news archive   2016  
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 //

Danes fight for double degrees

image: PiperCOPENHAGEN (tv2) -- There are a few reasons you might want two degrees. Maybe to combine two areas of expertise, or perhaps your first bachelor’s hasn’t proved employable. But the Danish education ministry wants to put a stop to double degrees, as it’s the state that pays for them. 60,000 Danes have now signed a petition opposing the plans. One student planning on doubling up after struggling to find a job with her current degree says, “there is something called quality of life, and the whole thing is not just a spreadsheet” … read more

Unis of Ghent and Leuven reorganise academic year

GHENT (knack) -- The Belgian universities of Ghent and Leuven are toying with a reshuffle of the whole academic year and examination process. The proposals would have the year beginning on 1st September and ending in May, with a modular system of exams every five weeks. For students this would mean retakes in June or July instead of August or September, potentially leaving more time for extracurricular activities … read more 14.12.2016

Norway to centralise quality assurance

logo OSLO (uf) -- The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) will bring quality assurance measures under its wing, where previously it regulated institutions’ own QA systems. NOKUT also proposes stricter accreditation of post-graduate degrees … read more 14.12.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016 //

Dissatisfaction with Swedish research bill

image: LUMLUND (lundagard) -- “I am pleasantly surprised that there is such a strong research budget,” said Torbjörn von Schantz, rector of Lund University, in reference to a new research bill in Sweden, “but I think having investments targeted for us is problematic.” That’s not all that the scientific community finds irksome about the proposals. Other academics have label the emphasis on collaboration with business “naive”, and worry about the lack of interest in higher education, which is directly affected by research conditions … read more 13.12

Romania eases recognition of foreign degrees

BUCHAREST (avocatnet) -- The process of recognising foreign degrees in Romania could undergo a major simplification. A new draft law stipulates that entry barriers and the number of credits awarded in the foreign country would no longer be taken into account … read more 13.12.2016

Solutions for refugee scientists

logoBERLIN (hf) -- Science4refugees, a European Commission initiative offering research jobs for asylum-seeking scientists, has failed categorically. In nine months, not a single refugee has applied to a flagged position. An initiative by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation seems to be working better. 46 refugees, mostly from Turkey, have received a grant from the Foundation, going on to work at 39 German institutions ... read more 13.12.2016

Monday, 19 December 2016 //

Student grants in Latvia need reform

image: Andrejs TerentjevsRIGA (delfi) -- So-called ‘budget places’ (i.e. subsidised tuition for certain students) in Latvia currently operate on an ‘historical basis’. President of a parliamentary committee on education, Ilze Viņķele, has called for this to change to a more qualitative approach because of “the growing sense of injustice among students and university representatives” … read more 06.12.2016

Portuguese petition against precarious work

LISBON (publico) -- The issue of precarious employment affects thousands of people involved in higher education Europe wide. On Monday, 4,000 Portuguese people had signed a petition created by the National Union of Higher Education to end job insecurity in science … read more 12.12.2016

Breakthrough for foreign degrees in Greece

image: ESNAATHENS (foititkanea) -- After a long wait, 3,300 degrees from foreign colleges and universities will be considered for recognition by the Greek accreditation council SAEP. The degrees in question were attained between 2012 and 2015 and some were completed at private US colleges based in Greece. About 10,000 students are currently enrolled at private colleges in Greece … read more 11.12.2016

Saturday, 17 December 2016 //

Corporate culture spreads to Scandinavian institutes

image: hasbroLONDON (nature) -- If an editor of a journal owned by one of the world’s biggest publishing corporations (Springer) is worried, we should be too. The latest edition of nature warns that the trend of turning universities into businesses is limiting research freedoms in traditionally liberal institutes in northern Europe. It is time, it reads, for scientists to regain lost ground ... read more 14.12.2016

Bachelor’s thesis scrapped at Italian universities

BOLOGNA (div) -- Several courses at the universities of Milan, Palermo and the Ca’ Foscari in Venice, amongst others, have replaced final year theses with exams. Now an economics course at the University of Bologna is the latest to join the bunch, to the chagrin of students. Undergraduates protested against a lack of consultation and the removal of one of the only creative elements of their degree … read more | and here 08.12.2016

Friday, 16 December 2016 //

Dutch uni starts international MOOC co-op

image. NSOBDELFT (science guide) -- “On an exchange programme the students travel, in this case it is the exam that travels.” This is how Ernst ten Heuvelhof, director of open online education at the Technical University of Delft describes the new MOOC exchange system between his institution, the Australian National University, the University of Queensland and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. It is the first time that universities have agreed to recognise international digital education and credits … read more 09.12.2016

Hungarian academics’ wages to rise

BUDAPEST (hirado) -- Hungarian Secretary of State for Education Palkovics László has announced a wage increases for higher education staff next year. The increase will be accompanied by a more competitive graduation based on five-yearly evaluations … read more 07.12.2016

Portuguese researchers warn of overfishing

LISBON (rtp) -- Around 100 Portuguese marine scientists have signed an open letter to the Ministry of the Sea calling for “sustainable and knowledge-based fishery management.” Only 55 percent of fish stock is caught sustainably and policy is made without scientific consultation. “This undemocratic behaviour has maintained a pattern of overfishing” … read more 09.12.2016

Thursday, 15 December 2016 //

Popular French physicist accused of plagiarism

image: Dominique MathisPARIS (div) -- One of France’s best-known scientists, Étienne Klein, stands accused by French newspaper L’Express of plagiarising the works of Émile Zola and Stefan Zweig among others in his recent biography of Albert Einstein. After defending himself by claiming he had forgotten to cite “internalised” passages, L’Express published another story on Wednesday with seven more examples of plagiarism from several other writings by Klein … read more | and here 07.12.2016

Peer review on a knife edge

MICHIGAN (science) -- PubPeer, a website that allows anonymous reviews of scientific papers, has won a legal battle that could set a global precedent for online academic journalism. Fazlul Sarkar, sued commenters for costing him a job offer, but a court of appeals upheld their anonymity … read more 07.12.

Free University Brussels demands satisfaction

logoBRUSSELS (science guide) -- A recent visit to the Free University Brussels (VUB) by the Flemish Universities and Colleges Council (VLHUR) ended in dissatisfaction - on both sides. After receiving a verdict of “unsatisfactory” by the VLHUR, VUB threatened the organisation with a lawsuit if they published the results … read more 07.12.2016

Wednesday, 14 December 2016 //

Chinese universities as communist strongholds

image: CCTV

BEIJING (cdt) -- At a high-level meeting on ideological and political work in higher education this week, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on colleges and universities to serve as communist “strongholds that adhere to party leadership” … read more 10.12.2016

Prize fosters student entrepreneurs in France

TOULOUSE (div) -- Ever since the Pépite Prize for budding entrepreneurs was introduced in 2014, French students can’t get enough. In October of this year, Pépite received 2,300 applications in three months, more than double the number during the same period last year. In spite of encouraging figures, the education ministry’s Secretary of State Thierry Mandon thinks “it deserves wider recognition” … read more | and here 10.11.2016

‘Snob value’ pushing Irish young people to university

image:  Innovation Advisory PartnersDUBLIN (irish times) -- With 60 percent, Ireland has the highest proportion of school-leavers attending universities in Europe. But John Hegarty of the Royal Irish Academy worries this is due to parents’ and society’s “snob value”, pushing young people to university instead of apprenticeships and training that they might be more suited to … read more 09.12.2016

Tuesday, 13 December 2016 //

UK universities take risks on copyright

image: LSELONDON (the) -- Universities in the UK continue to take risks regarding copyright and intellectual property when recording lectures. Nearly three quarters of UK institutions recorded lectures this year, but there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the issue. “It’s not so much that institutions don’t have copyright policies, it’s whether they had one relating to lecture recording,” said Jane Secker, adviser at the London School of Economics … read more 08.12.2016

Berlin business school to accept bitcoin

BERLIN (bravenewcoin) -- The Berlin-based European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) has become the first German institute of higher education to accept the virtual currency bitcoin as payment for tuition … read more 09.12.16

German mediocracy

image: CCPARIS (welt) -- Since 2000 Germany has performed averagely in PISA test results and this year even showed decline in science and maths. Due to a possible culture of permissiveness, mediocracy prevails in schools. Employers and universities find students unprepared and dropout rates in science and maths courses are shockingly high … read more 08.12.2016

Monday, 12 December 2016 //

Swiss research funding exceeds expectations

image: ILOBERN (div) -- As part of a Bill on funding for education, research and innovation for 2017-2020, the Swiss Parliament will provide 395 million francs (365 million euros) more than the Federal Council had requested. The money will be targeted at vocational education and medical training, as well as support for innovation and the next generation of scientists … read more | and here 05.12.2016

Axa to fund university course in Italy

TURIN (repubblica) -- Insurance group Axa will provide 800,000 euros over ten years to fund a professorship at the University of Turin in the socio-economic risks of the financial markets, a first for the institution ... read more 06.12.2016

Estonian private R & D in decline

image: graph

TALLINN (baltic course) -- In keeping with Europe-wide trends, Estonia’s total domestic expenditure on research and development increased by six percent last year. In spite of this, investment as a proportion of expenditure was at its lowest point on record in the business sector, and the number of employees in R & D also declined … read more 05.12.2016

Saturday, 10 December 2016 //

Pocket university

image: Universität Graz

GRAZ (oe-journal) -- Students at the University of Graz can organise nigh on theire whole university experience in the palm of their hand with the new UniGrazMobile app. Exam results, calendar and a digital campus map form the basis that may become a template for other Austrian unis … read more 6.12.

Roadmap to mobilise European universities in energy

BRUSSELS (science business) -- Universities are core stakeholders in Europe’s energy transition towards a low carbon society. The European University Association has just published a “Roadmap for European Universities in Energy,” which outlines a path forward for universities to coordinate their contributions to energy and climate challenges ... read more 01.12.2016

Friday, 9 December 2016 //

Poland: Gowin appeals to universities

image. JG

WARSAW (pr) -- Poland’s science minister, has appealed to universities to treat October’s deregulation act (intended to reduce bureaucracy) seriously. Gowin also announced work on a new law to “define the future of science, not for the coming years, but decades,” which focuses on cooperation between universities and the economy … read more 01.12.2016

Occupying students in Spain removed

BARCELONA (20minutos) -- Police expelled around 60 students belonging to the Catalonian students’ union SEPC after their occupation of the university secretariat of the regional government. The students were demanding a 30 percent rebate on tuition fees … read more 02.12.2016

What to learn from the PISA results

image: logoPARIS (economist) -- Another potential waste of money, if only from the perspective of PISA results, might be sending children to private school. Although OECD pupils in public schools score lower in science than students in private schools, this is more to do with their economic and social backgrounds ... read more 06.12.2016

Thursday, 8 December 2016 //

European Commission reveals High Level Group members

image: VFJABRUSSELS (uwn) -- The European Commission has chosen the 12 members of its High Level Group tasked with maximising the impact of research and innovation. The group’s chair is Pascal Lamy, president emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute and former director general of the World Trade Organisation … read more 29.11.2016

Danish students speed up

COPENHAGEN (cph post) -- Ten years ago Danish students took an average of six months longer to finish their studies than they do now, according to a report by Universities Denmark … read more 06.12.2016

Bosch cooperation in Portugal


AVEIRO (jn) -- Around 150 jobs are expected to be created as a result of Bosch entering cooperation with the University of Aveiro in Portugal. The 19 million euro invested between the two aims to create smart home solutions … read more 02.12.2016

Wednesday, 7 December 2016 //

Italy’s Budget Act: what’s new for education

image: logo
ROME (la stampa) -- Italy’s new Stability Law contains a whole host of beneficial measures for universities: an increased income threshold for student subsidies; more funds for universities and research (the most significant chunk of which goes to so-called departments of excellence); new money for international cooperation; tax relief for repatriating students and simpler rules for science charity. And that’s only the half of it … read more 01.12.2016

Rising numbers of Swiss graduates

BERN (24heures) -- More and more Swiss people have been graduating from university since 2000, particularly women. This is partially thanks to the creation of the universities of applied sciences in 1997 … read more 29.11.16

10 years of the European Research Council

image: logoBRUSSELS (science business) -- The ERC has become one of the world’s most important funders of basic research. As it approaches its 10th anniversary, a new account describes the formation and subsequent development of this beacon of excellence … read more 01.12.2016

Tuesday, 6 December 2016 //

Belgian students against fee increases

image: youtubeBRUSSELS (bondy blog) -- According to advocates, increasing tuition fees for non-EU students makes Belgium more attractive abroad. Plans for next year would increase these fees to 12,525 euros, five times the basic rate for Belgians. Students of francophone universities gathered in Brussels last week despite the bitter cold to contest this. One protestor argued, “raising the quality of education, not the fees, is the only way to gain prestige” … read more

Sino-Russian Alliance

ST. PETERSBURG (global times) -- Eight Chinese and 18 Russian universities will be participating in the newly established Russian-Chinese Association of Culture and Arts Universities. The Association’s activities include student exchanges, research projects and grants … read more 02.12.2016

European R & D spending on the rise

iconBRUSSELS (orf) -- Gross domestic spending on Research and Development is, on the whole, increasing in the EU. But if you look at the EU’s target - three percent of GDP - the picture isn’t so rosy. Sweden, Austria and Denmark are the only Member States to reach this … read more 30.11.2016

Monday, 5 December 2016 //

Open Access is the future

image: SrinubabuLos Angeles (div) -- Printed scientific journals are seeing the beginning of their decline, and online Open Access equivalents are coming to take their place. Although the global market for printed journals is still much larger (at 12 billion dollars compared to the 500 million dollar open access market), the former is shrinking, while the latter is surging at around 20 percent a year. This also presents an opportunity for non-English language articles to improve poor rates of citation. “Open Access publications could overcome this language barrier,” says Srinubabu Gedela, CEO of Open Access publisher OMICS … read more | and here 28.11.2016

STEM shortage in Germany

COLOGNE (dlf) -- Like never before, Germany is lacking graduates in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The issue is particularly prominent in the former states of East Germany. A report of the Cologne Institute for Economic Research estimates that Germany needs 212,000 STEM professionals at the moment … read more 30.11.2016

Fake universities in Belgium

image: logoBRUSSELS (la libre) -- In Belgium, home of Trappist ale and fine chocolate, over 40 universities have been investigated for deceptive marketing practices. Some of them charge up to 2745 euros a year for worthless bachelor’s degrees. Government agency FPS Economy led the investigation, stating, “only those institutions recognised by the competent community may use the title of university” … read more 30.11.2016

Saturday, 3 December 2016 //

Ice cream makes you smarter

image: (c) ESNA

TOKYO (independent) -- What’s the ideal breakfast for a healthy brain? Muesli? Porridge? Greek yoghurt? How about ice cream? An experiment by Yoshihiko Koga of Tokyo’s Kyorin University found that people who had eaten ice cream had faster reaction times and were better at processing information than a separate group that hadn’t had any breakfast, and a group who simply had cold water to mimic ice cream’s temperature … read more 24.11.2016

Friday, 2 December 2016 //

Foreign student shortage in Serbia

image: USSSBELGRADE (politika) -- The fact is that Serbia is not a hot destination for international students. At the University of Belgrade, the nation’s largest, only five percent of students are foreign, half of whom are from the former Yugoslavia. According to vice-rector Ivanka Popović, the situation urgently needs improvement, it is necessary, she said “to force the introduction of student visas, to solve the problem of accommodation for foreign students and to offer programmes in foreign languages” … read more 26.11.2016

EIB funds innovation in the Western Balkans

BELGRADE (srbija) -- Building a better research and innovation infrastructure is essential for Serbia’s growth and also its accession to the EU, as Serbian science minister Mladen Šarčević reiterated at a EIB conference in Belgrade last week. For decades the European Investment Bank has been engaged in funding and shaping policy in the Western Balkans, lending over 28 billion euros to the region in the last ten years ... read more 28.11.2016

Belgian unis circumvent Flemish language rules

LEUVEN/GHENT (la libre) -- Flemish universities are supposed to offer a Dutch-language course for every English-language master’s they provide. In reality, they come up with “creative solutions” to avoid this. Often, courses that are supposedly in both languages are actually taught exclusively in English … read more 28.11.2016

Thursday, 1 December 2016 //

Not all mergers are created equal

image: nouvellesvaguesPARIS (l’étudiant) -- The policy of university mergers in France is continuing without significant opposition. But professor Paolo Tortonese of the university of Paris III Sorbonne-Nouvelle has spoken out against the methods behind the process in light of the planned merger of his institution with three others. He highlights the lack of consistency and empiricism, and the fact that economic expediency takes precedent over the successful scientific collaboration that all scholars wish for ... read more 23.11.2016

Sweden’s got a new research policy bill

STOCKHOLM (sd) -- The Swedish government has handed over a bill to the Riksdag that covers the next ten years of research policy in the country. The basic tenets of the bill include higher basic university funding, increased research subsidies and more resources to foster innovation. “It is rather important to create good long-term prospects for researchers and research” said higher education minister Hellene Hellmark Knutsson … read more 28.11.

Long term solutions for long term issues

logoFRANKFURT (gew) -- The Education and Science Workers’ Union of Germany (GEW) has criticised the shortsighted, anti-worker policies of the government. Union chairman Andreas Keller is demanding sustainable, long-term funding strategies instead of the patchwork “Higher Education Pacts” as well as the creation of 50,000 full length academic contracts to combat the dominance of precarious employment … read more 25.11.2016

Wednesday, 30 November 2016 //

Students honor Fidel Castro

image: CC

HAVANA (le courrier) -- One reaction to the announcement of the death of Fidel Castro at the age of 90 was silence, in contrast to Havana’s usual tumult of omnipresent music and moped engines. As far as students are concerned, small groups have been materialising discretely, particularly outside universities. In Havana on Saturday evening, hundreds of students gathered for a vigil in front of the faculty where Castro made his political debut at the end of the 1940s … read more 28.11.2016

Bulgarian mathematicians boycott education ministry

SOFIA (dnevnik) -- Good relations between a ministry and academia can depend on small things. The Bulgarian education ministry should have listened to mathematicians’ proposals for next year’s International Maths Olympiad. But in ignoring them, they are now faced with boycott, protest and discontent … read more 25.11.2016

Bare-knuckle fight in the backyard of Uni Maribor

logoMARIBOR (vecer) -- He was accused of not taking sufficient action against an employee accused of sexual harassment. Now the rector of the University of Maribor, Igor Tičar, has issued a private lawsuit against the president of Slovenia’s Higher Education Union for defamation. In return, the union has released an open letter defending their position and accusing Tičar of trying to “silence the union and its president” … read more 23/11/2016

Tuesday, 29 November 2016 //

British R&D subsidies increased by £2bn

image: DonkeyHoteyLONDON (guardian) -- Prime Minister Theresa May wants “Britain to become the global go-to place for scientists, innovators and tech investors”. Her government just announced a £2bn increase in research spending per year. Critics say the increase falls way short of the recommended target of spending three percent of gross domestic product or GDP, reaching just 1.7 percent ... read more | and here 24.11.

German university websites outdated

MÜNCHEN (computerwoche) -- German university websites are often outdated and insecure. A study analysed 500 university pages and found many are insecure due to open source software, not responsive to mobile devices, not equipped for the disabled and untraceble because of lacking SEO ... read more

13 universities in EIT food project

logoBUDAPEST (fn) -- Thirteen universities are part of a 50-institution consortium that has been chosen to set up EIT Food, a new pan-European partnership bringing together businesses, universities and research ... read more | and here 24.11.2016
Monday, 28 November 2016 //

ESNA podcast - Greece and private universities

image: ESNABERLIN (esna) -- The latest ESNA podcast has just been uploaded! In this episode, we talk to Dr Panagiotis Glavinis, associate professor of law at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, about the prohibition of private universities in Greece. He makes it clear to us what Article 16 actually stipulates and the historical context that goes to explain in part why this became a fundamental part of Greek higher education. He also tell us why he thinks that the law should change, and the constitutional and parliamentary processes that might allow that to happen in the next five years ... listen here 24.11.2016

EU Commission supports start-ups

BRUSSELS (europa) -- The European Commission’s new Start-up and Scale-up Initiative will be welcomed by Europe’s budding entrepreneurs. Bringing together existing and new schemes, the initiative will provide improved access to finance, insolvency aid and simpler tax filings ... read more 22.11.2016

Hey big spender

image: randd media labsANKARA (aa) -- Turkeys gross domestic expenditure on research and development in 2015 amounted to a not-insignificant 20.6 billion lira (7.1 billion euros) - a 17.1 rise compared to 2014, according to TurkStat. Higher education accounted for 18.1 percent of this figure. The number of full-time R&D personnel was 122,288 a third of which are women ... read more 18.11.2016

Saturday, 26 November 2016 //

The old must make way for the new

image: Uderzo


ZURICH (nzz) -- The last remnants of classical European education are fading away. The University of Zurich is abolishing the mandatory Latin prerequisite for certain degree courses such as German and literature studies … read more

Student housing - Danish students stay afloat

COPENHAGEN (euronews) -- If land is too expensive, why not live at sea? Danish company Urban Rigger has fashioned a prototype floating student home in Copenhagen's port made out of shipping containers. The 300 square metre area provides 12 dorm rooms, a courtyard, BBQ area and roof terrace ... read more 19.10.2016

Friday, 25 November 2016 //

Italian universities crack down on slow students

image: Francesco UbertiniROME (corriere) -- Universities in Italy are coming up with ways to prevent students from overstaying their welcome. At the Sapienza University of Rome, for example, you pay 50 percent more in fees after your third year; and at the Polytechnic University of Turin and the University of Bologna, strict time limits to complete studies are being put in place … read more 18.11.2016

Finns and the post-truth era

HELSINKI (savonsanomat) -- Finland’s triennial Science Barometer indicates that nearly 70 percent of Finns are very or fairly interested in science and research, which is an increase on the last report. Nevertheless, Professor Markku Löytönen, chairman of the Scientific Information Association, is concerned about a growing anti-scientific climate and expressed reservations about the credibility of polls and surveys ... read more 20.11.2016

University of the Azores to digitise old documents

logoPONTA DELGADA (açoriano oriental) -- The University of the Azores will begin to scan and digitise almost 4000 documents, some originating from the institutions’ first days. Librarian Fernando Ribeira said the process was “of fundamental importance for the present and future” … read more 15.11.16

Thursday, 24 November 2016 //

Women-only elections at Dutch science academy

AMSTERDAM (science mag) -- Almost 90 percent of members at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences are men. As a bold way of addressing this imbalance, all of the 16 new recruits that will be elected over the next two years will be exclusively women … read more 15.11.2016

Iceland gets ranked

REYKJAVIK (icelandmonitor) -- For the first time ever, the University of Iceland features on the Times Higher Education Global University Employability Ranking, at 136th place … read more 17.11.2016

Spanish universities improve transparency

logoMADRID (20minutos) -- Out of 49 Spanish public universities, more than half were classified as transparent by the Commitment and Transparency Foundation (FCyT), but just two of 26 private universities received the same classification. The FCyT emphasised the improvement noted in the five years since their first report … read more 15.11.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016 //

New ‘Guild’ of European universities

logoLEUVEN et al. (div) -- The Université catholique de Louvain and the University of Oslo are amongst the 16 institutions to recently join The Guild of European research-intensive universities, which aims to strengthen cooperation and lobby European policymakers … read more | and here 16.11.

More English at Czech private universities

PRAGUE (novinky) -- What is the biggest difference between state and private universities in the Czech Republic? According to a survey by social network Management Mania, the latter place a much heavier emphasis on English, where 47 percent use study materials in the language compared to just 27 percent at state institutions … read more 18.11.2016

Third edition of the Morpheus Cup announced

BERTRANGE (heute) -- On April 28, 2017 the third Morpheus Cup will take place, offering European students the chance to win prizes by creating projects in one of 20 different subject areas. 25,000 euros in cash, connections with employers and investors, and material prizes are up for grabs … read more

Tuesday, 22 November 2016 //

Dozens of academics arrested in Istanbul

image: CCISTANBUL (aa) -- The Turkish government seems to be far from finished with its purge of public institutions following July’s failed coup. Three more academics from Yıldız Technical University in Istanbul have been arrested, bringing the total number in detention in the city to 76. The detainees are accused of being members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation and using secret messaging app ByLock … read more 18.11.2016

Denmark to cut study places

COPENHAGEN (politiken) -- “Education must lead to a job” says Danish education minister Ulla Tørnæs. Accordingly, by 2022 she is cutting 776 study places on courses with low graduate employment rates from 12 higher education institutions. Harald Mikkelson, chairman of University Colleges Denmark stressed that he has no interest in educating to job availability and was surprised at the lack of consultation … read more 18.11.2016

Belarusian students protest job distribution

image: YoutubeMINSK (naviny) -- Belarusian student organisations have launched a campaign to reform the compulsory distribution system of graduate jobs. Students want to ensure the right to choose whether they take the state’s guaranteed job or to seek employment independently. Revision of this system is part of Belarus’ Bologna Process roadmap. Campaign lawyer Marina Shtrakhova said that even a small reformative step “would be a tremendous leap forward” … read more 17.11.16

Monday, 21 November 2016 //

New admissions system for Greece

image: Ed MinistryATHENS (ipaideia) -- The new Greek education minister, Kostas Gavroglou, has revealed plans to overhaul the system of admissions into university. The idea is to adopt a ministry-organised national baccalaureate to create a single area of higher education through cooperation between universities, technological institutes and research centres … read more 15.11.

EU monitors education

BRUSSELS (science guide) -- The European Education and Training Monitor of 2016, intended to support Member States in improving education systems, showed that public spending on education increased by 1.1 percent EU-wide, but 10 Member States recorded reductions in spending … read more 8.11.16

The right to cheap eats

etikettBOLOGNA (agi) -- Students and precarious workers at the University of Bologna have protested against “the exaggerated costs of the canteen,” a few dozen occupying the vice-rector of students’ office … read more 17.11.2016

Saturday, 19 November 2016 //

International students’ day

image: esu / newsbomb

BRUSSELS/ATHENS (esna) -- The 17th November is not only the day of 1939 when Fascists ended student protests in Prague with a bloodbath, it is also the day of 1973 when fascist tanks rolled into the Athens University. The former is an occasion for the European Student Union (ESU) to initiate the campaign #fundourfuture, that unites “students all around the world in calling for an education system that is affordable and accessible”. The latter is a national holiday in Greece which commemorates the heroic uprising of students against tyranny, reminding us of the utmost importance of critical universities for a democratic society ... read more | see photos

Friday, 18 November 2016 //

Baden-Württemberg’s Higher Education Act unlawful

image: Universität MarburgSTUTTGART (df) -- “Universities are not economic enterprises.” This is the assessment of Bernhard Kempen, president of the German University Association (DHV) in accordance with a judgement by the Baden-Württemberg Constitutional Court that professors don’t have enough of a say in university administration, thus structurally endangering scientific activity. “This is now going to happen in all other federal states” … read more 15.11.2016

Austria: He who pays the piper calls the tune

VIENNA (wz) -- Funds are tight at universities, and the Austrian state’s reform to facilitate private donations, presents a dilemma. Markus Scholz, a professor at the University of Applied Sciences Vienna, notes that “cooperation with foundation companies can change the research agenda”. The Austrian Fundraising Association sees it differently. Gerhard Kratky of the science fund FWF claims care must be taken “that private income is not complicated, let alone prevented, under the smokescreen of ethics” … read more 09.11.2016

Budget for Bulgarian higher education in 2017

logoSOFIA (offnews) -- Bulgarian state universities are to receive an extra 10.9 million lev (5.5 million euro) in 2017, and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences sees an increase of 5 million lev. The Academy, however, does not see this as sufficient and is staging protests against the underfunding of science … read more 15.11.2016

Thursday, 17 November 2016 //

Russian regions drift apart

image: UGRAYEKATERINBURG (izvestia) -- Certain Russian regions are losing out in higher education. A study by scientists at the Ural Federal University has found large disparities in numbers of universities and students. Some cities lack a single institution while Moscow has the most of any region. “If before we spoke of inequality between individual institutions, we now see a dismal picture of inequality in higher education in entire regions and federal districts” said Harold Zborovskiy, president of the Russian Society of Sociologists … read more 10.11.2016

Protests in Turkey following rector’s appointment

ISTANBUL (dtj) -- Turkish president Recep Erdoğan’s recent interventions in the higher education sector have sparked protests by both students and professors, leading to multiple arrests. Making use of his ‘emergency decree’ powers, Erdoğan installed a rector of his own choice at renowned Boğaziçi University, ousting the popular democratically elected predecessor ... read more

New budget law in Italy

ROME (div) -- Italy’s budget law for 2017 reveals explicit policy intentions with regards to higher education. A clear aim is to expand the country's commitment to the ‘right to study’ in what has been dubbed the ‘Student Act 2017’. Students of low-income families will receive fee exemptions, and the most talented students will benefit from scholarships worth 15,000 euros. Tax breaks for employers are also supposed to incentivise the recruitment of graduates and 270 million euros will also be allocated to prestigious departments, in an effort to foster excellence ... read more | and here 11.11.2016

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 //

Forget free higher education with Trump

image: ESNA

WASHINGTON (wp) -- Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders elevated the issue of college affordability with campaign proposals to make public higher education free for the vast majority of American families, but those prospects have faded with the election of Donald Trump. Proponents of debt-free college, nevertheless, remain convinced that the movement still has legs. They say underlying concerns about skyrocketing student debt and price barriers in higher education are as relevant as ever ... read more 14.11.2016

Fees cause rift in Ireland

DUBLIN (independent) -- Ireland’s universities and institutes of technology are in disagreement. Presidents of the former have backed an increase in annual fees to 4,000-5,000 euros, supported by a loan scheme. Tech institutes, however, have said there should be no fees for ordinary degree courses, arguing that their students are more likely to be less affluent … read more 10.11.2016

Finland moves away from entrance exams

image: WDRHELSINKI (sss) -- Finland’s ministries of education and culture have proposed that universities select candidates based on a wider range of baccalaureates and certificates, rather than entrance examinations. This is likely to effect arts and social sciences the most. Entrance to these courses more often relies on examinations compared to maths and technology related programmes … read more 14.11.2016

Tuesday, 15 November 2016 //

New Greek education minister

image: Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious AffairsATHENS (ekathimerini) -- When Nikos Filis, now the former Greek education minister, planned to create more fact-based religious classes, leader of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Ieronymos, did not take kindly to the suggestions. A public dispute followed, which ended in Filis and his deputy, Sia Anagnosopoolou leaving their posts under pressure from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The future of their replacements, Kostas Gavroglou and Kostas Zouraris, the former from Syriza and the latter from right-wing coalition party ANEL, depends on their cooperation … read more | and here 7.11.16

Swiss government widens access to university

BERN (le nouvelliste) -- Thirteen years after the vocational baccalaureate became acceptable, holders of a Swiss ‘specialised maturity’ qualification, awarded by the country’s Fachmittelschulen, can now use that certificate to gain entry to university … read more 09.11.2016

Non-EU students in Baden-Württemberg to pay fees

image: webSTUTTGART (uwn) -- The State government of Baden-Württemberg will reintroduce tuition fees for non-EU students in order to cover costs. Kambiz Ghawami, head of World University Service Germany expressed surprise at the proposal, adding that state higher education minister Theresia Bauer “is pursuing this approach even though it clashes with the Green-Christian Democrat coalition agreement” … read more 11.11.2016

Monday, 14 November 2016 //

Russian universities evaluated

image: HSEMOSCOW (div) -- The Russian education minsitry commissioned an independent evaluation of 503 universities in the eyes of students, parents and teachers, and the results are in. The “Social Navigator” involved over 100,000 people and ranked the 67 best universities. Only one of Moscow’s institutions made the top 10 and only one made the top 20. Isak Froumin, scientific supervisor at the Moscow Higher School of Economics’ Institute of Educational Development criticised unclear methodology but said: “This is a positive initiative, because it is important to listen to the main consumers of education - students” ... read more | and here 08.11.2016

European doctorate comes to Romania

CLUJ-NAPOCA (cluju) -- The European doctorate, a brainchild of the Confederation of European Union Rectors’ Conferences (now the EUA), will be implemented for the first time in Romania, at the Babeș-Bolyai University. The hope is that the it will serve as a mechanism for internationalistation and quality assurance in doctoral studies ... read more 8.11.2016

Google brings Digital Workshop to German unis

logoKARLSRUHE (ka-news) -- In partnership with higher education institutions, unions and business, Google is running Digital Workshops in German universities for academics to improve their digital skills and know-how … read more 09.11.2016

Saturday, 12 November 2016 //

Poland’s univerisites face vicious cycle

image: polska razem

WARSAW (wyborcza) -- Under the Polish education minister’s “new constitution for science” universities would receive funds based on the ratio of students to teachers — the lower the ratio the more money. Some fear this would cause a vicious cycle of understaffed universities being underfunded, thus having to cut more staff, leading to further diminished subsidies ... read more 07.11.2016

Slovenian universities stay speaking Slovenian

image: University of LjubljanaLJUBLJANA (24ur) -- Slovenian academics’ fears of linguistic colonisation have been abated, for now. The controversial article in the draft Law on Higher Education that could have permitted English as the language of instruction, has been removed … read more 03.11.2016

Friday, 11 November 2016 //

850 million euro boost for French universities

image: abaca pressPARIS (figaro) -- The French National Assembly has added an extra 850 million euros to the latest five-year budget for higher education and research. 280 million is assigned to research and 85 million for student life. President François Hollande said it would “preserve the means of research” … read more 08.11.2016

Greek students protest underfunding

ATHENS (newsbomb) -- More than 80 student unions across Greece held demonstrations on Thursday to protest underfunding and understaffing of universities, as well as the introduction of graduate tuition fees. Protests in Athens were especially impassioned, with the traffic police having to take exceptional measures in the city centre … read more 03.11.2016

EU to bolster commercial Latvian research

image: ESNARIGA (baltic course) -- EU funding worth 66.8 million euros will be made available to Latvian research projects between now and 2023. A total of 309 projects are competing for the subsidies, and they will be assessed on their commercial potential … read more 08.11.2016

Thursday, 10 November 2016 //

German students protest new copyright contract

image: ESNABERLIN (netzpolitik) -- A new contract between VG Wort, the organisation in Germany that deals with copyright royalties, and the Conference of Culture Ministers, stipulates that lecturers would have to have any lecture or seminar that they wish to put online for their students via Moodle or Blackboard first invoiced through VG Wort. Multiple state rectors’ conferences have announced their refusal to sign the contract, and students in Berlin have protested outside the office of VG Wort … read more | and here 04.11.2016

Methuselah in Spain

MADRID (la opinión) -- Economic crisis goes in Spain hand in hand with staff reduction at academia. While public funding has decreased by 17 percent, teachers and administrative staff has been slashed by 7,500 between 2010 and 2014. The number of researchers at public universities has declined by 6 percent since 2008. Meanwhile, the number of lecturers over 60 has reached over 15 percent … read more 07.11.2016

MOOCs gain ground in the Netherlands

HILVERSUM (nos) -- More and more people are signing up for Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) developed by Dutch universities, a report by broadcaster NOS has found. The number of registered users doubled from 2014 to 2015 and is set to rise further this year … read more 08.11.2016

