news archive 2019   
Saturday, 23 February 2019 //

Student fined for defending a refugee

image: herself

GOTHENBURG (bbc) -- The Swedish university student, Elin Ersson, has been fined 3,000 krona (€290) for trying to stop the deportation of an Afghan migrant. In July 2018, the student boarded what she thought was the same flight as the Afghan, refusing to sit down unless he was taken off the plane, arguing that she did not agree with Sweden’s policy of sending back rejected asylum seekers ... read more | her video 18.02.2019

Friday, 22 February 2019 //

Hungary: “An attack on science”

image: ESNABUDAPEST (the scientist) -- Thousands of scientists protested in Hungary last week against changes to government research funding. The demonstrations, which saw people hold books above their heads and form a human chain around Budapest’s Academy of Sciences building, are just the latest in a series of clashes between researchers and the country’s populist government over academic freedom. “This is an attack on science,” a researcher told AFP. “The government wants to reward loyalists with funding, rather than support research” ... read more 13.02.2019

SE Europe universities unite

ZAGREB (total croatia news) -- Rectors of 30 universities from Southeast Europe have agreed on more cooperation in research, higher education, and in improving links between higher education and the labour market ... read more 09.02.2019

‘Regionalist’ higher education policy in Wallonia

image: marcourt websiteNAMUR (le soir) -- Jean-Claude Marcourt — Walloon vice-minister president since ten years and minister of higher education — is under fire. Critics such as writer and history professor Vincent Engel claim that Marcourt’s policies in the French-speaking community of Belgium hurt academic freedom and transparency in favour of regionalism and the neoliberal transformation of research and universities ... read more 16.02.2019

Thursday, 21 February 2019 //

France plans national strategy for research

logoPARIS (nature) -- France is set to introduce a national, multi-year research plan for the first time – a move welcomed by the heads of the country’s major research agencies. The government says that it will protect research funding, boost the recruitment of early-career scientists and help France to stand out in an increasingly competitive global research landscape ... read more 11.02.2019

Russia boosts academic appeal

MOSCOW (tass) -- The Kremlin plans to implement its Education National Project over the course of the next five years, thus doubling the number of foreigners studying in the country’s universities to 425,000 by late 2024 and pushing the country amongst the 10 leading world countries in terms of the quality of education ... read more 11.02.2019

Private universities lurk at the Greek border

image: ESNAATHENS (greek reporter) -- Lifting the Article 16 ban on private universities in Greece is up for discussion in the Greek Parliament again. The SYRIZA administration is strongly against the move, but main opposition party New Democracy claims that it is needed to ensure a better quality of higher education in the country. The claim is old, as is the constitutional safeguard mechanism to prevent it ... read more | esna analysis14.02.2019

Wednesday, 20 February 2019 //

New minister plans overhaul of Swedish university funding

image: SocialdemokraterSTOCKHOLM (uwn) -- An investigation into Swedish universities’ and university colleges’ governance and resource allocation has concluded, and the results have been showcased to the new higher education and research minister, Matilda Ernkrans. The aim is to develop “a form of governance that can put Sweden among the world’s most advanced research and innovation countries, where high quality research, higher education and innovation leads to further development of society and welfare” ... read more 15.02.2019

Floor of a university collapses in Russia

ST PETERSBURG (polit) -- Overlaps in the building of the St Petersburg National Research University ITMO collapsed from the fifth to the second floor on Saturday as classes were taking place. There were no casualties, but 81 people had to be evacuated ... read more | and here |14.02.2019

Lancaster and Leipzig join forces - and privatise

image: logosLEIPZIG (pie news) -- Lancaster University in the UK has signed an agreement with Australian private education firm Navitas to assist the installation and management of a branch campus in Leipzig, eastern Germany. Navitas Group CEO David Buckingham said the partnership is a continuation of its expansion into new European markets and opens up opportunities for domestic and international students in Germany to study at a globally renowned university ... read more 14.02.2019

Tuesday, 19 February 2019 //

Anti-Semitism at French universities

image: liguedefensejuivePARIS (le parisien) -- Last week, the Conference of Deans of Medical Schools denounced the increase of anti-Semitism in French universities – a rise of 74 percent in 2018. Jean Sibilia, the president of the Conference, said in a statement that the situation has been growing for a few months. “Whatever form these acts take, they cannot be tolerated,” he pointed out ... read more 12.02.2019

