Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

News in Brief: News

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

News in Brief: News

Article excerpt

Australia

Deregulate sector, urge businesses

University tuition fees would be deregulated, bureaucracy reduced and the Australian federal government in more control of vocational training if the pre-election manifesto of a national forum of business leaders were to be adopted. The Economic Action Plan for Enduring Prosperity put forward by the Business Council of Australia says market arrangements should be extended in the sector to help spur the growth of "world-class and more differentiated" specialist university courses. The document says fees should be uncapped, just as university places have been, as "further deregulating the fees paid by university students (would) enable institutions to move away from the incentive to get high numbers of students through price-capped courses". The BCA says institutions could better focus on their core business if the bureaucratic burden were reduced, The Australian reported.

Turkey

Scholar risks jail in headscarf row

A Turkish academic is facing two years in prison for forbidding access to a university building by a student wearing a headscarf. Ankara's Supreme Court of Appeals has upheld a court's verdict against Esat Rennan Pekunlu, an astrophysicist at Ege University in Izmir. Professor Pekunlu was first sentenced in September 2012 after Fatma Nur Gidal accused him of violating her right to education, Nature reported. She also said he had violated her right to privacy by photographing her and other students wearing headscarves on campus. After Professor Pekunlu was fined by Ege, four more students filed complaints. A group of eight academic organisations issued a joint statement questioning the fairness of the trial, which they called an attack on secular academics.

Japan

Drug data manipulation identified

A second Japanese university has found that clinical data used in research for a drug that lowers blood pressure may have been manipulated. Seibu Mochizuki, a guest professor at Jikei University's School of Medicine, who led the institution's research on the drug Diovan, is offering to withdraw a paper published in The Lancet in 2007, noting that doubts have emerged about the credibility of the research. …

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