World Watch

December 1, 2000

An armed man walked into the vice-chancellor's office at Vienna University and shot dead his girlfriend, who worked there as a secretary, and then committed suicide. The man, an unemployed academic who had doctorates in astronomy and history and a masters in physics, reportedly had difficulties in accepting financial dependence on his partner.

A 38-year-old man burst into a lecture hall at Pisa University, shot dead his estranged wife, wounded two other students and tried, unsuccessfully, to kill himself.

The Federal University of Rondonia in western Brazil has been accused of exploitation following its decision to pay a professor on a one-year contract with full teaching duties a monthly salary of just R318 (£116), 90 per cent less than a full-contract lecturer would receive. The case has sparked threats of a nationwide strike because of the precedent it sets in lecturers' long-running pay dispute.

Officials from the University of Namibia are discussing collaboration in higher education reform and human resource capacity building with the University of the Wi****ersrand in South Africa. A scholarship programme for Namibian doctoral candidates to pursue studies at Wits is likely to be formalised, and collaboration in medical, engineering and educational policy research explored.

Janos Mujzer, director of Hungary's Environmental Economics Institute, has alleged that a "criminal group" has been embezzling institute funds. He was alerted to the apparent fraud when he discovered that some staff with secondary education only were being paid three times as much as staff with degrees.

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