed in line with austerity

image: euractiv

PARIS (metro) -- Thierry Mandon, the new French state secretary for higher education and research, gave a foretaste of his political stance on austerity (that soon might concern his department as well). He criticised his party colleague Arnaud Montebourg for inviting former Greek finance minister and EU critic Yanis Varoufakis to the traditional political gathering of the Socialist Party “Fête de la Rose” ... read more | and here 19.08.2015

Tuesday, 25 August 2015 //

Controversial new higher education law in Albania

image: civitasTIRANA (balkan insight) -- After nine hours of debate, with 78 out of 140 votes, a new law on higher education was approved by the Albanian parliament, despite protests by professors and civil right activists outside the building. The law equals private universities to public ones, granting them access to state funds. Artan Fuga, the leading professor criticizing the law, said “the law is against the constitution and will bankrupt the university”. Further protests have been announced for September ... read more | president’s speech 22.07.2015

Austrian quarrel over university autonomy

VIENNA (standard) -- In the debate about a new higher education law, universities want more freedom to limit entrance and student numbers. Most parties and student representatives instead see this as a social issue in need of state regulation. Universities also fear the amendment would give the state more influence of their financial affairs ... read more | and here 20.08.2015

Easing capital controls over Greek students abroad

image: ESNAATHENS (kathimerini) -- Greeks can now transfer up to 500 euros abroad and pay more towards tuition fees under a new incremental easing of capital controls imposed in June to prevent an implosion of the country’s banking system. Bank accounts can be opened for debt repayments, while up to 8,000 euros for student tuition and living expenses paid abroad are allowed per academic quarter ... read more 18.8.15

Quo vadis, UK?

LONDON (science business) -- How might its science be affected if the UK were to leave the EU? Perspectives on influence and funding of researchers from non-EU countries ... read more 20.08.2015

Hungary restructures its university sector

image: cassandroBUDAPEST (hir24) -- The Hungarian government’s efforts to restructure and merge universities is well under way, higher education minister, László Palkovics said. Former education minister, socialist István Hiller criticised the insufficient funding for these reforms. The budget for public higher education, 153 billion forint (485 million euro), is nearly 30 billion lower than last year ... read more 30.07.2015

Monday, 24 August 2015 //

US student debts enter election campaigns

image: M. NozellWASHINGTON (mashable) -- As overall student loan debt in the U.S. has soared, the amount owed by older borrowers has increased as well — and they are voters. By 2014, less than third of the total debt —now $1.15 trillion— was held by borrowers younger than 30, almost a fifth was held by people in their 40s.
As The New York Times put it Friday, a plan rolled out by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton “has put pressure on her opponents as she has made a centerpiece of her agenda an issue that resonates across classes, party lines and generations” ...
read more 19.8.15

More internationalisation at home

INTERNATIONAL (pienews) -- A new study requested by the European Parliament warns that “increased national and institutional interests and commercialisation [are] driving the agenda for internationalisation”. Drawing on data from ten European and seven other countries, it highlights a need for more internationalisation at home, with greater focus placed on international learning outcomes in the curriculum ... read more 20.08.2015

‘Uniplaces’ irrupts into student housing market

logoBRUSSELS (politico) -- Uniplaces, a Lisbon- and London-based startup is bringing student lodging into the Airbnb age. The reach of the online housing agency founded in 2011/12 stretches already to 39 cities across eight countries. In the last year, staff has increased fivefold to 130, speaking 11 languages, with 25,000 rooms on the books ... read more 21.08.2015

Growing EU student numbers in the UK

LONDON (the) -- The number of European Union applicants being accepted by English universities has risen dramatically. In 2014-15, English universities’ EU recruitment was 8 percent higher than the year before. Institutions looking to fill their places or to expand are thought to be drawing on the continental market in the absence of significant growth in the pool of domestic 18-year-old applicants ... read more 20.08.2015

Ljubljana gets a new student campus

http://www.stud-dom-lj.siLJUBLJANA (sta) -- Ljubljana is to get a new student campus in autumn as the first phase of a 1.8 million euro investment. When finished, the 5,488 square-metre campus will host accomodations, student associations and NGOs, an info point, an academic reading room, a discount shop, sports infrastructure as well as more than 800 sq metres of lecture rooms ... read more | video 16.08.2015

Friday, 21 August 2015 //

First Horizon 2020 results published

Carlos Moedas, Robert-Jan Smits. Image: European Commission

BRUSSELS (esna) -- The European Commission has released the results of Horizon 2020’s first 100 calls for proposals, which closed in late 2014. A total of 36,732 eligible proposals were submitted which requested a total EU financial contribution of €80.3 billion ... read more 17.08.2015

Rise of the citizen scientist

LONDON (nature) -- From the oceans to the soil, technology is changing the part that amateurs can play in research. But this greater involvement raises concerns ... read more 18.08.2015

Austria joins international Open Access avant-garde

open accessVIENNA (fwf) -- Alongside the Netherlands, the UK and the Max-Planck Society, Austria is one of the countries which have concluded the first international agreements for Open Access. The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) supports efforts to switch the scientific publication system towards openly available research papers on the internet ... read more 21.07.2015

Southern Italian universities lose researchers

LECCE (corriere) -- 700 researchers of universities in southern and central Italy have left towards the North since 2011, according to a report. The exodus is seen as a detrimental effect of the latest higher education law, which freezes recruitment if salaries exceed a certain threshold ... read more 19.08.2015

Shanghai rankings without surprises

logoSHANGHAI (arwu) -- The Shanghai Jiao Tong University released their 2015 university ranking. Harvard University remains the number one in the world for the 13th year; in Continental Europe, ETH Zurich in Switzerland takes first place, and University of Copenhagen overtakes Pierre & Marie Curie in France as the second best university in this region ... read more 15.08.2015

Thursday, 20 August 2015 //

Number of Polish academics drops

image: KRASP

WARSAW (cw) -- The Polish university association KRASP is reporting that the number of academics at the country’s higher education institutions is in decline. The report indicates that Polish universities are unable to secure as much funding from private stakeholders as they once were owing to falling student numbers ... read more 05.08.2015

Top UK universities reserve places for rich foreign students

LONDON (daily mail) -- Around 150,000 applicants are expected to enter the clearing process this year, but various British research universities are offer some places to non-UK students only ... read more 08.08.2015

Norway pushes for company-like university management

Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen ( Conservative Party ) Image: Stian Mathisen/EU-delegasjonenOSLO (uwn) -- The Norwegian education ministry is facing opposition from universities in its attempts to rush through changes in governance, including a plan to appoint rectors and ensure that university boards are chaired by external members ... read more 14.08.2015

University mergers are a trend in Europe

ZURICH (nzz) -- More and more universities merge, as a study by the European University Association shows. Swiss institutions prefer alternative solutions ... read more 17.08.2015

Corporate tactics to confuse science

image: Coca-Cola pin-upLONDON (conversation) -- The latest dubious tactic of global soft-drink giant Coca-Cola has now been revealed for what it is — a move by an industry with a threatened financial future to confuse science, policy and the public, in order to buy time, and protect profits. A group of scientists wanting to bring more attention to the global and serious challenge of obesity ... read more 10.08.2015


image: ESNA


Eurostudent art video released

image: Stefan Migliore / Caucaso

BERLIN (esna) -- “Documenting Eurostudent V”, a unique five-minute video, featuring the research conference of the Eurostudent consortium, has now been released to the public. The creative cross-sector production of the Berlin-based news agency ESNA and the cinema, music and arts company Caucaso from Bologna, Italy, is the first of its kind. “In contrast to an ordinary service provider who covers an event for public relations purposes”, says film director Enrico Masi, “we became part of the community of 240 international social scientists in Vienna. And something magical has happened, like when an painter works with a silkscreen printer, something unforeseeable has been created.” ... watch the video

Thursday, 2 July 2015 //

TTIP? Protect your educational investment!

image: ETHBERLIN (sz) -- There is more to ‘protect’ than just the capital of international investors in the transatlantic trade agreement, the TTIP. Lutz Wingert, philosophy professor in Zurich, argues that instead of Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) for property interests, there should be a legal way for citizens to protect their educational investments. He proposes arbitration courts consisting of ILO-certified economists and labour lawyers who could sue an international company if their actions caused the loss or the deterioration of a job. The ILO courts could apply the severe German dismissal protection laws and lift the international standard in the US and Europe in favour of employees ... read more 01.07.2015

Bologna with ESU student eyes

BRUSSELS (esna) -- The political career training centre ESU in Brussels, also known as the European Students Union, argues that the Bologna Process is a brand and its abuse for policies ‘unrelated to Bologna’ should be prohibited. In their latest report, ESU wonder about diminishing student participation and academic freedom — but did they support the significant student protests in Amsterdam in early 2015? ... read more 30.06.2015

2020 European University Games ahead

image: EUSALJUBLJANA (eusa) -- The European University Sports Association (EUSA) announces the start of the bidding procedure for the 2020 European Universities Games. The Games are organised on a biannual basis, participants are coming from 34 countries ... read more 1.7.15

UK universities push for higher fees

LONDON (bbc) -- University managers are calling for the limit on tuition fees in England to be lifted so that they could rise with inflation above the current £9,000 maximum ... read more 1.7.15

Wednesday, 1 July 2015 //

EU fosters open science

image: Forum EuropeLONDON (the) -- Close to 500 delegates from 40 countries have attended a conference in London to explore the challenges of open science for research libraries. Jean-Claude Burgelman, head of the unit for science policy, foresight and data in the European Commission’s directorate general for research and innovation, argued that key drivers of open science include “the demand for accountable, responsive and transparent science” and “the need to address faster societal challenges” ... read more 28.06.2015

Science 2.0: the other side of the coin

BERLIN (esna) -- In a critical lecture on Science 2.0 at the Berlin Social Sciences Centre (WZB) in Berlin, economic historian Philip Mirowski from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, questioned the positive motives of ‘openness’ in science, and the idea of a research platform controlled by for-profit business. An ESNA interview with Professor Mirowski will follow shortly … read more 30.06.2015

New Finnish education minister sweetens the cuts

image: Jukka KopraHELSINKI (ilkka) -- The number of higher education institutions in Finland will remain unchanged despite huge cuts to education and training, Finland’s new minister of education and culture, Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, has told the media. Mentioning “the need for specialisation”, she hinted at possible rationalisation measures within the universities ... read more 06.02.2015

Fusion of German higher education research

HANNOVER/BERLIN (div) -- The Berlin-based research institute iFQ will be integrated into DZWH (German Centre for Research on Higher Education and Science Studies), also known for the Eurostudent reports. A major project of the new DZHW is a comprehensive open database on German higher education and research ... read more | and here 27.6.15

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 //

Student housing crisis in Dublin

image: Simpsons

DUBLIN (independent) -- The college and university accommodation crisis in Ireland has become ‘so chronic’ that students are being forced to sleep rough, share a bed with strangers – or give up on studying altogether. With 165,000 full-time students in Ireland – and that figure expected to increase to around 200,000 within the next 15 years –fears remain that there aren’t enough properties to accommodate current numbers ... read more | and here 19.6.15

Major Armenian universities hold rector elections

YEREVAN (armenia now) -- Leading Armenian universities are holding rector elections with new promises and new expectations ... read more 22.06.2015

Norway forces university mergers

logoOSLO (uwn) -- The Norwegian Council of State has ordered the merging of eleven higher education institutions into four new institutions, thereby establishing the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) as the largest university in the country. Other mergers that were in the planning process were either suspended or prolonged for further discussions ... read more 24.06.2015

German government worries about short term contracts

BERLIN (heise) -- Tens of thousands of young researchers at German universities depend on temporary contracts (as a matter of fact they are nearly 200,000). Trade unions and opposition parties demand the law on university employment to be changed. The federal government has promised improvements this year ... read more 28.06.2015

Russians want their own university ranking

image: moscowuniversityclubMOSCOW (gazeta) -- Victor Sadovnichy, rector of Moscow State University, is convinced that Russia needs an internationally recognised university ranking system. “We need to make the same effort as the Chinese government,” he said on tv, “who created the Shanghai ranking to enhance our students’ international mobility” ... read more 22.06.2015

Monday, 29 June 2015 //

Juncker Plan goes through parliament

image: EC

BRUSSELS (eu) -- The 315-billion-euro investment plan, first announced by the Commission in November 2014, was approved this week by the European Parliament. MEPs voted in favour of the fund’s rules by 464 votes to 131, with 19 abstentions. Earlier this month there had been a small victory for the research community, when the amount to be siphoned off Horizon 2020 science funding to help fuel the stimulus package was reduced from 2.7 to 2.2 billion euros … read more 24.06.2015

Italian professors demand fair wages

CAGLIARI (ansa) -- Italian professors have been losing out in university spending cuts for five years, as their salaries haven’t increased while those of all other public employees have. 70 professors have staged a sit-in in Cagliari, Sicily. However the problem is national: on June 25, protests were organised all over Italy … read more | and here 25.06.2015

Crato won’t be rushed

image: MCTILISBON (i online) -- Portuguese education minister Nuno Crato has been receiving criticism for lack of efficiency in dealing with the Universidade Lusófona scandal, and the question of whether alumni should be stripped of their degrees from the institution. Currently only 5 of the 152 cases have been processed. He defended himself, saying that it “takes time” to “dignify the academic degree” ... read more 26.06.2015

Sweden courting top universities

STOCKHOLM (svd) -- The Swedish Liberal Party has unveiled a number of proposals for to make Stockohlm “smarter and sharper”. These include inviting a world-leading university to open a branch there to attract students from all over Europe, and taking better advantage of the talents who choose to study there … read more 26.06.2015

Number of Syrians in Turkish universities quadruples

mapISTANBUL (today’s zaman) -- The number of Syrian refugees attending universities in Turkey is increasing, as it is nearly impossible for Syrian students to continue their education in Syria because of the ongoing civil war. Compared to 600 Syrian students in Turkey in 2012, there number is 4600 today ... read more 27.06.2015

Saturday, 27 June 2015 //

French students stumped by tricky exam question

image: ESNA

PARIS (france 24) -- This week, more than 12,000 French pupils signed a petition calling for the education minister to cancel an “impossible” exam question. The question was part of an English baccalaureate exam sat by high-school leavers hoping to attend university … read more 22.06.2015

Britain’s best “sucked into the mouths of corporations”

LONDON (guardian) -- British writer George Monbiot has criticised corporate culture in UK higher education in a blog written earlier this month. In it he describes how “lovebombing” by corporations in finance and consultancy lures “thousands of the brightest students” into these careers … read more 3.6.15

Terrorists attack higher education

symbolsGENEVA (ihe) -- A report entitled “Free to Think” was launched this week in Geneva by the Scholars at Risk network. It analyses attacks on higher education around the world over the last 4 years, concluding that there is a global trend of universities and scholars becoming a target for terrorists … read more | read the report 23.06.2015

Brits benefit from international student body

LONDON (relocate) -- More than three in four Britsh students believe they benefit from studying alongside foreign students. More than half think that international students work harder … read more | read the full report 25.6.15

Edutopia

jacobinNEW YORK (jacobin) -- Education is not a design problem with a technical solution. It’s a social and political project neoliberals want to innovate away ... read more Spring 2015
Friday, 26 June 2015 //

EU should help stop brain drain in developing countries

image: SPDBRUSSELS (ep) -- In a discussion about the European development policy for 2016, German MEP Norbert Neuser said they should work more closely with African, Caribbean and Pacific leaders to reverse the “migratory flow” of “intelligent young people” out of those countries … read more 23.06.2015

Airbus in university partnership agreement

LE BOURGET (europawire) -- Airbus Group signed an agreement with seven leading European universities in a ceremony at the Paris Airshow. The partnership between the aerospace giant and the aeronautics and engineering universities intends to ensure graduates leave with the skills required by industry … read more 23.06.2015

Does Science 2.0 foster greater academic freedom?

image: euroscientistOLDENBURG (euroscientist) -- Since the advent of the era of open science, or Science 2.0, attitudes in academia are gradually changing. A contribtion to the debate as to whether digital technologies help or hinder academic freedom by Constanze Böttcher ... read more 22.06.2015

Google invests in European innovation

OXFORD (telegraph) -- Google’s European venture capital fund, Google Ventures Europe, has made only its second investment. It invested in a fund called Oxford Sciences Innovation, whose aim is to turn the university’s inventions into profitable products. It is believed to be the biggest fund of its kind in the world, having raised £320 million … read more 19.06.2015

Swiss university upgrade in Malta

logoVALLETTA (malta today) -- Switzerland’s European Graduate School (EGS), is applying to receive university status in Malta. “We have chosen Malta because of its important topological situation in the Mediterranean culture, and its role as an axis between Southern Europe and the African continent,” EGS spokesperson Jennifer Davy said … read more 22.06.2015

Thursday, 25 June 2015 //

Three-way merger planned in Grenoble

logoGRENOBLE (france 3) -- The President of Joseph Fourier University, Patrick Lévy, has announced plans of a fusion of Grenoble’s three universities into one. His university will join with Stendhal University and Pierre Mendès-France University to create a university with “worldwide visibility” … read more 17.06.2015

Rapprochement of Portuguese universities and polytechnics

LISBON (cs) -- The Portuguese education ministry has announced new rules, due to come into action next year. They state that it will be possible for students to change between university courses and courses at polytechnic institutions. Daniel Monteiro, representative of polytechnic students, sees it as an “evolution of the education system” … read more 19.6.

Full house for five Russian universities

MOSCOW (vz) -- The Russian education ministry has tested the effectiveness of higher education on the labour market. Five of the country’s universities achieved a 100 percent graduate employment rate. On average, three in four graduates found employment last year  … read more 23.06.2015

Spanish rectors criticise hiring restrictions

image: Universidad de OviedoOVIEDO (el comercio) -- Vicente Gotor, rector of the University of Oviedo, has criticised the education ministry’s target of replacing 50 percent of retiring university employees. He has stated that rectors are angry with the situation after downsizing teaching staff in the last years, and, along with the Spanish National Research Council, has called for a figure of 100 percent … read more 23.06.2015
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 //

Horizon 2020: more applications, less success

logoBRUSSELS (uwn) -- The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 received 45,000 applications in 14 months — a large increase in the number of applications compared to its predecessor FP7 between 2007 and 2013. But the success rate of Horizon 2020 of around 15 percent is five percent lower ... read more 19.06.2015

Youth employment a European priority

BRUSSELS (eu) -- The European Commission has committed to expanding its European Alliance for Apprenticeships, and making 140,000 apprenticeships available. EU Commissioner Marianne Thyssen said: “Together we will create new opportunities for young people to learn the skills and gain the experience needed in the labour market” … read more 22.06.2015

Minister opposed to Latvian-only education

RIGA (delfi) -- Latvia’s education minister, Mārīte Seile, does not support a proposed transition to a completely Latvian-language education system by 2018. In an interview on state television, she explained that it would not be possible to achieve a high enough quality in that time, but that she encouraged it as a long-term vision … read more 18.06.2015

University of Messina counts to 12

logoMESSINA (giornale di sicilia) -- The University of Messina in Sicily has undergone a quite revolutionary structural change, with the number of departments decreasing from 21 to twelve. The new structure, agreed on by the board of directors last month, will take effect from next year … read more 20.06.2015

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 //

Humboldt University students defend freedom of speech

image: Heinrich-Böll-StiftungBERLIN (wsws) -- The student parliament of Berlin’s Humboldt University adopted a resolution by a large majority defending the fundamental right to freedom of speech at the university and upholding the right of students to criticise their professors. The resolution follows media attacks against students who anonymously started a blog about the influential political science professor Herfried Münkler and his allegedly racist, anti-democratic and revisionist views … read more 22.06.2015

Norwegian terrorist to take university degree

SKIEN (amur) -- Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011, will study for a degree in political science from the University of Oslo, from his cell in Skien Prison, southern Norway. Norwegian law allows prisoners to study and he reportedly has all of the documentation ready … read more 19.06.2015

Czech research budget will grow

image. EPPPRAGUE (ČTK) -- The Czech science budget will grow by 1.7 billion koruna (62 million euro) to 28.6 billion koruna next year. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, Paul Bělobrádek, expressed satisfaction with the result of the negotiations with Finance Ministry. The increase is intended mainly for the development of research organisations … read more | and here25.05.2015

Romania focusses on technical education

BUCHAREST (romania actualitati) -- Starting this week, specialised committees will be working to produce the new Romanian ‘Law on Education’. Secretary of State in the education ministry, Vasile Şalaru, said that the new law will focus on the re-establishment of technical schools, vocational schools and technical profile of post-secondary education … read more 21.06.2016

Monday, 22 June 2015 //

New French state secretary for higher ed and research

image: les echosPARIS (l'etudiant) -- Thierry Mandon has been named as the new French State Secretary for Higher Education and Research, a position vacant since Geneviève Fioraso stepped down for health reasons in March.
Mandon’s challenges will include stabilising the budget ahead of rumoured cuts in 2016, addressing uncertainty surrounding university selection, reorganising the higher education landscape, dealing with widespread dissatisfaction across higher education establishments over the excellence initiatives (Idex), and delivering the long awaited release of the national higher education strategy ...
read more 17.06.2015

Turkish scientists bask in election result

ANKARA (nature) -- Scientists in Turkey are euphoric in the aftermath of this month’s election, in which the increasingly oppressive Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost power. They are hopeful that a more pluralistic government will reverse restrictions on academia … read more 16.06.2015

5000 research grants

logoBRUSSELS (eu) -- This week a symbolic ceremony was held to award the 5000th prestigious grant of the European Research Council, which is eight years old. The recognition goes to Iva Tolić from the Ruđer Bošković Institute in Croatia, whose research is contributing to the development of new therapies against cancer … read more 16.06.2015

Hungarian university fights racism

BUDAPEST (mno) -- Following negotiations between the humanities faculties of the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest and its student union, the decision has been made to introduce an anti-racism course. The course will equip students against exclusionary ideas and populism … read more 18.6.15

Brussels universities unite for a science park

image: imagekindBRUSSELS (metro) -- The Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Université Libre de Bruxelles are to join forces to create a new science and technology park. The park will be between the two universities’ campuses. The start will be the construction of a Library & Learning Center in 2018 … read more 18.6.15

Saturday, 20 June 2015 //

Picture of the week

29 ways
Friday, 19 June 2015 //

Slovenian higher education needs stable funding

image: COBIKLJUBLJANA (dostop) -- At a meeting of the Higher Education Council in Slovenia, it was agreed that the country’s higher education industry needs stable funding in order to develop. New education minister Maja Makovec Brenčič was present and ensured that she intends to follow the OECD goals, including two percent of GDP being spent on tertiary education by 2020 … read more 11.06.1015

Rural universities in Bavaria

MUNICH (sz) -- Bavarian science minister Ludwig Spaenle has a plan to reach out to young people in rural areas. Universities are to set up subsidiaries in these areas, providing places for several hundred students to study. Thus, they won’t have to leave their areas for good, and rural regions will be strengthened … read more 16.06.2015

Creative Russians get a second degree for free

MOSCOW (mvestnik) -- Russian students in the country’s creative schools can get a second degree for free. They must apply for a full grant to pay for it. To be eligible, they must prove to a committee that they are worthy of the privilege … read more 09.06.2015

The shy college student who helped build Bitcoin into a global phenomenon

image: M. Malmi TwitterHELSINKI (the verge) -- When Martti Malmi found Bitcoin in the spring of 2009, he was in his second year at the Helsinki University of Technology. He was happiest in his room with his computer, writing code, which he had learned to do at age 12, or hammering away at enemies in online games, while listening to heavy metal music on headphones ... read more 13.06.2015

Thursday, 18 June 2015 //

EU guarantees loans for Master’s degrees

image (c) DisneyBRUSSELS (eu news) -- Graduates taking their Master’s degree on the Erasmus+ programme can now apply for loans under the new Erasmus+ Master Loan Guarantee scheme. The European Commission will provide up to 30 million euros of loans to students. The first guarantee agreement was signed by the European Investment Fund, which runs the scheme, and MicroBank in Spain. The scheme, which relies on a combination of Erasmus funding and investment from banks, hopes to provide loans to 200,000 students. In addition, the Commission is announcing the launch of a new Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Association (ESAA) ... read more | and here 11.06.2015

Higher education for Greek military

ATHENS (news) -- A Greek government bill, open for public consultation, has announced the introduction of new university-style three-year courses in Greece’s military schools. This is motivated by a fall in qualified officers, as many have retired or resigned … read more 10.06.2015

DAAD celebrates 90 years

logoBERLIN (tagesspiegel) -- The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has turned 90. Two million students have benefited from its services since 1925, and today the state-funded non-profit association has 900 employees and an annual budget of 450 million euros. German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, praised the DAAD’s important role for diplomacy and intercultural understanding ... read more 17.6

Many poles unhappy with their education

WARSAW (the news) -- A quarter of Poles quizzed in a survey said that they had attained a lower level of education than they had originally wanted to achieve ... read more 20.05.2015

Wednesday, 17 June 2015 //

European petition for academic job security

image: Gonzalo Leite VelhoLISBON (dn) -- The Portuguese national higher education union SNESup will present a petition this week to the European Commission to make academic jobs safer. A third of university and polytechnic employees work part-time and 40 percent have insecure jobs, as vice-president of SNESup, Gonçalo Leite Velho pointed out. This complaint follows the condemning of Estonia by the Commission for the abuse of successive fixed-term contracts in higher education … read more 9.6.15

Denmark not investing enough in research

COPENHAGEN (jv) -- Although public investment in Danish research has been climbing slightly, it is still only at 1.11 percent of GDP. This is not enough to compete on innovation with the rest of the world, according to Danish industry, universities and academics. In a joint proposal they plan to reach public investment of 1.5 percent of GDP by 2020 … read more 10.06.2015

Students in Romania linked to extremism

BUCHAREST (ziua) -- Two Tunisian nationals studying in Romania were identified by the country’s intelligence service as followers of the Islamic State. They were declared undesirable and a threat to national security and are awaiting deportation … read more 12.06.2015

New Latvian funding model to follow market

image: CBS

RIGA (delfi) -- A new model to finance the country’s education system has been proposed by the Latvian cabinet. It will aim to streamline the funding system, encourage universities to connect education and research, and motivate an improvement in the quality of studies. It will be linked to the development of the economy and labour market needs … read more 9.6.15

Tuesday, 16 June 2015 //

Spain’s higher education needs a better image

image: CRUEBADAJOZ (teinteresa) -- At a meeting of Spanish university rectors in Badajoz, south-west Spain, Manuel López, current president of the Spanish rectors’ conference, demanded more funding, understanding and hard work. He said this is necessary to improve the image of Spain’s education system and to increase enrolment. Although they have a great system, it is underperforming and the country needs to do it justice read more 10.6.15

Plans for Finnish university partnership

HELSINKI (verkkouutiset) -- The University of Helsinki and the Lappeenranta University of Technology are to cooperate in a “strategic partnership”, hoping to improve performance and increase research. This follows announcement of streamlining and mergers in Norway as well … read more 11.06.2015

Croatia underinvesting in science

image: Uni ZagrebZAGREB (hrt) -- A parliamentary debate in Croatia has concluded that investment in science and scientists is necessary for further economic development. The opposition spoke of embarrassingly small funding, with politician Željko Reiner pointing out that the 79 million provided for Croatian science only accounts for 0.02 percent of GDP … read more 11.06.2015

Florence, Italy, has record numbers of newcomers

logoFLORENCE (repubblica) -- Luigi Dei, new rector of the University of Florence, is surprised. An increase in applications of nearly eight percent is very unusual, and the country’s biggest. “It’s the product of years of orientation work we did,” says pro-rector Anna Nozzoli. The biggest growth has been in the faculties of technology, sciences and humanities … read more 13.06.2015

Monday, 15 June 2015 //

Russians rally in support of science

image: Irina Prokhorova

MOSCOW (grani) -- A rally was held in central Moscow in defence of science and education. It was attended by some 3,500 people. The government has been making controversial changes to the country’s science and education systems, and citizens are worried for the future … read more | video 6.6.15

EU lays out Smart Specialisation Strategy

RIGA (science business) -- The EU’s new thinking on how to stimulate job creation in poorer regions, outlined at the Innovative Regions in Europe conference on 5 and 6 June, says that universities, research institutes, regional authorities and business should write roadmaps on how to make the best use of available resources in a smart specialisation strategy. Many researchers and SMEs remain to be convinced about the scheme and criticised EU bureaucracy and unfavourable reimbursement rules ... read more 11.06.2015

Graduates look out for workplace culture

logoSTOCKHOLM (cnn) -- According to the recent survey, students still want to work for companies offering cool products and services, but are increasingly interested in the workplace culture. For the fourth year in a row, Google is the most attractive employer in Europe ... read more | and here 10.06.2015

Norway to distill its education system

OSLO (nho) -- A white paper adopted this week by the Norwegian parliament will likely bring about drastic changes to the country’s education system over the next 20 years. It calls for mergers between educational institutions, reducing 14 to 5, to create fewer better institutions. The aim is to consolidate expertise and increase competitiveness … read more 11.06.2015

First black professor at the University of Vienna

image: UWVIENNA (m-media) -- Dr. Adams Bodomo, from Ghana, has been appointed to lead the Institute of African studies at the University of Vienna. In the 650 years that the prestigious university has existed, he is the very first black professor they have appointed … read more 09.06.2015