Russia and Turkey plan academic alliance

ISTANBUL (daily sabah) -- Turkey and Russia will discuss the idea of setting up a joint university in Istanbul or Antalya to boost academic exchanges between the two countries, during President Erdoğan’s upcoming visit to Russia in April. Relations between Turkey and Russia have gained new momentum in recent years, with unprecedented improvement in the military, political and economic cooperation. However, cooperation in education has not been high on the agenda as of yet ... read more 10.02.2019

Monday, 18 February 2019 //

Kiel University bans veils

image: CCKIEL (welt) -- Kiel Christian-Albrechts University has banned full veiling for lectures and examinations, triggering political dispute. The decision was made after a student wore a Niqab, a full facial veil, for a lecture at the end of last year. Her lecturer did not accept the full veiling and asked the university chief for clarification. CDU Minister of Education, Karin Prien, welcomes the decision, whilst the Green party strongly opposes the move ... read more 13.2.19

Lithuania: majority of scientists are women

VILNIUS (baltic course) -- Men were particularly overrepresented in high and medium-high technology manufacturing (83%), according to Eurostat. However, in five EU Member States, the majority of scientists and engineers were women: Lithuania (57% female), Bulgaria and Latvia (both 53%), Portugal (51%) and Denmark (just over 50%) ... read more 12.02.2019

French students protest against rising fees

bannerNANTES (20 minutes) -- Students at the University of Nantes have gone to extreme measures to protest against rising tuition fees for non-European students. Blockades and demonstrations have now turned to hunger strikes for six of the students, who demand the abolition of the proposed measure. Last week, a procession of 150 students marched from the student union to the rectorate, and classes were also disrupted after a new blocking of the campus ... read more 13.2.19

Saturday, 16 February 2019 //

Amazon backs student innovation

image: CCROME (repubblica) -- The technology innovation contest, backed for the first time by e-commerce giant Amazon, for polytechnic students in Rome, Turin and Milan has reached its final stage – designing the use of robots for the management of a warehouse. The young university students have had two months to pitch and produce their product ... read more 12.02.2019

Amazon, like other tech giants, has begun investing in education for some years now. A hot debate is currently taking place in the United States where elementary schools are being targeted by the corporation’s selfless charity ... read more 08.02.2019

Friday, 15 February 2019 //

Hackers reveal weak university security

image: ESNACÓRDOBA (sevilla abc) -- A group of hackers calling themselves the Digital Research Team claims to have accessed the databases of a number of Spanish public institutions, including the University of Córdoba and several federal ministries. The team’s leader has promised that it is an ‘ethical’ hack and that it aims to “only report vulnerabilities on websites to ensure them and repair errors of your web infrastructures” ... read more 13.2.19

White working class students don’t make the cut

LONDON (neon) -- More than half of England’s universities have fewer than 5 percent of poor white students in their intakes, according to a report. The results show low numbers of white students from deprived areas in many top universities. There are only 3 percent at the University of Oxford, compared with 28 percent at Teesside ... read more 14.02.2019

Thursday, 14 February 2019 //

Italian smash-and-grab thieves arrested

image: GEDI / RepTv


NAPLES (repubblica) -- Thieves who stole over 120 thousand euros worth of electronic devices from the university Suor Orsola Benincasa before fleeing the scenes in a taxi in Naples in January have been arrested and charged. The three thieves, one of which was Giuseppe Tufo, 22, with the two others yet to be identified, entered the multimedia hall of the private university through a window, and then stole 111 electronic tablets ... read more 11.01.2018

Swiss higher education on the up

BERN (swissinfo) -- A government report has indicated that, by 2037, half of Switzerland’s population aged between 25 and 65 will have a higher education degree or vocational qualification. An increased demand from employers, as well as rising student numbers, is causing the upsurge, with a further rise of 21 percent in the next 20 years is expected ... read more 06.02.2019

