Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

World in Brief

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

World in Brief

Article excerpt

United States

Mr President, you've got mail

Actor Tom Hanks has put his weight behind President Barack Obama's plans to give US students two years of community college education without tuition fees. In a speech in South Dakota on 8 May, Mr Obama said it was "in everybody's interest" for students who are "willing to work" to have free tuition. Mr Hanks, star of Forrest Gump, said in a White House email that his own community college experience had "filled my head with expanded dreams" and that "more kids (and adults, for that matter) should have this chance".


Title bout

Some institutions are "cashing in on the Netherlands' hard-won name" and "asking students to waste their time and money" on "worthless" qualifications, according to Jet Bussemaker, the nation's minister of education, culture and science. A new bill aims to restrict the titles "universiteit" or "hogeschool" (university of applied sciences) to officially recognised institutions. Dutch branches of such institutions from the European Economic Area would be required to clarify exactly who is awarding their degrees, while non-EEA institutions would be able to use the titles only if they are ranked among the world elite.


Giants stand shoulder to shoulder

A new association to promote links between Russian and Indian universities will provide a "unique forum" for international cooperation, its organisers claim. The Russian-Indian Association of Institutions of Higher Education will facilitate research collaboration plus academic and student exchange between the countries' leading universities. A memorandum of understanding to create the non-profit organisation was signed by senior university leaders from India and Russia in the presence of Pranab Mukherjee, India's president, during a state visit to Moscow this month.


Better off on the bins

Minimum wage increases in Venezuela have left low-ranking academics earning less than unqualified workers. …

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