Saturday, 13 June 2015 //

Nobel laureate stumbles over political correctness

image: Charles SchulzLONDON (bbc) -- British biochemist Tim Hunt, who won the Nobel Prize in 2001 and was made a knight in 2006, has resigned from his job at UCL in the wake of a sexism scandal. He stated this week that the “trouble with girls” in science is that “they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry”. He has since apologised for but stood by what he said … read more 11.06.2015

New Spanish inclusion programme

MADRID (economista) -- The Spanish education ministry, along with the foundations Repsol and ONCE, have announced “Campus Inclusivos, Campus sin Límites” — a new initiative designed to increase the numbers of disabled students and disabilities awareness … read more | video 11.6.15

77 years later, one doctorate

image: BundesarchivHAMBURG (welt) -- Nearly eight decades after it was refused to her by the Nazis, paediatrician Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport has finally received her doctorate degree title at the age of 102. Syllm-Rapoport, whose mother is Jewish, is now the world’s oldest PhD holder … read more 05.06.2015

University in Hong Kong wants Czech students

PRAGUE (prague post) -- Representatives of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) were in Central Europe recently to spread the word about their institution ... read more 12.06.2015

Vilnius joins Coimbra

logoVILNIUS (alkas) -- In a move that reflects the growing credibility of higher education in the Baltics, the University of Vilnius has been unanimously accepted into the prestigious Coimbra Group. The group, which takes its name from the ancient Portuguese university, brings together established European universities of a high international standard … read more 09.06.2015

Friday, 12 June 2015 //

New leader hopes to revive French elite schools

image: AgropolisPARIS (les echos) -- The French grandes écoles, which are in a “state of urgency”, have chosen Anne-Lucie Wack to represent them as their new leader. She wants to make higher education and research a “pivotal issue” ahead of the presidential election in 2017. She has also spoken of tackling a “rift” by patching up a suffering relationship between the University Presidents’ Conference and the Grandes Écoles Conference … read more 09.06.2015

Unpaid research jobs draw criticism

LONDON (nature) -- The practice of using free labour to do field work sparks online discussion ... read more 03.06.2015

Universities key to Turkish development

logoANKARA (kpss) -- The Turkish Higher Education Council (YÖK) has said that universities have a major role to play in the development of the country. Specifically, university competitiveness is needed to provide a boost in regional areas … read more 09.06.2015

Raising talent in Central Europe

WARSAW (vi) -- After announcing the New Europe 100 project, a list of challengers – one hundred people from Eastern Europe who are the drivers of the world’s innovation – the editors focus on education in their new issue of Videgrad Insight, acknowledging it to be the most strategic policy area in respect to innovation ... read more 11.06.2015

Prizewinning Pole to run American Encyclopaedia

image: www.jemielniak.orgWARSAW (polityka) -- Dariusz Jemielniak, professor at Kozminski University, will become the first non-American or Western European member of the council that governs Wikipedia. He says the academic world should become more involved in its functioning, and that the current crisis in Polish higher education could be addressed by taking inspiration from the model of Wikipedia … read more 08.06.2015

Thursday, 11 June 2015 //

Russian move to hold scientists in the country

image: KPRFMOSCOW (rapsi) -- Vadim Solovyov, a member of the Communist Party faction in the lower house of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, and the deputy head of the body’s constitutional law committee, suggests banning foreign companies from recruiting young scientists to study abroad ... read more 09.06.2015

Bulgaria academics take their rector to court

SVISHTOV (news7) -- Following a complaint by 4 academics at the Tsenov Academy of Economics in Svishtov, northern Bulgaria, a court is hearing a case for the legitimacy of the rector and management. The Veliko Tarnovo Administrative Court will decide whether to accept calls to force the resignation of rector Velichko Adamov. 139 members of the academy’s general assembly have been called to testify … read more 10.06.2015

UK’s first evolutionary research centre to open

image: University BathBATH (university business) -- Following the largest ever donation from one of its graduates, the University of Bath is to launch a brand new centre for evolutionary research. Dr Jonathan Milner, who graduated in Biology & Biochemistry at Bath in 1988, is donating £5 million towards establishing the Milner Centre for Evolution. It will be the first of its kind in the UK and only the second in the world … read more 08.06.2015

Universities popping up in Croatia

ZAGREB (vecernji) -- Croatia, having only recently opened its 8th public university in Koprivnica, has announced plans for a new one in Slavonski Brod. It is part of a drive to increase enrolment from the current 26 percent to 35 percent by 2020. However there are concerns about whether the quality of universities is deteriorating … read more 08.06.2015

Employment woes for foreign students in Germany

image: FöhrenbergkreisBERLIN (dw) -- Around 300,000 foreign students currently study in Germany, with many intending to stay on in Germany after their studies. But they lack the network, experience and German skills to find suitable jobs, and the state doesn’t do enough to help them in their search … read more 9.6.15

Wednesday, 10 June 2015 //

Czech calls for increased education budget

image: Czech RepublicEAST BOHEMIA (deník) -- Teachers’ unions in the Czech Republic have called upon Kateřina Valachová, proposed as the new education minister on Friday, to increase spending on education by 5 billion Czech Crowns (180 million Euros). They say this will be necessary to cover teacher’s salaries and to improve the employment system … read more | and here 07.06.2015

Austrian university funding increasingly competitive

VIENNA (standard) -- A growing share of Austrian university budgets comes from competitive funds for research projects (so-called Drittmittel). Already one fifth of university lecturers’ salaries derive from this source ... read more

Russia’s ‘untapped potential’ for publishers

image: emeraldMOSCOW (ri) -- A group of explorers from Emerald Group Publishing, Bingley, UK, were sent to visit libraries in St Petersburg, Moscow and Kazan and to learn more about the Russian higher education market for social science publishers. They visited nine universities, dividing their time between running publishing workshops for faculty, and interviewing librarians and library directors. Here’s what they found out ... read more 4.6.15

Crato to name and shame cancelled degrees

LISBON (rtp) -- The office of Portuguese education minister Nuno Crato has decided to make publicly available the names of former students at the Universidade Lusófona who have had their degrees revoked. This is the end result of an inquiry started in 2012 by the case of the shamed Miguel Relvas, a politician who obtained a degree aged 47 without attending any classes or exams … read more 05.06.2015

Optimism from new Latvian rector

image: meetupRIGA (delfi) -- The new rector of the University of Latvia, Indriķis Muižnieks, has said that the factor that allowed him to be elected was his emphasis on diversity within the university. He explained that it is optimism that sets him apart, and that will allow the university to take off … read more 04.06.2015

Tuesday, 9 June 2015 //

Swedish Minister wants a review of the system

image: RegeringskanslitetSTOCKHOLM (dn) -- Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Sweden’s Minister for Higher Education and Research, would review the system so that more young and female researchers could have access to funding. This follows criticism of a system which allocated grants inefficiently, leaving some unused … read more 7.6.15

No end to Hungarian demonstrations

BUDAPEST (nepszava) -- A forum was held at the Corvinus University, attended by the students’ union, employees’ council, and others. Students pledged to continue resistance, to not give up their universities, and to fight for autonomy … read more 05.06.2015

Iranian and Russian universities ink cooperation pacts

logoTEHRAN (mehr) -- An Iranian university signed agreements with Russian institutions on scientific cooperation and joint projects: St Petersburg State University and Moscow State University ... read more 06.06.2015

Spain: 20.000 lost scholarships

MALAGA (europa press) -- The secretary-general of the Socialist Youth of Andalucía has stated at a sporting event that 20,000 students have lost their scholarships thanks to the Partido Popular (PP). He claimed that the PP, who have presided over crippling austerity and unemployment, don’t recognise education as a fundamental right … read more 07.06.2015

Lithuania minister to put in hospital hours

image: EUVILNIUS (15min) -- Dainius Pavalkis, the Lithuanian education minister, is leaving his post. He will start working at Kaunas Klinikas, a university hospital and the largest medical institution in Lithuania. Pavalkis, who disclosed that he has received lucrative job offers from Brussels, will put in some hours there over the summer to “plug the holes” … read more 05.06.2015

Monday, 8 June 2015 //

Atlantic crossing

going to europe?BERLIN (bbc) -- The financial advantages of studying in Germany have not been lost on US students. The country has abandoned tuition fees altogether for local and international students alike. Students pay a fee to the university each semester to support the student union and other activities. This so called “semester fee” rarely exceeds €150 and in many cases includes public transportation tickets. At the same time the total student debt in the US has reached $1.3 trillion. More than 4,600 US students are fully enrolled at Germany universities, an increase of 20 percent over three years ... read more 3.6.15

EUA seeks university industry partnerships

BRUSSELS (guv) -- The European University Association (EUA) has been campaigning for harmonised policies across Europe for many years to facilitate university-industry co-operation. Director Lidia Borrell-Damián shared her insights ... read more 05.06.2015

AHELO “is deeply flawed”

08/15TORONTO (inside highered) -- The American Council on Education and Universities Canada have reiterated their longstanding opposition to the OECD’s Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (AHELO). The one-size-fits-all approach of AHELO “fundamentally misconstrues the purpose of learning outcomes,” they state ... read more 5.6.15

What TTIP means for public higher education in Europe

LONDON (conversation) -- A growing number of colleges and universities are emerging as multinational organisations – creating start-up versions of themselves in foreign countries ... read more 05.06.2015

La Sapienza slammed for sexism

image: PDROME (div) -- The university La Sapienza in Rome is facing accusations of sexism and has even been called a laughing stock after organising a student beauty pageant in which young women were offered plastic surgery as prizes. Female academics in Italy and elsewhere have criticised the institution’s rector Eugenio Gaudio, for hosting the opening stage of the Miss University 2015 competition ... read more | and here 01.06.2015

Saturday, 6 June 2015 //

American non-profit pledges to aid Ukrainian science

image: CRDFKIEV (science) -- With the conflict in its second year and no resolution in sight, displaced Ukrainian scientists from the self-proclaimed independent regions of Luhansk and Donetsk find themselves in precarious jobs, with little or no funds to conduct research. CRDF Global, a nonprofit organisation based in Virginia, USA, has vowed it will assist Ukrainian science through the creation of an emergency fund. But funds must first be found and president, Cathy Campbell, says the bulk of donations to come from private individuals … read more 3.6.15

Diffident scientists underestimate themselves

LONDON (nature) -- A poll by the Royal Society of Chemistry has shown that British chemists believe themselves to be viewed in a negative and pessimistic light by society. This would appear not to be accurate, as in another section of the poll, the British public see science in general as “welcoming” and “fun”, and nine out of ten trust scientists … read more 02.05.2015

Study trip ends in international misunderstanding

image: DELFITARTU (postimees) -- A visit by students of Tartu University to Nagorno-Karabakh, an unrecognised region disputed between Armenia and Azerbaijan, caused a diplomatic spat in the Caucasus. The Azerbaijani Embassy demanded an explanation from Volli Kalm, rector of the university, but the reason for the visit was merely to improve relations with Artsakh State University while studying the conflict in the region … read more 02.06.2015

Historic step for UK-Korean relations

ABERDEEN (pie news) -- The first ever UK university campus is set to open in South Korea next year, funded largely by Korean government grants. The new campus will specialise in engineering and oil technologies, reflecting South Korea’s trust in the UK to boost its offshore industry … read more 27.05.2015

University sells books for Bitcoins

bitcoinVANCOUVER (newsbtc) -- The Simon Fraser University is the first post-secondary Canadian institution to start accepting Bitcoin. Students at the university can now pay for their books with Bitcoin at any of the book stores located on the university campuses ... read more 31.05.2015

Friday, 5 June 2015 //

Protection of universities an international priority

image: GCPEAOSLO (uwn) -- A landmark international agreement has been signed with 37 countries pledging to protect schools and universities from attack and use during military conflicts. The declaration was proposed by the Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, and has been spearheaded by Norway and Argentina. Diya Nijhowne, the Coalition director, said that “targeted attacks on education are robbing a generation of the chance to realise their potential.” However, several major military powers such as the US, UK, France, Russia and Turkey, did not sign the pact … read more 29.05.2015

German left questions church power in education

STUTTGART (ta) -- Germany’s only regional governor belonging to a left-wing party, Bodo Ramelow, has demanded an examination of the influence of the church in higher education politics. Speaking just before Stuttgart’s church congress, the leader of Thuringia voiced his doubts over university’s independence from religious power … read more 03.06.2015

Call for overhaul as Romanian education ranked EU worst

image: govBUCHAREST (digi24) -- Romania currently has the worst education system in Europe. According to an extensive global classification by the OECD, it came at the bottom of the 28 countries of the European Union. Romania’s outdated system lacks the investment and infrastructure that the countries at the top of the list can boast. A unanimous request of 92 Romanian universities has called for an overhaul of the system … read more | and here 30.05.2015

Full speed a-higher-ed for Britain

LONDON (guardian) -- The UK’s new education minister Jo Johnson has announced in his first public speech that the country is aiming to increase education exports from £18 billion to £30 billion by 2020. With a recent study showing how lucrative foreign students are to Britain, Johnson is pushing to capitalise … read more 01.06.2015

Thursday, 4 June 2015 //

Silver lining for science in Brussels

image: horizon 2020BRUSSELS (rsc) -- European researchers are hailing a small victory, as the European Parliament  reached an agreement that will see only €2.2 billion siphoned away from Horizon 2020 science funding. All-night negotiations saved three bodies that had been earmarked for cuts to fuel EC President Jean-Claude Juncker’s stimulus package. The amount had previously been announced as €2.7 billion, a figure which triggered uproar and controversy. The new compromise is yet to be officially approved by the parliament … read more 01.06.2015

Portuguese student unions turn back on the AAC

LISBON (as beiras) -- A dozen academics and student associations have condemned the action of the Coimbra Academic Association, the students’ union of the prestigious University of Coimbra. They accused them of creating a “media circus” when their president Bruno Matias suggested breaking from the national representative association rather than make an attempt to resolve disagreements through dialogue … read more 29.05.2015

Oxford appoints first female vice-chancellor

image: A. RichardsonOXFORD (bbc) -- The University of Oxford is to appoint its first female vice-chancellor in 800 years. Professor Louise Richardson, a counter-terrorism expert, said that she “look[s] forward to the day when a woman being appointed isn’t in itself news”. She also spoke at a recent British Council conference, saying, "education is the best possible antidote to radicalisation.” … read more | and here 02.06.2015

Murcia moves to help vulnerable students

MURCIA (la verdad) -- In a move to promote equality of opportunitie, the University of Murcia (UMU) has announced it will make 135,000 euros worth of scholarships available for students in “vulnerable circumstances”. Students experiencing sudden illnesses, or precarious familiar situations can apply for the grants … read more 02.06.2015

Wednesday, 3 June 2015 //

Czech Education Minister fired for bullying

image: vladaPRAGUE (radio prag) -- Czech Education Minister Marcel Chládek has been dismissed from his role on grounds of bullying and unacceptable behaviour towards primarily female subordinate colleagues. The announcement came last Thursday from Prime Minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, who said “he no longer fulfills the stringent requirements that come with a position in government” … read more 29.05.2015

Dublin technical university proving costly

DUBLIN (irishtimes) -- Bureaucracy and consultancy costs are making the attempt to create a technical university in Dublin breathtakingly expensive. The bid, involving the merger of three universities, is set to cost €23.8 million over three years … read more 28.05.2015

Birth of a French supercampus

image: saclayPARIS (the local) -- The University of Paris-Saclay is set to take its first cohort of students this September. It will bring together 19 higher education institutions and a science cluster in an attempt to become Europe’s leading multi-disciplinary campus … read more 28.05.2015

US education between elite and embarrassment

NEW YORK (rollingstone) -- Two stories this month show the enormous contrast between the two sides of the American higher education system. Yale is set to receive $150 million from billionaire business magnate Stephen A. Schwarzman, while at the other end Corinthian Colleges have declared bankruptcy, leaving 77,000 students demanding a refund … read more 28.5.15

Russia: Science philantropy under suspicion

image: DZMOSCOW (sz) -- Organisations receiving funding from abroad are in trouble in Russia nowadays, as the Ministry of Justice may declare them “foreign agents” and shut them down. Billionaire Dmitri Zimin whose 7,5 million euro yearly for the science foundation Dinastia come from his own foreign accounts, is now asking for an apology from the authorities ... read more 02.06.2015

Tuesday, 2 June 2015 //

Controversy about Holocaust courses in Hungary

image: Thaler TamasBUDAPEST (hungary today) -- Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party has responded negatively to the introduction of a mandatory class on the Holocaust. Pázmány Péter Catholic University will introduce the classes from September, adding to an existing compulsory class on the Catholic faith. It will be the first initiative of its kind in Europe, the university’s rector, Szabolcs Szuromi, said the decision was made amid rising anti-Jewish attacks in the country. Jobbik say they are succumbing to international pressure … read more | and here 29.05.2015

Social sciences produce leaders

LONDON (inside highered) -- Despite an increasing world-wide trend to focus on ‘practical’ degrees in the technology and science industries, a survey by the British Council found that in fact most leaders of international organisations are qualified in social sciences or humanities … read more 01.06.2015

‘Political purge’ at Russia’s oldest university

image: George ShuklinST. PETERSBURG (al jazeera) -- Worries have been raised about Russian academic freedom following the dismissal of three professors, allegedly on political grounds, at Smolny college, Russia’s oldest university. Students protested and petitions against the so-called ‘political purge’ gathered thousands of signatures, but campaigner Viktor Katchalovski says the university is “simply refusing to enter into a dialogue” … read more 23.5.15

Edinburgh inspires: UK students against fossil fuels

NORWICH (the) -- In the light of successful student occupation movements in Edinburgh, which have led to the University of Edinburgh fully divesting in the fossil-fuel industry, the movement has spread elsewhere in the UK. An open letter from 1,000 students and 95 notable academics at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, was delivered to university management, calling for a complete divestment in the fossil-fuel industry. Glasgow, Bedfordshire and London universities are also following suit … read more 26.05.2015

Monday, 1 June 2015 //

Maastricht won’t bend to Arabian demands

image: UMMAASTRICHT (observant) -- Maastricht University has announced it will no longer educate medical students from Saudi Arabia, following disagreements with their government. Jan-Joost Rethans, medical programme director at the university said the Saudi’s government kept proposing increasing demand, ultimately proving too much and leading to the end of cooperation … read more 26.05.2015

Belarus intensifies internationalisation efforts

MINSK (belTA) -- In the wake of its acceptance into the Bologna Process this month, Belarus is pursuing several partnerships with countries around the world. Plans are being discussed to open a Belarusian-Bangladeshi university in Dhaka, in addition to recent announcements of cooperation with India, Kurdistan, Egypt and Indonesia … read more 28.05.2015

OECD laments “unacceptable waste of human potential”

image: coverPARIS (oecd) -- OECD figures keep drawing links between youth unemployment and the labour market, releasing this week damning figures. According to the Skills Outlook 2015, more than 35 million 16-29 year-olds across OECD countries are neither employed nor in education or training (NEET). Citing figures of low work-experience and education systems’ failure to provide the right skills, the report states that this is an “unacceptable waste of human potential” … read more 27.05.2015

International treaties focus on science

LONDON (nature) -- The two major international trade treaties, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, are coming closer to fruition. Proposed deals have potential to boost scientific research, but also to weaken health and environmental protections … read more 26.05.2015

Saturday, 30 May 2015 //

Poland’s fight for EU funding

image: govWARSAW (pulshr) -- Poland’s science minister, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, is continuing in her tireless efforts for increased EU funding. Speaking at a rectors’ conference following the 70th anniversary of Lodz Technical University she said there are “too many universities in the country.” In the struggle for more funding universities should join together in order to stand more of a chance … read more 23.05.2015

Albanian student protests continue

TIRANA (balkaninsight) -- Albania’s “For the University” movement has held a string of anti-government rallies. They are protesting against new legislation proposed by the centre-left government that would see a reform of the education system. They argue that it would make university unaffordable for the poor … read more 18.05.2015

Portugal’s dirty secret

image: OBEGEFPORTO (sapo) -- An “extremely high” level of cheating occurs in Portuguese university examinations. According to a recent study carried out by the University of Porto, 60.7 percent of students admit to copying in their exams. More worryingly, of those who admitted to having cheated, only 2.5 percent had been caught … read more 25.05.2015

UK students start to look abroad

LONDON (guardian) -- A recent study by the British Council has shown a marked increase in the number of UK students considering studying abroad. British students are traditionally relatively shy to study abroad, but the surge in interest has been fuelled by increasing opportunities and a new appreciation of the value of international experience … read more | see the study 28.5.15

Friday, 29 May 2015 //

EU 2016 draft budget released

image: ESNABRUSSELS (eu news) -- The draft EU 2016 budget was announced this week, with a strong focus on growth, employment and Europe’s competitiveness on the international scene. The Erasmus+ scheme will see a 30 percent increase to its budget, set to receive 1.8 billion euros in the next year. The research community waits with bated breath as the draft, at the heart of the bitter Horizon 2020 funding debate, is passed to parliament and member states … read more 27.05.2015

France prioritises student work experience

PARIS (intellego) -- In France, the realisation of work placement is an “essential stage” of education, according to a communiqué by the ministry for higher education. A new “Practical Guide for Student Work Placements”, announced this week, will henceforth operate as a base for all work placements across France … read more | and here 26.05.2015

Fees for international students in Finland?

image: LIBERHELSINKI (shanghai daily) -- Students from outside the EU will start paying tuition fees in Finland, should the government’s plans go ahead. Despite wide support, concerns have been raised about this forcing students to neighbouring countries, having knock-on effects on Finland’s economy, which is traditionally reliant on immigration … read more 16.05.2015

The Italian brain drain

MILANO (corriere) -- Young Italians are “fleeing” to the North of the country or abroad in order to study or work. An annual report by AlmaLaurea has shown that only 66 percent find work in the place where they studied, and the disadvantages of poorer families are growing … read more 15.05.2015

Thursday, 28 May 2015 //

After Yerevan - What’s next for Europe?

image: ESNAYEREVAN (inside highered) -- In the wake of the 9th Bologna Process Ministerial Conference in Yerevan, educational journalists, Manja Klemenčič and Paul Ashwin, ask “What’s next for Europe?” With a general feeling of disenchantment with the process, this year’s conference needed to embody a new feeling of purpose and motivation, looked out for trends and found online learning. The conference closed with promises of more graduate “employability”, “inclusiveness” for non-European talents, and “widened access” for life-long learners … read more 26.05.2015

Strong potential for European cooperation

BERLIN (idw) -- A study published by the Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities and the organisation All European Academies has analysed data on research projects and evaluated the potential for international cooperation. It showed both potential and readiness to be high among European academies … read more 26.05.2015

Corruption rampant in Kosovo’s universities

image: UIBKPRIŠTINA (standard) -- Belachew Gebrewold, of Management Centre Innsbruck, has described Kosovo as “the problem child that Europe left behind”. The Balkan state’s universities are young and underfunded, and it is not uncommon for students to pay for higher marks. Gebrewold’s institution is currently cooperating with the University of Pristina to develop a new master’s degree programme … read more 21.05.2015

Switzerland’s fraud crackdown

ZURICH (swissinfo) -- The Swiss have started taking a tough approach against a serious worldwide problem. In April, the prestigious Swiss federal technology institute ETH Zurich announced it was investigating one of its professors following accusations of publication fraud. They formed a new investigative committee to evaluate allegations against a Biology professor who was said to have manipulated images … read more 20.05.2015

Wednesday, 27 May 2015 //

University websites put student data at risk

matrixBEIJING (scmp) -- A Chinese study found thousands of loopholes on more than 1,000 university websites, the majority of which are high-risk vulnerabilities. The number of detected cyber attacks rose 48 per cent in 2014. This rise is expected to continue in 2015, with more than 100,000 attacks taking place every day … read more 20.5.15

Exams hindered Irish push for equality

DUBLIN (nzz) -- The same-sex marriage referendum in Ireland fell right in the middle of the exam period for the country’s university students. Many students complained that this prevented them from campaigning and voting. This did not stop the bill being passed and gay marriage is now legal in the Republic … read more 21.05.2015

German students found online-uni for asylum seekers

logoBERLIN (mopo) -- A group students and professors have started to work together in Berlin to combat the unfortunate state of events faced by Germany’s thousands of asylum seekers, creating the online-based ‘Wings University’. Founder, Markus Kreßler, said he hoped the project could be a ‘door-opener’, willing universities to engage asylum seekers into society, rather than leaving them on the sidelines … read more 20.05.2015

UK university rankings unsurprising

LONDON (guardian) -- The Guardian has released its 2016 ranking of all UK universities. Refusing to budge from their top-spots, Cambridge, Oxford and Scottish St. Andrews claimed the first three positions … read more 25.05.2015

Tuesday, 26 May 2015 //

Frontiers fires dissidents

logoLAUSANNE (science) -- In a heated conflict over editorial independence, Swiss open-access publishing company, Frontiers, has dismissed virtually the entire leadership of two of its medical journals. 31 editors were fired after they disputed the way the organisation was run. In a 13-page ‘Manifesto of Editorial Independence’, they claimed that the company’s profit-oriented goals were in contra to their core values of sharing medical knowledge … read more 20.5.15

Bologna progresses in structures, quality and inclusion

BRUSSELS (uwn) -- A report for last week’s Bologna Conference in Yerevan provides strong evidence that quality assurance continues to be an area of dynamic evolution in Europe. The report found that at least 16 countries have made substantial progress in implementing national qualifications frameworks. At the other end of the scale, 10 countries have yet to start ... read more

Kremlin denounces science foundation

image:  Dynasty FoundationMUNICH (nature) -- Moscow’s Dynasty Foundation, owned by oligarch-turned-philanthropist Dmitry Zimin, has fallen foul of a controversial law. As a non-governmental organisation that receives foreign funding and is involved in what the government has defined as “political activities”, it has been labelled a “foreign agent”, leaving its future in doubt … read more 20.05.2015

Internationalisation baromenter

AMSTERDAM (uwn) -- The member organisation EAIE has analysed the state of internationalisation in the European Higher Education Area from practitioners’ perspectives ... read more | the study 23.05.2015

EUROSTUDENT V study published in full

logoVIENNA (dzhw) -- The results of the EUROSTUDENT V study have just been published online for public access. Researchers, politicians and the wider public can now get country-specific and comparative information on the social and economic situation of Europe’s student body. Alongside the data launch, videos on the themes are available … read more | videos 21.05.2015

Monday, 25 May 2015 //

Diploma recognition between Estonia and China

image: ESTONIA

TALLINN (min) -- Estonian education minister Jürgen Ligi and Chinese vice minister of education Li Weihong signed an agreement on mutual recognition of higher education qualifications ... read more 28.04.2015

Bulgaria to cooperate with Greece, Albania, Kosovo in education, science and culture

SOFIA (novinite) -- The Bulgarian government approved the drafts of three bilateral documents for cooperation in the areas of education, science and culture with Greece, Albania and Kosovo. Among the other priorities in the agreement are the protection of authors’ rights and preventing the illegal export, import and transfer of cultural valuables ... read more 20.05.2015

LERU goes global

image: leruLEUVEN (leru) -- The League of European Research Universities (LERU) reinforced its international positioning by setting up a close cooperation with the United Nations. With this initiative, LERU stresses the global nature of research, innovation and education. As a part of it, LERU and its members have signed up to the UN Academic Impact Principles (UNAI) ... read more 16.05.2015

EU urges R&D investment

logoBRUSSELS (ec) -- The European Commission today adopted country-specific economic policy recommendations for 2015 and 2016. Key points of the recommendations are: boosting investment; structural reforms in product, service and labour markets; pursuing responsible fiscal policies; and improving employment policy and social protection ... read more 13.05.2015

Saturday, 23 May 2015 //

Europe drops out

image: Kanye WestINTERNATIONAL (edsurge) -- “Poor advice” is causing dropout rates among European students to soar to worrying levels, hitting as high as 31 percent in the Netherlands. With borders ever more porous and fees falling, students across Europe are increasingly finding themselves at universities where they don’t fit in. A cohort of tech startups is emerging to streamline the college preparation process for the digital generation; it remains to be seen whether this will address the problem … read more | see the study 19.05.2015

The struggle to foster a startup culture

NEW YORK (nasdaq) -- Policymakers are concerned about Europe’s failure to produce rivals for American digital giants such as Google. European culture has long been unfriendly to entrepreneurs, preferring conservative prudence over risk-taking. They propose to tackle this with grand plans of combining the 28 national ecosystems into a vast market to breed the Web leaders of the future … read more 21.05.2015

Graduate deluge for Turkish labour market

image: University of UtahANKARA (uwn) -- This year at least 900,000 new students will join Turkey’s 170 universities, continuing the country’s dramatic increase in student numbers. The total figure increased over 90 percent since 2008, when some 9 percent of the population, or 7 million people, were students. In the coming years the job market will flood and graduates are expected to have to fight over low-skilled jobs or accept unemployment … read more 15.05.2015

British universities shy to bare all

LONDON (nature) -- Only a fraction of higher education establishments in the UK have published their investigations into research misconduct. Universities in the country, which has no official body regulating research, are called upon to publish their own annual reports in order to receive funding … read more | comment 14.05.2015