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 //

Russian-US joint ventures may decrease political tensions

image: MIL, Анатолий АнтоновMOSCOW (tass) -- Russian ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, believes the successful cooperation between the two countries on scientific projects, university partnerships and cultural exchanges will ease political tensions in bilateral relations. Antonov stressed that Russia continues to put forward initiatives in its dialogue with the US designed to simplify bilateral relations: "In general, we put forward plenty of proposals. We expect positive reactions from our US colleagues" ... read more 10.2.19

Germany vs. Elsevier

BERLIN (books+publishing) -- Researchers are hitting Dutch journal publisher Elsevier’s paywall up to 10,000 times a day, as they remain without access to new papers, after failing to agree on new subscription deals. The dispute centres around the access of academic journals, with publisher Elsevier demanding excessive fees ... read more 6.2.19

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 //

EU could slam the door in Switzerland’s face

(c) ESNABERN (swissinfo) -- Academics in Switzerland fear missing out on the Horizon Europe research programme, if it fails to reach agreement with the EU on a political framework for future relations. The EU has already classified Switzerland in category 4 of non-EU states in the new programme. Although the EU denies this will not affect funding of Swiss research projects, the lowly category could allow Brussels to restrict funding or impose conditions ... read more 05.02.2019

West German university chiefs reign supreme

GÜTERSLOH (spiegel) -- The typical director of a German university is male, 59 years old and born in West Germany, a recent CHE study shows. Of all 81 public universities, none of the executives were born in East Germany, which shows that, even 30 years after reunification, westerners are still dominating. “When it comes to student educational biographies,” CHE Managing Director Frank Ziegele says, “there is diversity on campus, so why not more diversity in leadership positions?” ... read more | and here 07.02.2019

Serbia gets an upgrade in Erasmus+

BRUSSELS (esu) -- A new agreement between Serbia and the EU has been signed, upgrading the country from a Partner to an Erasmus+ Programme Country, placing its participation in the scheme on an equal level with EU member states. Education commissioner, Tibor Navracsics, said that the new agreement “will allow Serbia to participate more in the fields of higher education, and start its involvement in sport, vocational education and training.” Already since 2014, almost 7,000 Serbian students and staff have had an Erasmus+ experience abroad, and around 4,300 Europeans have gone to Serbia to study or teach ... read more 05.02.2019

Monday, 11 February 2019 //

Top ERC official retires early

image: ERCBRUSSELS (sb) -- Pablo Amor, a top EU civil servant at the European Research Council (ERC), has announced his early retirement, citing policy disputes. He sent an email to staff, outlining frustrations about the direction of the basic research funder – and said he will be retiring on August 1, a year earlier than planned. In his email, Amor wrote: “I've decided that it was simply time to go. If you're wondering why... you haven't been paying attention. From controversial common support systems to a few decisions not going exactly our way I just felt that things were not quite moving in the direction I wanted” ... read more 05.02.2019

Piggy bank empty for Irish universities

DUBLIN (uwn) -- The Irish university system is one of just two in Europe categorised as ‘in danger’ due to reduced funding combined with rising student numbers. Between 2008 and 2017, funding fell from around €1.5 to €1 billion, but student enrolment rose from 160,000 to 200,000. Jim Miley, director general of the Irish Universities Association, said that the figures “illustrate just how out of step Ireland is with our European neighbours” ... read more 1.2.19

French research grants on the up

logoPARIS (nature) -- One year on from his appointment as head of the French National Research Agency (ANR), Thierry Damerval is en route to achieving his main goal — raising the success rate for grant applications to 20 percent. The ANR has funded around 15,000 projects since its inception in 2005, with a with a success rate below 10 percent in 2014. Damerval plans to strengthen links between research and innovation, in partnership with other French funding agencies and ministries ... read more 01.02.2019

Saturday, 9 February 2019 //

On your marks, get set, go!

image: maxmill

LISBON (eusa) -- A new sporting statute has been approved by the Portuguese government, which will enhance sports practice in higher education institutions in the country. According to FADU, the university sports federation, the statute will support sports students in the relief of absences, access to special seasons of exams, the postponement of delivery of works, as well as the performance of evaluation moments that coincide with sports competitions and more appropriate schedules to conciliate with sports activities ... read more 4.2.19

