news archive   2017 
Monday, 18 December 2017 //

ESNA Podcast #9: Anglicising the European student


BERLIN (esna) -- As the spread of English-taught Bachelors’ courses in Europe’s universities seems inexorable, some are concerned that it may inflate stupidity and alienate the general public from science. In our latest podcast, Annette de Groot, professor of psycholinguistics at the University of Amsterdam, talks about the implications of teaching and learning in English for European students ... read more 18.12.17

Denmark now has a language strategy

COPENHAGEN (uwn) -- The proportion of Danish high school students with three foreign languages continues falling, and it is a major quality issue that other disciplines and programmes can only use texts in Danish and English. Not only cultural heritage and general education is threatened, but also Danish companies' competitiveness ... read more 16.12.2017

Apple’s ‘Everyone Can Code’ goes global

(mashable) -- The technology company Apple just announced the global expansion of its Everyone Can Code initiative to more than 20 universities outside of the US in countries including The Netherlands, Great Britain and Denmark. “Our program has been incredibly popular among US schools and colleges, and today marks an important step forward as we expand internationally,” said Tim Cook, the company’s CEO. Also internationally, not only since the Paradise Papers, Apple is known as a grandmaster of tax avoidance ... read more 11.17

Friday, 8 December 2017 //

Ukrainian anti-anticommunist demystification

image: ESNAKIEV (zn) -- Experts of two Ukrainian universities spoke up against the law of ‘de-communism’ from 2015 — that prohibits national-socialist and communist propaganda and stipulates to take down Soviet monuments, rename streets and the like. The scientists came to the conclusion that the law is fuzzy, too broad in scope and does not provide legal certainty ... read more 23.11.2017

Stop the Serbian brain drain

BELGRADE (pink) -- This week, during the industry-sponsored event ‘Youth Heroes’, Serbian education and science minister, Mladen Šarčević stressed the importance of systemic solutions for youth retention in Serbia and the return of those who have gone abroad. “Serbia’s population will decrease by one third before 2050, if no steps are taken,” he said ... read more 05.12.2017

How Trump’s tax plan affects universities

image: CC Michael VadonWASHINGTON (time) -- The tax bills recently passed by Republicans in Washington could put college further out of reach for some Americans. It could turn tuition waivers into taxable income, dramatically increasing what students owe in taxes each year. On the other hand, the wealthiest private college endowments could be taxed ... read more 04.12.2017

Thursday, 7 December 2017 //

Creative accounting in Hungary

image: University of DebrecenBUDAPEST (origo) -- A debate has been sparked over Hungary’s university funding. Critics say it’s not right that EU money is considered part of the national university budget. Especially, as István Fábián, rector of Debrecen University recently said, since public expenditure for higher education in Hungary is still below that of 2008. The government responded that the level of university debt has decreased, and student grants have been raised ... read more | and here

More bureaucracy for Danish universities

COPENHAGEN (information) -- From 2019, universities, professional colleges and vocational academies will receive funding according to quality, study time and graduate unemployment. Educational institutions see the new grant system as less predictable and more bureaucratic ... read more 28.11.2017

Denglish courses spread in Germany

image: LangenscheidtBERLIN (nd) -- What has first been a subject of debate in Holland and Scandinavia is now coming to Germany. English-taught lessons at universities — along with worries about teaching quality and ‘linguistic discrimination’ — are spreading. Of the 19,000 degree courses in Germany, 1,400 are conducted in English ... read more

Wednesday, 6 December 2017 //

Do universities take a stand against nationalism?

image: pinterest

BERKELEY (uwn) -- Nationalism is rising around the world, in many guises and with different consequences for universities. One key question for universities is whether they are challenging or reinforcing the existing political order, argued John Douglass, senior research fellow at the Center for Studies in Higher Education, University of California, Berkeley, introducing its New Nationalism and Universities conference ... read more 05.12.2017

The 100 billion dollar club

HELSINKI (verkkouutiset) -- The university club LERU in Brussels has published a report on the economic impact of its member universities in Europe. The twenty-three associated universities claim to have produced a total of 99.8 billion euros and 1.3 million jobs across Europe in 2016 ... read more 01.12.2017

Cambridge students protest fossil fuel investments

logoCAMBRIDGE (tcs) -- Nearly a hundred Cambridge students marched to the central offices of their university, demanding an end to the institution’s involvement in “climate injustice.” The protest comes as a response to the Paradise Papers leak, revealing how British colleges have committed “tens of millions of pounds” to private equity partnerships based offshore. The students manned the barricades not because Oxbridge endowments, which together amount to over 11 billion pounds, were channelled into tax havens, but because they are connected to fossil fuel investments ... read more 14.11.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017 //

Danish immigration ministry targets researchers

image: WDICOPENHAGEN (jv) -- In a climate hostile to immigration, foreign researchers in Denmark are now feeling the heat. At least 14 foreign academics have been accused of violating their work permits and face fines and deportation. One of them is Brooke Harrington, an American researcher at Copenhagen Business School. “It came as a big surprise,” she says, “because part of my job is to share my knowledge with the public. But now the authorities come and say I cannot talk outside the walls of CBS” ... read more 04.12.2017

European University fights for its life

ST PETERSBURG (orf) -- The private European University in St Petersburg is fighting for its survival. In summer, its teaching licence was rescinded, however, many students hope to be able to continue their studies next year. A decision will be made about reissuing the licence at the end of December, and the rector, Nikolai Wachtin, remains confident ... read more 01.12.2017

Austria to get rid of ‘eternal students’

image: saltoVIENNA (standard) -- Austrian students can retake exams up to four times, and go years without taking a single exam. That this is possible “with no real consequences” upsets Oliver Vitouch, speaker of the Austrian university association uniko. He has discredited students’ lifelong curiosity as “studying in Austrian” and called for legal reform. The student union (ÖH) rebutted these attempts to tighten university law. “Rectors apparently want a university without students,” said ÖH Chair Marita Gasteiger ... read more 20.11.2017

Monday, 4 December 2017 //

Lisbon students protest for better funding

image: wikimedia commonsLISBON (sabado) -- Students from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities in the NOVA University of Lisbon complain of a lack of space in classrooms and libraries, and “human and material conditions”. Last week they held a protest for better funding for higher education in Portugal. This comes on the same day as the government announcement of a meagre  11 million euro increase for the national university budget in 2018  ... read more 27.11.2017

Oxford issues 100-year bond

OXFORD (ft) -- The University of Oxford has become the latest higher education institution in Britain to raise money for investment through the international capital markets, by issuing a bond raising at least £250m that it plans to pay back in 100 years time. It is to have the longest maturity of any bond from the UK university sector, the proceeds from which will be used on long-term strategic projects ... read more 28.11.2017

A tool for tracking ‘big deal’ cancellations

logoWASHINGTON (sparc) -- Once value-for-money ‘big deals’ on bundles of academic journals are fast becoming unsustainably expensive for what they offer, forcing institutions to reinvest their limited collection funds elsewhere. SPARC, a global coalition for Open Access in academia, has launched a tool allowing users to monitor the growing trend of the cancellation of such ‘big deals’ ... read more 29.11.2017

Saturday, 2 December 2017 //

Where science meets fiction

image: pinterest

ANTALYA (hurriyet) -- A research centre at Akdeniz University in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, Turkey, has introduced “Ufology and Exopolitcs” to its latest curriculum, in an attempt to prepare for possible contact with visitors from outer space ... read more 27.11.2017

Friday, 1 December 2017 //

Italian students protest the defunding of the South

image: © ESNAPALERMO (palermo today) -- The National Association of the University of Palermo organised a day of protest on November 24th, to denounce the progressive fall in state investment in universities and the simultaneous defunding of Southern Italy’s universities ... read more 22.11.17

40 percent gender quota for Swedish reading lists

image: PinterestLUND (uwn) -- Lund University in Sweden has introduced a reading list gender quota, meaning 40 percent of all course reading materials must be written by women. This has sparked a debate about the extent to which such quotas might damage academic integrity, as a course on the development of fascist ideas before the World War I was disallowed due to the lack of female representation in such literature at the time ... read more 24.11.2017

Strategic headquarters for Franco-Spanish uni campus

JACA (radiohuesca) -- The cross-border campus, EBRoS (European Bioregion of Science), which includes universities in northern Spain in Southern France wants to make the ancient city of Jaca its strategic headquarters, where ideally more university related activities would take place. The aim of EBRoS Campus is to promote training and research, in the areas of energy and environment, nanoscience, agri-food, wine and tourism ... read more 28.11.2017

Thursday, 30 November 2017 //

Charles University rector not backing down

image: FacebookPRAGUE (pl) -- The Rector of Charles University in Prague, Tomáš Zima refuses to heed the call of hundreds of academics not to appoint Alice Němcová Tejkalová Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. According to the signatories of an open letter, her appointment may damage the name of the faculty and the university, due to her allegedly publishing articles in fraudulent journals ... read more 28.11.17

Spain: Private universities on the rise

MADRID (rrhh) -- The total value of the sector of private universities and business schools in Spain reached 2.06 billion euros in 2016, 8.1 percent more than the previous year. They enroll 16.6 percent of all students in Spain. The sector is highly concentrated with the ten largest providers accounting for nearly half of the students ... read more 28.11.2017

Hungary sets sights low

image: coat of armsBUDAPEST (hirtv) -- While most EU members are aiming to have at least 45 percent of their population become graduates, Hungary’s target is lagging behind at 34 percent. Education minister, László Palkovics points out that despite this, Hungary has the union’s lowest rate of graduate unemployment. One must wonder if this is part of prime minister, Viktor Orbán’s plan to promote the trades over a university education ... read more | and here 24.11.2017

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 //

Russia expels Polish scientist

image: kremlinMOSCOW (euractiv) -- Poland has protested against the Russian decision to expel a Polish historian from the country. The historian from Jagiellonian University, was first detained overnight, and then given a note demanding that he leave the country, giving no explanation. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has since clarified that this was in retaliation to the expulsion of a Russian scientist from Poland in October, and accuses Poland of stirring artificial tensions between the countries ... read more 28.11.2017

61 percent higher tuition fees in Italy

ROME (wired) -- Italian students who enrolled in 2005 paid on average 775 euros in tuition fees. Today the sum stands at 1,250 euros, 61 percent more. The effects are felt worst in southern Italy where at the University of Salento fees have increased by 208 percent ... read more 21.11.2017

Serbian funding in all the wrong places

DinarBELGRADE (blic) -- Public expenditure on education in Serbia came to 4.3 percent of GDP last year, comfortably in line with the rest of the EU. However, next to nothing was invested in the improvement of the teaching process itself. Nikola Gluhovic, professor of economics in the University of East Sarajevo says “some study programs do not have many practical components, which diminishes their competitiveness in the market” ... read more 26.11.2017

Tuesday, 28 November 2017 //

Hungary rewards highly cited scientists

image: NKFIHBUDAPEST (nature) -- Hungarian commissioner for research and innovation József Pálinkás has designed grants that reward research excellence. They are part of a long-term, systematic plan to encourage researchers in all fields to strive for world-class publications and to tempt Hungarian scientists working abroad to return ... read more 21.11.17

Macron urges to build university networks in Europe

PARIS (science business) -- A memo outlining French president Emmanuel Macron’s proposals was distributed last week to aides of the 27 other European Union leaders. The Élysée Palace wants EU research and education funding to support the, “emergence by 2024 of around 20 ‘European universities’ that will be based on networks of four to six institutions, in at least three member states” ... read more 21.11.2017

Key area of the new Armenia-EU agreement

BRUSSELS (mediamax) -- Within the frames of the Eastern Partnership Summit on November 24, 2017, Armenia and the European Union signed the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA). It includes that Armenian universities will participate in the Horizon 2020 and in EU4Innovation programmes ... read more 25.11.2017

Monday, 27 November 2017 //

Paris-Saclay wants to go up a league

image: SaclayPARIS (les echos) -- In stark contrast to the French government’s position, refusing to talk about ‘entry requirements’, the university Paris-Saclay plans to introduce just that, in order to attract top students. The institution has announced the launch of ‘selective degrees’, in an attempt to compete with the world’s greats ... read more 21.11.2017

Polish student numbers fall

WARSAW (bankier) -- The number of students in Poland is decreasing. According to the Central Statistics Office, more than 1,300,000 people studied in Poland in the last academic year. In comparison, this number was almost two million in 2011 ... read more 17.11.2017

Irish university pay-cap raised

shamrockDUBLIN (irish times) -- Universities in Ireland are to be allowed to hire world-leading scientists and engineers on salaries of up to 250,000 euros. Until now, strict rules have meant that public sector employees cannot be paid more than Ireland’s Prime Minister, or 190,000 euros ... read more 10.11.2017

Saturday, 25 November 2017 //

US students censor a Brecht play and themselves

image: openculture.orgGALESBURG (free beacon) -- Knox College in Illinois, a state in the Midwestern region of the United States, has cancelled the production of a Bertolt Brecht play in response to student outrage over the drama’s representation of women and Asian culture. Massachusetts’s Brandeis University also cancelled a play recently, this one about comedian and free speech advocate Lenny Bruce. A university spokesperson said in a statement that it pulled the play due to the “challenging issues” it raised ... read more 00.09.2017

Friday, 24 November 2017 //

Airports drive university internationalisation

WARWICK (british council) -- Universities looking to improve their international rankings position could be better off relocating near an international airport, the authors of a joint study by the University of Warwick and the Alan Turing Institute suggest ... read more 26.10.2017

EU data protection law looms

PHILADELPHIA (ihe) -- The soon-to-be-enforced European Union General Data Protection Regulation, experts warn, will have “very sharp teeth” and would almost certainly apply to all U.S. higher education institutions, too. Failure to comply with the EU rules could lead to extremely high fines, a sensitive issue regarding also information on incoming EU students ... read more 06.11.217

“Sorbonne Process” - straitjacket for Bologna?

image: NSOBRUSSELS (esu) -- A big surprise in the EU Commission’s proposal of new European Education Area is the establishment of a new “Sorbonne Process”. It focusses on cross-border recognition of school, higher education and further education diplomas. “It seems to us that the Commission has given up on the Bologna Process. They rightfully point out that the non-binding agreement has not reached its targets. Nonetheless, we have not heard any Bologna countries calling for legal tools like the one the EU now proposes,” says Helge Schwitters, President of the European Students’ Union (ESU). Also, it seems, the Commission proposes the creation of a European Network of Universities, which, as ESU reads it, leads to the establishment of new institutions, on a European level ... read more 21.11.17

Thursday, 23 November 2017 //

European Education Area by 2025

image: CC

BRUSSELS (baltic course) -- The European Commission has formulated its vision for the creation of a European Education Area by 2025. It is to include 49 countries, and will focus on student mobility, the mutual recognition of diplomas, and improving language learning ... read more 15.11.17

Tuition fees spread across Germany

image: wikimedia commonsDÜSSELDORF (nw) -- The state government in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany has announced plans to demand 1,500 euros per semester from non-EU foreign students. The plan follows the state of Baden-Württemberg’s lead, however, the region’s science minister, Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen has reassured that if the fees have a negative impact on student numbers in Baden-Württemberg, the plan will be scrapped ... read more 201117

Ultimatum over funding in Portugal

LISBON (tsf) -- Rectors of Portuguese universities have warned that if they do not receive the money to uphold their salary requirements by the end of the month, a crisis will open up in the country’s universities. This comes after 5.9 million euros, promised by the state budget in July last year, have still not materialised ... read more 14.11.2017

Wednesday, 22 November 2017 //

Belarussian universities to be cut in half

image: kremlinMINSK (udf) -- Universities in Belarus, the nation with the greatest number of students per head in the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent Nations), are discussing the possibility of a mass-scale merger. Belarus has 51 universities for just over 300,000 students, while world-trends suggest that the country ought to only need 13. Vladimir Dunayev of the Public Bologna Committee says that this high number of students is testament to the accessibility of higher education, but not necessary to its quality ... read more 20.11.17

Breton universities unite against sexual harassment

RENNES (ouest france) -- The presidents of universities in Britanny, France have committed, in a charter, to fighting sexual violence in their institutions. Olivier David, president of the University of Rennes 2, says “our goal is simple, to change individual behaviours and social standards” ... read more 20.11.17

Greek student halls in chaos

ATHENS (multi news) -- Many students in Greece are complaining of accommodation without the basics – food, maintenance and heating. Education minister, Kostas Gavroglou has now changed the leadership of the Foundation for Youth and Lifelong Learning, which oversees student halls, twice in a few months, but the problems remain ... read more 20.11.2017

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 //

Italian lecturers on three euros an hour

image: ResearchgateTURIN (tgcom24) -- Professor of Language of Corporate Communication at the University of Turin, Maria Grazia Turri has complained of being paid just three euros an hour over her 13 years teaching there. “I want to clarify that this problem is not limited to our university, it is about all Italian universities, because the law allows this type of treatment. Following drastic reductions in funds, universities are forced to hire contract professors instead of filling roles” ... read more 17.11.2017

Romanian ‘diploma factory’ raided

ARAD (cotidianul) -- 120 people, teachers and students from Vasile Goldis Western University of Arad, Romania, are being investigated over alleged corruption offenses relating to fraudulent exams and diplomas awarded without studies. In a police raid, 64,000 euros, 31,000 US dollars, 5,000 British pounds, 4,500 Swiss francs, 500 grams of gold, 200 grams of rubies and two diamond rings were found ... read more 12.11.17

Record number of foreign students at Dutch universities

THE HAGUE (nl times) -- The number of international higher education students in the Netherlandss is rising steeply, with over 80,000 enrolled during the 2016-2017 academic year. About 25 percent of these students are likely to stay in the country for a lifetime ... read more 14.11.2017

Monday, 20 November 2017 //

Westphalian universities resume military research


DÜSSELDORF (wz) -- Isabel Pfeifer-Poensgen, science minister of the German federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, has proposed to resume military research in the region’s universities. The practice has been banned in recent years by the ‘civil clause’. “Good research cannot be prescribed by the state” she said, “Universities are not militarists with nothing better to do than arms research” ... read more 15.11.2017

Maastricht pulls Belgians over the border

MAASTRICHT (rtbf) -- The small class sizes and English-taught degree programmes of the University of Maastricht, in The Netherlands, are attracting a growing number of Belgians across the border. 600 Belgian students enrolled there this year alone, twice the number of five years ago ... read more 31.10

UK universities lie to prospective students

LONDON (guardian) -- Six British universities have been forced to scrap their marketing campaigns as the advertising watchdog launches a crackdown on misleading students with false claims. Many claims were examined, including the University of Leicester stating that it is in the “top 1 percent” in the world, none of the assertions could be proved to be true ... read more 15.11.17

Friday, 17 November 2017 //

Ukraine’s law on education – “linguistic racism”

image: KPPARIS (tass) -- Russian education and science minister, Olga Vasilyeva has used the 39th congress of UNESCO’s highest governing body, the General Conference in Paris, to come down hard on the Ukraine’s new law on education. The law envisages that all secondary education will be undertaken in Ukrainian, to the anger of the Russian minority in the country. Vasilyeva condemned the law as “linguistic racism” ... read more 07.11.2017

Bulgaria: a sponge for EU funds

SOFIA (mediapool) -- According to the European Commission, Bulgaria is a ‘golden’ environment for absorbing EU funds. The country’s “Smart Growth Science and Education” initiative is outperforming other programmes. To date, over 120 million leva (61 million euros) have been invested in the sector, mostly in the area of student support ... read more 07.11.2017

New Murcian university law in jeopardy

MURCIA (opinión de murcia) -- A new regional university law in Murcia, capital of the eponymous southeastern Spansh region, which promises ‘more freedoms’ to the education sector, is under threat. The spokesperson for the Murcian Executive, Noelia Arroyo announces that the regional government will not accept the law reform if it does not obtain necessary consensus among the difference actors that will have to participate in it ... read more 08.11.2017

Thursday, 16 November 2017 //

Oxford and Cambridge in Paradise

image: traum-deutung.deLONDON (independent) -- The universities of Oxford and Cambridge invested millions of pounds in offshore funds, according to revelations contained in the Paradise Papers. Money was separated into two funds, one directly from the universities and the other from individual colleges. They are the only European higher education institutions known to have cheated the public in that way. No scientific organisation, neither universities minister Jo Johnson, nor any ranking agency or university association has called them to account so far ... read more 08.11.2017

Automation forces education to change

WASHINGTON (world bank) -- Automation is heralding a renewed race between education and technology. However, the ability of workers to compete with automation is handicapped by the poor performance of education systems ... read more 09.11.2017

Irish universities under scrutiny

image: Brian O'NeillDUBLIN (irish times) -- Irish universities accused of wrongdoing face the prospect of being investigated by Government-appointed inspectors with the power to access sensitive internal records. Generous severance packages to employees on one side, and the treatment of whistleblowers on the other side are part of the reasons for higher education minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor to insist on stricter assessments of the universities ... read more 06.11.2017

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 //

Eastern Olympiads in natural sciences

image: KremlinCHELYABINSK (kremlin) -- The XIV Interregional Cooperation Forum in Chelyabinsk with Vladimir Putin and Nursultan Nazarbayev focussed on the development of human capital. Mr Putin came forward with a proposal of establishing joint Russian-Kazakh research centers on the basis of the leading higher educational institutions of two regions. Also discussed by the two Presidents was the organisation of cross-border Olympiads for school students in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology ... read more 09.11.2017

Danish employers exploit foreign students

COPENHAGEN (uwn) -- Students from Eastern Europe in Denmark receive public student aid while they are working in restaurants and cleaning floors for a pittance. According to a report, 31.3 percent of EU students in the survey who are engaged as migrant workers earn significantly below the minimum wage. The share of foreign students earning only 40 percent of the minimum wage is highest among Bulgarians, Lithuanians and Polish ... read more 8.11.

France cuts through complicated admissions

image: CCPARIS (europe1) -- The French education minister, Frédérique Vidal has launched a new higher education admissions procedure, which will be operational by January. French students will no longer have to ‘rank’ their choices in order of preference, or wait too long for a response from universities. The plan, with funding of nearly one billion euros, also aims to cut the high first-year failure rate while it avoids overt pre-entry selection ... read more | and here 09.11.2017

Tuesday, 14 November 2017 //

Maccharini is guilty

image: Karolinska InstitutetSTOCKHOLM (the scientist) -- Sweden’s Central Ethics Review Board (CEPN) has found evidence of scientific misconduct in all six of the synthetic trachea transplantation publications made by Paolo Macchiarini that it reviewed. The papers reported on the implantations of three patients with artificial tracheae - all of whom died. In addition, Swedish prosecutors considered pursuing manslaughter charges against Macchiarini, but these were dropped earlier this month ... read more 05.11.2017

Maltese government keeps a foot in the door

VALETTA (independent) -- The Maltese government has made a controversial move to establish a ‘governing board’ for the University of Malta. The board members are to be selected by the Prime Minister, and the Rector must attend meetings when summoned. Education minister, Evarist Bartolo has clarified that the government has “no intention of crushing the university with some kind of heavy hand” ... read more 08.11.2017

“All in” for the right to study in Italy


ROME (orrizonte scuola) -- A broad alliance of Italian associations, trade unions, PhD students, NGOs and MPs from several parties collected 57,000 signatures in favour of the “right to study”. They handed their petition for the amendment of next year’s budgetary plans and safeguarding of sufficient funding for student support structures to the Senate: 200 million euros more for scholarships, building repairs, a higher exemption threshold for tuition fees, VAT exemptions for canteens and public student housing ... read more 9.11.

Monday, 13 November 2017 //

Dutch universities living off charity

image: © ESNA ROTTERDAM (advalvas) -- The Erasmus University Rotterdam has raised over 26 million euros in donations from its alumni, to the ends of financing research and scholarships. Their goal is 100 million euros by 2025. Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam professor René Bekkers has called the plan “ambitious”, but is not surprised: “It is the only way for Dutch universities to survive, as student numbers increase and government funds stagnate” ... read more 09.11.2017

Time for Citizen Science

VIENNA (nature) -- A cross-university group by the name “Austrian Citizen Science Network” calls for the standardisation of citizen science. This would optimize quality and ensure openness in the science, in communication and in cooperation, and enable compliance with legislation in areas like data privacy ... read more 08.11.2017

Hungary’s unusual internationalisation

image: hirlapBUDAPEST (444) -- Hungarian science and education minister László Palkovics, has announced plans to make the Hungarian higher education system “as international as possible” after his visit to Iran, where the two countries agreed to offer one another 100 places for international students. They are expected to be in the fields of artificial intelligence, laser physics, medicine, transport, and water use ... read more 16.10.2017

Saturday, 11 November 2017 //

Polish students go for gold

image. IWIS

NISKO (sandomierz) -- Students from the Regional Centre for Professional Education in Nisko have won gold and silver medals at this year’s International Exhibition of Inventions. The students presented an innovative project, called ‘wireless transmission of electricity’. The event is the biggest of its kind in Poland, and research institutes, universities and polytechnics were represented there ... read more 02.11.2017

Friday, 10 November 2017 //

Berlin: A paradise for Brexit refugees?

image: wikimedia commons

BERLIN (esna) -- The prospect of a ‘no-deal Brexit’, which would sharply hinder British science in its cooperation with the continent at large, is looming on the horizon. This coupled with rising tuition fees, and a growing sense of ‘Brexit McCarthyism’ is driving British students away, and Berlin is all too happy to have them ... read more 10.11.2017

What’s the right student loan interest policy?

