11 August 2003
The four Stellenbosch University students who admitted to firing on six female students with airguns were temporarily suspended from the university's Wilgenhof residence recently. The female students laid charges of attempted murder after shots were fired in their direction. The legal representative of the male students had handed the airgun - equipped with a telescope, silencer and night vision - to police.

Two students at Potchefstroom University died of meningococcal meningitis infections two weeks ago following a breakout of the life-threatening disease in Potchefstroom. Lectures and sporting activities at the university were suspended for a few days as health workers administered prophylaxis treatment to the university community.

False CVs and degrees will get real jail time, as South African universities clamp down on people who apply for jobs with fake degree certificates. Fraudsters "copy and paste their names on certificates to change results", said one university spokesperson, who went on to say that these bogus graduates would face the full force of the law.

The economic woes in Zimbabwe have become the worries of the University of South Africa. The approximately 5 700 Zimbabwean students who attend UNISA by correspondence may end up costing the institution R42-million.

The University of Zimbabwe Medical School has been forced to reduce the number of students for the new academic year, which starts this month, as an exodus of lecturers hit the institution. Facing a similar problem, the Faculty of Pharmacy will not be enrolling new students.

After a recent violent clash between feuding cult groups at Ebonyi State University in Nigeria left six dead, 10 students were arrested and charged with murder.

To ensure that legitimate foreign students arrive in the United States on time for the fall term, the US Department of Homeland Security has taken extra measures to prevent potential problems with its database, one that keeps track of the students. The actions, which include opening a call centre and putting extra staff members at major airports, are last-minute preparations for an August 1 deadline by which American colleges must create records in the database - called the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, or Sevis - for every foreign student. Sevis was created in 2001 to scrutinise foreign visitors more closely in the hopes of weeding out potential terrorists.

Harvard's student newspaper has filed a lawsuit to force the institution to release campus police records. The Harvard Crimson contends that because the university's police officers have state-granted powers, they are required under Massachusetts law to make their records public. According to the lawsuit, the Harvard University Police Department has over recent years refused each of the newspaper's requests for specific records, including incident reports.

Ferrum College in the United States has settled a lawsuit for admitting "shared responsibility" for a student's suicide. Last month Ferrum's lawyer, Jonnie L Speight, released a statement saying the college "acknowledges that there were errors in judgement and communication by [college] personnel" which lead to the death of freshman, Michael Frentzel, who hanged himself in his dormitory room in 2000.

A former president of the University of Baghdad, the largest and most prestigious research institution in Iraq, was shot to death by two gunmen who stormed into his private medical practice. Mohammed al-Rawi was a prominent physician and a top Baath Party member in the regime of Saddam Hussein. All high-ranking Baathists were removed from their posts at Iraq's universities and the ministry of higher education under an order from the top US civil administrator in Iraq, Paul L Bremer III.

Sources: Independent Online,, Chronicle of Higher Education

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