Friday, 8 February 2019 //

Cambridge receives record-breaking donation

logoCAMBRIDGE (daily mail) -- A former Cambridge student, now-turned-billionaire, has given £100 million to the university in the largest ever British donation to an educational institution. David Harding’s donation will go towards boosting the number of Cambridge’s postgraduates, supporting ‘debt free’ degrees, where underprivileged students pay nothing in fees or maintenance, as well as attracting applicants from low-income households and black families. Cambridge and Oxford are both under pressure to do more to take on students from deprived backgrounds ... read more 05.02.2019

University for Refugees launched

ROME (uninettuno) -- At the UN headquarters in New York, Rome’s International Telematic University UNINETTUNO presented the project ‘University for Refugees’, a multilingual portal created to offer refugees and asylum seekers free access to academic programmes. Already 12,680 students have downloaded UNINETTUNO’s mobile app to learn Italian, and 480 refugees and asylum seekers have enrolled to the programmes available on the portal ... read more 30.01.2019

Brexit threatens Irish cross-border collaboration

DUBLIN (nature) -- Until now, peace and common membership of the EU have allowed scientists in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to build a cross-border research system. But Brexit now risks upsetting that collaboration. Northern Ireland is particularly vulnerable to Brexit, as its researchers are already geographically isolated from the rest of the UK, and politically from the republic. Brexit could also damage partnerships involving EU money, as it’s not clear how the UK will participate in EU research-funding programmes post-Brexit. More than half of Northern Ireland’s projects funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme involve research partners in the Republic ... read more 30.01.2019

Thursday, 7 February 2019 //

Macedonia name change creates new partnerships

image: MinEduATHENS (nature) -- A political agreement between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia to change the republic’s name to Republic of North Macedonia and end political tensions will open up opportunities for cross-border collaboration in research and higher education. The Prespa Agreement will enable strategic partnerships, including in science, which is one of the areas specifically mentioned. Greek research minister and laser physicist Costas Fotakis welcomes the agreement as “very timely, especially considering that several research themes are of mutual interest in both countries” and cites biomedicine, agrobiology, energy and the environment as examples where the two nations could now share research ... read more 01.02.2019

EU bites back at Hungary

BUDAPEST (sb) -- EU vice president Frans Timmermans has said that “it is sad and very worrying” that teh hungarian government is continuing to erode academic freedom and the rule of law. Researchers at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences are worried about their future, as the government is seeking more control over the research budget. Hungarian MEP Tibor Szanyi said “the situation continues to get worse” ... read more 31.01.2019

Wednesday, 6 February 2019 //

Danish research careers in decline

image: Valhalla/ESNACOPENHAGEN (hedclub) -- A new report shows that careers in research are on a downward spiral in Denmark. Only one in every two have temporary employment, professorships and PhDs require more time, and the number of talented female researchers is decreasing. The DfiR’s report recommends more transparency on career paths, counselling which is geared towards employment, open and international recruitment, and more funding provided for full-time research positions in universities ... read more 31.01.2019

Slovenia increasingly attractive

LJUBLJANA (tsn) -- Slovenia attracts more and more foreign students. The majority is coming from south-east Europe and makes up 6 percent or nearly 4000 out of a total of 65,460 students ... read more 28.01.2019

Every cloud has a silver lining

logoBRUSSELS (sb) -- The EU has launched an ambitious new research project, the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), aiming to link the electronic resources of all publicly-funded research on the continent, as well as research institutions and university libraries, and make them accessible through a single portal ... read more 31.01.2019

Tuesday, 5 February 2019 //

Romania’s budget delay frustrates researchers

image: doxologiaBUCHAREST (sb) -- University researchers in Romania are being left in limbo over the delayed 2019 budget. Procurement of materials and equipment is not possible, and universities have to pay the base salaries of researchers out of their own funds and that is taking a toll on their limited budgets. “This is absurd,” says Daniel David, vice rector for research at Babeș-Bolyai University. The association of Romanian researchers warns of “catastrophic effects” ... read more 29.1.19

Kazakhstan forges links to the EU

ASTANA (eureporter) -- EU-Kazakhstan relations are “stronger than ever” and set to strengthen further still, says deputy foreign minister, Roman Vassilenko. This burgeoning relationship was also noted by Luc Devigne, deputy MD for Europe and Central Asia at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), who mentioned the 2000 Kazakh students who currently benefit from the Erasmus+ programme, as well as the 40 projects between universities in Europe and Kazakhstan ... read more 30.01.2019

