News in Brief

October 21, 2010

United States

Budget boost

The California State University has welcomed its first increase in state funding since 2007. The 2010-11 California State budget, signed off by governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, raises the university's general funding from $2.35 billion (£1.48 billion) to $2.62 billion. Within that, there is an additional £61 million for enrolment growth. California State said last year's level of state support was the lowest since 1999-2000. Charles B. Reed, its chancellor, said: "Like the rest of California, the past two years have been extremely challenging for us, but our mission is to educate the future workforce of the state, and despite these ongoing challenges the university will continue to provide both access and service to students."

India

Adding insult to injury

An Indian lecturer has begun an appeal against the college that sacked him over an examination question that offended Muslims - after militants chopped his hand off. The University Appellate Tribunal will hear the case of T.J. Joseph, sacked by Catholic-run Newman College, on 29 October. Professor Joseph claims that the college's actions were a denial of natural justice. "Professor Joseph, who was teaching Malayalam literature at the college, was first suspended from service after a question paper set by him for an internal examination sparked strong protests from Muslim outfits, which alleged it contained derogatory references to Prophet Muhammad," The Times of India reported. The controversy then took an ugly turn when suspected Popular Front of India militants chopped off Professor Joseph's right hand.

New Zealand

Supply meets demand

There will be 3,000 additional places at universities in New Zealand over the next two years to cope with rising demand, at a cost of NZ$55 million (£26.5 million). The government has taken the money in part from training-in-industry programmes, The New Zealand Herald reported. Steven Joyce, the tertiary education minister, said: "As New Zealand recovers from recession, there remains strong demand for full-time degree study and less demand for industry-based training." Mr Joyce added that the move would be beneficial to the wider economy as the significant increase expected in the number of university graduates from 2013 would help create a platform to support future economic growth.

South Korea

Sky the limit for 'elitist' bosses

The university backgrounds of South Korea's corporate chief executives reflect "deep-rooted academic elitism", according to a report. A survey of more than 1,000 Korean companies shows that 46 per cent of the chief executives graduated from Seoul National University, Korea University or Yonsei University - a triumvirate known as "Sky". More than 43 per cent of the executives studied science and engineering, while 38 per cent majored in business and economic-related fields. Humanities majors made up about 10 per cent. "The survey results reflect deep-rooted academic elitism in the corporate culture as well as Korean society," The Korea Herald said.

YOUR PERSONAL TOP 10

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 shared" universities are:

1. Harvard University

2. Novosibirsk State University

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

4. University of Tokyo

5. Moscow State University

6. Saint Petersburg State University

7. Princeton University

8. National Autonomous University of Mexico.

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