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US, China and Denmark: Education News

By Staff Writer

Updated March 5, 2016 Updated March 5, 2016

The TopUniversities.com guide to the latest higher education news from around the world, on 11 March 2013.

US: Columbia University denies claims US$5,000 being spent on Nutella weekly

A story in Columbia University’s student newspaper reporting that students consumed US$5,000 worth of Nutella in the first week it was offered in the dining hall went viral last week, with even The Huffington Post and New York Times re-reporting the piece. Adding zest to the story was the allegation that the cost was so high because light-fingered (sticky-fingered?) students were stealing vast quantities of the chocolate and hazelnut spread.  However, the university has since released a statement calling the claims ridiculous and saying that though demand was particularly high in the first few days it was offered, it would have only cost US$2,500 had it continued – which it didn’t! Demand, reports CBS Local, has fallen even further now, with the publicity leading to students shunning the spread. A good lesson: if you want to reduce consumption of something, just start a national media storm…

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China: Online cross-university courses take off in Shanghai

Chinese universities have moved to join the open online course movement, with the city of Shanghai launching a cross-university online platform for students studying in the world’s most populous city. Over 1,000 students tuned in to the first course, ‘Introduction to Philosophy’, taught by Fudan University’s Professor Wang Defeng, nicknamed the ‘Prince of Philosophy’ by students. China’s top-ranked institution, Peking University, has also started posting lectures online, with the institution’s president stating that it’s his dream that every student who wants to attend the university can do so, reports The Global Times.

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Denmark: Scholarship program for students from developing nations launched

Students from Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, Tanzania and Uganda who want to study at Danish universities can now apply for scholarships offered under the new ‘Building Stronger Universities in Developing Countries’ program. The scholarships are designed to address the issue that only 116 students from these countries studied in Denmark in 2010-11. The Danish education minister, Morten Østergaard, stated that he hoped students could use a Danish education to help them solve problems in their home countries.

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UK: Universities threatened by online “avalanche”

A report released by a UK think tank has warned that many British universities risk an uncertain future in the face of the increasing prominence of online courses, reports the BBC. The report’s author, Sir Michael Barber, chief education advisor for private education provider Pearson and a former advisor to the UK government, writes that British universities are failing to react quickly enough to the free online courses (MOOCs) being offered chiefly by US universities through providers like Coursera and EdX. Several UK universities are expected to launch a collective online platform called Futurelearn later this year.

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Ireland/India: University College Dublin offers scholarships to Indian students

University College Dublin has announced a range of new scholarships to help Indian students study at the prestigious Irish institution. These include two full-tuition scholarships at graduate level, five half-tuition and over 50 €2,000 (around US$2,600 at today’s rates) scholarships for taught master’s programs, and a range of undergraduate scholarships ranging from €2,500 (US$3,250) to half-tuition. Three fully-funded state scholarships will also be available for students on one-year master’s programs. Each of the scholarships, reports The Times of India, will also come with a stipend to help cover living expenses.

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

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