World in brief - 17 April 2014

April 17, 2014

United States
Not a man in institutional eyes

Thousands of people have signed a petition urging George Fox University in Oregon to allow a transgender student to live in a men’s dormitory during his third year of studies. The student, known as Jayce, is recognised as male by his family and friends, but the university has said that he cannot live with his male friends in campus housing, and that it had instead offered him a single apartment on campus. “At this time, the student has not legally changed genders,” the university said in a statement.

No clogs in international recruitment

The Danish Agency for Higher Education has issued an English-language summary of a government action plan to attract more international students to the country. “Denmark: An Attractive Study Destination – How to Attract and Retain Talent from Abroad” says the country wants not only to “attract the most capable international students” but also to ensure that far more international graduates remain in Denmark. It proposes initiatives including a new grant programme for non-European Union students and the expansion of a successful marketing campaign in China and Brazil to India.

Campus bombs defused

Twelve homemade bombs on the campus of Ain Shams University in Cairo were discovered and defused by police on 8 April, according to an Interior Ministry official. The incident comes a week after a bombing near Cairo University that killed a police chief and injured at least five others. Three bombs detonated just outside the campus on 2 April, with a jihadist group, Ajnad Misr, reportedly claiming responsibility for the blasts.

Students clash with riot police

A number of protesters were injured in fresh clashes between students and police at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas. A group of students who gathered at the university on 3 April intending to march on government offices were met by police using water cannon and rubber bullets. The students retaliated with gas bombs and firecrackers, according to a report by Reuters. Students have been participating in protests, which began in February, calling for President Nicolas Maduro to resign.

Hello Shanghai, bye-bye Beijing

Shanghai has overtaken Beijing as the destination of choice for China’s graduates. More than 51,000 students across 103 Chinese universities who are about to complete their studies were asked about their career expectations and likely choices by career consulting company Universum. The next most popular choices were Beijing and Guangzhou. Reports suggest that Shanghai’s relatively open and entrepreneurial nature and comparatively lower levels of air pollution have made the city increasingly attractive.

Don’t let death stop graduates repaying

The Australian government should stop writing off student debt when graduates die, says the co-author of a review of the country’s demand-driven higher education system that was published this week. Andrew Norton made the suggestion in a separate report, Doubtful Debt: The Rising Cost of Student Loans, for the Grattan Institute thinktank. He estimated that such a measure, combined with the pursuit of repayments from graduates who move overseas, could save the government more than A$800 million (£450 million) a year by 2017.

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