Wednesday, 9 November 2016 //

Lithuanian state to set entrance requirements

image: Alytaus CollegeVILNIUS (fm99) -- A new law in Lithuania stipulates that universities and colleges will only accept entrants with a competitive score of not less than that set by the education ministry. “This will ensure growth in study quality, students with poor grades will no longer be able to drag down down the overall academic quality” said minister Audronė Pitrėnienė … read more 04.11.2016

University of Hamburg president condemns Bologna Reform

HAMBURG (welt) -- Dieter Lenzen, president of the University of Hamburg holds no bars in his criticism of the Bologna Reform, labelling the process “a concession to the British… a hit-and-run accident.” He also claims he’s not the only one: “There’s a considerable number of my colleagues who would judge the developments as critically as me” … read more 30.10.2016

Slovak universities under cyber-attack

logoBRATISLAVA (touchit) -- Thousands of times a day, Slovakian universities’ computer networks come under attack from cyber-criminals, according to IT corporation Cisco. “Based on these findings, our priority has become increasing the security of our data network” said Martin Drozd, Vice Dean at the Slovak University of Technology … read more 3.11.16

Tuesday, 8 November 2016 //

What Croatian universities need

image: TaddlrZAGREB (dnevnik) -- The need to overhaul and refund Croatian universities has been acknowledged by the country’s highest authority. At a ceremony at the University of Zagreb, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said “we have to turn to the adoption of practical knowledge and skills.” Rector, Damir Boras drew attention to the need to streamline with the Bologna Process and a lack of funding. Higher education receives funds less than 1.2 percent of GDP, not even 60 percent of the European average … read more03.11.2016

Czech students rally against President

PRAGUE (rozhlas) -- In a display of unity against their president, Miloš Zeman, 51 Czech student associations, chambers, councils and unions have released a statement expressing their support for rectors, and abstained from state award ceremonies on October 28th’s public holiday. This is the latest development in what has been a fraught relationship between Czech academia and the government … read more 01.11.2016

Romanian Board of Ethics approved by minister

image: CNECSDTI BUCHAREST (agerpres) -- Romanian education minister, Mircea Dumitru, keen to build a sound ethical reputation for his country’s universities, announced new members of the National Council of Ethics for Research, Technological Development and Innovation (CNECSDTI) … read more 02.11.2016

Monday, 7 November 2016 //

NSA hacks European universities

Image: NSA

GENEVA et al. (div) -- Everyones favourite intelligence service strikes again: this time at European higher education institutions. The University of Geneva and the Free University of Brussels were amongst the 352 IP addresses to have been hacked by NSA malware, according to information leaked by hacking group, Shadow Brokers … read more | and here 04.11.2016

English problems for Ukraine’s academics

KIEV (ihned) -- Ukrainian academics have to meet a certain level of proficiency in English before being awarded professorships. The test must be taken at the British Council, which doesn’t accept bribes. This has caused the number of professorships to plummet. So far this year only 16 people have gained professorships; in 2014 that number was well above 1000 … read more 2.11.16

Dutch technical universities still in crisis

logoAMSTERDAM (div) -- Overcrowded and underfunded, Holland’s technical universities won’t be receiving any more money. Education minister Jet Bussemaker has made that clear. But the situation is so dire, in some cases lectures have to be held in cinemas. “We cannot continue this way,” says Victor van der Chijs, president of the 4TU technical university federation … read more | and here 04.11.2016

Saturday, 5 November 2016 //

Portuguese polytechnics want to be universities

logoPORTO (je) -- Pedro Lourtie, President of the General Council of the Leiria Polytechnic, has said that “polytechnics will be able to award doctorates - it’s inevitable.” But he wants them to be designated as universities of applied sciences. “It’s an internationally accepted designation and used to facilitate external relations” … read more 03.11.2016

Erdoğan and Turkish academia remain in conflict

ISTANBUL (div) -- Hundreds of academics from the prestigious Bosphorus University in Istanbul have called on the government to annul the decree that abolishes elections of university rectors. But this comes alongside the news that the regime has issued arrest warrants for a further 137 people involved in education … read more | and here 02.11.16

Friday, 4 November 2016 //

Half a billion krone in cuts to Norwegian higher education

image: UOIOSLO (khrono) -- If Norwegian HEIs implement the government’s so-called efficiency cuts, the total cost will amount to half a billion krone (55 million euros). It will be technical-administrative staff who will be hit the hardest, with positions at many universities either being slashed or hiring frozen. Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education, Bjørn Haugstad, recently stated that the Ministry has done enough for technical and administrative staff, which technical manager at NTNU, Øystein Risa, found galling: “Haugstad is belittling the challenge administrative staff are facing” … read more 27.10.2016

No trust in Latvian education minister

RIGA (baltic course) -- Latvians categorically would not trust education and science minister, Karlis Sadurskis, with their family budget, according to data from pollster SKDS ... read more10.10.2016

Calls for Slovenian rector to resign

image: University of MariborMARIBOR (div) -- The Slovenian education union SVIZ has called for Igor Tičar, rector of the University of Maribor, to resign. The rector failed to take action against the general secretary of his rectorate who, in a SVIZ report that Tičar himself commissioned, was found to have created a hostile and offensive working environment. SVIZ say “this gesture says everything about the priorities of the Rector, who should be obliged to protect victims of hate but instead is protecting the offender.” Tičar declined to comment on the union’s demands … read more | and here 28.10.16

Thursday, 3 November 2016 //

EU students turn back on UK unis

image: ESNA

LONDON (guardian) -- The number of EU students applying to study at some of the more prestigious UK university courses has declined by 9 percent, according to data from application service UCAS. Many in the sector believe the government’s delay in guaranteeing funding to EU students until a few days before the application deadline is a cause for the decline … read more 27.10.2016

Russian language courses come first

MOSCOW (tass) -- Russian education minister Olga Vasilyeva will “take appropriate action” with those universities who have been bypassing the obligatory ‘Russian language and culture of speech’ course to teach foreign languages instead … read more 27.10.2016

Austrian university in Dubai

DUBAI (menafn) -- In what could provide a model for the future, MODUL University Vienna, a research-intensive international private university, has opened a campus in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the first Austrian private uni to open a campus outside of Europe and all courses will be in English ... read more 25.10.2016

Wednesday, 2 November 2016 //

EU proposes tax breaks for Research and Development

logoBRUSSELS (sciencebusiness) -- Draft legislation drawn up by the European Commission would incentivise corporate research and development (R&D) by deducting 100 percent of R&D spending for big companies, and offering further deductions for big spending on R&D. For instance, under the draft legislation, a company that spends 30 million euros on R&D could deduct 42.5 million euros from its tax base … read more 27.10.2016

First Spanish student demonstration of the season

MADRID (el país) -- In dozens of Spanish cities, students (as well as teachers and parents) hit the streets in protest against the new education law. Already ratified by previous education minister José Wert, the law has not been applied yet. The protests aim at the so-called “reválidas”, pre-university exams that allow universities to select candidates. Education minister Íñigo Méndez de Vigo has defended the exams as “useful”, but according to a survey, 80 percent of professors are against them ... read more | and here 27.10.2016

A new dawn with AURORA

logoAMSTERDAM (vu) -- Aurora, a cooperative community of nine European universities has been launched in Amsterdam. President of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and founder of Aurora, Jaap Winter, commented: “Aurora universities share their determination to build a different kind of inclusive university community that fits a more networked generation” … read more 21.10.2016

Tuesday, 1 November 2016 //

Russia spying on its students?

image: Der SpiegelMOSCOW (rferl) -- Nikita Danyuk, deputy head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Research and Forecasts delivered a series of lectures to over 40 universities in Russia titled ‘Scenarios for the Future of Russia’. According to a report from newspaper Kommersant, he was acting as an informant, gathering information on the ‘protest potential’ of Russia’s students and relaying that information back to the Kremlin. The report quotes Danyuk as saying “notes were drawn up for official use” and “destructive propaganda of antistate ideas” was being expressed “without embarrassment” in private settings. Danyuk has denied being an “informant” and claims his words were twisted … read more 26.10.2016

Hottest universities in the UK

LONDON (metro) -- A scientifically indisputable ranking of the most attractive universities in the UK puts, perhaps unsurprisingly, London at the top for men and women. According to the data from dating app Tinder, Cardiff and Leeds were close behind in numbers of right-swipes for both genders … read more

Swedes lose interest in university

image: LiUÖSTERGÖTLAND (nt) -- Universities in Sweden have increased their number of courses available since last year, and the number of applications has also risen, but the number of applicants is down, summarises the higher education council UHR. A favourable labour market is likely putting off some young Swedes from taking on a degree … read more 26.10.16

Monday, 31 October 2016 //

Calls for greater autonomy in Spanish universities

image: UDCMADRID (la opinión) -- Certain Spanish educators, such as the president of the social council of the University of A Coruña Antonio Abril, have called for universities to be able to choose staff and students with greater freedom. But Abril also questioned the need for elected rectors, pointing to examples from foreign universities and companies where leaders are hired externally … read more 19.10.

Ukraine’s academic diaspora is gathering in Germany

KIEV (researchresearch) -- Ukraine is looking to reform, and quite a bit has been done in science and education. Two laws, on higher education and on scientific and technical activity, have been adopted; both could lead to significant change. A network initiative of Ukrainian scientists abroad is trying to accelerate this process ... read more 20.10.2016

Hillary Clinton's tuition-free proposal

image: Keith KesselWASHINGTON (wp) -- During the most recent presidential debate Hillary Clinton unveiled her plan to make college education tuition-free for families with incomes up to a threshold of 85,000 dollars at first, increasing by 10,000 dollars each year reaching 125,000 dollars by 2021. According to her campaign this would be funded by closing high-income tax loopholes ... read more 20.10.2016

Saturday, 29 October 2016 //

Temperature rises on Bulgarian student housing market

image: P. Stojew

SOFIA (standart) -- Rents in student areas of Sofia have increased beyond the affordable threshold of 500 lev (250 euro) per month, and in some areas greater than 600 lev, according to consulting company PRIMO. Brokers fear that this is unhealthy for the market, which risks “overheating” and reducing the number of transactions … read more 24.10.2016

Friday, 28 October 2016 //

Hungarian academics in uproar

image: BuBiSvizBUDAPEST (div) -- More than 150 members of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences have signed an open letter to the academy’s president, László Lovász, decrying the anti-democratic measures of the right-wring populist government. The letter came in response to the resignations of external members and their efforts to orchestrate mass resignations in protest at the forced closure of left-wing newspaper, Népszabadság. The letter states: “We feel that the Academy has the responsibility and the historical duty to raise its voice in defence of freedom and justice in Hungary” … read more | and here 20.10.16

Danes abandon foreign languages

COPENHAGEN (politiken) -- If the number of foreign language courses at Danish universities is anything to go by, then Danes seem to placing less and less value on learning a language other than English. At many HEIs foreign languages can now only be studied as part of another course, and the Copenhagen Business School will soon stop offering any language other than English … read more 25.10.2016

Unprecedented Dutch student numbers

image: logoAMSTERDAM (gelderlander) -- Never before have so many students filled the lecture halls of Dutch universities. The total number of enrolled students increased this year by 2.5 percent, bringing the total number to 265,000, thanks in large part to an influx of foreign students … read more 26.10.2016

Thursday, 27 October 2016 //

EU Parliament decides budget for 2017

image: webBRUSSELS (div) -- The European Parliament (EP) has adopted in plenary its position on the EU budget for 2017. It confirms the allocations for research contained in the EU Commission’s initial proposal and its further increase, the reversal of all cuts suggested by the Finance Ministers (ECOFIN), and the full compensation of the European Fund for Strategic Investment-related cuts in Horizon 2020 ... read more | and here 26.10.2016

Ghostwriting on the rise in Austria

VIENNA (orf) -- More and more students in Austria are using paid essay-writing services to do their work for them, according to plagiarism expert Stefan Weber. He even paid 250 euros himself to try out one such service and received work he was “certain would be graded ‘very good’ or good’ if I were to hand it in at an Austrian university” … read more 21.10.2016

Portuguese private unis in resurgence

image: logoPORTO (público) -- Private universities in Portugal began to see a fall in student numbers in 1999, but for the second year running, preliminary figures from the national newspaper Público show that attendance of private institutions has increased – a feat not seen in 20 years. President of the Porto regional sector of the Portuguese Catholic University, Manuel Alfonso Vaz said, "there is some recovery, after difficult years" … read more 23.10.16

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 //

Greek polytechnics ready for battle

image: synodos proedron tei

ATHENS (kathimerini) -- The Greek education ministry’s plans to create a single research and technology space have their pros and cons. On the one hand, polytechnics (known as TEIs) will be renamed as Universities of Applied Sciences, as in many other countries. On the other hand, the plan includes university mergers and closures of institutions. The rectors of TEIs are ready for battle ... read more 19.10.2016

European efforts for Open Access

BRUSSELS (science guide) -- During the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU Open Access has been put firmly on the European scientific agenda. A survey report by Science Europe shows that everywhere in Europe efforts have been made to implement OA policies ... read more 20.10.2016

Huawei starts university cooperation in Portugal

image: HuaweiSHANGHAI (jn) -- The Chinese ICT corporation Huawei signed an agreement with Portugal’s Agency for Trade and Investment in order to establish a partnership programme with Portuguese universities. The programme is entirely funded by the company and open to high performing students in the areas of informatics, electronics and telecommunications ... read more | and here 12.10.2016

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 //

Corruption at Italian universities under scrutiny

image: controlemafie CCROME (tag24) -- Italy’s national anti-corruption chief Raffaele Cantone vowed to wage war on nepotism, cronyism and graft in the country’s universities. “We are drowning in reports from lecturers, especially regarding the awarding of professorships. There is a strong link between corruption and brain drain,” he said ... read more | and here 07.10.2016

Plan for more startups at Polish universities

WARSAW (merkle) -- Jarosław Gowin, Poland’s science minister, has a plan. He wants the country’s top universities to shift their focus to fostering innovation rather than “just teaching” ... read more | and here 18.10.2016

French universities free to choose Master’s candidates

image: Ministère de l'Education nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la RecherchPARIS (l’etudiant) -- The French science ministry and representatives of students, staff and institutions have come to a compromise in the long-standing controversy over Master’s Selection. The word ‘selection’ is avoided in the agreement, but all universities are allowed to select their master’s students for the winter semester 2017/2018. Bachelor’s graduates retain their right to a master’s place. A trade union representative spoke of a “compromise of a German nature” ... read more 04.10.2016

Monday, 24 October 2016 //

How free trade threatens higher education

ttipBERLIN (uwn/esna) -- The European university sector, precisely because of its almost entirely publicly funded and intensely regulated status, is seen by the negotiating parties of TTIP, CETA and TiSA as a prime target to be opened up to the market and wrested from state control. US companies hold a strong position in the field of education services, but it would be an easy mistake to see the pressure as coming exclusively from America: equally, the EU ... read more 21.10.2016

EU research funding competition is heating up

BRUSSELS (the) -- University systems in Europe are under growing funding pressure, a new report from the European University Association finds. “The funding gaps between national systems is widening,” says Thomas Estermann, EUA’s director of governance, funding and public policy development. Up to 50 percent of the Horizon 2020 funding goes to cover the costs of the applications, successful or otherwise ... read more | and here 06.10.2016

Norway’s favouritism of its older universities

OSLO (aftenbladet) -- The Norwegian government’s recent proposals for the state budget reinforce inequalities in the funding of older and newer universities. The latter receive 157,000 krone (175,000 euros) per student, half of the provision for older HEIs. Some rectors have labeled this as “totally unreasonable” and “without justification” … read more 18.10.2016

Code of Ethics for Srpska universities

image: NSVOBELGRADE (rtrs) -- Dejan Popovic, president of the National Council for Higher Education in the Bosnian entity the Republic of Srpska, has announced the introduction of a national Code of Ethics for universities. Violations include plagiarism, misuse, falsification of research and unethical behaviour to others … read more 18.10.2016

Saturday, 22 October 2016 //

Graduate glut in the UK

image: bulwiengesa

LONDON (guardian) -- The glut of university graduates in the UK are ‘colonising’ jobs that were once the preserve of school-leavers, the human resources association CIPD suggests in a new study. The CIPD maintains that the political consensus to increase student numbers is no longer justified considering high student debt and more than half of graduates taking non-graduate jobs. The report is likely to intensify the debate about whether university courses are good value for all students, the Guardian writes. Supporters of the current approach say that limiting numbers would result in higher education being dominated by children from better-off families, and that courses increasingly have a vocational bent to prepare young people better for their careers … read more 11.10.2016

EU-student funding guarantee extended

LONDON (bbc) -- EU students applying for a place at English universities for the next academic year will be eligible for loans and grants, ministers have said. The arrangement will be honoured even if the UK exits the EU in that period ... read more 11.10.2016

Friday, 21 October 2016 //

‘Impoverishment’ of French universities

image: unescoPARIS (le point) -- In a press conference, rector of the Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris, Georges Haddad, has lamented the pitiful financial situation faced by universities and their staff. “We are on the ropes permanently. Students are not less well trained, they are less well supported.” He added, “a country that does not respect its teachers cannot claim to love its youth” … read more 18.10.2016

Dutch students struggling with Dutch

AMSTERDAM (ad) -- At the beginning of the semester thousands of freshmen at Dutch universities must take proficiency tests in their mother tongue. But according to Bas Schrijver, spokesman for The Hague University of Applied Sciences, “the majority of students on Dutch language Bachelor’s programmes don’t have the starting level required” … read more 19.10.2016

EU launches Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition

BRUSSELS (ec) -- The European Commission is launching a multi-stakeholder partnership — the so-called Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition — to develop a large digital talent pool and ensure that individuals and the labour force in Europe are equipped with adequate digital skills ... read more 19.10.2016

Danish students protest cuts

image: DSFCOPENHAGEN (ekstrabladet) -- An alliance of 45 student organisations and unions demonstrated across Denmark against planned cuts of 8.7 billion krone (1.2 billion euros) over four years. 20,000 students took to the streets in Copenhagen alone, and Yasmin Davali, president of the Danish Union of Students, called the cuts “a disaster for the quality of our educational institutions” … read more 13.10.16

Thursday, 20 October 2016 //

Mutual recognition between China and Europe


BEIJING (shanghai daily) -- China has signed agreements on the mutual recognition of degrees with 19 EU member states, including Germany, France and Italy. The Chinese education ministry also expressed desire to focus on the ‘balanced flow’ of students between China and Europe. 303,000 Chinese students were studying in Europe at the end of 2015 … read more 09.10.2016

Certain Spanish regions do better

BARCELONA (abc) -- Student dropout rates in Spain have generally increased over the past few years. But institutions in the autonomous community of Castilla y León have managed to buck that trend, with a rate 10 percent lower than the national average … read more 17.10.2016

Finnish Nobel laureate criticises cuts to higher education

image: soppakanuunaHELSINKI (yle) -- The Finnish joint-winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for Economics, Bengt Holmström, has sharply criticised the government’s proposed cuts to higher education. The MIT professor said the decision “was a vote of no confidence and also strongly reflected contempt for the university world. I don't see that [the government] has any expertise in this area” … read more 10.10.2016

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 //

Irish teachers’ union rejects merger

image: ITSligo

CORK (irish examiner) -- The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) branch at the Cork Institute of Technology have issued a vote of no confidence in CIT president Brendan Murphy over the planned merger with the Institute of Technology Tralee. The union believes it is more about cost-cutting than improving education … read more 14.10.2016

German universities’ corruption problem

FRANKFURT (huffpost) -- How corrupt are German universities? Students perceive there to be foul play at hand in the awarding of doctorates and professorships, according to a recent survey. Conducted in eleven countries, it reveals that Germany’s students’ perception of corruption in this area is worse than in the Ukraine, which is often portrayed as a hotbed of malpractice. Only Italy, Spain and the Czech Republic fared worse … read more 16.10.2016

Icelandic rectors demand investment in higher education

logoREJKJAVIK (rejkjavik university) -- Iceland’s universities are significantly underfunded and receive the least investment of all Nordic countries, according to OECD data. In a declaration, all of Iceland’s rectors have called for politicians to act: “Universities cannot continue under the status quo. higher education in the country is endangered” … read more 07.10.2016

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 //

Ireland: international students as cash cows

image: Fine Gael conferenceDUBLIN (irish examiner) -- Seeking to fill the gap in the market of an English-speaking EU country that Brexit will leave in its wake, Irish education minister, Richard Bruton has announced a plan to attract 37,000 more foreign students by the end of the 2019/20 academic year. This would mean an extra 520 million euros a year … read more 07.10.2016

German students stressed out

BERLIN (stern) -- Over half of Germany’s students feel stressed, according to a study by health insurer AOK. The larger exam burden that is a consequence of the Bologna Reforms is cited by those involved in the study as a main factor. Young women suffer more than men … read more 11.10.2016

Students of the world on the move

logoBRUSSELS (aca) -- The proportion of international students in OECD countries continues to rise, as this year’s ‘Education at a Glance’ report has shown. Their numbers have grown by five percent in twelve months … read more 09.2016

Monday, 17 October 2016 //

UK scientists fear Brexit backlash against immigration

image: webLONDON (nature) -- At the Conservative Party annual conference, Prime Minister Theresa May made it clear that freedom of movement is not on the agenda of Brexit Britain, to the dismay of the academic community. Stephen Curry, a biologist at Imperial College London said that the comments would “restrict us from EU funds” and are “reinforcing the rather sour atmosphere," adding, "I think the mood has turned a lot darker” … read more 06.10.2016

Half of Greeks want private universities

ATHENS (nova sports) -- One in two Greeks want to see a the introduction of private universities, according to a survey conducted by the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry … read more 11.10.2016

Apple expands cooperation with Italy’s universities

appleNAPLES (iculture) -- At the opening ceremony of the first iOS Developers Academy in Naples, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson announced plans to work with at least five universities in the Campania region so that more students can attend the iOS Foundation Program … read more 09.10.2016

Saturday, 15 October 2016 //

Slovenians fear linguistic colonisation

image: Apocalypto

LJUBLJANA (etv) -- Slovenian academics have issued a declaration against proposed legislation to introduce English instruction into its HEIs to attract foreign students. The declaration states: “The openness of universities and scientific exchanges are achievable in other ways that do not jeopardise Slovene.” These are, namely, to finance high quality translation, to combat brain drain and to encourage academic expats to return. Otherwise they fear “Slovenian will gradually be marginalised as a language of a subordinate class” … read more 09.10.2016

Friday, 14 October 2016 //

Further persecution of university staff in Turkey

image: Maurice Flesier CC

IZMIR (almanar) -- Turkish authorities arrested 15 members of staff from Ege University, one of the oldest and largest universities in the country. They are suspected of links to the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen who is the scapegoat for July’s failed coup. Eight of the suspects, some of them professors, are still at large … read more 01.10.2016

Romanian doctoral schools under investigation

BUCHAREST (agerpres) -- Romanian education minister, Mircea Dumitru, has announced that he will begin to investigate doctoral schools for intellectual theft. He added, “the university is not, cannot be, nor should be an institution acting politically”, stressing that academic integrity is vital for the reputation of the community on an international level … read more 03.10.2016

Danish universities fear political control

image: Oil Gas DenmarkCOPENHAGEN (berlingske) -- Following the Danish education ministry’s report recommending ministry involvement in board and director appointment, universities have come out in strong opposition. Anders Bjarklev, rector of Technical University of Denmark, fears "if a professor is a little too outspoken about political stuff, the ministry might call the board and tell them to shut him up” … read more 04.10.2016

Thursday, 13 October 2016 //

Bulgarian brain drain

image: webSOFIA (utroruse) -- “A major obstacle to better economic growth is the lack of human resources” said Vasil Velev, Chairman of the Association of Industrial Capital in Bulgaria on a bTV discussion about keeping students in the country after graduation. Emil Stoimenov, a medical student, claimed that as many as half of his classmates were planning on leaving Bulgaria after graduation. But until conditions on the labour market improve, he does not see forcing students to stay in Bulgaria as a viable option … read more 4.10.16

Hungarian academics protest immigration referendum

BUDAPEST (nepszava) -- In the run up to last weekend’s referendum in Hungary, over 140 academics signed a declaration condemning it as “meaningless, unconstitutional and inhumane.” The question asked if the people wanted the EU to be able to set migrant quotas without approval of the National Assembly. The vast majority voted against EU quotas, but turnout was too low to validate the referendum … read more 01.10.2016

Croatia: Controversial dean suspended

image: logoZAGREB (vijesti) -- Vlatko Previšić, the stubborn dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Zagreb has been suspended in an almost unanimous decision by the University Senate. But students have refused to recognise his appointment, citing irregularities in the election process … read more | and here 03.10.2016

Wednesday, 12 October 2016 //

Burqa ban in Norwegian universities

image: webOSLO (daily mail) -- Norwegian education minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen is pushing for a ban of the full-faced burqa in schools and universities. Such veils are uncommon in Norway, but Isaksen stressed that the ban would not apply to the hijab … read more 06.10.2016

International student hub in Brussels

BRUSSELS (pie news) -- The French-speaking Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Flemish Vrije Universiteit Brussel are collaborating to create an 800 room accommodation complex for international students. Rector of VUB, Paul De Knop, added that “our central location is important for international students, who are eager to visit London, Paris and Amsterdam, all destinations that are less than two hours away” … read more 29.09.2016

Berlin’s students struggle for living space

image: webBERLIN (rbb) -- Berlin is one of 19 university cities in Germany where the housing market is graded as acutely critical, according to a new study. In comparison with last year however, the situation has only got slightly worse, where in other cities it has heated up significantly … read more 26.09.2016

Tuesday, 11 October 2016 //

‘Good news’ for Spain’s higher education

image: fernando villar / efeMADRID (el economista) -- The decision by Spain’s autonomous communities to maintain the ‘single district’ of access to universities has been greeted as “good news” by education minister Íñigo Méndez de Vigo. Thus any student can attend any university in Spain. Last June, de Vigo replaced the unloved José Ignacio Wert … read more 05.10.2016

Impending catastrophe for Italy’s universities

PAVIA (pp) -- Budget cuts to university research of 50 per cent since 2010 and dramatic drops in student, graduate and teacher numbers will lead to a catastrophe in a matter of years for Italian higher education, according to Gianfranco Viesti, Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Bari. Without action, he predicts “a near future in which universities will be forced to close, and where others will become elitist” … read more 02.10.2016

Irish students demand free higher education

logoDUBLIN (irish times) -- The Irish students’ union USI has announced that on the 19th October it will demonstrate for public investment into tertiary education. It added that an income-contingent loan system was not good enough, as the debt-burden would act as a deterrent against studying … read more 26.09.2016

Monday, 10 October 2016 //

New ESNA Bulletin out now

esna bulletinBERLIN (esna) -- Europe’s most appreciated overview of higher ed and science policy has just been published.
It features the most relevant news reports on universities and research, focussing in this edition on mergers, rankings, funding and fees. It also presents the latest books, studies, events and EU project calls ...
read more

UK government pushes for university privatisation

LONDON (nature) -- A draft law, the Higher Education and Research Bill, is making its way through the House of Commons. The bill amounts to the biggest shake-up in the sector for more than a generation. It is designed to make it easier for private companies to set up universities, and to enable more researchers to commercialise their work ... read more 04.10.2016

Denmark no favourite for international students

COPENHAGEN (cph post) -- Denmark is the 8th best country in Europe to be an international student, according to the latest International Student Satisfaction awards. Unfortunately this makes them the least desirable out of their Nordic neighbours: Finland coming 4th, Sweden 7th, and Norway in pole position … read more 03.10.2016

Saturday, 8 October 2016 //

Polish universities join Black Monday

image: blck mondayWARSAW (polska times) -- Thousands of women in black went on strike across Poland on Monday, closing down restaurants, government offices and university classes, and blocking access to the ruling party headquarters in Warsaw to protest against plans for a total ban on abortion. Universities also agreed to permit the absence from class due to the protest … read more 29.09.2016

French universities’ internationalisation efforts

PARIS (france strategie) -- Higher education institutions in France undertake 600 internationalisation programmes that 37,000 students take part in worldwide, according to the first comprehensive report on France’s universities’ activities abroad. The report suggests that these activities are more opportunistic than part of a clear strategy … read more 26.09.2016

Friday, 7 October 2016 //

Knowledge Capitals Stockholm and Zurich

image: Brookings

WASHINGTON (brookings) -- Knowledge capitals are defined by capital, not knowledge - at least according to Brookings and JP Morgan Chase’s Global Cities Initiative. Parameters such as economic output and nominal GDP per capita are used to define the nineteen knowledge capitals, Stockholm and Zurich being the only two European cities to make the list … read more 29.9

Czech student numbers fall

PRAGUE (prague monitor) -- For the second year in a row, the number of Czech students at university will decline. This trend has been visible since 2010 due to demographic developments … read more 26.09.2016

The end of mergers in Russia?

image: KP

MOSCOW (uwn) -- New Russian education minister has made a break from the policies of her predecessor Dmitry Livanov and called a halt to university mergers. She also cast doubt over the continuation of Project 5-100, which aims to get five Russian universities into the top 100 in world rankings … read more 30.09.2016

Thursday, 6 October 2016 //

Universities’ Third Mission according to Pope Francis

image: Osservatore Romano

ROME (universitas) -- Some Oxford scholars and industry spokesmen define universities’ so-called Third Mission as the entrepreneurial or business side of affairs. Pope Francis has a different idea. At the Jubilee Audience in Rome on September 10th, God’s deputy on Earth greeted “those taking part in the Jubilee of Universities and Research Centres, with the hope that the teaching may be rich in values, so as to form people who are able to make their God-given talents bear fruit”. The coinciding university symposium agreed on three pillars of universities’ third mission ... read more 28.09.2016

€100 million for French universities

PARIS (20 minutes) -- Prime Minister Manuel Valls has announced a 100 million euro injection into higher education in the budget for 2017. New Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research Thierry Mandon said this was proof that higher education is crucial for France’s future. Student union UNEF was less impressed, calling it “the smallest change in the last five years” … read more 28.09.2016

Bad science: Thomson-Reuters’ flawed ranking

logoNEW YORK (div) -- Thomson-Reuters has published their yearly analysis of the hottest trends in science research. Increasingly, governments and funding organisations use them to identify strategic priorities. So it’s profoundly disturbing that their conclusions are based on shoddy methodology ... read more 3.10.16
Wednesday, 5 October 2016 //

Part-time lecturers picking up the slack in Austria

image: Grüne ÖsterreichVIENNA (orf) -- Part-time lecturers who are only entrusted with teaching, undertake an average of a quarter of all teaching at Austrian universities. They are employed on different bases depending on the institution, sometimes for only a semester, sometimes indefinitely. “The number of courses being held by precariously employed lecturers is far too high” said Green Party science spokeswoman Sigrid Maurer … read more 30.09.2016

The insatiable Swiss

ZURICH (div) -- Is being the ‘world’s most competitive country’ for eight consecutive years not enough? Obtaining 5.8 points out of a possible 7 in the World Economic Forum’s yearly report, in part due to ‘outstanding’ universities, doesn’t seem to satisfy Swiss industry. Patrick Schellenbauer, acting director of the economic think tank Avenir Suisse, would see more cooperation and mergers between Swiss unis and more private investment, “in order to be competitive” … read more | and here 27.09.2016

New pay-as-you-go Dutch tuition scheme

imnage: RijksoverheidTHE HAGUE (div) -- A proposal from the Dutch education minister Jet Bussemaker would make it possible for students at some universities to pay per credit. Thus students who are ill or have responsibilities as a carer or parent, for example, would be able to focus their studies in a way that suits their own circumstances … read more | and here 03.10.2016

Tuesday, 4 October 2016 //

Gerontocracy in Zagreb

image: Al JaziraZAGREB (div) -- Students of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Zagreb are still demonstrating against the intended cooperation with the Faculty of Catholic Theology. But the main controversy is now the ongoing employment of 71 year old faculty dean, Vlatko Previšić, who attempted to barricade himself from the peacefully protesting students and called security guards to prohibit their action on 'suspicion of terrorism'. Despite calls to step down and legal requirements to retire, he is refusing to go … read more | and here 28.09.2016

French students love Belgian degrees

BRUSSELS (france tv info) -- French students have long travelled to Walloon for degrees in medicine, physiotherapy and pharmacy. But now, thanks to the lower cost of living and less stringent entry conditions, the phenomenon has spread to areas such as graphic design and architecture, so much so that 11 percent of students at francophone Belgian unis are indeed French … read more 26.09.16

Academic inbreeding in Portugal

image. Michael GäblerLISBON (publico) -- More than two thirds of doctorate university professors in Portugal are employed by the university who trained them, a process known as academic endogamy, a report by the National Council of Education has found. The authors of the study say it calls into question “principles of equality and merit” … read more 24.09.2016

Monday, 3 October 2016 //

Slovakian graduate numbers drop dramatically

BRATISLAVA (pravda) -- As the law of supply and demand applies to the labour market as well, Slovakian employers are increasingly interested in graduates of computer science, engineering and economics, while the number of Slovakian alumni from public universities has dropped from 56,000 in 2011 to 45,000 this year … read more 24/09/2016

Belgian universities more elitist

HASSELT (knack) -- “The democratisation of universities has failed.” This is the brutal assessment of Hasselt University rector Luc De Schepper. Quoting OECD statistics, the rector highlighted that in Belgium, the proportion of highly educated young people with poorly educated parents is lower than it was twenty years ago, at 22 compared to 30 percent … read more 28.09.2016

“Best” universities in Europe 2017

logoLONDON (the) -- The THE ranking is spamming the news with infantile taglines again: “The top 10 European universities include UK, Swiss, German and Swedish institutions, but UK universities take most of the spots at the very top” ... read more 21.09.2016

Saturday, 1 October 2016 //

Time come for a higher education market in Albania?

image: web

TIRANA (panorama) -- Adrian Civici, president of the private European University of Tirana, thinks it is. The proportion of Albanian students attending private universities has reached at least 20 percent since the founding of the first of such institutions 15 years ago. Civici claims the “time has come for a higher education sector with all the elements of the market” ... read more 18.09.2016

Friday, 30 September 2016 //

Belarus struggles with Bologna reform

flagMINSK (naviny) -- Since Belarus’ conditional acceptance onto the Bologna Process in 2015, less than 10 percent of its provisions have been fulfilled thus far. In order to fully benefit from being a part of the European Higher Education Area, Belarus must implement some central policy measures, such as the introduction of an independent agency of quality control and the European credit system. But the state has departed from publicity over the reform process … read more | and here 26.09.2016

Increased funding for Estonian research

TALLINN (ohtuleht) -- Estonia’s Minister of Education and Research, Maris Lauri, intends to invest a further 8 million euros in research and development in 2017. This will add to the coffers of research institutions as well as bolstering personal research grants … read more 28.09.2016

Portuguese universities against cybercrime

logoLISBON (canal superior) -- Prosecutors are increasingly relying on computer experts from higher education institutions to overcome the delay of up to 2 years in the Judicial Police’s realisation of skills in cyber crime, a report by the Attorney General’s Cybercrime Office has revealed … read more 22.09.2016

Thursday, 29 September 2016 //

What do Clinton and Trump think about science?

