WORLD BEAT

WORLD BEAT

 

Several Hong Kong Universities Seek New Leaders; Vietnam Fires Teachers for Helping Students Cheat on Exams; Report Tallies Suicides by British Undergraduates

 

University presidents seeking a change of scene may want to think about working in Hong Kong.

 

An article in the South China Morning Post notes that searches are either under way or will start soon for three university leaders and a director of the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Replacements are being sought for the heads of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Baptist University, and the University of Hong Kong. The University of

Hong Kong's vice chancellor, Chen Yiu-chung, resigned recently after an inquiry found that he had pressured an academic pollster to stop surveys on the popularity of Hong Kong politicians.

 

American transplants to Hong Kong might have to take a cut in pay, since salary increases there have not kept pace with those

in the United States.

 

Steven Poon Kwok-lim, head of a search committee at the science and technology university, told the newspaper that it is "very unusual" for the heads of four major educational institutions in Hong Kong -- half of the total number of local universities to leave at the same time.

 

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Vietnam Fires Teachers for Helping Students Cheat on Exams

 

In Vietnam, the government has fired 18 high-school teachers and two administrators after investigators discovered that the teachers and officials had been bribed by students who wanted to pass university-entrance exams.

 

A government-controlled newspaper, Young People, reported that 26 students from a northern province, Phu Tho, would no longer be eligible for university admission and would be fined an unspecified amount of money.

 

In another recent higher-education-corruption scandal, an audit of the qualifications of 662 state employees found that 10 percent of the employees' university diplomas and training certificates had been forged.

 

"These managers are worms eating the country. They have senior positions and serious responsibilities, but no knowledge or expertise," said Ha Dinh Duc, a professor of environmental studies at Hanoi University of Science.

 

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A study of college-student suicides in Britain has found that 1,100 students took their lives from 1990 to 1998.

 

Gill Kester, head of the School of Health Studies at University College Chichester, who is conducting the study, has yet to analyze the causes of the suicides.

 

Interest in student suicides increased after seven such deaths over the past year in Edinburgh.

 

Dr. Kester found that the student-suicide rate has been increasing. The researcher told The Daily Telegraph in London that "we are now seeking to find out whether there are factors that make students more at risk than other young people and, if so, what universities can do about it."

 

 

Copyright 2000 by The Chronicle of Higher Education