World in Brief

The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE, February 4, 2016 | Go to article overview

World in Brief


Canada

Yoga becomes OK

A Canadian university's student body has announced that it will reinstate free yoga

classes for students, after suspending the lessons over fears that they could be seen as a form of "cultural appropriation" of a non-Western practice. The University of Ottawa Student Federation's Centre for Students with Disabilities said in a Facebook post that it would resume the weekly classes from this week. However, the new classes will not be run by Jennifer Scharf, who has led the lessons since 2008, but by a new instructor, Priya Shah, who has questioned whether she was hired "because I'm Indian". Ms Shah told CBC News that the review of the classes had not been mentioned to her by the student body.

India

Uproar over PhD's suicide

Fierce debate has continued in India over the suicide of a Dalit PhD student in a case that has ignited concerns over discrimination against lower castes in the country. Rohith Vemula, who was studying life sciences at Hyderabad Central University, died on 17 January. According to reports in the Indian press, the university had stopped paying Mr Vemula scholarship money and suspended him after a political clash with the student wing of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Hong Kong

Set up watchdog or face escalation, warn boycotters

Students at the University of Hong Kong have protested in support of their bid to gain more of a say in governance, after long-running controversy over perceived state interference in the running of the territory's universities. "Students boycotting classes...have warned that they may escalate their action if their demand to form a committee to review the institution's governance is not met," the South China Morning Post reported. The committee would examine whether Hong Kong's chief executive should be the university's chancellor by default, as well as the composition of the governing body, it added.

Chile

Ask the chief: science for 21st-century challenges

Scientists and humanists from around the world have attended the Congress of the Future, organised annually by the Chilean Senate to explore the "new world of opportunities, threats, questions, challenges and decisions" opened up by changing technology. …

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