World watch

December 15, 2000

President Saparmyrat Niyazov of Turkmenistan has doubled all student grants in honour of the fifth anniversary of his country's neutrality. University students will receive 412,000 manats (Pounds 54) a month, instead of 206,000, and students at vocational colleges will receive 2,000 manats instead of 113,000.

A Sudanese man who admitted that he raped and killed six female students at Sanaa University, has been sentenced to death by a Yemeni court. The man, who worked in the university medical school's morgue, confessed to 16 murders.

Violent confrontations between rival students on university campuses in Cote d'Ivoire have forced the authorities to close the universities. Clashes have occurred between supporters of the ruling FPI and the leading opposition RDR party that backed Allasane Ouattara's candidacy in this week's parliamentary elections.

Campinas State University, in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, has dropped plans to award Cuban premier Fidel Castro an honorary degree following protests by teaching staff and students who said they would vote against the proposal in the university's senate.

Teaching staff at the Universidad de la Republica have devised a novel method of publicising their demands for higher salaries. Lats Monday, a trompe l'oeil of plastic drapes covering the university's facade helped create the illusion of the building in a state of physical collapse.

Andres Pedreno, rector of Spain's Alicante University, has resigned to avoid further conflict between his university and its education authority, the Generalitat Valenciana. The row began in 1996 over the generalitat's decision to forcibly remove top Alicante departments to create a new university in Elche.

Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia's Tun Hussein Onn Institute of Technology in Batu Pahat is to be upgraded to a university to train teachers for polytechnics, community, vocational and technical colleges. The first students start in June 2001.

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