LONDON (inside highered) -- At the moment, the pendulum in most of the world is to reduce interest on student loans – and certainly to avoid anything that looks like a market rate. A Dutch solution – providing loans to students at government rate of borrowing for the life of the loan – is a good middle-ground solution ... read more 05.11.2017

Gap between academic training and research in Russia

image: KremlinMOSCOW (krasnaya vyesna) -- Alexander Sergeyev, head of the Russian Academy of Sciences, has criticised the current system for research in Russia, by which the function of producing innovations is given to universities, while academic institutions train personnel. He calls for further integration of the two bodies ... read more 31.10.2017

Thursday, 9 November 2017 //

Mandate from heaven

ROME (wiadomosci) -- Pope Francis at a symposium on migrants and refugees, held at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome with the International Federation of Catholic Universities, has spoken about the need to study the causes of migration and xenophobia, saying “it is essential to give people the right not to be forced to flee their country” ... read more 04.11.17

Irish students are choosing Dutch universities

GALWAY (galway advertiser) -- There are currently more than 1,000 Irish students registered on English-taught degree programmes in Dutch universities, a number that has nearly doubled in recent years. Irish students are now enrolling in Dutch research universities, most of which are higher-ranked than University College Dublin, studying subjects such as psychology, law, business, politics, engineering, and life sciences. They are also attracted to the excellent applied universities ... read more 26.10.2017

Wednesday, 8 November 2017 //

Refugee shelters for Dutch students

image: GSBGRONINGEN (science guide) -- The university council in Groningen is ringing the alarm bells over the lack of student accommodation in the city. In September, the shortage was so dire that an emergency shelter for refugees was used to temporarily house students. “We are now asking for a permanent solution”, says Sjoerd Kalisvaart of the city’s Student Union ... read more 02.11.2017

Baltic States create joint scholarship

TARTU (jurist vārds) -- The rectors of leading universities from the three Baltic States have met to sign a cooperation agreement for the creation of a new scholarship. It will be awarded to students who either speak or study all three languages of the nations ... read more 06.11.2017

New teaching method for Moldovan students

coat of armsCHIȘINĂU (adevarul) -- Six Moldovan universities have implemented a new method of problem-based teaching and learning, with less theory. Liliana Ţurcan from the State University of Moldova praises the initiative: “We are changing attitudes. Students become more independent, more active, and generate ideas.” This project is supported by Erasmus+ programme with 1.5 million euros ... read more 25.10.2017

Tuesday, 7 November 2017 //

British universities to uphold free speech

image: JJLONDON (uo) -- British Minister of State for Universities and Science in the UK, Jo Johnson has made an announcement outlining plans to allow the Office for Students (OfS) to impose sanctions on student unions, should they ‘no-platform’ controversial speakers. This comes not long after British MP, Christ Heaton-Harris’s controversial letter to universities, naming and shaming lecturers teaching about Brexit, brought up concerns about academic integrity ... read more | and here 03.11.2017

US environment agency's conflict of interest crackdown

WASHINGTON (nature) -- The US Environmental Protection Agency has moved to ban researchers who receive grants from serving on the agency’s advisory boards, in an effort to crack down on conflicting interests. However, scientists and environmentalists have criticised the move ... read more 31.10.2017

Turkey: Burdur’s universities to pay their share

BURDUR (burdur gazetesi) -- Turkish regional governor Şerif Yılmaz has said in a statement that “universities should be more integrated into the city”. The governor met with rector, Adem Korkmaz to evaluate how the university can attract new people to the region, and support to the production and exports of the local agricultural industry ... read more 02.11.2017

Monday, 6 November 2017 //

Latvia lied about science funding goal

image: NRARIGA (baltic course) -- The president of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, Ojārs Sparītis has condemned his country’s government over their broken promise to commit 1.5 percent of GDP to science by 2020. The country lied to the European Union and the European commission about that goal, the scientist said. As of the moment, the funding has only reached one tenth of this amount ... read more 20.10

Alliance of Saxon technical universities

DRESDEN (dnn) -- The technical universities in Dresden, Freiberg and Chemnitz have founded the Light Construction Alliance of Saxony. The region aims to become a leader in the sector of lightweight vehicle construction through the combined knowledge of these institutions ... read more 30.10.2017

Horizon 2020 on the home straight

BRUSSELS (science business) -- The plan for the soming last three years of the EU research funding programme Horizon 2020 sees a tighter focus, with more funding for research into security and migration, money for foreign researchers, and a pledge to help poorer member states develop their own science bases ... read more 31.10.2017

Friday, 3 November 2017 //

Madrid seizes control of Catalonian universities

image: france diplomatieBARCELONA (nature) -- Following Catalonia’s unilateral declaration of independence, the Spanish government has taken over responsibility for higher education and research in the region. LERU, the League of European Research Universities has criticised the move, saying it will undermine institutional autonomy, while Carmen Vela, Spain’s secretary of state for research, development and innovation, says that the government hopes the difficulties will be resolved shortly. Jaume Casals, rector of Pompeu Fabra University, said that he does not expect the Spanish government to interfere directly in universities’ affairs ... read more 31.10.17

U-Multirank sort the wheat from the chaff

GÜTERSLOH (neth-er) -- U-Multirank has published a global ranking for science and technology universities. The ranking takes into account factors such as graduation rates, citation rates, and student mobility ... read more 27.10.2017

Thursday, 2 November 2017 //

Trinity College Dublin with less and less permanent staff

image: IUA

DUBLIN (ut) -- Trinity College’s trade unions are expecting a decision this week on the institution’s reaction to government advice on the improper use of fixed-term contracts. Trinity has become increasingly reliant on temporary contracts. Since January, a dispute between the college’s three trade unions has been underway in the Labour Courts after Trinity decided it would no longer offer permanent contracts to non-academic and administrative staff ... read more 31.10.2017

Finland commits to 4%

HELSINKI (uwn) -- The Finnish government has published its vision for higher education and research in 2030, including the target of at least 50 percent of young adults completing a tertiary degree and spending on research and development arriving at 4 percent of GDP ... read more 31.10.2017

France: Selection under the surface

image: verdiPARIS (francetvinfo) -- The French Prime Minister, Édouard Philippe announced on Monday that he’s “never been afraid of the word ‘selection’. The objective here is not for universities to say ‘no’. In the majority of cases, they will say ‘yes’”. While there will be no selection on the surface, universities will have access to students’ files, and can put them onto an ‘integrated course’ if they don’t meet their standards ... read more 31.10.2017

Wednesday, 1 November 2017 //

More German scientists boycott Elsevier

images: personal websites

BERLIN (the scientist) -- Eight more German researchers have announced their resignation from the editorial and advisory boards of Elsevier’s journals to show support for German research institutions attempting to establish a new, nationwide licensing agreement. These researchers join around 200 research institutions that have cut ties with the publishing giant to support the ongoing push for open access and favourable pricing ... read more 18.10.2017

EU universities demand Brexit progress

LONDON (wn) -- European National University organisations have warned that the United Kingdom’s continued ties with European programs after 2019 has already begun to cause problems. Higher education leaders from more than 20 countries have called for urgent clarification on the UK’s continued involvement in European research and study abroad programs ... read more 26.10.2017

Azerbaijan to prop up research universities

image: MJBAKU (apa) -- With the recent addition of research universities to the country’s science legislation, the Azerbaijani government is to start providing these institutions with financial support. They will conduct fundamental research, and provide technology-based areas with staff and information, announced education minister Mikayil Jabbarov ... read more 25.10.17

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 //

€2.7 billion expected for Erasmus+ in 2018

image: logoBRUSSELS (ec) -- For 2018, funds available for Erasmus+ are expected to increase by more than €200 million euro, a rise of 8 percent compared to 2017. Education commissioner, Tibor Navracsics, said: “The celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of Erasmus throughout 2017 have highlighted the positive impact that this EU success story has on the lives of people all over Europe. I also welcome the support of several Heads of State for the idea that Erasmus+ should be far more ambitious in the future” ... read more 25.10.2017

Austrian universities: 5 homework assignments for Kurz

VIENNA (apa) -- A group of Austrian technical universities (TU Austria) has published five demands for the new government lead by Sebastian Kurz, the young, right-wing, populist winner of the national legislative election on the 15th October. The universities are demanding growing funding for growing student numbers, money for STEM studies, a greater capacity for IT training, a dedicated budget pillar for research infrastructure, and a continuation of their internationalisation strategy ... read more 24.10.2017

Paris mayor confiscates ‘sugar daddy’ billboard

PARIS (forbes) -- The Norwegian dating agency ‘RichMeetBeautiful’ strikes again with its Europe-wide campaign, targeting students who might want to improve their lifestyle by dating a rich ‘sugar daddy’ or ‘sugar mama’. The campaign was, however, not well received in Paris, where the president of University Paris-Descartes denounced it as “a call to prostitution”, and the city’s mayor ordered the billboard’s confiscation … read more 29.10.2017

image: Cité de Paris

Monday, 30 October 2017 //

Ukraine: “Law on Education” seeks to strengthen minorities

image: Kordon

KIEV (pravda) -- The new Ukrainian “Law On Education” has been stirring up concern among ministers from neighboring countries. Education minister Lilia Grinevich calmed concerns that schools of national minorities, such as Polish, Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Hungarian and Moldovan, would face restrictions. “About 400,000 students belonging to national minorities use their native language for general secondary education,” she said, but “55 percent of Romanian minority students and 62 percent of Hungarians fail to overcome the Ukrainian language tests to access higher education” ... read more 23.10.17

Portuguese foundational universities - “a big flop”

PORTO (público) -- The ‘foundational universities’ model was introduced in Portugal in 2007 to give more freedom to private bodies to provide financial and patrimonial management to the institutions. On Friday, however, the dean of the University of Porto, Sebastião Feyo described the model as “a big flop”, due to promised funds that never appeared ... read more 27.10.2017

French university reform already controversial

PARIS (parisien) -- President Emmanuel Macron’s promised higher education reforms haven’t yet been announced, but already the union Unef has launched a petition urging students to mobilise against any form of selective entry in universities ... read more 27.10.2017

Saturday, 28 October 2017 //

New Slovak science minister clears the deck

image: CCBRATISLAVA (správy pravda) -- Newly appointed Slovak education and science minister Martina Lubyová has had a rough start in office. Her predecessor, Peter Plavčan had to step down after allegations of mismanaging European funds for research and innovation. Allegedly, subsidies were granted to companies that had never conducted research. Lubyová reassures Brussels that the 300 million Euros, blocked by the EU since July, can now be released, as “measures to guarantee trancparency have been taken” ... read more | and here 22.10.2017

Friday, 27 October 2017 //

Bureaucracy drives brain-drain in Czechia

image: Parlament / H. StemberaPRAGUE (tyden) -- Czech MEP and former EU Commissioner, Pavel Telička has criticised the way in which the Czech Republic handles the recognition of foreign diplomas, saying that it prevents young Czechs who studied abroad from returning to their home country to work. “It’s almost absurd there are students who have graduated from Oxford or Cambridge, whose degrees aren’t recognised here,” he says ... read more 14.10.2017

A quarter of Norwegian students drop out

OSLO (aftenposten) -- Nearly a quarter of Norwegian bachelor students drop out before completing their degree, says new report. The majority of the dropouts are early in the course of study and need close monitoring, according to University of Bergen vice-rector, Oddrun Samdal ... read more 26.10.2017

Santander partners with 40 Spanish universities

image: ESNASANTANDER (universia) -- The Banco Santander group is partnering up with 40 Spanish universities to create the world’s largest platform for university entrepreneurship – ‘Santander X’. The group’s president, Ana Botín announced last week: “Santander X aspires to be the point of connection of all entrepreneurs. It will be the world’s largest ecosystem of university entrepreneurship, which will bring in the talent we need to build a better world for all” ... read more 17.10.2017

Thursday, 26 October 2017 //

Ghost town of Bulgarian universities

image: Jez Arnold CC

SOFIA (dnevnik) -- Despite the academic year already having begun, over 40 percent of first year places in Bulgarian universities remain empty. The severity of the situation varies around the country, with 90 percent enrolment in the University of Sofia, and just 25 freshmen enrolling at the Technical University of Gabrovo ... read more 23.10.2017

English-taught bachelor’s debate heats up in Flanders

LEUVEN (doorbraak) -- English-taught bachelor’s programs are becoming very popular in Flanders, as the Vrije Universiteit Brussel announces that the number of graduates from their English-language Bachelor of Social Sciences has doubled on last year’s figure. There are concerns however that this will lead to the phenomenon of ‘ghost training’, which has been found in master’s programs, by which the equivalent Dutch-language course becomes so unpopular, that it too becomes largely English-taught ... read more 23.10.2017

A Horizon 2020 office for Armenia

image: Education Minitsry ArmeniaYEREVAN (mediamax) -- Armenian Minister of Education and Science, Levon Mkrtchyan has discussed the introduction of new scientific programs for his country with EU research commissioner, Carlos Moedas, as part of Horizon 2020 agreements ... read more 10.10.2017

Wednesday, 25 October 2017 //

Fresh money for Italian universities

image: Valeria Fedeli FlickrROME (lq) -- The adoption of new legislation as part of the Italian 2018 budget brings respite to the recruitment nightmare of the country’s universities. The budget allows for 1,500 research positions to be filled and age-related salary rises, among other measures. “After many years we returned to investing in the new generations, in education, in research, and in innovation,” Universities and Research Minister Valeria Fedeli proudly announced ... read more 16.10.2017

KU Leuven employee fired for sex with students

LEUVEN (standaard) -- An employee associated with the Faculty of Industrial Engineering at KU Leuven has been fired following the Labour Court’s verdict of ‘cross-border behaviour with students’. Rector, Luc Sels announced that “in this case the trust network has worked well” ... read more 17.10.2017

Where are German students going?

image: ESNABERLIN (wz) -- The most popular EU country for mobility with German students is Austria, according to data released by the German Federal Agency for statistics. The Netherlands and the United Kingdom follow in second and third, while in the other direction: Germany is very popular with French students ... read more 24.10.2017

Tuesday, 24 October 2017 //

The Danish academic precariat strikes back

image: ESNACOPENHAGEN (uniavisen) -- A new Danish association by the name of ‘T-VIPS’ is uniting researchers against the precarious work culture at the University of Copenhagen. More and more academics are having to make do with short term jobs, so much so, that temporary positions make up the majority of research jobs. While in 2009 about 900 PhD students, postdocs and assistant professors at the University of Copenhagen were temporarily employed, by 2013, this group had grown to 3,000 people ... read more 19.10.2017

Armenian students strike over corrupt rector

GYUMRI (aysor) -- After the destruction of half of the books in Shirak State University library, arbitrary decisions about the curriculum and the abolition fee reductions for freshmen, students are going on strike in order to call for the resignation of their rector, Sahak Minasyan, accusing him of destroying the university to his own selfish ends ... read more 29.09.2017

Universities scared to research student sex-work

image. PiperLEUVEN (nieuwsblad) -- According to sexologist, Sam Geuens, students in Leuven and other Flemish student cities are partaking in sex-work. However, when universities are approached to conduct or support a survey, they shy away from the controversial topic, he says. The dating website RichMeetBeautiful sparked a debate and was made to recall its advertisement this month appealing to female students who need, or want, some extra cash ... read more 12.10.2017

Monday, 23 October 2017 //

Maths app makes two Berlin students millionaires

image: math42BERLIN (handelsblatt) -- Maxim and Raphael Nitsche are brothers from Berlin, whose app for helping students with maths has made earned them millions. They sold the app to US teaching provider Chegg for 12.5 million euros after it was downloaded three million times. The brothers see the app as a tool to help students, whose parents can’t afford private tutoring, to get access to the same help ... read more 21.10.2017

First Swiss university to accept Bitcoin

LUCERNE (finanzen) -- Lucerne university has become the first of its kind in Switzerland to accept Bitcoin for the payment of expenses. The system allows for easier transactions from overseas, making it popular with international students ... read more 19.10.2017

Social sciences in Bosnia and Herzegovina slowly die

flagSARAJEVO (radio sarajevo) -- The academic year in Bosnian and Herzegovinian universities began earlier this month. This year, however, marks a significant drop in secondary school students enrolling at the University of Sarajevo, which is felt particularly severely in the social sciences faculty with only 60 percent of places being filled ... read more 13.10.2017

Saturday, 21 October 2017 //

What Russian youths thinks about the October Revolution

image: HSE

MOSCOW (hse) -- Young Russians judge the revolution of 1917 in Russia in two ways. On the one hand, it represents positive changes, on the other, it is a symbol of the dead-end path. A scientific analysis of social media texts and statements and of historical essays by students on the theme of the October Revolution of 1917 shows that the context of revolutionary events for modern youth is remote and extremely vague while there is a predominance of negative characteristics. However, Lenin continues to be an important figure, and the revolution ranks second (after the Great Patriotic War) as most significant historical event for Russia in the 20th century ... read more

Friday, 20 October 2017 //

Humanities - a dying art in Latvia

University of LatviaRIGA (baltic course) -- Philologists are sounding the alarm, as the number of students wanting to study Latvian philology falls ever lower. They say that in the near future there will be no teachers, because “they are paid less than a janitor”. Dean of the Faculty of Human Sciences at the University of Latvia, Ilze Rūmniece underlines that “in the field of higher education, a serious imbalance has developed between the humanities and the exact sciences” ... read more 13.10.2017

A lifetime word limit for researchers

LONDON (nature) -- Brian Martinson, health researcher and commentator, has advocated in nature that researchers should be given a ‘lifetime word limit’ in order to reduce the number of what he calls “papers written to gain credit in an academic marketplace”. He goes on to talk about how authorship has become a commodity ... read more 17.9.17

Beating brain-drain in Slovakia

BRATISLAVA (pc revue) -- Eight higher education institutions have joined the so-called ‘Butterfly Effect’ programme, in an effort to encourage talented young Slovakians to keep the fruits of their labour inside the country. The programme was launched by the companies Leaf, Pixel Federation and Sygic to prepare young people for digital business, and keep them from seeking work abroad ... read more 18.10.2017

Thursday, 19 October 2017 //

Knowledge bridges for Greece


ATHENS (neoskosmos) -- Brain drain has long been a problem in Greece, but the government hopes to combat this with its “Knowledge Bridge” programme. The programme aims to connect scientists and Greek professionals who live and work overseas, and introduce and exploit ideas, knowledge and expertise through effective partnerships with scientists, private businesses, universities and research centres ... read more 11.10.2017

Slovaks flock to Czech universities

BUDAPEST (spectator) -- In a recent survey, as many as 21 percent of Czechs said that the Slovaks are their least popular neighbours. This was mostly affected by the Slovak minority that lives and studies in the country. Some Czechs believe that Slovaks deprive them of jobs and places at universities ... read more 11.10.2017

Aluminium, fake data, and paper retractions

image. CC Romary(ars technica) -- A recent study linking a component of vaccines to signs of autism in mice is set for retraction after scientists thoroughly demolished the study’s design, methods, and analysis—and then, for good measure, spotted faked data. The original study, led by Christopher Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic is just the latest in a long line of publications from the researchers who appear unwavering in their effort to reveal supposed neurotoxic effects of aluminum in vaccines even though dozens of studies ... read more | video 11.10.2017

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 //

Portuguese science minister sides with researchers

image: VisaoLISBON (dn) -- The Minister of Science, Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, has placed himself on the side of scientific researchers who demonstrated for the end of precariousness in their field, committing himself to schedule a meeting with rectors and researchers. In a statement, the minister criticised what he sees as an ‘institutional inertia’, referring to the insufficient hiring of researchers, and condemned the words of University of Lisbon rector, António Serra, who said that “universities do not need researchers, they need teachers” ... read more | and here 11.1 0.2017

Irish infrastructure gets long needed boost

DUBLIN (ut) -- The Irish government has announced a 47.5 million euro increase in funding for higher and further education in the 2018 budget. An additional 310 million euros will be made available by 2021 to deal with infrastructure costs, which many universities blame for their financial difficulties ... read more 10.10.17

Not enough student accommodation in Italy

PIEDMONT (repubblica) -- Growth in student numbers in Italy has meant an increased demand on accommodation. Students who have been told they are entitled to a place to stay will now not receive it due to a simple lack of rooms. The demand is 24 percent higher than previous years, leaving over 1,500 students with nowhere to go ... read more 12.10.2017

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 //

No place for international students in Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM (trajectum) -- The housing shortage in Amsterdam is forcing some international students to sleep in cars, campsites and hostels, and many who can’t find accommodation simply head home. The opposition party has submitted a motion for a new student housing plan, but education minister, Jet Bussemaker says that universities need to be honest with prospective international students, that they will have difficulty finding somewhere to stay ... read more 12.19.2017

1,000 Italian professors strike over pay

FIRENZE (repubblica) -- Almost a thousand professors have decided to strike against a pay freeze, cancelling the first exams scheduled for autumn. The protest, which was organised on a national level by “Movement for the Dignity of the University Degree”, involved almost nine thousand professors from 79 Italian universities ... read more 11.10.2017

Jordanian students keen on Erasmus+

AMMAN (menafn) -- Over 2,000 Jordanian students pre-registered to attend the Study in Europe Fair in the Jordanian Capital to find opportunities through around 30 educational institutions from 14 European countries. In the last three years, 1,300 Jordanians, both students and teaching staff, have gone to Europe through Erasmus+ funding ... read more 12.10.2017

Monday, 16 October 2017 //

Possible Brexit damages for UK science

image: eu2017eeBRUSSELS/LONDON (guardian) -- The European Commission introduced a note on its research and innovation portal last week, which says that if the UK withdraws from the EU without an agreement with Brussels, British researchers funded under the Horizon 2020 programme will lose access to their grants. UK universities minister, Jo Johnson, however, wants British universities to continue close research collaboration with their European peers ... read more | and here 12.10.2017

Russian industry universities receive extra money

MOSCOW (rg) -- The State Duma Committee on Education and Science has proposed to grant additional financial support to specialised institutions of higher education. The objective is to create basic industrial higher education institutions in the regions with more decisionmaking autonomy ... read more

New accreditation system for Czech universities

coat of armsPRAGUE (novinky) -- The Charles University in Prague has become the first Czech university to apply for institutional accreditation. The new system was brought in by an updated version of the Higher Education Act, and it allows establishments to independently cancel or modify study programs ... read more 12.10.2017

Saturday, 14 October 2017 //

Hackers target universities

image: ESNA

LONDON (filehippo) -- In the US, cyberattacks on colleges and universities have seen a noticeable increase in the past year, not least because of the abundance of data they store on their students. A new report from the Times found that hackers are attacking UK universities, too, but with a much bigger goal in mind: proprietary research information. Some UK universities were being hit by as many as 1,000 cyberattacks per month ... read more 18.9.17

Friday, 13 October 2017 //

Spanish universities not delivering what companies want

logoMADRID (ecomista) -- Nearly half of the Spanish universities don’t consider their training plans in digital competitions to be aligned with the demand of the private sector. This indicates a broader disconnect between the current training in the technological fields, such as the Internet of Things and the needs of companies, according to a survey conducted by Cotec on 29 educational institutions ... read more 10.10.2017

‘European Campus’ to overcome national localism

BADEN (badische zeitung) -- Five universities from Germany, France and Switzerland, part of the Eucor project, have plans to transcend their borders and become a model European project for cooperation in science. They want to be one of 20 in one ‘European Campus’ as mentioned by president Emanuel Macron in his speech at the Sorbonne in 2014 — but national regulations and funding schemes are still a big hindrance ... read more 12.10.2017

British universities pushed to do even more business

LONDON (times) -- “University income from business engagement is growing more slowly than the economy as a whole” according to Jo Johnson, UK universities minister. Hence he announced a ‘Knowledge Exchange Framework’ to analyse and improve universities competence at putting their research to commercial use ... read more 12.10.2017

Thursday, 12 October 2017 //

US research faces biggest budget cut in 40 years

image: ESNA

AUSTIN (trend) -- The federal budget proposal of US President Donald Trump and the Republican Party calls for eliminating hundreds of millions of dollars for scientific research programs. If approved by the Congress, the budget at the National Institutes of Health—one of the world’s most renowned medical research centers—will be slashed from 31 to 25.9 billion dollars. Since the start of this presidency, more than 21 percent of the funding for biomedical research have been cut, around 1,600 more projects are on the hit list with the result of dragging success rates to the lowest point since 1970 ... read more | and here 09.10.2017

Applicant bottleneck in German medical schools

BERLIN (standard) -- The Numerus Clausus for medical studies is now the concern, not only of German students, but of the highest court in Germany, where it’s been examined since 4th October. The judges are considering the entire award procedure against the backdrop of a ‘bottleneck’ caused by a huge increase in applicant numbers, from just 3,000 in 1972, to 62,000 now ... read more 09.10.2017

Estonia keen to sign research agreement with Japan

TALLINN (baltic course) -- During a meeting with Japan’s science and technology minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi, a proposal was made by his Estonian counterpart, Mailis Reps to sign an agreement on cooperation in research and technology between the two countries. One form of this cooperation, says Reps, could be to hold joint classes between Estonian and Japanese students using ‘e-solutions’ ... read more 02.10.2017

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 //

Austrian parties unite around research


VIENNA (standard) -- In the run-up to the legislative election this weekend, Austrian political parties have put forward their stances on research policy. The Social Democrats (SPÖ) promise 3.75 percent of the country’s GDP, until 2020, to research technology and innovation, while the Liberal Party (FPÖ) opt for a long-term finance commitment. All parties, however, have agreed that the research budget must grow ... read more 06.10.2017

Azerbaijan simplifies university access

BAKU (sputnik) -- Azerbaijan is looking to the example of Russia and Turkey in its introduction of final school exams and the simplification of universal higher education entrance exams. This is part of a larger, ongoing reform in the country’s education system, which is in the process of being streamlined ... read more 06.10.2017

English-taught degrees multiply across Europe

AMSTERDAM (uwn) -- According to a joint study taken across 19 countries, English-taught bachelor degrees have become a common and growing feature of European higher education. The countries with the highest count of such courses were Turkey, the Netherlands and Spain ... read more 07.10.2017

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 //

Romanian private universities to be abolished

coat of armsBUCHAREST (digi24) -- The Ministry of Education and Scientific Research in Romania wants to close three private universities in Bucharest, Timisoara and Brasov. Two of them were rated “untrustworthy” by the quality agency ARACIS, one has a lack of teaching staff ... read more 06.10.2017

Galician students left hanging

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA (voz de galicia) -- With the introduction of the Bologna process in Spain, the academic year has been changed making September a month of study in universities. But with secondary education being still the same, the two systems now walk out of phase. Nearly a thousand school-leavers in the northwestern region of Galicia are finding out only now what course they have been admitted to ... read more 06.10.2017

More urgent issues than Macron’s “real autonomy”

image: CC leweb conference 2014PARIS (le monde) -- As a presidential candidate, Emmanuel Macron promised to “free the energy” and grant a “real autonomy” to universities. But university presidents submitted some more urgent worries. Notably, they request a budget allowing for a yearly increase in student numbers of 40,000, due to the baby-boom of the 2000s ... read more 5.10.17

