A round up of student news from around the globe.
University head urges universities to ‘wake up’ (South Korea)
Pohang University of Science and Technology president, Kim Doh-yeon, has warned Korean universities of their demise as early as next year unless they wake up and break free from hackneyed educational methods used for decades. “Students still learn courses with the same titles in the same learning methods from 40 years ago,” he said.
Pointing out that there would be a drastic reduction in the number of students in 2018 due to the aging population, he said South Korea would have 10,000 fewer students than existing universities could afford. – Read the full article on The Korea Times site
Iranian students protest fees, suppression and discrimination
Last week, hundreds of students at several major Iranian universities protested against higher tuition fees and what they claim is political suppression and gender discrimination. The protests started at Tehran University, Beheshti, Kharazmi and Allameh Tabataba’i universities in the capital and expanded to several other institutions by Tuesday.
Protests against the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2009 presidential election, has led to hundreds of politically active students being harassed and arrested by security forces. Their publications have been systematically banned or censored, and some of the students have even been suspended or discharged from the university. – Full report on the Radio Farda site
Germany’s Max Planck Society seeks to hire more women
In November Germany’s renowned Max Planck Society launched a women-only hiring initiative to help tackle the underrepresentation of women in scientific research. The “Lise Meitner excellence programme” will create up to 10 positions for leading scientists. The society plans to put more than US$35 million (R477 million) towards the programme over the next four years.
A European Commission report in 2015 showed that while women represent nearly half of all PhD graduates, they represent only 21% of female researchers at the highest level. – Full report on The Scientist site
New Zimbabwean president calls on universities to help in economic revival
President Emmerson Mnangagwa said higher learning institutions had an obligation to contribute to economic development through innovative research and that universities should complement government through providing research and solutions to the country’s economy. He said despite the economic challenges faced by the country, the government would continue to provide financial support to higher and tertiary education institutions. – Full report on the NewsDay site