Yale University and its $27.2 billion endowment are making a statement on firearms, announcing a new policy under which it will not invest in retail outlets marketing and selling assault weapons to the general public. The policy comes after a faculty member asked the university to divest from companies that make military-style assault rifles. Yale investing committees considered the request and decided not to invest in traditional retail distributors or promoters and dealers who sell assault weapons at gun shows. In a statement, the Yale Corporation Committee on Investor Responsibility tied the move to mass shootings, which it said cause “incontrovertible societal harm.” Retailers supplying assault weapons to the general public cause “grave social injury,” it said. “Yale is committed to research, scholarship and education for the betterment of the world; this requires an environment in which teachers and students are free from gun violence and the fear of gun violence,” the statement said. – Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed. Read more

The New Zealand government has overhauled post-study work rights for foreign students in a bid to stamp out abuse and attract more enrolments. The changes incentivise study at bachelor degree level and above and in centres outside Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. They also abolish a requirement linking one type of work visa to particular employers. The reforms follow widespread complaints that employer-assisted visas trapped foreign students in underpaid work, and in some cases employers charged tens of thousands of dollars for their visas. The Minister of Immigration, Iain Lees-Galloway, said the changes made New Zealand more attractive for students. “We remain second only to Canada in terms of the work rights that people receive and in fact at degree level we have just gone past Australia and now provide a more generous option than that country,” Lees-Galloway said. – John Gerritsen, University World News. Read more

Saudi Arabia has granted a three-week extension to a group of 1,000 medical trainees and fellows who were ordered to return home amid a diplomatic spat with Canada. The extension, confirmed by HealthCareCAN, a national group that represents hospitals and health-care organisations, gives the Saudi trainees until Sept. 22 to leave their hospital posts in Canada. The previous deadline was Aug. 31. The move gives Canadian hospitals more time to adjust to the sudden move, the group says, and may also allow some medical students to write their Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada exams. Paul-Émile Cloutier, president and CEO of HealthCareCAN, says the extension doesn’t solve the problem, but it does offer some reprieve. “It relieves these students who were under a great deal of stress and had to get themselves ready to leave by the end of August. There’s an enormous sense of relief that they’ve gotten a few more weeks to prepare themselves to leave,” Cloutier told CTVNews.ca. In all, more than 15,000 post-secondary students from Saudi Arabia were recalled earlier this month. So far there is no indication that any other students will be granted more time in Canada. – Graham Slaughter, CTV News. Read more

A UK university has announced a new degree course combining journalism with public relations, saying it will “produce graduates who are skilled in a wide range of areas”. From next month, the University of Salford in Greater Manchester will take on students for its new BA (Hons) Journalism with Public Relations course, based at Manchester’s Media City UK campus – also home to the BBC. The course will be led by former Sunday People showbiz editor and publicist Debbie Manley alongside former Coronation Street press officer Sara Eyre. Paul Broster, director of journalism, politics and contemporary history at the University of Salford, said: “The nature of journalism has changed, with those starting in the profession expected to have a wide range of digital skills alongside the ability to write well, find stories and interview. Many of our journalism graduates now go on to work in public relations, while there is also a huge amount of opportunities helping large organisations raise their profile by creating powerful digital content.” – Dorothy Musariri, Press Gazette. Read more

 The Taiwanese government is looking to lower restrictions for international students to remain after graduation and access work rights, in a move to bolster the country’s professional workforce, fill skills shortages, and combat population decline. In a speech at the New Southbound National Chinese-language Schools Conference, premier William Lai recommitted his government’s pledge to retain more foreign graduates outlined in the New Economic Immigration Bill. Unveiled in May, the immigration bill will relax requirements for post-study work and residency for students from countries specified in Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy. Currently, graduates can remain in Taiwan for up to two years to look for work and continue for the duration of their visa. “Taiwan urgently needs to respond to some changes in the demographic structure as well as to the difficulties caused by the increasingly intense international competition for talent,” said Ming-hsun Chun, senior project manager at the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan. – Anton Crace, The PIE News. Read more


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