Overseas briefing

March 5, 2009

United States

Governor and chancellor fall out

A clash between the head of Nevada's higher education system and its state governor has led to a breakdown in relations. The row stems from a newspaper article written by James E. Rogers, the chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education, which was openly critical of Governor James Gibbons. The article, which appeared in the Nevada Appeal, accused the Republican politician of being "a greedy, uninterested, unengaged human being". Mr Gibbons responded by announcing in a press release that because of the "incendiary and fictitious accusations", he would no longer deal with Mr Rogers directly. Instead, the chancellor will appoint a liaison officer to act as a go-between.


Downturn sees MBA rules relaxed

Chinese universities have been ordered to enrol MBA students without the work experience they usually need in a bid to tackle unemployment. According to the Shanghai Daily, universities in the city have each been asked to admit 50 to 60 extra graduates into their MBA programmes this year. Whereas applicants would normally need at least three years of work experience to be considered, the Ministry of Education has asked institutions to waive this stipulation. Across China, the ministry is hoping to admit 6,000 new graduates with no work experience into MBA programmes this year as part of a drive to increase postgraduate numbers by 50,000. Other disciplines the Government is seeking to boost include public administration, engineering, law and accounting.


Israeli institutions boycotted

Members of a Canadian lecturers' union have voted for an academic boycott of Israeli universities. The resolution passed by the Ontario branch of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) stops short of a boycott of individual academics, as was mooted previously, but does sanction a boycott of institutions and puts pressure on Canadian universities to cut research and investment ties that could benefit the Israeli Defence Force, The Toronto Star reported. Although the move has been condemned by Jewish groups in Canada, it was passed by a clear majority vote. Members of CUPE's Ontario branch called on the union nationally to develop a campaign against what it branded Israel's "apartheid" practices, such as building a wall around Palestinian territory and invading the Gaza Strip in December.


'Fake' universities are rife

An official report suggests that there are more than 20 "fake" universities operating in India. According to the University Grants Commission (UGC), Uttar Pradesh has nine fake institutions - more than any other region - and Delhi has six, the Indian Express reported. The UGC said that only universities established by Act of Parliament or granted university status by state legislatures are legitimate. Those not created through such legislation, many of which operate under the Societies Registration Act, have no right to confer degrees, it said.


Wanted: bodies to fill corpse gap

A shortage of corpses is impeding medical research and training in Australia. In a call for more people to leave their bodies to science, the University of Adelaide said its current haul of about 80 corpses a year was not enough. Wesley Fisk, head of dissection at the university's department of anatomical sciences, told ABC News: "It's something that we want people to think about. It's a fairly powerful thing to donate your body to science."


Germany reaffirms Adama links

In light of its long-term links with Ethiopia, the German Government has reaffirmed its commitment to help Adama University with the appointment of Herbert Eichele as its president. Claas Dieter Knoop, Germany's Ambassador to Ethiopia, also visited the university and pledged further financial and technical assistance. Adama is based in the Oromia region and, like many Ethiopian institutions, has faced financial problems. It is now prioritising technical and vocational education, news website Allafrica.com reported.

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