The Central European University in Budapest Is Reaccredited
After being threatened by government with possible closure, Soros-supported Central European University (CEU) in Hungary has been reaccredited for the next five years, reports the New York Times. The president and rector of the CEU Michael Ignatieff stated: “Our university is proud to have secured reaccreditation here in Hungary, where we belong.” Last year, the right-wing government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban launched a campaign against George Soros and CEU was also marked as the university supported by him. Institution declared that he no longer plays a role in its operations. Last years’ legislation that was proposed by government, in which the possibility of shutting the univeristy was brought up, met with criticism from universities around the world, the European Union and the United States.
Palestinian Graduates Demand Degree Recognition and Jobs
Recently, many students from Gaza were seen demonstrating in front of the Ministry of Labor where they prevented Labor Minister Mamoun Abu Shahla from entering the building. The reason for their protest was high unemployment rate and they demanded a change, reports Al Monitor. Poor economic situation has been additionally worsened by failures in achieving true reconciliation and Israeli blockade. Recent study conducted by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights shows how serious unemployment rates are. In 2017, it hit a staggering 46,6 per cent. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, it exceeds 60 per cent among the youth. Director General of Employment and Policy in Gaza Majid Ismail stated: ”The student movement is making legitimate demands because graduates have a right to work. Currently, the Labor Ministry of the consensus government is working to find a solution to this issue through obtaining international and Arab funding for the Youth Protection Employment Fund, the Youth Social Security Act and the temporary employment program that was suspended two years ago.”
Think tank Suggests Swiss Higher Education Needs Reform
A group of experts gathered around a think thank called Avenir Suisse believe Swiss universities need to be more efficient in order to compete internationally, reports SWI. Matthias Ammann, a fellow at Avenir Suisse stated: “If you take the Times Higher Education university rankings, there are six Swiss universities among the top 150 ranked universities and if you take into account how many students in Switzerland actually study at one of these six universities, then its almost 40%, which is very high compared with the United States…” For instance, the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) is ranked as No. 1 in continental Europe. However, this success comes with a price. Since 2000, Swirzerland ‘s public spending on higher education has risen by 70 per cent and this country spends the most per head on education worldwide. Ammann also added: “Our study is not about saving money or shrinking the budget in education, it’s about questioning higher education system’s efficiency.”