Friday, 22 May 2015 //

Denmark: following the money

image: Yasmin DavaliCOPENHAGEN (uwn) -- The Danish student community has slammed the government’s decision to publish graduate salary figures online. Yasmin Davali, chair of the national students’ union (SR), fears future students could base their choices on “where the money is”, and Ralf Hemmingsen, chair of the Danish Rectors’ Conference, remarked: “Neither the students nor the universities have asked for such a comparative instrument, and it is unclear with the public what the instrument is targeting” … read more 15.05.2015

Language laws repress many universities in Europe

DUBLIN (daynews) -- The rector of Maastricht University, Luc Soete claims that universities in Europe are being choked by the laws that compel them to use their native language to teach instead of English ... read more 14.05.2015

Indian ‘virtual university’ on European model soon

image: CCKOLKATA (webindia) -- Four Indian varsities will launch pilot open online courses by the beginning of next year to spearhead a major ‘virtual university’ concept funded by the European Union. The EU project is called EQUAL and will offer a blended learning platform for undergraduate students in India. The four Indian universities are working in collaboration with King’s College London and the University of Bologna, Italy ... read more 15.05.2015

UK reaping rewards of internationalisation

LONDON (guardian) -- A joint report published by London First and PwC has shown just how valuable international students are to the UK. The report found that, far from being a burden, they contribute net gains of £2.3 billion to the British economy … read more | read the report 18.05.2015

Thursday, 21 May 2015 //

Closed Access for Russia

image: VIAMMOSCOW (moscow times) -- Science departments in Russia face a crisis of information, as the multinational publishing house Springer has blocked the country’s access to its journals. A weak ruble has rendered the State Foundation for Basic Research unable to foot the bill. Matthias Aicher, head of Springer in Russia, confirmed that access was shut off this month following the failure to pay the million-dollar subscription for 2014 … read more 12.05.2015

Benelux countries agree on degree recognition

image: ESNATHE HAGUE (nieuwsbank) -- The education ministers of Luxemburg, The Netherlands and the three communities of Belgium have agreed on an automatic mutual recognition of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. The move saves red tape and expenses for the students, the ministers said, and is a step towards common standards in a European Higher Education Area ... read more 18.5.15

Swedish higher education still socially unequal

STOCKHOLM (uwn) -- A study by a Swedish trade union on the quality of higher education and the future income of students has found some worrying results. While the quality of higher education correlates strongly with future earnings, access to the top universities still heavily favours students from families with a higher level of education … read more | read the study 15.05.2015

Reality check for Dutch education

THE HAGUE (dutchnews) -- According to the Dutch employers’ organisations, VNO-NCW and MKB, the quality of graduates has lowered over the past years. They urge education minister Jet Bussemaker to enact labour market oriented reforms and more performance-based funding … read more 07.05.2015

Fossil fuels fury in Scotland

image: Kristie HaighEDINBURGH (een) -- Students in Edinburgh have pledged to continue their campus occupation until the University of Edinburgh agrees to stop “funding climate change”. The university made the decision last Tuesday to continue investing in climate-polluting industries. Student campaigner Kirsty Haigh said: “Saying there may be divestment in the future from certain companies if they fail to meet criteria around their carbon emissions is no real commitment and shows the university is refusing to acknowledge 
its role in devastating 
climate change” … read more 14.05.2015

Wednesday, 20 May 2015 //

Belarus’ Bologna admission is EU ‘flirting’

image: wikiMINSK (charter 97) -- Stanislav Shushkevich, prominent scientist and former leader of Belarus, has said that Belarus’ acceptance into the Bologna Process will have no effect on the democratisation of higher education in the country. It is only a result of political ‘flirting’ between Brussels and Minsk, that will not stop the crackdown by the state on the views of students and professors … read more 15.05.2015

Bologna still lacking

LEUVEN (veto) -- The Bologna Process is still too unequal and urgently needs adjustment, Flemish student associations say. The difference between the 47 countries in the process is huge, and more effort is needed to bring the ‘tail group’ up to speed with the leaders … read more 17.5.15

Bologna ignores vocational training

image: Sebastiaan den BakAMSTERDAM (science guide) -- Sebastiaan den Bak, European parliamentary candidate for the Dutch Christian Democrats and Neth-ER deputy director, has attacked the Bologna Process. His two main criticisms were that progress and enthusiasm have stagnated and that Bologna is failing work-based training. Recent Communiqués, including this one, have ignored vocational training … read more 13.5.15

Tuesday, 19 May 2015 //

Commission wants universities more output-oriented

image: silvia Costa ECYEREVAN (esna) -- On May 14 and 15, ministerial representatives from the European Higher Education Area met with rectors, student representatives and other stakeholders to discuss the progress of the Bologna Process over the past three years and its future activities. Silvia Costa, Chair of the committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament, said at the opening of the conference, more emphasis must be laid on student-centred and output-oriented education … read more 15.05.2015

Inclusivity on the agenda in Yerevan

YEREVAN (div) -- Following the commitment in the Yerevan Communiqué to “make our higher education more socially inclusive,” German education union GEW has stressed the importance of boosting inclusivity in universities and urged them to take the pledge seriously. They claim social mobility is severely lacking, and call for equal opportunities for disabled students. The Rector of Oslo University, Ole Petter Ottersen, also blogged from the conference that equal access should not be taken for granted in Europe, and that there still remains a lot of work to achieve them … read more | and here 15.05.2015

Higher education needs modern technology

image: Lisbon CouncilYEREVAN (panorama) -- This year’s Bologna Conference addressed the need to introduce more technology into higher education. Adam Tyson, Head of Higher Education at the EC’s education directorate, stressed the importance of this at the conference, saying it strengthens ties between institutions. The unanimously adopted Yerevan Communiqué made concrete the commitment to “exploiting the potential benefits of digital technologies for learning” … read more | read the comminiqué 15.05.2015

Germany pushes for employment-oriented education

FRANKFURT (fnp) -- In the aftermath of the Bologna Conference, the focus in Germany has been placed on employability and the importance of university education supplying the needs of the labour market. In Yerevan, ministers agreed that universities should cooperate more with companies, to promote the employability of graduates. Only 47 percent of German firms are satisfied with the quality of graduates … read more 15.05.2015

Monday, 18 May 2015 //

Bologna embraces Belarus

image: armradio

MINSK (belta) -- Belarus’ struggle for acceptance into the Bologna Process was successful. At the Bologna Conference in Yerevan, a meeting of EHEA ministers discussed the step before agreeing that the Belarusian education system merited the accession, praising its recent improvement. The country’s application was rejected in 2012, and it was barred from applying again until this year, due to not observing the principle of academic freedom that is central to the Process … read more 14.05.2015

Tough hurdles for Turkish students to go abroad

ANKARA (pie news) -- The Higher Education Council of Turkey has put new regulations in place for Turks wishing to study abroad (YÖK). In order to do so, they must now either go to a top-500 ranked university or take the domestic higher education entrance exam … read more 04.05.2015

Anne Glover replaced by expert science panel

image: PlasticEuropBRUSSELS (science) -- Six months after Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Adviser of the European commission, was dismissed from her role, the Commission has unveiled a new panel of expert scientists to advice policymakers. The role of CSA and Glover’s dismissal caused considerable controversy last year, with many scientists claiming the failure to immediately replace Ms Glover showed commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker’s, disregard for science. Others claimed the role of CSA lacked transparency, was vulnerable to corporate influence and therefore a new system was needed. The new panel, dubbed the “Science Advice Mechanism” will be made up of seven expert scientists, not employed directly by the Commission and should be up and running after Summer … read more 13.05.2015

Violence overshadows Greek student elections

THESSALONIKI (greek reporter) -- Student elections in Athens University of Economics were marred by violence. Unknown individuals invaded the building and burned three ballot boxes. Such incidents are usual during student elections. The process is considered highly politicised, as each Greek political party has its own student wing in the universities … read more 03.05.2015

Saturday, 16 May 2015 //

Russia-Indian co-operation stronger than ever

MOSCOW (economic times) -- The university communities of India and Russia last week signed a Memorandum of Interest. A new foundation, the Russian-Indian Association of Institutions for Higher Education, was established to provide a “unique forum to cooperate” … read more 09.04.2015

Hungarian academics and students in the resistance

image: wiki BUDAPEST (népszava) -- A rainy afternoon on Thursday in Budapest bore witness to a protest in front of the national parliament building. Students and teachers gathered there to voice their anger at the government’s new Higher Education Act. The bill proposes to significantly restrict the autonomy of educational institutions … read more 15.05.2015

Student loan interest ‘punishes’ Norwegian students

OSLO (lofotposten) -- Interest rates on student loans are unnecessarily high in Norway, academics criticised earlier this week. The government charges a premium on top of the interest on the money lent by the state educational fund, effectively doubling the rate, and weighing unduly on students … read more 13.05.2015

Friday, 15 May 2015 //

Jo Johnson new UK universities and science minister

image: JJ facebookLONDON (guardian) -- The pro-European younger brother of Boris Johnson has replaced Greg Clark following the government’s cabinet reshuffle. Johnson is seen as being on the left of the Conservative party, and in 2012 co-authored an article in the Financial Times calling for overseas students to be taken out of the government’s net migration figures ... read more 14.05.2015

What does UK Conservative landslide mean for science?

LONDON (nature) -- The conservatives made no promises to protect science funding, and now they’re in power, the scientific community fears further austerity measures. More concerning still is the threat of an in-out EU referendum … read more

MOOCs to combat French unemployment

image: abaca pressPARIS (the) -- Jobseekers in France are to be given premium access to an online course provider as part of a government partnership announced by president, François Hollande. Through promoting career-oriented courses, the government not only hopes to lower unemployment figures, which were at an all-time high of 11 percent in December, but also the train people to work in sectors facing personnel shortages, such as the digital industry … read more 14.05.2015

Horizon 2020 draft work programmes 2016-2017 available

BRUSSELS (eurida) -- First Horizon 2020 draft work programmes for the period of 2016-2017 are circulating on the internet. As in previous years, the drafts are marked as ‘confidential’ ... read more 14.05.2015

Thursday, 14 May 2015 //

Brand new European higher education bulletin

bulletin n°166BERLIN (esna) -- The 166th edition of the flagship European higher education news bulletin from ESNA is available now.
The latest instalment is your key to the higher education scene. This edition includes a special ‘Erasmus Below the Surface’ feature article, as well as the usual cutting-edge news from across the continent, recent studies, new book releases and breaking science policy, not to mention a section focussing on the pertinent issue of quality assurance, 3 pages of calls for proposals, and conferences.

Click here download it and access all the information you need to stay up to date with the industry now!

What does UK Conservative landslide mean for science?

image: KFLONDON (nature) -- On Friday Britain woke up to the news of a centre-right Conservative government, completely contradicting the knife-edge results predicted by all opinion polls. But what does this mean for British science? Like Labour, the traditional centre-left rivals, who were heavily defeated in Thursday’s vote, the conservatives made no promises to protect science funding, and now they’re in power, the scientific community fears further austerity measures. More concerning still is the threat of an in-out EU referendum, which according to Kieron Flanagan, science-policy researcher at Manchester Business School would be “terrible for the UK science system” … read more

More Portuguese students could be eligible for scholarships

LISBON (observador) -- Portugal’s system for the allocation of scholarships is to be reformed, and this could result in a greater number of students receiving scholarships. The education ministry will analyse 22 proposals from a specially created commission … read more 06.05.2015

French app to provide free accommodation for students

logoPARIS (figaro) -- A French start-up has launched an exchange platform costing less than a euro per day, which will make it possible for students to find accommodation for next to nothing. Those signing up to the service must list a vacant room, and find another user with whom to exchange. The app called “Studyenjoy” is available in French, English and Spanish … read more 7.5.15

French education minister under fire

PARIS (jdd) -- Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, French minister of education, higher education and research, has come under attack after alienating most of the political and educational communities with her reforms. She now enjoys little support from the left or the right. She has been called the worst education minister and called upon to leave the capital … read more 10.05.2015

Turkey to double international students

ISTANBUL (daily sabah) -- Turkey wants to increase the number of international students it educates. The country has been attracting more students every year. By 2018, it aims to reach the number to 100,000, from the current 48,000 … read more 07.05.2015

Wednesday, 13 May 2015 //

American and European scientists sign cooperation deal

image: white house Ken Shipp/DOE

WASHINGTON (ny times) -- Leaders of particle physics initiatives in Europe and the United States have signed an agreement at the White House. The pact, which will pave the way for a “new era of scientific cooperation”, will see the results of research shared between the parties. The deal assures the future of CERN and its Large Hadron Collider, which was built with support from the United States, and Director-General Rolf-Dieter Heuer has said he is “delighted” … read more | and here 08.05.2015

Bologna Process for South East Asia

JAKARTA (jakarta post) -- The EU and ASEAN have partnered up to launch a platform promoting the mutual recognition of accreditation and increasing mobility. The project has been dubbed SHARE or Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN region. The aim is to “draw upon the Bologna process” to “share the EU experience with ASEAN” and improve standards … read more 7.5.15

Portuguese public figure calls for university emancipation

image: insurgenteFARO (jornal de negocios) -- Sampaio da Nóvoa, former rector of the University of Lisbon and candidate for the future Portuguese presidency, has called for more autonomy among the country’s universities. During a ceremony where he received an honorary degree from the University of the Algarve, he commented that universities should have the courage to lead from within rather than following the pressures of external criteria, rankings and evaluations … read more

MOOCs on the rise in Italy

ROME (il fatto quotidiano) -- Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are spreading like wildfire in Italy, following the pattern of Spain and Portugal. Some universities, such as the Milan Polytechnic and the University of Naples Federico II, already have their own MOOC platforms … read more 10.05.2015

Tuesday, 12 May 2015 //

Romanian student occupation forces minister to the table

image: Epoch TimesBUCHAREST (epoch times) -- Romanian education minister, Sorin Cîmpaneau, met with protesting students last week to discuss demands after protesters occupied lecture halls at universities across the country. At a press conference, Minister Cîmpaneau said he welcomed the meetings, but as of yet it remains unclear how far the education ministry will bow to students demands. Romania’s national students’ union (ANOSR) have expressed their outrage with the “disaster in academia”, and are demanding increased student say in elections of rectors and deans, more investment in student services and curricular reform … read more | video 7.5.15

Degree recognition high on Bologna Agenda

YEREVAN (armenia now) -- Days before the Bologna Conference in Yerevan, the European Student Union pointed out the importance of degree recognition across the Bologna countries. Elisabeth Gehrke said on behalf of ESU, although neighbouring states more easily recognise qualifications, recognition should be universal, “regardless of their border distances” … read more 07.05.2015

Minister loses Croatia millions in EU funding

image: GovZAGREB (tportal) -- Croatia’s education sector was left bitterly disappointed recently, after two projects set to receive EU funds were cancelled. The reason is conflict of interest involving science minister, Vedran Mornar. It emerged that the minister was the head of the technology association set to receive the funding. Even after he offered his irrevocable resignation, Croatia was knocked out of the running … read more 06.05.2015

Norwegian girls lead the way

OSLO (vg) -- As well as having the best grades and lowest dropout rates, a new report reveals that Norwegian girls are also leading the field in doctoral education. For the first time ever, women occupied more than 50 percent of PhDs in the year 2014 … read more 05.05.2015

Monday, 11 May 2015 //

Chrysler US offers free college for employees

image: FCADETROIT (dfp) -- Fiat Chrysler US will offer free college courses and degrees at Strayer University to employees who work at its network of franchised auto dealerships. The announcement comes about one month after Starbucks launched a similar programme. Karl McDonnell, CEO of Strayer, predicts more companies will adopt similar programs in the future. “I do think this is a future model for higher education,” Strayer said. “Companies have all sorts of competitive pressures on them and whichever companies can attract and retain the best people – they are going to win” ... read more 04.05.2015

Bureaucracy caused by Bologna Process

BERLIN (tagesspiegel) -- Nearly half of the lecturers and assistants at German universities complain about grown administrative duties since the introduction of Bologna reforms. Additionally, a survey of the German teachers’ trade union GEW shows, pressure has increased to acquire private funding, to administer exams and to train poorly prepared students ... read more 7.5.15

Welsh university teams up with Turkey

imageCARDIFF (swep) -- The University of Wales Trinity Saint David is expanding its horizons through linking up with colleagues in Turkey. A spokesman said: “The initiative will further boost the nations’ bilateral partnership, promote mutual awareness of excellence in science and innovation, while fostering relationships between academic communities. The initiative will also provide an opportunity to share best practice in science-based policy making, and increase trade and investment links between UK and Turkey” ... read more 06.05.2015

University of Malta wants more autonomy

MALTA (malta independent) -- The University of Malta, in response to questions posed by this newsroom, believes that certain structural changes, such as autonomy, could help the university attain new heights. The introduction of tuition fees are part of the proposal ... read more 09.05.2015

Scientists benefit from open access

image: BerkeleyTORONTO (fortune) -- A study by academia.edu, a network for scientists, shows that researchers who share their work publicly increase their citations considerably. This social behavior seems to display a kind of “long tail” effect, after one year of being shared on the network, papers have an average of 37 percent more citations that climbs to 58 percent more citations, and hits 83 percent after five years. The study looked at more than 44,000 papers on a wide range of scientific topics ... read more 08.05.2015

Saturday, 9 May 2015 //

University of Burgundy launches free online wine course

image: decanter

DIJON (decanter) -- The University of Burgundy in Dijon is set to launch a free taught course in English and French to help wine lovers understand more about winemaking and also the region’s diverse terroirs ... read more 08.05.2015

Maltese shadow university

MALTA (mt) -- Earlier this week, the Maltese government signed an agreement with a Jordanian investment group for the construction of a private university that will be named ‘The American University of Malta’. The student organisation KSU voiced concern that the government hadn’t consulted stakeholders, including themselves and the University of Malta, before agreeing to the project, and their disappointment that “no adequate study” has been carried out on how the new, private university could affect the operations of the University of Malta ... read more 08.05.2015

British universities against EU exit

image: ESNALONDON (the) -- The Conservatives, victorious in the General Elections, have pledged to hold an in-out referendum on the UK’s EU membership by 2017. The association of British universities, UUK is likely to campaign against an exit. They benefit from £1.2 billion (€1,65 billion) a year in European research income ... read more 8.5.2015

EU visit in Cambodian universities

Phnom Penh (tppp) -- A European Union delegation to Cambodia has arrived to celebrate EU Week. From 4th to 7th May, the ambassadors will pay visits to chosen universities in Phnom Penh and deliver speeches on the EU. Other events include a concert and a bycicle tour ... read more | background: The EU-Cambodian partnership 05.05.2015

Friday, 8 May 2015 //

Italy protests against misguided reforms

image: WPSROME (reuters) -- Italy’s academic community took to the streets this week to protest against prime minister Matteo Renzi’s education reforms. Approved by the cabinet in March, Renzi swears the reforms are “vital to fix the country’s sub-standard schools”, but the opposition claims  they are missing the point and would leave state schools drastically underfunded … read more 5.5.15

Reaching out for Asia

RIGA (uwn) -- EU education priorities seem to be shifting towards Asia, heard the 5th ASEM meeting in Riga last week. EU education commissioner, Tibor Navracsics spoke in favour of expansion, saying “despite a wide variety of languages, cultures and structures in the different countries, Europe’s higher education systems are comparable and compatible. Why shouldn’t we be able to replicate a similar system across Europe and Asia?” … read more 29.4.15

Norway’s slow-moving student body

image: TRIOSLO (nrk) -- Less than half of students in Norway complete their degree in the ‘standard time’, with 60 percent having to lengthen their time at university. Even education minister, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, admitted in an interview with NRK to having extended his study period, but said that students should do as he says, not as he does. To address the problem, Isaksen revealed plans to financially reward those finishing on time, describing the current situation as a “loss for the individual and for society” … read more 05.5.15

Recognition problems dampen Swedish mobility

UPPSALA (ergo) -- Acquiring an excellent degree is an achievement and even more so when done in a foreign language. However the case of a Swedish student whose Austrian degree was not recognised back home has drawn attention to the continuing difficulties student mobility faces … read more 5.5.15

Thursday, 7 May 2015 //

UK Election: Education and Science hang in the balance

image: wiki

LONDON (guardian) -- Britons go to ballot today to choose their new parliamentary leaders. While Scottish independence and a referendum on EU membership dominate headlines, the science and research communities hold their breath before investment promises. Under the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, research council investments have reportedly fallen to a “miserably low level”. Higher education is also high on the political agenda, with the Labour and Green parties trying to lure young voters with a reduction and abolition of university tuition fees respectively … read more 28.4.15

Transparency and democracy: the legacy of the Amsterdam protests

AMSTERDAM (taz) -- The student occupation of the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Maagdenhuis may be over, but its legacy remains. In answer to students’ demands for greater transparency at decision-making level, two new committees, constituted by students and lecturers, have decision making powers now. Julie McBrien, protester and professor of anthropology at UvA, said decentralisation was the key to a fairer university … read more 6.05.15

Poland: Foreign students apply within

image: govWARSAW (dziennik wschodni) -- As of this month, foreign students studying in Poland can work throughout the year without having to worry about special permits. A relaxing of student visa bureaucracy comes as part of education minister, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska’s, plans to boost Poland’s attractiveness for international students … read more 06.05.2015

University of Cambridge becomes German hub

CAMBRIDGE (cam) -- A million euro research hub at Cambridge University will boost Anglo-German ties for years to come. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) announced over the weekend that from January 2016, funding will be made available for scholarships, workshops, conference and debates in the name of enhancing the outreach of German studies … read more 01.04.2015

Wednesday, 6 May 2015 //

League tables undermine access

image: CC pixabayDUBLIN (irish times) -- Analysts have found that the pressure of league tables is leading universities to chase international talent. This is disadvantageous to local students from poorer backgrounds, and therefore counter-productive to access policies. A meeting of university presidents and experts found that priorities are being skewed, as it is impossible a university to compete without “billionaires at (its) doorstep” … read more 30.04.2015

University mergers a pretext for cutting costs

BRUSSELS (publico) -- A recent report of the European University Association (EUA) has stated that cost savings should not be the primary driver of university mergers … read more 3.5.15

In push to diversify, Google goes to college

logoWASHINGTON (concord monitor) -- In ongoing efforts to diversify Silicon Valley’s tech sector, Google is embedding engineers at a handful of Historically black colleges and universities where they teach, mentor and advise on curriculum ... read more 04.05.2015

Dutch students robbed by ‘landlord crooks’

AMSTERDAM (lsvb) -- 89 percent in Amsterdam, 90 in Utrecht and 92 in Leiden. That’s the percentage of students in Dutch cities who are paying too much for their accommodation, reveal figures from the national students union. A points system should prevent this extortion, but according to union chair, Tom Hoven, “landlords continue to abuse the weak position of students, these crooks need to be tackled hard” … read more 28.04.2015

Romanian education unions turn 25

image: PSDBUCHAREST (romaniatv) -- Both Romania’s former education minister Remus Pricopie and the country’s Prime Minister have spoken to congratulate the Federation of Trade Unions in Education on reaching 25 years. Pricopie highlighted many of the positive things they have done, including to establish European standards, improve the status of teachers, and make education a national priority … read more | and here 04.05.2015

Tuesday, 5 May 2015 //

#WeAreAllStudents

image: unipadova

PADUA (fabrica) -- Eighty-four bodies scattered on the ground of an Italian university pay homage to the 147 Kenyan students murdered last month in Garissa. While the January attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris provoked a worldwide wave of empathy and outrage, international grief for Garissa passed fleetingly. Students at the University of Padua showed their solidarity with those killed, with one student saying “Those guys were like us. But they were torn from their own lives” … read more 30.04.2015

Spanish government’s control tactics

VALENCIA (el mundo) -- Spain’s education minister José Ignacio Wert is introducing a system to punish unruly university teachers. The idea is to penalise those ‘inactive’ teachers who are not involved in enough research. The system, described as a ‘hunt’, has so far been rolled out at the University of Valencia … read more 02.05.2015

Dutch education minister fights fake universities

image: RijksoverheidTHE HAGUE (expatica) -- Dutch education minister, Jet Bussemaker is to introduce fines of up to 810,000 euros for educational institutes which wrongly call themselves universities. ‘University’ and ‘University of Applied Science’ – used by hbo colleges in English – will also be protected names in Dutch law. “They charge students money for a diploma which is worthless and that must no longer go unpunished”, she told the Volkskrant ... read more 04.05.2015

Part-time students plummet in UK

LONDON (bbc) -- In the past five years, the participation of part-time students in British universities has seen a fall by more than a third. In his inaugural speech as the new vice-chancellor of the Open University, Peter Horrocks cited the applications decline following the fees increase in 2012 as a “tragedy” for the individual, society and the economy … read more 23.04.2015

Lithuania’s education minister resigns

image: EUVILNIUS (delfi) -- Dainius Pavalkis, Lithuania’s science and education minister, last week announced his resignation from the post. The government’s press release quoted the minster’s complaints over PR time-wasting and “negative emotions”. “I do not see any possibilities of continuing what was started, therefore, I have decided to resign” … read more 30.04.2015

Monday, 4 May 2015 //

Poland investing heavily in its universities

image: ESNAWARSAW (dziennik zachodni) -- Amid financial drought across Europe, Poland appears to be spending more on its universities. The region of Silesia will this year build 295 childcare centres, with money from a government grant. These nurseries and clubs will be for staff and students with children. Many institutions, such as Lublin University, are ploughing money into the renovation of sports facilities, to modernise and to cater for disabled students … read more | and here 29.04.2015

U-Multirank: A few hundred voices short of success

BRUSSELS (aca) -- U-Multirank, the EU-funded university ranking tool launched last year, released its 2nd edition, not a ranking, but rather a complex picture of the institutions’ strengths and weaknesses. 1.200 higher education institutions participated, up from 850 ... read more 28.04.2015

Charles University teams up with a bank

image: ESNAPRAGUE (prague post) -- The Czech Republic’s oldest university and oldest bank will join forces to support education. Charles University has signed a partnership deal with Česká Spořitelna to cooperate on the bank’s Depositum Bonum Foundation, investing in projects to make the country’s future graduates more globally competitive … read more 27.04.2015

Sweden leaves foreign PhD students out in the cold

STOKHOLM (uwn) -- Applications for Swedish citizenship from foreign doctoral students are facing lengthy delays or rejection. New legislation means that if it was stated on the original visa application that the candidate did not intend to stay in the country, the new application can be rejected. Those now looking to become citizens are being haunted by the original intention of their stay. An unnamed student had their citizenship application rejected, despite having lived in Sweden for 9 years and paid taxes for 7 years. Half of foreign PhD students stay on after graduation … read more 24.04.2015

Saturday, 2 May 2015 //

European science policy news monitor

bulletin n°165 BERLIN (esna) -- Don’t miss out on the 165th edition of the Higher Education Bulletin from ESNA, your authority on higher education and research in Europe. The Bulletin is out now and available free for a limited time! Keep your finger on the pulse of European higher education policy and news, with ESNA’s trademark astute and hard-hitting coverage of the most important stories from March and April 2015. Your one stop shop with all you need to stay informed and up to date on the latest headlines, opinion, analysis, studies, book publications, conferences, EU calls and more. Click here to read now! (Free test subscription here)

Friday, 1 May 2015 //

Research organisations vs. science journals monopoly

logoBRUSSELS (knowledge speak) -- Major research organisations in Europe agree that a radical shake-up of the current system, and of the market dominance of established science journals, is needed. It would bring immediate savings and profits. In mid-April the association Science Europe, comprising 50 major public research organisations in Europe, adopted four new common principles for Open Access Publisher Services; the Max Planck Society additionally proposed concrete measures for an immediate transition … read more | and here 28.04.2015

Red pressure on Scottish universities

EDINBURGH (scn) -- Academics have called on universities in Scotland to boycott construction firms which blacklisted workers involved in trade union activity ... read more 31.03.2015

International networks dominate research reviews

image: health-policy-systems.comLONDON (7th space) -- Systematic reviews of research are increasingly recognised as important for informing decisions across policy sectors and for setting priorities for research. The problem: international systematic review networks are dominated by members from high-income countries … read more | research paper 25.04.2015

Concern over student suicides in Romania

image: faetherCLUJ-NAPOCA (quotidien du medecin) -- A wave of suicide acts by French medicine students in Romania has worried both French and Romanian authorities. After two recent deaths, the University of Cluj has opened 24 hour a psychological help centre … read more 27.04.2015
Thursday, 30 April 2015 //

Austrian schizophrenia

image: Universität SalzburgVIENNA (standard) -- Austrian universities, represented by Heinrich Schmidinger, president of their association uniko, are puzzled. In a letter from the education ministry, they have been asked to save €300 million through efficiency measures. If they do so, by saving electricity, cutting staff and so on, the ministry will grant over €600 million in ‘additional’ funding up to 2018. “Cutting costs doesn’t lead to more efficiency,” Schmidinger said angrily, “and the ‘additional’ funds will serve only to fill the holes” … read more 28.04.2015

French universities’ anger over funding

PARIS (l’étudiant) -- France’s academic community has reacted with consternation to this year’s insufficient education budget. At a meeting of the National Council for Higher Education and Research, the advisory body to the education ministry, 49 out of 51 academics voted against the new allocation of grants … read more 29.04.2015

Bulgaria to reform “obsolete” education system

SOFIA (capital) -- Bulgarian education minister Todor Tanev is aiming to reform the system. He has stated that the current two-stage system of school followed by university is obsolete, and plans to introduce integrated vocational colleges as a link between the two … read more 29.04.2015

Pedigree for responsible German universities

image: ESNA

BERLIN (welt) -- Left and right, social and Christian democrats, are currently seeking to outdo each other with proposals on how to create better career chances at universities. The unpredictable employment prospects of aspiring professors up to the age of 40 must now come to an end, politicians promise. One party proposes to introduce a pedigree for universities offering serious career chances, the other to stage a competition worth half a million Euro for the best tenure-track model in Germany … read more 22.04.2015

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 //

Greece raids research funds to pay public salaries

image: ESNAATHENS (science) -- Greek scientists are angry and incredulous at what they see as a double-pronged government attack on the country’s research system: the confiscation of research funding to plug a hole in Greece’s ever worsening finances, and a new reform of higher education that they say will make universities more politicised and less meritocratic … read more 28.4.15

Irish universities fight plagiarism problem

DUBLIN (irish times) -- A number of Irish higher education institutions are reviewing their anti-plagiarism policies. This comes in the wake of an increase in the number of students using paid online services to write assignments for up to €50 per hour … read more 28.04.2015

Europe’s universities need language accreditation

image: DePatie FrelengLONDON (pie news) -- The demand from European universities for accreditation of their courses offered in foreign languages is growing. Eaquals, a British quality monitoring organisation for languages, report a shift in their clients from the traditionally dominant private language schools to universities, who now make up a quarter of their enquiries … read more 28.04.2015

Disappointing demonstration turnout in Budapest

BUDAPEST (budapest beacon) -- A mere 300 teachers and students turned up to a protest in central Budapest yesterday. The protest, organised by a Facebook group called “Free Education”, had more than 3,000 confirmed attendees prior to the event. Protesters, representing the higher and secondary education sectors, were showing their dissatisfaction with policy and demanding an open dialogue. This follows a government overhaul of higher education and the closure of schools … read more 28.04.2015

Tuesday, 28 April 2015 //

Norwegian students heed the market

image: symbol OSLO (newsinenglish) -- The number of Norwegian students applying for courses in healthcare and teaching has risen by an astounding 10 and 8 percent respectively. Jobs in these sectors are plentiful. With cutbacks in the oil industry, traditionally important to the Norwegian economy, applications to engineering and technical courses have fallen … read more 27.04.2015

European higher education targets in sight

PRAGUE (prague post) -- The EU is moving further towards reaching its education targets. Eurostat figures have shown that the share of people attending tertiary education has risen more than 13 percent between 2002 and 2014 for the 30-34 age bracket, a progression towards the Europe 2020 target of 40 percent. The rise was higher among women … read more 27.04.2015

Portuguese socialists propose alumni-funded universities

image: soft9000LISBON (sabado) -- Experts from the Portuguese Socialist Party have proposed a plan to help fund universities. Students of public higher education institutions, once they enter the job market, would commit a proportion of their income tax to their alma mater. The plan would not involve a rise in taxes, or a fall in state funding for universities … read more | and here 27.4.15

Universities fear Confucius ‘propaganda’

EDINBURGH (herald scotland) -- An international drive has been launched against China’s growing network of Confucius Institutes. A campaign to “Protect Academic Freedom” comes after universities in the US, Canada and Sweden ditched the institutes amid concerns they were being turned in to propaganda tools … read more 24.4.15

Monday, 27 April 2015 //

Ukraine science slashed to fund defence

image: wiki Nabak CCKIEV (chemistry world) -- Ukraine’s president, Petr Poroshenko, last week announced that science funding will face devastating cuts of as high as 25-35 percent in order to fuel defence investment. In September last year, Poroshenko said: “We no longer plan to spend billions of people’s and taxpayers’ money on useless research programmes, which in recent years have been only the subject of theft” … read more 22.04.2015

Europe’s universities fall silent to remember Garissa victims

BRUSSELS (corriere univ) -- At noon today, Monday 27 April, 800 universities from across Europe will observe a minute of silence to pay homage to the 147 students killed in this month’s terror attacks in Garissa, Kenya. The European University Association reiterated its belief “that any attack on education is at odds with the values ​​of tolerance and freedom of thought” … read more 27.4.

