University-Level Math, Greece.

[T]he Athens Special Affairs Unit carried out an inspection in the Development Grants Account of the National Technical University of Athens and found that during the years 2002-2013, the university submitted false income declarations and as a result it failed to pay 20,796,216 euros in tax returns.

‘”I am afraid, but there are situations in which you have to act, regardless of your own fear,” he told the Russian New Times magazine.’

Andrei Zubov gets fired (no tenure in New Imperial Russia?) for criticizing the motherland’s action in Crimea.

Meanwhile Mr UD (a Pole) is excited about Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s letter to Poland inviting it to join the fun and take whatever part of Ukraine it wants. Mr UD has been rubbing his hands together gleefully. He has taken out maps and put big red lines down the middle of Ukraine. “Here!” he says, and then redraws the line. “No. Here!”

You go girl.

Last September, [three] vice-rectors [at Uppsala University in Sweden] sent a short letter to the Ministry of Education and Research, which had appointed [Eva] Akesson as the first female rector of Uppsala, calling for her removal “due to being unfit for the position”.

They provided no argument in support of the claim, which was subsequently signed by eight of the university’s deans.

… Things did not become clearer when one of the deans, Professor Jan Lindegren of the faculty of the humanities, published a four-page letter in which he tried to explain the conflict and why the 11 vice-rectors and deans had acted against the rector.

He claimed that the collaborative climate in the university had been eroded during her tenure. But he overstated his mission of clarification when, in rather non-academic wording, he reportedly said Akesson was managing the university by “scaring the shit out of many of her employees”.

This blog has covered university protests in Venezuela…

… for some time (background here, here, and here). Here’s an update on continued, increasingly desperate, protests.

The nation’s young people are tired of enduring one of the world’s highest inflation rates, highest murder rates, scarcity of basic staples like toilet paper, and the near certainty that things are going to get worse before they get better. A few days ago, the Associated Press reported on Venezuelans camping on the sidewalk to get information about emigrating to Ireland.

… This week, the streets of Caracas, Maracaibo, and the rest of Venezuela’s largest cities saw large protests that ended in violence. Three people were shot dead, with dozens more wounded. Many eyewitnesses lay the blame for the violence on government-sponsored armed motorcycle gangs, similar to the ones used to suppress pro-democracy protests in Iran in 2009.

… They see a dark future ahead, one in which Venezuela’s slow slide into a Cuban-style autocracy accelerates and is finally realized in its entirety.

Saudi Arabia? No. England. A University in England.

The talk is called “The Effects of Sins” by an external lecturer called Ustadh Abu Ibrahim. He appears to be no firebrand, espousing moderate views that wouldn’t sound out of place in any mosque, church or temple. At the end, he stresses that the women at the back should be allowed to ask questions. “You have to be fair to the sisters,” he tells his audience.

So generous of him. All the way in the back, the sisters… They should be allowed to talk.

Victory for Pristina University Students.

The rector of Kosovo’s state university Ibrahim Gashi resigned on Saturday following protests by students over reports [that Gashi and other] professors had forged academic works.

This is how it works; this is how hugely corrupt countries and their institutions slowly become less corrupt. Those students hit the streets every day and got tear gassed for one reason: They were disgusted to live in a country where mindless political hacks get jobs running universities, where the position of head of a university is nothing but a political perk.

I mean, they might as well be living in Alabama.

So — under immense pressure from outraged students the hack has fled. Bravo.

“One [King Saud University] staff member who witnessed the situation said paramedics were not called immediately. She said they were also not given immediate permission to enter the campus and that it appeared that the female dean of the university and the female dean of the college of social studies panicked.”

On the up side, the person who died was only a woman.




Hong Kong magnate Li Ka-shing said he will donate $130 million to Israel’s leading engineering university, the Technion, to help establish a joint academic venture with a university in China’s Guangdong Province.

Wow: The University of Athens has shut down.

As have a number of other Greek universities. All claim that they cannot operate under the new government mandate to fire huge chunks of administrative staff.