image: ESNA

WASHINGTON (science news) -- Hillary Clinton’s “I believe in science” declaration aside, science has not played a starring role in the 2016 presidential election. Far from it. For the most part, the candidates’ science policies have trickled out in dribs and drabs, and in varying degrees of detail — talking points on a website here, a passing comment in response to a spur-of-the-moment question there ... read more 13.09.2016

EU prescribes Hungarian research policy

BRUSSELS (europa) -- The European Commission revealed policy proposals for Hungarian research and innovation. Among the proposals to bring Hungary in line with EU orthodoxy was the increased cooperation of business with public R&I … read more 20.09.2016

Valencian education deputy fails to keep his word on fees

image: logoVALENCIA (las provincias) -- Podemos Valencia has criticised the regional education deputy Vicent Marzà for failing to lower tuition fees as promised a year ago. Sandra Mínguez of Podemos brought to attention that the fees (between 978 and 1,549 euros) are among the highest in Spain … read more 25.09.2016

Wednesday, 28 September 2016 //

Top-down democracy for Swedish universities

image: Forska SverigeSTOCKHOLM (dn) -- A Confederation of Swedish Enterprise commissioned report states that the process of electing university rectors should be transferred from university staff to board members. Li Bennich-Björkman from Uppsala University and other academics criticise this kind of top-down administrative policy as a threat to the democratic and independent nature of universities … read more 20.09.2016

Cypriot students denounce fees increase

NICOSIA (ikypros) -- The Cyprian student union, POFEN, has expressed disappointment at the increase of tuition fees at two of Cyprus’ private universities, in some curricula by up to 39 percent … read more21.09.2016

German student support finally increased

image: fzsBERLIN (aaz) -- After the government’s recent decision, BAföG State Loan for students has risen by seven percent and slightly higher earning families are eligible. Despite being a welcome increase, it barely falls in line with inflation … read more 26.09.2016

Tuesday, 27 September 2016 //

Professor sues President Zeman

image: David Sedlecky

PRAGUE (nova) -- Following May's controversy of the Czech President Miloš Zeman’s unprecedented intervention to deny the appointment of a new professor to Charles University (on the grounds of a banner he was holding during a gay pride parade), Ivan Ošťádal of the Mathematics and Physics Faculty sued the head of state. The Prague City Court, however, dismissed the case … read more 21.09.2016

Students raise rent in Bulgaria

SOFIA (standart) -- In Bulgarian university cities, the influx of students onto the housing market has caused rents to rise. The phenomenon has been noticeable since August in Sofia, where rents appreciated by 10-15 percent in areas surrounding universities … read more 25.09.2016

Blind Western focus not enough for Ukraine

logoODESSA (odessa media) -- Rector of the South Ukrainian National Pedagogical University, Aleksij Chebykin, has explained in an interview that without proper investment in infrastructure outside of education: “blind orientation to Western standards will lead to a lack of professionals and the outflow of students,” he added, "due to the lack of a normal market, graduates are forced to retrain or go abroad" read more 19.09.2016
Monday, 26 September 2016 //

Poisonous science

image: webLONDON (global research) -- Pesticide manufacturers have spent millions influencing researchers who are investigating the role of neonicotinoids (nicotine-like chemicals found in many major pesticides) in bee die-offs, according to a recent analysis by Greenpeace. Bayer and Syngenta gave over 2 million pounds (over 2.3 million euros) to British universities engaged in research on pesticides and plant sciences between 2011 and 2016 ... read more 14.09.2016

Four new research centres in Bulgaria

VARNA (investor) -- In August, the Bulgarian education ministry pledged 300 million lev to modernise science and research. Yesterday, the director of the Structural Funds and International Educational Programmes, Ivan Modev, announced that 200 million of this will go towards building four new ‘centres of excellence’ … read more 21.09.2016

Value science

image: logoPARIS (un) -- Science should be valued more highly in international decision-making, argues a United Nations report released on 18 September. Prepared by the UN Scientific Advisory Board, the report states that policymakers should consider the role of science in policy and society more seriously when addressing issues such as sustainable development, climate change, food & water, security and inequality. It also recommends that nations invest a greater proportion of GDP in science, technology and innovation … read more 18.09.2016

Saturday, 24 September 2016 //

Unfair working conditions foment racism among scientists

BERLIN (tech review) -- Often the comments are more noteworthy than the articles themselves. The news about an online platform to help educated refugees in Germany network with researchers, did not impress German researchers reading it. Commenters lamented that Germany didn’t give it’s own researchers a chance. Some described an “exodus” of researchers to other countries to escape the German system of short-term contracts, which forces scientists to undergo long hours of unpaid work ... read more 24.9.16

Friday, 23 September 2016 //

Growing inequality in science

image: ruhruni/ESNA

LONDON (nature) -- Despite science’s egalitarian ideal, income inequality between the top-earning one percent of researchers and the rest, is increasing. The strong competition and relatively low reward for most scientists is dissuading people from entering the field, with 20 percent of respondents to Nature’s salary survey saying they would not recommend their career to students … read more 21.9.16 Special issue on inequality in science

Students in Bari reduced to tears

BARI (trmtv) -- After students of the University of Bari, Italy, invaded the rectory in tears, unable to meet the first instalment of tuition fees which were increased this year, the rector, Antonio Uricchio, has secured deadline extensions or exemptions for those families in financial difficulty … read more | and here 21.09.2016

Research for sale

logoMAINZ (freitag) -- Between 2005 and 2012, the proportion of German universities’ research budget that was supported by third-party funding increased from under 40 percent, to over a half. The latest controversy to emerge from state-underfunded universities’ growing dependence on private funding comes from the University of Mainz, where a 150 million euro deal with the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, affiliate of the pharmaceutical company of the same name, has called into to question the academic integrity of the universities’ research … read more 20.09.2016

Thursday, 22 September 2016 //

Open access for German research

image: ESNABERLIN (heise) -- The German government has announced an “Open Access Strategy” which states that any research that has been publicly funded should be publicly accessible for free. According to German research minister, Johanna Wanka, “Free access to knowledge is a springboard to social development” … read more | and here 20.09.2016

Italy’s worrying number of NEETs

ROME (rai) -- The number of Italian young people who are neither in education, employment or training has increased by 10 per cent in 10 years, according to the OECD’s education report. This is the highest number of NEETs in any country in the OECD … read more 15.9.16

UNESCO report on worldwide education


PARIS (huffpost) -- The latest UNESCO Global Education Monitoring report has been published, revealing that a shocking 263 million children receive no education of any kind … read more 06.09.2016

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 //

Finnish universities forced to merge

image: OAJTAMPERE (uwn) -- The Finnish education ministry is re-allocating 50 million euros to universities to incentivise them to merge. The largest planned merger is between three universities of Tampere. Critics like Jussi Välimaa of the Finnish Institute of Educational Research, however, ask if universities around the world are “uncritically adopting and legislating ‘transnational academic capitalism’, grounded in new public management supported by the OECD modernisation agenda”. Research Europe earlier this year reported that “restructuring Finnish universities to specialise in particular subjects risks increasing inequalities between institutions and across society” ... read more 16.09.2016

Switzerland seeks to rejoin Horizon 2020

ZURICH (nzz) -- Swiss researchers are hoping that the Bundesrat ratifies the Croatia Protocol, permitting the country to fully rejoin the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. Since being ejected, Swiss investment in Horizon 2020 projects and EU investment into Swiss research have both halved … read more 18.9.16

Cost of studying in Hungary rises

BUDAPEST (24) -- Due to rising tuition fees and apartment prices, Hungarian first year students will spend on average 38 percent more this year than those who began their studies five years ago. Students’ families bare a large share of this burden … read more 15.09.2016

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 //

Lost decade for Spanish higher education

image: Gustave DoréMADRID (hoy) -- Cuts to education in Spain have resulted in a massive fall in student numbers and recruitment of researchers since 2009. Public universities have seen revenue fall by 18 percent, in other words receiving 1.9 billion euros a year less than since before the austerity measures … read more 13.09.2016

Portuguese professors burning out

PORTO (activa) -- Worryingly, almost two thirds of Portuguese academics suffer symptoms of a burnout due to physical fatigue, a study shows. Smaller numbers showed signs cognitive fatigue and emotional exhaustion. The academics said that the combination of research with mentoring students and bureaucratic responsibilites were the main factors read more 18.09.2016

Learning revolution at Ukrainian universities

logoKIEV (novoye vremya) -- The Kiev Polytechnic Institute, the Ukrainian Catholic University, the Lviv Polytechnic National University and Lviv University are launching a pilot on the Prometheus platform to begin incorporating online courses alongside traditional lectures. Some of these include Harvard’s CS50 programming course and Stanford’s ‘How to organise a start up’. Previous experiments in blended learning have shown a 35 percent increase in student performance and according to some experts, by 2030, 80 percent of information taught to students will not require physical presence … read more 14.09.2016

Monday, 19 September 2016 //

Researchers freed from copyright shackles

image: business europeBRUSSELS (nature) -- In its State of the Union address, the European Commission revealed plans to broaden the copyright exception for researchers. Under the plans, researchers will be able to use computer programmes to sift through and harvest data from millions of online sources, which was previously illegal. “This proposed copyright exception will give researchers the freedom to pursue their work without fear of legal repercussions,” said Carlos Moedas, head of research at the European Commission … read more 15.09.2016

European Commission pledges more money for knowledge

BRUSSELS (neth-er) -- The Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ programmes are to receive an extra 400 million euros and 200 million euros respectively on top of their existing budget for the next four years under a new proposal from the European Commission. The Council and Parliament will have now have to consider it before it becomes certain … read more 15.09.2016

French universities increasingly privately funded

logoPARIS (france info) -- Between 2008 and 2013 the share of private money invested in French higher education grew by 25 percent, an OECD report has found. The large majority of investment into education still comes from the public purse, however … read more 15.09.2016

Saturday, 17 September 2016 //

Czech students’ anger at 2017 budget

image: SK RVSPRAGUE (denika) -- The Czech Student Chamber of the Council of Universities (SK RVŠ) has deplored the lack of funding going into higher education in the 2017 state budget. They have also not ruled out the possibility of public protests. “It is the only public sector that financially has stagnated” said SK RVŠ chairman, Michal Zima … read more 12.09.2016

FEFU students complain to prosecutor

VLADIVOSTOK (deita) -- Students of the Far Eastern Federal University in Russia will write a statement for the prosecutor’s office in Vladivostok bemoaning the unsanitary and generally unsatisfactory conditions of their dormitories … read more 12.09.2016

Czech Republic to pioneer medical cannabis research?

image: web

MECLOV (denik) -- The Czech Agricultural University and a Meclov agricultural company have inaugurated a new facility specialised in research of therapeutic cannabis cultivation. “Only a few countries have such development deals, so we have a chance to be at the forefront of this research,” remarked Martin Pýcha of the Czech Agricultural Union … read more 12.09.2016

Friday, 16 September 2016 //

Poland creates two-class university system

image: JGWARSAW (polskie radio) -- Polish science minister Jarosław Gowin has announced a new strategy for science and higher education based on three pillars: the emergence of non-teaching research institutions, partnership of business and science and the social responsibility of science … read more 9.9.2016

Luxurious new accommodation at Moscow State

MOSCOW (poisknews) -- Students at Moscow State University will soon be able to move into a luxurious new ‘House of Students’, with training and meeting rooms, a movie theatre, recreation rooms, medical units and a lobby at their disposal. All the more welcome against the backdrop of recent scandals surrounding unsanitary MSU dorms … read more 09.09.2016

Austrian universities hit back at yellow press

logoVIENNA (uwn) -- After the tabloid Kronen Zeitung used Universities Austria (uniko) statisitics to back up a claim that welfare costs could not be substantially reduced by integrating refugees into the labour market, uniko responded critically, labelling it an attempt to “discredit efforts to integrate refugees.” Austrian universities introduced special programmes to support refugee students and academics last year … read more 2.9.16

Thursday, 15 September 2016 //

Netherlands as a ‘testing ground’ for digital society?

image: Tilburg University, photo montage: ESNAAMSTERDAM (vsnu) -- The Dutch universities association VSNU issued a call to transform the Netherlands into a ‘testing ground’ for new technologies. VSNU president Karl Dittrich said: “Investing now in research on what may be the most important transition of our age will enable the Netherlands to secure a prominent position on the digital world map for the decade to come” … read more 05.09.2016

Fallout from Macchiarini scandal spreads

STOCKHOLM (science) -- A new round of resignations and firings has begun in the fallout from the scandal surrounding Paolo Macchiarini and the Karolinska Institute. The chancellor of all public universities, Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson has been dismissed, and all remaining KI board members who were active during Macchiarini’s tenure will be replaced … read more 06.09.2016

The Swiss long to return to the bosom of Erasmus+

image: mountain

BERN (srf) -- The transitional solution for the Erasmus+ mobility program that Switzerland has had in place since being kicked out of Horizon 2020 has been extended by a year. From 2018, however, the Federal Council wants to again become an associated full member … read more 07.09.2016

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 //

Germany: €3.5 billion needed for refugees’ education

image: Hajo FixKÖLN (pie news) -- 3.5 billion euros will be needed to properly educate Germany’s refugees and integrate them into the labour market, the institute for economic research IW Köln estimates. Axel Plünnecke, IW Köln director, added: “The additional expenses for education can be saved within a few years of social welfare when the worker is integrated in the labour market” … read more 09.09.2016

Dutch tech unis unable to take more students

EINDHOVEN (dutchnews) -- The Netherland’s four universities of technology can not take any more students without extra funding, states chairman of the technical university federation Victor van der Chijs. Education minister Jet Bussemaker said the government had no more money available and did not object to limiting student numbers … read more 05.09.2016

UK unis consider European campuses

image: University of ExeterCARDIFF (wales online) -- Following June’s Brexit vote, British universities are considering opening campuses in the EU. Sir Steve Smith, vice-chancellor of the University of Exeter said, “We would be damaging ourselves if we weren’t making it as easy as possible to work with those we collaborate with most” … read more 11.09.2016

Tuesday, 13 September 2016 //

Danish higher education minister takes the wheel

image: UTCOPENHAGEN (forskerforum) -- Ulla Tørnæs, Danish science and higher education ministery, may tighten the chain of command between universities and the state. A recent report commissioned by her ministry proposes that university boards should act more like senior officials of an “agency” whose “owner” is the minister … read more2.9.16

Norwegian students afraid of research

OSLO (forskerforum) -- Grad students’ desire to enter academia as a career has declined, as the Norwegian Association of Researchers has discovered. Contrastingly, interest in the public sector has risen sharply over the past two years … read more 06.09.2016

Four Parisian unis to merge

image: GCSEPARIS (le monde) -- Come New Year’s Day 2019, the universities Sorbonne-Nouvelle, Paris-Descartes, Paris-Diderot and Paris-XIII will have merged into one, with a student body of 100,000 people. The president of the Sorbonne Paris Cité, Jean-Yves Mérindol, said the project is “difficult, but promising” … read more 08.09.2016

Monday, 12 September 2016 //

Lessons learned for Karolinska Institute

image: MacchiariniSTOCKHOLM (nature) -- After the embarrassing Macchiarini scandal earlier this year, the Karolinska Institute has done well in repairing some of the damage done to its reputation. The KI and its university hospital have subsequently improved their procedures for recruitment and the handling of whistle-blowers, but there are concerns that avant-garde research will be abandoned ... read more 08.09.2016

Germany: Tuition fees are the wrong policy

MAGDEBURG (mz) -- Tuition fees are not exactly absent at German universities: students who exceed the regular length of study of four semesters must pay 500 euros per semester. In Sachsen-Anhalt, universities’ income from these fees has grown by 40 percent in eight years. “This is a clear sign,” says Hendrik Lange, spokesperson of the party Die Linke, “that fees are an inefficient instrument to motivate students” ... read more 6.9.16

USA: Ban on unionisation of grad students lifted

logoNEW YORK (columbia spectator) -- In a landmark case, the National Labour Relations Board has ruled in favour of graduate students and teaching assistants at the University of Columbia. Overturning a previous ruling, graduate students at private universities across the US will now be able to form unions ... read more 23.0

Facts and figures about graduate student unionising ... here

Saturday, 10 September 2016 //

BYOD: Bring Your Own Devices

image: CC

LYON (l’étudiant) -- Students of the University of Lyons 3 were recently asked about their expectations vis-a-vis the institution’s digital strategy. Most students wished for the university to allow them to make the best of their own equipment, and to adapt existing digital educational spaces to facilitate more collaborative work read more 05.09.2016
Friday, 9 September 2016 //

Better grades ≠ better students

image: privateBAYREUTH (n24) -- Both German employers and professors are disappointed. Although students’ grades improve yearly, their intelligence and talent does not. Students lack basic reading skills, historical knowledge and analytical abilities, says Gerhard Wolf, language professor in Bayreuth. The Bologna reforms have helped to transform universities into degree mills, and Wikipedia is no substitute for reading and writing, he argues ... read more 05.09.2016

Dutch scientists are overworked

AMSTERDAM (ans) -- The majority of scientists at Dutch universities experience an excessive workload, a survey of the Dutch Socialist party found out. Furthermore, 75 percent of the researchers spoke out against the commercialisation of universities and only 43 percent are satisfied with the quality of science educationread more 06.09.2016

Latvians judge their university education

RIGA (baltic course) -- Latvians still consider universities the best place to receive a high quality education, a survey shows. However, a third of respondents think that higher education is not obligatory to find a successful job, whereas 44 percent believe that a successful career ... read more 30.8.16

Thursday, 8 September 2016 //

Putin appoints new education minister

image: KPMOSCOW (pravmir) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed renowned religious expert Olga Vasilyeva to the position of Minister for Education and Science. Vasilyeva is a professor of history and has written both a PhD thesis and doctoral dissertation on the relationship between the Soviet state and the Russian Orthodox Church. Some are claiming that some are saying that you hear that her appointment is a sign of ‘Stalinisation’ in Putin’s Russia … read more | and here 23.08.2016

Erdoğan purges universities

ISTANBUL (nzz) -- Following July’s failed military coup, Turkish President Recep Erdoğan is purging the country’s higher education institutions. 27,000 people have already been dismissed, 4225 academics have been suspended and fifteen universities have been closed altogether read more 05.09.2016

Higher investment, higher ranking

imnage: QSLONDON (swiss info) -- Richer universities fare better in rankings. This was made clear in the publication of this year’s QS World University Rankings, whose head of research Ben Sowter said that “levels of investment are determining who progresses and who regresses. Institutions in countries that provide high levels of targeted funding are rising. On the other hand, some Western European nations making or proposing cuts to public research spending are losing ground to their US and Asian counterparts” … read more

Wednesday, 7 September 2016 //

Basel: Strict rules for university-industry cooperation

logoBASEL (tageswoche) -- The University of Basel has set out clear new rules about the transparency of sponsorship contracts with industry partners in a bid to maintain academic independence. The origin of the external funds must be scrutinised, contracts must be open to the public and the sponsors may not take part in the appointment of researchers … read more30.08

Swiss student exchange gains ground

image: Frederique Deligne ZURICH (nzz) -- After the 2014 referendum on immigration, Switzlerand was removed from the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme and has since had its own student mobility initiative in place. After a budget increase of 1.2 million Swiss francs, there are now signs of growing interest, with around 5,000 Swiss students heading abroad this year … read more 29.08.16

S.O.S. for Bulgarian university sport

SOFIA (actualno) -- After a three-day round table discussion students and professors came up with some specific proposals for the Bulgarian government in order to improve the state of university sport in the country. This included proposals for the annual sports subsidy and a desire to follow European directives on sport … read more 01.09.16

Tuesday, 6 September 2016 //

Bribery at Kiev university

image: Kiev International University of Civil AviationKIEV (wprost) -- Officers of the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine arrested Volodymyr Kharchenko, rector of the National Aviation University in Kiev, who accepted a bribe equivalent to 100,000 euros to allow a dismissed employee to return to work. Kharchenko will carry a sentence of eight to twelve years, forfeiture of illegally acquired property and a ban on holding public office for two to three years … read more 28.08.2016

Young researchers want their say in EU policy

BRATISLAVA (sciencemag) -- Young scientists of multiple nationalities and institutions came together last month to create a wish list called the Bratislava Declaration. They invited European policy makers “to sustain a dialogue with young researchers” and to give them more employment stability … read more

Profitable lingua franca at Dutch universities


AMSTERDAM (nos) -- One reason for the international popularity of Dutch universities is the high number of classes in the English language. Two thirds of all courses were conducted in English this year and tuition fees from overseas students provide institutions with an attractive extra income. However, both student unions, ISO and LSVb, voiced concerns about deteriorating quality of teaching due to the poor English of lecturers … read more 26.8.16

Monday, 5 September 2016 //

€30 million for security at French universities

image: Mikani

PARIS (le monde) -- Due to the recent spate of terrorist attacks in France, and coming a week after new safety measures at primary and secondary schools, education minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem has announced that 30 million euros will be provided for university security. The money is available due to some budgetary acrobatics involving universities’ contributions to the Fund for the Integration of Disabled People in Public Services … read more 01.09.16

European universities receive Facebook servers

logoPRAGUE/BRNO (vb) -- The Czech Technical University (ČVUT) in Prague and other universities in the Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, and the UK are entering into cooperation with Facebook. The California based tech firm will provide the universities with servers, the designs of which were open-sourced last year (FAIR). These will “help to significantly accelerate research in the areas of computer vision and machine learning,” says Ondřej Chum from the ČVUT Faculty of Engineering … read more | and here 29.08.2016

German students want a career in public service

BERLIN (n-tv) -- According to a survey of 3,500 students at 27 university towns, 32 percent of students would like to become civil servants after completing their studies. The second most popular career choice would have students working at a cultural institution … read more 28.08.16

yo soy cuba
summer break

Thursday, 21 July 2016 //

Greece creates science agency

image: ESNAATHENS (nature) -- A massive loan from the European Union’s investment bank gives Greek researchers their first ray of hope since the debt crisis hit six years ago: a government-backed plan to create a Greek research agency. Dubbed the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (HFRI), it will issue regular calls for basic research proposals, fill requests for research equipment and award fellowships for young scientists. The EIB says that the HFRI is crucial to halting Greece’s startling brain drain, a parliamentary bill to establish the agency is currently being discussed ... read more 15.07.2016

Turkish academics ‘very scared’ over travel ban

ISTANBUL (jerusalem post) -- Turkish academics are living in fear, since the government implemented a travel ban in the aftermath of the recent coup attempt. Academics were banned from traveling abroad on Wednesday in what a Turkish official said was a temporary measure to prevent the risk of alleged coup plotters in universities from fleeing ... read more 21.07.2016

Tuesday, 19 July 2016 //

Erdoğan fires all university deans

image: CCISTANBUL (zerohedge) -- After the coup attempt, Turkish president Recep Erdoğan first cracked down on his immediate military and legal opponents and then took his crusade against everyone else, including the press and the educational system. Turkey’s Board of Higher Education has requested the resignations of all 1,577 university deans, effectively dismissing them. At an emergency meeting of 165 university rectors in Ankara, YÖK had told university rectors to identify academics and administrators with connections to the Gülen movement — a religious and social organization that Erdoğan considers to be behind the coup — and to take steps to expel them. The council did not invite a further 28 rectors to that meeting, saying that their universities are suspected of being pro-Gülenist. Some of these institutions will be taken over by the state, YÖK said ... read more | and here 19.07.2016

Plagiarism investigations at Welsh universities rise

CARDIFF (independent) -- According to figures obtained by BBC Wales Today, half of universities in the country have seen an increase in the number of cases being investigated since the 2010/11 academic year. However, told the programme the use of the bespoke sites is not illegal ... read more 19.09.2016

Patenting by universities is counterproductive

logoGENEVA (ipw) -- A new publication analysing the relationship between intellectual property and access to science explores ways countries have developed to counter the potential barriers created by IP rights, and says patenting by universities is counterproductive. According to the publication, “some developments in intellectual property, notably in the field of patent law, have led to the appropriation of scientific knowledge that by its very nature should remain in the public domain, thereby jeopardizing its dissemination and further use” ... read more 19.7.16

Monday, 18 July 2016 //

European Universities Games officially opened

logoZAGREB (itg) -- The European Universities Games (EUG) were officially declared open today by Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković during a ceremony at the Mladost Stadium in Zagreb. Around 5,000 athletes from 300 universities are competing in Rijeka and Zagreb ... read more 13.07.2016

Brexit: Fears of science and tech brain drain

LONDON (sky news) -- The particular worry for the technology sector is that other European cities such as Berlin will attract experts away from London. “We might move to Germany where there is more science and better organised science, and better funded science," Grace Roberts, a doctoral researchers at Leeds” ... read more 19.07.2016

European students cancel places because of Brexit

CARDIFF (wales online) -- More than 100 prospective students from Europe have withdrawn applications to study at Aberystwyth University because of the Brexit vote, according to a report. Vice-chancellor John Grattan said that around 50 of those pulled out the day after the results of the Euro referendum were announced ... read more 15.07.2016

Saturday, 16 July 2016 //

Students and teachers’ unions against TTIP and CETA

image: EIBRUSSELS (esu) -- Education International (EI) and the European Students’ Union (ESU) urge governments in Europe, the United States,  and beyond, to exempt education from global trade agreements. “We believe that these agreements pose direct threats to the provision of high-quality public services, including education, in particular through restricting governments’ capacity to regulate in the public interest, encouraging further liberalisation of services and expanding the rights of multinational corporations,” said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen ... read more 13.7.16

Private colleges in the US are not held accountable

WASINGTON (usn) -- A new study by economists found no evidence of improved earnings for the majority of students who left a for-profit institution. Another study found that 47 percent of student loan borrowers who exited for-profit schools in 2009 defaulted within five years ... read more 12.07.2016

Friday, 15 July 2016 //

Universities are more European than the EU

image: CDBU / BBCLONDON (the) -- The Brexit debate ought to look deeper, says historian Howard Hotson at Oxford University. Universities were not national institutions in origin, they were profoundly local and broadly European as they emerged incrementally from monasteries, cathedral schools or groups of private masters, which came together to form guilds or corporations. Then they quickly developed a symbiotic relationship with the highest authorities in Europe, which gave them legal status and reinforced their most valuable features ... read more 07.07.2016

Azerbaijan’s university begins its services export

BAKU (abc) -- The Azerbaijan State Economic University (UNEC) starts export of educational services to Europe, Asia and Africa. At a forum in South Korea, UNEC rector Adalat Muradov signed memoranda of understanding with universities in India, Macedonia and Nigeria ... read more 13.07.2017

The show must go on

image: youtubeMÜNSTER (az) -- A professor has been ordered by a court in Münster in the west of Germany to reinstate lectures he cancelled because of noisy students. The court decided he should have sent the perpetrators out of the lecture hall or gone to the dean or rector for help. If he refuses to reinstate the lecture, he is liable to disciplinary proceedings … read more | and here 07.07.2016
Thursday, 14 July 2016 //

Research spending cooling off in Sweden

image: SNSSTOCKHOLM (uwn) -- The Swedish Research Council has launched a ‘research barometer’ which shows that R&D funding in Sweden has been declining relative to GDP, despite an increase in the amount of research being done. “The resource hike of the last decade or so has been translated primarily into new, and often insecure, positions rather than forming the basis for a sustainable career and recruitment system,” professor Mats Benner of Lund University told University World News read more 08.07.2016

How to improve study outcomes

logoBERLIN (standard) -- University teaching must adapt to the new times, German educational scientists demand. Real-life experiences should accompany studying, computers should enhance training and assessment centres should substitute final degrees ... read more | research paper 6.7.16

Free extension for Czech students

PRAGUE (rozhlas) -- The Czech government has decreed that students will not have to pay fees if they extend their bachelor’s degrees by one year. Universities fear losses in funding … read more 10.07.2016
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 //

France: helping hand for humanities graduates

Arthur RimbaudPARIS (le monde) -- Humanities and social science graduates in France are to receive help finding work, thanks to higher education minister Thierry Mandon. Specialist course evaluators will adapt courses for improved employability, the public sector will be encouraged to employ PhDs and there will be an awareness campaign to promote their unique skills to businesses. Humanities and social sciences are to be ‘put at the heart of society’ … read more 04.07.2016

Poor Scots

EDINBURGH (herald) -- Scottish students are always losing out. First it’s the Europeans taking their places, now it’s the English who, if statements made by the Scottish Conservative Party are to be believed, are being given preference at Scottish universities as they bring in valuable fee-money, which Scottish students do not. However Vonnie Sandlan, president of student body NUS Scotland, said this was untrue … read more | report12.07.2016

Turkey plagued by plagiarism

logoANKARA (hurriyet) -- One in three Turkish theses have high rates of plagiarism, says a study by Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University. The study’s initial focus was the ‘quality of academic writing’ but its researchers were so surprised by the levels of plagiarism that they looked into it further. Turkish students seem “not to know how to write theses,” while academics do not know how to teach thesis writing … read more 01.07.2016

Tuesday, 12 July 2016 //

Portugal: Heitor calls for funding

image: University of TexasLISBON (nam) -- Portugal’s science minister Manuel Heitor has called for more funding for research and development if Portugal and southern Europe in general are not to be left behind. He said only countries that have committed to R&D have seen sustained economic growth … read more 07.07.2016

Language barriers to Italy

ROME (il sole 24 ore) -- There could be more courses taught in English at Italian universities. Less than 250 correlate with only 70,000 foreign students a year. In comparison, over 1,200 courses in France and 1,800 in Germany attract 270,000 or 200,000 internationals … read more 10.07.2016

Scholarships to help Greek students

ATHENS (gr) -- The Greek government is changing the criteria for university students to receive scholarships. They will know take into account social criteria as well as the academic performance, meaning a less well-off student can achieve a lower grade and still be awarded the grant … read more 

Monday, 11 July 2016 //

Ukrainian students flock to Poland

image: viamichelin/esna

RZESZÓW (expres) -- Ukrainian students are flocking to the University of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszów in Poland. The university, which lies close to the Ukrainian border, offers many advantages such as low fees, good care for internationals, prestigious study abroad programmes and among the best degree prospects in Poland. 2,000 of its 5,500 students are internationals … read more 01.07.2016
Meanwhile in Rzeszów’s twin city in Ukraine, Ivano-Frankivsk, international students have been coming in large numbers to a Ukrainian university, the Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University, one of Ukraine’s most prestigious, which saw more than 200 international students from more than three dozen countries graduate last month … read more 27.06.2016

Germany: ‘Could do better’ on immigrant education

BERLIN (dw) -- Children from immigrant backgrounds are still struggling to access higher education, shows Germany’s latest report on education. Although 20 percent more (56 percent) high school leavers of immigrant background achieved the school-leaving certificate than 10 years ago, they are still under-represented at grammar schools and thus in higher education … read more 17.06.2016

Swedish students sinking into debt

STOCKHOLM (finanzen) -- Despite not paying tuition fees, many Swedish students are sinking into debt paying for their rent, food and study supplies. Living expenses in Sweden are among the highest in the world and, to make matters worse, most students refuse to ask their parents for money, as is common in most of the Western world. As a result two thirds of students owe around 15,000 euros … read more 06.07.2016

Saturday, 9 July 2016 //

Controversy over ‘oversensitivity’ at US uni

WASHINGTON (jezebel) -- Last December calls from students at Oberlin College in Ohio in the US for the play Antigone to have ‘content warnings’ sparked claims of the university being crushed by student political correctness. In an opinion piece Donna Zuckerberg, classics scholar and sister to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, writes however that giving content warnings is simply making allowances for more sensitive students, just like one would build a ramp for a wheelchair-using student … read more 27.06.2016

Friday, 8 July 2016 //

Sweden: Double-edged university business

image: SLUUPPSALA (unt) -- The University of Uppsala in Sweden is upset at the high rents it is being charged by government-owned property company Akademiska Hus which owns its buildings. The company has insisted on charging market rents to the university, despite the fact that these are very difficult to ascertain. A further complaint is that since the company has a monopoly on the university property market it can keep prices high. Peter Bohman, regional director of the Academic House, is aware of the criticism: “The university has its mission, we have ours,” he said … read more 2.7.16

Italian rectors call for stronger universities

UDINE (ts) -- 50 Italian rectors in the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI) have called for the government to strengthen universities role in promoting the country’s competitiveness. They ask for more scholarships to boost access to higher education and more vocational degrees to give Italian young people the right skills for the market-place. Italy currently has one of the lowest graduate rates among OECD countries … read more 02.07.2016

Wiley tactics go down badly

LONDON (nature) -- The American academic publisher Wiley is under fire for creating ‘trap’ URLs designed to prevent piracy. The publisher had created more than 150 such links to webpages it had set up that appeared to be academic papers. When users clicked the links they were blocked from viewing other Wiley content. The ruse was discovered by an academic at Cambridge University … read more 29.06.2016

Thursday, 7 July 2016 //

Two weeks on, what does Brexit mean for HE?

LONDON (div) -- The unprecedented decision of the UK to leave the EU will have big consequences for UK higher education: the possible end to the system as the UK itself potentially breaks up, reduced research funding, reduced student numbers from the EU and problems for British students studying in Europe. The Italian prime minister (see below) may have a solution for the latter but can the others be solved so easily? … read more | and here | here | here | here 27.06.2016

EU passports for British students?

LONDON (bbc) -- Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi and German vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel have both suggested that Britons studying at European universities could be offered EU passports to allow them to continue studying there. Gabriel suggested that all young Britons living in Europe should be offered dual-nationality so that they continue to live there. He said the EU should not “pull up the drawbridge” on them, as they had largely voted to remain … read more | and here 04.07.2016

In a galaxy far, far away…

KEELE (keele uni) -- Teenagers on work experience at Keele University in the Midlands in the UK may have discovered a new planet. It orbits a star 800 light years away and is the size of Neptune … read more 30.06.2016

Wednesday, 6 July 2016 //

European University Games

image: EUSAZAGREB (tcn) -- The third European University Games will be held in Croatia 12-25 July. The games, which are held every two years, will see 4,781 student sportspeople descend on Zagreb and Rijeka, both able-bodied and disabled. In the run-up to the games, student accommodation in Zagreb was refurbished with money from the EU … read more 24.06.2016

Makeover for Madrid

MADRID (el mundo) -- Madrid’s regional government is embarking on an extensive programme of reform for the region’s universities. Inspired by the example of Catalonia, the reforms aim to attract academic talent from around the country and the world, introduce non-lecture teaching techniques such as Massive Online Open Courses, put a stronger emphasis on research and introduce a degree of performance-based funding … read more 04.07.2016

International student business in Nancy, France

NANCY (est republicain) -- 15,772 euros is what each international student brings to the economy of Alsace-Lorraine in the east of France. With internationals making up 12.4 percent of students at the University of Lorraine, one of the highest rates in the country, the region benefits from 124 million euros a year … read more 02.07.2016

Tuesday, 5 July 2016 //

Faustian pact for Latvian university?


