World Watch – 7 April

07 April 2003
KwaZulu-Natal's largest university - coming at the end of the year when the universities of Natal and Durban-Westville merge - will be known as Oxford University, Afro-Universe Multi-Purpose Institute, Ariston (derived from the Greek word for excellence) University, Colonial University, East Coast University, or Olduvai University if members of the public have their way. These are just some of the names proposed to the naming committee which has urged the public to propose a new moniker to support an institution planning to take its place as a prominent member of the KwaZulu-Natal region.

Efforts by the authorities of University of Lagos (UNILAG) to start a new academic year this past week suffered a set back as policemen drafted to curb an anticipated crisis, shot and critically injured a member of the students' union executive. Several other students were also injured following the stampede that ensued from the police action aimed at dislodging thousands of students who laid siege to the convocation quadrangle.

The student body of the University of Cape Coast in Accra, Ghana, began a week long prayer and fasting to appeal to God to intervene in the solution of the country's socio-economic problems.The programme, which has Dr Lawrence Tetteh of the Word Miracle Outreach Church in London as the main speaker, is being organised by the Students Representative Council (SRC) as the most important activity for this year's SRC week celebrations. It has the theme: "Heal Our Land, Lord."

A highly contagious flu-like disease that is sweeping across much of China has prompted all of Hong Kong's universities to suspend classes this past week. Meanwhile, Syracuse University has shut down its exchange program in Hong Kong, and other American universities are reconsidering their study-abroad programs in the region.

Angered by the U.S.-led war in Iraq, faculty members of one of India's most prominent universities have agreed to ban American and British government officials from entering the campus. More than 100 professors of Jamia Millia Islamia, which is located in New Delhi, signed a petition barring the government representatives from the university. The ban does not extend to American and British students or professors.

Affirmative-action policies are "double standards" that do not "fix the problem" of bringing minority students into higher education, U.S. Education Secretary Roderick R. Paige said this past week. Secretary Paige's remarks, at the annual meeting of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, came on the eve of today's hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court of two lawsuits challenging admissions policies at the University of Michigan's law school and the main undergraduate program at its flagship campus, in Ann Arbor. The justices are expected to rule in June.

A vice president at Irvine Valley College in California has warned professors not to discuss the war in Iraq in their classrooms unless the course is directly related to the issue, a suggestion that several professors say infringes on academic freedom.

Sources:, Independent Online, Chronicle of Higher Education

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