Friday, June 27, 2014

Investigation of workers' conditions at NYU Abu Dhabi

The New York Times continues to follow the story they broke about worker conditions for the NYU Abu Dhabi campus construction.  The law firm expects to complete their investigation within the year.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

International students drawn by MOOCS

A recent Inside Higher Education piece indicated that MOOCs can attract more international students to study in the U.S.A.  Speaking at a workshop sponsored by the U.S. State Department, one official said, "Many institutions would like to boost international enrollment.  International students, ineligible for many forms of financial aid, frequently pay sticker-price tuition.  They also enrich campuses by bringing with them knowledge of different languages, cultures, histories, and landscapes."  The State Department's EducationUSA sees attracting international students to study the U.S.A. as an important form of diplomacy, adding another dimension of benefit to the U.S.A. and its higher education system.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Brain drain, trade, or train

How does a country determine if it is ready for the knowledge-based competition of the 21st century?  One might start by looking at their relative position in brain trade, meaning the degree to which a country attracts and holds scientific talent.  The best place a country could be is where lots of scientists are coming to you (i.e. Switzerland, Australia, and Canada) but holding them is key, which is where the U.S.A. is most successful.  While China was not included in the survey, India was and the picture shows mainly brain drain which is what India is now beginning to address.  The best scenario is to be a country that has both an active inflow and outflow, an indicator of the "brain train" stance that attracts, nurtures, launches, as well as holds talent.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

China moving 1/2 of higher education to polytechnic institutes

The recent policy move to shift 1/2 of China's higher education sector to polytechnic institutes is driven by the expectation that students graduate with "practical" knowledge and skills applicable to the workplace.  This move contrast with the trend and preference of Chinese families for degrees in the humanities or preparation for management.  Report of the shift in University World News indicated that the fear of a glut of college graduates without prospects of employment could have broad implications; thus, the education policy change has both economic and political repercussions.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

International Consortium to advocate for liberal arts

A new consortium has emerged, the Global Alliance for Liberal Arts, out of concern that attention being given to STEM subjects is eclipsing their contribution to the global community.  Carol Long, interim president of one of the member institutions, was quoted as saying "We need to be thinking globally and developing cultural competence...  Our students, they are eager to work globally but they don't always have the tools to do so."

Sunday, June 8, 2014

International Association of Universities survey reveals regional differences

University World News carried a survey summary that looked at differences in strategy, funding and values related to internationalization efforts at universities around the world.  Most institutions reported placing academic goals at the center of their efforts while respondents in the Middle East and Africa expressed more focus on scientific integrity and research ethics. Concerns about equitable access to internationalization experiences among students was the consensus risk related to internationalization efforts.  Beyond access, "wide divergence among the regional responses becomes quickly evident, with African and Middle East institutions pointing to the brain drain, North American institutions citing too much emphasis on recruitment of fee-paying students, Latin American and Caribbean institutions identifying issues related to regulating quality of foreign programmes, and institutions in Asia and Pacific finding excessive competition among higher education institutions as the second most important risk."