World Encompassed

October 26, 2007

New York University links with Abu Dhabi

A US university has announced plans for a major campus in Abu Dhabi. New York University confirmed that the deal would go ahead after several months of speculation. The university said the campus, which will take students from 2010, would be a residential research university with course content overseen by staff in the US. It will take about 2,000 students. The Abu Dhabi Government will provide land and financing for the construction and operation of the campus.

Russia considers two-tier degrees

The Russian Government is proposing a two-tier system for undergraduates, according to the news agency Interfax. A Bill, passed in the third reading by the Duma, would divide undergraduates into bachelors and masters (otherwise known as specialists). Only the specialists would be able to take postgraduate courses. The Bill is intended to improve education quality and match supply of qualified workers to the demands of employers.

Indian minister slams country's 'sick' system

India's higher education system is the "sick child of education", according to one of the country's ministers. Arjun Singh, Human Resources Minister, told a conference of vice-chancellors that higher education was not serving India's young people properly and the curriculum should be revised. The Times of India reported that Bhalchandra Mungekar, a member of the Government's Planning Commission, said that only 9 to 10 per cent of Indian graduates were employable.

US Asian students hampered by poverty

Asian-Americans are finding it harder to succeed in higher education, according to a new report. The study from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that nearly 52 per cent went to their first-choice university in 2005, down from 68 per cent in 1974, even though the high- school grades of Asian-American students had gone up. The study said Asian-American students were more likely than average to come from low- income families and find it difficult to pay for their education.

Higher fees cited as Tax target

US universities should have their endowments taxed if they raise their tuition fees by more than a specified level, a government committee has been told. Jane Gravelle, of the Congressional Research Service, made the suggestion to the Senate Committee on Finance. However, a group of bodies representing US universities said taxing endowments would lead to greater tuition fee rises and push down money available for student financial aid funds. The American Council on Education, the Association of American Universities, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges added that the move would mean charitable gifts made by donors would become a source of tax income for Government.

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