Lower quality standards for Italian online universities

campus biomedicoROME (repubblica) -- There has been disagreement in the Italian parliament following education minister Stefania Giannini’s decision to lower the requirements for entry into private online universities. Senator Francesca Puglisi believes this will further compromise the quality of higher education and deteriorate employment standards … read more 24.04.2015

Student dropout highest in med countries

MADRID (tpn) -- Malta, Portugal, Spain and Italy have the highest number of student drop out rates, a recent EU study shows. Despite initiatives to combat abandonment, 21.9 percent of Spain’s students leave studies early, 10 percent higher than the EU average. At the other end of the spectrum come Croatia, Slovenia and Poland, with rates as low as 2.7 percent … read more 23.4.15

Saturday, 25 April 2015 //

Europe endorses British accreditation

LONDON (pie news) -- The British Accreditation Council (BAC) has announced its full membership of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education. The BAC accredits higher and further education institutions both in the UK and overseas, and this new endorsement is supposed to be a major advantage in the international market … read more 24.04.2015

Free drinks for student striptease

image: E.M. MADRID (el mundo) -- Student entertainment has reached an all time low — to the benefit of party businesses who advertise female student striptease for 15 euro entry price. Raúl Ramos is the organiser of UniversiParty in Madrid, a disco party hosting more than 3000 revellers. Ramos has no problem with the exploitation of young women who undress and dance on stage in exchange for free drinks. “We have male contests, too,” he says, “and nudity is a natural thing at our events on the Canary Islands or other Spanish cities” … read more 22.4.15

Lithuanian leads in higher education population

VILNIUS (baltic course) -- In 2014, 53.3 percent of Lithuanians ages between 30 and 34 had completed tertiary education. This was the highest figure in the EU, and compares to an EU-wide average of 37.9 percent. Only four countries could boast a figure of over 50 percent … read more 24.04.2015

University democratisation in pictures

image: UALLONDON (guardian) -- Recent months have seen students, staff and academics from across the globe protesting against precarious working conditions and commercialisation. The Guardian recently published reader-submitted images of the protests and student occupations, taking place in Canadian, British, Dutch and Danish universities … read more 20.4.15

Friday, 24 April 2015 //

Juncker Plan affects humanities and social sciences

image: cambridge UniversityBRUSSELS (euractiv) -- Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, has visited Brussels to lobby against plans to divert €2.7 billion away from research. These cuts are part of the so-called Juncker Plan. Borysiewicz claims they would hit pure research in UK universities, which would be unable to borrow to replace the funds. The proposal, backed by the Commission and member states, is opposed by MEPs and academics, who claim that it would severely damage research, disproportionately affecting social sciences and humanities … read more 22.04.2015

A Facebook for science

TÜBINGEN (plos) -- Brett Buttliere, of the University of Tübingen’s Knowledge Media Research Centre, has published a paper proposing a ‘Facebook for Science’. He argues the case for an open and centralised online platform where individuals could upload their work and subject it to peer review. This would address the costs and difficulties involved in publishing … read more

Germany’s researchers welcome €5-billion funding boost

image: BMBFBERLIN (nature) -- As a strong indication of continuing political support for research, Germany’s ruling political parties agreed to increase funding for science by €5 billion between 2018 and 2028. Most of the proposed cash would go towards extending the country’s Excellence Initiative, that had been due to expire in 2017 ... read more 17.4.15

Slovak brain drain worsens

BRATISLAVA (slovak spectator) -- More and more Slovak students study abroad. The figure, which increased more than tenfold between 1998 and 2012, is made up mainly of students from middle class backgrounds. Critically, 40 percent of those students opt to stay on in the country of their study after graduating … read more | and here 22.04.2015

Poland banks on research excellence

logoWARSAW (esna) -- Starting this Autumn, the Polish government will offer funding to international scientists who choose Poland as their research headquarters. Under the ‘Polonez’ scheme, scientists can get a monthly 4050 euro salary plus research grants and mobility and family allowances. Science minister, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska said Poland wants to “attract scientists that conduct research at the world’s highest level” … read more 20.04.2015

Thursday, 23 April 2015 //

Portugal pays tribute to ‘Mr. Science’

image: ESNALISBON (sapo) -- Portugal came to a respectful halt this Monday, as the academic community remembered Mariano Gago, ex-science minister, who passed away before the weekend. Prime Minister, Pedro Coelho said Gago played “a pioneering role in the development of science policy in Portugal” … read more 17.4.15

Reverse discrimination at the University of Copenhagen?

COPENHAGEN (up) -- Recent initiatives by University of Copenhagen to increase the number of female professors have been branded illegal in a damning article by a fellow professor. The article says the ‘Gender Equality Plan’ gives women unfair employment advantages … read more 19.4.15

Spanish unions denounce education reforms

MADRID (el mundo) -- Spain’s workers unions have released a joint statement outrightly denouncing the education minister, José Ignacio Wert’s controversial reforms. According to CC.OO and UGT, the Law for the Better Quality of Education (LOMCE) would only limit student access to higher education. The reform, also known as the 'Ley Wert' have been famously unpopular across Spain, sparking massive student protests earlier this year … read more 16.4.20

Free bicycles for Warsaw students

logoWARSAW (radio poland) -- A Polish company has started an initiative offering students free rental of bicycles in Warsaw. Students must sign up online with their passport number and university name. The scheme will be funded by sponsors and free at the point of service, with the condition that the user must cover 120 km a month, a figure monitored by a smartphone app … read more 22.04.2015

Tuesday, 21 April 2015 //

Turkey to educate Syrian refugees

image: wikiANKARA (kpbs) -- Turkish education magnate Enver Yücel has pledged $10 million to create a university for Syrian refugees. He is also looking for donors to support the project in the border region. More than 40,000 Syrian refugees with the credentials to study are unable to do so, as they lack the Turkish language skills. Yücel, who owns hundreds of educational institutions across all levels, envisions university campuses with courses in a combination of Arabic, English and Turkish as a solution to invest in the refugees’ education … read more 20.4.15

Public science backlash in Finland

TURKU (yle) -- In Finland, researchers are increasingly wanting to withdraw from the public sphere, says Heikki Ervasti, Professor at Turku University. He claims that public hate and intimidation against scientists in Finland is increasing, thus burns the question of open science … read more 17.4.15

Azerbaijan catching up with the West

BAKU (abc) -- Azerbaijan is to be included in the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education, showing that trust in the quality of its higher education is strong ahead of the 24th EURASHE conference next month. The vote was made unanimously and involved representatives from the European Commission and participating countries in the Bologna Process. The inclusion of the country, which will host the European Games this summer, indicates the fast development and increasing influence of smaller countries in the West-dominated European organisations … read more 20.04.2015

Police clear Greek university occupation

image: wikiATHENS (wsws) -- Police in Athens were given the go ahead to forcefully clear out and arrest protesters in the University of Athens, 19 days after the occupation began. In 2011 in law banning police from entering university campuses was overturned, a move denounced by now leading party Syriza. This use of police forces, however, has Syriza supporters feeling betrayed … read more | and here 18.4.15

Monday, 20 April 2015 //

Fioraso’s empty chair

image: MESRPARIS (digischool) -- Two months after resigning for health reasons, no replacement has been found for Geneviève Fioraso, former State Secretary for Higher Education. The stand-still left rectors worried about 2016 budget negotiations. Head of the teacher’s trade union SNESup, Hervé Christofol said it was symbolic of the French government’s lack of interest in education and research … read more 15.4.15

Universities in Northern Ireland in ‘peril’

BELFAST (bt) -- Northern Irish employment minister, Stephen Farry, has told the Assembly he is “deeply worried” about the effects an 8.4 percent budget cut could have on universities. Universities are left in a “perilous state” and fears over a subsequent brain drain bubble … read more 13.04.2015

Why Belarus needs the Bologna Process

image: ODB OfficeMINSK (belarus digest) -- The EHEA ministerial meeting set to take place on 14-15 May in Yerevan will consider Belarus’s application to the Bologna group. Belarusian education mnister Mikhail Zhuraukou said, “Belarus observes almost every principle of the Bologna Declaration, there remain only some formalities”. However, one formality, the student quota of 25 percent in university councils, is hardly respected ... read more 15.04.2015

Democratisation protests at Copenhagen University

COPENHAGEN (university post) -- “It’s our university and now we’re taking in back”. With those words, Magnus Esmark, spokesman of Danish student activist group ‘A Different University’, announced the student occupation of the rector’s office of the University of Copenhagen (UCPH). Students are protesting against privatisation in Danish education, following the announcement of reforms aiming to increase profits through speeding up graduation time. Copenhagen’s students join Amsterdam, London and many other universities taking action for the democratisation of their education … read more | and here 16.04.2015

University degrees for Bulgarian prison inmates?

GramsciSOFIA (topnivini) -- Prisoners serving sentences in Bulgaria want a real second chance. The inmates at the Stara Zagora facility, who recently opened an exhibition at Trakia University, announced that they want to study for degrees there. The two institutions are working together to win support for this plan from the ministry of education  read more 17.4.15

Saturday, 18 April 2015 //

Croatian ministry recommends university nationalisation

image: SSZAGREB (evarazdin) -- Following a large-scale public debate that took place in February and March of this year, the decision has been made to nationalise University North in the Northwestern Croatian city of Koprivnica. The science ministry has drafted a law transferring ownership of the institution to the Republic of Croatia overruling claims of autonomy in favour of national education goals … read more 17.04.2015

Russia expels British research ‘spy’

NIZHNY NOVGOROD (life news) -- A British PhD student researching 20th century sociology in Russia was deported and fined earlier this month, following minor visa irregularities. Russian ‘Life News’ reported that a “foreign spy” had be caught and “expelled from the territory” … read more  01.04.2015

Ireland needs more integrated approach to innovation

image: pixabayDUBLIN (irish times) -- An integrated policy approach would deal better with the complexity of the innovation cycle and differences in enterprise scale, argues Frances Ruane, director at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Dublin. “It would also help avoid duplication, reduce overheads and potentially enhance co-operation with higher education institutions” ... read more 06.04.2015

Kosovo to accept Serbian-language diplomas

PRISTINA (bi) -- Kosovo’s science minister, Arsim Bajrami has proposed that diplomas from the Serbian-language university in the municipality of North Mitrovica be officially recognised. This will make it easier for Kosovar Serbs and other minority groups to apply for jobs in public institutions … read more

Albanian students march against reforms

TIRANA (bi) -- Students and professors from the University of Tirana have staged a march in the centre of the Albanian capital. Their ‘For University’ movement is protesting against the government’s controversial proposed higher education reforms, which would raise public tuition fees in order to increase the funds available to both public and private universities. The protestors claim that these reforms will make public universities poorer and turn higher education into a reserve of the privileged … read more 17.04.2015

image: Ivana Dervishi

Friday, 17 April 2015 //

EU Universities: Stronger together

image: uuk BRUSSELS (esna) -- “Collaboration of universities is crucial to drive research and continue the continent’s tradition as a knowledge economy,” says Nicola Dandridge. The chief executive of the British universities association Universities UK emphasises the importance of the UK’s EU membership and the need to protect Horizon 2020 research funding. Similarly, the presidents of UUK and the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) published an open letter, joining the fight for the protection of Horizon 2020 from diversion threats … read more | letter 13.4.15

Gothenburg University leads anti-racism research

GOTHENBURG (gp) -- In Sweden’s fight against racism, Gothenburg University has received a considerable investment to become the country’s leader in anti-racism initiatives. Education minister, Helene Hellmark Knutsson said, “knowledge is racism’s worst enemy. Through research, we can protest society against values which divide people” … read more 12.04.2015

Disappointment for needy German students

BERLIN (spiegel) -- After a 6-year long funding freeze, German students hoping for more money from the state have a bitter pill to swallow. Education and research minister, Johanna Wanka, has rejected an automatic increase to the BAföG (student support), prioritising instead top level research … read more | and here 14.04.2015

Putin urges more patriotism in education

image: wikiMOSCOW (moscow times) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the Education Ministry to increase patriotism among Russia’s youth. He claimed that national pride had been missing from the education system and needs to be restored. Earlier this month, Russia’s national agency for youth affairs proposed a $34 million project entitled “Patriotic Education of Russian Citizens in 2016-2020” … read more 13.04.2015

Thursday, 16 April 2015 //

‘Illegal’ universities target international students

image: ESNANICOSIA (uwn) -- The Cypriot embassy in Nairobi has warned young Kenyans against enrolling at universities in the internationally unrecognised state of Northern Cyprus, which have been aggressively advertising to prospective students across East Africa. These institutions are unaccredited by the Republic of Cyprus, a member state of both the EU and UN, leaving students unsure about their job prospects ... read more 15.04.2015

Optimism for home-hunting French students

PARIS (esna) -- An interim report has shown that France’s desperate student-housing deficit is indeed being addressed. Progress of the ‘Plan 40,000’, launched in 2013, has been hailed by ministers for exceeding targets. Good news for the reported 7 in 10 French students struggling to find somewhere to live … read more 09.04.2015

Bizzare recruitment methods at Czech universities

image: youtube PRAGUE (e15) -- Czech Universities are increasingly having to resort to marketing tricks in order to combat the falling number of students. Competition for new recruits has led to the use of sometimes controversial promotional videos, in order to stand out. One particular film for the Silesian University in Opava was denounced as sexist soft porn … read more | video 15.04.2015

Ukrainian students inundate Poland

WARSAW (the news) -- Poland’s foreign student population has registered an increase of one third in the past year. Of the 10,000 extra incoming students, young Ukrainians accounted for 55 percent, as war in their home country continues to force many across the border … read more 08.04.2015

Scientists share inspiration on Twitter

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BILLINGS (nature) -- The Twitter streams of many researchers recently turned positive. Scientists of all types rallied around the hashtag #IAmAScientistBecause to share their inspirations. The hashtag was created last summer by the Nature Careers team and took off suddenly in early April ... read more 08.04.2015

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 //

Research grant delay “damages Romania”

image: astrBUCHAREST (gandul) -- Romanian researchers have launched a petition and an open letter demanding education minister, Sorin Cîmpeanu, provide reasons for the delay to payment of research grants. In a statement, scientists state that “the delay of over a year severely damaged the state, national economy and research system” … read more 10.04.2015

One in two Ukrainian graduates are unemployed

KIEV (gazeta) -- A degree in Ukraine is no guarantee of a job, as recent figures show that an alarming 46 percent of the country’s unemployed have a university degree - in some regions up to 70 percent. 1.8 million out of 45.5 million Ukrainians registered as unemployed this year … read more 13.4.15

Electoral corruption in Istanbul University

image: wikiISTANBUL (cihan) -- Students in Istanbul University vow they will not leave the university campus until the winner of the university’s rector elections is given his rightful position, declaring that they “will not let the [ruling party] AKP terrorise us”. Despite coming first in the elections, Raşit Tükel was denied the post, and university president instead chose Mahmut Ak, a figure known to be close with President Erdoğan. This comes as the latest in a stream of news about political corruption within Turkish higher education … read more 07.04.2015

Greek students are ministers’ “guinea pigs”

ATHENS (greek reporter) -- As power passes from education minister to education minister, the effects of constant policy shake-ups on students are often forgotten. Following a policy revisal on internal student mobility and admissions exams, the Greek Reporter comments that the Greek education system remains “a work in progress” … read more 08.04.2015

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 //

Maagdenhuis eviction “blunder”

image:citinerary


AMSTERDAM (nu) -- Amsterdam University’s administrative board made a “blunder” in clearing out the occupied Maagdenhuis, claim a group of 100 professors and staff. They now demand the resignation of the Executive Board. The six week-long occupation of the university building, in an ongoing row about the commercialisation of the UvA, ended abruptly, as police stormed the building on Saturday morning … read more 13.4.15

Russia rebrands for U.S. audience

MOSCOW (rbth) -- Russia this week released a comprehensive ‘Ranking of Russian and Post-Soviet Studies in the United States’. The scheme comes as an attempt to revive waning interest in Russian studies, as American-Russian relations are less than amicable … read more 09.04.2015

Education goals far from reached, warns UNESCO

PARIS (euractiv) -- A UNESCO report has warned that international education goals are far from being reached. The study, released last week, reveals that only a third of the world’s governments have accomplished the Education for All (EFA) aims set in 2000 … read more | study 09.04.2015

Concern over choice for new Estonian Education Minister

image: wikiTALLINN (delfi) -- Marju Lauristin, Estonian MEP and Professor at Tartu University, has criticised the selection of Jürgen Ligi as the country's new education minister. This comes in the light of Prime Minister Rõivas’ cabinet reshuffle, approved last Thursday. The appointment of Ligi, the confrontational former Defence Minister, could be suggestive of a changing national climate, given the current militarisation elsewhere in the Baltic region … read more 13.4.15

Monday, 13 April 2015 //

German universities pay dearly for security

image: Lyons DRESDEN (mopo 24) -- A parliamentary questioning in the German state of Saxony has revealed how expensive security services are for universities in Germany. Last year, the 18 public Saxonian higher education institutions spent over ten million euros on private security firms. The services are outsourced and would cost about a quarter more if the universities employed the guard staff themselves ... read more

Greece’s biggest university cut off by “anarchists”

ATHENS (greek reporter) -- Greece’s biggest university has come to a stand-still as an “anarchist occupation” enters its 10th day. Occupiers are demanding the abolition of maximum security prisons and the release of those imprisoned for terrorist acts. With all operations frozen and police legally unable to enter the building, a checkmate situation ensues … read more 9.4.15

Dutch students will pay for education

image: Dutch ParliamentAMSTERDAM (nu) -- Despite having had their basic grants pulled from beneath them, applications for Dutch universities are steady and have even risen this academic year. From 1 September 2015, students will no longer receive basic tuition fees grant and must instead take out a loan to fund their studies. Members of the opposition criticise, that fear of debt will deter students from applying … read more | and here 08.04.2015

“Insufficient funds” at Portuguese universities

LISBON (jn) -- “Funds are not sufficient to pay for all students.” That’s what Portuguese students were told by the higher education directorate, some waiting months for overdue bursaries. However, February payments finally arrived this week … read more 08.04.2015

Saturday, 11 April 2015 //

France: Art, culture and universities

image: JACESPARIS (e-orientations) -- Universities all over France opened their doors to the public this week to celebrate Days of Art and Culture in Higher Education. The aim of the festival, which is a collaboration between the education and culture ministries, is to “shed light on the cultural and artistic achievements” taking place in France’s universities … read more 08.04.2015

Slovak students head elsewhere

BRATISLAVA (webnoviny) -- According to Eurostat, students in Slovakia are opting ever more to study abroad, as 14 percent of all students are internationally mobile. Students from Luxembourg and Cyprus topped the mobility-charts … read more 05.04.2015

German research-giant promotes fairer pay

logoMUNICH (science) -- The Max Planck Society (MPG), Germany’s flagship organisation for basic research, will improve its support for junior scientists and do away with an unfair foreign-worker stipend system. 54 percent of MPG employees are non-Germans and have been lobbying for years for equality … read more 27.03.2015

Survey results: Times Higher Education Student Experience 2015

LONDON (the) -- The annual results of the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015 have been released, with campus universities topping the charts for Britain’s student body. The survey ranks universities on staff, facilities, sports, industry connections, affordability and community atmosphere … read more 09.04.2015

Friday, 10 April 2015 //

Flexible BA/MA transition in Denmark

image: SCNCOPENHAGEN (fyens) -- Proposals to introduce an optional study-break between Bachelor’s and Master’s study in Denmark has gone down well with students. Until now, graduate-study could only be assured and supported if students continue straight after BA graduation, however education minister, Sofie Carsten Nielsen says the an break of up to two years will “better equip students to choose their specialisation” … read more 08.04.2015

New Turkish universities – a family business?

ISTANBUL (today’s zaman) -- Turkish opposition parties have reacted in outrage after a bill allowing the establishment of three new universities passed through parliament. The root of their anger? Two out of the three universities would be owned by the Foundation of Youth and Education (TÜRGEV), of which the President Recep Erdoğan’s son is a board member and has recently been involved in several corruption allegations. It is claimed that the governing party, AKP, seeks to garner political benefits in return for money and property donations … read more 02.04.2015

Horizon 2020: Results for 2014 published

flagBRUSSELS (esna) -- The European Commission has released an open data set laying out all successful applicants for the 2014 calls for proposals of the Horizon 2020 research funding programme … read more 07.04.2015

Inequality for Croatian Romani

ZAGREB (dnevnik) -- Despite recent efforts, the Croatian government still is not doing enough to assure support for their Romani population. Speaking on International Romani Day on the 8th April, Politician Veljko Kajtazi said that quotas should be introduced to promote equality … read more 08.04.2015

Thursday, 09 April 2015 //

Closure threat for Portuguese fake-degree university

image: Joao CarvalhoLISBON (jdn) -- Portugal’s largest private university, Universidade Lusófona, has been threatened with closure this week if it fails to annul 152 unlawfully awarded degrees. An audit into forfeited diplomas and certificates was launched following the ‘Miguel Relvas scandal’, whereby it emerged that a leading minister had acquired a degree without attending classes or sitting exams … read more 01.04.2015

Dutch universities reject performance assessments

AMSTERDAM (nrc) -- Dutch universities have rejected the government’s performance based funding scheme, after 14 institutions took part in a pilot. The scheme would have regulated seven percent of funds based on study and training success. The institutions instead want the scheme’s 300 million Euros to flow straight back into the university financing pot … read more 2.4.15

Financial abuse suspicion at Bulgarian education ministry

image: teacher.bgSOFIA (mediapool) -- Todor Tanev, Bulgarian Minister for education, has ordered the National Security Agency to investigate allegations of financial abuse within his own ministry. In a statement he said that he independent external audits would be run and that “no-one is special” … read more 06.04.2015

Record investment for Polish innovation

WARSAW (tvn24) -- The largest innovation investment in Polish history was announced last week by science and education minister, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska. A record 1.6 billion Euro has been made available for entrepreneurs under the “Fast Path” initiative … read more 03.04.2015

Wednesday, 08 April 2015 //

UK university heads earn like top managers

image: UUKLONDON (the) -- While British universities try desperately to save money wherever they can, what presidents and vice-chancellors are pocketing is surely an interesting topic. A survey shows top salaries of 570,000 pounds. Several university heads – particularly those in their final year of office – were granted a range of generous bonuses and one-off payments. Nicola Dandridge, head of Universities UK, says that this “is close to the average pay increase received by higher education staff during the same period” … read more 02.04.2015

Hungarian student numbers reduced by 1/5

BUDAPEST (hungary today) -- The number of students admitted to higher education institutions in Hungary has fallen by over twenty per cent over the past four years, according to a recent report … read more 30.03.2015

Germany eases work transition for refugees

wanka_web_ESNABERLIN (bmbf) -- New legalisation in Germany will offer a helping hand to asylum seekers. According to education minister, Johanna Wanka, ‘Prototyping Transfer’ will offer support to political refugees by recognising qualifications from their home country, even when documents can’t be provided … read more 04.01.2015

Russia reaches out to Indian talent

MOSCOW (nie) -- In light of increasing competition from higher education institutions in the West, Russian universities have come forward to make themselves an appealing destination for Indian students, offering 100 per cent scholarships … read more 02.04.2015

Tuesday, 07 April 2015 //

Bologna Coneference in Yerevan coming soon

image: Bologna Secretariat Yerevan

BRUSSELS (esu) -- The Ministerial Conference of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) will take place in Yerevan, Armenia, on 14 and 15 May this year. Preparations for the conference are already well underway, as well as the corresponding Bologna Policy Forum ... read more 09.03.2015

EIT shows unsatisfactory balance sheets

BRUSSELS (euparl) -- The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) failed the first round of the “discharge” test because MEPs were not satisfied with its verification of payments before and after it contracted projects. Other four projects set up as EU partnerships with private companies (known as “joint undertakings”) failed to convince budgetary control MEPs that they had managed EU funds appropriately ... read more 24.3.15

EU research commissioner defends ‘Juncker-plan’

image: EULONDON (the) -- Europe’s new commissioner for research, science and innovation, Carlos Moedas has used his first trip to the UK to reassure researchers that trimming the budget of the EU’s flagship research and innovation programme will be good for science ... read more 02.04.2015

Training terror? UK Universities’ Islamic extremism dilemma

LONDON (economist) -- Why do Britain’s universities produce so many radical Islamists? How can this worrying trend be addressed? Talks of ‘anti-terror bills’ and vetting of university speakers for possible extremist views repeatedly meet accusations of smothering free speech. And this week it further emerged that 800 foreign students have been barred from studying in the UK amid fears they might use the knowledge they gain to build weapons of mass destruction … read more | and here 28.03.2015

Nearly 150 people die in terror attack on Kenyan university

NAIROBI (yahoo) -- The massacre in Garissa, Kenya’s deadliest attack since the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi, claimed the lives of 142 students, three police officers and three soldiers ... read more 6.4.15

Monday, 06 April 2015 //

Horizon 2020 strikes back

image: EPPBRUSSELS (euraxess) -- The countdown for the approval of the draft regulation on the European Strategic Investment Fund (EFSI), also known as the Juncker-Plan, will start after the Easter holiday period. With massive opposition by many stakeholder organisations, numerous amendments by the European Parliament and the devastating opinion of the European Court of Auditors, by now it should be crystal clear to President Juncker that a major revision of the draft EFSI regulation is unavoidable … read more 23.03.2015

