World watch

July 13, 2001


Brazilian education minister Paulo Renato Souza has announced a reform that will allow the ministry to close down university faculties and suspend or terminate higher education courses that it considers to be of poor quality, dispensing with lengthy bureaucratic procedures.

The decision follows accusations over the past months that there was insufficient control on an increasing number of sub-standard faculties that were being created for commercial gain.


Seoul National University professors have sent a letter to United Nations leaders stating their opposition to Japan's bid to become a permanent member of the security council. The letter claims that the Japanese government has contributed to distorting history, expressing no remorse for its war crimes.


Up to six students are reported to have been arrested for organising a gathering to mark the anniversary of a police attack on students at Tehran University.


Iranian universities are to take part in Cern's scientific programmes under an agreement that will bring one researcher and three students to Geneva to work on a particle detector.


Nigerian universities face the threat of industrial action by senior administrative staff seeking parity with university lecturers, who won a 30 per cent pay increase when a three-month strike ended last week.

Kuala Lumpur

Malaysian police have arrested Mohamad Fuad Ikhwan, president of the student council at the University of Malaysia, for alleged anti-government activities.
Under the country's Internal Security Act, anyone who "has acted, is about to act, or is likely to act in any manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia" can be held for up to 60 days without trial and without access to a lawyer.


Jaffna University in northern Sri Lanka has been closed indefinitely following protests about the arrest of a student leader.

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