World today: 8 October 2009

October 8, 2009

Israel

Fears that budget cuts will threaten Nobel attainment

Budget cuts in Israeli higher education will make it difficult for academics to win honours such as the Nobel Prize, the Council for Higher Education in Israel has warned.

Ynetnews reports that Israeli academic Ada Yonath’s 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry has raised expectations of future successes.

But experts worry that recent cuts of £166.5 million from research and teaching budgets will leave Israeli scholars struggling to compete for academic honours.

United States

Part-time work linked to better grades

Working in a part-time job while studying may not be a hindrance to academic achievement, an American study suggests.

The analysis, detailed by Inside Higher Ed, states that students who work 20 hours or fewer in paid employment each week may have a higher grade-point average than their jobless peers.

The findings, published in the Journal of Population Economics, also debunk the idea that students work to pay tuition fees, suggesting that income is typically spent on personal expenses.

Canada

Bid to attract more Chinese students

China’s growing middle class has led to a boom in the number of the country’s students who opt for overseas study. However, as The Globe and Mail newspaper reports, Canadian universities are proving less successful than their rivals at tapping into this lucrative market.

Although the number of Chinese students in Canada has risen in recent years, an ongoing trade dispute between the two countries means that Canada currently attracts fewer numbers than the US, UK or Australia. The Government is now considering a proposal to invest £11.7 million each year for five years to promote Canadian education overseas.

Qatar

Emir’s wife extols virtues of education

In a speech to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s general conference, reported in The Peninsula newspaper, Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, Qatar’s special envoy for basic and higher education, emphasised universal rights to education. The wife of the Emir of Qatar used her speech to equate education deprivation with deprivation of life. She also warned of a structural crisis facing education, which she said may be more dangerous than the current financial or environmental crises in the long run.

Malaysia

Call to increase scientist numbers

More scientists and researchers are needed in Malaysia, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, has said.

The country has ambitions to have 60 scientists, researchers or engineers for every 10,000 working Malaysians. However Bernama, the Malaysian national news agency, reports that it currently has less than one fifth of that number.

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