International News in Brief

 
 

University of Zimbabwe Bans Kissing on Campus

Authorities from the University of Zimbabwe have introduced a new code of conduct for students staying in its halls of residence. The eleven point code, announced two weeks ago, includes rules such as the prohibition of students from bringing members of the opposite gender to their accommodation, while also banning them from allowing non-resident friends to stay over.

Some of the rules have been described as particularly strict, including one that states any student found “loitering in dark places outside the sports pavilion or lecture venues” would be punished. The most controversial one is the ban on kissing in public places. President of the Zimbabwe National Student’s Union, Gilbert Mutubuki, believes that the purpose of the new rules is to impose a restriction on students’ freedom of assembly. He called the code a series of “security measures” that were designed to “limit students from associating.”

The code is being linked to part of a wider government mechanism to curtail students’ right of association, as the ability of Zimbabwean students to protest has been severely restrained in recent years by restrictive security laws.

17 Students Arrested at the Scene of a Violent Clash at Istanbul University

Riot police had to break up a brawl between leftist and pro-Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) students at Istanbul University, which saw 17 students being arrested. Armed police approached groups of masked, stick wielding students at the university’s Faculty of Science, after reports that a fight had broken out. Most of the detained students were members of the Muslim Youth Group. They shouted “Live long, Muslim students” and “We did what was necessary,” as they were led away by officers.

The incident is part of an ongoing dispute between the two groups at the university, which began in September, when students wearing masks broke into anti-ISIL booths and attacked students. Pro-ISIL students attacked anti-ISIL students again while they were hanging up anti-ISIL posters around the university. Following this attack, three pro-ISIL students were brought into police custody on October 1st, after a further altercation between the sides.

The violent clashes have mirrored the unrest in Turkey over the government’s stance on the plight of the Syrian border town of Kobani, which is under ISIL attack. Over 40 people were killed in violent demonstrations at the beginning of the month, as Turkish Kurds attacked government buildings over Turkish inaction on the issue.

Over 3,000 Students Implicated in University of North Carolina Academic Scandal

The University of North Carolina ran a “shadow curriculum” that allowed for student athletes to benefit from phoney coursework between 1993-2001, according to a report by a former Department of Justice official.

The report revealed that over 3,100 students had enrolled in classes that either never took place or ones they were not required to show up for. These paper classes were carried out in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at the university. The secretary at the department, Deborah Crowder, would grade the students’ papers, giving them a grade which would allow them to remain eligible to play sports. This was a violation of the university’s rules. Little regard was paid to the quality of the assignments, with many papers containing just an introduction and a conclusion, filled with “fluff” in between. Department chief, Julius Nyang’oro, allowed for the deception to occur with “indifferent oversight.”

The university’s Chancellor, Carol Folt, said she is “deeply disappointed in the duration and the extent of the wrongdoing.” At least nine members of staff at the university have been fired or placed under review. The university’s sports teams may also face disciplinary action.

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