In this week’s news roundup we speak about Syrian students who were enrolled in Jordanian universities, new act that will provide support for academic freedom in Malaysia and the low number of students and universities in Moldova.
6,700 Syrian students enrolled in Jordanian universities
Arab News reports that the latest estimates by the Secretary General of the Amman based Association of the Arab Universities (AARU) Omar Salamah show the significant number of Syrian students in Jordan. In the previous academic year, around 6,700 students were majoring in different scientific fields. The project through which Syrian students are being helped is funded by the United Nations, Turkey, Germany and the Mediterranean Universities Union (UNIMED). Three universities where these students are concentrated are Zarqa University, Yarmouk University and Al-Zaytoonah University. Salamah also added that there is ”the need to provide a suitable environment for teaching and scientific research for Syrian students to harness necessary skills required to get a future job in the host countries or in their own in case they return after the end of the crisis.”
Academic autonomy and freedom supported by the new act in Malaysia
New Straits Times reports that Malaysian Education Ministry has decided to put in place a new financing and governance structure, which should create more academic autonomy and freedom in universities. The statement said: “Among actions that will be taken for consideration is to create a new higher education Act which will abolish and replace the AUKU, Act 555 and Acts involving institutions of higher learning which are academic in nature.” Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik added: “I am confident and believe that this new approach will enable our universities to be more internationally renowned.”
Low number of students and universities in Moldova
IPN Press Agency reports that a large number of universities in Moldova will disappear in the next couple of years due to mergers and closures. Additionally, the number of students decreases as well because they prefer to go abroad to study. The Head of the Council of Rectors Grigore Belostecinic stated that there were 54 universities in the 1990s, but currently, this number dropped down to 29. In total, 17 of these are state-run, while 12 are private. On the other hand, the number of students fell from 120,000 in 2007, to 60,000 in 2019. Belostecinic added: “Among the causes is not only the demographic factor, but also the fact that the offer of the universities in Europe and over the ocean is tempting.”
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