Monday, 9 October 2017 //

Turkish exiled scientists set up an online academy


BERLIN (futurezone) -- Turkish academics exiled from their home country by President Erdogan’s government are setting up an online academy, based out of Berlin, under the name “Off-University”. The common goal is ambitious: the university should go online in mid-October in time for the start of the winter semester ... read more 05.10.2017

Latvia guarantees 35.9 million Euros of student loans

RIGA (baltic course) -- According to a report drawn up by the Finance Ministry, the government in Latvia will issue guarantees worth nearly 36 million euros in 2018 for study and student loans. The loans will be issued by SEB Banka for the 8th year running. In 2016, they granted 1,817 loans worth 9.11 million euros to students ... read more 17.09.2017

Final warning for Hungary

image: EPPBUDAPEST (aargauer zeitung) -- The EU Commission has issued a last warning to Hungary’s president Viktor Orban in the dispute over foreign-funded NGOs (widely understood as an attack on the Central European University). The authority now launched the second stage of its infringement proceedings ... read more 4.10.17

Saturday, 7 October 2017 //

English deprives students of means to express themselves

image: i. pennAMSTERDAM (reformatisch dagblad) -- Currently, 69 percent of all Master’s programs and 20 percent of all Bachelor programmes at Dutch universities are taught entirely in English. Alarm bells ring as language choice is shifting away from Dutch in the social field of university education, which Dr de Groot says will lead to language loss, a gradual decline of the Dutch language in general ... read more 29.09.2017

Friday, 6 October 2017 //

New code of ethics for Lithuanian universities

image: VDUVILNIUS (lietuvosdiena) -- Following a plagiarism scandal, the Conference of Rectors of Lithuanian Universities has decided to prepare a new document on academic ethics requirements. “If universities had their own code of morality, transparency and integrity, we’d have even higher standards” explains Juozas Augutis, rector of the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas ... read more 29.09.2017

One in two Norwegians doesn’t trust research

OSLO (uwn) -- As part of a survey commissioned by the Research Council of Norway it has been found that almost half of the public does not trust research. Other findings continue in a similar vein: two fifths think that results are greatly affected by researchers’ personal beliefs. Two in three however support further public investment in research ... read more 20.09.2017

External report criticises Europe’s Joint Research Centre

image: logoBRUSSELS (nature) -- The European Union’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Operating at six sites in five EU countries, with a budget of €372 million, it was originally set up as a nuclear research organisation, but widened its remit over the decades. An evaluation criticised it for doing too little independent research of the type required to attract and keep the best scientists ... read more 03.10.2017
Thursday, 5 October 2017 //

Macron's plans to reform the EU

image: twitter

PARIS (blesk) -- “Twenty new European universities should be helped to strengthen the European spirit”, announced French President Emmanuel Macron as he called for a more centralised EU for the future. The goal for 2024 is for European students to master at least two European languages ... read more 27.09.2017

“The future will speak Hungarian”

BUDAPEST (union news) -- The manager of the Hungarian Civil Union (FIDES) has announced that Hungarian leadership will be able to provide training in Hungarian in Ukraine. This comes as prime minister, Viktor Orbán proclaimed last week that “the future is written in Hungarian” and “the future will speak Hungarian” as he stressed his position on the education of his countrymen around the world ... read more 01.10.2017

Making the case for East German universities

image: ViribusFerox KGBERLIN (epoch times) -- In her weekly podcast Angela Merkel has made the case for East German universities, saying they are just as good, if not sometimes better than their western counterparts. The Chancellor reserved special praise for the university in Greifswald in her home constituency ... read more 30.09.2017

Wednesday, 4 October 2017 //

Severe accommodation shortage in Bordeaux

image: CC

BORDEAUX (20minutes) -- As it grows ever more difficult for Bordeaux students to find accommodation in their wealthy city, Olivier Dugrip, rector of the Academy of Bordeaux has called for landlords to rent their homes to students, and Nicole Rascle, vice-president of the University of Bordeaux has even summoned staff to rent out their spare rooms ... read more 03.10.2017

Slovenian students use less paper

LJUBLJANA (rtvslo) -- The rent of printed materials in libraries across Slovenia has dropped with the start of the new academic year. In the Ljubljana University Library, this can be explained primarily by the availability of materials in digital form and falling student numbers ... read more 01.10.2017

Tuesday, 3 October 2017 //

Seven Italian university teachers arrested

logoFLORENCE (ansa) -- On Monday seven university teachers were arrested by finance police in relation to allegations of exam rigging. A further 22 people have also been barred from holding academic positions for 12 months, and a total of 59 are currently under investigation. These events were triggered when some teachers attempted to persuade a candidate in an exam to withdraw their bid in favour of a less qualified candidate ... read more 25.09.2017

University ‘diversification’ spreads to Turkey

ANKARA (a24) -- Like German and other European countries before them with their excellence strategies, Turkey is now introducing its own hierarchy between national universities – of course with a royal gesture. President Erdoğan, at the Academic Year Opening, has proclaimed the names of the schools to be designated as research universities ... read more 26.09.2017

Risks and opportunities of Catalonian independence

BARCELONA (nature) -- Many scientists believe that an independent Catalonia could change the scientific landscape fundamentally, not least by releasing universities from old-fashioned and inflexible national laws. But Catalonia would automatically leave the EU, and Spain would make sure it never got back in. That would weaken the region’s research ... read more 27.09.2017

Monday, 2 October 2017 //

Flemish quota for female professors

image: VUBBRUSSELS (scienceguide) -- The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (the first in Europe to go to the stock market in 2015) is looking to bring more women into the top ranks of the university. In an interview, rector Caroline Pauwels announced that one in three professors must be women ... read more | and here 22.09.2017

Czech unions give up protests

PRAGUE (prague monitor) -- The Czech trade unions on Tuesday withdrew their threat to go on strike as the government approved the demand of pay rise for employees in the public sector, and university representatives called off the protests planned for the beginning of the academic year. The Czech government has also agreed to raise the universities’ budget by three billion crowns (115,000 euros) ... read more | and here 27.09.2017

What Germany’s election results mean for science

BERLIN (nature) -- As Germany reels from an unexpected surge for the far right in the 24 September parliamentary elections, researchers don’t expect much effect on the country’s generous support for science. But with smaller parties standing to gain political influence, battles over issues such as the regulation of gene-edited organisms and how to cut greenhouse-gas emissions could grow fiercer. The right-wing newcomer party AfD has argued for the abandonment of the Bologna Process, and reducing the influence of international foundations ... read more | and here 25.09.2017

Saturday, 30 September 2017 //

Thank God I’m an atheist!

LEUVEN (la croix) -- Scholars at the Catholic Verbiest Institute in Belgium have in a gathering declared religious freedom to be a ‘priority human right’. The meeting is being seen as a big step forwards, since scholars from Beijing and the Vatican were in attendance ... read more 11.09.2017

Friday, 29 September 2017 //

Belgian students crawl the kerb

image: Twitter

BRUSSELS (le soir) -- The Belgian jury of publishing ethics (JEP) has received a complaint regarding a sign, encouraging students to “go out with a sugar daddy” to improve their lifestyle. The sign is part of a campaign by the website RichMeetBeautiful, which has already attracted “an enormous popularity” for the site. The JEP could either condemn the campaign, forcing it to stop, or rule that it doesn’t pose any issues ... read more 25.09.2017

Student protests in Barcelona protest for independence

BARCELONA (diario) -- Almost a hundred students from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) caused a traffic jam stretching for ten kilometres in the city on Thursday morning. The protest was held in order to protect the referendum of October 1st on Catalonian independence, which has been suspended by the Constitutional Court ... read more | and here 28.9.17

Taylor & Francis buys out OA publisher

logoLONDON (bookseller) -- Industry concentration proceeds, regardless of open access. The academic publisher Taylor & Francis has acquired the independent Open Access publisher Dove Medical Press (with over 86 OA journals) for an undisclosed amount. The newly bought publisher focusses on the health sciences ... read more 27.09.2017

Thursday, 28 September 2017 //

Polish initiatives of excellence

image: polskarazemWARSAW (wpolityce) -- At the National Congress of Science in Krakow, science minister Jarosław Gowin announced two flagship programmes for Polish universities. Similar to the German “Excellence Initiative”, it promises to grant a group of universities with a competitive advantage additional funding. A new mobility agency will also start operating as of 1 October, it has been modelled on the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, but with a much smaller budget and a weaker legal position ... read more 19.09.2017

Faster digitisation at Norwegian universities

OSLO (uniforum) -- Norwegian science Minister, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen has promised a focus on digitisation for universities and colleges in order to make study more accessible, and for technology to create better, more efficient research. “This is not just about new technology, but also about how the students learn and are assessed and how the institutions organise and carry out research” he said in a press release ... read more 11.09.2017

Turkey’s academic exodus is destroying its future

image: dragoartANKARA (balkan insight) -- Many of Turkey’s academics are fleeing the country. With every one of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s emergency decrees, lists of people dismissed on the charge of collaborating with a terrorist organisation are published. Thousands are left with no practical choice other than going abroad ... read more 18.09.2017

Wednesday, 27 September 2017 //

Hungary: A tunnel at the end of the light

Christ Prantner

BUDAPEST (div) -- A solution with the Central European University is possible, claims science minister László Palkovics, referring to McDaniel College from Maryland that operates in Budapest since 1994 and complies with the new law. While negotiations with CEU’s home state of New York are possible now, many doubt that an operating “home campus” can be opened there by January 2018, when the so-called Lex CEU comes into action ... read more 20.09.2017

Ukrainian state-funded study places axed

KIEV (uwn) -- State-funded places in domestic Ukrainian universities have been cut by 17 percent this academic year. The measure is part of a larger reform in the Ukrainian national system of higher education, which aims to drop the ‘Soviet’ approach by including the specialist degree and taking on EU standards ... read more 21.09.2017

Niqab or not niqab?

image: movieBODØ (universitetsavisa) -- Earlier this year, the Norwegian government issued bill for a ban on full faced head garments in institutes of education. The board directors of Nord University have now decided after ten minutes of debate to uphold this proposal, setting themselves apart from all other universities ... read more 25.09.2017

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 //

Reward for fostering young talent

image: hanza universityGRONINGEN (scienceguide) -- The grant for the promotion and development of young talent has been awarded to a consortium of educational institutions. “It is an enormous challenge to facilitate talent while taking into account the diversity of the student population” explains Marca Wolfensberger of Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, which is leading the consortium ... read more 15.9.17

‘Petit Calais’ on Reims university campus

REIMS (le monde) -- The University of Reims has closed its campus Croix-Rouge on the grounds of security concerns, as migrants set up camp there. This closure has, however, ignited debate between students and staff alike. Commendably, many members of university staff are going against the decision, putting values of solidarity first ... read more 20.09.2017

Swiss ERASMUS+ back from the dead

image: (c) ESNABERN (swissinfo) -- The Swiss Council of States has voted 28 to 11 to reassociate the country with the EU exchange program, which offers students a stay at a foreign university, by 2021. 114.5 million francs (98.6 million euros) has already been approved for an interim solution from 2018. Students are however not entirely satisfied, with almost 10,000 having signed a petition calling for Switzerland’s immediate participation in the programme ... read more 21.09.17

Monday, 25 September 2017 //

Chemical Society attacks Sci-Hub

logo(quartz) -- The American Chemical Society or ACS, a publisher of multiple chemistry journals, is not a fan of Sci-Hub and wants it stopped. On Sept. 1 when the ACS asked a US federal court for an injunction that would force search engines and internet service providers to block Sci-Hub, a rogue pirating service for academic research. The publisher also requested a default judgement that would require Sci-Hub to pay $4.8 million. TorrentFreak reports that while Sci-Hub knew the case was going on it did not appear in court, hence the default $4.8m figure, which was announced in its absence. A similar judgement was found on the hub earlier and it was told to pay $15m in piracy damages to academic publisher Elsevier ... read more 07.09.2017

Italy: transgender students’ names to be recognised

PAVIA (gelocal) -- Transgender students at the University of Pavia, near Milan, now have the option to go by an ‘alias’ in all situations of university life. The provision is a workaround solution to allowing students to change their name to one of the gender they identify with ... read more 19.09.2017

Portuguese remain among their own kinsfolk

LISBON (público) -- About 70 percent of Portuguese university professors have a doctorate from the same institution where they teach, the Directorate General for Statistics on Education and Science (DGEEC) has found. The concept of ‘academic endogamy’, their study specifies, “refers to situations of professional immobility ... read more 21.09.2017

Saturday, 23 September 2017 //

French student protests gain momentum

image: révolution permanente

PARIS (médiapart) -- The French government feared a unison between students and workers in the 21st’s general strike, but that’s exactly what they got. In Paris the mobilisation against the new ‘loi Travail’ is more determined than ever, and in Rouen, 500 students turned out to protest their university’s lack of resources ... read more 21.09.2017

Friday, 22 September 2017 //

Plavčan’s replacement as Slovakian education minister

image: ParliamentBRATISLAVA (business insider) -- Peter Plavčan has resigned as Slovakian education minister, following accusations of granting EU research funds to companies with no history in research. Andrej Danko, leader of Slovakian National Party (SNS), has appointed his replacement, while insisting that there had been no wrongdoing ... read more 13.9

Leading Russian unversities offer cryptocurrency courses

MOSCOW (bitcoin) -- A number of Russian universities are to introduce special courses and master’s degree classes on the topics of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The new courses will be incorporated into finance curricula in the academic year 2017-2018. In the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, students will collaborate with Sberbank to study data analysis. And in the Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology (MIPT), researchers will focus on the currency’s technical components ... read more |and here 18.9.17

SAP targets Hungarian universities

logoBUDAPEST (hwsw) -- So far, thirteen universities in Hungary have begun to use SAP’s management software, but the company wants to expand to additional institutions. SAP has developed an integrated system that simultaneously implements accounting and purchasing tasks, but is also highly applicable to study systems ... read more 18.09.2017

Thursday, 21 September 2017 //

What 14.7 billion Danish crowns could be used for


COPENHAGEN (uwn) -- Cuts to Danish university budgets between 2016 and 2021 are set to reach DKK14.7 billion (€1.98 billion). The Education Alliance, comprising over 40 Danish student organisations, is calling for a demonstration across Denmark on October 5th against cuts, which will cost Copenhagen University alone 5.8 percent of its current budget ... read more 16.09.2017

New international Brazilian research program

BRASILIA (wes) -- The prematurely terminated Science without Borders program now has a replacement. The Brazilian Universities Excellence Initiative is to take a more strategic approach, requiring universities to submit an internationalisation strategy before taking part, explains Prof. Abílio Neves of the education ministry. The new program aims to send Brazilian students and scholars abroad, to reinforce the country’s research ties with Europe and North America ... read more 18.09.2017

Austrian rectors on the short leash

image: F.J.MorgenbesserVIENNA (standard) -- New Austrian science minister, Harald Mahrer has been blamed for ambiguities in the higher education draft law. It all comes down to distribution; universities criticise the ministry for reserving the right to decide how much money will be allocated to the key areas of teaching, research, and infrastructure ... read more 15.9.17

Wednesday, 20 September 2017 //

City council in Split bills university €4.7 million

logoSPLIT (slobodna dalmacija) -- In 2005 a deal was struck between the University of Split, Croatia, and the city council over the construction of buildings within the campus. The university would pay only ten percent and, in lieu of the remaining 90 percent, fund the construction of municipal infrastructure. The documents regarding the university’s contribution, however, were left incomplete, and the city is now asking them to record a municipal contribution of HRK35 million (€4.7 million) to its books. To complicate the matter further, the county authorities are siding with the university, and blocking the City’s efforts ... read more 30.08.2017

Hungarian universities make landlords rich

BUDAPEST (bbj) -- Gross returns on rental properties have exceeded seven percent in Hungarian university towns. This is exceptionally high compared not only to elsewhere in the country, but also Europe-wide ... read more 14.9.17

Switzerland highly international

flagBERN (fm1 today) -- Switzerland prides itself in the fact that more than half of Phd students are from abroad. Only Luxemburg has more, according to OECD statistics. Furthermore, 17 percent of students at Swiss universities are foreigners, signficantly more than the the OECD average of six percent... read more 12.9.17

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 //

Cheating business students in Greece

charlie brown spickt

PATRAS (enca) -- More than 100 business students gave the exact same answers in an entrance exam for Patras University, Greece, triggering suspicion of foul play. As consequence, the 106 students are forbidden from taking part in the rest of the September exams, which, according to Giorgos Androulakis, the leader of the business faculty, is the mildest punishment they could expect ... read more and | here12.09.2017

Lithuanian university to accept bitcoin

VILNIUS (alfa) -- Kazimieras Simonavičius University in Vilnius, Lithuania, has begun to accept bitcoin as payment for tuition, and other expenses. University rector, Arūnas Augustinaitis says that not only is the currency convenient in terms of speed and cost, but it’s also attractive to foreign students ... read more 00.09.2017

German students feel “disconnected from reality”

image: Hertie SchoolBERLIN (hertie school) -- According to a new survey conducted by the Allensbach Institute, German youth is critical of the fantasy working world that universities are preparing them for. “[Students] sharply criticise the disconnect between education and reality,” says Klaus Hurrelmann, Professor of Public Health and Education, and advisor on the study. “They see a particular deficit in the fact that pupils learn too little in school about the world of work, the economy and finances” ... read more 00.09.2017

Monday, 18 September 2017 //

Italian professors struggle for fair pay

John Maynard: carlo ferraroMILAN (corriere) -- We are two weeks into the Italian university professors’ strike over pay, and over 8,100 people are involved. Pressure on science minister Stefania Giannini is growing, as the protesters are committed to continue boycotting exams until the 31st of October.

The outrage was caused by the fact that the education ministry froze salaries for a second time in five years. Carlo Ferraro, who teaches at the Polytechnic University of Turin and is a voice of the protest movement explains: “Teacher and student numbers have gone down 20 percent since 2007. First we want the freeze lifted, and then we will fight for a new hiring plan, more research funding, and student grants” ... read more 14.09.2017

Erdoğan laments brain drain to the West

ASTANA (hurriyet) -- Public funding for schools, universities and research has increased during the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) rule. However, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said the Islamic world “is losing its brightest brains to the West.” At the Science and Technology Summit in Kazakhstan, the Turkish President stressed that 55 percent of the Islamic world is illiterate and complained about the brain drain ... read more .05.2017

European University in Russia faces closure

logoST. PETERSBURG (science business) -- With its teaching licence revoked and the forced removal from its premises, the European University in St Petersburg is on life support. “We have lost virtually everything,” says one of its professors ... read more .05.2017

Saturday, 16 September 2017 //

Dutch universities - ‘money factories’

Henriette Guest:duisenberg

AMSTERDAM (nos) -- The new chairman of the Dutch university association, VSNU, is Pieter Duisenberg. His appointment has stirred worries with students and staff alike, as he is well-known for his policies in his former position as spokesman for education of the conservative-liberal party, VVD. He wanted to investigate the political leanings of university staff, advocated labour-market oriented course design and the reinvestment of student loan revenues. “He is a neoliberal from tip to toe,” says Felienne Hermans, assistant professor at Delft University of Technology. “He sees universities as small money factories” ... read more 7.9.17

Friday, 15 September 2017 //

France and Germany to ‘make our planet great again’

make our planet great againPARIS (uwn) -- A Franco-German joint research programme has been launched with the scope of attracting international scientists to take part in sustainability research on the topic of climate change, energy transition. The initiative is part of the French ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’ initiative, based on a pledge by the French government in June to provide €30 million for climate research ... read more | and here 8.9.2017

Baltics spending big on education

RIGA (baltic course) -- The Baltic States are showing the highest education budgets as a share of budget expenditure in the EU. Latvia spending 16.2 percent, Lithuania – 15.4 percent, and Estonia – 15.1 percent. For perspective, the EU-wide average stands at 10.3 percent of budget expenditure... read more 00.09.2017

Hungarian philosopher snubs Putin

DEBRECN (novinite) -- 82-year-old Mihaly Vajda has said on Facebook that he has returned his honorary doctorate from the University of Debrecen, to avoid association with Vladimir Putin, or “an institution that has proclaimed Vladimir Putin to be an honorary citizen”. Vajda, a left-wing intellectual, was a famous dissident during communist rule in Hungary, who was banned from working in Budapest until 1989 ... read more 05.09.2017

Thursday, 14 September 2017 //

Controversial reform in Polish higher education

image: trojkaWARSAW (finanse) -- Polish science minister, Jarosław Gowin is set to announce a draft law on his higher education reform on the 19th of September. While it already has many supporters, some of its contents are highly controversial. The proposal to divide universities into research, didactic research and teaching was met with much criticism ... read more 10.09.2017

Spanish universities fast-tracking accreditation

SALAMANCA (la gaceta de salamanca) -- New policy attempts to make the accreditation of courses simpler for struggling universities in Spain. The new system allows courses to be accredited in blocks, reducing the amount of paperwork required by an order of magnitude ... read more 11.09.2017

Italy: Numerus Clausus on the brink

logoMILAN (deutschlandfunk) -- Ever since the introduction of a numerus clausus in Italian universities, it has been the center of furious debate. Now the Università Statale in Milan has stepped in, with a professor saying “the purpose of this faculty is to train conscious people”, advocating students’ right to decide which topic they are interested in ... read more 06.09.2017

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 //

Romanian education minister shown the door

image: PSDBUCHAREST (romania curata) -- Two Romanian opposition parties, the USR and PNL, have made a motion to dismiss education minister Liviu Pop, before his policies cause irreversible damage to the country’s education system. The motion follows Pop’s proposal to introduce a national ‘manual’ for schools, which some compared to state sponsored indoctrination ... read more 8.9.17

Privacy concerns in French student residence

RENNES (ici) -- Students in Rennes have brought up concerns over privacy, after it was found out that internet-connected beds had been installed in their residence. The contractors responsible insist that they’re “not Google” and simply intended to use the sleeping pattern data collected to automatically plan when best to carry out maintenance work ... read more .05.2017

Lonely at the top in Bulgaria

logoSOFIA (economic) -- The Bulgarian association Leaders for European Education has launched an attack on the power structures within universities. They say that too much power is concentrated in the rector’s institution, and that it should move to a system of collective management, while giving more power to students and student bodies ... read more 11.09.2017

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 //

Russia’s regional universities reduce brain-drain

image: KPMOSCOW (vesti) -- Russian education minister, Olga Vasilyeva, has commented on the implementation of the “supporting universities” scheme, saying that they should become centres of cultural development for their regions. A year and a half into the project, and the “outflow of talented youth” has been decreased. The 33 participating istitutions also attracted employers to educational programmes and research projects and helped launch social projects as well as technoparks ... read more 06.09.2017

More Portuguese students choose private universities

LISBON (observador) -- Private universities in Portugal have seen an increase in demand of up to 36 percent on last year. This is reflective of a larger trend of increased university enrolments in Portugal ... read more 01.09.2017

English creates a new academic elite

logoAMSTERDAM (uwn) -- A study conducted by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts has found that English taught courses in Dutch universities are damaging Dutch as a language of academia, and threatening to alienate the Netherlands’ society at large from its academic tradition ... read more 01.09.2017

Monday, 11 September 2017 //

Czech education policy “worst since 1989”

image: Ben Skála, BenfotoPRAGUE (echo24) -- With general elections looming, Mikuláš Bek, the rector of Masaryk University in Brno, the country's secend biggest university, has criticised the government for decreasing education funding by 18 percent over the last 16 years. Bek warns that under-funding in schools has a negative impact in student numbers entering higher education, it leads academics to seek alternative financing, and it induces universities to reduce student places ... read more 02.09.2017

The price of the Netherlands’ ‘golden route’

AMSTERDAM (scienceguide) -- The transition from a subscription based model of a scientific publication to Open Access could be funded with pre-existing library budgets with offsetting deals, a Max Planck Society study found. An appeal to the Freedom of Information act has now forced the public disclosure of these deals in the Netherlands, and their cost to universities ... read more

Close quarters combat

logoMUNICH (sz) -- The Bavarian social democrats (SPD) have proposed a new model for student accommodation, in an effort to lower rent. At least 15 percent of the 375,000 students in the state should be living in publically supported halls of accommodation, Andreas Lotte, SPD spokesman for housing policies said. For Bavaria, this would mean the construction of almost 20,000 new places. Subsidised investors should be obliged to provide long-term affordable student flats. Munich is Germany’s most expensive university city, Berlin the one with the fastest growing prices ... read more 05.09.2017

Saturday, 9 September 2017 //

Fair play at university games

image: EUSA

PORTO (eusa) -- The 12th European Universities Football Championship in July this year introduced a “green card” to reward fair play. It was first shown in a match between University of Valencia and University of Montpellier, and a later one between Kuban State University and University of Lille ... read more 04.08.2017

Friday, 8 September 2017 //

The science industry loves Merkel

caricBERLIN (nature) -- In two recent opinion pieces, the science weekly nature praises German chancellor Angela Merkel saying she “shows a welcome immunity to the mood of anti-science resentment that has infected some democracies” and “increased annual science budgets in a stable, predictable, quintessentially German way” ... read more | and here 06.09.2017

Education funding in Europe: down by 11%

BRUSSELS (lllp) -- Average expenditures of EU member states on education decreased by 11 percent since 2009. “This trend is extremely worrying,” the Lifelong Learning Platform, an association of 40 European organisations active in the field of education commented. “It reflects the increasing privatisation of education in our continent, that will eventually enlarge the economic and social cleavage in Europe” ... read more 31.08.2017

Brexit ministry pray for good weather

xLONDON (gov) -- The UK government sets out how it plans to continue to collaborate with the EU on scientific research and innovation. The paper, that describes objectives for an “ambitious science and innovation agreement” with the EU, is all but ambitious, as it contains no concrete measures, simply pretending that everything can carry on as before. Areas given special notice are medical research, atomic energy and the country’s close involvement with Horizon 2020 ... read more 06.09.2017

Thursday, 7 September 2017 //

2 in 3 French students change their minds


PARIS (le monde) -- First year dropout rate has reached a record high, according to figures released by the French higher education ministry. This statistic comes as Minister Frédérique Vidal has met with universities and promised to reform the country’s university admission process by 2018. Part of planned reforms is to make universities’ entry requirements more severe. “We need to get out of the mind-set that university is the solution for everybody”, says President Emmanuel Macron ... read more 31.08.2017

