News in Brief

November 11, 2010

United States

High table for college fees

The most expensive US colleges have been identified by a new ranking. According to an analysis of data compiled by the College Board, 100 institutions are now charging $50,000 (£31,000) or more a year for tuition fees, room and board. The ranking in the Chronicle of Higher Education is topped by Sarah Lawrence College, which charges $57,384, followed by Landmark College ($56,500) and Columbia University School of Gender Studies ($54,782). The total number topping the $50,000 mark has increased significantly since last year, when it was just 58 institutions. In another milestone, the University of California, Berkeley has become the first public institution to join that elite club, charging out-of-state residents $50,649 for tuition fees, room and board. All of the other 99 colleges charging $50,000 or more are private.

Australia

Marketing teething problems

The marketing of Australian higher education to international students by a government agency has had a few "teething problems", a minister has admitted. Chris Evans, minister for tertiary education, said that after Austrade (the Australian Trade Commission) was handed responsibility for marketing international education in July, there "may have been a few teething problems in the handover". The Australian newspaper said there is a "growing crisis in the $18.6 billion (£11.5 billion) industry" and that the government's understanding of the issue "appears fractured". However, Mr Evans said the problem of long visa processing times had been largely resolved. He added: "There are also a range of factors that are beyond our control, such as the dollar and increased efforts by our competitors."

Nigeria

50 per cent pay rise rejected

Strikes by staff at Nigerian universities are set to continue, with one institution seeing a 50 per cent pay rise offer rejected. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said it will not back down over strikes at universities in the south east of the country, unless state governments implement an agreement reached by the union and the federal government in 2009. Ukachukwu Awuzie, national president of the ASUU, said the union had rejected the 50 per cent pay rise offered by the Anambra State government to workers in Anambra State University. That offer failed to recognise that "the strike was not to ask for a pay rise but to address the critical shortfall of infrastructure and funding", he added.

China

Sights set on mainland

The University of Hong Kong is to open a campus on mainland China.

The campus will be in the city of Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong Province and, unlike offshoots set up on the mainland by Hong Kong Baptist University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, it will be a fully integrated part of the university. The 100 hectare site is likely to host an expansion of the schools of engineering and medicine, according to a report in the South China Morning Post. Asked whether he was concerned about academic freedom, Roland Chin Tai-hong, provost of the university, said only that he expected students to follow local laws.

YOUR PERSONAL TOP 5

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 users were asked to vote for the "most attractive" university campus:

1. Yale University

2. Stanford University

3. Newcastle University

4. Johannes Kepler University of Linz

5. National University of Singapore.

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