The increasing illegibility of students’ handwriting has prompted Cambridge University to consider ending 800 years of tradition by allowing laptops to replace pen and paper for exams. Academics say that students are losing the ability to write by hand en masse because of their reliance on laptops in lectures and elsewhere. The university has launched a consultation as part of its digital education strategy after piloting an exam typing scheme in the history and classics departments earlier this year. A similar scheme was implemented for first- and second-year divinity students at Edinburgh University in 2011. Mattha Busby, The Guardian. Read More

Brazilians spent 82% more on education travel in 2016 than the previous year, according to a recent student survey from the Brazilian Educational and Language Travel Association. This, according to the survey, was mainly due to the 6.7% increase in mobile students undertaking longer courses of study of up to 12 months. BELTA, which traditionally asks member agencies for evaluations, has this year expanded to ask 1,145 students as well. Although the growth in popularity of longer programs is an important change, there are consistencies in Brazilian demand for international education. Language courses are still the most popular choice for Brazilian students, as three-month programs account for 68.5% of the market. Patrick Atack The Pie News. Read More

France and Germany have launched a joint research program as a contribution to implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. The programme, part of the French ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’ initiative, invites climate, energy and earth system scientists worldwide to engage in research in the two countries.  The Franco-German Fellowship Programme on Climate, Energy and Earth System Research is conceived for a period of four years. Germany and France are inviting international scientists to form groups concentrating on sustainability research in the fields of climate change, energy transition and understanding the Earth system. With the €15 million (US$18 million) provided, scientists will be offered the opportunity to establish research groups at German universities and extra-university research institutions. – Michael Gardner, University World News. Read More

IBM and the MIT have revealed a new partnership to carry out fundamental and breakthrough artificial intelligence (AI) research. IBM will invest $240 million over 10 years to establish the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab – one of the largest long-term university-industry AI collaborations to date. According to a university statement, the collaboration aims to: Advance AI hardware, software and algorithms related to deep learning and other areas; increase AI’s impact on healthcare, cybersecurity and other industries; and investigate the economic and ethical implications of AI on society. – Sri Ravipati Campus Technology. Read More

The African Union Commission’s Pan African University which offers postgraduate programs to students on scholarship, is admitting close to 500 students from this November, the highest enrolment since it launched four years ago. A diverse selection of students from more than 40 different nationalities across the continent will join one of the PAU’s four operational institutes in Kenya, Algeria, Nigeria and Cameroon. Students will pursue Master’s and doctorate degrees in various fields of specialisation – mainly in the sciences. – Maina Waruru, The Pie News. Read More



to get daily updates on what's happening in the world of Australian Higher Education