Fossil-fuel free universities demanded

fossilfueldivestmentstudentprotest_webLONDON (guardian) -- Following public concern about climate change, campaigning against investment in fossil fuels is on the rise, receiving publicity along the way. The Guardian notably reported after King’s College London rejected a 1,400 signature-strong petition demanding the sale of its fossil fuel investments. Now international pressure on universities to sever ties with fossil fuels companies continues to grow … read more | and here 31.03.2015

Latvia’s US technology boost

RIGA (baltic course) -- Latvia is set to receive a tech startup boost, as apartnership between Riga High Tech University and the Silicon Valley-based accelerator GSVlabs was this announced this week … read more 27.03.2015

UK election: Parties set out science plans

image: YouGovLONDON (nature) -- In a poll of Nature readers, 74 percent said that candidates’ attitudes to science would affect their vote. With the general election 7 May coming ever closer, nor Labour neither Cons will have a majority, so the small parties count. And their view on science policy could make the difference ... read more 31.03.2015

Friday, 03 April 2015 //

Poland: Parenting no obstacle to knowledge and research

kolarskabobinska_webWARSAW (prawo) -- Poland is pushing hard to set up networks of crèches within universities. A call for proposals saw over 60 of educational institutions, including University of Warsaw and Jagiellonian University, competing to receive funding for the initiative. Science minister, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska pledged her support, saying “parenting should not be an obstacle to the acquisition of knowledge and the development of research” … read more 31.03.2015

Romanian higher education in downward spiral

BUCHAREST (romania tv) -- As concerns over Romania's research-funding system simmer, a lack of university funding has left  universities and students struggling to stay afloat. Despite promises of state support, a deficit has “plunged universities into a struggle for financial survival”, many of whom are forced to generate their own income through increasingly high fees and marketisation … read more 30.03.2015

Swizerland: Researchers in politics?

logoBERN (natural sciences) -- Governments are ever more dependent on scientific expertise, but many researchers hesitate to become politically active themselves. The latest issue of Horizons, the magazine of the As one of the six platforms of the Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences, offers three perspectives on this complex relationship … read more 09.03.2015

Russian students “cheat and are cheated”

MOSCOW (the) -- One in seven Russian students readily admits to cheating in university exams, a national poll of undergraduates has revealed, and tolerance for academic dishonesty is very high … read more 26.03.2015

Greek and Spanish scholars in national politics

logoATHENS/MADRID (the) -- Greece and Spain share several similar attributes aside from mediterranean coastlines and economic troubles. Both have recently undergone a surge in left-wing political success and therein lies another similarity; both parties, Greek Syriza and Spanish Podemos, draw heavily on the academic scene for their leaders. The Times Higher Education investigates this scholarly trend … read more 26.03.2015

Thursday, 02 April 2015 //

U-Multirank: Results of second round

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BRUSSELS (ihe) -- The results of U-Multirank’s second round were released this week, a year after its inception. With 31 indicators across five dimensions - teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, international orientation and rgional development - the web-based programme seeks to break the mould of rigid traditional university rankings. This year’s leaders are, refreshingly, neither Harvard, Yale nor Oxbridge but many of the world’s best-known universities decline to actively participate … read more 30.3.15

Croatian universities unite for common goal

ZAGREB (nacional) -- The University of Zagreb last week launched an ‘Innovative University Network’, uniting universities from across Croatia with the joint goal of boosting Croatian knowledge and technology, helping global competitiveness and stimulating regional development … read more 31.3.15

EU concerned about plagiarism in Serbia

image: MinistryBRUSSELS (n1) -- The European Parliament has expressed concern that Serbia does not investigate allegations of plagiarism in universities. The PhD plagiarism affair broke out after three Britain-based Serbian scientists last summer publicly challenged the credibility of leading Serbian politician’s qualifications, among them the dissertation of Nebojša Stefanović, currently Minister of Internal Affairs … read more 13.3.15

German science alliance denounces Horizon 2020 cuts

BERLIN (koop int) -- An alliance of German research organisations has become the latest in a long line of organisations to call for an end to cuts of Horizon 2020, European research funding programme. As billions are siphoned away to finance other plans, the Alliance of Scientific Organisations demanded Horizon 2020 funding be left untouched … read more 31.03.2015

Wednesday, 01 April 2015 //

Berlin: Rare science & theatre co-operation

image: English Theatre

BERLIN (esna) -- The last performance of “Isaac’s Eye” last Saturday in Berlin concluded with great applause. A rare example of science and art co-operation in Germany, the project was led by English Theatre Berlin and Regine Hengge, a professor of microbiology at Humboldt-Universität. The director, dramaturg and actors, for whom scientific issues are fresh territory, worked with scientists and advanced science students, who stepped out of the lab to explore both potential social and ethical aspects of their work and the stage as an equally new medium for science communication ... read more 30.03.2015

Ukraine’s science receives American support

PENNSYLVANIA (psu) -- The week after Ukraine’s entry into European investment programme, Horizon 2020 was announced, it emerges that the USA is also investing in consolidating the future of Ukrainian science. A new Research and Education Centre funded by a Penn State agricultural college will advance research and education in Ukraine … read more 26.03.2015

Science editor resigns over pay-for-review

image: cambridge UniversityLONDON (science) -- An editor of Scientific Reports, a leading open-access journal, has resigned in a very public protest of a recent decision by Nature Publishing Group to allow authors to pay money to expedite peer review of their submitted papers. Mark Maslin, editor and London-based scientist, said the system shifts balance away from the best science, to the best-funded … read more 27.03.2015

Barriers in English-taught programmes

AMSTERDAM (folia web) -- As higher education becomes increasingly internationalised, ever more universities are opting to run English-taught programmes. However during a meeting between an Amsterdam University and the British Council last week the issue was raised that the language-barrier can often hinder learning … read more 27.03.2015

Favouritism inquiry at Istanbul University

image:wikiISTANBUL (today’s zaman) -- Turkish Higher Education Board (YÖK) has launched an inquiry into allegations that about 450 students, most of whom are relatives of leading political figures, were enrolled at Istanbul University despite not meeting the enrolment criteria … read more 19.03.2015

ESNA 2015
DAILY news   
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 //

Private returns and international competition

LONDON -- This week’s Economist special takes a look at world-wide university trends. Lead author Emma Duncan sustains that “the whole world is going to university today” and the funding constraints of mass-education would force all countries to go towards the American system which is “excellence vs. equity”. While the US are world-leaders in research paper output, they remain insecure about their drop-out rate and their graduate’s low international ranking. The focus is on their “money’s worth”, the rates of individual investment and return, and the difficulty of measuring learning outcomes … read more 28.03.2015

German-Russian science co-operation builds bridges

FREIBURG (daad) -- In a politically difficult time, science is building bridges between countries. Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg and the Moscow-based Russian State University have created an International Research Training Group which will produce generations of research on German-Russian cultural transfer and identity … read more 25.03.2015

UK: First Global Higher Education Centre to open

image: HEFCESHEFFIELD (hefce) -- Britain’s first research centre dedicated to the investigation of higher education and its future will open its doors in October. Chris Millward, Director of co-funders, HECFE, said the London-run institution will “ensure that government policy, and practice in universities and colleges, are informed by globally connected research and expertise,” … read more | and here 26.03.2015

French academics fear PhD ‘devaluation’

PARIS (le monde) -- Talk of launching a new ‘professional doctorate’ programme has been met with an outcry from the French research community, amid fears that it would lead to a devaluation of the traditional qualification … read more 25.03.2015

Monday, 30 March 2015 //

“Dialogue and quality”: Slovenia’s new education minister

image: SMCLJUBLJANA (sta) -- Klavdija Markež has been confirmed as Slovenia’s new education, science and sport minister. Markež said that her priority as minister would be open dialogue with all stakeholders and promoting quality at all levels of education … read more | and here

Promise of more job security for German scientists

BERLIN (div) -- In response to trade union pressure and a petition against researcher precarity, the German government pledged this week more job security in the science sector. Research and education minister, Johanna Wanka, called upon universities to create more fixed contracts, promising financial support … read more | and here 23.03.2015

German software combats fake science

image: DePatie FrelengBERLIN (science) -- In 2005, a software engineer from California created a computer programme to generate nonsensical computer science research “to expose the lack of peer review at low-quality conferences that essentially scam researchers with publication and conference fees.”. But SCIgen may have finally met its match as German academic publisher, Springer, this week released SciDetect, an open-source program to automatically detect automatically generated papers … read more 27.03.2015

Belarus-Bologna adoption’s political agenda?

YEREVAN (the) -- In May, ministers from across the European Higher Education Area will meet in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, to discuss the progress of the Bologna Process and the “road map” for the next three years. The integration of dictatorial Belarus and Kosovo into the initiative is set to be a hot topic. Still, tensions between the West and Russia continue, giving science integration geopolitical importance … read more 26.03.2015

Saturday, 28 March 2015 //

Lapland University refuses to be sold

logoLAPLAND (lapin kansa) -- As university mergers sweep across fellow Scandinavian countries, universities in Finland are fighting to remain independent. For now, the ministry of education assures they won’t be forced to merge but this could change as future governments will be forced to seek savings … read more 27.03.2015

Romanian funding shake-up is cause for concern

BUCHAREST (hotnews) -- Moves by the Romanian government to abolish the national funding body, UEFISCDI, have received heavy criticism by the country’s research community and the European Commission. A massive restructuring of the current funding body would only be counteractive, said the Commission, leading to a “greater dispersion in research and innovation” … read more | and here 26.3.15

Russian students immobilised

image: Gustave Doré Divina Commedia PurgatorioMOSCOW (uwn) -- The number of Russian students applying to study abroad has dropped by up to 40 percent in some disciplines this year, according to a leading consulting agency on foreign education. Lack of government funding brought on by Russia’s economic crisis has made it increasingly difficult to study abroad and the International education bureau predicts the trend will only continue … read more 25.03.2015

The world-wide fight against commercialisation

LONDON (guardian) -- As students at the University of Arts, London took over their university’s reception against proposed funding cuts last week, the Guardian has finally noticed a growing trend of student action against commercialisation in universities, drawing examples from Canada, UK and of course, the University of Amsterdam … read more 25.03.2015

Friday, 27 March 2015 //

Berlin: Make knowledge, not money

collage: ESNABERLIN (tagesspiegel) -- After the German sports associations’ decision against Berlin as host city of the Olympic Games 2024, someone suggests funding 100 additional IT professors for Berlin as a wiser investment instead. That someone is Sebastian Turner, publisher of the daily paper Tagesspiegel. He argues, if the city would have been willing to wager millions of euros on the Olympic event, why shouldn’t it cough up to modernise its infrastructure by adding brain power in one of the key future sectors — making Berlin a Capital even of the digital industry? Several representatives from scientific, economic and political spheres agreed; now only the question of where the money would come from remains … read more 24.03.2015

Italy’s graduate exodus

ROME (repubblica) -- Italy is losing billions of euros every year. Over 24 percent of their graduates emigrate taking their productivity and abilities with them, with the majority of graduates heading for the richer part of Europe … read more 23.03.2015

Students sucked into Greek money row

image: artonATHENS (focus) -- Not even universities are being spared from Greece’s financial tug-of-war with the EU. Around a thousand students gathered before the finance ministry in Athens brandishing posters with the figure 187 Million euros, the sum borrowed by minister Yanis Varoufakis from the universities’ reserve fund to service state debts … read more 25.03.2015

Swiss universities adapt to new times

BASEL (nnz) -- Universities must modernise together with societal changes. Bachelor degrees must be labour-market ready qualifications and flexibility between Masters in different study fields is vital. In an interview with NNZ Campus, Antonio Loprieno, president of the Swiss rectors conference, called for an open minded approach for this new university era ... read more 23.3.15

Thursday, 26 March 2015 //

New ESNA European university bulletin out now

logoBERLIN (esna) -- After a long winter break, ESNA European Higher Education News continues the successful series of bulletins on university and science policy. Issue 164 features stories, reviews and interviews on Ukrainian universities during the war, the EU funding shift from Horizon 2020 to the so-called ‘Juncker-Plan’, the stuggle for university democratisation in Amsterdam, and the EUROSTUDENT V survey on student life in Europe ... download for free

ETH Zurich at odds with Microsoft

ZURICH (nzz) -- Microsoft’s initiative to make its office programme free for universities has also a downside. ETH Zurich has now blocked its free student access to the Microsoft Office package due to a quarrel over software maintenance. They insist that basic IT support has to be provided by Microsoft and not by the university … read more 24.03.2015

Spanish education community in protest against law reform

image: estudiants en lluita

MADRID (el diario) -- Against cuts, rising university fees, privatisation of public education, but most of all, Spanish students and teachers have turned out in their thousands to protest against the ‘3+2’ degree. The new course structure is part of a law project named after education minister José Ignacio Wert, which also lifts private tuition costs for Masters degrees among the highest in Europe … read more 25.03.2015

Portuguese student shortage

LISBON (drk) -- Many Portuguese universities are facing a student-less crisis, as expansion and reform in their higher education sphere has begun to show its negative effects. While EU funding was pumped into the formation of new universities, falling student numbers and university bad money management leaves many regional and vocational schools unable to fill lecture halls … read more 19.03.2015

100 days to Summer Universiade



logoGWANGJU (yongap) -- The countdown to the Summer leg of the Universiade, the international university multisport competition, has begun. The games will take place in July in Gwangju, South Korea, with 20,000 students from 170 countries participating … read more 25.03.2015


Gwangju 2015

Wednesday, 25 March 2015 //

20,000 Italian students protest against mafia

image: CCBOLOGNA (tds) -- The streets of Bologna were this weekend filled with 20,000 students from all over Italy, marching in memory of the innocent victims of the mafia and showing their commitment to the fight against corruption. “In our fight against the mafia, which is strong among the underprivileged, we also demand a general student wage to guarantee the independence of all students”, says Riccardo Laterza, one of the organisers … read more 21.3.15

Spotlight on plagiarism in Sweden

STOCKHOLM (sveriges radio) -- Cheating in exam halls, plagiarism and collusion in assignments are at an all-time high in Sweden, according to figures published by news agency, TT. 576 students were dismissed last year; the country’s highest rate on record … read more 23.03.2015

Luxembourgish students left out in the cold

LUXEMBOURG (tageblatt) -- Around 1,000 students in Luxembourg have been waiting for months for the state to deliver on their student grants promises. The funding-lag has been put down to recent legislation and respective re-training of staff in the Duchy … read more 18.03.2015

7 in 10 French students struggle to find housing

image: Simpsons

PARIS (melty campus) -- The outlook is overwhelmingly bleak for French students looking to move out of the family home, as figures published last week show that 70 percent of the 18 to 30 years old have trouble finding accommodation. The study by AFEV shows that lack of availability as well as sky-rocketing prices make the housing market an increasingly pessimistic place for French students … read more 22.03.201

Tuesday, 24 March 2015 //

European funding gift for Ukrainian research

image: EUBRUSSELS (interfax) -- Ukraine is now officially part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, just a week after Serhiy Kvit, Ukrainian education minister, declared his desire to participate. Carlos Moedas, said he hoped “Ukraine will make the most of these opportunities”, for which they received an ‘unprecedented’ 95 percent participation discount … read more 20.3.15

Online real estate for Austrian students

WIEN (heute) -- ‘Nestpick’, a new online platform will make finding accommo-dation far easier for Austrian students. The service does not come cheap, and lodgers must pay a quarter of their monthly rent as a fee … read more 23.3.15

Uni Amsterdam forced to negotiate with occupiers

logoAMSTERDAM (science guide) -- With the release of a new 10-point plan, the executive board of the University of Amsterdam hopes to claw black some discourse-sovereignty, so far dominated by revolutionary student activities across Holland. The plan hopes to address the demands of staff and students, which call for democratisation of university administration, financial transparency and an end to the commercialisation of university property … read more 20.03.2015

Iberian university alliance supports business-co-operation

LISBON (público) -- CRUSOE, a network of 22 higher education institutions across Portugal and Spain has been formed with the aim of encouraging co-operation between education and economic sectors. President of the organisation, Sebstian Feyo de Azevedo said the network will be a “motor for development” … read more 17.03.2015

UK: The globally mobile are less unemployed

image: uni durhamLONDON (pienews) -- Students who are globally mobile have a lower unemployment rate and end up earning more than their non-mobile counterparts, a new report from the UK Higher Education International Unit has found … read more 17.03.2015

Monday, 23 March 2015 //

Amsterdam inspires: London students occupy university

image: LSE Occupation

LONDON (guardian) -- As the revolutionary air spreads from Holland throughout universities, students of the London School of Economics have staged an occupation of a central administration room. The ‘Free University of London’ occupation aims to fight against “profit-driven and bureaucratic business model of higher education”. A scrapping of tuition fees and zero-hour contracts feature on a list of demands released on Wednesday, which calls for LSE management to lobby to the government … read more | and here 18.3.15

Merger-wave continues to sweep across Norway

OSLO (aftenposten) -- In recent times, Norway has witnessed several cases of university mergers and the trend shows no signs of slowing, as education minister, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, pledged his support for them. He believes mergers will improve Norwegian research and education, and institutions who insist on standing alone “will struggle” … read more 20.3.15

First science-art video of 2015

image: DZHWVIENNA/BERLIN (esna) -- The Berlin-based news agency ESNA and the Italian cinema, music and arts spin-off Caucaso announced on Friday “Documenting Eurostudent V” to be broadcasted soon. Their creative cross-sector production features a conference of 240 international social scientists in Vienna late February. Kristina Hauschildt, new research director and co-author of the main publication, The Social Dimension of Higher Education in Europe, states: “In none of the European countries we surveyed, equity in education is really achieved. Policymakers and universities must strive to create effictive life-long learning structures for the changing student body” ... 

Estonia’s world-leading technology aspirations

TALLINN (tallinn city) -- On Tallinn University of Technology’s 10th anniversary this week, the institute vowed to become the world leader in smart lifestyle, announcing particular focus on education innovation and digital media for the next five years … read more 18.03.2015

Professor banned from United Arab Emirates

image: johanna clearfield NEW YORK (nymag) -- A professor who had publicly criticised the exploitation of migrant construction workers constructing NYU’s new campus in Abu Dhabi, was refused entry onto a U.A.E. bound flight and told he was barred from entering the country. Andrew Ross, who was heading East for on a research trip, said he hoped this could be a “wake-up call” for universities opening campuses in restrictive countries … read more 18.03.2015

Video: Prof. Andrew Ross, November 2011, on the political consequences of student debt

Saturday, 21 March 2015 //

What about English at German universities?

englishBERLIN (taz) -- The number of English-taught courses in Germany - with about 100.000 foreign students - is growing. From currently 18.000 courses 1.000 use the new lingua franca in class. Some universities want to switch completely to English ... read more 19.03.2015

MBAs for Ukraine’s working class

KIEV (interfax) -- A two-year training programme, set to train Ukraine’s future top managers was announced this week as a joint project between International Management Institute in Kiev and business partners. The initiative provides internationally recognised MBA diplomas focussing on students from low-income families … read more 17.03.2015

Hostage situation in Athens university

flagATHENS (imerisia) -- The clean up has begun, days after a team of ‘anti-authoritarian’ students broke into the law school of Artistotle University of Thessaloniki and begun a 6 day occupation, which included a five hour ‘hostage situation’ of the Senate. The ‘explosive situation’ has now calmed and the Ministry of Education condemned the events, wherein occupants demanded the release of terrorist-group N17 member, Savvas Dry … read more | and here 20.03.2015

Austria’s first university campus outside of Europe

VIENNA (esna) -- MODUL University, Vienna, will become Austria’s first private university to set up a campus outside of Europe. The Dubai-based campus is set to open its doors by the end of 2015 … read more 18.03.2105

Friday, 20 March 2015 //

New loan scheme for British masters and PhDs

Limage: Lee DavyONDON (the) -- British Chancellor for the Exchequer, George Osbourne, released this week the 2015 national budget.  Investment in research excellence came high on the agenda. Higlights are the £400 million (€555 million) for scientific infrastructure, a new loans scheme for masters and PhDs as well as £100 million for research and development into intelligent mobility and £40 million to develop applications for “internet of things” technologies … read more | and here 18.03.2015

Irish government neglects basic research

DUBLIN (nature) -- Ireland’s commercially driven research investment strategy is “short-sighted and destabilises the country’s basic-research fabric”, say around 900 scientists in a critical letter to the government. The call is aimed at changing the course of Ireland’s currently “detrimental” research strategy, which fails to recognise basic research areas … read more 17.3.15

Ukraine wants a slice of Horizon 2020 cake

image: minKIEV (interfax) -- Serhiy Kvit, Ukrainian education and science minister, has tried to rally the government to participate in the EU research funding programme, Horizon 2020. Continuing to push far-reaching science and education reforms despite Ukraine’s broken banks, Kvit said during a cabinet meeting, Ukraine “must get access to such a big grant programme.” Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk asked Kvit to explain in detail the importance of participation to the heads of higher education institutions … read more 12.03.2015

Lithuania steers towards industry led science policy

VILNIUS (baltic course) -- Lithuanian economy minister, Evaldas Gustas, showed his unwavering support for science and business co-operation this week at a partnership forum in Vilnius. In a statement he outlined what he sees as the “obvious benefits” of inviting businesses to take advantage of science … read more 17.03.2015

Thursday, 19 March 2015 //

France publishes research priorities

image: MikaniPARIS (gouv) -- French education minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem published this month the National Research Strategy (SNR). This comes as the product of a two-year process of consultation of science and relevant societal groups and will set the priority research directions until 2020 which respond to 10 social challenges. Three main pillars of strategic research goals are health, energy and sustainability … read more

Bulgarian business signed into higher education

SOFIA (technews) -- A memorandum of a business and student co-operation in Bulgaria hopes to ‘modernise’ higher education. Chairman of the Bulgarian Industrial Association, Bozhidar Danev, said that the partnership with the national student organisation NPSS should address what he sees as a “serious gap” in labour market expectations … read more 16.03.2015

Education to counter religious extremism

image: gouv frPARIS (al jazeera) -- European education ministers and teachers gathered in Paris on Tuesday in a first-ever meeting to share strategies on how to combat youths being lured by religious extremism. As figures reveal that over 4,000 young people have left Europe for Syria to join armed groups such as the Islamic State, policymakers are scrambling to reverse the trend … read more | manifesto 17.3.15

Poland’s student loan market ‘collapse’

WARSAW (gazeta prawna) -- Student loans in Poland have plummeted, falling to one tenth of their former allocation rates in1998. A decrease of the student population has been cited as a possible reason, as well as the obstacle of red tape … read more 18.03.2015

Wednesday, 18 March 2015 //

Italian students protest against “back door privatisation”

image: Thierry EhrmannMILAN (press tv) -- Italian students violently clashed with riot police last week, as 50,000 students in cities aross Italy marched against government austerity and university privatisation. Tensions rage between groups as Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, pushes for his reform plan known as “Buona Scuola”, a refurbishment of Italian school system through private sector investment. Protesters in Milan, Italy’s second city carried a banner with the words “A Generation That Does Not Give Up” and branded the reforms “yet another attack on public schools” … read more | video 13.03.2015

MOOCs continue gaining international ground

LONDON (future learn) -- In a press release published last week, British MOOC giant, FutureLearn confirmed partnership with nine new universities in Europe and further afield. University of Los Andes, Bogotá has been confirmed as the first Latin American branch of FutureLearn’s ever-growing online-learning monopoly … read more 09.03.2015

Hungary braces for university overhaul

image: edulineBUDAPEST (hungary today) -- Universities across Hungary received news from the government that, if implemented, a new higher education strategy would see tuition fees introduced for many courses and several popular degree programmes cancelled altogether. Educational institutions nervously await education minister, László Palkovics’ firm decision … read more 11.03.2015

The role of women in science isn't well enough understood

LONDON (tes) -- Despite the many achievements of more and more female scientists, a quarter of the population cannot name a single one, living or dead. Why is it so hard? One answer may lie in the way young people learn about science, argues UCL professor Sarah Blakemore ... read more 10.3.15

Higher education cuts cancelled in Finland

image: freepikHELSINKI (yle) -- Crowds of students erupted in cheers on Friday, as proposals to limit student aid failed to pass through parliament. Following much discord over proposals to cut education funding by 191 million euros, the bill was eventually scrapped last week after two parties withdrew their support … read more 13.03.2015

Tuesday, 17 March 2015 //

British industry designs degrees

image: aatLONDON (gov uk) -- The British government has announced new industry designed Degree Apprenticeships offered in key areas including, Chartered Surveying, Aerospace Engineering, and Nuclear. The new qualifications, which are “co-designed by employers to make sure it is relevant for the skills industry is looking for” will see ‘apprentices’ splitting their time between university study and the workplace. The model is similar to Germany’s ‘Dual System’ expanded from vocational to tertiary education in the 1970s … read more 12.03.2015

Russian universities withhold student finance

MOSCOW (moscow times) -- The Russian education ministry has declared a “violation of students’ rights” as more than 40 universities across Russia have failed to pass on scholarship funds to their intended student recipients. Amid a currency crisis and spiralling inflation, further tuition fee increases have also been forecast … read more 05.03.2015

Science tower to dominate Copenhagen’s skyline

COPENHAGEN (university post) -- A new building of the University of Copenhagen’s ‘Panum Complex’ set for completion at the end of this year, will become a new science hub in the Danish capital … read more 14.03.2015

Crimean students show video solidarity

image: ESNALVIV (ukrinform) -- On the anniversary of the Russian annexation of Crimea, students in Ukraine from the occupied peninsula have released a video showing their solidarity with Crimean residents, pledging support for their friends and admitting their dreams to return home after graduation … read more 15.03.2015

Monday, 16 March 2015 //

Horizon 2020 success rate “a concern”

image: EU

BRUSSELS (science business) -- Over the past 14 months, the European Commission has been inundated with over 45,000 applications but with number of successful applicants as low as 14-15 percent, Carlos Moedas, EU research commissioner, said “we really have a problem with the success rates” … read more 12.03.2015

Moldovan students complain about corruption

CHISINAU (infoprut) -- A survey conducted in the European Institute for Culture and Rights brought to light the level of corruption in Moldovan universities. One in two students believe their system is corrupt and only 38 percent said they think grading is done correctly … read more 06.03.2015

Amsterdam students and staff demand self-organisation of universities

image: UvAAMSTERDAM (red flag) -- The University of Amsterdam chancellery building, the Maagdenhuis, has been occupied since 24 February, when students broke down the door and took over the ground floor. Since then, there has been a constant stream of teach-in discussions and organising activity. These protests differ significantly from student protests in other countries in that they are joint student-staff actions demanding a total restructuring of higher education ... read more 08.03.2015

Turkey appoints first science attaché in Berlin

ANKARA (aa) -- Fikri Işık, Turkish science minister, announced the appointment of a science attaché in Germany. Speaking at the closing ceremony of German-Turkish Year of Science in Ankara, he announced that the post serves to ensure that “Turkish-German science relations will be followed more officially and effectively” … read more 12.03.2015

Saturday, 14 March 2015 //

Italy: After school reform, university autonomy

image: Campus BiomedicoROME (lapresse) -- A school reform with more decisional freedom for school principals regarding hiring and curricula has just been approved by the Council of Ministers. Now Italian education minister Stefania Giannini announced new measures also for universities. “There as well, the magic word is autonomy”, she said in an interview. While one billion euros have been earmarked for 2015 to assume 150.000 additional school teachers (or end their temporary contracts), no additional money for unversities has been announced ... read more 14.3.15

Flanders asks international students to cough up

LEUVEN (de morgen) -- Several Flemish universities have upped tuition fees for students coming from outside the European Economic Area. The price-hike comes in the context of austerity measures implemented by the Flemish government … read more 04.03.2015

Dutch students opt for nursing home

A. DürerDEVENTER (journal) -- Students in Holland are participating in a unique accommodation scheme. The project in Deventer, East Netherlands, sees young people living rent-free in retirement homes on the condition that they spend 30 hours a month with the elderly residents. The students prepare simple meals for some of the elderly in the evening and offer them activities according to their interests. … read more 12.03.2015

Times Higher Education rankings released

LONDON (the) -- This year’s university prestige ranking by the British newspaper, The Times, what a surprise, with Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford refusing to budge from their top spots … read more 12.03.2015

In Amsterdam, rebellion against the neoliberal university

logoAMSTERDAM (teleSUR) -- For three weeks now, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) has been shaken by a wave of student protests against the neoliberalization of higher education and the lack of democratic accountability in internal decision-making. This week, UvA staff joined the rebellion, declaring their solidarity with the students and threatening further actions if their demands are not met ... read more 07.03.2015

Friday, 13 March 2015 //

World University System conceived in Hamburg

image: FUBHAMBURG (welt) -- President of the University of Hamburg, Dieter Lenzen, invited this week his peers from 50 of the world’s leading universities to join to discuss the future of higher education. On the agenda is the increasing commercialisation of higher education and reduction of state funding but ultimately, the groundwork is being laid for a ‘World University System’ … read more 08.03.2015

UK: New university set to provide STEM graduates

HEREFORD (cipd) -- A new university is set to open in 2017 with the aim of providing work-ready graduates for the science, technology and engineering sectors. Industry leaders will advise on design and content of courses. Celebrated as Britain’s first “greenfield” university in 40 years, it will operate as a not-for-profit private operation. The campus will be built with private funding, government and the EU. Future running costs will be met by tuition fees and funding from industry ... read more 09.03.2015

