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British government insists visa change will not hurt universities
Staff Reporter
update on Friday, March 11, 2011

Britain's interior ministry says its plans to tighten the visa system for foreign students will not damage its universities. Chief executives from an alliance of 16 universities - including Oxford (below) - have urged the government to abandon plans to restrict the number of visas and impose strict English-language requirements.

The government thinks the system is open to abuse, with obscure courses and colleges offering a back door to settling in the country. Home Office research last year showed that of 186,000 foreign students granted visas in 2004, more than one-fifth were still in Britain five years later. Officials fear many may be working illegally. AFP

Sex-for-marks scandal in India

The Madhya Pradesh government in central India has ordered a probe into the sex-for-marks scandal at the Rani Durgavati University in Jabalpur. The scandal came to light after a first-year medical student complained she was told she would get more marks if she agreed to have sex with Raju Khan, the alleged kingpin in the case.

Madhya Pradesh police have arrested four officials, including a Jabalpur University deputy registrar. Investigations revealed that the controller of examinations was also involved in the scam. Xinhua

Few women in boardrooms

A research centre at the National University of Singapore plans to publish the Singapore Board Diversity Index to track the representation of women and men in boardrooms. The centre says the index will provide annual data measuring female participation on Singapore boards.

The percentage of women in Singapore boardrooms is still small, especially compared with countries such as Britain, the United States and Australia. About 61.7 per cent of Singapore firms do not have a woman on their boards, while 31 per cent have one. Only 10 firms, or 1.2 per cent of all listed companies, had three or more women on their boards. Xinhua

Black US pupil refuses slave role

The mother of a black primary school student assigned to play a slave for a social studies lesson says the school in Ohio should be more sensitive. Scott Schmidt, principal of Chapelfield Elementary, has called Aneka Burton to apologise for what happened to her 10-year-old son, Nikko. She said no harm was intended.

Nikko said the class was randomly divided into "masters" and "slaves" and that the only other black student got to be a master. Burton says her son refused to take part in a simulated slave auction and was sent back to his desk. Burton says she appreciates the apology, but the exercise was inappropriate. AP

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