Category Archives: Asia
October 15, 2012, 10:54 am
Public universities in Sri Lanka reopened on Monday after the government agreed to terms with striking faculty members, reports the Colombo Page. The country’s Higher Education Ministry shut down the campuses in August, when negotiations stalled between the ministry and the Federation of University Teachers’ Association. The strike ended after the government agreed to a pay raise for instructors and to increase spending on education in next year’s budget, the newspaper reports.
October 9, 2012, 12:26 pm
A Chinese couple is suing an American education consultant to whom the two allegedly gave more than $2-million on promises to get their sons into an Ivy League institution, reports The Boston Globe. In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Boston, Gerald and Lily Chow have accused Mark Zimny, a former lecturer and visiting assistant professor at Harvard University, of fraud, breach of contract, and other charges. The family and Mr. Zimny declined to comment for the article.
In court documents, the Chows say that over two years they gave Mr. Zimny’s company, IvyAdmit, $2.2-million, which they said was supposed to pay for tutoring services for their children, be used to make donations to elite colleges, and be invested on the family’s behalf. In legal papers, the consultant acknowledges receiving the money, but he also denies or questions some of the allegations.
October 8, 2012, 2:49 pm
The second-largest university in the Afghan capital of Kabul has been rocked by student protests and violence after President Hamid Karzai’s decision to change its name from the Kabul Education University to the Martyr of Peace Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani University, reports The New York Times. Mr. Rabbani, a leader of a Tajik political party, was killed last year by a suicide bomber. The change has become a fault line between ethnic groups in the country, with Tajiks, mostly from outside the university, supporting it and Pashtun and Hazara students opposing it.
September 7, 2012, 12:20 pm
Thousands of students, teachers, and activists are protesting in Hong Kong against a proposal to include Chinese “moral and national education” in the territory’s schools, reports The Washington Post. The new curriculum has been criticized as an attempt at brainwashing by China’s Communist Party. It would be taught at elementary and secondary schools, but university students are a vocal part of the demonstrations, which have occupied a city plaza and include at least 10 people on hunger strikes. About 1,000 university students are expected to boycott classes on Tuesday if the local government doesn’t reverse its plan, reports The Standard.
September 4, 2012, 10:56 am
Pakistan’s government has allocated money to support some 10,000 doctoral students on government scholarships, relieving concerns that the funds would not be forthcoming, The Nation reports. The Ministry of Finance held back the money last quarter as part of a dispute over the nation’s higher-education budget. The move led to widespread protests, and scholarship students, almost 50 percent of whom are overseas, complained of hardships. “The delays in the release of development funds was one of the major issues as hundreds of scholars were running into serious crises, and it will be great relief for them,” said Javaid R. Laghari, chairman of the Higher Education Commission, the graduate universities’ regulator.
August 22, 2012, 11:18 am
The Sri Lankan government has closed all its universities indefinitely, saying a two-month-long strike by academics has paralyzed the island nation’s higher-education system, reports the Colombo Page. The Federation of University Teachers’ Association is asking that the government increase spending on education, award greater autonomy to universities, and raise instructors’ salaries. The minister of higher education said that the government had agreed to most of the demands, but that the salary increase remains unresolved.
July 30, 2012, 12:12 pm
The National Cheng Kung University, in Taiwan, said Monday that it is suing Apple for patent infringement, saying the technology company’s speech-recognition system used by Siri in iPhones violates two U.S. patents the university holds, reports Reuters. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, is seeking undisclosed damages. Reuters could not immediately reach an Apple representative in Asia for comment. The university said it was also looking at whether products by Google and Microsoft violate its patents.
July 16, 2012, 11:40 am
Students at Yale-NUS College, the start-up liberal-arts institution in Singapore, will not be able to hold political protests or form partisan political societies, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to Singapore’s Ministry of Education, the new institution, the result of a partnership between Yale University and the University of Singapore, will have to abide by local laws, which forbid demonstrations and protests on campus unless approved by university administration. Pericles Lewis, a Yale professor who was recently named the college’s first president, said that while political societies and protests will not be allowed, students and faculty members “are going to be totally free to express their views.”
Still, the restriction is likely to give further ammunition to critics, who argue that Yale should not be helping set up a campus in a country with limits on political and…
July 16, 2012, 11:35 am
Obaidullah Obaid, Afghanistan’s minister of higher education, survived an assassination attempt Sunday when a bomb exploded near his motorcade, reports Reuters. The roadside bombing occurred on a highway outside the city of Baghlan, in northern Afghanistan. Two of Mr. Obaid’s bodyguards were wounded in the attack. Earlier this month a car bomb killed seven Afghans outside Kandahar University.
July 11, 2012, 2:20 pm
Joe Gordon, an American sentenced to prison in Thailand for violating a law that forbids criticizing the country’s monarchy, has received a royal pardon, reports the Associated Press. Several scholars have run afoul of the law, and critics say it restricts academic inquiry and freedom of expression. Mr. Gordon, who was born in Thailand, translated a banned biography, The King Never Smiles, and posted the contents online. He was sentenced to two and half years in prison in December.