Exeter University was this week "considering its position" following allegations surrounding the award of a doctorate to an Arab minister. The affair again raises serious questions concerning academic freedom and the difficulties departments can become embroiled in when they rely on private funding. According to the Sunday newspaper that broke the story, Issa al-Kawari, the Information Minister of the state of Qatar, was recommended for a PhD from Exeter University in June last year. The university subsequently received a complaint of plagiarism.?
Holland's Minister of Education, Mr Wim Deetman, has cancelled a number of engagements following a series of violent confrontations with student protestors. Anonymous threats have been made against his family ... But the minister refuses to retract ... proposals for cuts in higher education and in student grants in particular. The minister was kicked and punched by angry students as he left a meeting of vice-chancellors in Amsterdam. It was only with some difficulty that Mr Deetman, running under a shower of rotten fruit and eggs, managed to reach the safety of the ministerial car.