Category Archives: Global

What’s happening abroad—and how it affects U.S. colleges.


Venezuela’s President Lashes Out at Harvard Economist

The president of Venezuela lashed out Thursday night at a Harvard economist for arguing that the country had racked up so much debt that it should consider defaulting, Bloomberg reports.

In a televised speech, Nicolas Maduro called Ricardo Hausmann a “financial hitman” and asked the country’s attorney general and public prosecutor to take “actions” against the Harvard professor. Mr. Hausmann responded on Friday by telling Bloomberg that the speech had been “the despotic diatribe of a tropical th…


In Many Countries, Access to Higher Ed Is Not Guaranteed, Report Says

Report: “Education at a Glance 2014: OECD Indicators”

Organization: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

Summary: A survey of 44 countries found that increasing emphasis on vocational education and curriculum changes have greatly improved access to elementary and secondary education, but the changes have not had the same effect on higher education.

While an estimated 84 percent of young people today will complete a high-school education over the course of their lives, an average…


Professor at Malaysian University Is Charged With Sedition

A law professor at the University of Malaya, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was charged on Tuesday with sedition over comments he made about a 2009 political crisis, Reuters reported. The charge against the professor, Azmi Sharom, stemmed from a recent article in which he was quoted as saying that the collapse of an opposition state government in 2009 was “legally wrong” and resulted from a “secret meeting.”

He pleaded not guilty and requested a trial. The charge carries a maximum penalty of a fine …


Professor at Israeli University Says He Was Fired Over His Political Views

A professor at Ariel University, in Israel, has accused the institution of dismissing him over his political views, Haaretz has reported.

A disciplinary panel said the professor, Amir Hetsroni, was being dismissed for “conduct inappropriate for a member of the faculty.” He had been accused in a complaint of making disparaging comments on his Facebook page about an Internet forum for women who were victims of sexual assault. The newspaper reported in April that the complaint had been withdrawn at…


Johns Hopkins Ends Partnership With Malaysian University

The Johns Hopkins University has ended its partnership with a Malaysian university’s graduate school of medicine in an apparent dispute over late payments, University World News reports.

The medical school at Johns Hopkins had provided services to Perdana University’s parent company, Academic Medical Centre, to help develop a private teaching hospital and a medical school with an American-style curriculum. But Johns Hopkins officials said they had ended the relationship, citing chronic late p…


Scholar Says Pro-Democracy Activism Cost Him His Job at U. of Macau

[Updated (8/19/2014, 1:00 p.m.) to include a statement from the university.]

A professor at the University of Macau says he lost his job for speaking out in favor of increased democratization in the Chinese territory, The New York Times reported.

Bill Chou Kwok-ping, an associate professor of political science, says he was not told why his contract was not renewed, but he believes that the decision was related to his pro-democracy views. In June, the university suspended him without pay for 24 d…


Scholars of Middle East Studies Call for Boycott of Israeli Universities

A group of more than 100 scholars and librarians of Middle East studies has called for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza and joining a number of disciplinary associations that have endorsed such a boycott. This week the American Studies Association—whose members voted last year to boycott Israeli universities—called on the United States to withdraw its support for Israel.


Captain of Sunken Cruise Ship Takes Part in Seminar at Italian University

Controversy has erupted over news that the captain of the Costa Concordia—a cruise ship that sank in 2012, killing 32 passengers—participated last month in a seminar organized by a professor at Italy’s largest university, The Guardian reports.

The captain, Francesco Schettino, who has been charged with manslaughter, causing a maritime disaster, and abandoning ship, spoke as part of a seminar in which the 2012 disaster was discussed. The rest of the details are a matter of dispute.

Mr. Schettino …


Scientist Linked to a Research Scandal in Japan Is Found Dead

Yoshiki Sasai, a senior official at a Japanese research center who was a co-author of two disputed papers on stem cells, was found dead on Tuesday of an apparent suicide, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Mr. Sasai was deputy director of the Riken Center for Developmental Biology, which publicly shamed the papers’ lead author, Haruko Obokata, accusing her of fabricating data, doctoring images, and plagiarism. Ms. Obokata, who has admitted mistakes but not ill intent, is fighting the allegations …


American-Studies Group Calls for Withdrawal of Support From Israel

The American Studies Association’s executive committee has called on the United States government to withdraw all support from the state of Israel, citing attacks on Palestinian universities, including a recent strike on the Islamic University in Gaza City.

In a statement the committee said, in part: “Israel’s continued attacks on identifiable academic institutions are part of its campaign of collective punishment that has already claimed more than 1,650 lives. This goes well beyond the denial…