Chinese Universities Switch to Online Courses Due to Coronavirus

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In this week’s news, we speak about Belgian government’s plan to have admission test for all studies, Egyptian universities’ decision to ban niqab and Chinese universities’ decision to offer online courses in order to combat the outbreak of coronavirus.

Online courses

Belgian government wants an admission test for all studies

The Brussels Times reports that the Flemish government plans to adopt a compulsory admission test for all studies in higher education. Ben Weyts, the Flemish minister for education said: “I would like to introduce admission tests for the entire higher education system, for all programs. If there are shortcomings before a student starts their education, they must be remedied.” He stressed the importance of having the examination for all programs, not just for a selected few. Additionally, the idea is to have students who do not pass the test go through a further training.

Egyptian universities ban niqab

Asharq Al-Awsat reports that several Egyptian universities will ban female academic staff from wearing niqab. Cairo University was the first one to make this decision back in 2015. This year in the very end of January the Egyptian Supreme Administrative court has finally ruled in favor of banning female academic staff at Cairo University from wearing niqab. Following this decision, the Ain Shams University decided to ban the niqab “based on a recent court ruling by Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court.” Helwan University’s President Dr. Majid Najm stated that his university will be the next one.

The niqab covers the entire face except eyes, therefore this type of female clothing very often sparks fierce debates. Nevertheless, according to Arabnews, most Muslim women in Egypt wear the headscarf, or hijab, which covers only the hair.

Chinese universities offer online courses due to coronavirus

Xinhuanet reports that Chinese universities will be offering online courses due to the postponement of school semesters. China’s Ministry of Education ordered to use open online courses and laboratory resource platforms and organize different activities. Xinhuanet also states that more than 24,000 free courses were opened since the beginning of February. They cover 12 undergraduate disciplines and 18 majors of vocational and technical education. The opening dates of colleges and universities are not yet specified.

Photo: Shutterstock

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