Orbán brushes off European Commission

BUDAPEST (bbj) -- Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, has responded to the European Commission’s statement on his now infamous ‘lex CEU’. He announced on August 14th “We can’t do anything about the fact that the restrictions harm the interests of George Soros” ... read more 14.08.2017

Fins use AI to recruit foreign students

logoTAMPERE (gbtimes) -- Finnish startup ‘Edunation’, launched earlier this year, is developing a new, AI-powered search platform to find prospective students. This comes as the introduction of tuition fees for people from outside the EU is expected to deter potential Chinese students ... read more 4.9.17

Wednesday, 6 September 2017 //

Universities at the forefront of IPv6

logoBERLIN (egovernment) -- Universities have been aware of the imminent shortage of IP addresses for a while. With the old protocol, IPv4 (which identifies online devices to each other), only 4.3 billion addresses are possible, and there are already 6 billion online devices worldwide. Universities are among the frontrunners switching to IPv6. This new protocol boasts easier connectivity to university networks, simplified data recognition and priority settings, and more efficient communication between machines including the “internet of things” ... read more 01.09.2017

German universities confront big publishers

BERLIN (enago) -- In negotiations with Elsevier, German research institutions were represented by Projekt DEAL, a consortium seeking a national licensing agreement. In June 2017, four major academic institutions in Berlin also announced that they would not be renewing their contracts with Elsevier. These were Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität, Technische Universität, and Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin. These cancellations were in support of Projekt DEAL’s efforts to get Elsevier to agree to fair publishing charges. Projekt DEAL is also in negotiations with Springer Nature and Wiley. Together these three publishers account for 50-60 percent of many German libraries’ budgets ... read more 24.08.2017

University muscle contest

logoSHANGHAI (esna) -- This summer two new university rankings have blossomed in the garden. One is the 15th Shanghai Ranking, and the other is the Humboldt-Ranking, comparing German universities’ popularity with foreign researchers ... read more 15.08.2017

Thursday, 22 June 2017 //

Macron’s strong support for research

image: C.V. CCPARIS (nature) -- A wave of fresh faces — including the flamboyant mathematician Cédric Villani — rose to victory in the French parliamentary elections on 18 June. Together with the science- and innovation-friendly policies announced by President Emmanuel Macron, the results have stoked optimism among many researchers in France and abroad ... read more 19.06.2017

New blacklist of predatory academic journals

BEUAMONT (nature) -- A scholarly services firm from Texas launched a blacklist of ‘predatory’ academic journals: those that deceive their authors or readers by, for example, charging fees to publish papers without conducting peer review. The index — which lists about 4,000 journals — is available only to paying subscribers ... read more 21.06.2017

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 //

France pledges €30 million for climate research

image: EMPARIS (straits times) -- France has made good on its promise to invite foreign climate change experts to the country, pledging 30 million euros to fund the work of up to 50 researchers. The government hopes to attract additional 30 million euros from universities and other organisations, making the total funding up to 60 ... read more 17.6.17

Striving biotech startups in Portugal

CANTANHEDE (público) -- The number of startups in the field of life sciences has multiplied in the last years in Portugal. One reason is the increase of venture capital since 2013; nearly 500 persons work in 70-80 new companies with an annual turn over of 30.5 million euros ... read more 17.06.2017

PhDs unsatisfied with their teaching skills

BRUSSELS (europapress) -- More than half of Spanish, Slovenian and French doctoral students are unsatisfied with the pedagogical training they received. Other results of a recent European survey were the high percentage of elderly professors and the low share of women ... read more .05.2017

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 //

EU Commission sets out new higher ed strategy

image: GOVBRUSSELS (eu) -- The Commission has adopted new initiatives on school and higher education, including a proposal on graduate tracking to help Member States collect information on what graduates do after their studies. The renewed higher education strategy builds on the 2011 Modernisation agenda with the same clear neoliberal drift aiming “to ensure that higher education can help boost growth and job creation” and that “universities (...) tailor curricula to current and anticipated needs of the economy ... read more | communiqué 30.05.2017

Switzerland to scrap Numerus Clausus for Medicine

BERN (lv) -- The Swiss National Council wants to replace the numerus-clausus exam for the medical studies with internships, thus orienting the admission more towards practice. The advantage for hospitals: the trainees could relieve the nursing staff of some workload ... read more 19.06.2017

Slovak students continue protests against corruption

BRATISLAVA (wp) -- Thousands are rallying across Slovakia to protest alleged corruption in Prime Minister Robert Fico’s government. The demonstrations have been organised by students and spread far beyond the capital. It’s the biggest wave of protests in Slovakia since 2012 ... read more 12.06.2017

Monday, 19 June 2017 //

Betsy DeVos keeps her rotten word

image: CC Shealah Craighead

WASHINGTON (chronicle) -- Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced on Wednesday that the Education Department will renegotiate the gainful-employment and borrower “defense to repayment” rules, two key consumer-protection regulations of the Obama era. Students in the US already have accumulated the highest debt in the world (1.3 trillion dollars) without the chance to default. And many for-profit colleges push families with predatory practices into loans they cannot afford and leave students with worthless degrees ... read more | background: DeVos | US student debt 14.06.2017

Ireland is ready for Technical Universities

DUBLIN (examiner) -- Lecturers at institutes of technology have voted for a deal with colleges and the Department of Education that should clear the way for the creation of technological universities .. read more 15.06.2017

66,000 students forced to relocate in Turkey

image: DragoartISTANBUL (turkish minute) -- The Turkish government has since last summer closed down 15 universities across the country over their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, forcing 66,000 students to look for somewhere else to continue their education ... read more 11.06.2017

Saturday, 17 June 2017 //

American student singers tour in Europe

imagr: CSF

(ocr) -- Cal State Fullerton’s University Singers raised their voices in Northern Europe this week in concerts that include more staging than is typical. “Staging is essentially choreographed movement,” said Jim Taulli, professor of theater and dance, who staged the performances. “In this case, it is some unified gesturing, some choreography and formation changes. Staging can bring another layer of communication to the audience’s experience.” The chorus is performing in Sweden, Estonia, Finland and Russia, including appearances in Helsinki’s Rock Church, built directly into solid rock, and St. Peterburg’s Glinka Capella ... read more 12.06.2017

Friday, 16 June 2017 //

UK student loan debt exceeds £100bn

image: advertisement

LONDON (guardian) -- Student loan debt in the UK has risen to more than 100 billion Pounds (114 billion Euros) for the first time, after growing by 16.6 percent in only one year. As in the US, student debt in the UK is rising at a faster pace than any other form of debt, and eclipsed credit card debt of 68 billion Pounds. “It is the fastest growing type of borrowing and is rapidly becoming economically significant,” Sebastian Burnside, a senior economist at NatWest said ... read more 15.06.2017

French website to attract foreign researchers

PARIS (le monde) -- Following President Donald Trump withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate accord, the new French government has launched an initiative to attract American and other foreign researchers. A strategy along with a web site that helps international scientists in climate research and new technologies to come to France is in the making ... read more 06.06.2017

Thursday, 15 June 2017 //

Norway plans ban of burqas in universities

image: flickrOSLO (times of oman) -- Norway aims to ban face-covering veils in universities as well as in kindergartens and schools. kindergartens, schools. France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria and the German state of Bavaria have all imposed restrictions on wearing full-face veils in public places ... read more 12.06.2017

Why medical students decide to study abroad?

BERLIN (sting) -- Many people are leaving their country of origin to pursue their career goals, students as well as (young) professionals. An increased demand for flexibility, willingness to work abroad and facilitated mobility within the EU are contributing factors to this development ... read more 9.6.17

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 //

Jo Johnson reappointed as UK universities minister

image: Jo Johnson CCLONDON (the) -- Theresa May reappointed Jo Johnson as British universities and science minister - sticking to the line that made her nearly lose her own reelection? ... read more 14.06.2017

Erasmus anniversary and a new app

BRUSSELS (lw) -- Tuesday marks 30 years since the Erasmus programme was created. To mark the anniversary the European Commission has launched a new Erasmus+ mobile app that enables participants to track their progress through the bureaucracy of their stay abroad ... read more 13.06.2017

Class struggle at Irish universities

DUBLIN (university times) -- Proposing a cap on Irish student numbers, as President of University College Dublin (UCD), Andrew Deeks, just did, while (paying) international students are warmly invited to come to Irish universities - this is the dilemma Ireland faces like all countries that abandoned the public (higher) education mission to global education markets ... read more 11.06.2017

Tuesday, 13 June 2017 //

China strikes back

image: Xiong BingqiBEIJING (sputnik) -- International students who receive higher education in China are required to take compulsory lessons on Chinese language and Chinese domestic conditions, according to an official statement of the education ministry. “It is reasonable for foreign students to take Chinese lessons if they want to study in China, just like foreign students who study in some Western countries are required to take English lessons,” Xiong Bingqi, vice president of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, said ... read more 09.065.2017

Stable fees in Tallinn

TALLINN (rakaleidja) -- Tuition fees at Tallinn’s major universities, the Technical and the Tallinn University, have not increased compared to the previous year. Bachelor’s courses still cost 350-640 euros. The majority of students, however, can receive state support ... read more 06.07.2017

Monday, 12 June 2017 //

Universities across Europe lose public support

KONSTANZ (ihe) -- As voters in Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands go to the polls this year, some politicians and commentators want to tip funding and attention away from higher education and back toward vocational training. In a worrying sign for universities, a unique pan-European survey suggests that this is a shift that would have widespread public support ... read more 08.06.2017

Universities marketisation proceeds

BRUSSELS (uwn) -- The latest list of European universities, ranking their ‘autonomy’ in financial, academic and staffing matters, has just been published by the European University Association. The higher education institutions’ deregulation remains one-dimensional, going along with global marketplace developments ... read more 09.06.2017

Friday, 9 June 2017 //

Tuition fees on election agenda in Wales

image: Garry KnightCARDIFF (bbc) -- Tuition fees have proved a decisive factor in previous elections. Jeremy Corbyn, Labour, wants to remove fees and reintroduce maintenance grants in England. Labour believes this would cost £11.2bn a year. Welsh Conservatives have only nebulous ideas. Welsh Liberal Democrats would want to provide financial support for the daily living costs of all students, the equivalent of the national living wage, and a £1,000 annual non-means-tested universal maintenance grant ... read more 6.6.17

Sci-revoir post BREXIT?

LONDON (varsity) -- 18 British unversities will have more than half their funding slashed if we exit the EU without a deal. On the human side of the story, there are currently 31,000 (16 percent university researchers) academics in the UK who are non-British EU citizens ... read more 03.06.2017

In Turkey, crackdown threatens academia

ISTANBUL (apa) -- Psychologists are raising awareness of the mass purges of academics, government workers and others ... read more 01.06.2017

Thursday, 8 June 2017 //

Controversial new uni campus in Milan

image: MILAN (div) -- Not only is the Expo in Milan a big business for some, a great expense for many and a big useless space afterwards: the University of Milan plans to create a new campus on former Expo ground. 240 faculty members in biosciences, mathematics, physics and chemistry would have to be transferred to Rho by 2022. Student and profs protest against these plans and a debate about academic and urban development on one side and building investments instead of science funding on the other has ensued ... read more | here | and here 05.2017

Bumpy lane to merge two universities

BRUSSELS (le soir) -- The rectors of the Catholic University of Leuven (UCL) and of the Université Saint-Louis discuss since a year how to merge the two institutions. But political, doctrinal and other invisible arguments impede the path to international glory and competitiveness ... read more 30.05.2017

French government sanctifies lottery

lottoPARIS (le point) -- The supreme court of administrative justice in France, the Conseil d’État, has ruled that the lottery system will not be suspended, thus confirming the universities’ right to sort out students in degree courses with excessive demand. A petition had been denouncing the practice as unfair while neo-science minister, Frédérique Vidal, vaguely dislikes the lottery, but prefers “not to put universities in difficulties” ... read more 02.06.2017

Wednesday, 7 June 2017 //

Law eases penalties for plagiarism in Croatia


ZAGREB (balkan insight) -- Croatian education minister Pavo Barišić’s move to push for a law that takes a more lenient approach towards people found guilty of plagiarism has appalled many academics. Barišić himself has had problems over alleged acts of plagiarism ... read more 29.05.2017

Russia set to triple student scholarships

MOSCOW (ura) -- The Russian Duma will soon discuss an amendment that raises the minimum student scholarship and links it to the minimum wage. The trifold increase would require an extra 5.5 billion rubles (86 million euros) from the federal budget annually. The support aims at students with ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ marks who have no academic debts ... read more 1.6.17

Romania’s science reforms prompt boycott

BUCAREST (nature) -- Researchers in Romania are stepping up protests against controversial government science reforms. Since Romania’s current government took power in January, it has replaced formerly independent research councils with state-controlled bodies and has thrown international scientists off review panels ... read more 06.06.2017

Tuesday, 6 June 2017 //

Czech university wants habilitation in English

image: studenta / David Christian LichtagBRNO (prague monitor) -- Masaryk University in Brno wants habilitation theses, for which the docent academic degree is granted, only to be written, defended and assessed in English or in another world language. “We have agreed that the local (academic) community is so small and interlinked by personal bonds to such a high extent in the Czech Republic that we must open the assessment to an international community,” rector Mikuláš Bek told the press ... read more 10.05.2017

Norway: Is the election of rectors outdated?

BERGEN (uwn) -- Structural reform of Norwegian higher education has led to heated debates regarding the governance and leadership of universities, and whether rectors should be selected by the Ministry of Education and Research or elected by the staff and students ... read more 02.06.2017

Occupation for international fairness in Belgium

logoBRUSSELS (jW) -- After the successful occupation of the two university rectorates in Brussels and Leuven (VUB and KUL), students are now seeking support in Parliament to secure their achievements: a cap on fees for international students and 11 more countries on the exemption list  ... read more | and here 01.06.2017

Saturday, 3 June 2017 //

First ever monument to the anonymous peer reviewer

image: HSE

MOSCOW (hse) -- The concrete block in the courtyard of the HSE Institute of Education, Moscow, has been a lasting image of the WW2 era. Last summer, the institute’s staff came up with the idea of turning it into a piece of art. The 1.5-tonne block has now been scupltured into a dice featuring on its sides some of the opinions reviewers typically give to academic articles, such as ‘Accept’, ‘Minor Changes’, etc. ... read more 26.05.2017

Friday, 2 June 2017 //

Russian-American university cooperation

image: DUMA TomskMOSCOW (sputnik) -- Russian universities are constantly increasing the number of education cooperation areas with the United States, deputy science minister, Lyudmila Ogorodova said. From 2013 to 2016, Russian and American researchers jointly published more than 15,000 scientific papers. “Most of them are in the fields of physics, chemistry, engineering, biology, ecology, earth sciences, as well as clinical medicine,” she added ... read more 27.05.2017

Tuition fees in Portugal less expensive

LISBON (público) -- Studying in Portugal is costly, but slightly less than yesteryear. A university student pays 6,445 euros a year - and thus, 179 euro less than in 2011 ... read more .05.2017

Spanish universities apply facial recognition software

image: eForensicsMADRID (el economista) -- The European University Miguel de Cervantes (EUMC) and other Spanish higher education institutions are testing facial recognition software for online courses. The software verifies biometrical data through the webcam and make these universities, as Yevgeny Morosov put it, “forerunners of the control society” ... read more 01.06.2017

Thursday, 1 June 2017 //

University access by lottery in France

Francois59520PARIS (france24) -- It was the last act of the former government’s higher education minister and is the first of the new one: denouncing the lottery system to sort out university applications. Medical schools in the Paris region have become so popular that they could no longer cope with the sky-high number of applications, but other faculties of the humanities such as law, sociology and psychology are using a lottery as well. A petition calls of president Macron to stop this unfair practice ... read more | here | and here 26.05.2017

EU progress on 2020 education targets

BRUSSELS (aca) -- EUROSTAT has released the newest figures showing how far member states, and the EU as a whole, are on track towards reaching the EU 2020 targets on higher education attainment. Thirteen member states stated that they have already achieved the target that stipulates 40 percent of people should hold a tertiary education qualification ... read more 31.05.2017

New blacklist of predatory journals

LONDON (nature) -- Five months after a widely read blog listing possible ‘predatory’ scholarly journals and publishers was shut down, another index of untrustworthy titles is appearing — although this version will be available only to paying subscribers ... read more 31.05.2017

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 //

Irish universities concealed tens of millions in assets

image: DCU

DUBLIN (irish times) -- Several Irish universities — among them NUI Galway, University of Limerick and Dublin City University — have tens of millions of euro in private trusts and foundations which they have resisted declaring in their accounts. Audit records also show evidence of salary payments to staff over and above their public salaries worth hundreds of thousands of euro in at least two institutions .... read more 16.05.2017

Where the rich send their kids

WASHINGTON (aol) -- Wealth-X, a firm that does research on ultra-high net worth individuals, has revealed where the world’s wealthiest people went to college. The list is lead by US institutions, in Europe Oxford, Cambridge, LSE and the French business school INSEAD are on top ... read more 22.05.2017

Tuesday, 30 May 2017 //

Dutch exaggeration

image: ESNATHE HAGUE (quartz) -- A lobby group, Better Education Netherlands (BON), is threatening to sue the Dutch government over the “Anglicisation” of higher education in the Netherlands. Too many university courses are being taught in English in the Netherlands, they say, and it’s hurting Dutch students. More than half of Dutch university courses and more than 70 percent of the Master’s degrees are taught entirely in English ... read more 26.05.2017

German unis oppose competition on teaching quality

BERLIN (ihe) -- German universities have emphatically rejected a proposal that they fear could mean competing for funding on the basis of their teaching quality ... read more 26.05.2017

Monday, 29 May 2017 //

Greedy Irish managers jeopardise university autonomy

image: Fianna FáilDUBLIN (hotpress) -- The University of Limerick, Ireland, allegedly “misled” the Department of Education during an inquiry into payments made as part of unauthorised and excessive severance packages to senior managers. This has led centre-right politicians like James Lawless to ask for greater oversight of universities. Fianna Fáil also criticised the attempts to discredit the whistle blowers ... read more 29.5.17

Dear Brexit

LONDON (science) -- The annual 1.1 billion euros that U.K. research now gets from Europe is, a report found, spread across all academic disciplines, but some will have a tough time finding alternative sources ... read more 23.5.17

Friday, 26 May 2017 //

Austrian rectors want reforms and budget increases

image. parlement.atLINZ (oön) -- Austrian rectors are keen on university reforms which are currently debated among the political parties and they would wish to be enacted before the legislative period. Part of the reforms are performance-oriented funding criteria and the possibility for universities to be more selective with new students. An appetizer is an increase of the university budget by 1,35 billion euro from 2019 ... read more | and here 30.05.2017

Petty wrangling over the new EMA home

BRUSSELS (sb) -- An unruly contest among European cities vying to be the next home of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) got a bit more orderly. Following a new set of rules to select the winner in October, front-runners now appear to include Amsteram, Copenhagen and Barcelona ... read more 24.5.

Thursday, 25 May 2017 //

New EU rules on text and data mining

street signBRUSSELS (the) -- New EU directive set to ease rules on text and data mining. But research organisations say proposed directive does not go far enough and could hinder links with companies ... read more | and here 22.05.2017

University-industry links stronger in rich countries

LONDON (the) -- The richest countries in Europe tend to perform best in terms of their universities engaging with industry, a Times Higher Education ranking suggests. The median ranking score on industry income against GDP per person does suggest that the two indicators are related. Leading are the Swiss, Germans and Dutch ... read more 15.05.2017

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 //

EP set to threaten Hungary with sanctions over ‘CEU law’

BRUSSELS (sputnik) -- The European Parliament is set to consider invoking Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union - for the first time - against Hungary, over the controversial legislation aiming at closing the Central European University in Budapest ... read more .05.2017

Romanian universities open for Azerbaijanis

image: MAEBAKU (azernews) -- Romania is willing to develop relations with Azerbaijan not only in the spheres of politics and economy, but also in the spheres of culture and education, Ambassador Dan Iancu said. Azerbaijan and Romania have been successfully developing relations for 25 years, especially in the energy sector. Education quality in Romania is one of the highest in Europe, he said, especially noting the country’s educational potential in the oil and gas, as well as the medical sphere. Romanian universities offer educational programmes both in English and Romanian. Both countries’ education ministries plan to sign a number of agreements during an upcoming visit ... read more 22.05.2017

Tuesday, 23 May 2017 //

Austria bans burqas at universities

VIENNA (npr) -- Austria became the latest European country to ban the full-face veil. "Starting in October, police will be charging fines from people who wear clothes that obstruct their facial features. The ban is seen above all as a symbolic measure designed to avert pressure from the anti-immigration Freedom party, only between 100 and 150 women are estimated to wear the full-face veil in Austria."... read more 18.05.2017

Wishful thinking: a university spin-off

coverLONDON (nature) -- In a survey of Nature readers, 47 percent said that they would consider leaving academia to commercialise their research in a start-up company. However — a mere six percent of the respondents reported having started a company. The greatest perceived barriers were financial risk and lack of business skills ... read more 17.05.2017

Deal for student exchange between France and Canada

OTTAWA (uwn) -- Canada and France have signed a cooperation agreement to improve professional opportunities for students studying for a degree in 'French as a foreign language' in France ... read more 16.05.2017

Monday, 22 May 2017 //

Macron’s new science minister

image: François59520PARIS (science) -- Frédérique Vidal, 53, the new research minister for science, spent most of her career at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, where she increasingly focused on education and climbed through the administrative ranks until becoming university president in 2012. Vidal is one of the new ministers appointed from ‘civil society’ to the government which will serve at least until the French general election in June ... read more 18.05.2017

Marches for CEU continue

BUDAPEST (trt) -- A crowd estimated at 10,000 people by local media marched through Budapest on Sunday in a demonstration against tough laws targeting foreign-backed NGOs and higher education institutions, amid rising tensions between Budapest and Brussels ... read more 21.05.2017

Friday, 19 May 2017 //

Tution fees in world trade competition

image: OECD / ESNAPARIS (esna) -- Tuition fees for international students can be a tool of labour market policy. In commercialised higher education systems as in the US, the UK, Canada or New Zealand fees for internationational and domestic students do not necessarily differ. But when Sweden raised fees for non-EU nationals, 80 percent of them stayed away. A new OECD policy brief sheds some light on risks and effects of fees ... read more

ESNA talked to Gabriele Marconi, one of the authors of the study ... ESNA podcast 15.5.17

Brussels students on the barricades again

BRUSSELS (brussels times) -- A presentation by the Secretary of State for Migration and Asylum, Theo Francken (New Flemish Alliance) anticipated to take place at the Free University of Brussels was cancelled. 50 to 100 students blocked the entrance and displayed banners saying “Refugees welcome - Abandon free trade” ... read more 03.05.2017

Slovenian students shrink

LJUBLJANA (vecer) -- The number of students tertiary education in Slovenia is in decline. Nearly 80,000 were enrolled in 2016/17, one thousand less than last year and 36,000 less than ten years ago ... read more 11.05.2017

Thursday, 18 May 2017 //

Italians ready to abandon the beauty

image: Vittorio De Sica

ROME (repubblica) -- Half of the Italian students are ready to leave and work in another country, the university survey Almalaurea found. More than three quarters of Italian students speak decent English now, one in three would even accept leaving the continent, although the employment situation for graduates has slightly improved over the last years ... read more 16.05.2017

Portuguese unions oppose ‘foundation’ model

LISBON (público) -- The Portuguese education union Snesup unanimously rejects the model of ‘university foundations’, approved in 2007 and supported by the current government. The company-like school model increases precarious employment ... read more 10.05.2017

Students in Barcelona protest high fees

BARCELONA (ep) -- Continuing the wave of protest in March and April, even in early May thousands of students took the streets in the centre of Barcelona in protest against high fees. They demand tuiton to be lowered by a third and their three-year degrees to be approved. The protest is part of long lasting opposition against the ‘Law Wert’ of 2013 that made universities more expensive and selective ... read more | and here 11.05.2017

Wednesday, 17 May 2017 //

Google against protectionism in Zurich

logoZURICH (der bund) -- Google is expanding its office in Zurich and keen on talented students - regardless of their origins,  and the ETH Zurich is not charging higher fees from international students who cannot, however, be employed like Swiss nationals. Therefore, a leading Google engineer said Switzerland wants to be a world class football team, but without foreigners. A voice from Basel countered: Switzerland has the ‘Real Madrid Syndrom’, it buys the stars but neglegts the local offspring ... read more 16.05.2017

Austrian students demand privileged use of fees

VIENNA (presse) -- The Association of Socialist Students in Austria (VSStÖ) demand that, in accordance with the University Law from 2004, students can have a say in how tuition fees are to be used. All Austrian universities together received about 20 million euros in fees this year, a law expert estimates. The science ministry plans to eliminate the regulation ... read more 11.05.2017

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 //

Turkey: academics on hunger strike

image: Semih Özakça, Nuriye Gülmen

ANKARA (pen international) -- Fears are growing for two Turkish academics whose health is deteriorating after more than 60 days on hunger strike. Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça went on hunger strike Ankara, demanding that their jobs be reinstated. They are two of 4,811 academics and 40,000 teachers who were dismissed by emergency decree following the coup attempt of 15 July 2016 ... read more 11.05.2017

Smart drugs popular among European students

LONDON (guardian) -- UK institutions are being called on to consider measures such as drug testing to stem the rise of ‘smart drugs’. The most commonly used ones are Modafinil, Ritalin and Adderall. Current estimates indicate about 10 to 15 percent of European students have tried to enhance their cognitive performance with drugs at least once ... read more 10.5.17

Monday, 15 May 2017 //

Global cyber attack hits universities hard

images: https(div) -- A massive cyber attack over the last weekend hit 200,000 users of Microsoft systems in over 150 countries, says Europol, including companies, public organisations and universities. Denmark, Russia and Spain were among the victims affected by the massive hacker attack. Universities in Greece and Italy also were hit ... read more | and here 14.05.2017

Essay mills in high demand

EDINBURGH (scotsman) -- Essay writing companies are in high demand by students. The Scottish universities association and the student union said the companies were “acting immorally on all levels”, preying on vulnerable students, many of whom have jobs to finance their studies. Costs vary but the average price charged for a 1,000-word essay is 138 pounds, dissertations cost approximately 1,700 pounds ... read more 14.05.2017