Polish graduate tracking scheme fails to impress

image: ESNAWARSAW (gazeta) -- A graduate monitoring scheme unveiled by the Polish government has gone down like a lead balloon, with criticisms that the heavy investment in “invalid data” will not be useful to institutions. Next month, the government will fund the tool but publish nothing for public use … read more 10.3.15

Sweden heads European youth study

OREBRO (orebro tribune) -- Örebro University in Sweden has been chosen to run a study investigating young people’s relationship with the EU. The three year study, receiving €2.5 million in EU funds, will ask in this time of economic crisis how today’s European youth identify as EU citizens … read more 9.3.15

Thursday, 12 March 2015 //

France shows extremism the book

image: JackolanPARIS (france24) -- Home-grown education is the key, to combatting religious extremism, believes French prime minister Manuel Valls. He announced a doubling of the number of Islamic university courses in France, the country with Europe’s highest Muslim community … read more 03.03.2015

EU and Kazakhstan get closer in trade and science

BRUSSELS (astana times) -- In the 14th bilateral meeting between Kazakhstan and the EU, Kazakh foreign minister Erlan Idrissov said: “The simplification of the visa regime between Kazakhstan and the EU and the conclusion of the agreement on scientific and technical cooperation and innovation are two areas in particular which could make a significant contribution to enhancing our relationship” ... read more 09.03.2015

DOAJ raises quality of open access journals

image: Paolo Bernacca COPENHAGEN (knowledge speak) -- DOAJ, an international database of more than 10,000 Open Access journals, recently implemented a rigorous new vetting process that aims to raise the bar of quality for the journals it lists and filters out publications that are tarnishing the image of Open Access. The application that must be approved to get into the directory now includes about 50 questions rather than just seven ... read more 06.03.2015

Connecting German schools and universities policy

DÜSSELDORF (esna) -- A German association of philologists demands funds to raise the teaching quality at secondary schools, as well as efforts to foster cooperation with universities. School policy, they claim, must overcome its solipsism and open and professionalise its methods ... read more 10.03.2015

Turkey suspicious of foreign diploma mills

logoANKARA (daily sabah) -- It is now more difficult for Turks educated abroad to practise at home, after new regulations close in on foreign qualifications. The higher education board YÖK imposed new rules following complaints of fraudulent acquisition of diplomas in medicine, law or engineering at universities in the Balkans, Middle East and Turkic republics … read more 3.3.15

Wednesday, 11 March 2015 //

Universities feel wronged by medicine cooperation initiative

image: hardonsBRUSSELS (srf) -- The largest biomedical public-private partnership in the world has come under fire recently, as participating academic institutions voice their discontent over institutional inequality. The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) receives billions in funding to unite public and private sectors to re-invigorate Europe’s pharmaceutical sector, but university’s feel embittered by the private-sector’s “very strong supremacy” … read more 9.3.15

Italy and Israel further research co-operation

TEL AVIV (globes) -- As part of a co-operation agreement between the two countries, Israel is playing host to an ever increasing number of Israeli-Italian research and technology institutions. A neurology and brain laboratory in Tel Aviv and a solar laboratory in Sde Boker are among the programmes being run, which receive EU funding … read more 03.03.2015

Portugal’s student drop out worries

LISBON (dn) -- Portugal’s education ministry has recognised the need to “improve its success” and fight “waste of resources” as very high student dropout rates are registered in the past years … read more 09.03.2015

Lithuanian women most educated in EU

image: pinterestVILNIUS (baltic course) -- In the context of International Women’s Day, Statistics Lithuania was proud to announce that they have the best educated female population in any EU country. 94.7 percent of Lithuanian women aged 25-64 years have secondary or tertiary education. In universities the biggest proportion of women are studying medicine (78), pedagogy (75), humanitarian (74) and social (70 percent) sciences … read more 09.03.2015

Tuesday, 10 March 2015 //

French science minister resigns over health problems

fioraso_webPARIS (science) -- The French secretary of state for higher education and research, Geneviève Fioraso, has stepped down for health reasons. Limited by France’s austerity policies, Fioraso had few budget increases to offer, and she came under fire from groups that hoped that she would make a more radical break with the policies of the right-wing government of Nicholas Sarkozy … read more 5.3.15

Germany’s helping hand for Syrian students

DÜSSELDORF (koop int) -- Unable to study in their war-torn homeland, Syrian students are being offered opportunities to continue their studies in Germany. German exchange service (DAAD) offers scholarships and language courses worth €1.5 million, due to begin this Summer … read more 06.03.2015

Portuguese universities’ medicine checkmate

LISBON (económico) -- Private universities across Portugal have been trying to establish medical degree courses for years, all eventually failing to meet the necessary conditions. Lack of qualified teachers, no partnerships with host-hospitals and insufficient research activities have been cited as reasons … read more 03.03.2015

Vienna’s ultra-modern economics university evacuated for third time

image: ARUP

VIENNA (heute) -- The fire brigade was called and library building evacuated on Friday, in the latest in a series of glitches at the brand new campus of Vienna’s university for business and economics … read more 06.03.2015

Monday, 9 March 2015 //

Belarus’ European hopes

belarus-flagMINSK (belta) -- Belarus is determined to join the Bologna Process… and their dreams may come true following a meeting between the education minister and Council of Europe delegates. Describing their desire to join other the European Higher Education Area, the minister described recent developments in their education system and the council responded saying they were “seriously considering the application” … read more 04.3.15

Record number of international students in Norway

OSLO (hegnar) -- The number of international students in Norway has doubled to 24,000 since 2005, now comprising 10 per cent of the overall student body. Boosts to internationalisation and English courses have been cited as a reason but researchers recognise the effects of tuition fees introduction in neighbouring countries … read more 04.03.2015

Bulgaria pilots EU reform-review service

image: EUBRUSSELS (nether) -- The European Commission has launched a new instrument to help Member States reform their research and innovation and Bulgaria is the first country to try it out. European commissioner for research and innovation, Carlos Moedas, described the Policy Support Facility (PSF), whereby countries receive free peer-review from a team of international experts, as a tool to “identify and implement those reforms which are key to achieving sustainable growth” … read more

Education minister identified as Finland’s ‘weakest link’

HELSINKI (yle) -- A survey conducted on 60 politicians and 1,000 citizens revealed the opinions on current ministers and Krista Kiuru, minister for education and communication came in last place, scoring 6.4/10. Other female ministers also received lower scores … read more 04.03.2015

Saturday, 7 March 2015 //

First OECD gender and education report

oecd_logoPARIS (economist) -- The OECD has published the first ever major report on gender and education. Boys’ dominance just about endures in maths: at age 15 they are, on average, the equivalent of three months’ schooling ahead of girls. In science the results are fairly even. But in reading, where girls have been ahead for some time, a gulf has appeared. In all 64 countries and economies in the study, girls outperform boys. The average gap is equivalent to an extra year of schooling ... read more | and here 05.03.2015

Media learning trends - a 2015 prognosis

BONN (teachersnews) -- How do universities use media in their learning plans? What will be the trends this year? A prognosis by ‘Teachersnews’ states marketing within MOOCs, adaptive learning platforms and the use of video technology in universities as the top trends for 2015 … read more 02.03.2015

Baltic education and science cooperation

SKOPJE (vlada) -- First launched in 1995, Macedonian and Croatian ministers met last week to sign a new three-year programme for cooperation in sectors of education, science and technology … read more

Social skills trump work skills

image: UVAWASHINGTON DC (huffingtonpost) -- Our grandchildren will pity our working conditions and a bright future is not a utopian dream but an achievable goal. That’s the conclusion of “The Zero Marginal Cost Society”, by Jeremy Rifkin, economist and bestselling author, who believes that in the new economy, social competences are more important than abilities to work … read more 02.03.2015

Friday, 6 March 2015 //

Teachers support student protest at Amsterdam University

image: citinerary

AMSTERDAM (volkskrant) -- After students occupied a building of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in the last weeks, over 300 teachers have joined their protest in solidarity. The cause of the outrage is the university’s business-oriented agenda including stock market operations and leaked plans to sell real estate. Further strike action is planned if the administrative board of the UvA does not bow to the researchers’, teachers’ and students’ democratisation demands ... read more 04.03.20

Unanimous support for Bulgarian HE plan

SOFIA (mediapool) -- Bulgaria’s new higher education strategy received overwhelming support as it was passed through parliament last week, receiving zero ‘no’ votes and only one abstention. The plan aims to provide for increasing student numbers, prioritise funding of courses relevant to the economy and fund universities according to performance, not enrolment figures … read more 26.02.2015

Croatian science in crisis

image: EFZGZAGREB (vercernji) -- Croatia’s science sector is in an ‘alarming’ state, lagging behind all other European countries to get by on a halved budget years after the crisis. Millions of euros in investment are needed and Ivo Družić, president of the national science council has vowed to “fight for more funding” … read more 11.02.2015

French student housing urgently needed

PARIS (e-orientations) -- In this year’s higher education funding report in France, the need for an “indispensable modernisation” was outlined, describing student housing and cantines as the areas in most dire need. Tens of thousands of student flats are lacking and food services need renovation as science minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, admitted … read more 02.03.2015

Latvia’s educated elite mapped out

latvia-riga_balticcourse

RIGA (baltic course) -- New grid maps released by Latvia’s central statistical bureau have given a detailed overview of where the highest concentration of educated people are, showing the most highly educated flock to densely populated areas … read more 26.02.2015

Thursday, 5 March 2015 //

Dutch student protests following ‘university squatting’ eviction

image: citineraryAMSTERDAM (bnr) -- The Dutch student body marched last week to show support after a group of 47 students were arrested in Amsterdam following a two week ‘squatting’ stint in the Bungehuis, University of Amsterdam. Students had originally broken into and occupied the building after university documents revealed plans for merging or sale of large parts of Amsterdam’s educational institutions … read more 25.02.2015

France called to strike over education cuts

PARIS (le monde) -- A mobilisation of student and staff has been called for in France to denounce the “financial difficulties of the institutions” ahead of the 2015 budget announcement. The national student union (UNEF) and Parisian universities will march together today … read more 02.03.2015

Course closure rouses Sicily student protests

CATANIA (corriere di ragusa) -- Following the suspension of the contemporary history course at the University of Catania, Sicily, students are protesting and petitions have been launched. A letter to the rector reads “… we pay taxes for the university services, we are the mainstay of the university with our classes suspended and unable to take exams” … read more 03.02.2015

Georgian students’ video solidarity with Ukraine

TBILISI (radio svoboda) -- In a demonstration of solidarity with Ukraine, a group of students have released a video expressing their support against a “common enemy”. This comes as the latest example of students using videos to communicate political statements … read more 26.02.2015

Austria’s greenest student homes opened

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VIENNA (heute) -- Students have begun moving into Vienna's ‘Green House’, Austria’s most ecological student homes. The dorms are fitted with state-of-the-art technology to measure CO2 levels and lifts run on self-produced energy … read more 02.03.2015

Wednesday, 4 March 2015 //

European science collaborates for commercialisation

image: CERNBRUSSELS (science business) -- Some of Europe’s leading research centres are joining forces in an example of open innovation. CERN and three others are planning the new collaboration scheme named ATTRACT, which will work together to “promote commercial applications” … read more 26.02.2015

Irish technology institute merger on track

DUBLIN (irish examiner) -- The plan to speed up the merger of two Irish polytechnics - Cork Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tralee - has caused panic among staff. Under threat of industrial action by Teachers’ Union of Ireland, the progression was halted … read more 27.02.2015

Portuguese polytechnics torn over entry exam abolishment

image: AULP

LISBON (público) -- Polytechnics in Portugal are in disagreement over proposals to abolish entry exams, a move which would generate differentiation between universities and colleges. Joaquim Mourato, chair of the council of higher polytechnic institutes, the body leading the proposal, said the move would address the “need for admission of more students in higher education” … read more 24.02.2015

Nationalist student death sparks protests across Turkey

IZMIR (today’s zaman) -- Protests took place in universities across Turkey on Monday against the killing of a student during a clash between supporters of the opposition nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) … read more 23.02.2015

Tuesday, 3 March 2015 //

Academics call on Israel to ‘choose Europe’

image: JCPABRUSSELS (al monitor) -- A new document by Israeli experts on the European Union calls upon Israel’s next government not to distance itself from Europe, but to seek special relations with the world’s largest commercial bloc … read more 23.02.2015

German media giant sets sights on universities

FRANKFURT (reuters) -- Bertelsmann, Europe’s largest media group, has made education its top investment priority, vowing to achieve 1 billion euros in revenue from cooperation with universities. Thomas Rabe, chief executive, said, “over the next few years, we will build a network of universities that deliver innovative education programs in various fields of the health and human sciences” … read more 20.02.2015

Anarchists hijack Spanish education reform strikes

image: MoncloaMADRID (el mundo) -- Riot-police were forced to intervene in Madrid last week, as a protest organised by the national students’ union was hijacked by anarchists and riots broke out. Students and staff had been calling for the retirement of education minister José Ignacio Wert in response to his controversial education reforms … read more 26.02.2015

Nordic countries lead in English-taught programmes

HELSINKI (pienews) -- 61 percent of higher education institutions in the Nordic region are offering Bachelor’s or Master’s programmes taught entirely in English, a recent report shows. This is compared to 32 percent in 2007 … read more 24.02.2015

Friday, 27 February 2015 //

Swiss universities fight ‘English enforcement’

ZURICH (tagesanzeiger) -- Political science departments at Swiss universities are up in arms after funding body SNF announced that in order to even be considered for financial support, they must apply entirely in English. Hundreds of signatures have already been gathered for petitions to “fight against the enforcement” of English … read more 27.02.2015

British students given new way into Europe

CHELTENHAM (varsity) -- In a major system shake up, UCAS, responsible for student admissions in Great Britain, will include European universities in the system, making it far more easy for British students to study in universities on the continent … read more 27.02.2015

Record level of European patents registrations

MUNICH (wirtschaftsblatt) -- 2014 seems to have been a year for innovation, as the Munich-based European Patent Office recorded its highest ever number of patents standing at 274,000 (3.1 percent higher than in 2013). Germany, France and the Netherlands account one fifth of all applications … read more 26.02.2015

Lithuania needs more research investment

VILNIUS (baltic course) -- A lack of investment in research, alongside an ageing society and tax complications, are key factors hindering Lithuania’s future economic expansion, an upcoming EU report warns … read more 27.02.2015

Thrursday, 26 February 2015 //

Student-squatting in Amsterdam University

AMSTERDAM (heise) -- Years of tension between Dutch student representatives and university management have resulted in drastic action in the Netherlands, after leaked internal documents revealing planned merging or sale of university buildings led a small group of students to break into and begin to squat inside a university building. The police forcibly cleared the building after two weeks, but not before students and staff protested to show solidarity … read more 26.02.2015

Microsoft becomes ‘free’ for students

WASHINGTON (geeko) -- In an attempt to blow all possible competitors out of the water, Microsoft has announced that all of its Office programmes have been made freely accessible to students and teachers world-wide – provided that their institutions buy the license … read more | and here 25.02.2015

Airbus to help Polish unis lift off

WARSAW (gazeta) -- Aeronautical giant Airbus wants to start a cooperation with Polish universities and create joint research centres. A meeting with representatives from the education and science ministries outed the strong possibility for a union, which already exists in France, Germany and Spain and would make Poland a hub for aeronautical innovation … read more 27.02.2015

Cyprus wants to maximise on foreign students

NICOSIA (cyprusmail) -- Private higher education institutions in Cyprus are demanding fast procedures to allow foreign students into the country. Kyriacos Hadjiyiannis of Cyprus’ DISY Party said that the government needs a strategic plan to maximise on students in Cyprus, who reportedly spend twenty times more than tourists … read more 22.02.2015

Wednesday, 25 February 2015 //

Latvia ‘squanders’ 3.5 million euros

image: MSRIGA (baltic course) -- Latvian Education and Science Minister, Marite Seile, has described the situation as “critical”, following the loss of 3.5 million euros due to dropping of online school portal ‘skolas.lv’. Official investigations are now under way to find out exactly who is accountable for the “squandering of funds” … read more 23.02.2015

Erasmus + masters loans on the horizon

BRUSSELS (nether) -- From mid-2015, European Master’s students will have the opportunity to apply for up to 18,000 euros in support for their studies abroad. Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports said the programme “will help us to offer young people more opportunities, enhancing their skills and fostering stronger economic growth.” … read more | and here 17.02.2015

Financial boost for new ‘Service Design’ discipline

BRUSSELS (koop int) -- Only existing as a separate area of study since the 1990s, ‘Service Design’ is set to receive a large investment from the European Union to develop and further establish the relatively new discipline. A four year programme, ‘Service Design for Innovation’ will be headed by Köln International School of Design in partnership with universities and business from across Europe … read more 20.02.2015

English is Spain’s greatest weaknesses

tongueMADRID (el almeria) -- An official report has placed degree length and poor English formation as the main weaknesses of the Spanish education system. Published last week, the ‘strategy for the internationalisation of Spanish universities 2015-2020’ proposes measures to be taken to improve the system … read more 23.2.15

Tuesday, 24 February 2015 //

Danish flexible job market encourages youth employment

image: AECOPENHAGEN (university post) -- As figures show a 15 percent drop in youth unemployment in Denmark since 2012, chief analyst at European labour think-tank, Erik Bjørsted, has cited the country’s flexible job market as a catalyst, making employers “take a chance on youth” … read more 19.02.2015

Dutch universities boycott public transport plans

AMSTERDAM (science guide) -- As recent initiatives by Dutch Railways (NS) are boycotted by higher education institutions, the national travel service is getting ever more nervous. A huge project ‘Better Utilisation’ (Beter Benutten), targeting students in an attempt to ease heavy congestion on public transport, has so far largely failed, with pilots offering financial students incentives named ‘perverse’ by Dutch universities … read more | and here 20.02.2015

10 percent cut for Russian education

MOSCOW (ria) -- Russian universities will be hit hard by the current economic situation, with a 10 percent funding cut. In response to the rapid devaluation of the ruble, tuition fees are set to rise and scientific research to be commercialised but President Putin’s university-excellence programme ‘Five-100’ will reportedly be spared … read more | and here 20.2.15

Europe-wide virtual network for quantum control

logoMUNICH (koop int) -- A new project will unite researchers working in the ever growing field of quantum physics. Funded by the European Commission, QUAINT connects physicists, chemists and mathematicians from all over Europe in a virtual network … read more 20.02.2015

Monday, 23 February 2015 //

Education under threat by TTIP

horseBRUSSELS (eucis) -- Without a clear exemption system, the Transatlantic trade agreement TTIP threatens European education models. That’s the conclusion of a position paper released by the European civil learning platform (EUCIS-LLL), which demands that education be excluded from negotiations as for the audio-visual sector based on the public interest … read more 12.02.2015

Pro-secular education protests in Turkey

IZMIR (euronews) -- Following much unrest regarding the presence of religion in schools, thousands marched across Turkey to demand a secular and science-based education system. Water cannons were used to disperse students and teachers boycotting schools in Izmir … read more 13.2.15

Polish mobility leaves home universities anaemic

image: PlatformaRPWARSAW (wiadomosci) -- Polish Prime Minister, Ewa Kopacz recently revealed new student mobility plans to fund the most outstanding students studying at the 100 best universities in the world. Rectors are left asking why money is being pumped abroad, when Polish universities are crying out for financing … read more 19.02.2015

Estonia opens Smart Lab

TALLINN (postimees) -- The Tallinn University of Technology opened last week a ‘unique mobile application Smart Lab testing centre’, named Mektory, sparking an air of innovation excitement in the Estonian capital. The new initiative is a collaborative work between the university and technology giant Samsung … read more 12.02.2015

Saturday, 21 February 2015 //

“Stop research sell out!”

image: GEWBERLIN (gew) -- “Countries and their universities must set boundaries around the commercialisation of research and science,” said Andreas Keller on behalf of the German education union GEW. The extent to which scientists are obliged to raise private and public funds endangers the freedom of teaching and research, he warned … read more 17.02.2015

Europe’s Silicon Valley

FRANKFURT (it) -- A billion euro investment will see Europe’s biggest start-up incubator opened on a huge campus near Western Germany city, Frankfurt. In an interview with startupradio.de, investor J. P. Schultheis confirmed the creation of the centre, which is set to open in 2019 … read more 20.02.2015

Journal publishes 200-word papers

image: brief ideasINTERNATIONAL (nature) -- The science community is buzzing with news of an innovative journal, publishing only publications of 200 words or less. The Journal of Brief Ideas galvanises idea flow by removing the need for lengthy papers and surrounding hype is gathering more and more interest … read more 12.02.2015

Universal student debt anxiety?

LONDON (phys) -- Do attitudes about loans mean students from different countries treat their debt differently? What can University managers learn from student anxiety about debt? How can ethical approaches to helping debt-understanding be provided? A recent international report seeks to find the answers to international student debt questions … read more 16.02.2015

Friday, 20 February 2015 //

Research funding-boost for trailing countries

logoBRUSSELS (koop int) -- Research institutions in Estonia, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, Portugal and Romania will receive 2.5 million euros investment through the appointment of 13 new chairs in a new EU move to help them catch up with their European neighbours’ research excellence … read more 17.02.2015

Holland scholarship galvanises student mobility

AMSTERDAM (nuffic) -- Registration opened this week for the ‘Holland Scholarship’, a new bank of bursaries available to boost both incoming and outgoing student mobility. 768 grants of 5,000 euros are available for international students wishing to study in the Netherlands and a further 768 grants for Dutch students heading out of the EEA … read more 16.02.2015

Fears over Romanian education liberalisation

image: studentie.roBUCHAREST (ziua news) -- Following confirmation from Romanian EU representatives that education will be exempt from a “list of services that could be marketed”, higher education union leader, Anton Hadar, said that his “concerns were diluted” … read more 14.2.15

Portuguese annual student cap

LISBON (sabado) -- In measures to combat university funding inequality, Portuguese education minister, Nuno Crato, has revealed plans to implement an annual student admissions limit. Universities have a month to mull the new funding shake-up … read more 11.02.2015

Yale students have plans for the EU

logoWEST HAVEN (yalenews) -- Participants at the European Student Conference at Yale —which brought together students from U.S. universities with leading Yale professors and European policy-makers— crafted 22 concrete policy recommendations for the EU and launched a new student think-tank, European Horizons. In announcing the new think-tank, the steering committee said: “We set out to open up chapters at universities across the USA and will link students, scholars, and young professionals with one another in our ongoing endeavor to develop our visions for the future of the EU and its role in the world” ... read more 18.02.2015

Thursday, 19 February 2015 //

Dutch ‘voucher funding’ could be disastrous

image: D66AMSTERDAM (science guide) -- In a parliamentary debate on the new funding mechanisms for Dutch higher education, the government has argued that vouchers, student loans, scholarships and crowdfunding would work well in “the antiquated system trapped in uniform funding.” However, Thom de Graaf, leader of the D66 party, stood firmly against it, asking if commercialising the system and establishing market forces “would solve all problems by magic?” and referring to the Swedish experience of voucher funding which “ended in a disaster” ... read more 16.02.2015

Sweden warned against rating students

STOCKHOLM (svd) -- Sweden has been advised against hasty student ratings reform, after extensive research concluded that rating student ability has no constructive effect on performance … read more 28.01.2015

Spanish union criticises ‘cheap-labour teacher-substitutes’

logoMADRID (el diario) -- Following the launch of a new scholarship programme giving gives graduates a grant for supporting schools facing difficulties, Spain’s largest trade union CCOO has expressed outrage, calling the initiative a way of exploiting low-cost workers to fill the gap left by dismissed professors … read more 17.02.2015

Ukraine science reforms to mend ‘soviet rift’

KIEV (science mag) -- In the midst of growing uncertainty over violence and threat of war in Ukraine, Serhiy Kvit, minister of education and science continues to implement large reforms to the system. A new law, including competitive grants body, will bring with it sweeping changes to the ‘soviet-system’ of Ukrainian science ... read more 17.02.2015

Corruption is a barrier for innovation

BERLIN (science) -- “Greater scrutiny of public spending is needed if science and technology are to fulfil their potential,” warns Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, writer for nature. In the EU, there is a strong correlation between a country’s capacity for innovation and control for corruption and clear patterns emerge when we examine the data … read more 18.02.2015

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 //

Resentment against Crimean students in Russia stirring

mapMOSCOW (reuters) --With the Russian economy heading for recession and education targeted by budget cuts, the stream of students from Crimea is adding to simmering anger over how much Russians are having to pay for annexing the peninsula from Ukraine in March last year … read more 10.02.2015

Drop in European innovation

BRUSSELS (science business) -- New figures show that less than half of companies in the EU’s 28 member bloc innovated between 2010 and 2012. Despite still being European leaders, the second biggest fall was recorded in Germany, where innovation dropped by 14 percent … read more 22.01.2015

More ‘academic’ titles for Swiss vocational qualifications

image: WEF Valeriano DiDomenicoBERN (baz online) -- A recent proposal by Swiss education minister, Johann Schneider-Ammann to assign more ‘academic-sounding’ names to vocational training qualifications - such as 'Professional Bachelor' or 'Professional Master' - has found support among Austrian and German trade chambers. They are willing to take it to Brussels, that professional school degrees - not only scientific ones and not only in Switzerland - get recognised more easily across borders… read more 12.02.2015

Portuguese municipalisation law criticised

LISBON (fenprof) -- A new law in Portugal transfers state powers to local authorities. The legislation has been passed without involving the educational community. The teachers’ union FENPROF called it “unacceptable” that universities are now subordinate to municipal authorities … read more 12.2.15

France debates ban on Muslim veils in universities

image: inayahPARIS (france24) -- The debate over wearing veils at public universities has resurfaced after reports of professors singling out women for wearing hijabs ... read more 16.02.2015

Tuesday, 17 February 2015 //

Danish People’s Party’s anti-English agenda

posterCOPENHAGEN (the local) -- Danish universities offering courses in English “makes no sense” and ought to be stopped, according to right-wing Danish People’s Party’s education spokesman, Jens Henrik Thulesen. The idea to stop teaching in English, a trend which increased by 58 percent in the past five years, received wide criticism, saying that students would be the ones to lose out … read more 13.02.2015

American scientists want active role in public policy

SAN JOSÉ (nbc) -- A recent survey published in California showed an overwhelming majority of 87 percent of scientists believe they should “take an active role in public policy debates about issues related to science and technology”. At a time where science topics are increasingly large part of the public debate, the study highlights “broad public support for investment in science” … read more 15.02.2015

French higher education top in internationalisation

coqBRUSSELS (uwn) -- A comparison of international universities by new EU-funded initiative U-Multirank placed French institutions on top for internationalisation. The instrument offers a new way of comparing universities, as opposed to the traditionally popular ranking measures like the THE World University Rankings … read more 13.02.2015

Corruption charges against Latvian officials

RIGA (delfi) -- Jānim Vētram, head of the Latvian higher education board received a 100 euro fine over corruption charges. This has drawn attention to the various similar incidents, whereby officials of education and science systems have been punished by the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau in recent times … read more 14.02.2015

British politicians cherish tuition fees

image: run internationalLONDON (independent/conversation) -- Discussed a lot of late, the Labour party’s proposal to limit tuition fees in England under 6000 pounds, seems to pass by reality. The old argument (brought forth by Karl Marx himself) that tuition free universities benefit the wealthy class, omits even 200 years on to acknowledge the fact that fees have always also cut working class participation in higher education … read more | and here 15.2.15

Monday, 16 February 2015 //

French professors’ exam marks boycott

image: tunesie numeriquePARIS (le monde) -- In a protest against budgetary and staff cuts, biology professors at the Université Paris-Sud’s Campus d’Orsay are refusing to distribute January exam results. The move, which is preventing students from having their marks officially accredited, was condemned by student representative Baptiste Laget as “jeopardising their education” … read more 11.02.2015

Juncker’s research-cuts under fire from young academics

BRUSSELS (easac) -- In an open letter to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, several National Young Academies express deep concern about the proposed cuts to the EU research budget, Horizon 2020. The controversial proposal, which would see millions removed from the budget, would hit young researchers particularly hard … read more 09.02.2015

Lithuanian universities increasingly elitist

logoVILINUS (15min) -- Universities in Lithuania have a cut-throat admission process, whereby only the very best students are allowed to continue learning. Kaunas University of Technology recently further increased its already demanding entry requirements, declaring itself “a higher education institution where only gifted and motivated students learn” … read more 11.02.2015

No need for elite schools in Germany

coverBERLIN (manager) -- Where you studied doesn’t necessarily make a difference when it comes to getting onto the management floor in Germany, a recent survey shows. Surprisingly though, technical degrees and MBAs are less frequent among CEOs than general university education in practically any institution in the country … read more 11.02.2015

Saturday, 14 February 2015 //

New grants help close European research excellence gap

logoBRUSSELS (ec) -- The European Commission announced new grants that will help bridge the research excellence gap between Member States. With funding from Horizon 2020, the new Teaming instrument aims to increase investment in countries with lower research excellence ranking … read more 30.01.2015

Newspeak among scientists

LONDON (nature) -- In order to raise funds successfully, researchers adapt their language. Text-mining suggests that terms like ‘million’, ‘major’ and ‘global’ tend to score more highly in research papers than over-used words like ‘research’, ‘university’ and ‘impact’ … read more 11.02.2015

Illiteracy in Lithuanian universities

VILINUS (balsas) -- An official study on educational text-books, masters and doctoral theses gave shocking revelations about the linguistic quality in Lithuanian academia. Less than ten percent of text-books analysed met ‘correct’ language standards and one in every five doctoral theses was considered grammatically incorrect … read more 11.02.2015

World’s oldest science journal turns 350

image: Wiki CommonsLONDON (guardian) -- Philosophical Transactions, the world’s oldest scientific journal, will have its most ground-breaking papers showcased in London as the journal celebrates its 350th year. From horrified reviews of Darwin’s ‘excessive wordiness’ to scrutiny of female scientists, the journal contains the scientific highlights since 1665 … read more 12.02.2015

Friday, 13 February 2015 //

Job prospects to determine Spanish university funding

image: moncloa MADRID (ft) -- Commenting on the problems with Spanish higher education, controversial education minister, José Ignacio Wert retains that the university funding model —not according to quality in teaching and research, but to student numbers— is “outdated”. His law proposal seeks to make a change by adding “employment prospects” as a quality and thus a funding criterion ... read more 11.02.2015

Priority for Bulgarian-Ukrainians?

