Europe, UK, Africa: University News | Top Universities

Europe, UK, Africa: University News

By Jane Playdon

Updated March 5, 2016 Updated March 5, 2016

The guide to the latest university news from around the world, on 9 September 2013.

Europe: Research produces more audible PA announcements

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have collaborated with scientists from Greece, Spain and Sweden to make announcements in train stations and airports easier to understand, reports The Scotsman. The initiative will involve adding software to public audio (PA) systems to make the voice more audible against background noise. The Listening Talker Project involved the identification of those parts of speech that are most easily heard in a noisy place, and then applying those observations to a program that would enhance these speech elements.

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UK: University of Oxford introduces simpler financial testing 

The University of Oxford will no longer ask for a financial guarantee of postgraduate applicants' ability to cover living costs, reports The Guardian. This follows legal action by a student, Damien Shannon, who sued St Hugh's College on the grounds of discrimination against the poor. The university previously asked potential students to prove they had liquid assets worth £12,900 (US$20,218) a year to cover living costs, but will now only ask for proof that the student can cover the fees for the first year of the course. It will also be asking for assurance that the student can cover living costs, but no financial evidence is required.

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Africa: New job site for academics and higher education professionals

University World News has reported the launch of its own job site for academics and higher education professionals in Africa. The site, called Higher Education in Africa Recruitment (HEAR), will be in a live test phase over the next few weeks, and organizations and individuals will be able to use the site while it is being tweaked. University World News says the site is a response to a gap in the market for “a continent-wide academic jobs portal as the primary platform to place and search for university jobs”, and aims “to provide a low-cost, high-traffic platform for universities, colleges and organisations working in or with African higher education to place recruitment ads and search for staff on an international platform”. 

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Egypt: Start of academic year postponed to 19 October

Egypt has postponed the start of the academic year to 19 October because of continuing unrest, reports The Star Online, and examinations will begin on 21 September. However, the Education Ministry said these dates would depend on the situation being stable and conducive. The Malaysian Home Ministry has advised people not to travel to Egypt, and has told students who need to return there for exams to be “careful and not be involved in any gatherings or demonstrations”.

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This article was originally published in September 2013 . It was last updated in March 2016

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Jane Playdon is a author and blogger.


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