RIGA (reitingi) -- The University of Latvia has engaged World Bank experts to help it reform its governance and finances. Over the next two years the experts will advise on internal management, financing, recruitment and remuneration. A Faustian pact bringing in neo-liberalism along with its ‘improved’ structures? … read more 30.06.2016

Building up your staff in Sweden

STOCKHOLM (gp) -- The Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers has said that universities need to offer researchers permanent positions if they are not to go elsewhere. One in three employees in higher education are on a temporary contract whereas 97 percent of engineers outside academia are on a permanent contract … read more 01.07.2016

Mandatory gender quotas in Ireland

DUBLIN (irish times) -- Universities and colleges in Ireland risk losing funding if they do not introduce mandatory quotas for the number of women in senior positions. This is a recommendation in the Higher Education Authority’s report on gender equality. Although men and women are equally represented in HE institutions, women are under-represented in senior roles … read more 

Monday, 4 July 2016 //

Italy: hiring autonomy with a catch

image: scuolainformaROME (il sole 24 ore) -- The Italian university sector has been reformed several times since 2000, most recently with education minister Stefania Giannini’s increasing of university autonomy. However this has been to the detriment of internationalisation, with 50 percent of job offers being reserved for existing staff at the university, showed this year’s ANVUR report read more 27.06.2016

EU to advise on gender imbalance at universities

BRUSSELS (sci bus) -- The European Commission is launching a new online hub to advise universities on tackling gender imbalances. The site will good practice from the EU and abroad. Only one in five top level academics in the EU is a woman … read more 23.06.2016

Dance your PhD

image: scienceWASHINGTON (science mag) -- That’s right, the magazine Science is asking people to dance their PhD. They are offering $1000 to the winner of their competition to turn a PhD into an interpretive dance and video it. Watch last year’s winner’s here … read more

Saturday, 2 July 2016 //

News from the greatest university of the Netherlands

image: citinerary

AMSTERDAM (nrc) -- Geert ten Dam has been appointed the new head of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA). Emphasising the importance of openness and accessibility, ten Dam said that students can always contact her. In this spirit her office is leaving the main administrative building and moving to be closer to the students … read more 03.06.2016
UvA and its administrative building, Maagdenhuis, had been the focus of Europe’s most important student protest in 2015. Two new committees, one for democratisation-decentralisation and one for financing, now ensure that student and staff supervise management decisions ... read more 02.06.2016

Friday, 1 July 2016 //

Oviedo’s new rector gets to work

image: Universidad de OviedoOVIEDO (voz de asturias) -- The newly elected rector of the University of Oviedo in the north-west of Spain has wasted no time in setting out his priorities, after being elected on the 20th June. Santiago García-Granda has three main priorities: ending the high staff turnover, deciding on a new university entrance test and dealing with the introduction of the three year bachelor course … read more 27.06.2016

French go to La Belle Province

MONTREAL (le monde) -- French students are still flocking to Quebec and elsewhere in Canada, despite a hike in tuition fees from 1600 to 4100 euros. Many of the 10,000 going this year are trying to avoid the dreaded ‘preparatory classes’ necessary to enter France’s grandes écolesread more 

Likes and dislikes of Erasmus students in Slovakia

BRATISLAVA (sme) -- Women, cheap alcohol and Marek Hamšík ‒ these are three of the reasons listed by Erasmus students for going to Slovakia. Marek Hamšík was cited by Neapolitan students whose hometown he plays football in, the cheap alcohol was mentioned by German students and the country’s women were praised by, predictably, a male student. Complaints included not being understood verbally, problems with the immigration authorities and strict rules on university accommodation … read more 28.06.2016

Thursday, 30 June 2016 //

Turkey’s latest education bill

image: U.S. Air ForceANKARA (hurriyet) -- Turkey’s education committee has been debating the country’s latest education bill, proposed by new minister . The minister said that the number of courses in Turkish universities will be reduced in an effort to simplify the curriculum. As ESNA reported earlier this month, the bill also contains allows sanctions for the political activities of academics judged ‘deviant’ … read more 27.06.2016

Makeover for Dutch universities

AMSTERDAM (univers) -- The Dutch government has promised 3.5 billion euros to refurbish colleges and universities and allow them to expand. This is in part to create enough accommodation for students so that student numbers can continue to rise … read more 27.06.2016

Students encouraged to use Wikipedia

logoWASHINGTON (daily herald) -- Students across the United States are now being encouraged to edit Wikipedia pages as part of class assignments. More than 14,000 students have edited or created pages on the online encyclopaedia. Having their work read by the public, rather than just their teacher is far more worthwhile, say professors. A new study also confirms this  … read more 26.6.16

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 //

‘Juncker Plan’ not delivering for universities

image: EPPBRUSSELS (science guide) -- The European Universities Association (EUA) has complained that universities are barely benefiting from Jean-Claude Juncker’s European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI). Last year Juncker and Commissioner Carlos Moedas promised to make the fund work for universities, not least because it is part-funded by Horizon 2020 money. However an EUA report shows that because the funding structure of EFSI is not suited to universities, they receive barely any funding through it … read more 24.6.16

ESNA press review 2015:
29 June | 4 June | 24 April | 7 April | 6 April | 16 February | 2 February

Back door to privatisation in Portugal?

LISBON (tvi 24) -- Portugal’s National Federation of Teachers (FENPROF) fears that the converting of public universities to private foundations, legal since 2007, is a back door to privatisation and not in the public interest. Rectors argue that the move gives them more autonomy but FEENPROF says that the board of trustees, often including bankers, has too much power over strategic and budgetary matters … read more 27.06.2016

Brexit Q&A with former EU science adviser

image: Plastic EuropeABERDEEN (science mag) -- The EU’s former science adviser Anne Glover has answered questions on the prospects for UK and Scottish science following the UK’s vote to leave the EU. Saying she was ashamed of her country, she said that science funding in the UK will almost inevitably decline as EU money is pulled out … read more 27.06.2016

Tuesday, 28 June 2016 //

Mediterranean universities against desertification

image: Chase

SASSARI (radio vaticana) -- The universities of Constantine in Algeria, Tripoli in Libya and Cagliari and Sassari in Sardinia, Italy, have signed a statement of intent to combat desertification. They will conduct joint research programme, such as the one in Tunisia and Algeria by the University of Sassari which is developing underground aquifers for water storage … read more 17.06.2016

Sci-Hub gaining traction with academics?

AMSTERDAM (im 2.0) -- A study conducted by an academic from the University of Utrecht suggests that the pirate research website Sci-Hub may be being used by academics for convenience rather than necessity. The site was founded in 2011 by Alexandra Elbakyan and contains over 51,000,000 scientific papers. The research suggested academics were using it despite having access through their university subscriptions … read more 20.06.2016

Norway: student entrepreneurs raking it in

logoTRONDHEIM (dn) -- Students from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) walked away with the equivalent of over a million euros from a student entrepreneur competition, taking 10 of the 15 winning places … read more 19.06.2016

Monday, 27 June 2016 //

Spanish universities slimming down

image: Sindacato EstudiantesMADRID (el mundo) -- Eleven Spanish universities are amalgamating faculties and departments in an effort to reduce complexity and save costs. The University of Madrid, for example, is cutting 26 faculties to 17 and 185 departments to 72. The students’ union announced strikes and started a petition in protest against the move, which they say will have “dramatic consequences” and worsen the quality of their education … read more | and here 16.06.2016

Greece: improve teaching of Ancient Greek

ATHENS (rethemnos news) -- The teaching of Ancient Greek should be overhauled in Greece, instead of arguing about the number of hours taught a week, a commentator claims. This follows the government’s announcement that one hour less of Ancient Greek will be taught a week. Vlasia Michailidou claims that a new awareness of the cultural richness of the language should be taught. She says that the language, far from being ‘dead’, can be a guide to ‘a bright future’ … read more 22.06.2016

French students not ‘staying safe’

image. FISCH & FLEISCHPARIS (ouest france) -- 57 percent of French students in a survey admitted to not always using a condom during sex. The study also looked at overall health, with 38 percent of students saying stress was disrupting their lives … read more 21.06.2016

Scots pushed out by EU students

EDINBURGH (telegraph) -- Scottish Vote Leave, the Scottish Brexit campaign, has published research showing that Scots are being squeezed out of the country’s four best universities by EU students who also pay no fees. It costs 114 million euros to fund their free education and their number has increased at the four top universities markedly, whilst the number has Scots on average has fallen. Three of the university chancellors however called on Tuesday for a Remain vote … read more 21.06.2016

Saturday, 25 June 2016 //

Google floats into universities

logoWASHINGTON (fortune) -- Google is offering free access to students to some software tools on its cloud computing service. Available software includes an app-building engine and software for processing big datasets. The scheme is currently available in the US and will be rolled out elsewhere soon … read more 21.06.2016

Friday, 24 June 2016 //

Switzerland: Research funds slipping over the horizon?

image: ESNABERN (df) -- Switzerland’s continued access to the EU science funding programme Horizon 2020 remains uncertain. The parliament voted to allow Croatians freedom of movement, which is the EU’s condition for continuing Switzerland’s participation in the scheme, but only with quotas. It remains to be seen how the EU will react. The country’s universities, who profit handsomely from the scheme, certainly hope it will continue … read more 20.06.2016

Oxford universities had backed Bremain

OXFORD (ox times) -- Before this morning’s Brexit result, the vice-chancellors of Oxford had written an open letter backing a ‘remain vote’ in Britain’s EU referendum. They said they were ‘gravely concerned’ about the impact of possible Brexit on their universities and students … read more 22.06.2016

Greece: where have all the teachers gone?

ATHENS (ipaideia) -- The number of teaching staff at universities and technical institutes in Greece has sunk by 40 percent since 2009. The staff-student ratio has risen to 1:17, which is disproportionately high by European and international standards … read more 22.06.2016

Thursday, 23 June 2016 //

Ibero-American university alliance

image: UBMADRID (el pais) -- The universities of Madrid, Barcelona, São Paulo, Mexico City and Buenos Aires have formed the Latin American Union of Universities, which aims to act as a lobbying and consulting organisation. Dídac Ramirez, rector of the University of Barcelona, said they wanted to “project influence internationally in a joint and coordinated voice”. Five more universities will join but are yet to be confirmed … read more 20.06.2016

Austria: Public unis should keep out of private ones

VIENNA (presse) -- The Green Party in Austria has demanded that public universities be banned from holding shares in private universities. The TU Vienna intends to become the fourth Austrian public university to hold such shares. The Greens condemn the education ministry’s condoning of the move as ‘circumventing national education policy’ … read more | and here 16.6.16

Private German university under suspicion of corruption

image: dieter-schwarz-stiftungHEILBRONN (stuttgarter) -- Lidl founder Dieter Schwarz has supported the private school Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) generously in recent years. The lack of transparency, however, has aroused mistrust over the food corporation’s interest in the university. The independence of research at the DHBW is in question, especially after former university president Reinhold Geilsdörfer was once again placed under investigation by the public prosecutor for corruption … read more 8.6.16

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 //

Deal reached on Germany’s excellence initiative

image: (c) ESNA

BERLIN (wiwo) -- Germany’s federal and regional governments have finally reached an agreement on the country’s new excellence initiative programme. 11 universities will form a group of elite institutions receiving 533 million euros per year. The plans were first opposed 10 years ago by academics and commentators who said it unbalanced the university system and damaged its democratic foundations … read more 17.06.2016

Switzerland: can’t feed people with studies

BERN (bieler tagblatt) -- Switzerland’s lower house of parliament has decided not increase spending on education. Main coalition partner the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) justified it on the grounds of austerity. When the Social Democrats pointed out that farmers were having their funding increased, the SVP asked if they wanted to feed the people with ‘useless studies’ if there were a food shortage … read more | and here 09.06.2016

More public support for students in Italy

image: ESNAROME (repubblica) -- More Italian sudents will now be able to benefit from public student grants, after education minister Stefania Giannini raised the income threshold for payments. Due to a delay in approving the reform in the south of Italy, students there will have to wait longer … read more 15.6.16

Tuesday, 21 June 2016 //

Anti-Semitism at Dutch high school

image: jew jitsuAMSTERDAM (haaretz) -- Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs has called for high school pupils at Elde College near Amsterdam to be prosecuted for hate speech after they sang ‘together we’ll burn Jews, because Jews burn the best’ at their graduation party … read more 11.6.16

EU research policy according to Holtzbrinck

BRUSSELS (nature) -- In a special report by Nature the ways in which the EU has shaped research are examined: The EU has boosted science mobility and collaboration, enabled studies across member countries that would have otherwise been impossible and promoted ‘excellence’ in science through its funding competitions … read more 15.06.2016

Ireland: why retire when you can reskill?

DUBLIN (it) -- Dublin City University is offering a new programme to retirees or those soon to retire to help them embark on a second career. The number of over-65s in Ireland is expected to triple in the next 25 years … read more

Monday, 20 June 2016 //

New initiative for Universities of Applied Sciences launched

image: swisscore

BRUSSELS (eurashe) -- A new European association of universities of applied sciences has been founded, its name: UAS4EUROPE. They want to function “as regional connectors, key international players, competent EU project leaders, consulting bodies, and promoters of entrepreneurship ... read more | video

Apple lures European students with discounts

LONDON (bidness etc) -- Apple is offering students in France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, and the UK discounts on iPhones, iPads, and Mac devices as part of their ‘Back to School’ programme. In addition, students will receive free headphones. One quarter of Apple’s global quarterly revenue of 75,9 billion dollar is made in Europe … read more 15.06.2016

Google research in Switzerland

logoZURICH (business insider) -- Google has set up a new AI research group in Zurich to focus on machine learning. Companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft are all investing heavily in these areas as they look to make their platforms and services more intelligent … read more 16.06.2016

‘Useless’ Swedish degree refunded

STOCKHOLM (wp) -- A Swedish college has been ordered to repay the tuition fees of a US student whose course was ruled to be of ‘no practical value’ by a Swedish court. The ruling should make clear that colleges ‘must comply with laws and regulations’ … read more 14.06.2016

Saturday, 18 June 2016 //

Rap wins top Marx in China


BEIJING (standard) -- In May the head of the Communist Party in China demanded Marxism be restored to its leading place in universities. Since then economists have written an open letter to the education minister deploring the lack of knowledge of Marxism at universities. Part of China’s response is the rap song ‘Marx is a post-90’ (i.e. millennial) which aims to present Marx as a role model for China’s youth and has become an internet hit … read more

Friday, 17 June 2016 //

Skills agenda for the EU

image: EPPBRUSSELS (ggf) -- The European Commission has launched a ten point ‘skills agenda’ for EU member countries. Employment commissioner Marianne Thyssen said that “70 million Europeans lack sufficient reading, writing and numeracy skills and 45 percent of the EU population lack a sufficient level of digital skills” … read more | and here 13.06.2016

Huawei invests in maths in France

PARIS (finanzen) -- The technology company Huawei has announced the creation of a maths centre in France. The centre will develop algorithms to facilitate the use of big data sets and exploit France’s mathematical expertise for Huawei’s product development … read more | and here 14.06.2016

Andorra needs research funding

image: ESNAANDORRA (bon dia) -- The Andorran Institute of Research (IEA) fears that the country is slipping behind others like Ecuador in research funding. It proposes private financing of research and joining the EU to gain access to its research funds … read more 13.06.2016

Who’s the king of the castle?

BRUSSELS (reuters) -- The Catholic University of Leuven has been crowned ‘most innovative university’ in Europe by a Reuters ranking. As the largest university in the Benelux region and one of its most elite, this is hardly surprisingread more

Thursday, 16 June 2016 //

ESU light years away from student interests

BRUSSELS (esna) -- The European Student Union (ESU) has proudly announced a ‘landmark declaration to unite in a global student voice’. Attentive observers of ESU, the fig leaf of student dissent permitted at the doorstep of the European Commission, will note how this umbrella group of European student unions removes itself further and further from the real political action, students are capable of and urgently need. A ‘landmark declaration to unite in an interplanetary student voice’ is soon expected ... read more 01.06.2016

Netherlands must retain more internationals

AMSTERDAM (ep nuffic) -- The Netherlands must retain more international students according to a new report. Ten percent of the Dutch student population is from abroad, one third of these 70.000 students leave the country right after graduation … read more 15.06.2016

Germany to overtake Britain for international students

DELHI (pienews) -- Germany will beat Britain as the top destination for international students in Europe if its intake keeps on growing at a rate of 6.6 percent. Even India, an important ‘TNE market’ for the UK, is looking more towards Germany and its abolished tuition fees more | and here

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 //

Corruption-fighting rector in Kazakhstan

ASTANA (the) -- Kazakhstan’s universities are riddled with cheating, plagiarism, corruption and staid teaching, says Krzysztof Rybiński, rector of Narxoz University in the east of Kazakhstan. The rector has been fighting these scourges at his university since he was appointed 16 months ago, often firing staff, some of whom would take bribes to boost grades and give early access to exam papers … read more 07.06.2016

France backtracks on research cuts

PARIS (rsc) -- Following an open letter to the French government by seven Nobel laureates deploring impending cuts to France’s research and higher education budget of 256 million euros, President Hollande has agreed to reinstate more than half of the funding. Media coverage of the original decision allegedly caused the U-turn … read more 07.06.2016

German labour court favours scientists

ERFURT (gew) -- The German Federal Labour Court has ruled that the repeated granting of essentially similar short-term contracts to scientists is unlawful. Nine in ten employees in German science and higher education have a temporary contract, which makes science the most precarious workplace in the country ... read more 09.06.2016

Tuesday, 14 June 2016 //

New European university lobby group

image: wappenBRUSSELS (science) -- The Guild of European Research Intensive Universities is a new EU lobby group of nine European universities that launches in November and includes the universities of Bologna and Oslo. Despite the existence of several other lobby groups such as LERU (21 members) and the EUA (850 members), the new group felt that Central and Eastern Europe were underrepresented, areas where it is seeking new members … read more 03.06.2016

‘Parship’ for Russian and Belarussian universities

image: (belta) -- Mikhail Myasnikovich, speaker of Belarus’ upper house, has announced that individual Belarussian and Russian universities must work together. This is on the back of cooperation agreements signed between the two countries which however need universities to take the initiative in order to bring this cooperation to fruition. A youth and academic exchange programme may also be launched between the two countries… read more

Norwegian Gargantua

OSLO (pbs) -- The number of firms founded and patents applied for by university researchers declined dramatically after a law change in 2003 which gave two thirds of the income from such activities to the researcher’s university. A study shows that the number of firms founded dropped by 50 percent whilst the number of patents dropped by 48 percent compared to other Norwegian inventors … read more 06.06.2016

Monday, 13 June 2016 //

Silicon Valleys from L.A. to Vladivostok

image: mafo

WARSAW (naukawpolsce) -- Poland’s science minister Jarosław Gowin wants his country to initiate the ‘fourth Industrial Revolution’ by transforming it into a powerhouse of innovative technology. He has promised 16 billion euros in the coming years to fund this transformation, which he believes the state should play a leading role in. A competition was launched in April to find 20 companies to start Warsaw’s own Silicon Valley … read more 08.06.2016

Grant protectionism in Portugal?

LISBON (sapo) -- Portugal’s national science funding agency FCT has changed the criteria for the granting of doctoral and post-doctoral scholarships. Uncoupling performance indicators in research from international standards to replace them with a national jury and favouring Portuguese applicants, both fly in the face of internationalisation efforts … read more 07.06.2016

Doctoral schools to close in Romania

BUCHAREST (agerpres) -- A third of the 360 doctoral schools in Romania will likely close in the next two to three years, says education minister Adrian Curaj. He said that this will help the doctoral schools overcome a ‘critical period’, as will the specialisation of some of the remaining schools in particular subjects … read more 04.06.2016

Saturday, 11 June 2016 //

Trump attacks Clinton’s education company

image: ESNAWASHINGTON (fiscal times) -- Donald Trump has attacked Bill and Hillary Clinton over Bill’s involvement in the education company Laureate International Universities, which supports struggling universities around the world. Since 2010 Bill Clinton received $16.5 million as honorary chancellor of the string of for-profit universities. Despite the good reputation of the company, it flies in the face of Hillary’s attacks on private educational institutions … read more 08.06.2016

Croatia’s education system “produces careerists”

ZAGREB (df) -- Protestors were on streets of Zagreb and other Croatian cities to demand reform of the education system. It produces, they complain, only ‘careerists’ who regurgitate facts. Universities are seen as affected by the same illness, which drives many young Croatians abroad. Current reform plans are threatened by infighting in the governing conservative HDZ party … read more

Friday, 10 June 2016 //

Swedish research reputation at risk

image: Karolinska InstitutetSTOCKHOLM (dn) -- The reputation of Swedish research is at risk after world-famous surgeon Paolo Macchiarini caused a patient at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm to die by using an unproven technique to reconstruct their trachea. This blurred the line between research and medical care, meaning that better supervisory provisions are needed in future, says research minister Helene Hellmark Knutsson, who has launched an investigation into the case … read more

Ukraine: Buy three and save!

KIEV (gazeta) -- A survey shows that a majority of Ukrainian students do not want low-cost university places cut, even if it increases the quality of their education. The government defends the proposals on the basis that the country needs more vocational training and fewer graduates and that the money saved could finance the training of doctors and engineers that the country needs … read more 08.06.2016

Stand on your own two feet, Slovenia

logoLJUBLJANA (demokracija) -- The European Research Council (ERC) has rebuked Slovenia for trying to rely too heavily on its funding, saying that the prime responsibility for financing science lies with the country itself. Whilst the country is successful at obtaining Horizon 2020 grants, only one in 100 of its ERC funding applications were granted … read more 06.06.2016

Thursday, 9 June 2016 //

Successful Croatian student protest

image: facebook

ZAGREB (tcn) -- Students in Croatia protesting against delays in payment of scholarships to socially disadvantaged students have won their battle with education minister Predrag Šustar. The students camped outside the education ministry for five days to demand changes to the payments of scholarships, including allowing students working part-time and asylum seekers studying in Croatia to claim it … read more 06.06.2016

Germany: prepare students for digitalisation

BERLIN (finanzen) -- A report commissioned by the industry says that German universities are not preparing students well enough for digitalisation. Many graduate jobs will soon be automated and many professions seemingly unrelated to technology will be changed considerably by it, it suggests. Future graduates need to be able to analyse statistics and deal with large data sets and work both independently and collaboratively … read more 06.06.2016

Resits for strike-hit Belgian students

BRUSSELS (rtbf) -- The state government for Wallonia-Brussels in Belgium will likely pass legislation allowing for students to resit exams who cannot attend them because of unexpected circumstances such as the strikes for the past fortnight by workers at the national railway company SNCB read more

Wednesday, 8 June 2016 //

Egg-pelting students on trial in Albania

image: freepikTIRANA (vision plus) -- The trial of students who pelted the Albanian prime minister’s car in November last year has begun. The students were protesting against the introduction of legislation which gave public money to private universities, increased tuition fees, introduced student loans and made a combination of government officials and businessmen responsible for administering university budgets … read more 06.06.2016

Google complains about Europe’s tech scene

image: Charles HaynesAMSTERDAM (business insider) -- Executive chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet Eric Schmidt has bemoaned the underfunding of European universities compared to US ones, Europe’s tight regulation and its tax policies. He claimed that European politicians are inactive in response to his feedback. He made the comments at the Startup Fest Europe conference in the Netherlands … read more 29.5.16

Russia shifts science funding

MOSCOW (uwn) -- Russia plans to increasingly shift its scientific research from the Russian Academy of Sciences, where 80 percent takes place, to its national universities, such as the Moscow State University. This is in part because the Academy is very bureaucratic which hinders research efficiency. A new law will allow for this and for the stimulating of research and development in the country in general … read more 02.06.2016

Tuesday, 7 June 2016 //

Rocket Mandon

image: Les EchosPARIS (space news) -- Europe must redouble its efforts in space research, said French research minister Thierry Mandon on a visit to the joint French and European space agencies’ merged launcher directorate in Paris. France is developing Prometheus, a reusable, liquid-oxygen, liquid-methane engine, to match the US’ Falcon 9 reusable rocket, and hopes to sub-contract work to Germany and other European partners in exchange for financial contributions … read more 01.06.2016

Galician universities haemorrhaging students

SANTIAGO (el correo) -- Universities in the Spanish region of Galicia have lost 40 percent of students in the last 15 years, going down from 95,000 to 56,000. All areas but health sciences shared the drop in students. The decreases have been put down to the Bologna reforms which cut degree lengths, the economic crisis and the ageing population … read more 05.06.2016

Rectors protest cuts to Czech university budget

PRAGUE (monitor) -- University rectors in the Czech Republic are outraged by the draft education budget for next year which would see cuts to the universities’ budgets whilst spending on renewable energy, defence and sport increases. The rectors however welcomed an increase in spending by 3.7 billion crowns (137 million euros), which they said would help develop science at universities … read more 03.06.2016

Monday, 6 June 2016 //

World’s biggest education prize launched

image: Yidan Price OrgBEIJING (prn) -- The world’s biggest education prize is now in China. The internet billionaire Charles Chen Yidan has launched the prize named after him, the Yidan Prize, worth nearly seven million euros. It will recognise “outstanding” individuals or teams – teachers, researchers, academics, policymakers, and social activists, among others. The Yidan Prize also commissioned  research to identify five global education indicators across 25 economies. The indicators are public expenditure, affordability, youth unemployment, STEM graduates and internet access in schools … read more 22.05.2016

Declaration for a global student voice

BRUSSELS (esu) -- The European Students’ Union has formally adopted the ‘Bergen declaration’, an agreement drafted by student activists from around the world last month. The declaration aims to create a global student movement, guarantee free and inclusive education for all and reaffirm the importance of academic freedom … read more 01.06.2016

Ambitious EU open access target

BRUSSELS (rsc) -- Ministers from the European Union’s 28 member states have agreed that open access to scientific publications should become the common standard across the bloc by 2020. The EU Competitiveness Council met in Brussels on 26-27 May and announced the target following a public debate of broader plans to develop ‘open science’ ... read more 02.06.2016

Saturday, 4 June 2016 //

African students’ union at Russian university

image: Misis

MOSCOW (africa news) -- The National University of Science and Technology (МИСиС) in Moscow has inaugurated a students’ union for Africans. The union was created to increase the comfort and enhance the experience of African students at the university. Its objectives include social and academic support, communication support and connections with other communities and organisations … read more 27.05.2016

Lara Croft at the LSE

LONDON (independent) -- The actress Angelina Jolie has been appointed visiting professor at the London School of Economics at the university’s Centre for Women, Peace and Security where she will teach a Master’s course. Jolie has been a vocal campaigner on refugee rights, and against the female genital mutilation and the use of rape as a weapon of war … read more 25.05.2016

Portable academic credentials

logoAMSTERDAM (pienews) -- The Groningen Declaration Network has just held its annual meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. The aim of the group is to promote the secure, portable, digital ownership of academic credentials for students, which means that international students can transfer their records from, say, China to the US if they study there. This combats both data fraud and facilitates studying overseas … read more 13.05.2016

Friday, 3 June 2016 //

British research funding merged into single agency

image: pm-blogLONDON (sci business) -- The British government is to create a single research funding body, bringing together seven research councils, the innovation agency Innovate UK and research funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The new body, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), will command a six billion pounds (7.8 billion euros) budget. The aim is to make it easier to fund cross-disciplinary studies and create an integrated research and innovation system … read more 19.05.2016

Ukraine: laboratory for the labour-market shaped university

KIEV (div) -- Recent articles highlight the successful transformation of Ukrainian higher education in line with Western ‘standards’ like New Public Management and technological rationalisation. Student participation, with a tame political agenda, and big data analysis for funding allocation are promised as a panacea ... read more | and here 27.05.2016

Turkish Education bill threatens academics

ANKARA (hurrieyet) -- Turkey’s ruling party has sent a draft omnibus bill proposing a tightening of the disciplinary system in universities, including provisions concerning academics, while also demanding mandatory apprenticeships for secondary school students and outlining plans to open six new universities. According to the amendments, academics’ political activities will be punishable … read more 24.05.2016

Thursday, 2 June 2016 //

More funding for Czech universities?

image: CCPRAGUE (aktualne) -- 1.8 billion extra crowns (67 million euros) – that’s what the Czech education ministry is asking the government for. Education minster  wants to spend 1.1 billion on educational activities, and the remaining half a billion on the modernisation of buildings and the procurement of equipment. However academics fear the request will be turned down as they face competition for funding with schools and have already faced a funding setback this year… read more 24.5.2016

Fake degrees in Greek civil service

ATHENS (ekathimerini) -- What to do with civil servants who got their job with fake qualifications? A row has erupted between the Greek government and main opposition party New Democracy over the fact that civil servants who have been fired for having fraudulent degrees were given the chance to re-enter the civil service by sitting an exam. The debate draws attention to the systematic issuing and use of forged degrees in Greece, many issued by private vocational institutions … read more 26.05.2016

Denmark speaks: keep student grants

COPENHAGEN (politiken) -- A poll in Denmark has shown 69 percent of Danish want to keep student grants. The country’s student union, claimed the vote “is a sign that free and equal access to education is a fundamental value.” Education minister Ulla Tørnæs however discredited the poll, saying that people were simply opposed to cuts in general … read more 27.5.2016

Wednesday, 1 June 2016 //

Foreign students scared off from Brussels


BRUSSELS (rtbf) -- The VUB university in Brussels has announced a drop of 20 percent in Erasmus students studying there this year. The supposed reason is fears about the security situation in the city after the terror attacks in March … read more 30.05.2016

Bulgarian university self-imposes cuts

SOFIA (btvnovinite) -- The University of Veliko Turnovo in northern Bulgaria has decided to cut its budget by 25 percent over the next three years in order to pay off its debts of six million lev (three million euros). The cuts will be funded by cutting administrative staff, letting staff go at retirement age and closing down unpopular subjects. The education ministry, which endorses the plan, has promised 1.5 million lev to the university … read more 23.5.2016

Bob the Belarussian builder

MINSK (tvr) -- 10,000 Belarussian students are due to work on construction sites in St Petersburg, Russia, this summer in an initiative organised by the Belarussian Youth Union. They will gain new skills and be able to earn up to the equivalent of 545 euros. Russian students will come to Belarus, some to work in construction, some to work in its hospitals … read more 29.05.2016

Tuesday, 31 May 2016 //

France: Nobel laureates say NO to BELkacem

image: MikaniPARIS (huffpost) -- Seven French Nobel laureates have come out against a planned cancelling of 256 million euros worth of funding for scientific research in the country. The scientists describe it as the country’s science sector ‘committing suicide’. However education minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem has reassured the laureates that the cuts will have no effect on the workings of research organisations … read more 24.05.2016

Gotcha: students caught with fake diplomas in Moldova

CHISINAU (publika) -- Four students at the Comrat State University in Moldova have been prosecuted for using faked high school diplomas to enter the university. This was after they failed their high school leaving exams and paid 850 euros each for a forgery of the diploma … read more 24.05.2016

Austria: Working 9 till 5… and studying too

VIENNA (kurier) -- A fifth of students in Austria are working full-time, many to pay the bills. In total 61 percent of all students work alongside their studies. The Österreichische HochschülerInnenschaft (the Austrian Students’ Union) said the results pointed to a dire financial situation for home students. As a result a third would be unable to pay unexpected costs of 450 euros in a month. The students’ union demands an increase in student support funds, last increased in 1999 … read more 24.05.2016

Monday, 30 May 2016 //

Italian research is holding up well

ROME (wired) -- There has been a significant decrease in the number of students enrolling in Italy and staff numbers, shows the latest ANVUR report. However the country is still doing well in research. Although enrolment numbers increased slightly last year, they showed a worrying gulf emerging between North and South, with an increase of 3.2 percent and only 0.4 percent respectively … read more

UK university lecturers strike over pay

LONDON (guardian) -- Members of the University and College Union are taking industrial action after talks to resolve a dispute over a 1.1 percent pay offer collapsed last week. Lecturers are striking against low-paid, casual work, which hurts students too. In addition to the two-day walkout, the UCU is warning that further action in coming weeks ... read more 25.05.2016

Cuts to the numbers of PhDs in Lithuania

image:alfaVILNIUS (15 min) -- The Lithuanian education ministry plans to reduce the number of doctoral positions in the country in an effort to increase the quality of PhD students’ education. This comes as education minister Audronius Pitrėnienė promised 1.3 million euros more for doctorates. Prof. Sigitas Tamulevičius at Kaunas University of Technology however believes the number of doctorates should be increased as doctorate students help develop new technologies and products … read more 24.05.2016

Saturday, 28 May 2016 //

Hedgefund Harvard - tuition free?

image: San Francisco ChronicleCAMBRIDGE, US (df) -- Graduates of Harvard are rallying for the abolition of tuition fees. Conservative politician and businessman Ron Unz argues that Harvard has become “one of the world’s largest hedge funds with a small college attached” in order pay no taxes. Fees account for only four percent of the institutions 37.7 billion dollar assets, he said, and dropping tuition would be the best way to attract low-income applicants ... read more | and here 20.5.2016

Michelle Obama’s ‘appy for Higher Education

WASHINGTON (science guide) -- Five finalists have been announced in a competition launched by Michelle Obama to develop an app to help students choose degrees and jobs. The apps will include integrated tools to assess student skills and interests, and offer information on occupations, education options, credentials, and career-seeking skills … read more 17.5.16

Andalusian universities finally get paid

SEVILLE (diario de cadiz) -- The regional government of Andalusia in Spain has announced it will finally repay its debts to the region’s universities, which amount to 226 million euros. The government said the repayment plan will allow students to continue to receive their grants for the Erasmus programme and the B1 language courses… read more 25.05.2016

Friday, 27 May 2016 //

Hamburg left outside the elite club

HAMBURG (tagesspiegel) -- Hamburg’s science minister Katharina Fegebank has demanded that the status of ‘excellence university’ be reviewed every seven years. This is in the light of the determination of the German government and industry to create an Ivy League of universities with a strong international outlook and corporate structures … read more 26.05.2016

Please sir, I want some more

OSLO (aftenposten) -- The rectors of five leading Norwegian universities have demanded more funding from the government, despite already receiving more than other universities in the country, which, if granted, would make them something like Germany’s ‘excellent universities’. However the government’s Productivity Commission has instead called for increased competition for the state grants in order to promote quality research … read more 25.05.2016

Too many toffs at Spanish universities

BARCELONA (opinion de Zamora) -- Nearly half of the students (43.6 percent) in the universities in the north and east of Spain are from upper-class families, who are therefore significantly over-represented. To solve this problem, the authors of the survey which showed this recommend nothing more than favouring mature students (i.e. over those 25), helping the ones at risk of dropping out and linking student grants to household income … read more 24.05.2016

Thursday, 26 May 2016 //

Kurdish student branded ‘terrorist’ in Turkey

image: PCISTANBUL (rudaw) -- A Kurdish college student was expelled from her hostel in Turkey, lost her scholarship, and was questioned by the police on terrorism charges after being heard speaking in Kurdish on the phone. Pınar Çetinkaya had been overheard by her roommates speaking to her parents and they filed a complaint with the hostel managers … read more 14.05.2016

Private university professors unhappy in Albania

TIRANA (telegraf) -- A group of lecturers at private universities in Albania have listed their grievances with their employers. Their complaints included not receiving their full pay, not being given the right support with publishing articles and studies and not being given any working spaces … read more 

Support for ‘priority professional fields’ in Bulgaria

SOFIA (dnevik) -- Students studying STEM subjects and pedagogical sciences in Bulgaria are to receive EU scholarships to encourage the take-up of these subjects which are deemed essential to the economy. However the country’s National Union of Students believe students should have equal access to the scholarships … read more 16.05.2016

