World watch

January 26, 2001

Lectures and seminars in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been suspended for a week out of respect for assassinated president Laurent Kabila. But at the University of Kivu in the Rwandan-backed rebel heldeastern province, the authorities warned that anybody whoboycotted classes would bedismissed.


Namibia's national student organisation has given the Southern African Student Union until the end of January to close its offices in the country and move elsewhere. Union leaders ordered the SASU out of the country because of "irreconcilable differences" between the two organisations.

New York

A joint initiative between the Russian ministry of higher education and the Carnegie Corporation of New York will develop centres for advanced study at three Russian universities. A $2.4 million grant fromthe corporation will enhance research, education, and scholarship in Russia.

Police are interviewing students and acquaintances of an artprofessor found stabbed to death in his office at the University of Toronto. David Buller was a senior lecturer in the fine art department and a part-time artist. One newspaper report suggested that issues raised by a recent homo-erotic artwork he exhibited could have been a factor in his murder.

Nigeria's government has given universities 60 days to shut down satellite campuses and outreach centres in line with a directive issued last November to regulate the sector. Vice-chancellors who fail to comply face dismissal while universities risk losing federal government funding and the de-recognition of certificates.

Washington DC
A survey of first-year students for the American Council on Education shows they are getting higher grades than past generations but that they are studying less. In the study of 269,413 students at 434 colleges and universities, just 36 per cent of incoming freshmen spent six or more hours a week doing homework at high school, yet nearly 43 per cent said they had A grade averages, up from 42.7 per cent in 1999 and 18 per cent in 1968.

Italy's foreign-language lecturers' fourth job discrimination case against the Italian state has been presented to the European Court of Justice. The European Commission has asked for the lecturers' rights to retrospective economic benefits from career reconstruction to be upheld in accordance with a 1962 Italian national law.


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