World watch

July 27, 2001

Italy's education minister, Letizia Moratti, announced that university reforms launched by the previous government would go ahead in principle, but that individual universities were free to delay for another two years. The legislation passed by the former government required universities to introduce the reforms from this year, and a number of universities had already applied some or all aspects of the reforms. Mr Moratti also made further changes in the system for recruiting lecturers.

Washington DC
United States universities and colleges have received grants totalling £4.5 million for faculty summer-study programmes, curriculum development, and research at minority-oriented colleges and universities from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

A plan by Austrian students to slow the release of fees to universities by channelling them through a single bank account have been frustrated by the refusal of the banks to cooperate with the protest.

A Chinese court has jailed for ten years Gao Zhan, an unpaid researcher at the American University in Washington, on charges of spying for Taiwan. The sociologist with permanent US resident status is accused of complicity with a Chinese-born, US citizen Li Shaomin, an associate professor of marketing at the City University of Hong Kong, who was convicted earlier this month and deported to the US on Wednesday.

Federally financed medical studies with minimal risk to human subjects can resume at Johns Hopkins University after being halted for four days, the federal Department of Health and Human Sciences has said. Studies were suspended last week after a healthy volunteer participant in an asthma study died in June.

The 78-member Nigerian delegation to this week's Education International congress was stranded in Johannesburg when the Nigerian consulate in South Africa refused to clear them for Thai visas. The congress ends today in Thailand.


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