International higher ed in Kazakhstan

logoASTANA (wownews) -- Kazakhstan is embarking upon a mission to integrate itself into a European education system, which it hopes will lead to a place among the ratings of the leading world universities. 633,000 students are currently in higher education in Kazakhstan, and this trend is growing, as is the demand to be able to study abroad ... read more 24.1.19

Monday, 4 February 2019 //

Ethnic land swaps threaten Kosovan universities

image: IBMC

PRIŠTINA (nature) -- A proposed land swap between Serbia and Kosovo, aiming to settle ownership of the remaining disputed areas between the two hostile neighbours, could threaten attempts at multi-ethnic research collaboration and education in universities. The University of Priština, located in the ethnically divided northern town of Mitrovica, is one such university facing great uncertainty. If Mitrovica is officially returned to Serbia, the university could lose its status as a Serbian bastion within Kosovo, which could threaten the multi-ethnic collaborations that depend on strong local research in both ethnic communities and could lead to a reduction in funds. But if the university remains in Kosovo, the university would have to apply for Kosovo’s accreditation to keep operating and, given Kosovo’s animosity towards Serbia, it’s not clear if it would get it. Stefan Veljković, an English student at the university, fears the worst: “If it were not for the university, the north Kosovo economy would crumble” ... read more 25.01.2019

University connects to digital degree

EAST ANGLIA (fenews) -- FutureLearn, Europe’s largest online social learning platform and owned by The Open University, has partnered with Anglia Ruskin University in the UK, to offer the University’s first course on the digital platform, an MSc in Project Management ... read more 30.01.2019

Saturday, 2 February 2019 //

English taking over Dutch universities

AMSTERDAM (uwn) -- An investigation by the Dutch Inspectorate of Education reaffirms claims that the increased anglicisation of higher education in the Netherlands is in fact violating the Dutch Higher Education Law ... read more 25.01.2019

Listen to the ESNA interview with Annette de Groot
Friday, 1 February 2019 //

How ethical are Facebook sponsored research ethics?

MUNICH (dw) -- Facebook has taken its first steps into university research funding in Germany by financing a new centre for ethics and artificial intelligence at the Technical University of Munich to the tune of €6.6 million. Critics, however, are not best pleased with the sponsorship deal. Many, like economist Christian Kreiß, argue that past experiences of the kind indicate that this deal will be a threat to the freedom of research and teaching, with concerns about the social media giant influencing the research agenda, as well as censoring the unwanted results and picking and choosing certain staff ... read more 26.01.2019

EPP promises effort for cancer research

CYPRUS (politico) -- The necessity to offer something in exchange for votes in the upcoming European elections might even help to boost science funding in Europe. Hence Manfred Weber’s, the EPP’s Spitzenkandidat for the EU election, sudden interest for cancer research. In front a crowd of about 500 diners in Cyprus, he spoke of classic EPP issues such as free trade and the single market and of “an ambitious approach on medicine research”. He told the audience that experts and researchers told him that “if we combine our money and resources, we actually can cure cancer” ... read more 11.01.2019

Thursday, 31 January 2019 //

Swiss students strike for climate protection

image: Greta Thunberg twitterBERN (swissinfo) -- Thousands of students in 15 cities across Switzerland went on strike last week to demand greater action from both Swiss and other European governments in the fight against climate change. Their protest was inspired by student Greta Thunberg, who began a solo climate protest by striking every Friday in Sweden in August 2018. She was invited to address world leaders at last year’s climate summit (COP24) in Poland, arguing that they behaving like irresponsible children by not doing enough to deal with climate problems. A further protest is scheduled for February 2 ... read more 18.01.2019

German academics broker publishing deal

BERLIN (the bookseller) -- A group of German academic institutions has struck a deal with the publisher Wiley to make research papers more freely accessible. The three-year contract means that the 700 institutions represented by the consortium will have access to read Wiley’s academic journals dating back to 1997, while researchers at the institutions can publish articles with open access to Wiley journals ... read more 23.01.2019

