World in brief - 23 October 2014

October 23, 2014

United States
Speech cancelled after death threat

The Canadian-American feminist writer Anita Sarkeesian cancelled a speech at Utah State University, scheduled for 15 October, after the institution received an email threat. Ms Sarkeesian tweeted that she was pulling out after learning that the university would still allow concealed firearms at the talk because of state law, despite the anonymous message promising “the deadliest school shooting in American history”.

Tuition fees for international students planned

Norway is set to charge tuition fees for international students from next year. Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, minister for education and research, said that the fees for students from outside the European Economic Area could be used to compensate for about £7.5 million in higher education cuts. He also assured Norwegian students that “this is not a backdoor attempt to introduce tuition fees for everyone”. However, student groups protested against the plans when Mr Isaksen visited the University of Oslo last week, and the institution’s rector, Ole Petter Ottersen, also voiced his opposition.

Higher on the Rock: new university due in 2015

The government of Gibraltar has formally launched plans for the establishment of a university in the British overseas territory. Based on the site of a former school at Europa Point and due to open next September, the University of Gibraltar will consist of four faculties: business; health studies and sports science; tourism and hospitality; and life and earth sciences and Gibraltar/Mediterranean studies. All will offer both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in collaboration with internationally recognised universities.

Telecoms partnership focuses on research and development

A major telecommunications company in Brazil has opened an innovation laboratory at a São Paulo university. The Telefonica centre, at the University Center of Educational Foundation of Ignatius, will focus on the research and development of new digital technologies and strengthen the link between universities and businesses. The company is in further discussions to create more university partnerships in the South American country.

Protests greet start of academic year

The beginning of the academic year in Egypt has been marked by protests against the country’s military-backed government. Reports said that scores of students had been arrested after the entrance to the literature school of Alexandria University was set on fire and security forces stormed a sit-in at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University. Al Sayed Abdul Khaliq, Egypt’s higher education minister, said in a television interview that he would “immediately” expel any student or lecturer who was found to have taken part in the protests.

Science scholars get an invitation

The Indian government has launched an international visiting professorship programme through which 12 leading global scholars in science and technology will be invited to visit the country every year. The Maithreyi International Visiting Professorship was launched by Jitendra Singh, minister of science and technology, on 11 October. Mr Singh said that the project, which will involve the academics delivering talks at schools, colleges and research institutions, would bring the “greatest in the scientific world face to face to all of India”.

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