News in brief

October 14, 2010

United States

McCain backs for-profits

Former US presidential candidate John McCain has backed for-profit institutions in an increasingly bitter Washington battle. During a Senate hearing on for-profits, the Republican senator "read briefly from a lobbyist's opinion piece supporting the colleges, then accused the committee chairman, Tom Harkin (Democrat, Iowa), of going on 'ad nauseam' about the abuses at for-profits," The New York Times reported. The Senate hearings follow a government investigation that found alleged fraud at several for-profit colleges. The New York Times said that "hundreds of students from for-profit colleges rallied at the Capitol, many wearing T-shirts proclaiming, 'My education. My job. My choice.'"


Sydney links to feeder institution

One of Australia's leading universities is offering entry to poor and disadvantaged students who complete a year at a feeder institution.

The University of Sydney has agreed a deal with the University of New England at Armidale. The latter will become a feeder institution taking students from poor backgrounds who are identified as talented, but who have low exam scores. After one year at Armidale, the students will move on to Sydney to finish their courses. The agreement signals universities taking another step away from the private- and selective-school dominated Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank system, The Sydney Morning Herald said.

North Korea

Call to cut aid to 'cult' institution

A North Korean university set up with South Korean funding is propagating the personality cult around the communist state's leaders, according to critics. Pyongyang University of Science and Technology has opened a research centre devoted to studying the "Juche", or self-sufficiency, ideology of former North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung. The Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that the university was established with donations gathered by South Korea's Northeast Asia Foundation for Education and Culture in order to help North Korea train experts in IT, agriculture, biosciences and international trade. Yoon Sang-hyun, of South Korea's Grand National Party, said: "We must immediately halt further aid for the university, which has turned into a school that propagates the personality cult surrounding the Kim dynasty."

East Africa

Support for harmonisation bill

A bill seeking to harmonise university education in East Africa is being discussed in the region's Legislative Assembly. Once it becomes law, the Inter-University Council of East Africa bill will see students move freely between institutions in the five East African Community member states - Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi - under a credit-transfer arrangement. "It will be possible, for instance, to enrol on a bachelor's degree course at University of Nairobi and graduate at University of Dar es Salaam or Makerere under the new plan," The East African said. East African Legislative Assembly Member Gervase Akhaabi said the bill had received overwhelming support from legislators. "This law will greatly transform how higher education is managed in the East African Community," he added.


Times Higher Education's World University Rankings are now available for the iPhone on the App Store.

Use our app to create personalised rankings from detailed data on 400 institutions - reprioritise the criteria and filter the results by region, country, cost of living and tuition fees to build your bespoke league table.

The app also allows you to follow the development of new user-based popularity rankings and participate in live opinion polls.

This week, the top "most liked" universities are:

1. Harvard University

2. University of Manchester

3. University of Oxford

4. Imperial College London

5. University of Cambridge

6. University of Sao Paulo

7. London School of Economics

8. University of Chicago.

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