Compiled by DAVID MYTON

The salaries of English vice-chancellors rose almost twice as fast on average as the pay of rank-and-file university staff in the past academic year, new figures show. University leaders in England saw their basic salary rise on average by £8,000 to £253,000 in 2017-18 – a 3.1 per cent increase, according to the Office for Students’ very first analysis of senior staff remuneration, which was published on 12 February. That compares with the 1.7 per cent basic pay uplift awarded to UK university staff in 2017-18, which rose to 2.4 per cent for the lowest paid that year. On salary alone, England’s highest-paid vice-chancellor was Dame Glynis Breakwell, who received a basic salary of £470,000, up from £462,000 in the previous year, in her final full year in office at the University of Bath. – Jack Grove, Times Higher. Read more

A new study by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland, has documented “a massive recent surge” in artificial intelligence-based inventions, with China-based universities making a strong showing as top higher education and scientific research institutions in this field, which is generally dominated by United States and Japanese companies. Companies represent 26 out of the top 30 artificial intelligence (AI) patent applicants, while only four are universities or public research organisations. The international agency’s first report specifically on AI, WIPO Technology Trends 2019: Artificial intelligence, includes a ranking of global institutions that filed the most patent applications for AI inventions, which often comprise several patents and are called a patent family. Some 167 universities and public research organisations are ranked among the top 500 patent applicants – 110 Chinese, 20 from the US, 19 from South Korea, four from Japan and four European public research organisations. – Wagdy Sawahel and Yojana Sharma, University World News. Read more

Donations to US colleges and universities increased by an inflation-adjusted 4.6% for the 2017-18 academic year to reach a record-breaking $46.7 billion, marking nearly a decade of growth in charitable giving to higher education, according to an annual report by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Harvard University led the pack with $1.4 billion in donations, followed by Stanford University at $1.1 billion and Columbia University at $1 billion, Bloomberg reported. The University of California, Los Angeles and UC San Francisco rounded out the top five. A bull market likely lifted contributions, but CASE warns charitable giving to higher ed may slow or even decline in 2019 if the economy falters. A significant uptick in donor-advised funds, which are tax-deductible, was attributed to the robust stock market as well as to changes in tax law. Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive. Read more

Study-abroad students made up more than five per cent of those enrolled in Japanese higher-education institutions in rural areas for the first time last year, Nikkei has learned. The 39 prefectures outside of the three major urban areas of Tokyo, Osaka and Aichi hosted a total of 73,320 foreign students in 2018, or 5.4% of all students, up 0.5 percentage point from the prior year. Six prefectures boasted higher proportions of foreign students than Tokyo’s 7%. As Japan’s population shrinks and remains concentrated in Tokyo, attracting students from overseas is becoming key to operations for universities and trade schools, especially in rural areas. The proportion of students from abroad dipped after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan that caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdowns, but bottomed out in 2013 and has been rising sharply since. Nikkei calculated the proportions by prefecture based on survey data from the Japan Student Services Organisation and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Yusuke Sakurai, Nikkei Asian Review. Read more

Taiwan saw a 27% increase in the number of international students at its universities and colleges in 2018-19, hitting a record figure just shy of 57,000. Almost 56,800 international students were studying degree programs in Taiwan, with around 44,600 coming from Asian countries in 2018-19, while figures show that a total of 44,700 international students from around the world were studying diplomas in the nation in 2017-18. The south-east Asian countries of Indonesia and Vietnam have almost doubled the number of students in Taiwan. In 2017-18, Indonesian students represented 4,621 students, rising to 8,924 this year. Vietnamese numbers rose from 6,425 in 2017-18 to 11,130 in 2018-19. Japanese student numbers have risen by around 12%, from 6,183 in 2017-18 to 6,972 for the latest academic year’s figures – a rise similar to the 9% the Japan Student Services Organisation recorded recently for Japan’s outbound figures. Viggo Stacey, The PIE News. Read more


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