International post-secondary briefs

Google glitch enables students to see other student accounts by mistake

Brown University along with a number of other American Universities have experienced a glitch through Google’s email program, Gmail, that enabled a number of students to access other students email accounts.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Google officials acknowledged that the mix-up affected a handful of students at a handful of colleges.”

The Chronicle continued, “The colleges were transferring students’ accounts from their current servers to Gmail, a process that is spread out over several days. A glitch in that process made email messages available to the wrong users in some cases.”

Rajen Sheth, a senior product manager for Google Apps, told the Chronicle, “It was a very, very isolated incident.” Since then the problem has been corrected, Google told the Chronicle.

Strike shuts down Australian universities for 24 hours

A number of schools in Australia have been out of commission as the leading education union in the county has declared a strike.

University World News (UWN) reported, “Australia’s main higher education union called a 24-hour strike last Wednesday at 16 universities across the nation as part of a campaign to obtain improved conditions, including salary rises of up to 6 [per cent].”

The union’s general secretary, Grahame McCulloch, told UWN that “National Tertiary Education Union members at universities in all six Australian states participated in stoppages in support of their collective bargaining claims for manageable workloads,” along with other demands that included increased job security and better wages.

The UWN also reported, “Several universities, including the University of Sydney, have signed agreements with the union that will run for the next three years. Sydney was one of the first to reach an agreement with the union, providing annual increases of more than 5 [per cent] for its staff up to May 2012.”

SATs to be boycotted in Europe

According to the Guardian, thousands of teachers in Europe have signed a petition that is in support of banning the SATs.

“The National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Head Teachers, which are jointly running the campaign, said they had now received 10,000 signatures in an online petition,” reported the Guardian.

“Abolish SATs — they’re utterly useless and they drive children, teachers and parents nuts,” Michael Rosen, the former children’s laureate, told NUT Teacher Magazine.

The Guardian also reported that “Teachers have mounted a campaign to end the tests and are threatening to boycott next year’s unless the government promises to end them.”