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 //

Armenia joins the Horizon 2020 party

image: ESNA

YEREVAN (mediamax) -- Armenia has been granted access to Horizon 2020. Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Johannes Hahn noted that Armenia joining Horizon 2020 was a concrete example of the commitment to enhance EU relations with Armenia … read more 20.05.2016

Austria happy with Horizon 2020

VIENNA (standard) -- Austria is a net recipient of research funding from the EU’s eighth framework programme Horizon 2020, receiving three percent of the funding whilst only contributing 2.3 percent of the funds. 391 million euros have been received for 693 projects. These figures are particularly impressive given the difficulty of having projects accepted, the average acceptance rate being 14 percent … read more 16.5.16

Why the Swiss feel so European

image: www.tell.chBERN (nzz) -- The EU has declared that if Switzerland does not extend freedom of movement rights to Croatians, the country will immediately lose equal access to Horizon 2020 funds. In a survey 81 percent of Swiss thought that the programme was important to their universities, which may persuade voters to ratify the EU law granting Croatians free access to Switzerland … read more 22.05.2016

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 //

Andorra wants Erasmus

image: ESNAANDORRA LA VELLA (bon dia) -- Andorra’s education minister Eric Jover has signalled his intention to enter the Erasmus programme. He also called for the University of Andorra to develop a Master’s programme and praised its internationa-lisation programme, which is both attracting foreign students and boosting the country’s profile internationally … read more 17.05.2016

National innovation package in Germany

BERLIN (finanzen) -- On top of renewing the excellence initiative for world class research universities, the German parliament has approved a further 1.5bn € for 1000 tenure track posts and ‘innovative universities’, motivated by the lack of attractive academic career paths and the desire to improve technology transfer at smaller universities … read more 20.05.2016

ESU wanted more from visa directives

image: logoBRUSSELS (pienews) -- New EU rules will soon allow non-EU students to move within the EU, stay nine months after graduating and work up to 15 hours a week. The European Students’ Union has welcomed the move but said it had wanted students to be able to stay for 18 months and for them to be able bring their families with them, not just researchers … read more 19.05.2016

Monday, 23 May 2016 //

Brexit may severely damage research

brexitLONDON (science) -- A report suggests that the UK would lose a lot of EU research funding if it leaves following the in-out referendum next month. The country only spends 1.63 percent of its GDP on research (compared to Germany’s 2.85 percent) and has thus come to rely on EU funding to prop up its own spending shortfall. However the decision by the lobby group Universities UK to publicly oppose Brexit has been branded by some as ‘damaging to democracy’… read more 17.05.2016

Hunt for bogus universities in Belgium

BRUSSELS (la libre) -- The Belgian government has launched a campaign to root out fraudulent universities which offer worthless qualifications. The number of such institutions has multiplied in recent years thanks to the Internet … read more 18.05.2016

White paper accelerates privatisation of UK higher ed

LONDON (pie news) -- A white paper has just been published outlining changes to British higher education to increase competition by making it easier for alternative providers to access degree awarding powers. Even more of universities’ funding will come from tuition fees meaning student choice of university will determine funding, meaning ‘the market’ governs university success or failure … read more | and here 17.05.2016

Saturday, 21 May 2016 //

700 years of free thinking

image: CUNI

PRAGUE (monitor) -- 76 universities from 29 countries have signed a document affirming the importance of free thinking and its place in universities. This was on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the birth of King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, who founded eleven universities. The declaration says critical thinking of free people and free discussion remain the most precious values in spite of the dramatic changes the world has undergone since the birth of Charles IV … read more 16.05.2016

Boost for student-entrepreneurs in France

PARIS (l’etudiant) -- Two years ago the legal status of ‘student-entrepreneur’ was created in France, which allows students to develop a business idea alongside their studies. Many have yet to hear of it however. Higher education minister Thierry Mandon has thus launched a campaign to raise awareness of it. He also wants to promote an ‘entrepreneurial spirit’, boost co-working spaces and offer loans to student-entrepreneurs … read more 17.05.2016

Switzerland strides ahead in open access

image: iconZURICH (swiss info) -- 40 percent of scientific publications produced with the support of public funding in Switzerland are openly accessible, which puts the country well on the way to achieving the aim of the Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science, which is to achieve full open access for all publicly funded scientific publications by 2020 … read more 10.05.2016

Friday, 20 May 2016 //

Denmark to stop free education for EU students?

image: UTCOPENHAGEN (ekstra bladet) -- More and more EU students are studying for free in Denmark and education minster Ulla Tørnæs is considering putting an end to it. She complained that many leave Denmark after their studies and so do not contribute to Danish society. She may curtail the number of courses taught in English in an effort to reduce the numbers. This may be seen as challenging the fundamental principles of the EU … read more 18.05.2016

Ireland using international students as cash cows

DUBLIN (irish times) -- Ireland is turning to international students to plug the gap in its university funding. International students pay up to €20,000 a year and provide 15 percent of the income at some universities despite only making up 8.8 percent of the overall student body … read more 17.05.2016

Overseas students paying through the nose in Sweden

image: sketchSTOCKHOLM (sveriges radio) -- Non-EU students are paying up to twice as much as their degrees cost their universities. The students are paying between 20,000 (2,100 euros) and 60,000 kronor (6,400 euros) per year more than the government pays for their Swedish and EU counterparts’ degrees … read more 10.05.2016

Thursday, 19 May 2016 //

Greece stumps up for education

image: Υπουργείο ΕξωτερικώνATHENS (news bomb) -- Despite the dire straits that Greece is in economically, the country has mustered up an additional 25 million euros for higher education. Part of this money will go towards the hiring of an additional 500 university staff. Deputy research minister Sia Anagnostopoulou affirmed the importance of free university education … read more 15.05.2016

European super-university

image: logoZURICH (rsi) -- The Universities of Basel, Upper Alsace, Strasbourg and Freiburg, and the Technological Institute of Karlsruhe have officially merged to create the first European university to span three countries. Its name: Eucor. Although maintaining their independence, the universities are legally a single entity under European law. The merger aims to boost research and teaching and provide uniform scientific facilities across the five universities … read more 11.05.2016

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 //

Time to come home, Georgian scientists

image: Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia

TBILISI (ministry of education) -- Georgia and Germany have signed an agreement which aims to attract Georgian scientists working in Germany back to their country. The Jülich Research Centre in Germany, which supports the move, will arrange laboratories in Georgia for the returning scientists, in addition to various exchange programmes and information-sharing initiatives ... read more 11.05.2016

Fears about Finnish performance-oriented funding

HELSINKI (kaleva) -- Finnish universities are anxiously awaiting the implementation next year of performance-oriented funding, which they fear will change the financial relationship between universities, which will now be in competition. A main criterion is the graduate employment rate. However universities fear that the criteria are not transparent enough, which will hinder their long-term planning ... read more 16.05.2016

Low-cost places cut in Belarus

emoticonMINSK (udf) -- The number of low-cost places at university in Belarus has been cut again, with places for students in construction work particularly affected. The number of places for medical students however was increased. The changes were justified on the basis of demand for the graduates of particular subjects, with President Alexander Lukashenko saying education needed to be ‘elitist’. The changes happen against a backdrop of increasing student numbers in the country ... read more 12.5.16

Tuesday, 17 May 2016 //

Albanian rector candidate uses mafia methods

image: citynewsTIRANA (sot) -- President of Albania Bujar Nishani has suspended the appointment of university rectors in the country after several universities went to court over irregularites in the election of their rectors. One of the universities is the University of Tirana where losing candidate Klodeta Dibra was accused of hiring men to intimidate the winning candidate, Mynyr Koni, into leaving the race … read more 11.05.2016

London students on rent strike

LONDON (le monde) -- ‘I am officially on rent strike’ said one London student on Twitter following a decision by 1,000 students at UCL, Roehampton, Goldsmith’s and the Courtauld Institute to refuse to pay their rent until a reduction in rent has been negotiated with their halls of residence. Rents in London have quadrupled in the last fifteen years, with 80 percent of a student’s budget going on rent … read more 13.05.2016

Student rents in Belgium: Marcourt to the rescue!

image: Flickr / ESNABRUSSELS (la libre) -- Student grants to be linked to rents – that’s what higher education minister for Wallonia-Brussels Jean-Claude Marcourt wants to implement as part of a plan to reduce studying costs and improve social support for students. This responds to a growing need across Europe where rents are becoming increasing unaffordable, e.g. in London and Berlin ... read more 11.05.2016

Monday, 16 May 2016 //

Germany needs to catch up on digitalisation

image: ESNA

BERLIN (bz) -- A new report shows that Germany is doing well in R&D, with more than 600,000 people employed in the sector. However, as science minister Johanna Wanka pointed out, competition from abroad, especially Japan, and particularly in regard to digitalisation, means Germany cannot afford to rest on its laurels … read more 11.05.2016

New residency rules for non-EU students

BRUSSELS (nus) -- Non-EU students will soon have greater access to the EU jobs market after an EU Visa Directive which allows them to stay nine months after completing their studies, move within the EU during their studies and work up to 15 hours a week. Member states have two years to implement the new rules … read more 12.05.2016

Saturday, 14 May 2016 //

Too much PR = bad science

image: MADVIENNA (orf) -- New studies show that the PR surrounding science is endangering its integrity. Universities nowadays have to compete with one another for students, funding and academics and so there is pressure to present themselves in the best possible light. Half of the surveyed scientists admitted to changing research so the public would react better to it. A fifth said they chose or avoided research questions based on the expected public reaction … read more 10.05.2016

Sicily: disabled students facing cuts

PALERMO (repubblica) -- This week disabled students at the University of Palermo in Sicily protested reductions to transport and mentoring services. This comes after the education ministry cut funds allocated to disabled students. The university rector promised to find funds elsewhere to keep the transport going … read more 11.05.2016

Startup-speed-dating in Switzerland

ZURICH (nzz) -- In April 120 students at the ETH Zürich took part in a ‘startup-speed-dating’ event to bring together potential start-up founders. So far this year the university has supported the founding of five firms, part of its technology transfer programme. Scholarships and working space is offered to start-up teams. What they need most, however, is a reduction in red-tape, easy relations with the authorities and clear regulations … read more 7.5.16

Friday, 13 May 2016 //

Open innovation - a special outlook in NATURE

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LONDON (nature) -- Academics and industry competitors are increasingly working together in a spirit of openness in order to accelerate research. Examples include collaboration on basic research, open competitions to solve complex biological problems which make data freely available and the non-patenting of discoveries … read more 11.05.2016

The Swiss do well without Erasmus

ZURICH (nzz) -- Switzerland’s replacement programme for the Erasmus+ student mobility programme (Semp) has been confirmed for another year. After the referendum against immigration non-EU member Switzerland cannot take part in the Erasmus initiative. However there are negotiations in process to include Switzerland in the future again … read more 06.05.2016

Bulgaria: We want our scholarships back

SOFIA (monitor) -- Medical students will protest on Monday 16th May outside the Bulgarian education ministry against cutbacks in scholarships. The reasons given are that medical faculties do not need to encourage students to study there and that many students emigrate on graduation. Education minister Meglena Kuneva said the decision will stand and that she will invite the management of the medical faculties to find other ways to stimulate demand for places … read more 11.05.2016

Thursday, 12 May 2016 //

‘Lottery’ for Paris medical students?

image: tipp24

PARIS (france 24) -- Places at medical schools in the Paris region have been limited to 7,500 this year amidst accusations of an application lottery. This comes as the number of applicants has sky-rocketed. Whilst Paris universities have denied claims of a lottery, university applicant union FIFDL condemned the reduction, saying it was “playing with the lives of graduates” … read more

More than 800 cheats at Irish universities

DUBLIN (independent) -- More than 800 Irish students have cheated in their exams in the last three years, figures show. The National University of Ireland in Galway at the West coast topped the list with 329 cases, whilst University College Dublin was the only institution to suspend students as a result. None of the universities reported an expulsion … read more 02.05.2016

Lithuania aims high

VILNIUS (kauno diena) -- Europe’s no. 1 health and biotechnology centre – that’s what Lithuania hopes to become by 2020. Already a major player in biotechnology, the country aims to increase the number of biomedical PhDs and biotech companies and has provided 77.1 million euros from EU structural funds to boost the sector … read more 03.05.2016

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 //

Moscow orders more mergers

image: studsportMOSCOW (ep nuffic) -- Following Russian higher education reforms in 2011 which saw 23 specialist universities closed and merged into multidisciplinary ones, five more will be merging, including the State University of Management merging with the Kutafin Moscow State Law University and the Moscow State Forest University joining the Bauman Moscow State Technical University. The mergers aim to increase the overall quality of education … read more 28.4.16

Underfunded universities in Northern Ireland

BELFAST (the) -- “Efforts to boost the economy in Northern Ireland by cutting taxes, which experts believe could create 90,000 jobs and economic growth worth £300 million (380 million euros) a year, are likely to be undermined by the loss of prestige and capacity of the two landmark universities.” This sophism, uncritically repeated by the Times Higher Education magazine, serves to pressure universities in Northern Ireland to raise tuition fees. That cause and effect are inverse, that tax cuts lead to funding cuts at the expense of university staff and students, shows the sadness of editors in THE who either have no brains or no professional ethics … read more 04.05.2016

Indian universities go neoliberal

image: PTI

SINGAPORE (the wire) -- Amid the large-scale onslaught of corporatised agendas that seek to turn universities into instrumental workshops, protesting students across India offer the hope for another imagination, grounded in an ethics of care, says Mohan J. Dutta, professor for communications and new media in Singapore... read more 07.05.2016

Tuesday, 10 May 2016 //

UK: Inevitable effects of tuition fees

image: NUS ScotlandEDINBURGH (herald) -- Student representatives in Scotland fear that tuition fees will create “a two-tier system with institutions differentiating between those who pay fees and those who don’t and racing to recruit the former at the expense of the latter”. Vonnie Sandlan, president of student body NUS Scotland, commented on the fact that Scottish universities —which offer tuition free studies to indigenous students— are increasingly dependent on fees income ... read more 07.05.2016

Education reforms in Croatia

ZAGREB (tportal) -- Croatian education minister Predrag Šustar disclosed in an interview that upcoming reforms will streamline the operations and structures of universities in the country and promote a more meritocratic culture in them. Universities will have more responsibility for their budgets and scholarships and other funding for STEM subjects will be increased … read more 07.05.2016

Boost to Spain’s Erasmus programme

MADRID (el mundo) -- Spain’s Erasmus programme, which facilitates students studying within the EU, has received a boost with an increase of five million euros to this year’s budget, making it 90 million, and an increase in the placement length from five to seven months. Grants have been increased but academic requirements have been made tougher … read more 05.05.2016

Monday, 9 May 2016 //

Fraud investigation at Dutch universities

image: UUAMSTERDAM (ad) -- The Dutch Inspectorate of Education has launched an investigation into financial irregularities at eight universities in the country. It involves claims for hotels and chauffeur-driven cars which were filed incorrectly. The findings will be released in mid-autumn … read more 3.5.16

Your country needs you!

WASHINGTON (inside sources) -- American scholars are increasingly worried about the threat posed by cyber-attacks, many of which are coming from China, Russia and North Korea. Few universities make cyber-security a priority in computer science courses, despite the fact that there are 209,000 job vacancies in cyber-security … read more 04.05.2016

Italy’s University for Refugees

ROME (corriere) -- #U4Refugees, the University for Refugees, is an initiative launched by Italian education minister Stefania Giannini to allow refugees who have already started a degree course in their homeland to continue it in Italy. A joint initiative between the Ca’ Foscari of Venice, Politecnico di Torino and the University of Venice has already provided an example of how to do this … read more 04.05.2016
Saturday, 7 May 2016 //

Lights, Camera, Education!

LONDON (bbc) -- Films play an important role in determining where students want to study. Films such as A Beautiful Mind set in Princeton, Legally Blonde in Harvard or The Graduate in Berkley have shown US universities to the world and this adds to the international students studying in the States, who bring in an estimated $20 billion to the economy … read more 27.04.2016

First German-Iranian university cooperations

TEHRAN (nordwest zeitung) -- First France, now Germany. Universities in Lower Saxony in Germany have signed several contracts with Iran. The University of Göttingen’s Medical School signed an agreement with the Medical University of Tehran to share information and later to cooperate on gastro-intestinal diseases and cancer therapy, whilst the Technical University of Brunswick signed a similar agreement which will lead to an exchange of academics and research cooperation … read more 19.04.2016

Shrinking student numbers in Hungary

BUDAPEST (nol) -- In the last five years the number of graduates in Hungary has decreased by almost a fifth, a reduction of 30,000. This is due to fewer applicants, which is partially blamed on reforms to the higher education system. However, the government insists that the drop is not necessarily bad: fewer students means a lower drop-out rate … read more 03.05.2016
Friday, 6 May 2016 //

High speed for Kazakh students

image: AZHASTANA (times) -- In the next three to four years, access to broadband internet will reach 90 percent of students in Kazakhstan, education minister Erlan Sagadiyev announced. “Hundreds of respected colleges and universities now offer online courses, and we would be wise to take advantage of it. High-speed internet will become the main educational backbone of our infrastructure,” he added … read more 26.04.2016

EU: Progress made against radicalisation

image: EUBRUSSELS (aca) -- The Paris Declaration, an agreement signed last March following the Paris attacks which aims to combat radicalisation through education, has borne fruit. According to a EU report, 65 percent of EU member countries have made significant changes to education policy, in areas such as professional teacher training, learning contents and student engagement. However more needs to be done in adult and higher education to combat extremist ideology … read more 29.04.2016

English students paying top dollar

LONDON (uwn) -- English students face some of the highest tuition fees in the world – higher than the US – and the highest average debts at graduation. The average fees at a public university in the States is 9,700 dollars (8,400 euros), whilst in the UK it is 8,800 pounds (11,200 euros), and many private American universities offer generous bursaries. However the vast majority of UK student debt is held by the state, with income-related repayments and interest rates of just three percent… read more 28.04.2016

Thursday, 5 May 2016 //

50 ways to improve a French student’s life

image: Les Echos PARIS (le parisien) -- Easier access to grants, simplified internship contracts, digital IDs for students. These are some of the 50 policies French higher education minister Thierry Mandon announced to simplify students’ lives. The digital ID “will allow the university to access all documents concerning the student”, said Mandon, provided student consent is given. The minister said that France has been lagging behind other European countries such as the Netherlands in student data digitalisation … read more 28.04.2016

Greek opposition backs HE commodification

ATHENS (avgi) -- Kyriakos Mitsotakis, leader of Greece’s main opposition party New Democracy, laid out his vision for education at his party conference and was heavily criticised by education minister Nikos Filis. Mitsotakis’ plan involves a commodification of education, seeing students as consumers, which Filis saw as downgrading “the right to education to a market process and merchandise” … read more 28.04.2016

Georgia takes a slice of the research pie

TBILISI (xinhua) -- The EU's innovation programme Horizon 2020 has a new member: Georgia. The country’s research institutes, universities and individual researchers will now have access to all opportunities offered by Horizon 2020 that funds diverse scientific areas … read more 29.04.2016

Wednesday, 4 May 2016 //

Germany: Rents out of reach

image: Simpsons

BERLIN (welt) -- In five years, rents in many German university cities have skyrocketed, in Berlin by one third. 530 euros for a 20 sqm room in a student residence is not a rarity. Many have to choose their university based on rent and many poorer young people are put off studying altogether … read more

Cyprus as a ‘training centre’ for Iranians

NICOSIA (in-cyprus) -- Cypriot education minister, Costas Kadis, meeting with the Iranian Deputy Minister for Health and Medical Education, Mohammed Larijani, wants to transform Cyprus into a regional training hub and provide higher education to students from surrounding countries. The two ministers discussed prospects for a cooperation among their countries’ universities and research institutions, in particular in medicine … read more 1.5.16

Performance-oriented funding in Finland

HELSINKI (verkkouutiset) -- A new funding model for Finnish universities is being discussed: less basic funding and more performance-oriented criteria. While universities will have control over a bigger share of their budget, a higher share will be allocated according to research impact, student ‘employability’ or innovative teaching … read more 29.04.2016

Tuesday, 3 May 2016 //

‘Educational hysteria’ slammed in Austria

image: NRhZVIENNA (presse) -- The promise of social advancement through (higher) education has been put into question in Austria. Matthias Burchardt, a ‘philosopher of education’ of the University of Cologne, spoke at a conference in Vienna saying that there is an ‘educational hysteria’, a ‘myth of academisation’ which misleads many students into going to university. He criticised the OECD’s promotion of mass higher education while praising Austrian science minister Mitterlehner’s plans to divert students into technical colleges … read more 02.05.2016

Bulgaria opts for New Public Management

SOFIA (dnevik) -- The Council of Rectors in Bulgaria have shown their support for a new law in effect from 1st March which has switched funding from mere student numbers to quality indicators of teaching and research. At the same time, the number of subsidised students is being reduced … read more 28.4.16

Switzerland increasingly dependent on foreign scientists

BERN (rsi news) -- Switzerland is growing increasingly dependent on foreign scientists for its research and innovation, a new report reveals. As a result, the country needs to ensure its continued attractiveness to foreign scientists but must also use home-grown talent, said state secretary for education Mauro Dell’Ambrogio … read more 27.04.2016

Monday, 2 May 2016 //

Bosnian student president posts homophobic insults

image: SPUS

SARAJEVO (global voices) -- After what happened at the alternative cinema Art Kino Kriterion in the city centre in March, Haris Zahiragić, Sarajevo University Student Parliament President, went on Facebook and wrote homophobic comments that seemed to support the attack of hooligans against the LGBT-friendly popular spot. With over 30,000 students, the University of Sarajevo is the largest and oldest university in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In his rant, Zahiragić deemed homosexuality a “systemic and contagious disease” and blamed the WHO for the AIDS epidemic ... read more | and here 3.4.16

Croatia consults World Bank on higher education funding

ZAGREB (nacional) -- At a workshop held in Zagreb this week, Croatian education minister Predrag Šustar discussed changes in higher education funding in Croatia and other European regions. Organised by the World Bank, it was attended by the education ministers and other senior representatives of the Czech Republic, Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovenia and the experts of the World Bank and the European Commission. As one might expect, the proposals aim at a performance-oriented, externally evaluated financing model ... read more 26.04.2016

Academic freedom on trial in Turkey

ISTANBUL (wp) -- On Friday, four imprisoned scholars from Istanbul faced charges of terrorism. Their alleged crime? Signing a public petition calling for renewal of the peace talks between the Turkish government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) ... read more 26.04.2016

Saturday, 30 April 2016 //

A journey along the frontiers of science

image: screenshot

HILVERSUM (neth-er) -- The Dutch broadcasting organisation VPRO, the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and UNESCO plan a ten-episode television series: The Mind of the Universe. Thinkers and scientists will be portrayed and questioned about the boundaries of their discipline and the future state of knowledge. The material will become available as open content ... read more 28.04.2016

Artificial Intelligence drains scientific talent

LONDON (nature) -- The laboratories of tech titans Google, Microsoft, Facebook, IBM and Baidu (China) are stuffed with ex-university scientists, drawn to private firms’ superior computing resources and salaries. But some are concerned about the more subtle impacts of the industrial migration, which leaves universities temporarily devoid of top talent, and could ultimately sway the field towards commercial endeavours at the expense of fundamental research ... read more 26.04.2016

Friday, 29 April 2016 //

Dutch research agenda in good hands

logoAMSTERDAM (science guide) -- Dutch science body the National Research Agenda will lobby the next Dutch government for one billion euros in extra funding for universities after the elections next year. Half the money should cover a funding shortfall and the other half provide for new initiatives. Head of the organisation, Louise Gunning, was formerly president of the University of Amsterdam, but had to resign after proving unable to deal with the protests and occupations by students and professors … read more 21.04.2016

Black hole in Madrid’s university finances

image: CRUEMADRID (20 minutos) -- Madrid’s public universities have debts of 445 million euros resulting from investments made between 2007 and 2011. President of the Conference of Rectors of Madrid Universities (CRUMA), Carlos Andradas, said the region needed a long-term economic plan and to draw up a plan with investors who will invest in their infrastructure … read more 26.04.2016

Quantum leap in EU funding

BRUSSELS (science) -- The European Commission has picked a third research area where it hopes to have a major impact by spending a massive amount of cash. Research groups across the continent will receive up to €1 billion over the next 10 years to develop quantum technologies read more 22.04.2016

Thursday, 28 April 2016 //

‘Witch hunt’ against Spanish scientists

image: CSICMADRID (science) -- Trade union the Workers’ Commissions has accused the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) of a ‘witch hunt’ after it proposed new measures to deter staff from gaining long-term contracts by suing them. For several years scientists have been suing the council, 677 have already been successful to obtain indefinite employment status; another 112 cases are still pending, and new ones keep coming … read more 22.4.16

Vulnerable universities

WASHINGTON (wp) -- Universities are not training enough cyberdefenders, which are needed in the light of growing cyber attacks. This is particularly the case in the US, where none of its top 10 computer science programmes require graduates to take even one cybersecurity course. The dramatic increase in data breaches in recent years has highlighted the need for cybersecurity skills in the workforce … read more | and here 11.04.2016

Hungary welcomes Pakistanis

BUDAPEST (hvg) -- Despite its hardline approach to the European refugee crisis, Hungary has signed an agreement with Pakistan to allow 240 Pakistani students to study in the country over the next four years … read more 25.4.16

Wednesday, 27 April 2016 //

Sicily: Limits to university business

image: CC

PALERMO (repubblica) -- Students occupied the rector’s office of the University of Palermo, Sicily, to protest the introduction of parking fees along the Viale delle Scienze, administered by private companies. The deal was agreed in 2009 under the leadership of the previous rector. The new rector, Fabrizio Micari, said although he would not have agreed to the deal, the university would face a heavy fine if they now pulled out of it … read more 20.04.2016

Bulgarian tourism degrees not fit for purpose

SOFIA (dnevik) -- Sometimes the job market can’t absorb graduates even if there is demand for skilled personnel. This is the case in Bulgaria’s tourism industry where four in five tourism graduates are either in different sectors or unemployed. Many are overqualified for what is often low paid and seasonal work … read more 25.04.2016

German union demands 4000 extra professorships

BlogoERLIN (tagesspiegel) -- The Education and Science Worker’s Union (GEW) has demanded 5000 tenure track positions be created at German universities. The federal government declared that 1000 new positions would be funded with one billion euros to cope with more students and rectify serious problems with staff-student ratios. The GEW's plans would cost another four billion euros … read more 21.04.2016

Tuesday, 26 April 2016 //

Swiss pharma funnels millions into university

image: logoBERN (swissinfo) -- The independence of Swiss universities from the corporate world has again been called into question as details of pharmaceutical sponsorship deals were broadcast by Swiss public television, SRF. The programme shows financial links between pharma giants - such as Roche, Novartis, Merck-Serono and even the industry lobby group interpharma – and several leading universities. The most damning revelation is that Merck-Serono demanded to see research every three months and reserved the right to make “acceptable alterations” to results ... read more 20.04.2016

Veil not to be banned in French universities

ALGIERS (el watan) -- French prime minister Manuel Valls has admitted the impossibility of banning the veil in universities despite being keen to do so. Education minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem however reminded citizens of the right to free expression at university, whilst student union UNEF said the prime minister should focus on more important issues facing universities … read more 19.04.2016

Spain among most expensive countries for Master’s

MADRID (el pais) -- Spain is the sixth most expensive country in the EU to study for a master’s, with prices reaching up to 3,950 euros a year … read more 15.04.2016

Corruption in East Russian university

image: FEFUVLADIVOSTIOK (uwn) -- Sergey Ivanets, rector of the Russian Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), suspected of abuse of power that caused damage worth 20 million rubles (267,000 euros), has been placed under house arrest ... read more | and here 22.04.2016
Monday, 25 April 2016 //

Student grants to be cut short in Denmark?

PhotoCOPENHAGEN (tv2) -- Danish students should only receive three years' worth of grant to study at university, declared Karsten Dybvad, CEO of industry lobbying group Danish Industries. After this students should receive loans instead, he proposes. The money saved should go towards improving the quality of higher education. Almost half of Denmark's 40 billion kroner (3 billion euros) budget goes on grants … read more 16.04.2016

Tie in Belgian fight between ministers and academics

BRUSSELS (la libre) -- After three years of deliberation, the constitutional court of Belgium has validated Higher Education Minister Jean-Claude Marcourt's bill to reform universities in the country. Universities and academics had contested the bill's curtailment of their independence in relation to course content, which they have retained, thanks to the court's amendment of the bill. However the court approved a rule allowing unions to choose which staff represent the institutions in the national federation, despite many professors not being unionised … read more 21.04.2016

Oman-Belarus educational partnership

MUSCAT (muscat daily) -- Oman and Belarus are planning to establish joint education centres in Belarus and offer internships in addition to training vocational specialists. Omanis will study in-demand specialisms in Belarus, while Belarussian engineering and technology teachers will be sent to Oman … read more 20.04.2016

Saturday, 23 April 2016 //

Political interference in Albanian university election

image: Universiteti i TiranësTIRANA (balkanweb) -- The newly elected rector of the University Tirana was intimidated by gang members on the orders of a rival candidate. Mynr Koni, previously Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, was allegedly threatened by men acting on behalf of Klodeta Dibra, a political candidate and now the subject of a police investigation. Before the election took place, Education minister Lindita Nikolla called for political parties to stay out of the proceedings … read more | and here 21.04.2016

And in Austria…

VIENNA (tiroler tageszeitung) -- Education minister Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek has been accused of nepotism in nominating three candidates, all close to her, for the leadership of the Teaching University of Tirol. As there are only five candidates, one of hers is likely to be chosen and the chosen candidate may reside in Lower Austria, far away from the university. Staff are concerned that their independence is under threat … read more 20.04.2016

Friday, 22 April 2016 //

Warsaw wants its own Silicon Valley

LogoWARSAW (polskie radio) -- Recently, an increasing interest in opening new R&D centers in Poland could be observed, both in industry sector and also in strongly developing business services sector. Numerous R&D centers operate in Poland as subsidiaries of global corporations.