Friday, 12 May 2017 //

KU Leuven outperforms them all

image: KU Leuven - Rob StevensLEUVEN (s|b) -- KU Leuven has been recognised as the most innovative university in Europe for the second year running, topping Reuters’ annual league table of the biggest patent filers. The result sees Leuven eclipse universities in some of the traditional innovation hotspots of Europe, such as Germany, the UK and Switzerland ... read more 04.05.2017

Scottish universities in Shell Eco Marathon final

GLASGOW (daily record) -- Teams from two Scottish universities have made it to the final of the Shell Eco-marathon Europe 2017. This year’s competition to find fuel-efficient vehicles and technologies (that dates back to 1939) takes place in London, from May 25-28 ... read more 10.05.2017

Snowden’s university lectures

WINNIPEG (wfp) -- The decision by US President Donald Trump to fire FBI director James Comey is alarming and part of a global shift away from democratic controls over powerful people, former intelligence officer Edward Snowden said Tuesday night during a video conference held at three universities ... read more 09.05.2017

Thursday, 11 May 2017 //

Universities depend too much on Microsoft

logoAMSTERDAM (tnw) -- Microsoft is burrowed deep into the European public sector and does everything it can to retain its position. European children are educated in Microsoft Office, which is given to schools and universities for free, which some call the “crack model”. Investigate Europe (IE), an international team of nine journalists, investigated the dire dependency of European governments and public istitutions on Microsoft ... read more 10.05.2017

Science publishers try a new tack

LONDON (nature) -- Rise in copyright breaches prompts industry to discuss ways to allow ‘fair sharing’ of articles ... read more 10.05.2017

EU announces new education package for Somalia

image: VLorenzoEU

MOGADISHU (mareeg) -- EU Ambassador to Somalia, Veronique Lorenzo yesterday announced Euro 49 million funding to boost Somalia’s education sector ... read more 10.05.2017

Wednesday, 10 May 2017 //

Universities reflect political crises

image: Tomasz RossaBRUSSELS (le soir) -- The recent (successful) occupation of two Belgian universities in protest against excessive tuition fees for international students show how universities reflect important social and political issues, argues writer and essayist Vincent Engel. Prominent among these issues is the demand for an equally good and subsidised education offered to immigrants and home-grown students  ... read more .03.2017

New study on refugees’ recognition

BRUSSELS (esu) -- The European Students’ Union published a new study on recognition of qualifications held by refugees and their access to higher education in Europe. The paper analyses ... read more 04.05.2017

University bikes for Lisbon

image: MiaLISBON (público) -- Students, lecturers and staff at Lisbon’s Universidade Nova will get 300 bicycles starting next academic year. The project “Nova U-Bike Portugal” provides normal and electrical bikes and builds 387 bicycle stations across campuses in the city. “U-Bike” is a national initiative that will bring 3000 bicycles into 15 universities ... read more 02.05.2017

Tuesday, 9 May 2017 //

Iberian universities plan a common agenda

image: agrofoodVILA REAL (observador) -- By the end of May, the governments of Portugal and Spain are going to present, for the first time, an agenda for a common area of education and knowledge. The agenda, says António Fontainhas Fernandes, rector of the university UTAD and host of the conference, aims at “reinforcing the cross-border cooperation of southern universities, stimulating a common enlargement strategy with North Africa and Latin America” and forming critical mass for European project funding ... read more 05.05.2017

Baby, don’t leave me!

flagBERN (swissinfo) -- Keen not to lose this valuable pool of talent, the University of Basel launched a project that targets female post-doctoral students coming back to work after maternity leave. Equal numbers of men and women do PhDs in Switzerland, but by post-doc level the number of women dwindles ... read more 04.05.2017

University mergers in Lithuania

VILNIUS (xinhua) -- The group of specialists formed by Lithuanian prime minister Saulius Skvernelis has proposed to reform the country’s state universities’ system by merging some of the universities into those covering wide range of study programs, technology universities and specialized academies ... read more 05.02.2017

Monday, 8 May 2017 //

Education is still hereditary in Austria

image: mokantVIENNA (ots) -- Latest statistics confirm how the parental education remains the number one determinant of a student’s opportunity of advancement in Austria. Nearly half of all university students and nearly a third of freshmen at universities of applied sciences have a parent with an academic degree. Philip Flacke, president of the student union ÖH, criticised the government for planning new access barriers: “In times of chronically under-financed universities and insufficient grants, additional selection meachnisms for first-year students remove us further from fair education chances” ... read more 03.05.2017

French research organisations oppose Le Pen

logoPARIS (science) -- The French science and higher education community appeared virtually united in its opposition against Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate in the second round of elections on 7 May. In an unprecedented letter, the directors of nine major public research institutes described her candidacy as a “terrible danger” and called on voters not to support her ... read more 28.4.17

Finnish internationalisation handicap

OSLO (uwn) -- Finland is facing a sharp drop in applications by non-European students and an outflow of scientists, according to media reports. The introduction of tuition fees for international students and cuts in university funding are being blamed ... read more 05.05.2017

Saturday, 6 May 2017 //

Manipulated research in Naples

image: AteneapoliNAPLES (nature) -- More than five years ago, Italian police began investigating allegations of research misconduct in papers by Alfredo Fusco, a prominent cancer scientist in Naples. Researchers frustrated by the case’s slow progress have now told Nature that there is strong evidence that dozens of papers may contain manipulated data — and that a commercial photography studio was called in to cut and paste images. Fusco denies these claims ... read more 02.05.2017

Friday, 5 May 2017 //

No university closures planned in Lithuania

image: minedu

RIGA (baltic course) -- Lithuania’s higher education overhaul does not envisage closing any universities, science minister Jurgita Petrauskienė said. “The reorganisation of the network is aimed at concentrating the fragmented potential to ensure more efficient management and the concentration of resources, especially in the field of scientific research, where we have many small, fragmented groups today,” she told reporters. The reform envisages four universities and several specialised academies ... read more 02.05.2017

Be it enacted: The British HE and Research Act

LONDON (wonkhe) -- “It represents the most important legislation for the sector in 25 years,” opined Viscount Younger, concluding the final sequence of debate in the upper chamber. Not with a bang, but with a quietly murmured “content”, the Higher Education and Research Act (2017), as of five minutes past two today, was confirmed in all but name ... read more 27.04.2017

Dresden’s cutting-edge research in London

LONDON (eurekalert) -- On 3 May, the DRESDEN-concept science exhibition was inaugurated at the King’s College London. Exhibits from Dresden are on display that present leading research in a way which is accessible and comprehensible to scientists and non-scientists alike ... read more 03.05.2017

Thursday, 4 May 2017 //

Glorious Belgian students

image: Jon Schubert

BRUSSELS (dhnet) -- The occupation of the rectorates of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) and the Free University of Brussels (ULB), initiated on Friday, 21 April, in protest against a tuition fee hike for non-European students, has officially been terminated after six days at the general assembly of student representatives from various French-language Belgian universities. Among the achievements of the protesters is a fee cap at the current 4,175 euros (instead of 12,525) and the inclusion of 11 more developing countries into a subsidised scheme. One half of the measure will financed by the student social budget and one half by the university’s budget ... read more 02.05.2017

Brexit and Trump a chance for European science?

image: ERCAMSTERDAM (scienceguide) -- The Dutch web magazine ScienceGuide speculates if Brexit and a science-hostile climate in the US under President Donald Trump could be an opportunity for the European Union. The magazine proudly reports that the Netherlands receive an overproportionally high rate of EU-funded research grants, and quotes ERC president Jean-Pierre Bourguignon who said, “we should focus our attention to grasp the opportunities for Europe” by making it a welcoming place for scientists from abroad and “capitalise on the possibilities to make Europe the leading player in science” ... read more 26.4.17

Switzerland stays out of Erasmus+

BERN (luzerner zeitung) -- Switzerland won’t become a full member of der European mobility programme Erasmus+ any time soon. Despite protests of politicians and youth organisations, the Swiss Federal Council sticks to the interim solution that allocates 114.5 million Swiss francs (105 million euros) to the students’ mobility until 2020 ... read more 27.04.2017

Wednesday, 3 May 2017 //

Ukraine strikes against plagiarism

image: Vadim ChuprinaKIEV (free press) -- A new law approved by the Ukrainian parliament confers more powers to the national quality assurance agency (NAOKVO). The institution has now the right to revoke academic titles from persons convicted of plagiarism. The decision has a wide resonance in Ukraine because of recent scandals involving celebrities like vice prime minister Vyacheslav Kyrylenko’s wife Catherine and her doctoral thesis. Even the scientific writings of science minister Lilya Grinevich contained, as she admitted, entire paragraphs borrowed from the works of others without attribution ... read more 27.04.2017

Press releases still matter in science PR

BERLIN (idw) -- A study conducted on a large sample of communications from German universities and science organisations shows that the good ol’ press release is still a relevant format, as it “simulates the journalistic modus operandi.” The study also shows that the PR of science institutions increase the more they are application-oriented ... read more 10.04.2017

Tuesday, 2 May 2017 //

Patent numbers don’t count

image: Warner Books 1968BRUSSELS (cw) -- The European Patent Office’s annual report revealed that it granted a record 95,940 patents in 2016, a 40 percent increase on the previous year after efficiency reforms at the office. Patent filings in chemistry are dominated by the behemoths of the chemical industry: BASF, Dow Chemical and the rest. Just six percent of patent applications come from universities or public research centres. Critics, however, consider the number of patents to be a very poor global indicator of innovation ... read more 26.04.2017

Horizon 2020 half-time score mainly positive

BRUSSELS (sb) -- Participants and member state governments have given their views on the European Union’s research funding programme Horizon 2020 to date. The verdict: good, but in need of several big mid-course adjustments. Low success rates, lengthy proposals and lack of feedback are common complaints ... read more 02.05.2017

Increasing public-private research in Denmark

COPENHGEN (uwn) -- A new analysis, looking on the status of Danish higher education and research, found that international papers involving public-private collaboration have on average substantially higher impact than those involving only public research ... read more 28.04.2017

Monday, 1 May 2017 //

Budget increase for Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020

image: ESNABRUSSELS (aca) -- In its plenary meeting in Strasbourg, on 5 April 2017, the European Parliament agreed on budgetary increases of 100 million euros for Erasmus+ and 200 million euros for Horizon 2020. The final step – the formal approval of the Council of Ministers – is expected in the coming weeks ... read more 31.04.2017

Call for academic boycott in Turkey

ISTANBUL (apla) -- The Turkish referendum result of 16 April has given more power to President Recep Erdogan and brought a fresh crackdown on academics, who face intimidation, dismissal and persecution. 1,128 academics from 89 universities in Turkey, and over 355 academics and researchers from abroad have signed a petition calling on state of Turkey to end state violence and prepare negotiation conditions ... read more | and here 27.04.2017

Uber for student housing

COPENHAGEN (cph) -- Not all spheres of life have yet been seized by silicon entrepreneurs who’d like to make a buck just sitting behind a computer desk. A new one, however, is the web platform HousingAnywhere, headquartered in Rotterdam founded in 2009. The startup claims to be active in more than 530 cities and has partnerships with over 120 universities worldwide. Their goal is to reach 1000 universities by 2020 ... read more 27.05.2017

Saturday, 29 April 2017 //

McKinsey at Luxembourg’s university

image: FNRLUXEMBOURG (paperjam) -- The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, one of the worlds worst tax havens (Oxfam), has a university, too. Its budget has risen from 48 to 160 million euros plus 60 million for fees and grants since 2006, so there is plenty of reason to fight about the money. The squabbles are between rector Rainer Klump, on sick leave, and the university board who called McKinsey to analyse a deficit of nearly 27 million euros and to make saving proposals ... read more 03.04.2017

Friday, 28 April 2017 //

Commission rules against Hungarian university law

image: European CommissionBRUSSELS (rferl) -- The European Commission has concluded that Hungarian legislation which threatens the Central European University (CEU) with closure is unlawful. The regulation is “not compatible with the fundamental internal market freedoms,” the Commission announced today. The laws violate the freedom to provide services and freedom of establishment, as well as rights to academic freedom and education, it said. The Hungarian government has been notified of the finding and has one month to respond, ... read more 26.04.2017

German students and academics unite

BERLIN (spiegel) -- Reports of the German weekly Spiegel need to be taken cum grano salis, however, sit-ins, protest cafés, occupations and other kinds of initiatives unite students with lecturers and administrative staff at several German universities in protest against the “economisation of knowledge” and in favour of participative democracy at universities ... read more 26.04.2017

Snowden at universities in great demand

image: michael konikWASHINGTON (detroit news) -- For an enemy of the state, Edward Snowden has a remarkably public life. And at universities he seems to be in greatest demand. The list of those that have paid to hear him speak is long, and includes not just illustrious private institutions like Princeton, the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins University but also publicly funded ones such as Ohio State University. The same goes for Europe, the University of Rostock (Germany) even wants to award him a honorary doctorate ... read more 22.04.2017

Thursday, 27 April 2017 //

March for Science events around the world

image: ESNA

(nature) -- Tens of thousands of people gathered on Saturday in Washington DC, and at least 600 other cities around the world, in what may have been one of the largest-ever demonstrations in support of scientific research and evidence-based policymaking ... read more 21.04.2017

Muslim PhD student argues the world is flat

SFAX (worldcrunch) -- The world is flat, the Big Bang never happened, light and sound travel at the same speed, and the stars exist to stone the devils. This is the essence of a doctoral thesis by a PhD student at a university in Tunisia. In order to comport with the Koran, the Muslim student has turned thousands of years of scientific fact on their head. From Pythagoras to Copernicus to Magellan, Newton and Einstein, they’re all wrong – because the Koran says so ... read more 06.04.2017

Autonomy over ethics at Oslo University

image: Aksel Braanen Sterri FacebookOSLO (uwn) -- A secretary of state has demanded that a PhD student give up his grant because of views he gave to a magazine questioning the value to society of people with Down’s Syndrome. The student is the journalist and blogger Aksel Braanen Sterri. The rector of the University of Oslo, Ole Petter Ottersen, said it is unheard of that a politician should interfere with who is going to be recruited for a scientific position, and that the university does not act as a “filter for opinions” ... read more 20.4.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 //

Greek research budget doubled

image: mineduATHENS (alfa vita) -- Greek science minister Costas Gavroglu has a lot of reforms in the pipeline. Public research funding has doubled since 2014 from 0.5 to 1 percent, and a programme is starting from which 4000 young scientists are going to benefit. A selection process in underway which will bring a thousand new teaching staff into higher education ... read more 25.04.2017

“Everybody out who doesn’t want to die!”

PALERMO (pt) -- On April 4, a student entered a dining hall of the University of Palermo screaming “Who is a satanist and wants to die, stay, all Catholics, Muslims or Hebrews get out!” causing everyone to flee the premises. The student of Moroccan origin who has psychological health problems, has been arrested and faces expulsion from the country. His imminent deportation has caused student protests and a parliamentary debate ... read more 22.04.2017

Danish universities keep government at bay

COPENHAGEN (uwn) -- Danish science minister Søren Pind has dropped the controversial proposal to select the heads of the governing boards of universities. The proposal faced opposition on a united front from Danish universities and professional organisations, who characterised the intervention as a break with the tradition of keeping an “arm’s length distance between the universities and the ministry” ... read more 19.04.2017

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 //

Students oppose new Serbian government

image: Vršac protiv diktature

BELGRAD (balkanisight) -- Since early April, thousands of people are hitting the streets nightly across Serbia, protesting against the rule of Prime Minister and President-elect, Aleksandar Vucic. Many are students, who not only demand a removal of Vucic’s “dictatorship”, his influence over media, his party members’ control of state-owned companies, but also a priority shift in the economic and social policies such as entirely publicly financed educational and health services ... read more | and here23.04.2017

Austria: One in seven university courses in English

VIENNA (presse) -- Austrian universities are hospitable: one in seven course offers are now in a foreign language, mostly in English. Looking closer reveals however that nearly all of these English-taught programmes are Master’s and PhDs ... read more 21.04.2017

Monday, 24 April 2017 //


image: ESNA

BERLIN (esna) -- Over 600 cities participated in the March for Science, so did Berlin with at least 2000 people walking to the Brandenburg Gate. It was a demonstration of solidarity and of criticism: against fake news and ‘alternative facts’, against pseudo science and populism, but in favour of science-based policy-making and democratic universities. ESNA went along and gathered some voices ... listen to our podcast (3'45'') 22.04.2017

What’s Emmanuel Macron science policy?

PARIS (esna) -- Emmanuel Macron, former banker and minister of economy, wants to “give universities and grandes écoles the freedom to recruit teachers and researchers according to international standards of quality and independence” which means further liberalisation, he promises to “make science a national priority” but does not mention budgets, he advocates “internationalisation” and thus a continuation of university mergers, and he announces more “diverse universities” which indicates more performance-oriented funding and public-private partnerships ... read more | and here 22.4.

UN report: poor students miss out

logoPARIS (the news) -- According to a new UNESCO policy paper, governments across the world are struggling to keep pace with the rapidly rising demand for higher education as well as high fees, which often have to be carried by families that cannot afford them. In Europe, households paid for 15% of the cost of higher education, in other high-income countries, household expenditure was higher: 40% in Australia, 46% in the USA, 52% in Japan, and 55% in Chile ... read more 22.04.2017

Saturday, 22 April 2017 //

March for science

image: google

British higher education bill in fast-forward mode

image: Charles Townshend CC

LONDON (div) -- A general election announced on short notice by British PM Theresa May, leaves only a few days of parliamentary sessions until May 3. As many bills before, it promises to “improve competition and choice” in higher education meaning a series of marked-based strategies that make it easier for new providers to offer degrees alongside existing universities. Its controversial aspects include the possibility of further tuition fees increases later on and the immigration status of students ... read more | and here 18.04.2017

Friday, 21 April 2017 //

Beating the drum for more EU research subsidies

image: Helga NowotnyVIENNA (researchresearch) -- After a year of consultations, an expert group commissioned by the Austrian science ministry (BMWFW) called ‘FP9 Think Tank’ has come to conclusions. They recommend a near doubling of the budget for the next EU research and innovation Framework programme to 130 billion euros. The think tank, whose members include Helga Nowotny, a former president of the European Research Council, also said that FP9 should have a clearer and narrower focus on “genuinely European themes” to help defend the EU from rising nationalism ... read more 18.04.2017

More web coverage for Russian science

MOSCOW (prn) -- Clarivate Analytics, in partnership with the Russian science ministry, expanded its Web of Science coverage from 300 to 1,600 institutions across the Russian Federation. This allows Russian universities to co-operate with world leaders of science on an equal footing ... read more 20.04.2017

What French scientists vote for

PARIS (nature) -- A email survey conducted by nature reflects a trend among some French researchers to veer to the left of the political spectrum. They show Macron as the clear frontrunner, well ahead of Mélenchon and Hamon, and even further ahead of Fillon, with almost no support for Le Pen. They would like to see more funding for basic and long-term research; more science on topics directly relevant to citizens, and a simplification of complex grant-application procedures ... read more 18.04.2017

Thursday, 20 April 2017 //

More flexible Slovak universities

image: MineduBRATISLAVA (dennik) -- With a year of delay, Slovak education minister Peter Plavčan presented a draft amendment to the Higher Education Law. His proposals include the introduction of a national accreditation agency; the abolition of the distinction between universities and vocational high schools as well as the introduction of “research universities”; and the possibility for universities to hire professionals as lecturers without an academic title ... read more 05.04.2017

Europe’s tech sector calls for more deregulation

BRUSSELS (euronews) -- The old continent is often viewed as a digital laggard, running behind the US and Asia. But, according to a new report, European startups are now taking the lead in artificial intelligence, building new tech hubs, and drawing investment from traditional industrial stalwarts. With five of the top ten global computer science faculties being within the EU, Europe’s start-up boom looks sustainable ... read more 12.04.2017

Universities of Pisa about to merge

logoPISA (il sole 24 ore) -- Pisa is working on a dream to create an academic super hub that will merge two smaller but internationally known universities — Normale and Sant’Anna — to compete with “big” universities. Starting from the next academic year, there will be a single board with one president, students will receive the first joint diplomas, and research departments will collaborate ... read more

Wednesday, 19 April 2017 //

Brain drain challenges ERA integration policy

image: ESNA / Federico MazzoleniBRUSSELS (nature) -- A new study found that some countries that joined the European Research Area would have had more cross-border collaboration between scientists if they had not joined. It found a higher risk of brain drain and a much slower increase in Eastern European rates of collaboration per publication in the decade after 2004 ... read more | and here 12.04.2017

Dynamics of “brain circulation” in the EU

LUCCA (uc merced) -- By developing data-driven models to explore the structural dynamics of the labor-mobility networks, researchers have shown how the EU expansion facilitated the inter-European circulation of people in the medical, technical, educational, scientific, engineering and business and legal communities. One factor facilitating the growth of the high-skilled labor markets is the EU’s policy of converging standards ... read more 12.04.2017

Spanish students drown in debt

image: ESNA / Federico MazzoleniMADRID (nc) -- More than 12,000 Spanish students who took up state-backed loans from 2008 to 2010 are affected by the measure of the Zapatero government that terminated the possibility to cancel their debts. Their global debt now amounts to 178 million euro, and many are harassed by banks on a weekly basis ... read more 12.04.2017

Tuesday, 18 April 2017 //

Brexit affects Northern Irish students in Ireland

image: IUA

DUBLIN (university times) -- As the UK prepares to leave the EU, the higher education sector of Ireland is preparing for the worst — one of their fears is losing Northern Irish students who will no longer be EU citizens. Ned Costello, speaking on behalf of all seven Irish universities, said that they would “certainly try and at least achieve” lower fees for Northern Irish students studying in Irish universities ... read more 11.04.2017

Germany speeds up international student marketing

BERLIN (pienews) -- Foreign students in Germany are now more than 340,000, their number grew by six percent last year. One reason is the continuing proliferation of English-taught master’s programmes... read more 06.04.2017

Armenia joins ENQA

logoYEREVAN (medimax) -- The Armenian National Center for Professional Education Quality Assurance Foundation (ANQA) has become a full member of the European association ENQA. Five private and 13 state universities are accredited by ANQA ... read more 13.4.17

Monday, 17 April 2017 //

Science publishers fear the EU’s digital copyright reform

image: Ralf Roletschek BRUSSELS (techcrunch) -- The aim of the European Commission’s draft proposals for digital copyright reform is “to ensure a good balance between copyright and relevant public policy objectives such as education, research, innovation and the needs of persons with disabilities.” At the same time, as MEP Julia Reda argues, the business model of extremely powerful publishing companies is “contributing to global inequality because basically universities in developing countries and increasingly also in industrialised countries are not able to afford access to the content that is actually necessary to get a good education” more 15.04.2017

Belarus-EU talks on education adjustment

MINSK (belta) -- After talks between the European Union and Belarus on trade and cooperation in other policy fields have restarted last fall, both are now engaging in a dialogue in matters of education and science policy. Belarusian education minister Igor Karpenko is optimistic ... read more 10.4.17

Discussions on university autonomy in Ukraine

logoKIEV (uacrisis) -- During a meeting at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center in Kiev the prospects of university autonomy in Ukraine were discussed by experts and policy makers. Among them Žiga Turk, former education minister of Slovenia (2012-2013), said: “I am quite skeptical about any institution of post-Soviet countries waving the flag of autonomy, because for them it is very often only a way to prevent change and intervention from outside. Autonomy - is not always good. It is good when a university has a long democratic tradition, focused on the interests of stakeholders. But if tradition is completely different, it is best to motivate change, and then offer autonomy” ... read more 20.03.2017
Thursday, 13 April 2017 //

Yevtushenko does not teach poetry anymore

image: University of TulsaTULSA (nyt) -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko has died at the age of 83 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The internationally acclaimed Russian poet “with the charisma of an actor and the instincts of a politician” was an outspoken critic of antisemitism in the Stalin era. He taught Russian poetry and European cinema at the University of Tulsa and staged many public performances of poetry, usually featuring students who had never before imagined themselves as readers of poetry ... read more 1.4.