All say that cuts in administrative staff, including guards and archivists, have made it impossible to keep their doors open… Among the 12,500 civil servants already identified [by the government] for [removal] are administrative staff at universities working in libraries, laboratories, clinics and professorial offices. Announcing suspension of operations on Tuesday, the rector of the University of Athens, the country’s oldest higher education institution, said it was impossible for the university to operate without the 498 employees who have been stripped from its ranks.

UD suspects these places can indeed operate with skeletal staff, but they can’t begin to think of how. After all, things have always been done in a certain way:

[O]nly 295 of the 7,680 administrative staff employed in tertiary education since 1994 [has] been appointed on the basis of a meritocratic process, according to [one source]. “In one historic case a lifeguard was paid for years by Athens University of Economics and Business despite the pool in the student housing complex to which he had once been appointed having closed,” [a] newspaper reported.

Sickening scandal at the University of Goettingen Hospital…

… where the former chief of transplant surgery is on trial for attempted manslaughter.

He also faces three charges of causing bodily injury resulting in death for transplanting livers to unsuitable patients, who subsequently died.

This guy – absurdly not named because of German laws, but so precisely identified in all the articles that everyone must know who he is – has apparently killed quite extensively, in a variety of directions: If the allegations are true, he has killed inappropriate recipients who (one assumes) bribed him to push them up the waiting list; he has also killed non-bribers patiently and legitimately waiting their turn for a liver.

Because this is part of a wider scandal involving medical abuse of the transplant system in Germany, Germans are now refusing – in droves – to donate their organs. As I say, sickening.


Update: All the yummy details.

Runaway Rector Gets on the Horn

We’re following the breathless tale of Petro Melnyk, on-the-run bribe-demanding erstwhile rector of the National State Tax Service University of Ukraine (details here).

Melnyk has now called from his secret location to explain that he feels too under the weather at the moment for the whole arrest thing, but he’ll be back in touch when he’s perked up a bit.

Is extremely exciting ongoing news out of Ukraine!

Is escaped university rector!

Esteemed ex-rector of National Tax University (is like if IRS had campus where to train agents) was under house arrest for selling admission to aforesaid university (here is photo of Petro Melnyk having vapors) for hundreds and hundreds hryvnia. Rector Melnyk “escaped by getting rid of an electronic bracelet… Interior Ministry addresses the citizens for help in obtaining information about possible stay of Melnyk.”

Chilean students have done a better job than American students of noticing how cheesy for-profit universities…

… are taking their money and leaving them uneducated and unemployable. Chile’s totally filthy for-profit university sector has now been outed; and though I’m sure – as with all diploma mills – the owners will lie low for a bit and come back again filthier than ever, the forced resignation of Chile’s justice minister is certainly good news.

The resignation of Teodoro Ribera on Monday was the latest in an unfolding saga that has prompted massive street demonstrations, criminal investigations and the jailing of a dean suspected of money laundering and a former government official accused of selling university accreditations.

Same deal as in the States: Pay bribes to get your website accredited as a school and instantly start stashing away state cash. If you have a physical campus:

[Structure] deals with property developers who … build the educational institutions then rent them back to the university. The monthly rent – often paid to members of the same university management team – [is] used to strip money from the institution.

And – hey look! It’s the guys who own the University of Phoenix!

Further revelations … led the Chilean government to announce on Tuesday an investigation into possible violations of regulations by two more universities including UNIACC University, owned by Apollo Global, which according to the company website is “a $1bn joint venture formed in 2007, 80.1% owned by Apollo Group Inc and 19.9% owned by a private equity firm, the Carlyle Group”.


“[Franco Moretti] attended the University of Rome as an undergraduate. Of the Italian university sector’s current fortunes and discussions about the need for reform, he observes: “Reform has already come to Italian universities, combining the worst of the national culture (a morbid passion for bureaucratic absurdity), and the worst of the rest (the British idea of weighing scholarship as if it were cast iron). The result is grotesque.”

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