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World news roundup: 1-7 May

Image: Brian A Jackson, via Shutterstock

The latest news in global research policy and funding

In depth: University researchers published half a billion papers related to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals last year, but are only slowly adapting their work to meet these globally agreed targets for improvements in education, health and other topics.

Full story: Only one in 10 research papers tied to sustainability


Record number of Chinese graduates

China has reported a record 8.74 million college graduates for 2020, but warned they will face “greater pressure” to find employment amid the Covid-19 crisis. The country’s ministry of education said on 6 May it was launching a “100-day sprint” to help graduates find employment. The ministry will focus on “organising and enrolling colleges and universities, enlarging the grassroots special plan, and expanding the enlistment of graduates into the military”.

Unesco ‘unclear’ over support levels for students with disabilities

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has said it is “unclear how many students with disabilities are receiving inadequate educational support” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In a 4 May statement the agency voiced concern, citing a lack of disaggregated data and information on the issue. Learners with disabilities have been particularly hard hit by the move to online schooling, as they require more support from specially trained teachers, the organisation said.

China moves closer to space station goal

The successful maiden flight of China’s large carrier rocket, the Long March-5B, on 5 May has moved the nation a step closer to its goal of establishing its own space station. The rocket was developed to launch space station modules, Wang Jue, chief director of the rocket development team at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology told the Xinhua state news agency. Developed over 10 years, it is China’s largest rocket, and will also be used to carry deep-space probes and launch large satellites.