Startup Hub Warsaw is an initiative designed to replicate the success of Silicon Valley in Poland’s capital. It is running a competition to select the best 20 technology firms to offer funding to. Applicants from elsewhere in central and eastern Europe as well as from around the world are encouraged to apply … read more 11.04.2016

Malta racing ahead

VALLETTA (malta today) -- The University of Malta Racing Team has again secured funding from the country’s education ministry. Founded in 2007, the team competes in Formula SAE events around Europe and includes over 60 students from eight different faculties. Team members can do their final-year dissertation on research and development for the team’s cars … read more 

Excellence initiative in Hungarian universities

BUDAPEST (magyar hirlap) -- Promoting research and the development of young scientists are the twin aims of Hungary’s new National Excellence Programme. The programme, funded to the tune of 2.2 billion forints (7.1 million euros), replaces the EU-co-funded excellence initiative, which expired last year, and will provide thousands of scholarships to gifted science students … read more 15.04.2016

Thursday, 21 April 2016 //

British sense of humour thwarted

LONDON (telegraph) -- The name RRS Boaty McBoatface has won a competition to name Britain’s new polar research vessel but is unlikely to be chosen, says universities minister Jo Johnson. The £200 million vessel will conduct research from 2019 into changes in Antarctica and their effect on climate change. The impact of the oceans on the ice sheets and their effect on global sea levels is key to this … read more 17.04.2016

Portugal: Back to school after dropping out

LISBON (publico) -- A programme designed to help Portuguese students who have dropped out of university return to higher education has been reoriented to focus on science and technology. The ‘Resume’ programme offers €1200 a year to returning students and aims to solve the country’s drop-out problem. The relaunch comes after the initial programme, launched by the previous government, struggled due to lack of applications … read more 18.04.2016

Long wait for refugee graduates in Sweden

STOCKHOLM (lundagard) -- Many refugees granted asylum in Sweden who have post-secondary qualifications (20 to 30 percent of the total) are unable to have these validated because of bureaucracy stemming from the Bologna Process. They must either complete a foundation course or wait five months to have their qualification validated by the Universities and Higher Education Council. Education minister Helene Hellmark Knutsson has promised more funding for this body, while Vice-Chancellor of Lund University Bo-Anders Jönsson has called for the law to be changed to facilitate accepting foreign degrees … read more 14.04.2016

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 //

More student protests in Georgia

image: facebook აუდიტორია #115 TBILISI (dfwatch) -- Students at Tbilisi State University staged a sit-in at their university this weekend. They were demanding the abolition of the student union, which, according to the protesters’ statement, “only misspends money on entertainment events while important educational projects are not carried out”. The students also demand the ability to elect the university’s rector and academic council, that science be made a priority and the removal of state security agents from universities. Prime minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, met with students and agreed the student union needs to change and that more money is needed for the university … read more 18.04.2016

Portuguese government unfreezes university funding

LISBON (expresso) -- After protests by students and rectors last week and a direct appeal to Portuguese prime minister António Costa, the government U-turned on its plan to freeze funding for universities and polytechnics, stating the need to ‘safeguard the current management of higher education institutions’. The freeze would have amounted to a 57 million euro cut in universities’ and polytechnics’ budgets and would have ‘undermined their autonomy and led to underfunding’ … read more 08.04.2016

Right-wing student fraternities at German universities

MUNICH (huffpost) -- German student fraternities and the country's new xenophobic right-wing party AfD (Alternative for Germany) naturally like each other. Members of the protofascist student associations increasingly seek positions in the party, helping it, on the other hand, to gain ground in universities ... read more 14.04.2016
Tuesday, 19 April 2016 //

Student loans accelerated in Poland

WARSAW (parlamentarny) -- Student loan applications are to be accelerated, with some granted in the summer before applicants start university, announced Polish science minister Jarosław Gowin. Loans will also be more flexible, ranging between 400 and 1000 złoty (90-230 euros) … read more 12.4

Bigger grants for Irish students

DUBLIN (independent) -- More students at Irish universities will qualify for grants and some for higher payments after the grants agency increased the amount of holiday earnings a student can earn from €3,809 to €4,500 without it counting as family income, thus an increase of up to €700 in grant payments for some. Student carers will also benefit by having their carer's support grant deducted from the total too … read more 15.04.2016

New Bulgarian student loan incentives

SOFIA (dnevik) -- Law reforms in higher education in Bulgaria are accompanying the privatisation of student funding. Education minister Meglena Kuneva announced changes to Bulgaria’s student loans system last week including the simplification of forms, introduction of more cases where loans can be cancelled and loans for students to study abroad. These will form the basis of amendments to the law on lending to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Students however still want lower interest rates on their loans comparable to those in neighbouring countries … read more 09.04.2016

Monday, 18 April 2016 //

Ranking opposition in Italy

image: Università di TorinoROME (il fatto quotidiano) -- The national evaluation agency (Anvur) has delayed publication of its rankings in order to gather more statistics after the University of Pisa and La Sapienza of Rome were set to score badly and lose millions of euros in funding. This was because many academics at the two universities had boycotted the assessment.
The boycott of the national research evaluation (VQR) is a countrywide protest that started with a petition of 23.000 university teachers (over a third of the total) angry at five years of frozen salaries, budget cuts and one evaluation after the other. Carlo Ferrero, professor of engineering at the Politecnico di Torino, is one of the founders of the ‘Movement for the Dignity of University Teaching’, he says: “The boycott is a signal that damages no one but it shows we exist” …
read more 13.04.2016

Slovenia to join CERN

LJUBLJANA (siol) -- After Slovenian researchers participated in the Higgs Boson discovery, the country is now to become an associate member of CERN, becoming a full member after five years. Education minister Makovec Brenčič believes membership will help Slovenia’s hi-tech industry gain a greater foothold in foreign markets … read more 14.04.2016

The EIT has problems

logoBRUSSELS (eca) -- Seven years after its inception, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (with a budget of 2.7 billion euros) is still not fully operationally independent from the European Commission, a report says. This has hampered its decision-making, say the auditors. High staff turnover, including at senior management level, has limited the development of strategies and the efficiency of the EIT ... read more 14.04.2016

Saturday, 16 April 2016 //

Spring cleaning in Bergamo

image: Università di BergamoBERGAMO (eco) -- Staff and students at the University of Bergamo proudly presented the results of their work cleaning the lawn in front of the former monastery of Sant’Agostino, which dates from 1290 and is now home to the university’s Department of Human and Social Sciences … read more 11.04.2016

Dutch degrees not worth what they promise

THE HAGUE (nl times) -- Universities in the Netherlands often give prospective students too positive or even inaccurate information about the job prospects awaiting them following the completion of a study program, according to a study done by the national student association ISO ... read more 11.04.2016

Irish students better pray

image: LPDUBLIN (irish times) -- Whilst students and citizens in Spain fight against having chapels in university (see Catholicism on campus causes controversy), readers of the Irish Times have come to the defence of religion in tertiary education. A poll conducted by the paper shows 65 percent want to keep chaplains in colleges, despite very low attendance by students ... read more


Friday, 15 April 2016 //

Salafism on the march in France

image: René Goscinny PARIS (la depeche) -- Salafism, the Sunni Muslim denomination which can lead some to Islamic radicalism, is very active in French universities, particularly Toulouse’s Jean-Jaurès University, and is winning ‘the ideological battle’ with mainstream Islam in France, says Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Meanwhile Education minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem is considering introducing inspections of Muslim schools to combat radicalisation … read more 11.04.2016

Ageing professors in Spain

MADRID (opinión de zamora) -- The hiring of staff at public universities in Spain has been interrupted by the economic crisis, leading to an ageing of university staff, with 70 percent older than 40. The foundation for economic studies, FEDEA, proposes increasing funding and the lifting of existing legal restrictions on hiring … read more 11.04.2016

Transparent university-industry cooperation in Germany

BERLIN (ots) -- After much criticism of university-business cooperations in Germany without public scrutiny, the industry-funded foundation Stifterverband has proposed transparency rules. It comes as no surprise that they do not propose transparent research contracts which can be monitored, for instance, by an independent agency ... read more 06.04.2016

Thursday, 14 April 2016 //

Spanish universities win tax rebate


OVIEDO (lne) -- 20 million euros of VAT on research taken in tax by the treasury must be repaid to Spanish universities, including the Universities of Salamanca and Santiago de Compostela. This follows two Supreme Court rulings stating that research done on behalf of other institutions is exempt from tax after the universities complained to the tax authority … read more 11.4.16

Danish industry vs. social student funding

COPENHAGEN (uwn) -- The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations has disagreed with proposals of an industry-oriented think tank to introduce loans instead of public grants for master’s students. The academics foresee a decrease in master completion rates, currently one of the highest among OECD countries ... read more 08.04.2016

Intellectual crisis at Irish universities

imnage: CCDUBLIN (irish times) -- Universities are under increasing pressure to produce graduates solely for the labour market and face an “intellectual crisis” over their role in society, President Michael D Higgins has said. Mr Higgins said higher education has a crucial role to play in laying the foundations of a society that is more inclusive, participatory and equal read more 08.04.2016
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 //

Finland: Library staff revolt

image: Tommi Parkkonen

HELSINKI (uwn) -- The director of the National Library, Kai Ekholm, became a symbol in Finland of how to stand up to the authorities in a situation of national crisis. He refused to execute an order to fire staff. “We are catering for Finnish cultural heritage,” he wrote in a note. “This is a more responsible mandate than an order given by a coincidental government” ... read more 08.04.2016

Dutch medical students out of pocket

AMSTERDAM (mare) -- Despite a petition with 22,000 signatures last October protesting the reduction of loans for medical students, Dutch education minister Jet Bussemaker has refused to pay medical students during their obligatory hospital placements. She claims they earn enough on graduating to cover these costs themselves … read more 06.04.2016

The Swedes got homework to do

STOCKHOLM (ergo) -- Despite a government decision five years ago to abolish tuition fees for foreign students, this has not happened and needs reviewing, says education minister Helene Hellmark Knutsson. She also notes the worrying decline in student performance, which can be traced back to poor school performance … read more 04.04.2016

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 //

Moldova and Romania brace themselves against brain drain

image: MINBUCHAREST/CHISINAU (agerpres) -- Only seven percent of Moldovan students studying abroad return after graduating, and student intake in Romania dropped by 200,000 between 2009 and 2014. A joint cooperation between the two countries aims to rectify this, reforming research institutions and universities, especially their curricula … read more 5.4.16

Education cuts to pay Finnish state debt

HELSINKI (savon sanomat) -- The education cuts including cuts to student aid are justified, argues Finnish education minister Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, because of Finland’s “weak economy and high debt” … read more 06.04.2016

Spain: Down with LOMCE, say students

MADRID (info libre) -- Students opposed to the far-reaching reforms of former education minister José Wert have called a general strike next week. Massive demonstrations demanding the withdrawal of his law (‘LOMCE’) are expected in Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga … read more 07.04.2016
Monday, 11 April 2016 //

Moedas advocates integrated European Open Science Cloud

image: EU 2016

AMSTERAM (scienceguide) -- Speaking at the Netherlands EU Presidency 2016 conference in Amsterdam, EU research commissioner Carlos Moedas asks “will academic journals face the same fate as the music and media industries?” Referring to the great business opportunities of Open Acces, he bluntly stated that “open science is a good thing” and “Europe’s final transition must be one from fragmented data sets to an integrated European Open Science Cloud.” Open Science is a key priority of the Dutch Presidency. The Netherlands is committed to open access to scientific publications and the best possible re-use of research data, and it would like to accelerate the transition this requires ... read more | and here 05.04.2016

Public debate on university entrance in Greece

ATHENS (foititikanea) -- The reintroduction of a higher minimum school leaving qualification (‘βάση του 10’) for admission to higher education is a hot topic in Greece at the moment. The question of restructuring access to universities “will be the subject of a measured public debate”, deputy education minister Sia Anagnostopoulou said … read more 06.04.2016

Belarus plans “optimisation” of education

MINSK (belta) -- Education is one of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko’s top priorities. In a cabinet meeting with education minister Mikhail Zhuravkov, “optimization” efforts for the coming legislative period were discussed. Plans include improving research institutes, merging vocational training schools and integrating some with universities … read more 1.4.16

Bulgaria: Working on academic salaries

image: ECSOFIA (standart) -- The salaries of young scientists are currently comparable to those of cleaning staff. Little wonder there is a lack of qualified applicants for academic posts. Education minister Meglena Kuneva promised more money for young scientists, having already allocated two million lev to fund 231 projects … read more 06.04.2016

Saturday, 9 April 2016 //

Country spotlight: Education in Syria


DAMASCUS (wenr) -- In 2012, there were approximately 659,394 students enrolled in public and private higher education institutions throughout Syria. In 2015, it is estimated that some 450,000 university age Syrians had become refugees; about 100,000 are believed to be qualified for enrollment in universities ... read more

Friday, 8 April 2016 //

EU funds research commercialisation in Serbia

image: InnovationsfundsBELGRADE (n1) -- A ‘Technology Transfer Program’, co-funded by the EU, has been launched in Serbia. The main objective of the programme is the commercialisation of research and development (R&D) by bringing together researchers from academia and the private sector and by strengthening the local technology transfer organisations at universities … read more

Luxembourg increases university and research funding

LUXEMBOURG (l’essentiel) -- The government of Luxembourg has increased university and research funding by 3 percent. The total amount, 1.15 billion euros for 2014-2017, contains 150 million for higher education per year. Education minister Marc Hansen assigned additional 30 million euros for university cooperation and doctoral training in 2017 ... read more 30.03.2016

French student protests pay off

PARIS (les echos) -- Student protests in France against the new labour law go on, but student union UNEF has won a concession from the government to compensate students for more precarious working conditions. The one third of students who receive a maintenance grant will continue to receive it for at least two months after graduating … read more 05.04.2016
Thursday, 7 April 2016 //

Google is everybody’s darling

image: MEBANKARA (yeni şafak) -- Turkish education minister Nabi Avcı has announced a partnership between Google and the country’s universities. The scheme will provide new training tools for students, guides to choosing universities and data collection on students’ progress. This rapprochement comes as a surprise only two years after the government was found to be blocking Google’s DNS service in order to prevent people from circumnavigating a ban on sites like YouTube and Twitter. At the time, Google reportedly ignored requests from Turkish officials to remove YouTube videos that alleged government corruption … read more 6.4.16

Poland’s next education law for more competition

WARSAW (rzeczpospolita) -- Polish science minister Jarosław Gowin has announced a competition to draft a new education law, which should achieve a broad consensus and direct policy for years to come. The law should aim to reduce university bureaucracy, increase efficiencies in the sector and change the funding model for student loans … read more 4.4.16

Georgia: ‘Stalinomania of the 21st century’

logoTBLISI (dfwatch) -- A lecturer at the University of Gori in central Georgia claims she was fired for opposing a new statue of Stalin in the city, which she blames on ‘Stalinomania’ at the university. Education minister Tamar Sanikidze said she cannot comment because it is an internal issue for the university … read more 06.04.2016
Wednesday, 6 April 2016 //

Discover Russian student life in photographs

image: V. KhristoforovMOSCOW (moscow times) -- An exhibition in Moscow has just taken place showcasing student life in the Soviet Union between the 1930s and 1990s. Among other insights, the exhibition shows how Russian students help with the harvest or how they have come up with ingenious ways to cheat on their exams over the decades … read more 01.03.2016

Graduate job market woes in Croatia

ZAGREB (glasslavonije) -- Three quarters of students intend to work abroad, a survey by the Student Council of Polytechnics and Colleges of Croatia shows. 67 percent want more careers advice and more business involvement in education policy and teaching and 35 percent think university is preparing them poorly for work … read more 03.04.2016

Austrian universities score unevenly in rankings

WIEN (apa) -- Austrian universities have good research and international orientation but less good teaching, shows an EU- commissioned rankings ‘U-Multirank’. For example the Technical University of Vienna scored As and Bs for research but scored poorly for teaching. Vienna’s Modul University scored very highly for student mobility ... read more 04.04.2016

Tuesday, 5 April 2016 //

Barriers to refugees accessing European higher ed

Refugees welcome mapBRUSSELS (pie news) -- Many European universities have been welcoming and enrolling refugees. The European University Association (EUA) has found that the two biggest barriers to access are recognition of degrees and a lack of documentation of qualifications … read more 31.03.2016

Free education for Gambians in Italy

BANJUL (the point) -- Gambian migrants have been given the chance of free education at several leading Italian universities. The scheme, which includes migrants from eight countries including Afghanistan and Iran, aims ‘to enhance integration and promote career building for migrants’ … read more 30.03.2016

Three challenges for science publishers

FRANKFURT (boersenblatt) -- Three new developments threaten the traditional business model of science publishers: pirate sites like Sci-Hub where millions of research articles can be accessed free of charge, social media pages of reseachers like where articles are made widely available, and upcoming EU rules on text and data mining ... read more 31.03.2016

Monday, 4 April 2016 //

German excellence initiative expanded

image: Axel HindemithBERLIN (heise) -- Education minister Johanna Wanka has announced the extending of Germany’s ‘Excellence initiative’ to smaller universities and technical universities. Further details will be given following negotiations between the federal government and the states. The funding for universities already in the excellence programme, around 500 million euros per year, will not be reduced. 4.6 billion euros have been invested in this extra-budgetary scheme since its inception in 2006 ... read more

Illegal Croatian research

ZAGREB (slobodnadalmacija) -- 25 of Croatia’s research institutes have technically been operating illegally for the past two years after the government failed to complete their re-accreditation three years ago ... read more 29.3

‘Highly pernicious’ university rankings

WASHINGTON (atlantic) -- There is growing resistance to university rankings in the United States, which have been branded ‘highly pernicious’ by one university president since they allegedly cause universities to focus on meeting criteria not ‘in the best educational interest of their students’ and push students towards the wealthiest institutions ... read more 30.03.2016

Saturday, 2 April 2016 //

Finland cuts back student aid

image: Matti Pikkujämsä

HELSINKI (esu) -- The government of Finland has decided on historical cutbacks to the student financial aid, reducing it by 20 percent or 150 million euro. The amount of social security for students is to be cut by close to 100 euro per month and the study loan compensation is to be reduced. As a consequence, student loans are increasing, so that graduates may face a debt burden of up to 30,000 euro ... read more 09.03.2016

Germany: Science work below minimum wage

BERLIN (telepolis) -- Low wages are no exception in German science and higher education, recent studies show. A sample of 60 typical employments at German universities showed 20 with a salary below the minimum wage of 8,50 euros. But the employees of the Botanic Garden in Berlin show how to unite, to strike and to exert pressure on the institutions ... read more 29.03.2016

New EU rules for foreign students and researchers

BRUSSELS (aca) -- The European Council has adopted its position on a draft directive aimed at making the EU more attractive for students and researchers from third countries. In May 2016 the European Parliament is expected to vote on these harmonised conditions for entry and residence ... read more 31.3.16

Friday, 1 April 2016 //

Russian science funding shifts

image: govMOSCOW (nature) -- Russian funding Concerns have been raised over future support for civilian basic research under a science and technology strategy that the Russian government plans to launch this year. Despite mounting budget pressure, the government’s overall spending on military and civilian science is to remain stable, deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich told the Russian Academy of Sciences last week. But scientists fear that priority research programmes set to be introduced by the end of the year will favour commercial research over fundamental science ... read more 31.03.2016

Ukraine signs deal with Elsevier

KIEV (interfax) -- After two years of negotiations, Elsevier and the Ukrainian science ministry have signed a memorandum of understanding in order to provide access to the science publisher’s databases for Ukrainian research institutions (Scopus/ScienceDirect) ... read more | and here 23.03.2016

European education union starts to crumble

BERLIN (esna) -- After a Constitutional Court decision about the accreditation of bachelor and master’s courses, the German Education and Science Workers’ Union (GEW) has urged the federal government in Berlin to take control over quality standards. This would mean that education ministries take (back) the responsibilities from external accreditation agencies, and a head stone of the Bologna Process would be removed ... read more 18.03.2016

Thursday, 31 March 2016 //

Paris-Saclay “lost without excellence programme”

image: CCPARIS (educpros) -- Jacques Bittoun, president of the University of Paris-Sud, said in an interview: “Without the excellence programme Idex, the federal research university Paris-Saclay” —as part of a larger research conglomerate launched by the former French president Nicolas Sarkosy— “could fall apart. In 2010, the government gave us more autonomy; it will fail without financial support” ... read more 29.03.2016

IS threatens European universities

WASHINGTON (wt) -- Islamic State terrorists have taken to social media to tell the West that waves of violence will strike more targets in Europe and the US. An Al-Wafa article specifically threatens Europe saying, “We have come to you today with bombs, explosive belts, and rifles (...) we will strike you in the nightclubs, the stadiums, the schools, and the universities; on land, on sea, and everywhere” ... read more 29.03.2016

E-Paper market to grow in European higher education

image: limcorpLONDON (businesswire) -- Europe is the second largest revenue contributor to the global electronic paper screen market in the education sector, accounting for a share of 25 percent. In Europe, the higher education sector is experiencing significant growth with changing government regulations and ever-increasing numbers of educational institutions. Also, blended learning is used extensively in universities, which is fueling the market growth in Europe. In Central Europe, demand is growing as international vendors are expanding their presence ... read more 28.3.16

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 //

Witch hunt on critical academics in Turkey

image: bianet

ISTANBUL (science) -- A total of 464 investigations have been launched by public universities into academics who signed a petition calling for an end to military operations in Turkey’s southeast since the controversy erupted in January. Nine of the signatory academics have been fired. A press statement said a “legal and verbal war” had been waged against signatory academics, even including death threats ... read more | and here 30.03.2016

International rankings unnecessary in Germany

BERLIN (telepolis) -- A careful analysis of reasons given for the effort to reach top positions in international university rankings shows their lack of substance. The German universities, still characterised by a democratic decision-making system, perform well by providing affordable academic education to large parts of the population ... read more 28.03.2016

Italy: Barrage of complaints regarding private schools

ROME (padova news) -- More and more complaints about private universities are filed at the National Consumers Union in Italy. “These schools, online or not, make a lot of advertisement, but they lead the complaints tables. Their contracts are full of traps,” a NCU speaker explains, “be aware of the small print!” ... read more 29.03.2016

Tuesday, 29 March 2016 //

Flemish investigation into fraudulent universities

image: CD&VBRUSSELS (nieuwsblad) -- Flemish education minister Hilde Crevits has opened an investigation into fraudulent universities. This follows a report by the Antwerp-based science magazine EOS that found dozens of such institutions in Flanders offering master’s degrees at prizes up to 17.000 euros … read more | and here 21.03.2016

French students continue to rally against labour law

TOULOUSE (la depeche) -- After demonstrations with 200,000 to 500,000 participants across France, students will continue to express their opposition to the labour law reforms with their feet in the following weeks. Pupils and students are expected to make up the majority of demonstrators during the workers’ strike and procession day on March 31st… read more 23.03.2016

Porto in your pocket

image: CCPORTO (economico) -- The University of Porto has just launched a smartphone and tablet app that allows students and staff to check timetables, subjects, university social networks and more on the go. The app should save time and money and give students even more information about their university experience … read more 17.03.2016

Saturday, 26 March 2016 //

New international initiative to boost Open Access

image: Georg BotzMUNICH (mpg) -- A growing number of research organisations want to establish an international initiative which aims to convert the majority of today’s scholarly journals from subscription to Open Access (OA) publishing. This week a new website, ‘OA 2020’, was launched and an Expression of Interest was published, having already been adopted by thirty signatories … read more | and here 21.03.2015

Science is politics in another form

SEATTLE (evolution news) -- Commenting on an opinion piece in nature about the nexus between ‘science’ and the political establishment, the American author Wesley J. Smith notes that scientists who take a non-majority view are easily labelled as ‘anti-science’ … read more 17.03.2016

Swedish government defends cuts in education

HELSINKI (ht) -- Swedish education minister Sanni Grahn-Laasonen has responded to the onslaught of criticism she has received from the academia over drastic cuts in education spending. “Finland needs a more science-friendly climate,” she admitted ... read more 19.03.2016

Friday, 25 March 2016 //

More autonomy for the New University of Lisbon

image: UNLLISBON (dn) -- The New University of Lisbon (UNL) will join a scheme next year which gives it more control over its spending, funding and recruiting. The scheme, which the universities of Porto and Aveiro among others are already part of and which makes it easier to get European funding, will not affect the university’s status as a public university … read more 20.3

Universities promote growth

LONDON (lse) -- International data since the 1950s shows that universities boost economic growth. A study based on UNESCO’s World Higher Education Database detailing the location of 15,000 universities over the period 1950 to 2010 found that doubling the number of universities in a region increases the region’s subsequent income by over four percent. There are also spillover effects to other regions in the same country, creating a growth multiplier … read more 23.3.16

UK universities under cyberattack

LONDON (computerworld uk) -- A software firm that questioned senior IT people at fifty British universities found that they have been aggressively targeted in much the same way as many other sectors in the UK and beyond. A third of universities said this was now happening on an hourly basis. Hackers usually steal student data, dissertation materials, exam results, IP and research data … read more 22.03.2016

Thursday, 24 March 2016 //

Brussels universities closed after suicide bombings

image: New York: Thames & Hudson, 2000

BRUSSELS (dS) -- After the two terrorist attacks in Brussels on Tuesday, where at least 34 people were killed and about 200 injured, universities in and around the city were closed and will stay closed for the week. Universities organised transportation and shelter for students who were stranded as city traffic was shut down … read more | and here 22.03.2016

Minutes of silence at Louvain-la-Neuve

BRUSSELS (l’avenir) -- Hundreds of citizens and students observed the minute of silence on the central square of the University of Louvain-la-Neuve near Brussels yesterday to honour the victims of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks. The minute’s silence will be repeated today and tomorrow ... read more 24.3.16

Egyptian university condemns terrorist attacks

CAIRO (pro) Al-Azhar Universitylogo in Cairo, founded in 988, is one of the oldest universities in the world. Its theological faculty, connected to the Al-Azhar Mosque, is considered one of the most important religious authorities in Sunni Islam. Alongside other international leading voices of Islam the university condemned the terrorist attacks in Brussels, calling the “heinous crimes […] a violation of the tolerant teachings of Islam” … read more 23.3.16

Wednesday, 23 March 2016 //

What kind of digital user are you?

GÜTERSLOH (esna) -- One in five German students use all forms of digital media, a study shows. The main user groups are: those who primarily use the internet to transfer PDF files (one third), those using it to do exams online (a quarter) and the ones who use it for video learning (another quarter). Students’ preferences vary according to the discipline and learning styles at different universities ... read more  17.03.2016

Swedes prefer to keep to themselves

STOCKHOLM (uwn) -- Swedish universities do not recruit enough from abroad, a new report suggests. The large universities have a very high tendency towards recruiting their own PhD graduates, with just over 60 percent of professors having been recruited from holders of their own doctorates. One of the reasons for the low degree of international mobility appears to be that Swedish doctorate holders are comparatively older when graduating, having already established themselves with a family ... read more 18.03.2016

Official Dutch study guide misleads students

LEIDEN (ans) -- Not all student information channels are equally reliable. A independent report found that the study guide website, a joint partnership of the education ministry, student unions and higher education institutions, has been massaging its figures, including prospective graduate salaries. The report alleges that commercial interests have prevailed over objectivity ... read more 16.03.2016
Tuesday, 22 March 2016 //

PhD boom in Spain

image: Universidad de SalamancaMADRID (el mundo) -- The number of PhD degrees in Spain is growing rapidly with some institutions processing up to six times the number of doctorates compared to the last academic year. Javier Ferri, economics professor at the Universidad de Valencia, argues that professors have an economic and career incentive to supervise doctoral students; a major motivation for students to aim at a high academic title is the gloomy employment situation ... read more 08.03.2016

Innovative funding system rejected in Sweden

STOCKHOLM (uwn) -- A detailed proposal for a more peer review based funding of Swedish research has been rejected by a majority of Swedish higher education institutions. One university official complained that the proposed system is “much too expensive and work demanding. Peer reviews are not fit for being transformed into numbers and weightings in a research funding distribution model” … read more 11.03.2016

Programmers under-appreciated in Montenegro

PODGORICA (vijesti) -- It is estimated that the European Union lacks 800,000 people in the field of information and communication technology, especially in relation to software. According to Goran Šuković, a professor at the Faculty of Sciences, Montenegro could be helping to solve this deficit, but degrees relating to programming are not gaining the necessary support from the government … read more 16.03.2016

Monday, 21 March 2016 //

Gender gap in STEM still needs bridging

image: Criterion

WASHINGTON D.C. (chronicle) -- The first comprehensive global survey of science academies and gender has found that only twelve percent of the members of 69 national science academies are women – not more than six percent in maths and five percent in engineering. It recommends data collection and reporting on gender, and permanent structures to implement gender-mainstreaming activities ... read more 09.03.2016

13 Erasmus students killed in bus crash in Spain

BARCELONA (the star) -- 13 international students, mostly enrolled at universities in Barcelona, were killed in an accident while travelling in a bus to a festival in Valencia. Other 27 passengers were injured ... read more 20.03.2016

Underperforming colleges in Ireland lose out on cash

DUBLIN (her) -- A number of Irish third level colleges, including the Dundalk Institute of Technology and the National College of Art and Design, are set to lose up to a million euros in state funding after performing badly in assessment measures introduced by universities in conjunction with the Higher Education Authority (HEA) … read more 16.03.2016

Saturday, 19 March 2016 //

Triumph of Artificial Intelligence

image:dilaudidSEOUL (nature) -- The Chinese strategy board game Go has joined the growing lists of tasks at which computers are able to perform better than humans. In a 6-day tournament in Seoul, a reported 100 million people around the world tuned in to witness the defeat of Go professional Lee Sedol by the computer algorithm AlphaGo, created by the Google-owned company DeepMind … read more 15.03.2016

Turkey arrests academics on ‘terrorist propaganda’ charges

ISTANBUL (dna) -- Turkish authorities arrested three academics on charges of “terrorist propaganda” after they publicly read out a declaration reiterating a call to end security operations in the mainly Kurdish southeast. Turkish president Recep Erdoğan said the definition of a terrorist needed to be broadened to include supporters of terrorism, listing lawmakers, academics, journalists or civil society leaders as examples … read more 16.03.2016

Friday, 18 March 2016 //

Student union becomes an extension of EU Commission

logoAMSTERDAM (esna) -- The European Student Union (ESU), at their last conference, apparently failed to act on goals relating to student representation, to discuss student dissent and protest or to adopt initiatives to help students in trouble. Instead they complimented the EU on its agenda of modernisation, discussing “digitalisation, internationalisation and curriculum design” ... read more 12.03.2016

Late lectures stealing down time from students

VALLETTA (times of malta) -- Ever later lectures at universities in Malta are forcing pupils to abandon their extra-curricular activities or risk failing their courses. Students argue that it is becoming increasingly difficult to remain an active citizen without their work suffering … read more 12.03.2016

New employment law for researchers in Germany

image: ESNABERLIN (haufe) -- Junior researchers and university lecturers in Germany have been granted more job security, thanks to a new employment law that came into force yesterday. Many more now will be given permanent contracts and those that are still temporary will be adapted to project running times and the career objectives of researchers ... read more 17.03.2016

Quality assurance in the European higher ed revamped

EU (equip) -- A new study provides an overview of the changes in the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area … read more 01.03.2016

Thursday, 17 March 2016 //

Romania’s plagiarism problem persists

image: FUMNBUCHAREST (ps news) -- Further investigation into the Romanian plagiarism scandal has shown that both the rector and president of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy ‘Carol Davila’ in Bucharest were both found to have plagiarised in the past. Yet the sanctions against them were revoked in 2003. How can education minister Adrian Curaj hope to address plagiarism when it is so inherent in the education system? … read more 9.3.16

Croatia joins the austerity trend

ZAGREB (index) -- The Croatian education budget has declined by 160 million kuna (21 million euros) since last year, despite previous government promises to invest in the sector … read more 10.03.2016

Slow recovery of Italian student numbers

ROME (il fatto quotidiano) -- For the first time in years, the numbers of first-year students in Italy has grown. After a decrease of 20 percent in 2010, student numbers grew by 2.2 percent in 2015. However the country’s south is still losing young talent … read more 10.03.2016

Bosnian-Herzegovinian scientist honoured in the US

image: Radio LibertySARAJEVO (radio sarajevo) -- Ervin Sejdić, a Bosnian-Herzegovinian researcher of informatics and biomedicine now based in the US, has received the ‘Presidential Award for young Scientists and Researchers.’ He stated that growing up in the 1990s, surrounded by war, he could never have imagined becoming a scientist … read more 12.3

Wednesday, 16 March 2016 //

To Russia With Love

image: gettyMOSCOW (sputnik) -- Russia is inviting 15,000 international students to study in Russia for free and for the first time has thrown open the doors to all students who want to study there. Russia offers highly-regarded courses in subjects such as engineering and philology and lower living costs than Europe ... read more  09.03.2016

Bulgaria hit by brain drain

SOFIA (btv novinite) -- There has been a catastrophic decline in the number of students applying to Bulgarian universities. This will have a considerable impact on the universities, with many of the best pupils from elite schools choosing to look abroad. An interview with one student who decided to move his study abroad blamed his decision on the old fashioned teaching methods, which still rely on out of date textbooks … read more 14.03.2016

Students occupying university building in Tbilisi

TBLISI (dfwatch) -- Protesters continue to occupy a building at Tbilisi State University, demanding a transparent process for electing the university’s management amid allegations of interference by the State Security Agency ... read more 11.03.2016

Student housing boom

image: A. LimbachVIENNA (standard) -- The student housing market is booming, especially for investors, who are profiting from the pressure on the general housing market. The most important markets in continental Europe are Germany and the Netherlands, followed by Austria. The construction of Austria’s biggest student housing development ―in central Vienna with 700 micro apartments― will start this summer ... read more 14.03.2016

Tuesday, 15 March 2016 //

Support for the Snowden of the science world

image: Scott Gelber

NEW YORK (nyt) -- The illegal leaking of millions of scientific research documents is still causing debate. Proponents of open access, including University of California, Berkley’s Michael Eisen, have come out in support of researcher Alexandra Elbakyan who in 2011 created a Pirate Bay-type site Sci-Hub for science papers, since gone viral ... read more 12.03.16

Russo-Belarussian cooperation in science

MINSK (belta) -- A Belarusian-Russian venture investment fund is expected to finance several science projects by the end of 2016. This is in addition to plans to create a Belarusian-Russian technopark, possibly involving the Belarusian State University and the University of Saint Petersburg ... read more 9.3.

No federal state universities in Germany

BERLIN (dradio) -- Education minister Johanna Wanka rejected calls to increase the influence of the federal government in universities and said no, there will be no Federal State University. However she praised the Excellence Initiative, an extra-budgetary scheme aimed at creating an Ivy League of German universities ... read more 05.03.2016

French students oppose new labour law

image: BMF TVPARIS (le parisien) -- Student opposition to the French government’s proposed labour reforms continues. Despite talks with Prime Minister Manuel Valls with the student union UNEF, William Martinet, president of the union, is still not satisfied. He is demanding amendments to the new Labour Law because, “it is worsening our job security” ... read more 11.03.2016

New European university ranking

LONDON (the) -- The British weekly Times Higher Education has just released its latest rankings of European universities ... read more 10.03.2016

Monday, 14 March 2016 //

Serbian academics still shortchanged

image: magacinBELGRADE (blic) -- Despite an increase of four percent in academic wages, it is still not enough argues Srđan Verbić, Serbian education minister. Siding with the unions, Verbić has stated that more was expected from the agreement signed by the ministry and has already flagged it as a matter for the next government to address … read more 07.03.2016

French students oppose labour market reform

PARIS (le revenu) -- Hundreds of thousands flooded onto the streets of France yesterday to protest against changes to employment law to make it easier to hire and fire employees. Many of the protesters were students after UNEF, the national student union, joined trade unions in opposing the labour market reforms, which they branded ‘regressive’... read more 09.03.2016

Euro-Iranian university partnerships

TEHRAN (the) -- Following Iran’s landmark nuclear deal and the lifting of sanctions, Iran has been quick to set up higher education collaborations with leading European universities including France’s École Polytechnique … read more 01.03.2016

Two thousand eight hundred dollars per second

image: Pink FloydWASHINGTON (ajc) -- In the face of ever-rising university fees in the US, many are opting to study abroad - specifically in Europe. CNN Money says US student loan debt is 1.2 trillion dollars and increasing by 2,853.88 dollars per second. In contrast, founder of the advisory service ‘Beyond the States,’ Jennifer Viemont, says she has already identified at least 44 institutions in Europe where Americans can get a bachelor’s degree for free … read more 06.03.2016

Saturday, 12 March 2016 //

Gender inequality pervades Danish academia

image: Criterion

COPENHAGEN (information) -- Despite increasing parity at undergraduate and even postgraduate level, the proportion of female Danish professors remains shockingly low at 18 per cent, prompting researchers to suggest economic incentives to address the gender imbalance … read more 03.03.2016

Austria: Art matters

VIENNA (standard) -- Vienna has always prided itself on its equal promotion of arts and sciences. Further proof of this is the launch of the first research-based doctoral program on artistic studies, entitled ‘Art & Cross Disciplinary Communication,’ at the University of Vienna … read more 08.03.2016

Prague: Philosophy matters

PRAGUE (denik) -- Theologian and spiritual Thomas Halik has announced plans to establish an international think tank in the Prague Faculty of Arts, which will work with prestigious universities worldwide. The centre will promote the study of political philosophy, ethics and religion … read more 09.03.2016

Friday, 11 March 2016 //

Leading academic warns of dangers of internationalisation

image: UCSCMONTREAL (inside highered) -- Hans de Wit, leading scholar on higher education policy, has warned of problematic consequences of internationalisation at a conference in Montreal. Quoting recent studies, de Wit drew attention to the increasing movement towards privatisation and the trend of seeing international students as ‘cash cows.’ He cited the “competitive pressures of globalisation” resulting in an “increasing convergence of aspirations,” claiming that a shift in mentality could be seen, from cooperation increasingly towards competition … read more 24.02.2016

Ireland: Elephant in the room

DUBLIN (independent) -- A student loan scheme is being discussed as a viable way of addressing the third-level funding crisis. Despite being the elephant in the room throughout the Irish election, the report submitted by education minister Jan O’Sullivan would see graduates paying back anywhere between 25-40 euros a week for 15 years. Time is running out for O’Sullivan, with the decision on whether to act on this suggestion likely falling on the new government … read more 08.03.2016

Pleas for Portuguese fees to freeze

COIMBRA (publico) -- The Coimbra Academic Association (AAC) launched an appeal on Monday to freeze tuition fees. They have asked education minister, Manuel Heitor, to include a freeze of tuition fees into the 2016 state budget. The cost of studying has risen steadily since 1992 with the burden of payment frequently falling on their families … read more 07.03.2016

France: Universities no longer masters of selection

logoPARIS (le revenu) -- France’s Conseil d’Etat, its supreme court for administrative justice, has judged the selecting by universities of master’s students transitioning to their second year of master’s as illegal. In an open letter to the government the presidents of prestigious universities Paris I and Paris II have demanded a change in the law ... read more  09.03.2016

Thursday, 10 March 2016 //

‘Historical figures’ for Spanish grants

image: Íñigo Méndez de VigoMADRID (el diario) -- More grants and scholarships have been awarded over the course of 2015-2016 than ever before in Spain. Over 320,000 university students have benefitted from these grants this year, more than 4,000 more than last year. The final budget came to 1.4 million euros with the education minister attributing the increase of scholars to a more simple application process … read more 03.03.2016

Portuguese education threatened by bureaucracy

LISBON (jn) -- Former presidential candidate Sampaio de Novoa has drawn attention to the ‘hyper bureaucracy’ that exists within the country’s higher education sector, expressing his concern at the uncertainty of the future of quality academia in Portugal … read more 01.03.2016

Czech students stay close to home

PRAGUE (rozhlas) -- New figures reveal that the number of Czech students studying abroad has decreased over the last few years, owing to the increasing quality of the country’s own universities … read more 05.03.2016

