First Erasmus student in Gaza
An Italian national has become the first student to attend a Gaza university under the Erasmus programme. Riccardo Corradini, 25, is a medical student in his sixth year who is spending one semester at the Islamic University of Gaza.
His home university of Siena had one place available to study in Gaza through the popular international exchange programme and Corradini was the only person to apply. Meanwhile there are three Gazan exchange students living in Siena.
Corradini will learn emergency surgery basics in the Palestinian territory. “I really love Gaza,” he has told the press, “of course, it’s not easy to live here…I can see with my own eyes unfortunately how emergency surgery is really.”
US college admissions scandal
The US education system is reeling from a college admissions scandal that has seen 50 people arrested, including celebrity parents. They include actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin who are accused of bribing university officials and cheating to get their children into prestigious colleges.
The scandal has rocked America, with the FBI alleging that officials were paid by parents to give prospective students the answers to exam questions, or to change any wrong answers to a test. Parents allegedly paid up to $75,000 to a man named William Singer, who is accused of masterminding the scheme, to fix just one test result.
Other alleged incidents saw parents pay sports coaches to pretend that their students were star athletes so they could win scholarships and avoid rigorous academic testing. A total of $25m was apparently paid to the officials via a charity owned by Mr Stringer since 2011.
The FBI recorded Singer saying: “What we do is we help the wealthiest families in the US get their kids into school…They want guarantees, they want this thing done. They don’t want to be messing around.”
Universities named in the scandal include Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, the University of Southern California, the University of California, and the University of Texas.
Professors strike in the Netherlands
An estimated 30-40,000 teachers and university professors went on strike across the Netherlands on Friday to demand better pay and working conditions. They want the government to pledge an extra €4bn in education spending to raise wages and help them improve the quality of teaching.
The strike was announced in January to give schools and colleges ample time to prepare for the disruption. A spokeswoman for the teacher’s union said that there is a major shortage of education professionals and that the workload for individuals is too high.
Teachers and professors are upset that economic growth in the Netherlands – among the strongest in Europe – has not translated into real improvements in their disposable income, which has barely kept up with inflation.
The government has made little comment on the strike, with education spokesman Michiel Hendrikx saying simply that the sector is already getting substantial extra investment.
South Korean government tightens rules on student visas
South Korean government tightened rules on student visas because of an increasing number of overstays by international students, reports Korea Herald. The new policies started being implemented from the beginning of March.
The Ministry of Justice said: ”The ministry had empowered universities to select foreign students (to study in Korea), but the number of students who illegally overstay in Korea kept increasing as some universities didn’t closely check the students’ financial status and academic ability.” The largest number of students who overstayed after their visas expired comes from Vietnam and China.
Educators call for more intensive English language courses in New Zealand
Statistics show that many foreign students in New Zealand fail university entrance English test, reports NZ Herald. Therefore, educators are calling for intensive English courses that can prepare them for their life at universities. Keith Burgess, the director of studies at Canterbury College, said:”Eighty per cent are failing. They are sitting in limbo at the end of it, they have nowhere to go.” Darren Conway, who represents English language schools, added: “We have been trying to pressure the Government to set language entry standards for high schools.”
This article was written in collaboration with Muamer Hirkic.