New technology will change universities

INT (city a.m.) -- The major changes that are happening before our very eyes and that will transform the economy beyond all recognition over the next generation are arising because technology is reducing the transactions costs of different ways of doing business. It is still cheaper for learners and teachers to be brought to one place and contract with one organisation — the university. But what if technology were to change all this? ... read more 10.04.2017

Wednesday, 12 April 2017 //

Student rugby: France beats England

image: Bristol RugbyBRISTOL (bristol rugby) -- England struck almost immediately, courtesy of Newcastle right wing Harry Glover. After kicking off, they secured the ball deep in French territory and following some quick passes, Glover dove into the corner for the try ——— but time was against England Students and when the full time whistle sounded, France were winners by a dominant score of 26-15 more 09.04.2017

An anti-abortionist at Catholic University of Louvain

LOUVAIN (la libre) -- A debate has ensued in Belgium after philosophy professor Stéphane Mercier spoke out against abortion at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL). For now, the university has suspended the professor ... read more 01.04.2017

Dagestan students donate blood for terror victims

MAKHACHKALA (truenews) -- Over 300 university students and lectureres in Dagestan, a former Soviet state south of Russia, donated blood for victims of the St. Petersburg terrorist attack on April 3. Their slogan was: “Muslims do not shed blood, they share it!” Dagestani students have done so before, also after the Domodedovo airport terrorist attack in 2011 ... read more 7.4.17

Tuesday, 11 April 2017 //

Denmark can’t keep EU students in, so it keeps them out

image: DAFCOPHENHAGEN (uwn) -- Danish science minister Søren Pind has decided to cut the intake of business academies and professional universities for higher education courses by a quarter — a cut of 1,600 study places. “We now see that the number of international students, coming here to have an education paid for by the Danish taxpayers, has increased significantly. But there are too few that are staying ,” he said ... read more 07.04.2017

French academics haven’t chosen their president yet

PARIS (les echos) -- In a survey published Monday by EducPros, 42 percent of the academic staff in France declare that they do not know for whom to vote in the first round of the presidential election. According to the higher education website, the results show that academics, a usually left-leaning electorate, are disillusioned with François Hollande’s five-year term ... read more 06.04.2017

Monday, 10 April 2017 //

Protest in Hungary against new higher ed legislation

image: Chri Prantner


BUDAPEST (cna) -- Hungary saw the biggest anti-government protest in three years on April 9, as tens of thousands demonstrated against new higher education legislation seen as targeting the respected Central European University. Some 60,000-70,000 people took part many wearing the blue of the CEU and some waving Hungarian, EU as well as US flags as they marched to the government offices in Budapest ... read more 10.04.2017

International criticism of Órban

PARIS (div) -- Members of the European Parliament clashed last week over the new law restricting foreign universities in Hungary. Frank Engel, MEP from Luxembourg, even called on the Hungarians to quit the group and the EU altogether. Even former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed his concern about the law in a letter to CEU rector Michael Ignatieff. The law has been protested by Nobel Laureates, academics from Europe and the United States and several organisations. The newest addition to the long list of those that do not want academic freedom to be curbed in Hungary are the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, former New York Governor George Pataki, university provosts, the European University Association and the President of Harvard University ... read more | here | and here 10.04.2017

Saturday, 8 April 2017 //

Andalusian socialist promises lower fees

image: Junta Informa

CODRDOBA (ep) -- Spanish socialists (PSOE) want to win some votes back from the left: Susana Díaz, president of the Andalusian government, said tuition fees should be subsidised when students are successful. She admitted that fees in Spain are among the highest in Europe, while salaries are not. “After the 1980s,” she said, “tuition has become a kind of tax” and pledged to pave the way for lowering the rates on state level ... read more 05.03.2017

Friday, 7 April 2017 //

More refugees at German universities

image: HRK/ZillmannBERLIN (epoch times) -- The number of refugees at German universities has steeply grown, the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) reports, enrolment is five times higher than half a year ago. Two thirds of the registered students are Syrians, others are from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. Most of them aspire a Bachelor’s degree, one in five a Master’s. Overall, university enrolment is quite seldom among refugees ... read more 31.03.2017

Higher ed is reinforcing Kosovo’s ethnic divide

PRIŠTINA (balkan insight) -- With the Serbs dominating the university in Mitrovica, and Albanians the one in Priština, the ethnical, religious and linguistic divide in Albania persists. Also corruption in higher education in Kosovo stays an endemic, persistent and structural problem that has only worsened in the last few years ... read more 04.04.2017

Why students share beds in Dublin

image. crestDUBLIN (irish times) -- The numbers of full-time students in Dublin has risen by 34 percent over ten years and that the market for student accommodation is now “structurally under-supplied”. 10,442 student beds in operation in Dublin cater for just 13.2 per cent of the student population ... read more 05.04.2017

Thursday, 6 April 2017 //

Dutch austerity to slash support for students

image: i. pennTHE HAGUE (science) -- With its new austerity budget, the Dutch finance ministry plans to load just a little higher burden on students’ and families’ shoulders: by raising tuition fees to 2000 euro up to 1.1 billion euros, by abolishing the student transport subsidies further 830 million euro. Higher interest rates for loans, less flexible repayment terms, a lower supplementary grant, and punishing fees for long-term students could be some other bitter pills ... read more 5.4

Norway: White paper for the humanities

OSLO (uwn) -- The Young Academy of Norway said that their country ought to take the initiative to develop a “research lighthouse” that can have the “same role for the humanistic sciences as the research centre CERN in Switzerland is having within particle physics”. The proposal came after science minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen released a strategical paper to strengthen the humanities ... read more 31.03.2017

China’s big innovation plans

flagBEIJING (china daily) -- Last year, China announced a three-step plan to encourage and improve innovation. First, by 2020, increase spending on research and development to 2.5 percent of GDP and ensure its knowledge-intensive service industry accounts for 20 percent of the economy. Second, by 2030, to raise the R&D budget to 2.8 percent and lift Chinese businesses to the medium and high-end global supply chain. And third, by 2050, China aims to make its universities and research institutions world leaders, with science and research becoming the backbone of national strategic resources. ... read more 05.04.2017

Wednesday, 5 April 2017 //

Welsh universities don’t pay living wages

image: libdemsCARDIFF (argus) -- Except for Cardiff University, no Welsh university pays living wages. Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said, she’d like the Higher Education Funding Council “to begin working with institutions to create a living wage sector. I expect to see rapid progress on this. Universities’ commitment to a civic mission is not restricted to teaching and research and widening access. It should be demonstrated in how they value their staff and students, and be an example of a progressive and fair employer” ... read more 03.04.2017

Leaked Dutch Elsevier contract reveals pushback

AMSTERDAM (scienceguide) -- The agreement draws a disheartening picture of the so called ‘Golden deal’ reached by the Dutch universities with their major publisher: Elsevier. Hindered by severe restrictions only Dutch corresponding authors from the combined institutions are eligible to publish in a very small set of journals ... read more 23.03.2017

European publishing platform for scientists

BRUSSELS (knowledge speak) -- In 2016, European leaders adopted an ambitious plan to make all papers published in the union open access by 2020. A new plan suggests that the European Commission believes the publishing industry is moving too slowly ... read more 03.04.2017

Tuesday, 4 April 2017 //

Demark pushes students into the labour market

COPENHAGEN (esu) -- The Danish parliament has passed a law, popularly known as “uddannelsesloftet” or “education ceiling”. This law denies students the possibility to pursue a second degree. This means that, for instance, students with a graduate degree are not be able to take another masters degree and neither an undergraduate one, since the latter would count as a lower degree. The motivations behind this law are mainly economical. The objective is to push students faster into the job market and to limit expenses by not covering the costs of a second degree ... read more

Monday, 3 April 2017 //

Visegrad group commits to innovation

image: Visegrad Group

WARSWAW (the news) -- Leaders of Visegrad Group countries , were special guests at the Innovators Summit and signed a “Warsaw declaration” on innovation in the region. The declaration focusses on cooperation and promotion of start-ups, research and digitalisation ... read more 28.03.2017

MOOCs gain ground despite low completion rate

(korea herald) -- A report from a joint research team from Harvard University and MIT shows that only 5.5 percent of the 4.5 million students who enroll in their open online courses earn a certificate. The drop-out rates raise skepticism on the effectiveness of the platforms as to whether they can properly supplement or even replace current education ... read more 24.03.17

Millennial poverty on the rise

image: University of TurkuTURKU (yle) -- Poverty statistics have gone down in Finland, but millennials continue to struggle. Statistics Finland reports that more than one in four 18–24-year-olds are poor. “In the past there was work to be found right after graduation. Now the transition from education to working life is jarring, elsewhere in Europe as here,” says Professor of Social Policy Veli-Matti Ritakallio from the University of Turku. “Finland’s situation is not unusual by European standards. Young adults in recent southern and eastern European EU member states are even worse off” ... read more 29.03.2017

Saturday, 1 April 2017 //

Trump robs more than $5 billion from low-income students

image: ESNA

WASHINGTON (aip) -- With barely more than 200 words devoted to higher education in his so-called “America First” budget, President Donald Trump robs needy students of more than $5 billion in support and takes the United States further away from the prospect of a first among nations in any meaningful sense ... read more 17.03.2017

Friday, 31 March 2017 //

Riga teacher academy to be liquidated

image: Liepājas A.Puškina 2. VidusskolaRIGA (baltic course) -- Both the teacher academy’s administration and social partners slammed the Education and Science Ministry’s decision, to liquidate the Riga Teacher Training Academy and to merge it with the University of Latvia. The education minister, Kārlis Šadurskis, maintains, however, that the liquidation will have a beneficial economic effect and reduce the administrative burden on study programs and public administration ... read more 29.03.2017

U-Multirank publishes fourth annual edition

GÜTERSLOH (sb) -- The fourth annual edition of the EU-backed U-Multirank league table, published on Thursday, is the largest since its launch in 2014, showcasing 1,500 universities and increasing the coverage of countries from 70 to 99 ... read more 30.03.2017

European University in St. Petersburg threatened

logoST. PETERSBURG (dw) -- Students at the European University in St. Petersburg are worried about their future after the authorities revoked the institute’s educational license. The problems began last year with a series of inspections. Rumors are circulating that investors have expressed interest in the institute’s buildings ... read more | and here23.03.2017

Thursday, 30 March 2017 //

Hungary plans to outlaw Soros-founded university

image: wikipediaBUDAPEST (portfolio) -- An amendment to the Hungarian higher education law includes provisions that will prevent the Budapest-based Central European University (CEU) from delivering programmes and issuing degrees. If passed, it could force the university to move from Hungary, according to the rector Michael Ignatieff. The proposed changes target 26 universities in Hungary, of which CEU and six others have international founders ... read more | and here29.03.2017

European Commission considers Open Access platform

BERLIN (science) -- The European Commission (EC) is considering its own open-access publishing platform for outputs from its Horizon 2020 research programme. At an ‘open science’ conference in Berlin, an EC representative suggested the service might launch this year. The Commission is reportedly looking at Wellcome Trust and Gates Foundation models ... read more 23.03.

Election chaos at Russian Academy of Sciences

logoMOSCOW (nature) -- Academics at Russia’s premier science body have been left shocked after an election that was supposed to determine the new president of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) was cancelled at the last minute. The reasons for the candidates’ withdrawal remain mysterious ... read more 27.03.2017

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 //

University privatisation in Venice

image: H-Farm / Ca' Foscari

VENICE (il post) -- A textbook example of university privatisation: the Venetian university Ca’ Foscari wants to charge 15,000 euros per year for tuition fees of the new course “Digital Management”. 73 percent of the income would go to the partner company H-Farm which would make an estimated profit of 10 million euros — with what justification? That the course is “innovative” and “high brow” as rector Michele Bugliesi says? ... read more 28.03.2017

Strategic university funding in Bulgaria

SOFIA (mediapool) -- State funded study places will be reduced by eight percent next year, Bulgarian science minister Nikolay Denkov announced. The reduction is a controlled decrease in subjects with lower labour market demand (economics, administration and management, tourism). In contrast, funding will be increased in pedagogy, mathematics, information and communication technologies. A part of next year’s budget will be dedicated to strengthen universities’ regional importance ... read more 15.03.2017

German record of long-term studies

image: (c) Goscinny-UderzoBRAUNSCHWEIG (nwz) -- All German universities have so-called lang-term students who, depending on the definition, are more than three years beyond the regular duration of their degree. Record-holder is a student in Braunschweig who signed up for university 88 semesters — or 44 years ago ... read more 24.03.2017

Tuesday, 28 March 2017 //

Scientists support ban of nuclear weapons

image: ESNANEW YORK (the conversation) -- Today’s talks at the United Nations aimed to negotiate a total ban on nuclear weapons. These talks are the first of their kind and their aim is to stigmatise nuclear weapons, as with biological and chemical weapons. In support of these discussions, thousands of scientists from around the world have today released an open letter urging our national governments to achieve this goal of banning nuclear weapons. As expected, the United States, France, the UK and Russia refused to talk about it ... read more 27.03.2017

ESU protests where it doesn’t hurt

BRUSSELS (esna) -- Students have been arrested during the latest anti-government protests in Minsk and other Belarus cities, an occasion for ESU, the student office that adornes the European Commission, to “strongly condemn” from the distance. One of the requirements of the Roadmap for higher education, however, are conditions for the establishment of student and teacher associations. In the plans of legislative activities for 2017 no such freedom of association can be found ... read more | and here 27.03.2017

France: Researchers ask for mergers

logoRENNES (ouest-france) -- After the universities and research organisations of Rennes failed the fourth time to win the French excellence scheme funding (Idex), 17 local scientists stepped on the stage. In an open letter they propose the creation of a great multidisciplinary university of Rennes ... read more 23.03.2017

Monday, 27 March 2017 //

Big companies stuff their faces

mage: PSOEBRUSSELS (sb) -- Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, the MEP charged with drafting the European Parliament’s halfway assessment of Horizon 2020, is calling for a review of several of the programme’s industry-focused competitions. She doubts that “big enterprises do require public research funding,” since they “have not increased their share of R&D spending,” and asks the Commission to, “assess the added value of funding for industry-driven instruments such as Joint Technology Initiatives, which account for a large share of the budget” ... read more 23.03.2017

Catalonian Parliament curbs tuition hike

BARCELONA (equinox) -- The Catalonian parliament has approved a reduction of tuition fees by at least 30 percent for members of low-income families. Trade unions see increasing tuition prices, among the highest in continental Europe, as “devastating in terms of social cohesion” ... read more 24.03.2017

Interest in expanding France’s TNE base

PARIS (icef) -- France is lagging behind in transnational education and needs a new national strategy to expand its market share of higher education programming abroad. This is the central conclusion from a central planning agency attached to the Office of the Prime Minister ... read more 24.03.2017

Saturday, 25 March 2017 //

The fetish of ‘excellence’

image: xtras

LONDON (nature) -- A recent paper by a group of open access researchers and advocates has taken a sharp look at the science world’s pervasive use of the word ‘excellence’. They go so far as to call it a fetish and conclude that it’s having negative consequences for research. “Excellence is not excellent, it is a pernicious and dangerous rhetoric that undermines the very foundations of good research and scholarship,” they argue ... read more 22.03.2017

Friday, 24 March 2017 //

“Some girls want to become snipers”

image: YSU

YEREVAN (ysu) -- Commanding officers of the Armenian army expressed satisfaction with student interest in the military profession. Regular student visits are organised with folk and patriotic songs and dances. The majority are girls asking about weapons and the soldier’s daily life, some of them, a Major recalls, want to become snipers ... read more 06.03.2017

Cap on student numbers aggravates IT skills shortage

VIENNA (standard) -- The Austrian IT sector criticised the cap on student numbers at the University of Vienna and the Technical University of Vienna. This has aggravated the skills shortage with currently over 5,000 unfilled IT positions ... read more 24.01.2017

Portuguese students oppose university foundations

logoCOIMBRA (tsf) -- Around twenty students welcomed former Portuguese prime minister José Sócrates with banners and insults at the entrance of the economics faculty of the University of Coimbra. They hold him responsible for the law in 2007 which allows universities to transform into public foundations under private law. With this, one protester said, “this thief opened the door to university privatisation” ... read more 18.03.2017

Thursday, 23 March 2017 //

Predatory science publishers on the rise

image: © Richard Wilkinson / nature

SUSSEX (nature) -- Predatory publishing is becoming an organised industry. By 2015, more than half a million papers have been published in predatory journals and most are hosted by publishers including some industry giants. The researcher Katarzyna Pisanski and colleagues made up a fake identity and applied as editor in 360 journals ... read more 22.03.2017

Albanian universities left in uncertainty

TIRANA (reporter) -- The new Albanian higher education law is so contentious, that two students threw eggs at the Prime Minister’s car when he came on campus. Party squabbles obscure the debate further. Among other problems, the law lacks clarity on tuition fees limits, leaving universities and students in uncertainty. In the last five years, student numbers at Albanian public universities dropped from 27,000 to 18,500 ... read more 20.03.2017

Less Germans get student grants

BERLIN (gew) -- In the 1970s, the German student grant BAföG was non-repayable, today he is a shadow of himself. The number of recipients, an report shows, dropped by 90,000 in three years, students over 30 are excluded and the government exempted itself from self-monitoring. The 250 euro rent subsidy has long been overtaken by reality ... read more 21.03.2017

Wednesday, 22 March 2017 //

European big data research initiative gets underway

logoBERLIN (irj) It is one of the largest projects funded by the European Commission (EC) within its Horizon 2020 programne, both in terms of its 18.7 million euro budget and the fact that it has 47 partners from Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, including PTV and Fraunhofer Germany, Thales, infrastructure managers Adif, Spain, and Network Rail, Britain, and several universities ... read more 21.03.2017

Erasmus+ for refugees?

image: EUABRUSSELS (euractiv) -- In 2015, refugees became a declared priority group in Erasmus+ but the actual ability of the programme to support them is indirect and limited to cooperation projects with a focus on refugees. EUA director Michael Gaebel said providing grants to refugee students and academics would be one way to start ... read more 20.03.2017

Hungary counting foreign student money

PÉCS (ht) -- Some 11,000 foreign students at the universities of Debrecen, Szeged and Pécs, Hungary, spend an annual 43 billion forints (140 million euro) in 2016/2017, a survey shows. One half was spent on accommodation, food and entertainment, the other half on tuition. An estimated average 1.2 workplace was created by every foreign student ... read more 17.03.2017

Tuesday, 21 March 2017 //

How to strengthen early research in Hungary

image: govBUDAPEST (m1) -- Hungary wants to help talented students to start an earlier scientific career. Education minister László Palkovics announced a multi-million euro tender (co-funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme) aimed at the development and broadening of the research competencies of early-stage researchers. This is part of larger efforts to transform Hungary from a mere manufacturer to an innovation centre by upgrading infrastructures of universities and research institutions ... read more 17.03.2017

Irish “essay mills” under fire

DUBLN (irish times) -- The Irish Department of Education is planning to introduce laws to prosecute “essay mill” companies who offer to write students’ assignments in exchange for money. The move is a response to mounting concern over the practice which allows students to circumvent their college’s plagiarism detection systems ... read more 12.03.2017

More and more Turkish universities cancel speeches

image: The Purge movieISTANBUL (turkey purge) -- Istanbul’s Bilgi University cancelled a speech titled “No to Violence against Women” by independent MP Aylin Nazlıaka last week. The rector apologised saying: “There is great pressure on me,” from the government. Similar cancellations occurred at several other universities ... read more 17.03.2017

Monday, 20 March 2017 //

Navracsics asks EU states to invest more in Erasmus

image: EU

BRUSSELS (euractiv) -- EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Tibor Navracsics, said at an EIT event in Spain, in order to eliminate the inequalities in the Erasmus programme the member states will need to “invest at least 40 percent more”. He has just launched a public consultation with the aim to establish how to improve the scheme ... read more 03.03.2017

Student housing market booms

LONDON (pm) -- A market report estimates there is four to five billion Euro of capital looking for student housing across Europe and recommends investments especially in Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. In ten years, student numbers in Europe are set to reach seven million by 2020, up from 4.1 million in 2014, and English taught courses have increased by 5500 in the last ten years ... read more | and here 17.03.2017

Norway’s conservatives want fees for non-EU students

OSLO (uwn) -- Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Norway’s education minister, presented a proposal to introduce “moderate tuition fees” for students from outside the European Economic Area. Students oppose the idea, Marianne Andenæs, chair of the national student union NSO, said the recent experiencs of Sweden show that “Norway in fact will lose by doing it” ... read more 17.03.2017

Friday, 17 March 2017 //

House of Lords redefine “international students”

image: Karl-Ludwig PoggemannLONDON (varsity) -- The House of Lords voted to pass an amendment removing international students from net migration statistics. This modifies the government’s Higher Education and Research Bill after universities criticised Prime Minister Theresa May for damaging the British education service sector. Incoming student numbers have decreased by 90,000 in one year due to stricter student visa rules. Statistics show that of 437,000 or 19 percent of students in the UK are foreigners, only one percent stays in the country after graduating ... read more | and here15.03.2017

Mega-trends in international higher education

TORONTO (hesa) -- Demand of transnational student mobility will remain strong, HESA director Alex Usher prognosticates, but sending-country governments could start to deny students exit visas and begin discriminating against graduates of foreign universities in the labour market. “Such moves are by no means unthinkable in Xi’s China, Putin’s Russia or Erdogan’s Turkey”, he writes ... read more 03.03.2017

Nationalists want to censor critical universities

image: Pink FloydJENA/VIENNA (standard) -- After a right-wing politician pressed charges against the University of Jena, in central Germany, sociology professor Klaus Dörre worries. The scope of antifascist action at universities could become even more limited, he fears, while “right-wing groups continue to expand their influence”. In the same direction points the recent parliamentary question of an FPÖ member in Austria who would like to ban Marxist criticism from lecture halls ... read more 09.03.2017

Thursday, 16 March 2017 //

Spain instrumentalises scientific diaspora

image: Johns Hopkins UniversityBALTIMORE (nature) -- Many Spanish scientists had to leave their country due to bad career chances at home, and now the Spanish government calls them “key partners” to “reinforce its scientific presence in strategic countries”. In an opinion piece, the astronomer Amaya Moro-Martín puts the facts straight: since 2010 cuts caused the brain drain of thousands of scientists in the first place and now, in mid-February, young researchers in Spain were dismayed to find the terms of their contracts changed retroactively ... read more 14.03.2017

Precarious employment rampant at Austrian unis

VIENnA (orf) -- Part-time and temporary contracts are on the rise at Austrian universities. Of 2,500 professors and 37,000 academic staff, at least 80 percent are in precarious employment ... read more .03.2017

Ankara spies on academics in Switzerland

image: MinoltaBERN (srf) -- The latest case has been a conference at the University of Zurich with Can Dündar, Editor-in-chief of center-left Cumhuriyet newspaper, where people have been filmed and photographed. An anonymous researcher told the press that “it is common practice that persons shoot pictures of participants of lectures on behalf of the Turkish government” ... read more | and here 13.03.2017

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 //

Towards a European open science cloud

image: DCCBRUSSELS (sb) -- The European Commission has the ambition to make it easier and cheaper to share research data: a European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). “We don’t know how to do it at the moment, so we’re talking to a lot of people for ideas,” said Juan Bicarregui, coordinator of the EOSC pilot, a two year project that kicked off in January. “The cloud is a broad vision and it will have a lot of funding streams running into it” ... read more 14.03.2017

Denmark maintains high PhD quality

COPENAGEN (uwn) -- Despite more than doubling the number of PhD students, Danish PhDs have maintained their high quality, a new study shows. The country’s intake of PhD students grew from 1,200 in 2003, to 2,600 in 2010 as universities established 53 research schools in one of the largest investment programmes in Scandinavian higher education ... read more 07.03.2017

Belarus’ first university nanosatellite

image: belta esa esnaMINSK (belta) -- The Belarusian State University has created Belarus’ first university nanosatellite. The extremely small spacecraft represents a kind of a flying education and research lab for university students and can be used to cheaply and promptly test new technologies, acquire and process space data, and offer practical training to aerospace industry specialists ... read more 07.03.2017

Tuesday, 14 March 2017 //

Irish government asks industry for university funding

DUBLIN (irish times) -- The Irish education minister Richard Bruton is due to announce details of a consultation process with industry over a new “employer-exchequer investment mechanism” to help plug the funding gap. The Government needs extra cash from employers in return for thousands of new college places in areas linked to skills’ shortages. The move is likely to spark concerns that big business will have too much influence over the future of higher education ... read more 07.03.2017

Brain Games in Azerbaijan

BAKU (azernews) -- Khazar Intellectual Youth Club, one of Azerbaijan’s biggest youth organisations, just launched a competition of brain games. The games will be organised at the Azerbaijan State University, comprise 25 rounds to be held within a year, and the most influential authors of questions will work out 24 questions for each round ... read more 10.03.2017

Slovak university invites fascists as guests

image: Jan KroslakNITRA (správy) -- The invitation well-known neo-fascists to a ceremony at the Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, western Slovakia, has caused a wave of anger not only in the social networks. Academics wrote an open letter to the rector demanding an apology for inviting Holocaust deniers like Marian Kotleba, Ján Kecskés and Milan Uhrík, who “support extremism and socially unacceptable opinions based on racial and ethnic intolerance” ... read more .03.2017

Monday, 13 March 2017 //

Serbia plans new higher education law

image: NIN BELGRADE (blic) -- The Serbian education ministry is preparing a new law regarding higher education and research. Following a €180 million World Bank loan in January for a public services reform, the new education minister Mladen Šarčević said he wants to get universities to work closer with industry and adapt courses to modern labour market demands. The Science Academy member Dušan Teodorović, however, fears a merely cosmetic law that does not address the main problems of universities: plagiarism, nepotism and low teaching quality ... read more | and here 08.03.2017

Andrej Holm stays!