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 //

Student protests oust Albania’s science minister

image: Part. Soc.TIRANA (nature) -- Lindita Nikolla, Albania’s education and science minister, has been replaced in a government reshuffle during weeks of mass student protests that brought the country’s public universities to a halt. Nikolla has paid the price for weeks of unrest amongst students, who are unhappy with what they believe is a “handicapped public education system” amid growing privatisation of education in the country. The student protests had started in December seemingly in response to the raising of student fees, but quickly encompassed a broad range of issues, including financial aid, education quality, corruption, dorm maintenance, plagiarism, and student representation ... read more | and here 16.01.2019

Extreme tuition fee hike in the UK

LONDON (independent) -- MPs in the UK have passed a legislation paving the way for two-year degree courses that could cost students £11,000 per year. The shorter, more intensive degree programmes would save students 20 percent on tuition fees compared with the traditional three-year courses, which currently cost up to £9,250 per year ... read more 23.01.2019

Erasmus+ breaks academic exchange records

BRUSSELS (sciencebusiness) -- A record breaking 400,000 university students and staff from all EU member states took part in an Erasmus+ exchange during the 2016-17 academic year, according to figures from the European Commission. The Commission aims to meet its target of supporting 3.7 percent of young people by 2020. ... read more 24.01.2019

Tuesday, 29 January 2019 //

A new Élysée Treaty

image: Bundesregierung / BergmannBERLIN (bund) -- 55 years after the original Élysée Treaty, a new agreement between Germany and France has been signed. Members of the Bundestag and the Assemblée Nationale want to create a common economic sphere, work together more in the border regions, and cooperate better in education and research. The good intentions include joint education facilities, support for language learning and the reciprocal recognition of school and professional qualifications ... read more 22.01.2019

Free Estonian language course proves a hit

TALINN (pienews) -- More than 30,000 people have signed up to a free online course to learn Estonian. Offered on app platform, Speakly, and with the help of the country’s government, the programme was launched in 2018, the year of Estonia’s centenary, to help people learn the notoriously difficult language for free. The course is directed to all foreigners, especially local Russian minorities ... read more 18.01.2019

Jobs are scarce for Russian graduates

MOSCOW (realnoe vremya) -- According to the Russian prime minister, up to 25 percent of graduates of domestic universities are unable to find a job within a year after graduation, the student union considers that a proportion of 50 percent is more realistic. To tackle the issue, the Kremlin plans to apply a set of measures: work placements, quotas, cheaper loans and more state-funded places for graduates in postgraduate schools ... read more 25.01.2019

Monday, 28 January 2019 //

Transnational universities coming to Europe

image: Uni Leipzig

BRUSSELS (el país) -- The EU has launched an ambitious plan to introduce 20 transnational university campuses across the continent by 2025. The initiative will enable students to, for example, “start a higher education cycle in Rome, continue it in Brussels, and complete it in Madrid” without administrative complications. The hope is that, by offering the same curriculum and diplomas across multiple countries, a shared educational culture will be created in Europe.

One of these university alliances with classy names is ARQUS uniting Granada, Graz, Leipzig, Padua, Vilnius and Lyon ... read more | here | and here 3.1.19

France: The problem of higher tuition fees for foreigners

PARIS (rfi) -- Several universities in France refuse to increase tuition fees for students outside the EU, irrespective of a government decision. The universities say they were not given enough notice about the change in policy, which is supposed to take effect in September. The government wants to attract more international students, but a recent survey suggests that the relatively low tuition fees charged in France compared to the US and UK makes French universities appear less prestigious in the eyes of international students ... read more 23.01.2019

Hungary: new year, new mandate

BUDAPEST (esu) -- László Murai, the new president of the National Union of Students in Hungary, HÖOK, has expressed his commitment to continuing the fight for the reform of student allowances in the country. In his debut speech, László said that, “after raising the social grants by 40 percent, the performance-based students’ grants should follow” ... read more 18.1.19

Saturday, 26 January 2019 //

Higher education should reassert universal values

image: campus biomedicoLONDON (punch) -- UNESCO’s education chief, Stefania Giannini, has emphasised the important role that higher education has to play in defying the spread of nationalism and tackling global challenges such as poverty and climate change. Speaking on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in London, she argued that a “strong higher education system can help to lessen social tensions” regarding different cultures, religions, and languages ... read more 08.01.2019