SOFIA (focusfen) -- Georgi Parvanov, former Bulgarian president, explained at a press conference that giving university places priority to Bulgarians from Ukraine could “be an opportunity for them to arrange their future as desired” … read more 10.02.2015

High Franc value causes Swiss university panic

logoBERN (handelszeitung) -- Swiss universities receive abundant research funding from EU coffers, but with the current strength of the Swiss Franc, this investment is suddenly worth much less. Now the losses must be counted … read more 10.02.2015

Microsoft Outlook app poses risk to universities

BRUSSELS (toms hardware) -- The European Parliament and universities both in Europe and overseas have been warned about security risks with the new Microsoft Outlook app for mobile by their IT departments. Major security issues were found soon after the app’s release at a time where cybersecurity paranoia is running high … read more 10.02.2015

Aachen university rugby team excel

image: EUSAAACHEN (az) -- Students from universities in the West-German city Aachen showcased their talents last week in a sports show. Among the performers were the region’s rugby team who recently qualified for the European Universities Championship in Hungary in July 2015 … read more 04.02.2015

Thursday, 12 February 2015 //

Dutch re-employ PhD staff as students

image: advalvasAMSTERDAM (advalvas) -- New legislation will allow Dutch universities to save money, cutting tax-corners by permitting them to replace PhD students’ salaries with ‘student grants’, in effect making them funded students, rather than paid employees. The reform has always been controversial and the pilot scheme will have 8-years to prove its effectiveness … read more 11.02.2015

Edinburgh University’s learning difficulties centre

EDINBURGH (bbc) -- Children and young people with learning difficulties are to benefit from a new £5m research and support centre in Edinburgh. Based at the university, ‘The Salvesen Mindroom Centre’, a first-of-its-kind initiative, will seek to “understand and resolve learning difficulties” through research and care improvement … read more 10.02.2015

Half of Slovakian degrees irrelevant to jobs

image: Klub 500BRATISLAVA (spravy pravada) -- A recent survey from the Slovak education ministry revealed that nearly half of the university graduates never work in the field in which they studied. The figures “shocked even those who have long talked about the need to reform the school system,” said Tibor Gregor, head of Slovak employers association Klub 500 … read more 09.02.2015

European library directive released

DUBLIN (herald online) -- The latest edition of the European University Libraries Directory has been released, providing the most up-to-date information on libraries across the continent ... read more 09.02.2015

Santander Bank sponsors Humboldt University services

image: ESNABERLIN (finanzen) -- Santander, the Spanish Bank with more than 1,200 partnered universities and research institutions, has now also started cooperation with Berlin’s Humboldt University. The first outcome of which being the opening of ‘International Scholar Services’ which facilitates international researcher and PhD recruitment … read more 11.02.2015

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 //

EU scholarship-finder launched

logoBRUSSELS (koop int) -- Serving as a platform where students can easily find an appropriate scholarship from the 12,000 available within the EU, the European Funding Guide is the first initiative of its kind. Following a German pilot-programme, www.mystipendium.de, the platform is free and allows students to enter their details and find funding possibilities with a few clicks … read more 09.02.2015

France establishes African professional training foundation

image: PAIPARIS (euractiv) -- Following the French-African forum in Paris last week, France announced the creation of a foundation for professional training in Africa. 3 million euros of funding are being invested to help develop education and training and combat “one of the biggest issues threatening the continent’s future economic development” … read more 10.02.2015

More women at Austrian universities

VIENNA (orf) -- The share of women at Austrian universities continues to grow, among students, lecturers and professors as well. The latter has increased from 19 percent to 21 in the last five years ... read more 09.02.2015

HEInnovate Open Consultation in its last week

logoBRUSSELS (ec) -- HEInnovate, an assessment tool developed by the European Commission for more entrepreneurial universities, still welcomes contributions to its first consultation until Feb. 15 ... read more 09.02.2015

Ukrainian effort to improve teaching standards

KIEV (kmu) -- Representatives from the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture will begin work with the Ministry of Education to develop new standards of university teaching. Deputy Prime Minister and minister of culture, Vyacheslav Kirilenko, announced also that the rebel-occupied areas of Luhansk and Donetsk will “be given comprehensive assistance” … read more 05.02.2015

Tuesday, 10 February 2015 //

Further cuts would endanger Serbian universities

image: Uni BelgradeBELGRADE (politika) -- Serbian rectors warn that universities would not be able to continue working properly if staff is further reduced. Universities are overregulated, says dean Milorad Milovančević from the Faculty for Mechanical Engineering in Belgrade. According to him, universities should be excluded from governments efforts to rationalise the number of public employees ... read more 06.02.2015

Poland strengthens humanities

WARSAW (pap) -- The Polish science ministry will allocate 80 million złotys (19 million euros) to the next edition of the National Programme for the Development of Humanities (NPRH). The new formula NPRH will focus on: Tradition, Development and Internationalisation ... read more 06.02.2015

Priorities in Romanian higher education

image: GOVBUCAREST (romania libera) -- In a recent interview, education minister Sorin Cîmpeanu pointed out his imminent objectives for Romanian universities: internationalisation through  ore English offers, employment success as a ranking criteria, and more financial autonomy ... read more 04.02.2015

Latvia creates an alumni salary database

RIGA (lsm) -- Perhaps, in a few years, Latvian students will be able to choose their universities and study courses according to their employment chances and salary prospects. The Ministry of Education is planning a graduate database for this purpose ... read more 09.02.2015

Italian pushes ahead with Islamic university plan

image: Confime

LECCE (the local) -- The council of Lecce, a province in the southern region of Puglia, turned down the request from Giampiero Khaled Paladini, the president of a confederation Confime for Mediterranean businesses, to renovate a former tobacco factory to house the university ... read more | video 5.2.15

Monday, 9 February 2015 //

Americans seal giant university project deal in Tunisia

image: ABTUNIS (trade arabia) -- Three leading US universities have agreed to set up a new American University at the upcoming Tunis Financial Harbour. The $100m project will be financed by the US universities as well as a group of local banks and high net worth investors. The university, to be the first-of-its-kind collaboration in North Africa, will contain colleges focused on economics, engineering, medicine and pharmaceuticals. The development is scheduled to start 2017 ... read more 06.02.2015

Tool to measure impacts of digital culture

BRUSSELS (ec) -- Often, the results of scientific projects that digitise cultural heritage, are not exploited to their full potential. MAXICULTURE is a new, EU-funded assessment tool to this purpose ... read more 26.01.2015

UK academics condemn ‘repressive’ counter-terrorism bill

image: waltropLONDON (cherwell) -- Oxford professors have joined 500 academics in signing an open letter that condemned the Counter Terrorism Bill currently being debated in the British parliament as “a threat to freedom of speech at Universities” and “an unlawful and unenforceable duty on educational institutions and staff.” The bill, which seeks to curb campus extremism as one of its aims, has caused considerable debate on the national stage ... read more 05.02.2015

Universities scramble to deal with Apple Watch

LONDON (pa) -- With the Apple Watch due to arrive sometime in April, there’s been an unexpected side-effect rippling through the university scene in London that is likely to escalate around the globe ... read more 06.02.2015

Universities lift Europe into space

image: ESABRUSSELS (sc) -- On February 11, in a world first, Europe will launch and land an unmanned spaceplane named Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle, or IXV. IXV represents the industrial and scientific expertise of a consortium of around 40 industries, research centers and universities, mainly in Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Ireland and Portugal, with Italy is providing the largest share of funding ... read more 06.02.2015

Saturday, 7 February 2015 //

First leg of student winter sports competition concludes

image: EUSA

ŠTRBSKÉ PLESO/OSRBLIE (eusa) -- A ‘heart-warming’ closing ceremony marked the end of the first leg of 27th Winter Universiade, student winter sport competition, in Slovakia. 31 countries were represented by a total of 250 male and 134 female athletes from 174 universities. The student-athletes from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan dominated most of the events of the biathlon and cross-country skiing competitions. Nordic combined and ski jumping offered more mixed results with nations such as Japan, Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland present on the podiums. The competition continues from 4th to 14th February in Granada, Spain … read more 02.02.2015

Scientists protest detention of Palestinian physicist

LONDON (nature) -- Several organizations of scholars have issued letters protesting the detention of a Palestinian astrophysicist in the Israeli military's Ofer prison, in the West Bank. The scientist, Imad Ahmad Barghouthi, was arrested en route to a scientific conference in December and has since been detained without charges … read more 21.01.2015

“Anonymise admissions,” says race equality report

logoLONDON (the) -- Ethnic minority students in the UK have a lower chance at getting into top universities, despite grades being the same. A report, published this week by British think tank Runnymede Trust, has said that university admissions should be anonymised to prevent a bias against black and ethnic minority students … read more 03.02.2015

Commission ascertains loyalty of EUA

BRUSSELS (eua) -- The European Universities Association was pleased to welcome EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics to its secretariat in Brussels. Topics discussed during the meeting included sustainable funding of universities, the future development of the Bologna Process and the Modernisation Agenda … read more 05.02.2015

Scientists must denounce human-rights abuse

logoLONDON (nature) -- World democracies visiting Saudi Arabia to commemorate the death of King Abdullah have been criticised as ‘hypocritical’. Due to the kingdom’s oil and geopolitical importance, the West is reluctant to denounce Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations and Nature magazine highlights that even scientists and their institutions, traditionally defenders of freedom, have remained silent, because of vested interests in the region’s scientific investment … read more 03.02.2015
Friday, 6 February 2015 //

Why Europe is still trailing the US in successful start-ups?

image: pixabay

INTERNATIONAL (bisnews) -- European universities are coming second to their US counterparts in the creation of intellectual capital. A simple indicator is the international higher education league table with only three of the top ten universities located in Europe ... read more 04.02.2015

Spain’s ‘3-year-degree’ reform postponed

MADRID (el país) -- The government’s plans to introduce 3 year degree programmes at universities, recently rushed through parliament, have been stopped — at least until academic year 2017, after the next elections. Students protested against the reforms, and even universities prefered a moratorium amidst fears over fees and employability … read more 03.02.2015

Anne Glover criticises her Brussels ‘push back’

image: PlasticEuropeBRUSSELS (the) -- Anne Glover, who recently resigned from the post of Chief Scientific Advisor, said that the Commission did not devote a lot of resources to her role and a lot of her colleagues were fearful of how her advice could impact their work. Glover stepped down after a group of environmental organisations wrote to the Commission President calling for her position to be scrapped … read more | and here 03.02.2015

Germany struggles to hold onto international students

BERLIN (migazin) -- With 11.5 percent of Germany’s student body made up of overseas students, it’s a popular university destination, but only one in four international students choosing to stay on after they graduate. A recent study cited language barriers and bureaucracy … read more 02.03.2015

New directory puts Portuguese unis on the map

logoLISBON (sapo) -- A new initiative called ‘Uniarea’ maps out all Portuguese-speaking institutions, thus helping international students to select their university … read more 31.1.15

Thursday, 5 February 2015 //

Ivy-league universities hesitate to sanction rape

image: Dirk KirbyUTAH (sudinfo) -- Showcased at the Sundance Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah, the film ‘The Hunting Ground’ shocked viewers with explicit documentation of the alarmingly common cases of sexual assault across North American university campuses. Besides the rage felt by assaulted girls for not feeling protected, Kirby Dick, director of the documentary, says universities like Harvard cover up rape cases to protect their brand name … read more 30.01.2015

Portuguese University to become foundation

MINHO (público) -- Nearly four years after a failed initiative to make the university of Minho, Northern Portugal, into a public foundation, negotiations are once more underway with the government. Rector, António Cunha, said that he greatly values the increased autonomy that this move will allow the university … read more 26.01.2015

Corruption rife in Romanian universities

iconGALATI (romanialibera) -- An inquiry has been launched at Dunarea de Jos University in Romania after students denounced their professors on grounds of financial corruption. Two new cases, whereby professors asked for cash up front from students in return for better exams grades, have brought to light the regularity of this trend across Romania ... read more 01.02.2015

New university rejected in Northern Croatia

ZAGREB (evarazdin) -- Proposals to set up a new university in northern Croatia were rejected without discussion by the government. The region, with 650,000 inhabitants and the lowest average salary in the country, has reacted with disappointment at the government’s failure … read more 30.01.2015

Wednesday, 4 February 2015 //

Biggest companies ignore higher education

image: UnescoLONDON (uwn) -- Less than 5 percent of the Fortunate Global 500 companies’ combined social responsibility budget goes towards higher education. A campaign, launched in partnership with UNESCO, has outlined just how little many of the biggest firms invest in higher education. UNESCO director general, Irina Bokova, said that this meagre investment reflects business’ failure to recognise the importance of an educated workforce in commercial success … read more 30.1.15

Medicine students filtered out in Belgium

NAMUR (dhnet) -- Jean-Claude Marcourt, higher education minister of francophone Belgium, confirmed that examinations at the end of first year will soon be implemented in medicine departments. This comes after last year’s ‘medical student crisis’ in the Wallonia-Brussels. The proposals to dismiss future-doctors after a year of study have caused discontent and student union FEF called the plans a “scandalous procedure” … read more 29.01.2015

Lithuania distributes ‘Invasion Manual’ at universities

image: KriegsfotografieVILINUS (rtbf) -- In response to recent Lithunian concerns following Russian aggression in Ukraine, the ministry of defence  distributed manuals in schools nationwide, explaining what to do in case of an invasion. Starting next week, even university students will receive the manual … read more 28.01.2015

Student protection office in San Marino

SAN MARINO (smnotizie) -- San Marino’s one university recently welcomed the opening of a new office to defend students’ rights. Similar to an ombudsman, a professor will be placed in charge of dealing with complaints also and in particular those concerning the university itself … read more 30.01.2015

Tuesday, 3 February 2015 //

“Cultural Chernobyl” - Moscow university library fire

image: A.F.Smirnov

MOSCOW (figaro) -- An immense fire at Moscow’s Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences on Friday has destroyed over 1 million historical documents, some dating back to the 16th century. Vladimir Fortov, president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, described the tragedy as “a great loss for science... the vastest collection of its kind in the World”. Referring to the 1986 nuclear tragedy, he compared the loss of this collection, one of the World’s richest catalogues of Slavic-works, as “reminiscent of Chernobyl” … read more | and here 02.02.2015

Scottish university to refund failing students

PAISLEY (herald) -- Fee-paying students at the University of West Scotland will be the first to have their costs waived if they fail to graduate. This plan comes as part of an initiative to ensure the university remains attractive in an ‘increasingly competitive global market’ ... read more 29.01.2015

Academic cabinet gives hope to Greek education

image: EUATHENS (guardian) -- The Greek university community sighed a collective sigh of relief and optimism as new President, Alexis Tsipras, revealed his cabinet to be rich in academics and university professors. The importance of youth and education under the new leadership has been emphasised as the anti-austerity government shows heavy investment is the way to battle Greek’s debt-woes. Kostas Fotakis, president of the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), was appointed as Research and Innovation Deputy Minister … read more | and here 27.01.2015

German-Arab relations becoming ever stronger

BEIRUT (koop international) -- Following meetings in Beirut earlier this month, the first German-Lebanese initiative, “Engineers for Germany” is supposed to attract high-calibre professionals to Germany and actively counteract the shortage of skilled workers in Lebanon … read more 02.02.2015
Monday, 2 February 2015 //

European universities criticise ‘Juncker Plan’

image: Stefan ZimmermanBRUSSELS (euractiv) -- The European University Association has voicedthe concerns of the university community in relation to the European Fund for Strategic Investments proposal as it stands. The commission’s rechanneling of funds from its research programme Horizon 2020 to the ‘Juncker Plan’, says Lesley Wilson, secretary-general of the EUA, sends out the wrong message and will harm the research community … read more 26.01.2015

Merger creates Norway’s largest university

TRONDHEIM (news in english) -- Norway’s largest university has been created under a merger between Science and Technology University in Trondheim, NTNU, and three university colleges. The campus will remain in Trondheim and house almost 40,000 students. The question now is whether this will trigger further mergers elsewhere in Norway … read more 29.01.2015

Probe into price fixing at Russian universities

Lomonossov UniversityMOSCOW (cw) -- At a time of economic instability in Russia, the country’s anti-monopoly authority (FAS), together with the general prosecutor’s office, plan to start widespread checks at universities on suspicion of price fixing and unfounded increases in the cost of tuition. According to members of the Duma, possibilities being considered are creating a law that will stop tuition fees rising faster than the rate of inflation or freezing the cost of tuition for three years, perhaps even longer. Universities found guilty of price fixing could be subject to large fines or have their licence withdrawn ... read more 29.01.2015

One quarter of Turkey’s unemployed have degrees

ANKARA (hurriyet) -- Unemployment is climbing in Turkey, but more worrying is that ¼ of the unemployed are actually qualified at university level, according to an official report. Reforms under the current government saw an 83 percent increase in the amount of students since 2006 … read more 26.01.2015

Danish universities “don’t care about teaching”

iconCOPENHAGEN (university post) -- “Universities don’t care about teaching abilities of their employees and the government is regulating the wrong things.” That’s one conclusion of a report of an expert committee in Denmark demanding that central regulation of education needs to change … read more 30.01.2015

ESNA 2015
Saturday, 31 January 2015 //

Latvian EU presidency prioritises research and innovation



BRUSSELS (aca) -- The priotities of the new Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union bear no change in comparison to those of its predecessor, Italy, indicating a high place on the agenda for research and innovation. Latvian education and science minister, Mārīte Seile, in office since January of this year, presented her work programme to the European Parliament’s research committee last week … read more 26.01.2015

France considers cashing in on international students

PARIS (sauvons l'universite) -- State secretary of higher education, Geneviève Fioraso, has proposed an astronomical rise in tuition for overseas students coming to France, potentially soaring from 183 to 6,000 euros and 254 to 12,000 euros for Bachelors and Masters respectively … read more 30.01.2015

European Commission compliments Dutch system

image: GOVBRUSSELS (neth-er) -- Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, expressed his appreciation for the Dutch system saying, “The Netherlands is definitely at the cutting edge of European educational policy” … read more 26.01.2015

UK student housing market promises high profits

LONDON (select property) -- Compared to other property investments, student accommodation stands out by consistently offering high returns. Investors in the UK are able to expect an average of over 7 percent as a rental yield, which far exceeds typical values of 5.3 percent for residential properties. This is spurred on by a continuous growth of international student input, increasing year on year … read more 28.01.2015

Friday, 30 January 2015 //

Foreign researchers unsettled in Saxony

image: E. M. StangeDRESDEN (tagesspiegel) -- Following weeks of protests by a xenophobic group calling itself ‘Pediga’, foreign students and researchers living in Saxony no longer feel safe in the region. Saxony’s science minister, Eva-Maria Stange, described the atmosphere as a “tremendous feeling of uncertainty among international scholars and students” … read more 27.1.15

London attracts cybersecurity start-ups

LONDON (techcrunch) -- As cyber security rises on the international agenda, launch of Cyber London (CyLon) marks “Europe’s first business accelerator program and incubator space dedicated to developing and supporting cyber security start-ups”. The launch coincides with announcements from UK intelligence agency, GCHQ, that £3 billion (€4 billion) will be invested in national cyber intelligence over the next 9 years … read more 28.01.2015

Flemish fears over Dutch students calmed

image: ESNAFLANDERS (nog) -- After Flemish unversities voiced their worries about a possible wave of incoming students from the Netherlands as tuition refugees, Dutch education minister, Jet Bussemaker, assured that the introduction of a new loan system will prevent that from happening … read more 26.01.2015

Romanian students complain about ‘oppressive universities’

BUCHAREST (monitorrul) -- The Romanian national student union, ANOSR, has drawn attention to the worrying trend of universities trying to silence students expressing dissatisfaction with the state education system, sometimes resorting to “communist” practices … read more 26.01.2015

Ukrainian students call for Russian students’ solidarity

KIEV (radio liberty) -- Students from Kyiv universities have released an emotional video urging students in Moscow not to believe what Russian state-controlled media are saying about Ukrainians ... read more 28.01.2015

Thursday, 29 January 2015 //

Italian government accused of ‘patent robbery’

image: DisneyROME (wired) -- Italian universities and research universities have accused their government of robbing the rights to their patents, after new legalisation will centralise the science market. By passing patent rights to government affiliated ‘Italian Institute of Technology’, the government aims to maximise profits and efficient management of research, however Presidents of the Conference of Rectors and National Research Council have taken a tough stance against the decree, saying it will deprive them of access to their own inventions … read more 27.01.2015

Over half of Ukraine’s universities closed

image: ed. ministryKIEV (dt) -- As part of his radical overhaul of the Ukrainian education system, education minister Serhiy Kvit has announced that he will continue with ruthless closure of substandard universities, falling from 817 to “well below 300”. The reforms, which will give full autonomy to educational institutions, “will not give universities any opportunities to shy away from solving their urgent problems,” he said … read more 28.01.2015

University returns to Friesland after two hundred years

FRIESLAND (rug) -- 200 years after the closure of Friesland’s only university, in the far north of the Netherlands, the opening of University of Gronigen’s Friesland Campus will be widely welcomed. Board president, Sibrand Poppema, says it represents an “upgrade for the region” … read more 24.1.15

Swedish uni plugs into MOOCs

LUND (hd) -- As MOOCs continue to grow in popularity across the globe, Sweden’s Lund University becomes the latest to tune into the programme. They will trial three free online courses this spring … read more 23.01.2015

Seville, the cycling capital of southern Europe

image: ESNASEVILLE (guardian) -- Cycling has increased 11-fold in Seville in the space of a few years. Not only can passengers of public transport rent bikes free of charge, the city’s university also provides students with bikes for the academic year ... read more 28.01.2015

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 //

German universities must face their history

image: wsws

BERLIN (wsws) -- At a meeting of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) held at Berlin Humboldt University, the role played by universities in the Third Reich was highlighted and more still their active part in the nazification of education. Sociologist Bruno Reimann was quoted, “Universities still have difficulty in recognising their ‘Gleichschaltung’ (voluntary adaption) to national socialist ideology, because it would shake their self-esteem” … read more 21.01.2015

Female students keep on rising in UK

LONDON (the) -- As well as being achieving the highest grades, female students outnumber male students by around a fifth, as the gender gap in UK education keeps on growing. The subjects showing the greatest difference are social subjects, education and arts and design … read more 21.01.2015

Sustainable campuses showcased

logoDAVOS (iscn) -- At the World Economic Forum, the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) in collaboration with the Global University Leader Forum (GULF) shared exemplary campus sustainability case studies provided by 25 international universities. The report is focused on educating future leaders by full immersion in a “living laboratory” environment for sustainability … read more 22.01.2015

“Poor consolation” funding for Slovenian universities

LJIUBLJANA (rtv) -- Following a crisis meeting between Slovenian Prime Minister, Miro Cerar, and university rectors, the promise was made that the chronically underfunded universities wouldn’t receive less funding than last year. However one of the rectors responded saying this was “a very poor consolation”, considering they are already running on reserves to cover deficits … read more 09.01.2015

Turkey strengthens African connections

logoKHARTOUM (uwn) -- Following a collaboration and education fair earlier this week, plans have been unveiled to set up a Turkish-Sudanese joint institution and thus enhance student and academic mobility … read more 23.01.15

Tuesday, 27 January 2015 //

Berkeley lacks inspiration at Davos

image: WEFDAVOS (huffpost) -- UC Berkeley, guest at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, proved disappointing, bringing old and worn out ideas to the table. Instead of addressing the deficit of basic education in low income countries —needing an additional $26 billion, according to a UNICEF official at the forum— Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks used the opportunity as a plug to promote his university’s new Global Branch Campus project “at home, less than 10 miles from the main campus” where “some of the world’s leading universities and high-tech companies will work side by side”. Dirks also failed to impress, with old-hat ideals, parleying about “a new, global alliance of academic and private sector partners that have the collective means to conduct the necessary multidisciplinary research” … read more | video 22.01.2014

11,000 Bulgarian university spaces will go unfilled

SOFIA (manager) -- Around 59,000 Bulgarian students are expected to leave school this year, whereas 70,000 university places are available across 51 universities. With such a high number of university places to go unfilled, the race is on for student recruitment … read more 19.01.2015

Flanders fears grant-less Dutch student influx

image: CD&VFLANDERS (trajectum) -- Following the student-grant abolition in the Netherlands, Flemish education minister Hilde Crevits has expressed concerns that thousands of Dutch students will flock to Flanders with 50 percent lower tuition fees. Crevits wants to meet this week in Brussels with her Dutch colleague Jet Bussenmaker to discuss her worries … read more 22.01.2015

More academic mobility between Visegrád countries

BRATISLAVA (aktuality) -- Mobility between V4 countries for Slovak students has been further reinforced, as scholarships are made more accessible for students between the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. Living costs and travel expenses can be covered for undergraduates, graduates, academics and researchers and funding is also available for 10-month study and research stays … read more 24.01.2015

Greek students describe social crisis facing youth

image: ESNAATHENS (wsws) -- According to the results of a recent study by the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, many of those who left the country were highly qualified students unable to find suitable work in Greece. The exodus began in 2011, peaked in 2012, and has continued ever since. 89 percent of the émigrés had degrees in such diverse fields as engineering, finance and business management, information technology and computer sciences. 48 percent were under the age of 30 ... read more 26.01.2014

Monday, 26 January 2015 //

Dutch research council overhaul

logoTHE HAGUE (science guide) -- The Dutch government is pushing to reform the national research council, NWO, the body responsible for the annual distribution of 650 million euros public research funding. Acting on the counsel of a consulting firm, the government wants to do away with the organisation’s ‘patchwork’ structure by reducing institutional autonomy and regional influence to centralise control ... read more 23.01.2015

Lithuania clamps down on underperforming universities

image: Horizon 2020 ProjectsVILINUS (baltic course) -- The Lithuanian Minister of Education and Science has addressed universities, saying that the quality of higher education must improve in order to compete on the international scene. Science minister, Dainius Pavalkis, said that admission requirements will be raised and entry exams introduced to tackle low-performing institutions … read more 20.01.2015

French want regional autonomy at university level

PARIS (localtis) -- Since January, President François Hollande’s decentralisation plan, legally reorganising French territory, has been well under way. Under these reforms, six associations made up of mayors and city and regional representatives have banded together to demand that more autonomy be allocated to universities within regions. Also demanded is an effective local and regional innovation plan … read more 19.01.2015

€36.9 million for Norwegian postgrad system

OSLO (kooperation international) -- In a move set to raise the caliber of researcher training and increase the amount of students achieving doctorates, the Research Council of Norway will shortly announce the huge investment to the sector … read more 22.01.2015

A case for a university happiness ranking

LONDON (nature) -- A blog post by structural biologist Jenny Martin that calls for new researcher-friendly metrics for ranking universities —including a happiness index— is drawing enthusiastic reviews on social media ... read more 15.1.14

Saturday, 24 January 2015 //

Hungarian minister to pay respects at Auschwitz

image: Auschwitz-Tor

AUSCHWITZ (hungary today) -- Polish and Hungarian education and science ministers, Lena Kolarska-Bobinska and Zoltán Balog, will meet in Poland this weekend to pay their respects at the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp … read more 22.01.2015

Switzerland and Luxembourg rank most ‘talent ready’

FONTAINEBLEAU (insead) -- Ranked first and third respectively, Switzerland and Luxembourg are current World leaders in ‘attraction and incubation talent’. Published this week, the Global Talent Competitiveness Index ranks countries based on their abilities to acquire and produce talent (input), the skills which are available to them as a result (output). Europe once again topped the charts, with 16 European countries among the top 25 … read more 20.01.2015

University without students

LJUBLIANA/PORTOROZ (rtv) -- The Euro-Mediterranean university EMUNI, based in Slovenia, has received over 4 million euros in state funding since 2007, despite not having enrolled a single student. Created as a joint project between Slovenia, Tunisia, Italy and Israel, the funding went instead towards just keeping the centre open: staff salaries; site-rental and preparation courses … read more 23.01.2015

