World in brief - 1 May 2014

May 1, 2014

United States
Indian applicants up by one-third

Applications to US graduate schools from India have risen dramatically in the past year, according to a new report. The Council of Graduate Schools, in its annual international graduate admissions survey, showed that applications from India rose by 32 per cent from 2013, accounting for 18 per cent of all international graduate students at US institutions. There was a 1 per cent decline in applications from China, which accounts for 33 per cent of international graduate students in the US.

Canada
Shooting victims sue

A university is facing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit by two student bystanders injured in a campus shooting. The students claim that York University in Toronto did not provide adequate security ahead of the incident on 6 March. According to local reports, Aini Malik, who was shot in the leg, is suing for C$18 million (£9.7 million), while Namra Malik, who is not related, is suing for $1 million after being hit by shrapnel. Six other students are each suing for $250,000, claiming they suffered psychological harm. A 22-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the shooting.

Denmark
Tax perks for scholars

Highly qualified graduates are to be taxed less in Denmark, in a bid to help the country retain international students when they finish university. A fast-track system to provide skilled graduates with permanent residency and equal access to the Danish health system and other welfare services is also to be created as part of a plan to attract more international master’s and PhD students. The measures follow a government-commissioned report that found that 1,000 to 1,500 jobs are created in the Danish economy if 1,000 foreign experts can be retained.

Ecuador
A poverty stat to celebrate

Free higher education has resulted in Ecuador having the greatest proportion of poor people studying at university of any Latin American country, according to the country’s president, Rafael Correa. Speaking at an event at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics on 9 April, Mr Correa displayed data from the Economic Commission for Latin America. It showed that participation in higher education of the poorest quintile in 2012 was per cent in Ecuador, compared with just under 20 per cent in Argentina and Chile. “We are very proud of the social gains that we have achieved,” he said.

Nigeria
Research misconduct ‘rife’

Half of scientific researchers questioned in Nigeria know a colleague who has committed research misconduct, while more than 96 per cent said that it had occurred in their institution, a new study has revealed. “Misconduct in research: a descriptive survey of attitudes, perceptions and associated factors in a developing country”, published in the journal BMC Medical Ethics, found that more than half of those surveyed rated the penalties for misconduct as “low”, and close to six in 10 felt that their chances of getting caught were limited.

Australia
V-c warns of harsh new reality

The head of an Australian university has suggested that tuition fees may have to be raised if the government cuts funding for tertiary education in this month’s budget. Glyn Davis, the vice-chancellor of the University of Melbourne, told The Sydney Morning Herald it was a “reality” that students may have to pay more for their education if quality is not to be sacrificed. “Do we just take the cuts or is there some scope to lift fees?” he said. “No one wants to introduce higher fees but the reality won’t go away just because it is difficult.”

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