Drop-out rate soars as students cannot afford fees
Student leaders in Zimbabwe have held a crisis meeting with the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai last week after it emerged that 28% of students had dropped out of the country’s leading universities because of a lack of foreign currency to settle tuition fees. The University of Zimbabwe started its new term last Monday but students have been set tuition fees between US$300 and $1,500 in a country where the highest paid civil servant earns less than US$200 a month and unemployment sits around 90%. Zimbabwe abolished the use of the Zimbabwe dollar in February last year when the United States dollar, South African Rand and Botswana Pula were declared legal tender. This has left many students without the necessary funds to pay for tuition, forcing them to drop out.
Foreign lecturers in Italy finally get their Pay
British lecturers that teach in Italy are finally to put decades of low pay, denied pensions and missed promotions behind them this week after a Italian court awarded seven British lecturers at the University of Padua about 300,000 pounds each in back wages following a 12-year-legal battle. The dream of teaching at ancient universities in stunning Italian towns such as Verona has proved irresistible to hundreds of British lecturers drawn by Dante and Boccaccio over the last 30 years. David Petrie, a representative of the lecturers talks of the hardships, “There are 300-400 foreign lecturers in Italy, half of whom are British, who now take home an average of 1000 Euro a month, while their Italian equivalents earn over twice that much despite six largely ignored rulings by the European court of justice on equal treatment.” Now Britain’s Minister for Europe, Chris Bryant is poised to take up the case with the Italian government after last week’s court ruling.
Student suspended from oxford in UCAS APPLICATION scandal
A first year student at Oxford University has been suspended after it was discovered he forged parts of his UCAS entrance application. The student, who wan a place in 2009 to read Economics and Management, claimed to have graduated from Langley Grammar School with at least 10 A grades at A-level. He faked the relevant documents required for application, which included a forged reference from a teacher. Embarrassinglyw for the university, forgeries were not revealed until he had completed an entire term, when one college noticed some academic discrepancies in his personal record. Janet Jamieson, Deputy Headmistress of Langley Grammar School said, “He certainly did not achieve those A-level grades, nor did he achieve the GCSEs that he claimed from his previous school. This boy was a student here and that is where it ends,” Jamieson said in a statement to Cherwell, the university newspaper.
Only one in seven will get UNIVERSITY Place in 2010
More than 200,000 students in the United Kingdom risk missing out on degree courses in September after revelations from vice-chancellors that universities are freezing places. The move risks “shattering the dreams” of record numbers of school leavers competing to get into higher education on the economic downturn, it was claimed. One university leader warned that institutions were being forced to prioritise foreign students over those from the UK because they can be charged as much as 30,000 pounds a year. It also emerged that almost seven people are competing for each place at elite universities, prompting claims that more students with straight As will be rejected. Professor Steve Smith, president of Universities UK, which represents vice-chancellors, suggested more than 200,000 students could miss out as a result of the squeeze. “Last year about 160,000 students who applied didn’t end up going to university, this year we already know that there are about another 75,000 applying for university. So the number of students who go to university will be less than the number that actually want to go and thus there will be a lot of students this year who do not get a place.”