Spain rushes three-year-degree legislation

image: MINMADRID (el pais) -- Set to pass through parliament next week, Spanish education minister, José Ignacio Wert, is pushing hard for the introduction of three-year degrees. Believing this will creative a more ‘homogenous’ system and bring Spanish universities in line with their European counterparts, despite warnings from State Council over the hasty nature of proceedings … read more 20.01.2015

Russia faces ‘university-excellence plan’ difficulties

image: Presidential PressMOSCOW (the) -- The ambitious project of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin to place five Russian universities in the world’s top 100 by 2020, is facing difficulties. Sanctions imposed by Western governments and the annexation of Crimea last year have subtracted focus from the project ... read more 22.01.2015

Friday, 23 January 2015 //

Erasmus goes global

image collage: ESNABRUSSELS (corriere) -- Almost 30 years after its launch in 1987, a €121 million injection will bring about a renaissance of ‘Erasmus’. Starting this academic year, the EU mobility programme for students and teachers will cease to be restricted to Europe and become an international competitor, up against the high-priced UK, US and Australia to attract the best young minds to Europe and thus revitalise the labour market. In a bid to make Europe the world leader for studies and innovation, the rejuvenated initiative will offer considerable bursaries to overseas students as well as to outgoing European students. Such a bold move by Europe will surely cause international shockwaves and a response from competitors … read more 14.01.2015

Danish universities hit hard by cuts

SØNDERBORG (shz) -- Recent Danish austerity measures hit universities hard, institutions have to cut study places and even close down some departments altogether. Particularly wounded is Sønderborg campus, a pioneer in the field of education and work with industry. This university of Southern Denmark is forced to reduce undergraduate admissions by a third … read more 20.01.2015

Serbia links universities with business in Arabia

logoABU DHABI (ansamed) -- In addition to the first business investment forum organised by Serbia in the United Arab Nations this month, a study-exchange programme between the two nations will be established … read more 15.01.2015

Islamists attack Charlie-march at Ankara University

ANKARA (hurriyet) -- Police intervened with tear gas earlier this week as a commemorative march in homage of Charlie Hebdo victims and murdered Turkish Journalist, Hrant Dink, was swarmed by a group of Islamists throwing bottles and rocks. Ankara University Campus had previously received online threats of “unprecedented violence” by Islamists if pro-Charlie Hebdo posters put up by students were not taken down … read more 19.01.2015

British unis feel green without ranking

logoGLASGOW (guardian) -- Students at several UK universities showed their outrage this week, protesting against their universities’ apparent indifference toward the ‘Green League’ initiative. Set up in 2007 by students, ‘Green League’ ranks universities based on their environmental and ethical ratings, however, in an apparent boycott of the programme, 82 universities omitted to provide data this year … read more 20.01.2015

Thursday, 22 January 2015 //

Education excluded from TiSA?

image: European CommissionSTRASBOURG (euractiv) -- Alongside the highly mediatised trade agreement TTIP, a much bigger negotiation involving nearly 50 countries, called TiSA, is moving along quietly. “You will hear a lot about TiSA in 2015,” former EU commissioner Viviane Reding told journalists. The agreement excludes sensitive areas like intellectual property rights and ISDS, she said, the audio-visual sector and public services like water, health and education are also excluded, as she insisted: “These are not for sale,” ... read more 16.01.2015

Austrians won’t chip in for university science

VIENNA (studium) -- Only 8 percent of Austrians would be willing to help fund research within their universities, a study shows. With over half of those asked perceiving the main role of universities as training centres, their willingness to financially support institutions is very low … read more 14.01.2015

Swiss history given the boot

ZURICH (szs) -- Following the University of Zürich’s announcement of plans to abolish Swiss history studies, historians and politicians debate about the place of the country’s past in contemporary society … read more | and here 14.1.15

Corruption isolates scientists in Kosovo

PRIŠTINA (euobserver) -- The combination of Hashim Thaçi’s corrupt regime and visa restrictions isolate science in Kosovo. It is also preventing Kosovar students, hundreds of whom are being educated in some of the EU’s best universities, from giving back to the EU economy … read more 20.01.2015

Dutch PhD student not allowed to thank God

image: ÉdikaWAGENINGEN (practical ethics) -- The University of Wageningen prohibited a PhD student from thanking God in his thesis acknowledgments. The student, Jerke de Vries, wrote, “My Father God, thank You, it’s the most wonderful thing to be loved and honoured by You.” The university refused to grant him his thesis unless he deleted this reference to God arguing that science should be independent from politics or religion. The student refused to delete God from his acknowledgments and instead tore the whole page of acknowledgments out altogether ... read more 20.01.2015

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 //

German Education Union demands researcher job security

image: StrahmBERLIN (sz) -- The fact that 90 percent of young German researchers work in precarious conditions is, according to education minister Johanna Wanka, unacceptable. After concerns raised by the German Education Union (GEW) highlighted the exploitation of scientists, who almost always work under temporary contracts, proceedings are being carried forward to make permanent contracts the rule, not the exception … read more 19.01.2015

German researchers complain of poor working conditions

BERLIN (zeit) -- Despite contributing to the country’s sterling reputation in research and innovation, many researchers in German universities complain of unacceptable working conditions. Lack of funding and materials, unstable working contracts and unfair pay leave some of Germany’s best researchers doubting if they have a future in science … read more 13.01.2015

Russian universities launch international recruitment centre

logoMOSCOW (rbth) -- In a move set to “promote the brand of Russian universities”, a new unified  recruitment centre seeks to attract highly motivated students from across the globe. Director Maxim Khomyakov said that the 15 participating institutions will see “serious results by 2016” … read more 15.01.2015

Education reforms need follow up, warns OECD

PARIS (conversation) -- Across Europe and further afield, only 10 per cent of the constantly implemented education policy reforms are followed up. Findings of the Education Policy Outlook 2015 … read more 19.01.2015

Lithuanian university to be digitalised

image: KTUVILINUS (balsas) -- Recently piloted in Kaunas University of Technology, the institute predicts that rapidly evolving technology on campus will lead to every classroom being equipped with a live broadcast and recording equipment. But concerns are being raised about the subsequent the lack of human contact in universities … read more 19.01.2015

Tuesday, 20 January 2015 //

Protest against Austrian fraternity ball

image: cityfotoGRAZ (wiener zeitung) -- Ball-going frat members in Graz were met on Saturday night by almost a thousand protesters from ‘Offensive Against Steiermark Right’ movement, demonstrating against the “racist, sexist, anti-Semitist and misanthropic” nature of their fraternity… read more 17.01.2015

Czech President lacks understanding of inclusion

PRAGUE (radio prague) -- President Miloš Zeman stirred considerable controversy this week, suggesting that handicapped children ought not to share classrooms with non-handicapped students. In his statement demonstrating “extraordinary lack of understanding”, Zeman claimed classroom sharing was “unfortunate for both groups” … read more 16.01.2015

€13 million French innovation centre opened

COMPIÈGNE (les cles de demain) -- Officially opened last week, the futuristic Innovation Centre Compiègne University of Technology (UTC) will work as a creative hub where skills and ideas will be transformed into original and pioneering projects … read more 14.01.2015

EU to fund Romanian anti-corruption classes

image: govBUCHAREST (adevarul) -- Romanian education minister Sorin Cîmpeanu has revealed plans to enrol all teachers into anti-corruption courses starting in September of this year. The classes, funded by the EU, will strengthen educational institutions to prevent “exploitation by employees or third parties”. Who will lead the classes remains uncertain … read more 16.01.2015

€5 million regeneration for Norwegian culture and media

logoOSLO (koop-int) -- Norway’s Research Council announced the huge budget increase as part of an initiative to strengthen the media and cultures sectors and galvanise multi-disciplinary projects. As digitalisation brings dramatic changes to all aspects of society, this investment will ensure Norway’s culture and media sector advance with it … read more 16.01.2015

Monday, 19 January 2015 //

EU science budget plundered

image: (c) ESNABRUSSELS (science business) -- The scientific community has reacted with dismay as the European Commission reallocated €2.7 billion from the Horizon 2020 research investment fund to another project.
The EIT in Budapest is the largest casualty, with €350 million to cut, the European Research Council (ERC) faces losses of €221 million, the budget for ICT research will be reduced by €307 million, nanotechnology and advanced material projects by €170 million. Overall, Horizon 2020 will lose €860 million of its planned budget in 2016, €871 million in 2017 and €479 million in 2018 …
read more 15.1.15

Student debt to cost Britain billions

LONDON (independent) -- With jobless and low-paid graduates unable to repay student loans, the British government is now facing billions of pounds worth of debt, according to Labour’s former universities minister John Denham. The sharp rise in tuition fees and operation of a “loan now, pay later” system, have created an “unsustainable” situation with damaging effects on education spending for years to comeread more 11.01.2015

Macedonian students “bury” university

image: kliker tv

SKOPJE (blic) -- Students and staff in Macedonia expressed their outrage at recent amendments to education policy with a symbolic “burial” of their university. Changes to the law, which would see the creation of a new, external body for examinations, has led to mass protests with students announcing they will continue to “boycott, blockade and occupy” university until changes are reversed … read more 15.01.2015

MOOC-free Switzerland

ZURICH (bote) -- Swiss universities still offer only few ‘Massive Open Online Courses’. Lino Guzella, President of ETH Zürich, is convinced that distance learning courses cannot be a substitute for traditional degrees. “Real learning,” he says, cannot be found on the internet … read more 28.12.2014

Portugal strengthens university-economic co-operation

image: europedecidesLISBON (ionline) -- Portuguese Minister for Regional Development, Miguel Poiares Maduro, expressed his satisfaction at the settlement of 17 cooperations between higher education institutions and the agency for regional development (CCDR). The agreements, signed this week, are set to strengthen knowledge transfer from universities to companies and increase internationalisation of institutions … read more 14.1.15

Saturday, 17 January 2015 //

Questions remain over EU Chief Science Advisor

image: EUBRUSSELS (euractiv) -- After NGOs protested against the EU chief scientific advisor for being “intransparent and unaccountable”, this post held by Anne Glover was scrapped in November 2014. Now it seems, the European Commission is trying to revise this decision. But several models are under discussion. Research commissioner Carlos Moedas promised to look into new ways of providing independent scientific inputs to policymaking … read more | and here 14.01.2015

Swiss doing fine without Erasmus

BERN (tageswoche) -- Swiss students continue to go abroad to study, despite their country being excluded from the Erasmus programme last year. 3.500 Swiss globetrotters per year are not funded not by Brussels, but by a domestic mobility programme … read more 15.01.2015

EU approves Open Science Commons framework

logoBRUSSELS (hpcwire) -- The European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) has been given the green light by Brussels. 43 project partners from Europe, the US and the Asia-Pacific region will collaborate on a framework for the Open Science Commons to provide researchers with convenient access to digital services, data and expertise ... read more 15.1.15

100,000 Romanians study abroad

BUCAREST (zf) -- With Romania’s population at its lowest since 1968, concerns have been raised about 100.000 citizens studying abroad. Despite the clear advantages of student mobility to gain a quality education, many students don’t return … read more 16.01.2015

Flemish ‘Student Spotify’ counters online piracy

image: CrumbDEURNE (sudinfo) -- Dubbed ‘Spotify for students’, a Flemish enterprise this week launched an online platform giving students access to low-price learning software. The technology comes as part of an anti-piracy initiative and is already used by around 5,000 students in the Dutch-speaking Belgian region read more 14.01.2014

Friday, 16 January 2015 //

German universities increasingly international

image: ESNABERLIN (bmbf) -- In the last eight years, the amount of foreign teachers and researchers at German universities has seen a 20 percent increase. Foreign student numbers are also on the rise, especially in music and art schools, where exchange students often make up more than two thirds. A new report also shows a growth in German teaching staff mobility … read more 13.1.15

French masters students excel in job market

PARIS (l’étudiant) -- 9/10 French masters graduates find a job within two and a half years after leaving university, a recent study reports. Of them, two thirds find themselves in a position of leadership and 23 percent have temporary contracts. Not included, however are those who opt to further their academic studies … read more 07.01.2015

New research funding system in Poland

logoWARSAW (nauka) -- With the new year comes another way of funding Polish research. The new method will allocate funding proportionally to quality of research, e.g. PhDs, patents and publications. The law also gives development of practical skills more importance ... read more 09.01.2015

The major worries of Spanish students in 2015

MADRID (europapress) -- Speaking at an annual rectors’ assembly, President of the national student union, Luis Cereijo outlined Spanish students’ biggest concerns: the new unjust grant system, the badly implemented course structures of the Bologna Process and the imminent approval of the law that will change the structure of university degrees … read more 14.01.2015

EU student fee loophole enrages Welsh politician

image: NssdfdsfdsCARDIFF (wales online) -- Conservative Welsh politician, David Davies expressed his outrage at EU student mobility law. The law permits students from EU countries, but not the other three UK nations, the same tuition fee subsidies as Welsh nationals. Mr Davies outlined this “ridiculous EU rule” as yet another reason why David Cameron should renegotiate the UK’s membership ... read more 08.01.2015

ESNA 2015
Thursday, 15 January 2015 //

A race for higher tuition by decree?

image: ESNAROME (il fatto quotidiano) -- Issued last December, the new decree for funding Italian universities aims to reward university’s financial performance. But the new system also results in a 50 percent reduction of tenured staff. More problematic still is the rewarding of financial “virtues”, which are measured in proportion to the tuition fees universities charge. Critics fear this could lead to a race between universities to increase fees, ultimately worsening social inequality, access to education and the North/South divide … read more 13.01.2015

Ukraine: studying in a war-zone

DONETSK (zeenews) -- Students in the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ have more than grades and exam-stress to worry about. After the rebel takeover earlier this year, some universities up and moved West into government-held territory, but those who stayed are left asking if their degree will actually be worth anything … read more 03.01.2015

French journalism students pay their respects

image:ECVPARIS (e-orientations) -- As three million copies of the magazine’s latest issue fly off the shelves, young journalists all over France put pen to paper in memory of those killed last week. L’École de Communication Visuelle (ECV) is one of many schools whose students are creatively expressing their solidarity with the fallen … read more13.01.2015

Turkey’s foundation universities: model for the region?

ISTANBUL (al—fanar) -- As Turkish universities rise in global rankings and seek to draw students from around the world, academics say an important alternative to the public higher educational system has helped raise the quality of Turkish education: foundation universities ... read more 13.01.2015

Europe’s first Confucius institute shut down

confuciusSTOCKHOLM (ecns) -- In the wake of rising concerns regarding the exportation of Chinese ideologies into Western academic institutions, co-operation between Stockholm University and the Confucius Institute will not be renewed. Sweden is not alone in this decision and several other universities … read more 13.01.2015

Wednesday, 14 January 2015 //

Italy lures non-Europeans with special startup visa

ologoROME (fastcompany) -- Started in June of last year, Italy’s startup visa is specifically for non-Europeans with innovative business ideas. With the Mediterranean country’s GDP consistently declining throughout 2014, the Italian government has been looking for new ways spur economic growth. The programme was recently expanded and requires only 50,000 euros of funding from an angel investor … read more 12.1.14

British universities losing out on Irish talent

DUBLIN (irish times) -- Deterred by the sharp rise in tuition fees, the numbers of Irish students choosing to study in the UK has fallen dramatically to about 2,000, opting instead for continental Europe … read more 13.01.2015 

FPÖ accuses overseas students of visa abuse

image: FPÖWIEN (ots) -- The Austrian right-wing party FPÖ insinuates that non-European students are using university studies to obtain stay permits. A parlamentary hearing had shown that non-European students abstained from almost half of all exams, compared to their European and Austrian classmatres who missed only 38 and 25 percent respectively … read more 13.01.2015

French students lose privilege in Canada

QUEBEC (mcgill daily) -- Ongoing negotiations between the two countries will put and end to French students’ exemption from international tuition fee rate in Canada. The number of incoming French students has nearly doubled amounting to 8,000 since 2006, which has caused discontent among Canadians from out of province ... read more 12.01.2015

Global survey on strategic international partnerships

image: hendersoncountypublicschoolsncAre you responsible for international partnerships at your institution? If so, please take a few minutes to participate in a new survey. The results will be synthesised into a chapter in an upcoming IIE/DAAD publication in May 2015. Deadline January 30.
Tuesday, 13 January 2015 //

Academic deforestation in Hungary

image: Opel

BUDAPEST (pester lloyd) -- By limiting the access to secondary education and slashing university budgets, Fidesz, governing party headed by PM Viktor Orbán, is reducing the level of scientific literacy in the Hungarian population. With emphasis on technical professional schools, loyal university chancellors and limited student mobility, Hungary’s higher education community has arrived at a turning point ... read more 12.01.2014

UK: Anti-terror bill a threat to academic freedom

LONDON (independent) -- New anti-terror laws requiring universities to tackle extremism on campus threaten to stifle freedom of expression, the British government has been warned by MPs and peers ... read more 12.01.2015

Bulgarian education minister pledges new law

image: teacher.bgSOFIA (novinite) -- Minister Todor Tanev has pledged a new Education Act instead of patchy amendments and insertions to the existing one. The education minister spoke in favor of radical changes to the curriculum involving the introduction of cutting-edge technology into the sphere. He also underscored the need for “a radical upward revision” of teacher salaries ... read more 04.01.2015

Romania gets its own university ranking

image: govBUCAREST (romania insider) -- The Romanian education minister Sorin Cîmpeanu announced a university ranking for his country. It will “take into account both research and education, the university’s role in regional development and the employers’ opinions on educational services,” he said ... read more 09.01.2014

Bavarian Conservatives reject English as only teaching language

MUNICH (aa) -- Economically successful, highly dynamic industry, agriculture, technology education, high rate of employment — that’s Bavaria, home of car manufacturer BMW and governed by the Christian Social Party (CSU). Bavarian universities are eager to become more international, but party members of CSU disapprove with nearly all Master courses being offered in English ... read more 07.01.2014

Monday, 12 January 2015 //

Obama proposes plan to make community college free

image: (c) ESNAWASHINGTON (L.A.Times) -- US President Obama rolled out a new plan Thursday to make two years of community college free, or nearly so, for millions of students across the country, a major investment that the White House cast as changing the face of higher education.
The programme, inspired by new initiatives in Tennessee and Chicago, could benefit up to nine million students, advisors said. At its heart is dedicated federal funding to cover 75 percent of tuition, with the states picking up the rest of the tab ...
read more | video 08.01.2015

Excessive power of rectors in Turkey

ISTANBUL (hurriyet) -- A group of academics have compiled a report on widespread rights violations at universities in Turkey, claiming that rectors have turned into dictators. The report put the arbitrary appointment of deans and college directors, without taking into consideration merit or faculty opinions, at the top of the list. This was followed by ... read more 11.01.2015

Dutch universities fight for open access

image: Paolo BernaccaTHE HAGUE (inside highered) -- Dutch universities have vowed not to soften their groundbreaking demands for publishers to permit all papers published by their academics to be made open access for no extra charge. A deal that meets the universities’ requirements was recently made with Springer, discussions have begun with Wiley, Sage and Oxford University Press, but in November, negotiations with Elsevier had broken down ... read more 09.01.2015

Russia invests into top universities

MOSCOW (ria) -- The Russian government will allocate 12 billion rubles (165 million Euros) to support the country’s leading universities in 2015. The objective is placing at least five Russian universities among the top 100 in international rankings ... read more 09.01.2015

European jobs wanted

Karikatur: Bastian SchreckBRUSSELS (ps) -- The EU has said that young people should not be out of employment or education for more than four months; but no progress has been made toward making this a reality. The EU Youth Employment Initiative, German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted, has so far been a failure ... read more 09.01.2015

Saturday, 10 January 2015 //

Universities pay homage to Charlie Hebdo

image: Kedge Toulon

PARIS (le monde) -- Universities and schools across France paid homage to the victims of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris with a minute of silence, candles and letters ... read more 09.01.2014

Greek science haunted by hydra of problems

ATHENS (nature) -- In 2014, budgets for research centres and universities in Greece were just ¼ of their 2009 levels, and salaries had been sliced by around one-third. This year begins with yet more cuts ... read more 6.1.15

Finnish researchers claim more freedom

image: ulaplandHELSINKI (ht) -- Adopted in 2010, the Universities Act no longer defines universities as government agencies but rather as corporations governed by public law or private foundations with statutory financial and administrative autonomy. Petri Koikkalainen, chairman of the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers, believes now is the right time to determine the extent to which the state can intervene in the administration of universities ... read more 10.12.2014

Three Norwegian colleges want to become one university

BØ (nrk) -- Three higher education institutions in southern Norway want to merge. The three colleges Telemark, Vestfold and Buskerud, would unite 14.500 students and offer seven doctoral degrees, yet they are not sure if government will grant them university status ... read more 08.01.2015

University of Copenhagen aspires to be world’s greenest

image: KUCOPENHAGEN (cp) -- The University of Copenhagen has signaled its intention to become one of the most sustainable universities in the world with 65 percent less CO2 emissions and half of today’s energy consumption by 2020, rector Ralf Hemmingsen said ... read more 22.12.2014

Friday, 9 January 2015 //

Horizon 2020 deepens European research inequality

logoEDINBURGH (nature) -- The goal of EU research funding has always has been to develop closer, deeper ties across Europe’s diverse research community. But the benefits of Horizon 2020 are unevenly spread, it will mainly finance countries and regions that are already doing well, but the other half of Europe is left behind ... read more 07.01.2015

EC launches international pension scheme for researchers

BRUSSELS (science business) -- Allowing academics to move their pensions from country-to-country when taking up jobs at institutions across the EU has broad support. But there is a swathe of technical and legal detail to sort out and universities need to sign up ... read more 07.01.2014

Solidarity with victims of Charlie Hebdo attack

image by Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free PressPARIS (huffpost) -- More than 15,000 students, journalists and sympathisers congregated in the Place de la Republique in Paris on Wednesday evening, many holding up pens in solidarity with the writers and cartoonists slain in the newspaper attack. Similar gatherings were held in Toulouse and Lyon, while in London hundreds assembled in Trafalgar Square for a silent vigil. Demonstrations were also held in Germany and Spain ... read more 07.01.2015

The teaching challenge after the attack

LONDON (tes) -- After the barbaric assault on Charlie Hebdo, educators discuss on social media how teachers should respond to the atrocities committed “in the name of religion”. There’s a danger here of getting into a defensive tangle ... read more 09.01.2014

Aligning Europe’s approaches to open access

image: JiscBRUSSELS (research information) -- Open Access is a very hot topic across the EU. In part, this is in response to policy announcements in 2013 from the European Commission mandating that outputs from research funded under Horizon 2020 must be made open access. An input by Mafalda Picarra, from PASTEUR4OA ... read more 8.1.15

Turkey: A university near the mosque

ISTANBUL (bianet) -- A parliamentarian inquiry asks for the relation between mosques and universities in Turkey after statements released by President Erdoğan and the Director of Religious Affairs ... read more 07.01.2014

Thursday, 8 January 2015 //

French economy professors don’t like news

image: NVBPARIS (le monde) -- The decision of French science minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem to create a second section of economic sciences —called “Institutions, Economy, Territory and Society”— has upset some deans of the economics faculties. One of them, Alain Ayong Le Kama, even invited his colleagues to tender their resignations collectively. Marc Neveu, general secretary of the higher education union Snesup, reminded that even after the financial crisis in 2008 “certain heterodox economists are still being obstructed in their careers” ... read more 04.01.2015

Plagiarism increasing among Latvian scientists

RIGA (baltic-course) -- A study conducted in the United States reveals that plagiarism has been increasing among Latvian scientists. Latvia is listed among various other countries, such as Bangladesh, Belarus, Moldova, Colombia, and Pakistan ... read more 31.12.2014

Crowd science is making it possible!

logoGEORGIA (gt) -- Crowd science is making possible research projects that might otherwise be out of reach. Also known as “citizen science”, these efforts in the Unted States to involve ordinary people in research projects have attracted interest from policy makers, scientific agencies and others ... read more 05.01.2015

Belgian university open 24 hours

NAMUR (rtbf) -- Overcrowded libraries? The University of Namur, in the French-speaking part of Belgium, has a solution: certain services will be available 24 hours a day, Sunday included ... read more 04.01.2015

Northern Portuguese universities form consortium

logoPORTO (observador) -- Four universities of Northern Portugal —Minho, Porto, Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro— are joining forces in a consortium named UNorte. The universities will stay autonomous, but work together in the fields of student mobility, internationalisation, research, teaching, online learning, staff and infrastructure ... read more 05.01.2015

Wednesday, 7 January 2015 //

Poland to restore PhDs voided by Nazi Germany

image: Uni WroclawWROCŁAW (i24) -- The Polish University of Wrocław will restore doctorate degrees to 262 people, most of them Jewish, decades after Nazi Germany annulled them in the run-up to World War II. “We want to underline that notion by condemning totalitarian regimes’ attempts to subject universities to ideology, be it Nazi, communist or whatever else”, university spokesman Jacek Przygodzki said ... read more 06.01.2014

International students add €1.6bn to French economy

PARIS (pie news) -- A new report estimates that the 300,000 foreign students who studied in France in 2013-14 cost the state around €2.84bn in tuition subsidies and €55m in scholarships. But these costs are far outweighed by an estimated €4.6bn in living costs, travel and tourism ... read more 05.01.2015

New research facility for Luxembourg

logoLUXEMBOURG (wort) -- With the start of the new year, the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) opened its doors, following a restructuring of the country’s public research institutes. LIST brings together two public research centres, giving more international visibility to innovation made in Luxembourg ... read more 06.01.2015

US students pay more for university than the state

WASHINGTON (the bulletin) -- The money public colleges collect in tuition surpassed the money they receive from state funding. In 2012, tuition accounted for 25 percent of school revenue, state funding 23 percent. That’s a far cry from the 1970s, when state governments supplied public colleges with nearly 75 percent of their funding ... read more 06.01.2015

UK universities hide how they spend their student’s cash

poundLONDON (rt) -- The policy think tank HEPI invited leading English universities to explain how they spend the £9,000 (€11,500) they receive from students every year for their degrees. All of them refused. Still, they are still heavily reliant on government subsidies ... read more 05.01.2014

Tuesday, 6 January 2015 //

New funding mechanism of Italian universities

image: campusbiomedicoROME (messaggero veneto) -- Italian universities will be funded based on a new mechanism from now on. 20 percent of their budget (7 billion Euros in 2014) has been allocated according to the institutions’ expenditure per student. 18 percent of the budget is linked to the research, recruitment and internationalisation performance. “With the new parameters, the distribution of public funding is more equitable,” says education minister Stefania Giannini ... read more 28.12.14

Swiss universities defend their PhD monopoly

BERN (srf) -- Swiss universities defend their exclusive right to grant doctoral degrees. But the universities of applied sciences demand “equality”. Cooperative models seem to be a solution. Starting in 2015, all three university types in Switzerland —universities, universities of applied sciences and universities of education— will be represented by one body, “swissuniversities” ... read more 03.01.2015

University of Vienna to celebrate 650 years

logoVIENNA (presse) -- In 1365, Rudolf IV issued the foundation deed of the University of Vienna, seeking to match Charles IV’s founding of the Charles University of Prague in 1348. The Alma Mater Rudolphina is the oldest continuously operating university in the German-speaking world ... read more 03.01.2015

German students oppose military research at universities

HALLE (volksstimme) -- Students at the University of Halle-Wittenberg demand a ban of armaments research at universities. Universities should commit themselves to exclusively civil research purposes ... read more 09.12.2014

Coalition to protect universities from war

logoBRUSSELS (esu) -- Between 2005 and 2014, armed forces have used schools and universities in at least 25 countries during armed conflict. The European Students’ Union (ESU) strongly urges all countries to endorse and implement Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict into their domestic military doctrine, policies, and trainings ... read more 16.12.2014

Monday, 5 January 2015 //

Global participation in higher education continues rising

image: UCLLONDON (learnu) -- Higher education participation rates across the world are set to soar further despite more than doubling over the past two decades, a study shows. The rise of an aspirational middle class in developing countries, particularly China and India, will also further fuel participation rates, Simon Marginson, the author of the study says ... read more 01.01.2014

Science exodus from Ukraine’s rebellious East

DONETSK (science) -- In early autumn, Ukraine’s science ministry hurriedly began moving 11 universities out of rebel territory. Most relocated to nearby towns that the central government still controls, in some cases leaving the original campuses in the hands of separatists ... read more 02.01.2015

Scottish universities urged to sever links with Confucius Institutes

Confucius painting 1685EDINBURGH (herald scotland) -- Human rights groups have urged Scottish universities to sever links with Chinese language centres that have sparked worldwide fears over academic freedom. Students and other activists have questioned why the institutes in Scotland have not proved controversial despite a growing backlash elsewhere in the Western world. Major universities in the United States have pulled out of deals with Confucius Institutes in recent months ... read more 03.01.2015

Tighter control of Chinese universities

EIJING (voa) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for greater “ideological guidance” in China’s universities and urged the study of Marxism, as the country tightens control on Western ideology ... read more 29.12.2014

Universities’ expansion drives wider gentrification

image: Jonathan McIntoshPHILADELPHIA (al jazeera) -- While the city’s colleges have pulled back on expansion into low-income areas, locals say the damage is already done. “In the last five years, we had an 80 percent jump in rent,” a barber just a few blocks from Temple University says ... read more 31.12.2014