Friday, 25 January 2019 //

Greek rectors get poisoned letters

LESBOS (gz) -- Employees at the University of Mytilini on the island of Lesbos were surprised to receive some suspicious letters from India. Inside the letters was a type of dust that has left several people hospitalised after the dust caused inflammation of the mouth and nose. Similar letters were also received by universities in Corfu and Athens which prompted a further police investigation ... read more 10.01.2019

Regulate recognition of refugees’ qualifications

EUROPE (uwn) -- A new project aimed at increasing the global recognition of refugees’ educational qualifications has been launched. The challenge to ensure that refugees can use their previous education to access jobs and higher education is often made difficult without the necessary documentation of their previous education and training. A toolkit was presented in three webinars, which are available online ... read more 11.01.2019

Ireland spends less in R&D

DUBLIN ( -- According to the EU’s statistics agency, Ireland is falling well below the European average when it comes to research and development spending. Just 1.05 percent of Ireland’s GDP was spent on it in 2017, compared with an EU average of 2.07 percent ... read more 11.01.2019

Thursday, 24 January 2019 //

Hungarian students lead the charge for democracy

logoBUDAPEST (nation) -- In response to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s refusal to sign an agreement allowing Central European University to continue operating in Hungary, thus forcing the university out of the country, the student-led group ‘Free University’ (‘Szabad Egyetem’) has broadened the spectrum of their protests to demonstrate against Orbán’s despotic regime as a whole ... read more 16.01.2019

Berlin, Hamburg, Jena and Dresden unite

BERLIN (iw) -- Universities from Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden and Jena will each receive €250,000 in funding from the Joachim Herz Foundation to expand their promotion of natural sciences and to provide better services to students already enrolled in the degree subject ... read more 15.01.2019

Security on campus increased after Çankaya murder

ANKARA (hurriyet) -- Turkey’s Higher Education Board, YÖK, have announced new security measures for universities across the country following the murder of a female lecturer earlier this month. Research assistant Ceren Damal Şenel was stabbed and shot dead by a student after he was caught cheating in an exam at Çankaya University.  ... read more 16.01.2019

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 //

Fire, fire!

image: ESNALYON (euronews) -- Lyon 1 University was ablaze last week after a gas bottle explosion, resulting from building works, caused a large fire to break out on the roof of one of the university’s buildings. The university was evacuated and three people suffered minor injuries in the incident ... read more 17.01.2019

Universities reach out across the English Channel

BERLIN (iw) -- The two university associations Russell Group and German U15 have issued a joint statement urging their respective governments to continue to promote research cooperation between the two countries after Brexit. The two groups met in Berlin and released the statement demanding the continuation of research partnerships and funding from the governments post-Brexit ... read more 14.01.2019

Tuesday, 22 January 2019 //

EMA leaves London

LONDON (nature) -- The European Medicines Agency, the EU’s drug regulator, is preparing to leave its UK headquarters to its new base in Amsterdam, as a result of Brexit. The bitter pill: The EU agency has still a lease on its Canary Wharf office. This means EMA faces paying ‘double rent’ for 21 years or £500million (€575 million) until its lease expires in 2039 ... read more | and here 25.01.2019

UK: University pension fears calmed

LONDON (uwn) -- The threat of industrial action by university staff in the UK continuing in 2019 now looks less likely after the deficit in Britain’s largest private-sector pension scheme was halved. It is estimated that the plan’s deficit now stands at £3.6 billion, compared with £7.5 billion in 2017, after the 2017 valuation was deemed incorrect by a an independent expert panel ... read more | background 11.01.2019

Monday, 21 January 2019 //

Murder at Çankaya University, Ankara

image: Çankaya UniversityANKARA (ahval) -- A female academic has been murdered by her own student in Ankara because she had caught him cheating. The murder follows a string of violent incidents that have taken place over the past few months in Turkish universities. The Ministry of Interior and the higher education council, YÖK, are set to introduce measures aimed at lessening this threat ... read more 5.1.19

