International-post secondary briefs

Women become the majority of students enrolled in university

The University World News reported recently that Women are no longer the minority in attendance at post-secondary education.

“Tertiary enrolment ratios of men and women reached parity around the year 2003. Since then, the average global participation of females has been exceeding that of males,” reported the UWN.

“In 1970, the male-to-female enrolment ratio was 1.6. In 2007, it flipped, with the female-to-male ratio becoming 1.08,” the article continued.

According to UWN, in North America and Europe, it has been recorded that a third more women than men are on campus. It also states that Latin America, the Caribbean and Central Asia have also shown high rates of female enrolment. In a number of these countries, there is currently at least two females graduate for every male.

South Korean scientist arrested after stem cell fraud

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that a South Korean Scientist was arrested for cloning stem cells.

According to The Chronicle, “Woo Suk Hwang, the South Korean scientist hailed as a national hero after he reported creating stem-cell lines from cloned human embryos,” but was later discovered as a fraud.

Hwang, was given a suspended sentence of two years.

The charges that were laid against him were “embezzlement and bioethical charges,” reported The Chronicle. The doctor was also accused of fraud, but was acquitted.

The BBC reported, “His research was declared bogus in 2005, and he was put on trial the following year for embezzlement and accepting money under false pretences.”

“Hwang’s research made him a South Korean hero until revelations that it was false shocked the nation,” the BBC reported.

Harvard coffee poisoning no accident

Harvard University has seen a Victorian-style poisoning, as coffee that made six people ill was confirmed to be intentional.

According to the Associated Press (AP), “One of six Harvard Medical School researchers who became ill after drinking coffee laced with a toxic chemical says he does not see how the incident could have been an accident.”
The AP stated that last week that tests conducted prove the coffee was poisoned, containing sodium azide, a preservative common to the labs.

Matteo Iannacone, a postdoctoral fellow, explained to AP that he noticed a “weird” taste after sipping an espresso poured from a coffee maker in the lab. Shortly after, he told The AP he felt dizzy and experienced a rapid heartbeat but reported his symptoms cleared quickly.

Student Journalists challenged by State Prosecutors

A group of journalists at North Western University in the U.S. working on a project called the Medill Innocence Project are being scrutinized about their methods of by State of Illinois prosecutors and police department, reported the New York Times.

The Medill Innocence project, that has successfully had a number of inmates released in the past has been served a subpoena by local prosecutors for, “the grades, grading criteria, class syllabus, expense reports and e-mail messages of the journalism students themselves,” reported the Times.

The Times explained that David Protess, the professor who leads Medill Innocence Project, that “the demands are ridiculously overreaching, irrelevant to Mr. McKinney’s case and in violation of the state’s protections for journalists and a breach of federal privacy statutes — not to mention insulting.”