In this week’s news, we speak about Australian university’s issues with bushfire, a new Chinese university campus in Hungary and student protests in Chile.
Australian universities closed due to bushfire
Why are Australian universities closed? Strait Times reports that Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Canberra, popular with foreign students, were closed to all but essential staff for 48 hours due to the toxic smoke from Australia’s severe bush fires.
“Due to the hazardous smoke conditions across the ACT and surrounds, intermittent power outages, and ongoing threat of fire, we have decided to continue to keep the Acton, Mt Stromlo and Kioloa campuses closed to all but essential staff and those staying in residences.
We are closed Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 January. Please don’t come onto campus,” the notice on the ANU website read.
Furthermore, the federal Department of Home Affairs closed its Canberra offices, and the critical personnel were advised on working remotely from home or relocation.
Canberra has in the past week recorded some of the worst air quality in the world.
Chinese university opens its campus in Hungary
Science Business reports that Shanghai-based Fudan University will open its campus in Budapest, after Hungarian Innovation and Technology Minister László Palkovics signed a memorandum of understanding.
The Hungarian government praised Fudan University, saying that it has an ‘’outstanding research record’’.
Additionally, the government believes that educational standard of Hungarian universities will increase. However, many critics point out to the case of the Central European University (CEU), when this university was forced to retreat from its Budapest base to Vienna.
The law passed in 2017 required foreign universities to maintain a campus in their home country.
Student protests in Chile
Prensa Latina reports that massive protests and the occupation of schools took place in Chile. The main reason for such actions is the University Selection Test, which, by many, is seen as the form of evaluation that increases inequalities.
Students occupied venues where the admission test was scheduled to take place and in some cases, the venues had to be changed.
The Vice President of the Council of Rectors of Chilean Universities (CRUCH), Aldo Valle, guaranteed “equal conditions” for those who decide to take the test and called students to remain calm.
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