BERLIN (konkret) -- 350 students continue to occupy the faculty of social sciences at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Their protest at the dismissal of their professor and former state secretary Andrej Holm worked out fine, the University has withdrawn his notice of termination. The students now demand more means for better teaching ... read more | and here 01.03.2017

Crappy journalism

LONDON (ns) -- The Guardian has become worse than any yellow press because it excites the lowest instincts with a fake leftish-bohemian allure. Like a guy with rotten plimsolls deboarding an SUV. Such is the news about the sexual harassment “epidemic” at British universities, an article written after a Freedom of Information inquiry that surely made great reader ratings — at the price of discrediting public institutions ... read more 09.03.2017

Saturday, 11 March 2017 //

Finland reaches out to Asia

image: EDOC 2011

HELSINKI (pie news) -- A new project has set an ambitious target of attracting 100,000 international students to Finnish universities – more than triple the current number. In collaboration with its sister company, Asia Exchange, Edunation (Finland) will seek to attract primarily Asian students. There were 30,827 international students in Finland in 2015 ... read more 08.03.2017

Friday, 10 March 2017 //

Right-wing populism threatens Dutch science

image: MAGICXLTHE HAGUE (nature) -- Public trust in science is higher in the Netherlands than in most other highly developed countries. But anxiety is rising in the science community as right-wing populism has spread to the political mainstream. Universities and research institutions have seen some of their international programmes and policies publicly questioned. And the rectors expressed their concerns last month in an open letter, reminding politicians and the public of the merits of freely pursuing science and the drawbacks of restricting immigration for scholars and researchers ... read more 08.03.2017

Swiss are European patent champions

BERN (the local) -- Switzerland made more European patent applications per capita in 2016 than any other country, more than the Netherlands, in second place with 405 applications, and Sweden in third, with 360 applications. “The figure is an indicator of the growing demand for patent protection from businesses worldwide”, the European Patent Office said in a statement.
ETH Zurich and EPFL in Lausanne made 71 and 80 patent applications respectively. Among Swiss companies, pharma multinational Hoffmann-La Roche made the most patent applications (644), followed by tech leader ABB (553) and food giant Nestle (442) ...
read more 07.03.2017

Plagiarism dispute in Croatia

book coverZAGREB (slobodna dalmacija) -- Quoting your sources is the sine qua non of scientific credibility. Sanja Knežević, Head of the Department of Croatian Language and Literature in Zagreb, found her ideas in a work of the writer and critic Nikola Šimić Tonin and asked him directly to qote her correctly. After the response had only been denial, she turned to the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Philosophy ... read more 07.03.2017

Thursday, 9 March 2017 //

Higher ed in the 2017 French presidential election

image: Gerhard ValckPARIS (le monde) -- In anticipation of the 2017 French presidential election on April 23, two candidates have presented their positions on tertiary education and research:
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, founder of the movement La France insoumise, has presented a 10-point emergency plan for higher education and research which includes doubling the higher ed and research budget, the abolition tuition fees and the repeal of the research tax credit (CIR), a “notoriously inefficient tax loophole meant encourage private investment in research and costing €5.5 billion per year”.
Emmanuel Macron, former minister of economy and founder of the independent liberal party En Marche!, wants to “give universities and grandes écoles the freedom to recruit teachers and researchers according to international standards of quality and independence” ...
read more 06.03.2017

Possible university merger in Belgium

BRUSSELS (la libre) -- Last week, all community members of the Université Saint-Louis in Brussels, specialised in humanities and social sciences, found an 80-page document on their desks. The administration wants to reopen the debate about the possible merger with the much bigger Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) started last summer ... read more 4.3.17

EU fosters private investment in public research

BRUSSELS (bnn) -- The European Union is fostering public-private partnerships to take its agenda forward as the ‘UNESCO Science Report’ of 2015 shows. In 2010 the so-called Innovation Union flagship project was introduced in order to remove obstacles to innovation, such as expensive patenting, market fragmentation, slow standard-setting, skills shortages and duplicated research efforts in different member states. The project funds partnerships between European institutions, national and regional authorities and businesses. Reflected at the national level, the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Romania and others all stressing a shift in focus ... read more .03.2017

Wednesday, 8 March 2017 //

Women in STEM

image. Roayal Society Twitter
LONDON (rs) -- For #IWD2017, the Royal Society‏ celebrates the global achievements of 160 women in science, tech, engineering & maths ... video

Brexit slowly infects student mobility

LONDON (guardian) -- Reassurance from the British immigration authorities appears to have enabled a German student who is doing her PhD on the Orkney Islands in northern Scotland to return to the UK after a trip. However, she is not the first EU student fearing their stay permit in the UK could be revoked because they lack the right health insurance ... read more 07.03.2017

Coursera expands in Europe

image: World Economic ForumPARIS (benzinga) -- Coursera announced growth of its enterprise platform Coursera for Business with a new set of customers in the European market such as Air France KLM and Unicredit. “Companies in this region are eager to work with us and our university partners to equip their employees with high demand skills needed to excel in today’s economy,” said Rick Levin, CEO of Californian online education company ... read more 07.03.2017

Tuesday, 7 March 2017 //

Denmark scales back university autonomy

image: akademikerneCOPENHAGEN (uwn) -- Danish science minister Søren Pind has surprised everybody by endorsing an extensive new legislative proposal on the governance of higher education institutions, giving the government the final choice on the appointment of heads of university boards. The universities would be responsible for the process leading up to the proposal of the board members, but the final decision would be taken by the minister. Lars Qvistgaard, president of Akademikerne, the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations, said that the proposal is breaking with the principle of the ministry keeping at arm’s length from the higher education institutions ... read more 01.03.2017

Austerity pushes Greeks to study and to go abroad

ATHENS (greek reporter) -- The number of the so-called eternal students in Greek universities and technical colleges (who are registered but do not graduate) has doubled since 2003 amounting to 330,000. Another problem is that of those who graduate, one in ten goes abroad ... read more .03.2017

Monday, 6 March 2017 //

Poland: Science aligns to any political system

image: Lukas Plewnia CCWARSAW (nature) The days of hardship are over, nature argues. Poland’s research intensity almost doubled between 2005 and 2015, to one percent. Its GDP grew even faster, so overall public and private science spending more than tripled, to €4.3 billion. And since 2004, when the country was one of several from the former Eastern bloc to join the European Union, about €100 billion in EU infrastructure funding has been spent on modernizing roads, hospitals — and scientific facilities. The lion’s share of scientific publications produced in Eastern Europe is Polish ... read more 22.02.2017

European sister marches for science in 8 countries

AMSTERDAM (science) U.S. cities won’t be the only places where lab coats will fill the streets on 22 April. Groups in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands have announced “solidarity marches” in support of the U.S. March for Science, to be held on Earth Day. Bigger countries may see several ... read more 02.02.2017

Master Card funds Science Po grants

logoPARIS ( The MasterCard Foundation (with assets of $8-9 billion one of the biggest philantropic organisation worldwide) has announced a six-year, €7.6 million partnership with Sciences Po in Paris, to provide 120 bright African students with scholarships for a social sciences education. Sciences Po is the first continental European university to join the foundation’s global network of 28 partner organisations ... read more 23.02.2017

Saturday, 4 March 2017 //

Facebook bans student’s naked anti-Donald Trump protest

image: SWNS

LONDON (metro) -- Emma Dyason, 19, posted the images to protest against US President Donald Trump. The student from Oxfordshire, UK, said: “Last week I produced a photo shoot, taking a feminist/protest approach by writing sexist quotes made by Trump onto scrap pieces of cardboard, and having women pose ‘nude’ in the aim to empower women.” A day later, Facebook had removed it and threatened to close her account ... read more 24.02.2017

Friday, 3 March 2017 //

Paris-Saclay criticised for lack of strategy

image: Université Paris-SaclayPARIS (nature) -- Does the €5-billion super-university-science-cluster Paris-Saclay created by former French president Nicolas Sarkozy lack of an overall strategy and does it risk remaining a mere geographical grouping of higher-education and research establishments without any “real coherence and international visibility,” as an auditor’s report says? Saclay president Gilles Bloch counters and noted, picking up on the idea that Paris-Saclay should be more like California’s Silicon Valley than like MIT, that the valley has no real governance, and needs none. The original idea for Saclay was a science and technology cluster, not an integrated university ... read more 08.02.2017

Swiss universties shift to Open Access

BERN (msi) -- The national roof organisation swissuniversities has approved the National Strategy on Open Access that will make all publicly financed research results publicly and freely accessible by 2024 ... read more 1.3.17

Inverse discrimination at Norwegian universities

logosOSLO (nordic page) -- Psychology is much more popular amongst women than men in Oslo and Bergen. That is why the universities in those cities want to reserve 30 percent of the places for men. The government has announced that an updated version of the Gender Equality Act, aimed at ensuring equality for men in academia, will be presented this year ... read more 10.2.17

Thursday, 2 March 2017 //

How ‘competitive’ is your region?


BRUSSELS (satpr) -- The 2016 edition of the European regional index on competitiveness has an interactive web tool for a more detailed analysis and comparison. The 2016 results are in line with those for 2013: strong capital and metropolitan areas can be observed as the main drivers of competition; spill over effects in most of north-western Europe, not so in the east and south; high levels of within-country variation ... read more 27.02.2017

Police disperse student protest in Ankara

ANKARA (rt) -- Police have broken up a gathering of students at Ankara University campus, protesting the mass expulsion of academics. They stepped in after they heard some “Kurdish music” ... read more | and here 24.02.2017

Paris protests: Students tear-gassed by police

PARIS (cnn) -- Hundreds of students on Thursday blockaded the entrances to their schools in Paris, demanding justice for a young black man who was allegedly raped by French police earlier this month. Protests are also reported to have taken place in Montpellier ... read more 23.02.2017

Wednesday, 1 March 2017 //

Belarus prepares education agreements across the globe

image: nashkrajMINSK (belta) -- Belarus education minister Igor Karpenko announced his government’s plan to sign agreements in the field of education with Serbia, Indonesia, Ecuador, Malaysia, India, Tajikistan, Singapore and Thailand. They facilitate mutual degree recognition and/or further the cooperation in science and youth policy ... read more 15.02.2017

New chapter for Erasmus+ Master Loans

BRUSSELS (ace) -- The Erasmus+ Master Loans Guarantee scheme that launched end of 2015, is expanding further. This time round the scheme not only sees two new banks singing up for the guarantee, but also a first higher education institution joins in, with the University of Luxembourg taking initiative in a pilot, to offer student support in form of deferred payments for studies and housing ... read more 28.02.2017

Switzerland back in Horizon 2020

BERN (pienews) -- Switzerland has been allowed back into the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research programme, opening up negotiations for the country’s direct participation in the bloc’s showpiece Erasmus+ mobility programme. But negotiations may be delayed for a year or more, despite the country’s light implementation of a referendum vote in favour of restricting immigration ... read more 27.02.2017
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 //

Only Germany resists

image: CINST HSEHAMBURG (hrk) -- A new study by Philip Altbach et al. shows an international trend towards more private, for-profit higher education, although not always defined as such, and an increased privatisation of public higher education, with increased tuition. Germany is the only country that still maintains a free public higher education policy for nearly all students (only the marginal number of private institutions charge fees), and Scotland is also close to a “free” model ... read more 22.02.2017

Easier access for foreigners at Chinese universities

TSINGUA (tbj) -- The prestigious University of Tsinghua has started a heated debate throughout the country’s student population after lowering requirements for applicants that hold foreign passports. Chinese universities have always been fairly easy for foreign students to get into, scoring subsidizes and scholarships along the way. Starting this academic year, these new requirements drop even the standardised written academic exam before handing in their application. A Chinese language test was also required in earlier years but has since been dropped ... read more 22.02.2017

Padua still excels in medicine

image: Università degli studi di Padova

ROME (il sole 24 ore) -- The University of Padua (founded in 1222) scored best in a national comparison of research institutions. In an impressive 11 out of the 16 areas taken into consideration, the Veneto-based university is ranked as one of the best (from medicine, to agriculture, to physics), whereas the University of Bologna excels in ten areas and Turin in nine ... read more

Monday, 27 February 2017 //

Tons of problems in Bulgaria

image: BGNESSOFIA (monitor) -- The new Bulgarian minister Nikolay Denkov, a former professor of Physical Chemistry, has plenty to do. His most urgent problem is the ministry’s structure that has to comply with EU regulations in order to unfreeze EU funds for a national programme for smart growth. Another one are the more than 350 professorships awarded in the past 15 months due to a university ‘autonomy law’ of his predecessor Sergey Ignatov that caused lax appointment procedures. The evaluation of school-leavers and high drop-out rates are other important tasks ... read more 17.02.2017

Belarus to shorten duration of studies

MINSK (belprauda) -- Belarus education minister Igor Karpenko announced that the duration of studies in over fifty fields will be shortened. This is part of a new education law draft ... read more 01.02.2017

Dozens of ‘fake universities’ in Belgium

image: moustiqueBRUSSELS (moustique) -- There are dozens of ‘fake universities’ on Belgian territory. Belgium’s federal ministry of economy detected 41 institutions with well-sounding names such as Fondation Universitaire Mercure, l’Université Libre Internationale (ULiBe) or Supinfo International University, whose degrees are costly, but not accredited by the state ... read more 15.02.2017

Saturday, 25 February 2017 //

Pope Francis at the University Roma Tre

image: UniRoma3ROME (repubblica) -- Nine years after the last pope (not Benedict XVI, but John Paul II) made his appearance at a public Roman university, Pope Francis visited the University Rome 3 and spoke with the students. He said every country is obliged to welcome refugees, society needs the peaceful dialogue, and universities play an important role in this dialogue. He also stressed that real universities are not elite institutions where only “one line of thought is taught” ... read more | audio 17.2.17

Friday, 24 February 2017 //

EU governments still underspending on research

image: EUBRUSSELS (sb) -- A report on the European “semester”– the EU economic oversight mechanism – says on average EU countries are still under-investing in research and development (R&D). It also lays out familiar shortcomings in member states’ science systems. More encouragingly, the Commission finds most European governments are on the way to meeting EU targets on emission reductions, renewable energy and energy efficiency ... read more 23.02.2017

Architectural education in times of homogenisation

VADUZ (standard) -- Criticism of the Bologna Process that started in 1998 in order to harmonise European education systems has led to various reactions: the latest is an assessment of its efficiency in Architecture studies. Led by the University of Liechtenstein, the research project New Schools of Thoughts (NeST) involves partners from four countries  ... read more 12.02.2017

Berlin students demand justice for Turkish Premier

image: AstA TU BerlinBERLIN (uwn) -- A petition, launched by the student union at Technische Universität Berlin, calling for the withdrawal of an honorary doctorate awarded to Turkish Premier Binali Yıldırım, has been signed by a hundred German and Austrian scientists. In February, Yıldırım came to Germany where he addressed a rally of around 10,000 Turks living in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands to support his government’s constitutional reform ... read more | and here 24.02.2017

Thursday, 23 February 2017 //

Germans take over Austria again

image: Uni GrazVIENNA (standard) -- Only Swiss and German candidates were invited and none of the top Austrian historians. But Graz University rector Christa Neuper defended the appointment procedure for the professorship of Austrian Historical Research, saying that “all rules have been observed.” A debate has ensued if German scholars take over Austrians universities as in the 19th century ... read more 20.02.2017

Student unions important to fight ‘fake news’

BUCAREST (românia curată) -- In an opinion piece on ‘fake news’ and an education that leads to critical thinking to resist them, the Romanian blogger Cristian Ghingheș argues that student unions do an important job. They spread reliable information and, more importantly, when students get engaged, they develop a more emancipated view of the media ... read more 21.2.17

Poor America!

image: NAFSAWASINGTON (nafsa) -- As current U.S. immigration policies dissuade students from around the world from studying in the United States, some facts may help: International students studying at U.S. colleges and universities contributed $32.8 billion (€31 bn) and supported more than 400,000 jobs to the U.S. economy. On the other hand, less than 2 percent of American college graduates are able to study abroad ... read more 31.01.2017

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 //

Open Access for ESA images and videos

image: ESA

PARIS (the register) -- The European Space Agency has flung the data doors open and makes its images and videos freely available online. By adopting the Creative Commons attribution licence as its standard, the agency follows other intergovernmental organisations like the World Health Organisation, the World Intellectual Property Organisation and various United Nations bodies. The open access materials include earth observation images, Hubble shots and sounds from space ... read more 21.02.2017

Language crisis in Italy

ROME (corriere) -- More than 600 university professors have signed a letter to the government and the parliament in Rome to enact an emergency plan for better Italian language teaching in schools. Their alarm about the poor command of Italian shown by students has triggered a national debate and criticism of teacher training quality ... read more | and here 04.02.2017

Germans next against Elsevier & Co.

image: ESNABERIN (div) -- A stand-off in which 60 German universities declined to pay for access to journals from publishing giant Elsevier has been temporarily resolved. After having blocked access to its journals for 40 days, the Dutch company has now reopened the shelves — as the negotiations go on. But now more and more universities and research organisations refuse to pay the exorbitant prices: a group of Berlin universities is planning to unsubscribe from Elsevier journals, too ... read more | and here 20.02.2017

Tuesday, 21 February 2017 //

Healthy exchange between Andorra and France

image: EJANDORRA LA VELLA (ara) -- Good news are said to be ‘no news’, but Andorra’s ongoing good relation with France deserves mentioning. At a recent meeting with French colleagues, education minister Eric Jover expressed the importance of creating synergies between the three educational systems (the Spanish, Andorran and French) and of improving the student exchange between the three countries ... read more 03.02.2017

Oxford stays at home

OXFORD (cnbc) -- In response to media reports that it was in talks with French officials about the prospect of creating a so-called ‘Oxford-sur-Seine’ in Paris, Oxford University has refuted claims that there are plans to launch its first overseas campus in a bid to hedge against Brexit pressures. The same goes for Cambridge and Manchester, while the University of Warwick is currently in discussions with French officials ... read more 20.02.2017

US student debt hits $1.31 trillion

NEW YORK (inside he) -- Student debt in the U.S. hit $1.31 trillion (€1.23 trillion) at the end of 2016, according to new data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In the fourth quarter of 2016, just over 11 percent of that debt was either 90 or more days delinquent or in default ... read more 20.2.17

Monday, 20 February 2017 //

University reshuffle after Crimea crisis

image: MONKIEV (kmu) -- 18 universities and research institutions have been temporarily displaced because of the military conflicts in Crimea and the Donbass border region. This is “not only a problem, but also an opportunity,” said education and science minister Lilya Grinevich this week on a meeting with rectors. “An opportunity to increase the variety of taught subjects in different Ukrainian regions” ... read more 18.2.17

Serbian rectors forever!

BELGRADE (politika) -- The contentious issue about the retiring age of university heads in Serbia seems to be settled. The draft law coming into effect this month sets no limit of age or to how many times rectors and deans can be re-elected. The law also introduces an independent National Body for Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Higher Education ... read more 18.2.17

Slovakia struggles with brain drain

flagBRATISLAVA (denník) -- Only eight highly qualified professionals returned to Slovakia last year, following the bread crumbs of a 1-million-euro brain gain programme of the government. On the other hand, 300,000 citizens (or 5 percent of the population) left the country in the past 15 years, half of which are under 30 and one in ten with a college degree ... read more 01.02.2017

Saturday, 18 February 2017 //

France helps Vietnam evaluate universities

HANOI (vientnamnet) -- Four Vietnamese universities will be the first to be evaluated and tested by the High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (HCERES) from France. They have to prepare self-reports in accordance with HCERES’ standards since last April and submitted the reports in January. Hceres will review the report ... read more 17.02.2017

Friday, 17 February 2017 //

The Dutch publish National Plan for Open Science

image: EUTHE HAGUE (nether) -- Under the Dutch Presidency, the Competitiveness Council concluded that European research should be publicly accessible. The Netherlands has published a National Plan for Open Science which was initiated by ten Dutch research organisations and Sander Dekker, the State Secretary for Education, Culture and Research. Together, they want to achieve 100% Open Access for research publications from every Dutch research organisation and domain. The plan sets out four key ambitions that aim to make science more accessible ... read more 10.02.2017

Private universities in strive in Kurdistan

RBIL (rudaw) -- Private education providers with international curriculum in the Kurdistan Region have generated around 180 billion Iraqi dinars (around €137 million) in revenues in 2016, a record year. 261 private pre-college schools admitted over 40,000 pupils, 14 private universities and 9 private colleges enrolled just over 35,000 students ... read more 13.02..2017

Most UK universities are restricting free speech

image: spikeLONDON (telegraph) -- More than 90 percent of British universities have been involved in restricting free speech on campus this year, a new survey claims. In the last year alone, 21 universities have banned high profile speakers from attending lectures, debates or speeches because of their views ... read more 14.02.2017

Thursday, 16 February 2017 //

More Austrians into professional education

image: BMWFWVIENNA (presse) -- Reinhold Mitterlehner, Austrian vice-chancellor, minister for economy and education and science in one person, wants to shift students from universities to the more vocational training oriented universities of applied sciences, streamline university curricula, merge faculties and possibly even entire institutions. All this is being developped in a strategy called “Future Higher Education” and put into action by 2019 ... read more 15.02.2017

No tuition fees in Poland - except for Medicine

WARSAW (polskie radio) -- Education minister Jarosław Gowin has excluded the introduction of tuition fees in Poland, it would be unconstitutional, he said. Paradoxically he thinks, medical students should pay. “Why shoud the relatively poor Polish society spend billions on training doctors for wealthy Frenchmen, Germans or Norwegians every year?” he asked and proposed fees covered by a hundred percent grant that to be paid off “in a few years after graduation” ... read more 09.02.2017

Swiss National Center for Data Science launched

logoBERN (netzwoche) -- Two Swiss research universities, ETH Zurich and EPFL (Lausanne), are creating a National Center for Data Science to foster innovation in data science, multidisciplinary research and open science ... read more | and here 06.02.2017

Wednesday, 15 February 2017 //

Slovenia deepens university ties with Russia

image: MIDMOSCOW (sputnik) -- Slovenian foreign minister Karl Erjavec has signed a memorandum on the opening of a Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) affiliate in Slovenia. This MSU educational research center, based at the Primorska University in the Slovenian city of Koper, will provide students with the degrees of both universities and conduct joint research activities in the field of economic cooperation between Russia and Slovenia ... read more 11.02.2017

Lithuanian student numbers continue falling

VILNIUS (baltic course) -- “The number of students is falling, whether we want it or not, and it will continue declining all the way until 2015,” Lithianian education minister Jurgita Petrauskiene said. Accordiing to her plans, Lithuania should reduce the number of public universities down to five (plus one or two arts academies and the Military Academy) instead of the existing 14 state universities and a few dozen colleges ... read more 08.02.2017

Toy producer funds Cambridge chair

image: legoCAMBRIDGE (cn) -- The Lego Foundation is investing 2.5 million pounds to fund a professorship of play at the University of Cambridge and additional 1.5 million to support a play research centre in the university’s education faculty. The university promises research that equippes “children with 21st century skills like problem solving, team work and self-control.” A boy of 10 years has applied for the position ... read more 10.02.2017

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 //

For accurate Greek economics of education


ATHENS (avgi) -- On Friday, prime minister Alexis Tsirpas and education minister Kostas Gavroglou opened the first session of a newly founded committee for the study of the economics of education in Greece. The committee, composed of twenty academic and non-academic members, has support from ¾ of Parliament and is supposed to identify, analyse and quantify the needs of the Greek educational system, said Tsirpas ... read more 17.2.17

Portuguese teachers work in isolation

LISBON (cm) -- “Our studies indicate that Portuguese teachers hardly speak to each other, work very isolated and do not cooperate. This is one of the simple changes to make for Portugal going from Good to Excellent in the results of PISA,” said Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education of the OECD during an intervention in Lisbon ... read more 10.02.2017

Bolognese students protest against turnstiles

image: sailkoBOLOGNA (il post) -- Turnstiles at the entry of a university don’t seem to be a big deal. But for many students of the humanities in Bologna it did. When new entry barriers that require a bagde were installed recently at the gates of the famous historical faculty and library building in Via Zamboni 36, hell broke lose. Protests, occupations, police deployment, arrests and polemics came blow by blow ... read more 13.2.17
Monday, 13 February 2017 //

German right-wing Professor sues students

image: Marie AmreiBERLIN (wsws) -- Student representatives of the Freie Universität Berlin and the Humboldt University Berlin have issued declarations in support of the General Student Committee (Asta) at the University of Bremen. The Asta is being sued by professor Jörg Baberowski, a leading ideologue of the far right in Germany. Baberowski who advocates a crackdown on refugees and more aggressive military intervention, wants to prevent students from criticising and even quoting his statements ... read more 11.02.2017

New tools for measuring academic performance

WASHINGTON (science) -- In academia, publication lists are still the primary basis for hiring, promotion, and funding decisions. But some administrators and researchers have started adopting new methods for assessing academic achievement ... read more 10.02.2017

Ukraine cancels university licences in occupied areas

image: ESNAKIEV (unian) -- In a move to weaken Russian influence, the Ukrainian education ministry has revoked the licenses of higher education institutions located in occupied territory in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. After 2014, nearly two dozen colleges, universities, institutes and academies moved to Ukrainian-controlled territory ... read more 7.2.17

Friday, 10 February 2017 //

Higher education’s part in the EU’s growth

image: EUBRUSSELS (eu inside) -- Part of the European Commission’s assessment of the EU’s economic growth is higher education: In 2015, the rate of children dropping out of school early has declined in almost all member states, the average being 11 percent. In 17 member states the percentage of people having higher education is above the 40 percent set in the Europe 2020 strategy, but under international standards too many Europeans have a low level of basic and digital skills ... read more 08.02.2017

Erasmus students struggle to make local friends

BRUSSELS (pie news) -- The survey of 12,365 homecoming Erasmus students argues unfulfilled friendships could contribute to lower satisfaction rates among study abroad students. It also reveals that students often find the career and language benefits of studying in another European country don’t match students’ expectations ... read more 08.02.2017

Betsy DeVos narrowly confirmed as Education Secretary

image: Damien HirstWASHINGTON (newsweek) -- Billionaire and Michigan school choice advocate Betsy DeVos was confirmed on Tuesday as U.S. education secretary only after an extraordinary intervention from Vice President Mike Pence. The vote was by far the most contentious in the cabinet of President Trump thus far ... read more 07.02.2017

Thursday, 9 February 2017 //

Contrversial mergers of pedagogical colleges in Austria

image: Harald WalserVIENNA (vn) -- Are the public colleges of education in Austria to be merged? The education ministry denies it, but Harald Walser, member of the lower house, has presented internal papers of the ministry containing plans to reduce the number of the training schools for future pedagogues from nine to four. Walser criticises the ministry’s secretiveness, “It woudn’t be reasonable for any region to lose one of their schools, while, on the other hand, there are many advantages if they would act co-ordinated as one with regard to the ministry,” he says ... read more | and here 7.2.17

Turkish purge

ISTANBUL (hurryiet) -- A total of 330 academics have been expelled from universities with a new state of emergency decree. Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK) has said the names of academics who are purged from universities through the decrees are determined by the university administrations themselves. The academics were among 4,464 public workers who were expelled ... read more 09.02.2017

How to make money with talented students

logoZURICH (f&w) -- Credit Suisse lures investors into funding international talented students. In launched articles the Swiss banking company promotes: “Investing in low-income talent to attend elite universities could provide low-risk returns to investors as well as a resounding social impact thanks to a much needed global widening of social capital” ... read more | and here 07.02.2017

Wednesday, 8 February 2017 //

France dethrones Spain as first Erasmus country

image: (c) ESNA / WORKOUT

PARIS (courrier international) -- The number of French Erasmus students sent abroad to attend university or work placements has become the highest in Europe before Germany and Spain. While Spain still received the biggest number in 2014/2015, outgoing students decreased by 1,400. According to the newspaper La Vanguardia the reasons are a reduction of scholarships due to economical difficulties of the government and tougher language requirements. The total number of Erasmus students is 678,000 ... read more 31.01.2017

University merger in Lisbon investigated

LISBON (observador) -- The merger of the University of Lisbon with the Technical University of Lisbon in 2013 is now being investigated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office. In the months leading up to the merger, two other institutions were in the process of being integrated but then excluded by the education ministry. This may have favoured the American group Laureate Education Inc. who own the private European University ... read more 6.2.17

Latvian rector at risk due to insufficient language skills

image: SSE RigaRIGA (edruva) -- For 18 years the education ministry has turned a blind eye on Anderss Pālzovs’ weak command of the Latvian language - now, before the renewal of his contract, his post as the rector of the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) in Riga is at risk. This has caused a heated public debate ... read more 07.02.2017

Tuesday, 7 February //

Greece sticks with public universities

image: KremlinATHENS (pienews) -- Debate has intensified in Greece over the possibility of giving privately run colleges university status, which is currently prohibited by Article 16 of the constitution. Discussions were ignited when opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis seized the occasion of a parliamentary debate on constitutional reform to demand the abolishment of the barrier to private universities ... read more 03.02.3017

White paper liberalises Norway’s universities further

OSLO (uwn) -- A White Paper produced by Norway’s government with the declared aim of boosting quality in higher education, does nothing else but steering the institutions towards further performance-oriented admission and evaluation measures, industry-friendly curriculum design and HR and better international university ranking positions ... read more 04.02.2017

Ukrainian universities struggle to survive

logoLUHANSK (the) -- Institutions displaced by war in the country’s east have relocated campuses and adopted distance learning techniques to continue teaching. In total, 16 Ukrainian universities – classical and technical, private and public, general and specialised – have been forced to evacuate because of the war in the east. ... read more 02.02.2017

Monday, 6 February //

Danish news

image: dansk antiracistisk frontCOPENHAGEN (aca) -- Along with a new minister for higher education, Søren Pind, comes a law that prevents Danish students from taking a second degree after finishing their first (as long as they don’t pay fees). The administrative structure also changes. The two existing agencies are being shut down to make space for two new ones: the Agency for Science and Higher Education with the task of advancing research and higher education quality, as well as promoting internationalisation; and the Agency for Institutions and Educational Grants ... read more 31.01.2017

Russian ‘5-100’ programme faces cuts

MOSCOW (uwn) -- Russia’s tight federal budget will result in major cuts to higher education projects this year, the state press service has announced. One such project to be affected is the ‘5-100’ programme, which aims to improve competitiveness and put five domestic universities in the top 100 of the QS World University Rankings … read more 25.01.2017

Macedonian-Turkish diploma deal scrapped

image: ESNA / CCSKOPJE (balkan insight) -- A 1998 bilateral deal on mutual recognition of university diplomas between Macedonia and Turkey has been scrapped by Turkish president, Recep Erdoğan. The decision comes following Macedonia’s failure to close private Turkish schools with links to the Hizmet movement, allegedly behind Turkey’s failed July coup. Turkish students in Macedonia are now left in uncertainty: “We are living in suspense. I seriously fear my diploma will now be worthless in Turkey,” said Mehmet Ali Telkin, a Turkish student in Skopje … read more 24.01.2017

Saturday, 4 February 2017 //

New York to scrap tuition fees for middle class

sloganNEW YORK (bbc) -- New York is planning one of the biggest schemes in the world to abolish tuition fees for students. Governor Andrew Cuomo, announcing the scheme, said he wanted to reduce levels of student debt that were like “starting a race with a anchor tied to your leg” ... read more 10.01.2017

Win the world’s most valuable education prize!

