Overseas briefing

August 21, 2008

United States

Tutor reinstated after reprimand

A tutor who was fired for enrolling in his own classes at a college in Alabama is to be reinstated after an arbitrator's ruling. Henry Douglas, who teaches at Bishop State Community College in Mobile, was sacked when an audit found that he had enrolled in ten courses that he was teaching and taking six more when he was actually teaching. The Press-Register newspaper said Mr Douglas received six A grades and one B in 2007. He claimed that he had been instructed to take the modules by college administrators who thought that he needed to add to his qualifications. His lawyer argued that he was following independent-study courses and that he was not, in fact, teaching himself. James Odom Jr, the arbitrator in the case, ruled that a reprimand was sufficient and that other action taken against Mr Douglas was unfair.

South Korea

There's a place for everyone

Every would-be student who has applied to enter university in South Korea will get a place because the expansion of higher education has created more places than there are students, The China Post has reported. The newspaper said that even candidates who had scored zero points on the university entrance exam would be accepted because of the mismatch. The number of universities has been multiplying in the past decade since a government review removed restrictions and upgraded high schools into higher education colleges.

Australia

Crime could scare off Chinese

The crime rate in some Australian cities may be putting the lucrative flow of foreign students from Asia at risk, recent developments suggest. The Chinese consulate in Sydney has asked authorities to provide better protection for students after a surge in the number of robberies and assaults, The Canberra Times said. More than 180,000 international students studied in the state of New South Wales last year, with Chinese nationals the largest group at most universities.

Europe

Continental quality reassurance

Quality assurance agencies for higher education can now apply to join the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR). The register, which was founded in March, has been described as a "milestone" in the Bologna Process, which aims to harmonise higher education across Europe. Membership in the EQAR is voluntary, and quality assurance agencies accepted on to the register will have to submit to an independent review. Lesley Wilson, president of the EQAR's executive board, said the register would for the first time allow students and employers across Europe to be certain about which institutions and degree programmes had been reviewed by a credible quality assurance agency.

India

Institution 'sinking into a crisis'

One of the oldest universities in India's northeastern provinces is "groping in the dark" as the Government fails to tackle its numerous problems, critics have said. Gauhati University, founded 60 years ago, has been struggling after an inquiry discovered financial irregularities and its vice-chancellor was sacked in 2006. His replacement, renowned physicist Amarjyoti Choudhury, lasted less than two years before resigning and accusing the Government of letting down the institution. In a leader, The Indian Express said Gauhati was "sinking into a deep financial crisis".

"No new developmental project has been taken up in the past five to six years, employees are not getting their pensions, buildings and hostels are in bad shape and 100 posts of teachers are lying vacant," it said.

United States

Full monty leads to ejection

A nude photo scandal has led to two top student athletes being kicked off their university wrestling team. Paul Donahoe and Kenny Jordan were ejected from the University of Nebraska team after posing naked on Fratmentv.com, a gay porn website, Associated Press reported. Their coach, Mark Manning, said their behaviour "does not reflect the standard of excellence we aspire to on and off the mat". The owner of the website said the students had been paid "better than beer money", adding that "this generation of student-athletes don't have the stigma about porn".

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