Finnish education cuts under fire

image: Magnus FröderbergHELSINKI (ht) -- The Chairman of the Finnish Green League, Ville Niinistö, has spoken out against the current coalition government’s policies. He has stressed that education cannot really be at the centre of their interests considering the radical cuts to the sector this year, which has removed a couple of billion euros from the budget … read more 07.03.2016

New quality assurance for Swedish higher education

STOLKHOLM (uwn) -- The Swedish Parliament has agreed to the introduction of a new quality assurance system for its universities. This new system includes policies such as triennial checks on standards and hopes to preserve Swedish universities as a competitive international choice … read more 04.03.2016

Wednesday, 9 March 2016 //

Spain waves goodbye to top lecturers

image: Universidad de SalamancaSALAMANCA (diario de leon) -- Economic instability and austerity measures have caused Spanish universities to lose more than 400 professors over the last five years. The University of Salamanca is one of the worst affected institutions, having waved goodbye to around 250 senior academic staff members … read more 07.03.2016

Drastic cutbacks at Greek universities

ATHENS (foititikanea) -- Greek universities are being forced to cut back on resources for everyday necessities such as printing and cleaning, as the decline in government funding over the last few years reaches 60 per cent and academic institutions struggle to cover costs … read more 06.03.2016

Dismal proportion of female Dutch professors

AMSTERDAM (nrc) -- The proportion of professors at Dutch universities who are female is only 17 percent, according to a study by the National Network of Female Professors (LNVH). The education ministry has stated that without any extra efforts the current growth of female professors means that numbers will only be equal by 2055. Most universities are striving for 25 percent of their faculty to be female by 2020 … read more 05.03.2016

American ‘higher education institution’ of Malta

image: AUM

VALLETTA (malta today) -- The Sadeen Group, the construction company behind the American University of Malta, have been informed by a judicial letter to cease using the university logo, until it is actually licensed as a university. Currently it can only legally be referred to as a higher education institution due to the lack of degree courses … read more 07.03.2016

Tuesday, 8 March 2016 //

Research is the answer to Italy’s troubles

imafe: ICRAROME (meteo web) -- “Research is the only real answer to Italy’s problems” declared education minister Stefania Giannini at a recent conference. Giannini has announced that 2.5 billion euros are to be invested into the National Research Plan. This follows on from the publicity, which Giorgio Parisi’s petition received after gaining more than 55,000 signatures, including the education minister’s. Commenting on her decision to sign, Giannini said “I belong to the academic community and for that how could I not not sign it?” read more 01.03.2016

Bulgaria: Underperforming universities forced to downsize

SOFIA (dvenik) -- Following important changes to higher education laws in Bulgaria, the number of students that are allowed to be admitted to low-performing universities will be reduced by around twenty percent. The performance of universities is judged by quality of education, quality of research, and graduate prospects … read more 29.02.2016

Major funding for Oxford research announced

image: Jo JohnsonOXFORD (oxford student) -- Oxford’s leading quantum research facilities and robotics lab are to receive 204 million pounds in government funding. This move comes as part of an overarching government commitment to UK science investment, with 6.9 billion pounds being invested in laboratories and equipment between now and 2021 … read more 06.03.2016

Soaring fees for non-EU students in Belgium

BRUSELLS (lesoir) -- Foreign students from outside the EU who do not have refugee status are to be charged fees as much as fifteen times higher than those paid by domestic students. This new proposal only applies to francophone areas of Belgium, and is part of a draft decree for the restructuring of higher education funding … read more 04.03.2016

Monday, 7 March 2016 //

Albania invest in rankings

image: Facebook

TIRANA (balkan insight) -- The Albanian government has agreed to pay a British company, Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), 700,000 euros to rank the quality and standards of the country’s 35 higher education institutions. The ranking would be the first of its kind in Albania … read more 02.03.2016

Russia extends student mobility scheme

MOSCOW (izvestia) -- Russia’s ‘Global Education’ programme, a scheme whereby the Ministry of Science and Education pays for Russian students to attend top international universities, is to be extended until 2020, following success and acclaim … read more 26.02.2016

Open science experts wanted

logoBRUSSELS (ec) -- The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation intends to establish a Commission Expert Group to provide advice about the development and implementation of open science policy in Europe. It is therefore calling for expressions of interest ... read more 01.03.2016

Slovak universities demand radical change

BRATISLAVA (pc revue) -- Key figures in Slovakian higher education, including Settey Hajdúchová, head of the Slovak University of Technology, have demanded drastic conceptual adjustments to university funding, if the quality of the country’s research output is to be increased … read more 02.03.2016

More autonomous Portuguese universities

image: UTexasLISBON (dn) -- Portugal’s new state budget will increase the autonomy of universities, especially with regards to the employment of academics. The Portuguese education minister  announced plans to relax the current rules regarding the hiring of professors, hoping that this will rejuvenate the struggling higher education sector. Over 1000 university lecturers have abandoned the profession over the last four years … read more 27.02.2016

Saturday, 5 March 2016 //

Ministerial reshuffle in Denmark

image: CCCOPENHAGEN (ufm) -- Following the threat of a vote of no confidence, the Danish cabinet has undergone serious changes. The former higher education minister, Esben Lunde Larsen, has been replaced by Ulla Tørnæs, a Member of Parliament since 1994 and former Minister for Development Cooperation … read more 29.02.2016

Conflicting laws threaten Ukrainian science

KIEV (nature) -- Despite passing a law in January to modernise the National Academy of Sciences in the Ukraine (NASU), the austerity budget implemented at the same time is making this impossible. The resultant cuts to science funding have hit junior scientists particularly hard, though they hold the key to a revitalisation of the nation’s science policy … read more 02.03.2016

Study grants to fall by nearly a third in Finland

HELSINKI (ilta sanomat) -- The Finnish student financial aid reform has revealed further cuts to the sector. Study grants are to fall from 330 euros a month to 250, with student loan guarantees promised to rise in compensation, placing more financial burden on students in the long term. The government agreed to the brutal cuts, which they see as necessary, reducing student aid spending down to 70 million euros by 2019 … read more 01.03.2016

New Zealand wants to follow Estonia’s example

image: Herr der RingeTALLINN (sunlive) -- The education minister of New Zealand, Hekia Parata, has visited Estonia to learn about the rapid improvements achieved in their education sector. Estonia is one of the top performing countries in the OECD, with New Zealand looking to them due to their similarly small populations and government approaches … read more

Friday, 4 March 2016 //

Italian academics protest against dire funding

image: Giorgio ParisiROME (corriere) -- Researchers held a protest at the Sapienza University of Rome on 25 February, calling the Italian government’s support for research insufficient and erratic. The protest followed a correspondence in nature earlier this month by Sapienza physicist, Giorgio Parisi, that was supported by 69 researchers. Parisi has started a petition urging the Italian government and the European Union to come up with a concrete course of action for Italian higher education and had already received around 55,000 signatures as of 1 March. Italy spends 1.25 percent of its gross domestic product on research, but the petition says that the EU should require governments to set a minimum of 3 percent … read more | and here 26.2.16

Just how accessible are Spain’s universities?

MADRID (estrella) -- A new study investigating disability at Spanish universities has revealed that more disabled students than ever before are studying at traditional higher education institutions rather than opting for online distance courses, suggesting a welcome increase in accessibility … read more

EU funding for Slovakian science park

BRATISLAVA (vzdravotnictve) -- Slovakia’s Comenius University has opened its science park (CUSP), where cutting-edge biomedical and environmental research will be carried out. The total cost of the project, which it is hoped will create jobs and promote excellent research, was 42 million euros, the majority of which was covered by EU funds, with state investment and the university’s own resources accounting for the rest … read more 26.02.2016

New network of Russian universities

logoMOSCOW (mngz) -- After many years of preparation, the Russian Ministry of Education and Science has succeeded in launching the Network University ‘BRICS,’ a joint project aimed at improving the quality of higher education in Russia through co-operation between top universities … read more 26.02.2016

Thursday, 3 March 2016 //

Coffee, honoris causa

POLLENZO (targatocn) -- For the twelfth year running, students from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, the world’s first university dedicated to food and culinary culture, will discover the secrets of coffee through theoretical lessons and practical workshops at the Lavazza Training Centre. The centre is the first institution dedicated to coffee-related training and product innovation … read more 27.02.2016

Polish research and HE more market-oriented

WARSAW (polskie radio) -- Considerable changes are set to take place to Poland’s higher education and research sector. The education minister, Jarosław Gowin, hopes that planned new tax laws will encourage entrepreneurs, from both small and medium sized businesses, to invest in Polish research and innovation. Three proposal drafts for higher education laws are also to be put forward, competing to be implemented within the next three years … read more 25.02.2016

Spanish-American university ties strengthened

CASTILLE (telecinco) -- The Spanish government has committed to improving exchange programmes between American and Spanish universities. The importance of the relationship between the two was emphasised by both sides, with Spanish fast becoming the second language of the US and 27,000 Americans already studying in Spain … read more 26.02.2016

Warwick on the barricades

image: facebook

LONDON (independent) -- A large group of student protesters at the University of Warwick have formed a roadblock in a day of protests against the rising cost of higher education in parts of the UK. Demonstrators had marched through the campus and blockaded its main road for half an hour in protest against maintenance grant cuts … read more | and here 26.02.16

No student flats for Bergen

BERGEN (studvest) -- Government plans to fund the building of 2,200 new student houses in 2016 have been generally welcomed in Norway, but some university towns have been left out, including Bergen, a student city in west Norway. Linnea Reitan Jensen, head of the Welfare Council of Bergen, was quick to express her frustration at the fact that her city has not been assigned any student accommodation funding in a time of high rental prices, and with properties in short supply … read more 29.02.2016

Wednesday, 2 March 2016 //

The EU Commission and the 7 wise men

image: EC

BRUSSELS (aca) -- The newly established High Level Group of Scientific Advisors is up and running, having met for the first time on 29 January in Brussels. The group forms a core element of the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) ... read more | and here 01.03.2016

Leipzig students rally against racist professor

LEIPZIG (wsws) -- Students at the University of Leipzig have spoken out against Thomas Rauscher, an international law professor whose remarks concerning refugees and migrants have prompted fierce criticism even from his colleagues and university management. Rauscher has been taking to Twitter in order to voice his opinions, calling for a cultural war against non-white people and accusing all Muslims of terrorism … read more 27.2.

Moody’s predict more uni mergers

logoLONDON (the) -- Many more universities are set to merge or restructure in an effort to save money, a credit rating agency has predicted. In its latest analysis of global higher education, Moody’s states that both governments and universities themselves will seek further mergers to achieve economies of scale and improve efficiency ... read more 24.02.2016

Erasmus+ not just confined to Europe

BRUSSELS (pienews) -- Erasmus+ paid out 918 million euros in grants for studying, training and volunteering abroad in 2014. A report on the first year of the EU mobility programme found that the largest number of participants came from Germany, France and Spain, as has long been the case. However more than 2,000 students from outlying countries, such as Guadeloupe, were also provided with extra funding … read more 17.02.2016

Blatant plagiarism case in Moscow

image: linguanetMOSCOW (moscow times) -- The acting chief of the Moscow State Linguistic University, Igor Manokhin, who recently called for the restoration of the school’s standing as a competitive intellectual centre, has been caught cheating. His case is unusual as he plagiarised a dissertation in full from a single source … read more 23.02.2016

Tuesday, 1 March 2016 //

Protests spell trouble for Slovakian Prime Minister

image: CCBRATISLAVA (nzz) -- Sustained strikes and protests in the higher education sector have put increasing pressure on Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico, ahead of the parliamentary elections in March. There have been demonstrations in seventeen cities across the country, and in mid-February university lecturers joined school teachers on strike, as a result of low pay and insecurity in higher education. The education system in Slovakia is chronically underfunded: in 2011 only 4.1 per cent of the country’s GDP was invested in educational institutions, one of the lowest figures of any EU country … read more 28.02.2016

Swiss announce latest higher education budget

BERN (bluewin) -- The Swiss Bundesrat has pledged to give 26 billion Swiss francs (23.8 billion euros) to education research and innovation (ERI) over the next four years. ETH Zurich alone has been promised 10 billion francs (9.1 billion euros) and the reforms also include an increase in foreign student fees. However, many universities and research institutions are concerned, as there has been a decrease in state funding of ERI which they worry will lead to long- term negative effects … read more | and here 25.02.2016

Armenian education minister substituted

YEREVAN (armenpress) -- Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan has appointed Levon Mkrtchyan as the new Education and Science Minister, replacing the long-serving Armen Ashotyan after his resignation ... read more

Dutch rectors travel first class

image: ebayAMSTERDAM (nrc) -- Following a travel expenses scandal involving higher education managers in the Netherlands, education minister, Jet Bussemaker, wants to establish clearer rules. In a letter to parliament, Bussemaker has promised to work on unified, clear, and concrete definitions … read more 24.02.2016

Monday, 29 February 2016 //

Facebook teams up with European universities

image: Brian Solis

BERLIN (business insider) -- Facebook will team up with European universities to help it advance artificial intelligence research, company CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during an event in Berlin on Thursday. The first university to partner with the social media giant will be the Technical University of Berlin, Zuckerberg said ... read more 26.02.2016

Public-private partnerships in Hungarian universities

GÖDÖLLŐ (orient press) -- Large food companies are to be involved in students’ practical training at the Faculty of Food Science of Szent István University. This marks a milestone in co-operation between the higher education and private sectors in Hungary … read more 24.02.2016

Decline of graduate employment in Italy

ROME (leggo) -- New figures, showing that only 31 percent of graduates are in work one year after leaving university, have prompted concerns about the value of Italian university degrees. Graduates leave university lacking career guidance and direction … read more 26.02.2016

Spanish students demand fair access

image: Sindicato de Estudiantes (SE)MADRID (ideal) -- Student opposition to the higher education law introduced by former Spanish science minister José Ignacio Wert shows no signs of stopping. The National Student Union (SE) has announced plans for strike action, set to take place in April. “We are millions of students,” said SE general secretary Ana García, “who suffer from the effects of cuts, redundancies and the Franquist counter-reforms approved by the People’s Party” ... read more 24.02.16

Saturday, 27 February 2016 //

Leading Holocaust historian sparks anger in Poland

image: Najwyzszy CzasPRINCETON (guardian) -- Academics have leapt to defend Princeton University’s Jan Tomasz Gross, one of the world’s leading Holocaust historians, after Poland threatened to strip him of his Order of Merit following his claims that Polish villagers were complicit in a 1941 massacre of Jews. Leading figures in academia signed open letters protesting the Polish government’s proposal, encouraging officials to reconsider for the sake of academic freedom of expression … read more 13.2.

Regensburg criticised for animal testing cruelty

REGENSBURG (regensburg digital) -- The University of Regensburg in southern Germany has come under fire from leading animal rights charity PETA for perceived mistreatment of animals in its scientific research. PETA promotes greater transparency with regards to the methods used by universities, so that students can opt for studies which avoid animal suffering … read more 23.2.16

Portuguese students suffer under severe austerity

PORTO (observador) -- The Porto Academic Foundation has released a study revealing the rapidly increasing numbers of students receiving hardship grants: there were 63,000 recipients this year compared to just 11,000 in 1990, revealing the devastating effects of austerity measures upon the poorest students … read more 24.02.2016

Romania to get tough on plagiarism

image: ESNA

BUCHAREST (europa libera) -- A government promise to crack down on plagiarism in postgraduate education has been welcomed by the Romanian academic community. However, some are concerned that not all universities will have the conviction to punish sufficiently students who plagiarised their theses … read more 26.02.2016

Friday, 26 February 2016 //

France cracks down on hazing rituals

image: twitter

PARIS (education) -- Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, minister, and Thierry Mandon, state secretary for higher education and research, have announced their intention to take steps to put an end to the practice of hazing and French universities, following a report assessing the successes and shortcomings of previous anti-hazing measures … read more 24.02.2016

Competition heats up in Ukraine

KIEV (gazeta) -- Oleg Sharov, Ukrainian Minister for Science and Education, has announced the development of a new funding competition between universities, comparable to Germany’s successful Excellency Initiative, which will see state investment in the higher education institutions with the highest performing entrants and graduates … read more 23.02.2016

No teacher training reforms under Lunde

image: ELLCOPENHAGEN (folkeskolen) -- The Danish education minister, Esben Lunde Larsen, has shot down suggestions that teacher training should be elevated to university level. Anders Bondo, chairman of the Danish Union of Teachers, had suggested a five year training programme, but Lunde has said that such a reform will not happen whilst he holds the position of ministerread more 23.02.2016

Thursday, 25 February 2016 //

Italy goes digital

image: ESNAROME (tecnica della scuola) -- The Italian Ministry of Education is to save 400 thousand euros a year, merely by converting its files to digital. Over 36 kilometers of paper files have been put online with some of the more interesting files featuring in a new exhibition. Some of the scanned materials, among them books from the 19th century, will stay in a permanent exhibition at the ministry, before being showcased elsewhere … read more 23.02.2016

Swedish quality assurance system called into question

STOCKHOLM (dagensjuridik) -- The Swedish government’s new university quality assurance system has met with criticism, particularly from students who feel that the scheme makes it difficult to compare courses. A unanimous Education Committee has called on the government to evaluate the system and examine its effectiveness in helping universities and their programs improve … read more 18.02.2016

Slovakian education budget increased

BRATISLAVA (aktuality) -- The Slovakian education ministry has given 20 million euros to public universities this year. This is an increase on last year and sees the overall increase of the state budget from the past year being funneled into education. The money is intended to help co-finance education and research activities … read more 23.02.2016

24-hour student protest in Denmark

image: dukop

COPENHAGEN (modkraft) -- A 24-hour protest by the Student Activist Association is scheduled for the 3rd to the 4th of March at the University of Copenhagen. This is a reaction to considerable cuts in Danish higher education as well as the loss of certain degrees due to lack of funding … read more 23.2.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 //

New appointments in Italy

image: campusbiomedicoROME (ansa) -- Plans to recruit 861 university researchers in Italy have been approved. The education minister, Stefania Giannini, gave the go-ahead for the introduction of more three-year contracts, saying it would provide “new energy” for university research. Giannini also approved a measure to distribute six million euros for the recruitment of ordinary professors in 2016 … read more 18.02.2016

Austrian universities on the defensive

VIENNA (presse) -- Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger, rector of Wirtshaftsuniversität Wien (WU), has opposed the idea of transferring economic and business-related subjects from universities to universities of applied sciences, saying this would damage the Austrian economy. The science ministry had proposed this step in order to lighten the burden of universities, allowing them to devote themselves to research … read more 16.02.2016

More money needed for Czech universities

PRAGUE (novinky) -- The Czech government wants to increase spending on universities. Schools receive far more money, whilst universities still face cuts, having lost 200 million koruna (7.4 million euros) in public spending just this year … read more 19.02.2016

Bulgarian Education Minister puts an end to rumours

image: ECSOFIA (bgonair) -- Bulgarian education and science minister, Meglena Kuneva, has announced changes to higher education policy. She expressed her wish for universities to focus more closely on specialisms, and was keen to stress that funding for higher education institutions and research will not be reduced, contrary to speculation … read more 21.02.2016

Tuesday, 23 February 2016 //

Umberto Eco is gone

image:AnefoMILAN (esna) -- Umberto Eco, semiologist, writer and intellectual, died on Friday, 19 February. He received over 40 honorary doctorates from universities around the world, most recently at the University of Łódź, Poland ... watch | read more 19.2.

Pervasive inequality at Croatian universities

ZAGREB (liderpress) -- Chronic underfunding cements social inequality in Croatian higher education, new data confirms. Only 4.8 percent of the country’s GDP is invested in education, compared to the EU average of 5.8 percent, and only 0.7 percent of this goes into research. Four in five of university students have to be supported by their parents … read more 20.2.

Dutch universities swamped by overseas students

AMSTERDAM (gn-online) -- More foreign students than ever before are studying in the Netherlands. Higher Education institutions have noticed an increase in non-native students of 1.8 percent compared to last year … read more 21.2.15

French academics turn attention to Islam

image: MikaniPARIS (etudiant) -- Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, French education minister, wants to promote research into Islam and radicalisation by creating academic courses on the subject at six universities. Government investment, set to total 650,000 euros in the academic year commencing in 2016, will also lead to new academic posts at the universities of Panthéon-Sorbonne, Aix-Marseille, Lyon and Strasbourg … read more 19.02.2016

Monday, 22 February 2016 //

Catholicism on campus causes controversy

image: ESNAMADRID (el diario) -- Catholic chapels on college campuses in Spain —of which there are currently 33— are still funded by the taxpayer, causing controversy which has led to protests such as that involving Rita Maestre, spokesperson for Madrid City Council, who will stand trial later this week facing a charge of inciting religious hatred. The Spanish church is the second biggest owner of real estate in Spain, but pays no property tax and receives 11 billion euros a year in public subsidies … read more 17.02.2016

Germans trust the universities

HAMBURG (stern) -- Who do Germans put their trust in? The universities! A recent survey shows that German citizens have the most confidence in their employers and universities (80 percent), followed by practitioners and policemen ... read more 17.02.2016

Strike action in Slovakia gains momentum

BRATISLAVA (školský servis) -- Following a threat earlier this week, disgruntled university lecturers in Slovakia have gone ahead with strike action in protest of “unsustainable” working conditions. The action now involves lecturers from half of the country’s 35 universities … read more 17.02.2016

Poland fights plagiarism

image: CCWARSAW (polska) -- Poland will allocate a total of 35 million złotys (8 million euros) to more than 50 universities, in an effort to curb plagiarism. The news has not been universally welcomed, however: Science minister Jarosław Gowin hopes that a nationwide scheme to end academic misconduct would be more effective than grants to individual institutions … read more 17.02.2016

Saturday, 20 February 2016 //

Anti-Semitism in UK universities

OXFORD (independent) -- The row over alleged anti-Semitism at Oxford University has intensified following the resignation of Alex Chalmers, a former chair of the university’s Labour Club (OULC). Anti-Semitic abuse is said to be an increasing problem on university campuses nationally and worldwide, and the issue is particularly pertinent as pro-Palestine academics and scientists continue to campaign for the boycotting of Israeli goods … read more 17.2.16

EFG money for Finnish universities

HELSINKI (svenska) -- The Finnish government has applied to the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) for support to help those let go due to the most recent wave of university cuts. If the request is granted, it will be the first time that the EGF has agreed to fund a project in the public sector. The money is to be used to help the recently redundant find a job in the global market with specific training and personal advice … read more 17.02.2016

Turkish universities look the other way

flagsISTANBUL (xinhua) -- At an Eurasian international higher education summit held in Istanbul, the representatives of Turkish universities voiced their intentions to increase the number of Chinese students by inking bilateral agreements and seek closer cooperation with Chinese universities. Currently, some 1,000 Chinese students are there ... read more 17.02.2016

Friday, 19 February 2016 //

Centralisation damaging to universities?

image: CBSSUSSEX (the) -- Universities are ignoring evidence that decentralisation and autonomy in study lead to better functioning institutions, according to a science policy expert. Ben Martin’s paper “What’s happening to our universities?” cites numerous studies to support the idea that centralisation is not only damaging to staff morale but may also lead to a lack of innovation … read more

Third level fees still a possibility in Ireland

DUBLIN (irish examiner) -- The current Education minister, Jan O’Sullivan, has refused to rule out the possibility of the introduction of university fees if Labour is reelected. Currently students only need to pay a contribution of 2,000 to 3,000 euros, but a report to be concluded this summer is likely to show that universities need an increase of up to a billion euros from the state in order to avoid the introduction of university fees. Despite O’Sullivan saying that higher education should be attainable for everyone, she could not guarantee that universities would remain free of fees … read more 17.02.2016

English ‘the new Latin’ in Ukraine

image: ministryKIEV (study international) -- Education minister Serhiy Kvit and public officials in Ukraine have announced plans to implement bilingualism across all national universities, with English to become the country’s second working language. Scholars of the region have compared the rise of English to ancient Latin, as students and professors will also be encouraged to talk to one another in English outside of their studies … read more 15.02.2016

Portuguese research promised support

BRAGA (porto canal) -- The Portuguese education minister, Manuel Heitor, has promised greater support to the research community. In an interview at the international conference of nanotechnology in Braga he described 2016 as a ‘year of change’ for Portuguese science policy … read more 16.02.2016

Thursday, 18 February 2016 //

Robin Hood of research

logoMOSCOW (science alert) -- A Russian researcher, Alexandra Elbakyan, has made 48 million journal articles —almost every single peer-reviewed paper ever published— available online for free. Despite a court injunction, she is still refusing to take them offline, stating that it is ridiculous that you should have to pay 32 dollars per journal just to skim read it, especially when scientists need to access hundreds of thousands of these papers for their research. Elsevier, one of the world’s biggest publishers, has also filed a lawsuit against her, but they themselves are facing a petition to boycott their services, which has already been signed by 15,000 scientists. With leading universities, like Harvard and Cornell, even admitting that they too are struggling to pay these fees, something will have to change soon … read more | Sci-Hub12.2.16

Science centres vs brain drain

VILNUS (15min) -- Lithuania must look to the future of science centres to keep up with its neighbouring countries. According to Dainius Pavalkis, former education minister (2012-15), these centres could be a means of counteracting the effects of brain drain, by providing suitable jobs for researchers and encouraging others to study the field … read more 10.02.2016

Dutch universities and Wiley make a deal

image: Uni TilburgROTTERDAM (engineers online) -- Dutch universities and the publishing house Wiley have reached an agreement to make possible unlimited open access to scientific articles for all researchers and students attached to Dutch universities. Koen Becking, president of Tilburg University, called the move “a huge step forward” for Dutch higher education … read more 08.02.2016

Wednesday, 17 February 2016 //

Portuguese polytechnics seek recognition

image: IFRSLISBON (dn) -- Starting this summer, Portuguese polytechnics will work in conjunction with companies on applied research projects. Joaquim Mourato, President of the Coordinating Council of Higher Polytechnic Intitutes (CCISP) is thrilled with the announcement of this project, seeing it as a step towards polytechnics receiving the recognition they deserve … read more 15.02.2016

Russia: Inflation drives foreign student influx

MOSCOW (uwn) -- The number of foreign students in Russia could see a sharp increase over the next few years as a result of the country’s financial crisis. According to the Rector of Moscow State University, Viktor Sadovnichy, the devaluation of the ruble means the cost of studying is three times less than in 2014 … read more 10.02.2016

Spanish universities to blame?

MADRID (20minutos) -- Four out of ten graduates in Spain believe their university education was inadequate in helping them secure a job, according to a new study exploring attitudes to study and employment … read more 11.2.16

Italians excel abroad

image: (c) ESNA / Federico MazzoleniROME (il fatto quotidiano) -- An Italian academic abroad has hit back at the Italian education minister. After Stefania Giannini announced that an Italian researcher, Roberta D’Alessandro, recieving tender as an ERC consolidator was a great achievement for Italy, she replied saying it was actually an achievement for the Netherlands, where she works. D’Alessandro stated that Italy did nothing to help her, instead her career has been based abroad, where she has had far more opportunities than if she had remained in Italy … read more 13.2

Tuesday, 16 February 2016 //

Big data, big research centre

image: Leiden University

LEIDEN (automatiseringgids) -- Three Dutch universities —Leiden, TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam —are to join forces in creating a research centre using big data to find solutions to urban issues. The centre will be named ‘Centre for BOLD Cities,’ and will focus on social issues and conduct research, developing education for students and professionals and giving advice on traffic, schools and public health … read more 12.02.2016

Lecturers join teachers on the picket line

BRATISLAVA (dennikn) -- Following the strike of primary and secondary school teachers, academic staff at universities in Slovakia are now threatening strike action. Lecturers at higher education institutions including Comenius University, Trnava University and the University of Pavol Jozef Safarik have come together to create a ‘strike committee,’ citing financial problems in the higher education sector as reason for their frustration … read more 09.02.2016

Prospective students face tall order in Denmark

COPENHAGEN (bt) -- Entry requirements for prospective students at three top universities in Denmark —Copenhagen, Aarhus and Southern Denmark— are set to increase, in an effort to enhance quality and international reputation. The government is expected to put forward a bill later this month that will allow universities to establish minimum grade requirements for bachelor programs … read more 12.02.2016

Cash prizes for development initiatives in Russia

image: studsportMOSCOW (rg) -- Eleven universities, selected by the education ministry following a competitive application process, will receive funding amounting to 150 million rubles (1.7 million euro), in order to support five-year development programs that they must create and present before government officials. Dmitry Livanov, Minister of Education and Science, has emphasised the importance of such initiatives for the industrial and socio-economic development of the Russian Federation … read more 11.02.2016

Monday, 15 February 2016 //

Moedas advocates the “innovation principle”

image: business europeBRUSSELS (ebx) -- Speaking at a industry conference in late January, EU research commissioner Carlos Moedas said “It’s time to put The Innovation Principle at the heart of Europe’s economic revival.” The move, suggested by influential lobby groups, aims at watering down the precautionary principle, a legal barrier according to which a producer, manufacturer or importer may be required to prove the absence of danger their products may pose to the public or to the environment ... read more 10.02.2016

Desperate for doctors in Switzerland

BERN (vaterland) -- Too few doctors are being trained in Switzerland, prompting the government to invest 100 million Swiss francs (90 million euros) in medical higher education, with the aim of increasing intake. It is as yet unclear how the funding will be distributed, but the plan is to increase number of trainee doctors from 900 this year to 1300 in 2025 … read more 12.02.2016

Swedish students propose tuition fees

logoSTOCKHOLM (sydsvenskan) -- Sweden’s liberal Ateneum Student Association has outlined three reforms that they believe would improve the quality of the country’s universities and colleges. The students urge the government to transform the funding system for higher education programs, allow universities to charge any tuition fee up to 25,000 Swedish krona (2,100 euros), and recognise the importance of humanities and arts faculties … read more 10.02.2016

Ukrainian-Czech university liaison

LVIV (lvivskaja gazeta) -- In the latest example of strengthening Ukrainian-Czech relations through academic policy, officials from the University of Lviv and Prague’s Charles University met to discuss opportunities for co-operation between the two institutions … read more 11.02.2016

Saturday, 13 February 2016 //

Bologna Follow-Up Group look to the future

logoBRUSSELS (eurashe) -- Preparation has begun for the upcoming EHEA Ministerial Conference in Paris in 2018, marking a new period of development for the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG). New working groups have been set up with the objective of consolidating cohesive structures throughout Europe and enlargement towards Asian and African countries … read more 02.02.2016

Friday, 12 February 2016 //

Lille universities forced to work together

image: les echosLILLE (lavoixdunord) -- Thierry Mandon, French state secretary for higher education and research, has announced plans to visit Lille in March in order to meet with key figures at the city’s higher education institutions, following the failure of Lille universities to qualify for Idex, an excellency initiative which provides funding to top-performing universities. This comes after a meeting of Lille’s university presidents to discuss possible synergies, demonstrating once more the power of public incentives to reinforce inter-university co-operation … read more 09.02.2016

Influx of EU students in the UK

LONDON (the) -- Several English universities have increased their recruitment of EU students by more than 40 per cent, following the removal of controls on undergraduate places. Universities stated that the rise came after a concerted effort to increase diversity in the higher education sector, but critics have expressed financial concerns, claiming that EU graduates will be less likely to repay publicly funded tuition fee loans … read more 06.02.2016

Partial merger of Graz universities

logoGRAZ (kleine zeitung) -- Another form of university cooperation is now being displayed by the Karl Franzens University and Technical University in Graz. A centre, combining four science and civil engineering institutes from both universities, is to be set up and given financial autonomy … read more 6.2.16

French students eligible for EU Master Loan Scheme

BRUSSELS (masterstudies) -- BPCE from France is the second bank, after the Spanish MicroBank, to join the Erasmus+ Loan Scheme. The scheme, set up last year and backed by the European Investment Fund (EIF), is now available to master students in France and French students going abroad ... read more

Thursday, 11 February 2016 //

Berlin comes out on top

image: ESNA

BERLIN (telegraph) -- Berlin has been named the top city for British university students. According to a survey by TransferWise, Berlin comes out on top as a result of its efficient transport system, low living costs and free tuition. Surprisingly only a third of UK students would consider studying abroad despite the high university fees … read more 10.02.2016

Migrant students more motivated

LONDON (bbc) -- Migrant students are more likely to be an asset to their new homes than a burden. OECD education director, Andreas Schleicher, stated that their research shows that first generation immigrants are more willing to push themselves than their native peers and have more ambitious career expectations … read more 10.02.2016

Replenishment for Austrian universities and research

image: neosVIENNA (futurezone) -- Recognising the importance of progression and adaptability with regards to new and improving technology, The Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development has demanded more funds for universities and scientific research. Council chairman Hannes Androsch asks that a further 800 million euro be made available for research funds, whilst 1,4 billion euro should be given to universities for research and technological development. … read more | and here 10.02.2016

Huge publishing scandal in South Korea

LONDON (cw) -- South Korea is embroiled in a huge plagiarism scandal, with 179 professors at 110 universities facing criminal charges for copying content from previously published textbooks written by others ... read more 26.1.16

Wednesday, 10 February 2016 //

Celebrities made ghostwriting popular

image: weltBERLIN (welt) -- The ghostwriting business has boomed since famous cases like German defense minister Theodor von Guttenberg or the education minister Annette Schavan attracted wider public attention. In an interview, ghostwriter Herbert Jost-Hof said the universities, as they focus on quantity instead of quality, are the ones who create the market for these writing services ... read more 6.2.16

German excellence internationally invisible

FREIBURG (badensche) -- 4.6bn euros of extra funding for excellency at German universities hasn’t improved their standing in international rankings. Critics say teaching quality must be improved substantially if the next round is to be more successful ... read more 02.02.3016

Corbyn criticises mental health services for students

image: Garry KnightLONDON (huffington post) -- British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has spoken out on the lack of adequate, easy to access mental health services at UK universities. He has called for more investment into the field, as the numbers seeking help for mental health problems have risen dramatically in the past few years … read more 04.02.2016

Declining professionalism in Denmark

COPENHAGEN (borsen) -- A decline in student professionalism and ability is dragging down Denmark’s universities, according to the chairmanship of 400 examiners. Their letter to the Education Minister complaining of the low-grade entry requirements is supported by Danish industry, a company interest group, suggesting employers are also beginning to fear a decline in graduate standards … read more 08.02.2016

Tuesday, 9 February 2016 //

University-business was striving in 2015

image: M-L NguyenBERLIN (esna) -- With her diagnosis, “the Berlin Wall between universities and the economy has fallen,” former French higher education minister Valérie Pécresse was right. European university managers and policy makers hurried further down the road of university-business relations and financialisation in 2015. The Netherlands head the list with their universities having accumulated 800 million euros of debt ... read more

EU Parliament commits to TiSA

BRUSSELS (politico) -- A resolution in favor of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which the EU is negotiating with the U.S., Canada, Australia, Chile, Turkey and others, was backed by 532 lawmakers, with 131 against and 36 abstentions. Excluded from the negotiations will be EU public services, such as education, health and social services. While the four largest political groups — the European People’s Party, Socialists & Democrats, European Conservatives and Reformists, and the Liberals — backed the text, the Greens and far-left as well as far-right MEPs voted against it. “Our concern is that the Commission will largely ignore this resolution and not respect it fully in the negotiations,” Green MEP Ska Keller said ... read more 02.03.2016