SHENZHEN (bbc) -- The Yidan Prize, offering eight million dollars every year to two research projects that can ‘transform’ global education, is the world’s most valuable award of its kind. The prize’s founder, tech billionaire Charles Chen Yidan, used a recent tour of Europe to promote the award, expressing a desire for universities and governments to focus on future trends in global education. This year’s nominations deadline is March 31 … read more 18.01.2017

Big money is pushing global university privatisation

image: CC

LONDON (pienews) -- There is now a crowded marketplace of investors keen to invest in all segments of the education industry, and a significant proportion is in international. With the possibility to generate a 14.6-fold return on investment, equity firms are salivating in view of aspirant middle classes in emerging economies looking to invest in their children’s future. International schools are set to nearly double in the next decade to 16,000, generating an annual €82bn, according to market analyst ISC ... read more 29.12.16

Friday, 3 February 2017 //

Sweden’s good-bye from educational equity

image: SFSSTOCKHOLM (uwn) -- The introduction of tuition fees for non-EU students in Sweden has been a game-changer. In 2015, five years after the policy was introduced, international students had paid 500 million krona (53 million euros) in tuition fees to Swedish universities. At the same time, the workload for international offices has increased as courses are increasingly adapted towards international students, despite a decrease in their numbers, particularly at PhD level. Caroline Sundberg, chair of the national student union SFS, argues that “the tuition fees be abolished immediately. For us, a strong welfare system rests on the back of the principle of free education. Education made available for all. The student should not be the one that has to fund the future” … read more 27.01.2017

German medical students choose Hungary

BERLIN (spiegel) -- In 2014 more Germans studied abroad than ever before. For medical students, failing the numerus clausus is a motivation to look east: two thirds of all German students in Hungary are medics. But Austria remains the most popular destination, with the Netherlands, UK and Switzerland following … read more 27.01.2017

Raise funding for Erasmus+, says EUA

logoBRUSSELS (kpi) -- A survey conducted by the European Universities Association (EUA) of more than 200 member organisations found overwhelmingly that the administrative burden of the Erasmus+ programme is too heavy and costs too high … read more 16.01.2017

Thursday, 2 February 2017 //

KU Leuven rector proposes EU-UK ‘associations’

image: KULLEUVEN (the) -- In order to remain open after Brexit, Rik Torfs, rector of KU Leuven, has suggested that British universities form ‘associations’ with their continental counterparts. He said that these partnerships could be “a centre for discussing research, participating in all kinds of programmes and searching for funding” … read more 05.01.17

France sets sights on anglophone Africa

PARIS (pienews) -- Students from countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and Ethiopia traditionally choose the UK or US as a destination for study. But thanks to young populations and an increasing number of courses taught in English at French universities, France is becoming more and more attractive for anglophone Africans … read more 26.01.2017

Swiss students step up for refugees

ZURICH (the local) -- The Swiss Students’ Union (VSS) is calling for authorities to change rules on language ability and maintenance grants for refugees wishing to study in the country. “The right to education is a human right,” says Gabriela Lüthi, a director of VSS. “That’s why study should be available to everyone who has the interest and the capabilities” … read more 24.01.2017

Wednesday, 1 February 2017 //

Stuttgart art school protests fees for non-EU students

image: ABKSTUTTGART (abk) -- The Stuttgart State Academy for Art and Design has issued a statement positioning itself strongly against the German state of Baden-Württemberg’s introduction of tuition fees for non-EU students and second degrees: “Qualified foreign students, and the attachment of them as ambassadors to the academy, the city and the state, constitute badges of quality from which everyone benefits” … read more 20.01.2017

Ghostwriting in Wales

SWANSEA (sw-ep) -- The controversial practice of ‘contract cheating’, or ghostwriting for a fee, has become prevalent over the past ten years in Wales. Now academics at the British university of Swansea are calling for a legal crackdown on firms offering custom-written essays and assignments to students … read more 25.01.2017

Bosnian uni slips down rankings

logoSARAJEVO (balkan insight) -- Free movement of labour and open scientific exchange are key for universities in the pursuit of ranking positions. The University of Sarajevo has failed to keep up. Due to “a fall in its relative research impact, and in the relative extent to which it is internationalised,” according to QS World University Rankings, the university has slipped down … read more 14.06.2017

Tuesday, 31 January 2017 //

Russia struggles with Bologna Reform

image: wciomMOSCOW (wciom) -- Perception of Russian students’ passion for learning has improved in recent years. A recent survey indicates that double the number of people in 2013 think students’ attitudes are improving. However, faith in the four-year undergraduate degree is not so strong. 47 percent of respondents did not think a four-year degree was sufficient to find employment. Russia switched to a two-tiered system in 2007 to ease compatibility with Western degrees … read more 24.01.2017

Ukraine and Poland to cooperate in higher ed

KIEV (gov) -- The education ministers of Ukraine and Poland, Lilia Grinevich and Jarosław Gowin respectively, will sign an agreement on cooperation in higher education and research as soon as April, according to a press release by the Ukrainian ministry … read more 19.01.2017

Who will host the European Medicines Agency?

logoLONDON (science) -- The Netherlands has become the latest country to announce its interest in hosting the influential regulatory body, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which must be relocated from the UK following Brexit. The EMA employs 900 people with an annual budget of 300 million euros. The Dutch have joined six other countries in declaring interest, but Germany and Finland amongst others have unofficially joined the race, with more, such as France, expected to come … read more 20.01.2017

Monday, 30 January 2017 //

First private faculty in a German public university

mage: HPPOTSDAM (handelsblatt) -- The Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI), a German private research institute and university long affiliated with the University of Potsdam, is about to become the first such institution to receive faculty status, allowing it to licence its own degree programmes. Resulting questions surrounding the independence of the University of Potsdam have not gone unnoticed by the many lawyers drawing up contracts to facilitate the transition … read more 12.01.2017

Border hoppers costly for Basel

BASEL (baz) -- The German state of Baden-Württemberg, which borders Northern Switzerland, is supplying the University of Basel with nine percent of its students, a higher percentage than any other country. The Basel region and Basel City have to pick up the costs for foreign students on the basis that they add to the institution’s excellence. Proximity might have more to do with the concentration of young Swabians … read more 20.01.2017

Coca Cola cooperation with Hungarian universities

image: ESNABUDAPEST (bbj) -- Coca Cola Hungary has signed a educational agreement with four universities in the country. “The most important condition of competitiveness today is clearly a well-trained workforce,” said Minas Agelidis, general manager, “therefore we expect dual training to spread.” This follows a former agreement between the Hungarian government and the beverage coorporation … read more 23.01.2017

Saturday, 28 January 2017 //

Trump likely to eradicate NEH and NEA

image: Washington Post

WASHINGTON (pw) -- Unlike as is depicted above, these proposals have not been officially enacted, but an unnamed member of Donald Trump’s transition team has signalled that the new US President will eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Both provide grants for the promotion and conservation of cultural heritage. With a combined budget comprising just 0.0075 percent of federal expenditure, the report has been criticised as highly ideological … read more 

Friday, 27 January 2017 //

Ayatollah urges Muslim students to be more active abroad

image: khamenei.irTEHRAN (mehr) -- The Supreme Leader of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei seized the occasion of the 51st annual meeting of the Union of Islamic Student Associations in Europe to send a message to Europe’s Muslim students. “You are expected to influence the world around you and step on the path of God through your words and conducts” … read more 20.01.2017

Greece to study economics of education

ATHENS (iefimerida) -- Speaking to the Greek parliament, education minister Kostas Gavroglou announced that a committee will be set up to study the economics of education at all levels. It is intended to identify weaknesses and close gaps in the system. Mr. Gavroglou also accepted that state funding of universities is very low, but stated that for the first year in many it has stabilised and even increased slightly … read more 19.01.2017

Finland’s brain drain

image: ESNAHELSINKI (inside highered) -- Government cuts to to higher education and research in Finland have caused fears of a brain drain fallout. Academic, Jaakko Hameen-Anttila, said “The future seems very bleak,” with recent figures from Statistics Finland suggesting that numbers of PhD educated Finns moving abroad increased by 37 percent between 2011 and 2015 … read more 19.1.17

Thursday, 26 January 2017 //

Russia top European country for higher ed efficiency

image: Bloomberg

NEW YORK (bloomberg) -- In the 2017 Innovation Index, the Nordic countries made it to the top fifteen overall. But in terms of ‘tertiary efficiency’, measured by enrolment in higher education, share of graduates in the workforce and proportion of new science and engineering graduates, it was South Korea, Singapore, Russia and Ukraine filling out the top four … read more 17.01.2017

ESF launches expert services division

STRASBOURG (esf) -- The European Science Foundation (ESF) has announced the creation of a new expert services division dedicated to practical support for the European scientific community. Science Connect, as the service is called, will provide expert resources, tools and metrics to support projects in both the private and public sectors … read more 06.01.2017

No support for support staff at Irish university

image: DCUDUBLIN (university times) -- Trinity College Dublin informed a union representative before Christmas that the university would offer “no more promotions” and “no more permanent contracts for future employees.” Caoimhe Ni Lochlainn, College press officer said this was part of a “revised approach for administrative, library and support staff.” The move has been heavily attacked by several unions in Ireland … read more | and here 22.01.2017

Wednesday, 25 January 2017 //

A year of new government fails Portuguese higher ed

logoLISBON (publico) -- One year of Social Democratic government has done nothing to improve the situation for Portuguese higher education. The annual report made by the Observatory for Education and Training Policy ( found that the burden of austerity on universities has not been alleviated and there has been no change of approach towards adult education. The authors complain, “very little has been done for science, and what little has been done is not good” … read more 12.01.2017

International university rankings severely flawed

LONDON (pienews) -- A damning report by the UK’s Higher Education Policy Institute casts serious doubt over the usefulness of international university rankings such as those made by Times Higher Education and QS. The report claims the rankings make use of data that are “unreliable and sometimes worse” … read more 17.01.2017

Student numbers drop in Belgium

image: UGentBRUSSELS (de morgen) -- For the first time in over fifteen years, the number of Belgians entering university has dropped. At the same time, vocational college courses have seen an increase in uptake. Martin Valcke of Ghent University explains, “Professional bachelors are more appreciated now, for many students college looks a safer and cheaper option” … read more 19.01.2017

Tuesday, 24 January 2017 //

Copyright proposals problematic in Germany

image: Grüne BottropBERLIN (div) -- A preliminary report made by the German justice ministry seems to indicate a broadening of educational copyright regulations. Though it has not been officially published, the report has already exposed a conflict between the scientific community and the publishing lobby. Proponents have defended the right to exemptions from copyright for educational and research purposes. Kai Gehring, Green Party spokesman for science, says, “We see this as the best way to make scientific copyright fit for the digital age.” The German Publishers and Booksellers Association fears on the other hand that the new regulations would result in a significant loss in deserved remuneration for small publishers and authors … read more | and here 18.01.2017

International student restrictions could cost UK £2 billion

LONDON (studytravel) -- The UK economy could lose 2 billion pounds if tougher restrictions on international students were to be reduced, according to a report by the Higher Education Policy Institute. Meanwhile, a report by reveals an increased interest in UK accommodation from EU students since the Brexit vote … read more 18.01.2017

Dutch students scared of Turkey

image: DragoartAMSTERDAM (nos) -- It is perhaps unsurprising that Turkey, a country plagued by terrorist attacks and witness to a military coup last year, has seen its popularity as an Erasmus destination plummet by as much as 90 percent amongst Dutch students. However, Turkey is still the seventh most popular country in the Erasmus exchange programme … read more 18.01.2017

Monday, 23 January 2017 //

‘Predatory Publishers’ website shut down

image: Jeffrey BeallDENVER (nature) -- A popular website that lists “potential, possible or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers” was completely shut down, but the website’s creator, Jeffrey Beall, academic librarian at the University of Colorado, Denver, remains silent as to why … read more

150 million euros for Austrian university infrastructure

VIENNA (standard) -- Austrian science and economy minister, Reinhold Mitterlehner, has made use of his combined responsibilities by announcing “a new stimulus package for science and the economy.” The 250 million euros promised will go towards a ‘special construction programme’ 150 million of which is reserved for universities to finance twelve ‘large, urgent building projects’ … read more 19.01.2017

Student mobility: France’s attraction wanes

image: Frederic DelignePARIS (petit journal) -- While other countries surge up the ranks, France is barely seeing an increase in international student numbers. The Netherlands saw a 199 percent increase in incoming mobility between 2009 and 2014, and Belgium 64 percent, according to UNESCO data. France recorded just 11.2 percent in the same period, but it remains the fourth most popular destination after the UK, USA and Australia … read more 10.01.2017

Saturday, 21 January 2017 //

Betsy DeVos gets grilled


WASHINGTON (esna) -- Donald Trump’s choice for education secretary, billionaire business woman from Michigan Betsy DeVos, performed spectacularly at her confirmation hearing at the US Senate. The spectacle, of course, was her remarkable lack of knowledge of the education sector, failing to answer simple questions about student debt and the debate on assessing proficiency or growth in schools. As Trevor Noah, host of the Daily Show points out, her appointment is more likely due to her family’s 200 million dollars of contributions to the Republican Party than her expertise … watch | and here

Friday, 20 January 2017 //

Messy higher education reform in Spain

image: WikipediaMADRID (div) -- Spain’s minority government is clearly desperate. The motions of the parliamentary opposition to abolish the controversial educational law, LOMCE, have caused education minister Íñigo Méndez de Vigo to appeal to the Constitutional Court to keep it in place. Meanwhile, five trade unions have requested an urgent meeting with the minister to “reverse as soon as possible the cuts of recent years and recover lost employment in the teaching sector” … read more | and here 12.01.2017

Czech minister wants to increase wages

PRAGUE (českénoviny) -- In the run up to budget negotiations in spring, Czech education minister Kateřina Valachová stated in a press conference that she would be seeking 4.5 billion koruna (167 million euros) for universities, expressing that all extra funds should go to teachers’ and academics’ salaries, although legally the universities themselves decide how their budgets are allocated … read more 11.01.2017

STEM subsidies in Bulgaria

image: KulthoomSOFIA (mediapool) -- In an effort to meet labour market demands, the Bulgarian state is increasing the subsidy of student support for “priority professional fields”, particularly maths, sciences, and engineering. Meanwhile subjects not considered as priorities, which include medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, will see a cut in their state subsidy … read more 11.01.17

Thursday, 19 January 2017 //

Lithuania to reduce number of state universities

image: Lithuanian Ministry of Education and ScienceVILNIUS (baltic course) -- There are fourteen state universities in Lithuania, but this number may be set to dramatically reduce. Based on a report made by higher ed monitor MOSTA, new education minister Jurgita Petrauskienė announced that there should be a maximum of five state universities in the country by 2025 … read more 11.01.2017

Dutch universities too research-focused

AMSTERDAM (tpo) -- In a letter to parliament, Dutch education minister Jet Bussemaker bemoaned the fact that only seventeen percent of university teaching staff are female. She added that those from migrant backgrounds are also being left out, and that many staff are too research-focused, at the expense of teaching talent … read more 11.01.2017

Endangered species

image: logoCOPENHAGEN (berlingske) -- Two Danish rectors, Hanne Leth Andersen of Roskilde University and Per Holten-Andersen of Copenhagen Business School, have come up with a drastic proposal to save language teaching in Denmark. In an article in Berlingske, the rectors compared language degrees in Denmark to endangered species such as rhinos, turtles and pandas, suggesting that to preserve the subject, language teaching should be concentrated at Denmark’s “centres of gravity”: the University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University … read more 15.01.2017

Wednesday, 18 January 2017 //

French left-wing presidential candidates meet in the middle

image: iTele

PARIS (lemonde) -- The theme of higher education didn’t make it to the televised debate amongst France’s left wing presidential candidates, probably because they are all essentially in agreement. Former prime minister Manuel Valls, as well as Benoît Hamon and Vincent Peillon all propose a billion euros a year for research and higher education. Arnaud Montebourg is in favour of a multi-year plan to increase expenditure per student by half. What is more, unlike their opponents on the right, none of the left wing candidates wish to introduce a form of selection into university entrance … read more 16.01.2017

Croatian minister vs ethics committee

ZAGREB (div) -- In December, the Croatian Committee for Ethics in Science and Higher Education alleged that education minister Pavo Barišić was guilty of plagiarism. Now, in an open letter to the prime minister, one hundred academics have come out in support of Mr. Barišić, as well as the Rectors’ Conference expressing dismay at the ethics committee for overstepping its legal framework … read more | and here 15.01.2017

Greek universities receive budget for 2017

image: Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs

ATHENS (alfavita) -- Greek education minister Kostas Gavroglou has revealed a six point plan for the finances of universities. The plan includes a 5.5 percent increase in the ministry’s regular budget to 4.5 billion euros, 138 million euros from the European Investment Bank to improve university infrastructure, and an invitation for HEIs to submit plans for the development of creating their own sources of revenue (e.g. through real estate or services) … read more 15.01.2017

Tuesday, 17 January 2017 //

Research bodies call for better copyright rules

image: Access Copyright CanadaBRUSSELS (uwn) -- Five leading European research organisations, including the European University Association (EUA) and the League of European Research Universities (LERU), have called for changes to the EU’s copyright reforms, including the broadening of copyright exceptions for text and data mining to facilitate research … read more 11.01.2017

One million Erasmus babies

BRUSSELS (euronews) -- This year marks the 30th birthday of the Erasmus scheme. Now called Erasmus+, the programme allows young Europeans to travel to 4,000 higher education institutions across more than 30 countries. According to the European Commission the scheme “has produced many success stories.” Indeed, around one million babies have been born to Erasmus couples since 1997 … read more 10.01.2017

Student debt: The other side of the coin

Qinten Massijus: De goudweger en zijn vrouwLONDON (yahoo) -- The European student loan market is growing. But the continent’s biggest student lender, Future Finance, wants to accelerate the company’s growth even further and has appointed a new executive team with a view to expanding its operation into other European jurisdictions including Ireland. So far, the company has provided loans for 7000 British and German students, 3000 in the second half of 2016 alone, passing the 50 million pound mark. The start-up, which now employs over 50 staff, is partnered with European Investment Fund and with more than 60 universities … read more 12.01.2017

Monday, 16 January 2017 //

Horizon 2020 must integrate the periphery

image: youtubeCLUJ-NAPOCA (nature) -- Is Horizon 2020 doing enough to foster excellence in Europe’s low-income periphery? For Horizon 2020’s midterm review, the Coimbra Group made recommendations to increase research salaries where they are not already internationally competitive. This coincides with a letter by Romanian scientists published in nature, explaining that lower salaries in Eastern Europe “weaken the motivation of researchers in the eastern EU to put in the extra effort required to catch up and gain international standing” … read more 11.01.2017

Dr Dr hc Dr hc Dr hc Dr hc Dr hc Dr hc Merkel

LEUVEN (globaltimes) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel received honorary doctorates from two Belgian universities on Thursday. The universities of Leuven and Gent wished to acknowledge her “diplomatic and political efforts to strengthen Europe.” Merkel gained her first doctorate, in quantum chemistry, in 1986 and has since received six honorary titles … read more 13.01.2017

Ubiquity of English damaging science?

logoCAMBRIDGE (cam) -- A new report by researchers at the University of Cambridge finds that the omnipresence of the English language in academia is leading to gaps in scientific knowledge and communication. “People tend to assume all relevant scientific knowledge is available in English,” says Dr Tatsuya Amano, “this hinders the collection and use of the scientific knowledge of the whole world” … read more 04.01.17
Saturday, 14 January 2017 //

Czech students bored of sex

image: pinterest

PRAGUE (idnes) -- Stereotypes of students as sex-crazed hormone-slaves appear to be redundant in the Czech Republic. Over half of Czech students have never had a one night stand, with only around a quarter having regular sexual encounters, a survey reveals. One reason, sexologist Jaroslav Zvěřina says, is a changed lifestyle with the constant availability of internet pornography … read more 03.01.2017
Friday, 13 January 2017 //

German science struggles with Elsevier

image: (c) ESNABERLIN (nature) -- After negotiations for a new contract broke down in December, German academics will not have access to Elsevier journals in 2017. For more than 60 institutions, access licences ran out at the end of 2016. “It’s very unpleasant,” says Horst Hippler, president of the German Rectors’ Conference and spreaker of the negotiating consortium, “but we just cannot accept what Elsevier has proposed so far. Taxpayers have a right to read what they are paying for. Publishers must understand that the route to open-access publishing at an affordable price is irreversible” … read more 23.12.2016

Transparent professors in Zurich

ZURICH (nzz) -- Since the beginning of this year, the University of Zurich has published the extra-curricular activities of all 634 of its professors on an online register. The register is the result of a 2015 law, obliging professors to publicise every single engagement outside of university officialdom, although most are unspectacular … read more 04.01.2017

ESNA reaches 1000 Twitter followers

image: webBERLIN (esna) -- In the modern world, social media is as integral to a media outlet’s success as more traditional forms of publication. ESNA, which has just reached the milestone of one thousand Twitter followers, clearly understands this.

Twitter is just one channel that ESNA provides for higher education experts, researchers, policy makers and media groups in Europe. Whether it be via its integrated platforms of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter or the website’s daily news updates and subscription bulletin, ESNA continues to grow as a vital source of information for Europe’s educators and interested parties … @esnahighered

Thursday, 12 January 2017 //

Union and minister clash in Portugal

image: G.L. Velho ( (div) -- Late last year, it was revealed that at three Portuguese universities, some 176 teachers and researchers were working without remuneration. The president of higher education union SNESup, Gonçalo Velho, was quick to denounce the contracts as illegal and demand an inspection of the institutions. But the education minister Manuel Heitor sees no illegality that would justify this measure. In response, Velho remarked, “These statements demonstrate a person who does not know, and worse, who does not want to know” … read more | and here 03.01.2017

German students are getting younger

WIESBADEN (azm) -- The number of minors attending university in Germany has more than quadrupled since 2010. This is likely due to the shortened “Turbo-Abitur” introduced in most German states since 2000. As long as the students’ parents have given consent, representatives of the German Rectors’ Conference see no problem in the rise … read more 03.01.2017

Croatian students fight new tax rules

logoDUBROVNIK (dulist) -- Students who work often do so seasonally. This is particularly true in Dubrovnik, a popular tourist spot in the summer months. The Students’ Union at Dubrovnik University are thus “strongly condemning” government proposals to make earnings over 5050 kuna (670 euros) a month tax deductible, stating, “we do not want this to break students’ backs” … read more 05.01.2017
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 //

The cost of science

image: ESNAUTRECHT et al. (erasmus) -- Across the globe, scientists are demanding open access. The publication (for the first time) of Dutch universities’ expenditure on scientific journals is sure to add fuel to the fire. In 2015, 43 million euros was spent on academic journals by Dutch universities, with 12 million going to publishing giant Elsevier alone … read more 05.01.2017

Record number of temporary staff in Norway

BERGEN (fagpressenytt) -- Actions speak louder than words, and in this case the University of Bergen has spoken loud and clear. Despite promising to reduce staff on temporary contracts, 25.2 percent of all university staff are under precarious employment, a record high … read more 09.01.2017

What will 2017 bring for British higher education?

LONDON (guardian) -- Controversy, by the looks of things. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union predicts that ‘Brexit brain drain’ will gather pace. Shelly Asquith, vice-president of the National Union for Students foresees a boycott of the National Student Survey over fears of its results being used to inform fee rises. Meanwhile, the House of Lords will continue to slow the progress of the contentious Higher Education Bill … read more 05.01.2017
Monday, 2 January 2017 //