German student allowances far below the necessary

BERLIN (kg) -- The German government has planned the 26th BAföG amendment in an attempt to further improve the financing of studies for young people from low-income families. They plan, as usual, with great reluctance to meet, even approximately, the true needs of the majority of students, says Kai Gehring, spokesman for research, science and university of the Green party. He demands that “subsidy rates and allowances must rise by at least ten percent” to combat the constant pay freeze and inactiveness in the system ... read more 18.01.2019

Saturday, 19 January 2019 //

Students halt Albanian universities


TIRANA (wpr) -- Universities in Albania have been brought to a standstill by student protests against a higher education law reform that threatened to heavily fine students who had to retake exams. The protests have since broadened to include radical long-term reforms in education and research ... read more | and here 18.01.2019

Friday, 18 January 2019 //

Scotland will continue to welcome EU students

mapEDINBURGH (masterstudies) -- The Scottish government has announced that EU students who are currently studying in the country, or will begin their studies this year or next, will maintain their eligibility for free tuition. According to figures from Universities Scotland, Scottish universities proportionately have more staff and students from the EU than the rest of the UK: nine percent of all college students and 27 percent of full-time research staff are EU citizens ... read more 15.01.2019

Finland leads in intergenerational mobility

HELSINKI (economist) -- Though Finland’s tertiary education system is one of the most selective in Europe, it also has one of the highest levels of intergenerational mobility in Europe, whether measured by educational outcomes or by the difference between parents’ and children’s social class ... read more 05.01.2019

Thursday, 17 January 2019 //

New decree deepens North-South divide in Italy

image: biografia.itROME (repubblica) -- The same new decree that makes it easier for Italian universities to hire new professors creates a further divide between the North and the South of the country. Marco Bussetti, education and science minister since June last year, wants the best universities to strive but this automatically penalises the needier Southern universities ... read more | and here 01.01.2019

‘Digital Detox’ for Leicester Students

LEICESTER (bbc) -- De Montfort University, in Leicester, will be switching off its social media feed for five days as a way of trying to encourage its students to have their own ‘digital detox’. The move is designed to highlight the potential negative impacts of overusing social media on the mental health of young people. In the UK, where more than 9 in ten teenagers have mobiles, a study found that in schools where they were banned, the test scores of 16-year-olds improved by 6.4 percent ... read more 15.01.2019

Wednesday, 16 January 2019 //

Asian students caught out in Czech education scam

 photo: archive of Ministry of EducationPRAGUE (radiocz) -- An apparent scam offering students from southeast Asia the chance to undertake higher education in the Czech Republic has led to an investigation into legality of six foreign institutions that claim to be universities. The Czech education ministry has fined these institutions for offering higher education without obtaining the required permission. Deputy Minister of Education Pavel Doleček spoke about two institutions facing criminal complaints ... read more 08.01.2019

Aveiro to stage student olympiade in 2019

AVEIRO (eusa) -- This fall, from September 25, the Portuguese city of Aveiro will host European University Sports Association (EUSA) events to celebrate its 20th anniversary ... read more 16.01.2019

Tuesday, 15 January 2019 //

Romanian EU priorities is higher ed and research

logoBUCHAREST (aca) -- Romania has taken over, for the first time, the six-month rotating Presidency of the EU. In higher education and research, the presidency underlines the aim of “promoting research and innovation, digitalisation and connectivity, in order to increase the competitiveness of the European economy and industry” ... read more | 01.01.2019

Tampere merger upsizes university

TAMPERE (uwn) -- The University of Tampere and the Tampere University of Technology have merged to create the second-largest university in Finland – a move that will further break down the borders between Finnish universities and university colleges ... read more 11.01.2019

Monday, 14 January 2019 //

Longing for Horizon Europe

BERLIN (sb) -- Berlin science policy leaders want Britain to stay in the EU’s Horizon programme after Brexit, but only as a full associate member. The UK shouldn’t be allowed to pick and choose which parts of the EU’s big research programme it can join post-Brexit, according to some leading German science policy makers ... read more 10.01.2019

British universities fearful of a No-Deal Brexit

BRUSSELS (spiegel) -- More than 150 British universities warn that the prospect a no-deal Brexit is a great threat to higher education in the UK. An open letter sent to all Members of Parliament expresses the concern that UK institutions could be left in the cold regarding European Research Council support measures after Brexit ... read more 04.01.2019