EUA approves roadmap on open access

logoBRUSSELS (eua) -- “The European University Association has come up with a set of well-defined objectives and priority actions for the university sector that will be taken forward in the coming months,” explained Jean-Pierre Finance, chair of the expert group ... read more 5.2.16

Italian scholar tortured and killed in Egypt

COVENTRY (conversation) -- “Giulio Regeni’s murder is a direct challenge to the academic freedom that is a pillar of our higher education system,” says his friend Neil Piper from Coventry University after his body was found in a ditch in Cairo on February 2 ... read more 05.02.2016

Monday, 8 February 2016 / /

Consultants opt for private higher education in Spain

image: KPMGMADRID (abc) -- Private universities in Spain are continuing to source new ways of funding. A report by the consulting firm KPMG suggests possible methods, including an increase in public-private partnerships and privately funded research centres, state ‘fee’ vouchers for students, which could be cashed in at private universities, as well as more international students being admitted … read more 03.02.2016

Inflation of private degrees in Spain

VALLADOLID (diario) -- The Platform for a Public, Laic and Free School of the Spanish region Castilla y León have demanded that the education minister end the ‘inflation’ of private university qualifications … read more 05.02.2016

Education reform on the cards in Turkey

ISTANBUL (yeniakit) -- Yekta Saraç, president of the Turkish Higher Educational Council YÖK, has announced detailed plans for higher education reform. He focused closely on regional development, new forms of university management, the formation of an independent quality council, and the formation of specialised universities … read more 30.01.2016

Pontificial university ascending to new spheres

logoROME (stampa) -- The Pontifical University of St. Anthony in Rome and the online university Uninettuno have signed a cooperation agreement to offer blended learning courses for their students ... read more 04.02.2016

Saturday, 6 February 2016 / /

R&D budgets continue falling

image: OECDPARIS (oecd) -- Budgets for research and development in the OECD area continued their downward trend since 2010 after briefly stabilising in 2014. Among countries for which 2015 data are available, two thirds have decreased their R&D budgets in real terms and the estimated area total has dropped by 1.3 percent. Tax incentives, which have been increasing in relative importance over time, have mitigated this trend ... read more 04.02.2016

Dwindling staff numbers at Finnish universities

HELSINKI (hs) -- Concern has been expressed about the number of redundancies and job losses at Finnish universities. Helsinki University expects to lose almost 1000 workers to retirement or redundancy, whilst last week it was reported that over 300 members of staff at Aalto University had lost their jobs due to budget cuts … read more 02.02.2016

Judge rules against Italian Education Ministry

logoENNA (ilfattoquotidiano) -- A judge in Caltanissetta, Italy, has ruled that the medical school set up in Enna, Sicily, by Romania’s University Dunarea de Jos of Galanti is legitimate and should be allowed to continue teaching, despite an appeal filed against the university by the Italian Education Ministry. Government officials had expressed concerns that the courses, aimed at healthcare professionals and funded by the local Proserpina Fund, were illegitimate under EU law … read more 03.02.16

Increased tuition fees in Croatia

RIJEKA (vecernji) – Croatia’s University of Rijeka has announced plans to raise tuition fees in the next academic year, to the outrage of current students and of other Croatian universities, who are concerned that the move will force them to follow suit … read more 02.02.2016

Friday, 5 February 2016 / /

New Bulgarian education minister

image: European CommissionSOFIA (balkan insight) -- Meglena Kuneva, is to be the new Bulgarian Minister of Education and Science. The deputy Prime Minister for European affairs studied law in both the US and the UK before beginning her political career in 2001. She was elected to the National Assembly in 2014 as an MP from the Reformist Bloc electoral alliance. This last minute election followed her predecessor, Todor Tanev’s, dismissal for his attempts to change the national history curriculum … read more

Open access roundup 2015

INT (plos) -- Last year it was France getting tough on the toughest negotiator: Elsevier. This year, the Netherlands took it right to the brink of cutting Elsevier loose. Major Austrian science funders plumped for a non-commercial open access future and a group of German science organizations and university libraries spelled out their position on this path ... read more 2.2.16

English degrees on the advance

LONDON (bbc) -- The number of university courses taught in English in non-English-speaking countries has more than quadrupled in seven years. The highest concentration is in Denmark, where 38 percent of university programmes are English-taught courses, followed by the Netherlands at 30 and Sweden at 24 percent … read more 03.02.2016

Thursday, 4 February 2016 / /

Universities better together in Russia

image: ITMOUMOSCOW (Interfax) -- Russian education minister Dmitry Livanov has announced plans to support the creation of regional universities through mergers. It is hoped that the program will create around twenty such institutions in 2016, and around thirty in 2017 ... read more 27.01.16

French uni libraries stay open

EVRY (20minutes) -- The number of library seats in France is growing at a slower rate than the number of students, and university libraries open on average 61 hours per week (69 in Germany). This has prompted Thierry Mandon, state secretary for higher education, to present an ‘Open Libraries’ plan: at least one library in every university must be open until 10pm Monday to Friday, on Saturday afternoons, and during the Christmas and Easter holidays … read more 01.02.2016

European Universities Games 2016 coming up

image: EUSAZAGREB (eusa) -- University teams and athletes from all over Europe are invited to participate in the 3rd edition of the European Universities Games in July 2016. The event will be held in the Croatian capital Zagreb and the coastal city of Rijeka. The Games include 21 sports: Badminton, Basketball, Basketball 3x3, Beach Volleyball, Bridge, Chess, Football, Futsal, Golf, Handball, Judo, Karate, Rowing, Rugby 7’s, Sport Climbing, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Volleyball and Water Polo ... read more 11.01.2016

Wednesday, 3 February 2016 / /

Microsoft advances in Ireland

image: merrion streetDUBLIN (dcu) -- The Irish education ministry is launching a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) designed solely for teachers. The course, entitled ‘21st Century Learning Design’ is the result of a ‘smart partnership’ between Irish education institutions and Microsoft, bringing together the public sector, the Irish SME sector and foreign direct investment. Whilst Brian MacCraith, president of Dublin City University, enthused that this is “an example of how Irish education and eLearning companies are leading the way in innovations for teacher education and teacher professional learning”, Irish higher education is in fact chronically underfunded: budgets have been slashed by a quarter in seven years, with staff numbers falling by 4,500 and student numbers rising … read more 28.1.16

Immigrant integration is the key

BERLIN (deutschland funk) -- In a radio interview, the German education minister, Johanna Wanka, criticized those who see immigrants as a solution to professional demand as short sighted. With 50% of refugees being under 25, she emphasized education as a means of integration as the most important factor… read more 31.01.2016

Bulgarian Education Ministry, you’re fired

Bulgaria_web_DARIKNEWSSOFIA (noinvite) -- Bulgaria’s Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, has demanded the resignation of Education and Science Minister Todor Tanev and his entire team. Borisov criticised the ministry’s suggested curriculum reforms, which were not put forward for public discussion and has demanded that a new team to run the ministry be presented by the end of today… read more 02.02.2016

Private online education in Malta

VALLETTA (times of malta) -- Evarist Bartolo, Malta’s education minister, announced that online courses are being considered to address the country’s education deficit… read more 01.02.2016

Tuesday, 2 February 2016 / /

A Michelin-guide for Open Access?

image: ESNABRUSSELS (scienceguide) -- How can we make the debate on ‘Open Science’ more alive and active? Over 60 European stakeholders met in Brussels to exchange ideas that will feed into a new European Action. Some suggest a ‘Michelin’-ranking: one star for an article that is only accessible to researchers, two stars when accessible to everyone and three stars when not only the article, but also the research data are open accessible ... read more 22.01.2016

Belgian higher education budget grows

BRUSSELS (le soir) -- The francophone higher education institutions will receive over 100 million euros in funding over the next four years. The Catholic University Association (Segec) criticised that the hautes écoles are “still underfunded and art schools have been forgotten” ... read more 30.1.16

Germany’s excellence program, episode 2

image: (c) ESNABERLIN (science) -- Germany should continue awarding billions of euros in extra funding to its top-performing universities, an international commission recommended today. That is one of the best ways to build on the country’s Excellence Initiative, a decade-long programme with the objective to boost German universities to world-class status. The commission, chaired by Dieter Imboden of the ETH Zurich in Switzerland, presented its long-awaited evaluation of the programme today. It had, he said, a “very positive” influence ... read more 29.01.2016

Research excellence in Russia

MOSCOW (tass) -- Only ten percent of Russias state research universities can make breakthrough developments,  president Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of the Council on Science and Education ... read more 21.01.2016

Monday, 1 February 2016 / /

German rectors against elite regions

image: HRKBERLIN (tagesspiegel) -- Horst Hippler, president of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), has criticised the idea of creating ‘excellency regions’ in the upcoming round of German excellency initiatives. He sees this as a danger to universities deserving of individual financial support. Experts are concerned that the funding left to individual universities would be considerably diminished due to the amounts given to these ‘top regions,’ whilst the regional concentration of high performing science departments would be accelerated… read more 26.01.2016

Belarus state support for student start-ups

MINSK (belta) -- Belarusian education minister Michael Zhuravkov has announced plans to focus more closely on the commercialisation of university research projects. The Ministry of Education will work to promote student start-up projects, increasing support for students developing business plans and preparing to present their ideas to investors … read more 28.01.2016

Financial crisis at Bulgarian university

image: HB facebookVELIKO TARNOVO (dnevnik) – Veliko Tarnovo University has requested state funding in order to avoid its imminent bankruptcy. The university rector, Hristo Bondzholov, has admitted that one reason for the university’s financial concerns is the number of unfilled courses … read more 26.01.2016

Recognition for Moldovan degrees

CHIȘINĂU (publika) -- The Spanish government has agreed to recognise Moldovan higher education qualifications for the next five years. Currently 500 Moldovans study in Spain with this agreement making it easier for more to apply … read more 27.01.2016

Saturday, 30 January 2016 / /

Budget is the heart and soul of reform

image: HDZZAGREB (jutarnji) -- Predag Šustar, former philosophy professor at the University of Rijeka, was appointed as the new Croatian education minister on the 26th January. During his first press conference he emphasised the importance of an increase in the education budget … read more 26.01.2016

Streamlining of Finnish universities

HELSINKI (uutiset) -- “We could have even fewer universities than we do now,” declared the Finnish education minister, Sannu Grahn-Laasonen, expressing her support for the multi-hundred-million-euro cuts to universities. She believes that research can be made more focussed with the creation of department epicentres. However Grahn-Laasonen did recognise the difficulties in securing grants, promising to streamline the process by 2018 … read more

OECD: intellectual deforestation

logoLONDON (guardian) -- Many young people would be better off taking further education courses than studying for an academic degree, according to a report by the OECD, commissioned by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. One in ten university graduates are leaving higher education with “quite basic” levels of maths or literacy ability, prompting the OECD to claim that UK education funding would be better spent in schools and on education for 16- to 19-year-olds … read more 29.01.2016

Boom of Chinese students at Italian art academies

LECCE (qdp) -- The number of Chinese students at Italian art academies is growing. This year, at the Accedemia delle Belle Arti of Lecce in the far south, they make up 22 percent of the student population. “They are a cultural, but also an economic resource for us,” says rector Claudio Delli Santi, “since the number of local students is decreasing.” The difficulties of the professors, however, who have to teach more and more students with very low Italian language proficiency, are seldom discussed ... read more 15.01.2016

Friday, 29 January 2016 / /

Corporate spirit at the Université Libre de Bruxelles

image: McKinseyBRUSSELS (le vif) -- By appointing Pierre Gurdjian, the former senior partner of international consulting firm McKinsey, as its new president, the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) confirms its desire to be led like a corporation. Gurdjian will work alongside ULB director-general Michel Loebs, ex-president of Chiquita Europe … read more 24.01.2016

Landlord UCL held ransom by tenants

LONDON (guardian) -- Students of the University College of London (UCL) are refusing to pay rent to their university, demanding a 40 percent rent decrease. With a 56 percent rise since 2009, many argue the high fees equate to ‘social cleansing’ as those from poorer backgrounds have to sacrifice their studies for paid work in order to cover costs … read more 25.01.2016

University funding reform in Poland

logoWARSAW (bankier) -- The Polish science minister, Jarosław Gowin, has announced plans to reform higher education, promising innovation and a closer relationship with the economy. Following the example of Denmark, where similar reforms were successfully carried out in the nineties, he envisages a more competitive funding system for Polish higher education … read more 20.01.2016

University of Liege plays a risky game

LIEGE (sudinfo) -- The francophone universities of Belgium have invested part of their budget in the stock market. The University of Liege (ULg), for example, has placed 75 million of their 180 million euro budget into risky financial products. In 2014, however, the ULg received profits of 7 million euros from their investments … read more 23.01.2016

Thursday, 28 January 2016 / /

IDEX favours mergers

logoPARIS (20min) -- The winners of the second round of the French ‘excellency’ initiative (Idex/Isite), which has a total budget of 3.1 billion euros, are the universities of Nice, Grenoble, Lorraine and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. A debate has now ensued on university mergers, as some believe fusion universities are more likely to succeed in the initiative. Philippe Augé, president of the University of Montpellier, blames the university’s failure to secure Idex funding on Paul Valéry University’s refusal to merge with them, a claim refuted by the university’s president, Anne Fraïsse … read more | and here 25.01.2016

Generosity attracts scrutiny in Denmark

COPENHAGEN (ekstrabladet) -- The University of Copenhagen faces investigation from the National Audit Office, who will visit the university following a number of large one-off bonus payments to employees. Some university staff were awarded as much as 500,000 Danish krone (67.000 euros) … read more 25.01.2016

Students to foot the bill for Technologcal Universities

image: William Murphy DUBLIN (irish times) -- Students to bear the brunt of the costs needed to create new technological universities, unions have claimed. The expenses will top 45 million euros, resulting in a considerable increase in student fees that will affect them for “many years into their working lives.” Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan had been advised by her own experts that mergers were a costly process … read more 27.01.2016

Austria: fees for university entrance exams

VIENNA (wiener zeitung) -- Austrian universities are planning to introduce a fifty euro fee for entrance examinations. Prospective medical students and all those wishing to study at the University of Innsbruck already pay to sit entrance tests … read more 22.01.2016

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 / /

Hungarian National Bank building own university

image: Pagina EuropeanaBUDAPEST (bloomberg) -- The National Bank of Hungary intends to spend 200 billion forint (640 million euro) on a new economics programme and university campus. This sum equals the government’s total annual budget for higher education across the country. Prominent economists at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences have condemned this movement in an open letter, saying the initiatives are not only illegal, but also go against international norms, with this public money being used to increase private influence. However allies of Prime Minister Orban have defended the plans, claiming scientific autonomy will not be compromised … read more 22.01.2016

Oil lobby at universities

logoLONDON (open democracy) -- ExxonMobil spent at least 5.6 million pounds on lobbying in 2014 alone, of which over 260,000 pounds was spent on European universities. An investigation by DeSmog UK showed Exxon to be one of the biggest spenders in EU lobbying … read more 20.01.2016

Weak Polish support for refugees

WARSAW (inside highered) -- A report finds Poland’s support for refugees in higher education to be lacking. Despite the government asking universities to do more to help refugees, only four institutions went as far as to offer broad support to those who may have applied. The policy has since been given little attention, whilst the political climate for supporting refugees has simultaneously worsened … read more 24.01.2016

France gets new degree database

image: MikaniPARIS (the) -- Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the French minister of national education, higher education and research, announced plans to create a unique digital database for degree qualifications, to be up and running later this year. The aim is not only to simplify the task of verifying job candidates’ academic ability to employers but also to save a significant amount of government money … read more 22.01.2016

Tuesday, 26 January 2016 / /

Greenlandic on the brink of extinction

image: CCCOPENHAGEN (independent) -- Cuts to Danish universities could see the removal of Eskimology and Artic studies from the syllabus by 2017. As the only course in the world where you can study Greenlandic at university level, many are appealing for the university to rethink this decision … read more 19.1.16

Finland tightens the belt

HELSINKI (uwn) -- After the latest batch of austerity measures, a total of 5,200 jobs at Finnish universities and polytechnics will have been cut since 2012. An independent survey revealed that the total budget reductions add up to 280 million euros … read more 22.01.2016

Research increasingly international

logoARLINGTON (nature) -- A big US report documents increases in international research collaboration. Within the European Union, the United Kingdom, France and Germany had the highest rates of co-authored articles overall. US authors worked most frequently with authors from China, compared with other countries ... read more 19.1.

What about the European Innovation Council?

EU (sciencebusiness) -- Christian Ehler, MEP, has said that the European Innovation Council should be in its pilot phase by 2017. At the moment there is a discussion over the form this new EU body should take … read more 21.1.

Monday, 25 January 2016 / /

French publishing industry up in arms

image: Axelle LemairePARIS (europe1) -- The French Minister for Digital Affairs, Axelle Lemaire, has come under fire from publishers in France. They claim that her suggestion of a project to create an Open Access forum for scientific and research papers will threaten independent publishing houses, instead favouring ‘internet giants.’ Following other European countries like Holland and Germany, the legal proposal would mean the substitution of journal subscription with green and gold Open Access … read more 18.01.2016

Negligible NEETs rate

LUXEMBOURG CITY (lw) -- In Luxembourg just 6.5 percent of young people (aged 15 to 29) were not in education, employment or training (NEET) compared with the OECD average of 16.5 percent … read more 20.01.2016

Cooperation with industry: farsighted or foolish?

image: AAUCOPENHAGEN (information) -- Universities in Denmark are increasingly keen to cooperate with private companies, as demonstrated by the University of Copenhagen’s attempts to attract money from the oil industry. However, some academics claim it is a ‘dangerous development’ and, like economics professor Mogens Ove Madsen from Aalborg, worry that freedom of research will be threatened … read more 18.01.2016

Egyptian universities launch UK partnerships

LONDON (the) -- Universities in the UK and Egypt have signed 10 partnership agreements aimed at building scientific research and increasing opportunities for student and staff exchanges. These collaborations follow on from a visit of Egyptian government officials in 2014 and are set to last at least three years … read more 21.01.2016

Saturday, 23 January 2016 / /

Dutch student want more say

image: Guido van Nispen

AMSTERDAM (telegraaf) -- Yesterday the Dutch parliament began discussions on a new law relating to student involvement in university administration. The bill was drafted after the Maagdenhuis occupation last year, which was a protest for greater student participation. However many feel the changes are still all bark, no bite — pushing for the inclusion of a student representative on the Executive Board and veto powers … read more 21.01.2016

Norwegian students receive 35 million in fraudulent loans

OSLO (aftenposten) -- In 2014, a total of 2200 students breached the conditions of their educational grant, costing the Norwegian Loan Fund 35 million krone. Recipients were unable to prove that they had not lived at their family home for the whole year, as the grant is available only to those living independently … read more 21.01.2016

Medical students in Belgium: Too many or too few

BRUSSLES (rtbf) -- Belgium is set to have a surplus of medical graduates in 2018, due to the Bologna Decree shortening medical degrees from seven years to six. Though this will help with the present shortage in trained staff, a recent study estimates, 30-40 percent will be unable to find an internship with a specialty … read more 21.01.2016

Foreign experts assess Slovak academy of science

image: LogoBRATISLAVA (spectator) -- The Slovak Academy of Science’s (SAV) departments will be subjected to accreditation by foreign experts in 2016. The expert commission, led by Marja Makarow, head of the Finnish Academy of Sciences, will focus on SAV activities over the past four years ... read more 21.01.2016

Friday, 22 January 2016 / /

Greek intellectual demands digital book revolution

image: UOA

ATHENS (iefimerida) -- Anotnis Liakos, President of the National Dialogue for Education and professor of contemporary history at the University of Athens, has caused controversy in the publishing industry by suggesting that an online open access platform of academic texts should be made available to students, claiming that this would be “infinitely cheaper than printing hundreds of thousands of volumes” … read more 16.01.

German university libraries, digitally outsourced

STUTTGART (buchmarkt) -- Hundreds of new e-service providers have started offering electronic reserve shelves for universities. In January, the libraries of the Universities Duisburg-Essen in Western Germany, signed a deal with Booktex in Bavaria allowing students to access and use 40,000 books from 25 publishers ... read more 18.01.2016

Iraqi students a ‘danger’ to Georgia?

KUTAISI (dafw) -- A handful of Iraqi students from Akaki Tsereteli University in Georgia have had their residency permits revoked. The students were told that they posed a security risk to the country, though the education minister, Tamar Sanikidze, was unable to elaborate on this … read more 16.01.2016

Romania curbs plagiarism

image: FUMNBUCHAREST (hotnews) -- The Romanian education minister, Adrian Curaj, intends to use an emergency ordinance to change the Education Act. Curaj said the government wants to amend the law on good conduct in scientific research, as universities should not be exempt from investigations into plagiarism. This comes in response to reports that doctorate degrees were plagiarised ... read more 19.01.2016

Thursday, 21 January 2016 / /

Students bring central London to a standstill

image: BT

LONDON (bbc) -- Students protesting against government plans to scrap maintenance grants in England blocked Westminster Bridge for more than an hour and a half. Protesters were registering their anger with the government proposals to change means-tested grants to loans repayable after graduation, thus saddling the poorest students with more debt … read more 19.01.2016

EU funding to promote university-business in Croatia

ZAGREB (poslovni) -- Following EU advice, Croatia is to promote and develop cooperation between its academic and business communities: using 900 million euros of EU allocated funding, university research teams are to be linked with small and medium-sized companies, in order to promote business and innovation … read more 18.01.2016

Microsoft to donate $1 billion in cloud resources

image: MicrosoftDAVOS-KLOSTERS (t3n) -- In a fit of boundless philanthropy, Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella announced a one billion dollar donation in cloud computing resources over the next 3 years to 70,000 NGOs and universities worldwide. The services —including Microsoft’s Azure-Cloud and the Office 365-Suite— will be freely accessible for non-profit organisations and researchers. This will save universities the hassle and temptation of using free open source software … read more 19.1

Bulgarian universities to see change at last

SOFIA (mediapool) -- Long-awaited and urgently needed Higher Education reform has finally been prioritised in Bulgaria. The Ministry of Education has taken the first bold steps to dealing with the current inefficient financing system, allocating funding according to the quality of courses and job prospects of graduates rather than the number of students … read more 18.1.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 / /

Spain’s headache over mobility

image: ESNAMADRID (elmundo) -- Many Erasmus students are drawn to Madrid and Barcelona for a semester, but Spain struggles to tempt international students to undertake a whole degree in its universities. A new study … read more 18.01.2016

Universities in Muslim majority countries falling behind

AMMAN (jordan times) -- The research output of academic institutions in Muslim majority countries is disproportionately low compared to the rest of the world, according to an opinion piece in the Jordan Times. Its author calls for professors to dedicate themselves to writing textbooks and conducting science outreach, rather than simply publishing more papers … read more 18.01.2016

Purge of Russian university libraries

MOSCOW (skynews) -- Russian authorities have destroyed more than 50 books and removed more than 500 volumes from university libraries. The books were published with money from the Soros Fund, which in November was declared to be an ‘undesirable agent’ … read more 18.01.2016

Degree trafficking in Toulon

image: Blog of L. OueslatiTOULON (le monde) -- The former President of the University of Toulon, Oueslati Laroussi, faces trial this week for selling diplomas to Chinese students for up to 2,700 euros a piece. Bilateral agreements have created a growing influx of Chinese students into European universities, who are not always best equipped to study in a foreign language … read more 18.01.2016

Tuesday, 19 January 2016 / /

EU science diplomacy in action

image: EC

TEL AVIV (jpost) -- Research commissioner, Carlos Moedas has completed a visit to Israel and Palestine, in the latest example of the EU’s recently announced policy of ‘science diplomacy.’ He met with key entrepreneurial and policy figures including President Reuven Rivlin and Ofir Akunis, the Minister of Science, Technology and Space, and visited a number of academic and research institutions … read more 18.01.2016

University lectures for Genovese jailbirds

GENOA (repubblica) -- The University of Genoa is to open a department in the city’s main prison, Marassi. Offices and classrooms will be built inside the prison, and around 50 professors have already agreed to give lectures there … read more 18.01.2016

Russian maths stars are excelling abroad

image: MCCMEMOSCOW (the) -- A new study suggests hundreds of Russian mathematicians who moved to the West are enjoying success in the US and Europe. The study counted the number of Russian surnames in international journals and found a third in the U.S., and between ten and seven percent in France, Germany, the UK and Canada … read more 13.01.2016

UK research universities demand special treatment

LONDON (the) -- The Russell Group of universities, which includes Oxford, Cambridge and 22 other leading institutions, have demanded that they be exempted from the Freedom of Information Act as they are private institutions and not public bodies, despite receiving almost four billion pounds a year from the taxpayer … read more 18.01.2016

Monday, 18 January 2016 / /

Academics face prosecution in Turkey

image: chomskyANKARA (guardian) -- Turkey has launched an investigation into the 1128 academics from 90 universities who signed a petition criticising the military’s crackdown on Kurdish rebels in the south-east. Calling themselves ‘Academicians for Peace,’ the intellectuals called for an end to the violence, claiming not to be “a party to this crime” and demanding that the government “abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples in the region.” The signatories now face accusations ranging from ‘terrorist propaganda’ to ‘inciting people to hatred, violence and breaking the law.’ In the open letter to Erdoğan released last month, hundreds of Turkish and international academics including Noam Chomsky and Judith Butler, accused him of waging war against his own people ... read more 15.1.

Extra innovation efforts in Poland

WARSAW (ps) -- The new Polish science minister, Jarosław Gowin, has emphasised that the Polish economy should become more innovative, with technology production playing a greater role. An amendment to the law on supporting innovation should remove many of the legal obstacles, which have previously limited Poland’s advances in the fieldread more 14.01.2016

European Innovation Council in the pipeline

image: logoBRUSSELS (science|business) – Carlos Moedas, European research commissioner, has announced plans to establish a European Innovation Council as a cohesive body for innovation that will parallel what the European Research Council has done for science … read more 15.01.2016

Netherlands increasingly elitist

AMSTERDAM (volkskrant) -- Measures to restrict access to master studies have incited student rage. In an open letter to education minister, Jet Bussemaker, and the university association they complain that nothing is being done to help those affected by these changes … read more 13.01.2016

Danish education minister confronts speculation

image: ELLCOPENHAGEN (politiken) -- The Danish education minister, Esben Lunde Larsen has been forced to ask the University of Copenhagen to investigate his PhD thesis in order to put an end to the speculation surrounding it. Last year, the Swedish company Urkund allegedly found several traces of plagiarism and self-plagiarism in it … read more 15.01.2016

Saturday, 16 January 2016 / /

Victory for rejected master’s applicant

image: URCAREIMS (france bleu) -- Very often, short-term degrees like those favoured by the promoters of the Bologna Process are not sufficient: desirable career and study paths often demand a master’s degree qualification. Quod erat demonstrandum in a recent case at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in northern France, in which a psychology student sued the university following his rejection, eventually winning a place. The university claims to have thirteen applicants for every place … read more 14.1.15

Internationality: playing the numbers game

LONDON (the) -- As if figures on foreign relations can reflect on quality in itself, the Times Higher Education magazine has published yet another ranking. The top 800 universities of the overall 2015-16 ranking have been compared regarding their proportion of international students, professors and research papers … read more 14.01.2016

Excellency shines in Gran Canaria

image: logoGRAN CANARIA (eldiario) -- The Campus of Excellency of the Canary Islands, an alliance between the Universities of Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) and La Laguna (Tenerife), specialising in marine studies, tourism and biomedicine, is an undeniable success story. As the only ‘A’-class campus in Spain besides Catalonia, its annual funding has grown from 4.5 million to 90 million euros in just five years … read more 15.01.2016

Friday, 15 January 2016 //

Estonian universities losing out to Finland

image: Alari RammoTALLINN (delfi) -- The Estonian education minister, Jürgen Ligi, has expressed concern at the number of students looking further afield for their studies. He emphasised the competition between the universities of Estonia and the University of Helsinki, suggesting that the adoption of a free higher education policy would only exacerbate this academic exodus abroad … read more 7.1.16

Student apathy in Germany

BERLIN (furios) -- Student unions in Germany continue to lose legitimacy. The loss of student influence on university policy is an important topic as national student elections approach. Observers are worried that over 50 percent of German students are disinterested in university politics and less than 10 percent participated in last year’s elections … read more 09.01.2016

500 new university jobs in Greece

ATHENS (efsyn) -- The recruitment of 500 additional faculty staff members was confirmed by the deputy minister of education, Sia Anagnostopoulou, with the guarantee that the new employees will be at work by 2017. This promise is to be part of the upcoming bill for research … read more 11.01.2016

Portugal: stable crisis

image: University of TexasLISBON (económico) -- Portugal’s new Minister of Science and Education, Manuel Heitor, has announced that this year’s budget will be the same as 2015. He has admitted that the funding “does not satisfy” the needs of the universities and polytechnics across the country … read more 11.01.2016

Thursday, 14 January 2015 //

European education technology market grows

image: (c) ESNADUBLIN (business wire) -- Many governments in the EU region are adopting an open education policy to support the deployment of digital technology across European schools and universities. It has led to rapid growth of the software and services segment of this market. A research report predicts the education technology market to grow over 10 percent annually reaching over 33 billion dollars (30 billion euros) by 2019.
Western and Southern Europe is expected to experience slower growth as compared to the rest of Europe market ...
read more 12.01.2016

Irish academics on the picket line

DUBLIN (rte) -- Drastic funding cuts to higher education have led lecturers from Ireland’s Institutes of Technology to announce a day of strike action to be held next month. Chronic underfunding and precarious contracts  meant that the decision was favoured by 92 percent of voters in a ballot held by the teachers’ union. According to TUI President Gerry Quinn, the strike will mark the beginning of a sustained campaign of action … read more 13.01.2016

No exceptions for Strasbourg University

image: Jennifer BuckleSTRASBOURG (mcetv) -- The National Union of Students in France (UNEF) has won a case against the University of Strasbourg regarding the availability of exam retakes to students. The ‘right to resit’ has been guaranteed by law since 2011, but certain universities still refuse to allow their students to redo failed examinations. William Martinet, head of UNEF, pointed out that retakes help universities to maintain a system of controlled assessment by allowing students to catch up over the course of a semester … read more 13.01.2016

Co-operative teacher training policy in Austria

VIENNA (standard) -- Alliances will be formed between teacher training colleges (Pädagogische Hochschulen) and universities, in an overhaul of educational training with the objective of rendering it more academic. Universities and colleges will work in co-operation according to region, developing new interdisciplinary programmes and combining vocational training with scientific study … read more 13.01.2016

New survey examines corruption in EU universities

image: ESNABERLIN (bez) -- Graduates in Romania, Italy and Spain perceive their universities to be ‘corrupt’ in almost all major fields. A new survey investigating irregularities in admissions, marking, degree issuing, and academic staff recruitment has revealed … read more 13.01.2016

Wednesday, 13 January 2016 //

Turkish academics confront state interference

image: ESNAANKARA (todayszaman) -- Almost 700 academics have called for respect of their university’s independence and an end to outside interference. The Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), one of the most prestigious universities in the country, is currently the focus of debate as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and government figures have launched a smear campaign against the university. Allegedly a student has been attacked while praying on campus. With the university administration being accused of not upholding religious freedom as well as failing to take the necessary measures to prevent cyber attacks on websites because it operates the main Internet domain in the country, civil society groups and academics agree the aim of the campaign is to deal a blow to its scientific freedom … read more 07.01.2016

Italy: Flogging a (not really) dead horse

ROME (corriere) -- A flawed funding system of Italian higher education has amplified the disadvantages for the southern regions: further brain drain and capital flight. Now some Italian academics go so far as to propose the closure of ‘inefficient’ institutions of the Mezzogiorno … read more 08.01.2016

Obligatory tuition fees for non-EU students in Finland

HELSINKI (pienews) -- Finland’s coalition government has announced that students from outside the EU will begin paying tuition fees of at least €1,500 from August 2017. This follows the introduction of non-EU fees in Sweden in 2011 … read more 05.01.20

Denmark deports top foreign student

image: MYAARHUS (camer) -- Marius Youbi, an excellent engineering student at Aarhus University, has been forced to return to Cameroon after breaching his visa regulations. Denmark allows foreign students to work no more 15 hours a week, Youbi did a cleaning job 16.5 hours … read more 09.01.2016

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 //

Swiss action against ghostwriting

image: (c) ESNAST GALLEN (swissinfo) -- The University of St Gallen has filed criminal charges in an attempt to uncover the extent of ghostwritten papers. A report aired on SRF revealed that at least 200 students at Swiss universities used the services of the ghostwriting website ACAD WRITE, which also has clients in both Germany and Austria … read more | commentary 07.01.2016

Innovation on the Dutch EU Presidency’s agenda

BRUSSELS (neth-er) -- The new year has started with the Dutch EU-Presidency. Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission, outlines this year’s priorities in Brussels ... read more 07.01.2016

High dropout rates across the EU

image: CCBRUSSELS (the) -- At just 59 percent, Norway has one of the lowest degree completion rates in Europe, despite quality reforms introduced in the early 2000s. This is according to a new study released by the European Commission … read more 01.01.2016

Green light for Islamic studies in Greece

SALONIKI (kathimerini) -- The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki will be the first university in Greece to offer Muslim Studies starting in 2016. Despite having the approval of the Ministry for Education, Research and Religious Affairs, it has met with opposition from conservative clerics … read more 10.1.

Monday, 11 January 2016 //

Spain’s High Court awards Israeli university $100,000

image: ynetMADRID (the tower) -- Spain’s Supreme Court awarded Israel’s Ariel University over $100,000 in damages after it was illegally excluded from a scientific competition by Spain’s Housing Ministry. Yigal Cohen-Orgad, the university’s chancellor, said that the court’s decision was “a partial, but necessary, response to the pressure being mounted by the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement around the globe, and proves that efforts to isolate and demonize Israel can and will be thwarted” ... read more 7.1.15

Syrian refugees study for free in Germany

BERLIN (newsweek) -- Despite the political unrest surrounding the European country’s refugee influx, around 60 German universities are offering free courses and some are even waiving their expensive fees to Syrian nationals who arrived in Germany this year ... read more 06.01.2015

British universities come together for new IoT hub

image: CCLONDON (engineer) -- Nine universities across the UK will form a new PETRAS Internet of Things (IoT) Research Hub, with the aim of furthering the technology and exploring some of its key issues. The £23m project is part of IoTUK, a £40m, three-year government programme to advance connected technologies in the UK ... read more 06.01.2016

Transcontinental MOOCs

DELFT (ihe) -- Six universities from Australia, Europe, Canada and the U.S. want to establish an alliance in which their massive open online courses (MOOCs) are formally accredited by partner institutions. Among them, Delft University of Technology and ETH Zurich. Their initiative is believed to be the first international one relating to online courses ... read more 07.01.2015

Flemish research director awards himself a prize

image: inboBRUSSELS (de morgen) -- Jurgen Tack has stepped down as the secretary-general of the Flemish research foundation FWO. He had drawn the annoyance of the universities after accepting an award worth 3000 euros — from a non-existing competition ... read more 6.1.16

image: ESNA