News in brief

November 22, 2012

United States

Town, gown and frowns

A US university has been urged by the mayor of its municipality to build bridges with the community as it searches for a new president. The "town and gown" relationship was highlighted by Yina Moore, Princeton's borough mayor, to ensure that frosty relations between Princeton University and locals improve. Residents claim that the relationship has grown unusually strained during the 11-year term of Shirley Tilghman, the Ivy League institution's current president, who will depart at the end of the academic year, The Star-Ledger reported. Addressing the Princeton committee set up to search for a replacement, Ms Moore said: "There have certainly been different types of relationships between town and gown, but what has often been the tone set was a gentlemanly manner. What the community has experienced is something much less than a gentlewomanly manner of treatment."

Australia

Trademark tussle

Two Australian law colleges are in a legal wrangle over the names of their institutions. The College of Law, a Sydney-based finishing school for young lawyers, is suing the Australian National University for calling its law faculty the ANU College of Law. The Sydney firm says that ANU has infringed its trademark, misled students and made "wrongful profits" by passing off its "legal education services" as if they were the college's, according to documents filed with the Federal Court. In reply, ANU argues that the college's trademark should never have been granted, The Australian reported. According to the university, the court should cancel the trademark because there is nothing distinctive about the term "college of law", which has been used by universities since the 19th century.

India

Private party: send more invites

Indian higher education institutions must allow more foreign investment and experience to enter the sector if they want to be world leaders, a report has claimed. According to Indian Higher Education Sector: Opportunities Aplenty, Growth Unlimited, a report by financial services firm Deloitte, India needs more foreign direct investment to meet its target of doubling its gross enrolment ratio (GER) by 2020. "The private sector's role in higher education has been growing at a rapid pace over the past decade and needs to further expand at an accelerated rate in order to achieve the GER target," the report says. The government has set an aggressive target of achieving 30 per cent GER in higher education by 2020 from the current level of 15 per cent, The Hindu Business Line reported. To achieve this, the report says, an additional $190 million (£119.8 million) has to be invested in the next eight years, with the private sector playing "a much larger role".

United States

Hikes, take a hike

The governing bodies of two Californian university systems have agreed to postpone proposed tuition fee increases after pleas from the state's governor. California State University and the University of California heeded the request from Jerry Brown, a plea backed by students of both systems. Robert Linscheid, chairman of the CSU board of trustees, confirmed that it had withdrawn a set of fee rises from discussion at its meeting last week. The UC board of regents also confirmed that it was shelving rises in light of Mr Brown's request, the Associated Press reported. The governor said that fee increases harmed low-income students, adding that he questioned the wisdom of raising tuition so soon after voters had agreed to a quarter-cent sales tax hike and higher income taxes for wealthy Californians, partly to fund education. "This is no time to be raising fees of any kind," Mr Brown said. "Voters gave us billions in new revenue, now we have to use that very judiciously."

Pakistan

Widening participation

The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan has decided to award more than 10,000 scholarships to underprivileged students. The scholarships will be given to talented students who face financial constraints, especially those living in rural areas, Business Recorder reported. Special emphasis will be given to applicants from Balochistan, federally administered tribal areas, plus the Sindh and Southern Punjab regions.

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