Monday, May 23, 2016

Policies on international students working on research

Research universities in the U.S.A. are resisting new rules on the kinds of research international students can do. New federal regulations could curtail or prohibit internationals from being involved in research funded by businesses, or what is termed classified research. Provisions would not impact internationals involved in basic research. Opponents believe that changes in policy could unduly restrict internationals from contributing to important institutional research initiatives.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Allen Kenneth Schaidle proposes in his essay that universities need to do more to serve Muslim students. Although anti-Muslim attitudes have been around for a while, Presidential candidate Donald Trump has made open denigration of Muslims acceptable in public discourse. The rhetoric has led to increased feelings of marginalization and sometimes fear - feelings that must be addressed if institutions want their Muslim students to be successful. Schaidle's essay provides examples of institutions that are dedicating more effort to support Muslim students with a particular focus on what student affairs offices can do to help. Ideas to consider vary from student organizations to specialized counseling services and "safe zone" designations.

Singapore's Rafflles Education Corp. to buy Santa Fe Arts School

Santa Fe Institute of Art and Design may become one of the Raffles Education Corporation (Singapore) network of universities/colleges around the world. Raffles CEO Chew Hua Seng indicated that plans are underway to expand the Institute's academic offerings, improve student services, and invest in upgrading the physical plant. The mayor of Santa Fe said "We are excite about this potential new partnership and the opportunities ahead for our community, as the university joins an international network that specializes in art and design education."

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

British Higher Education White Paper

A new White Paper for higher education in the UK focuses on the importance of quality teaching to success in a knowledge economy. In addition to the focus on teaching, the White Paper proposes to widen participation, open up new markets, and boost research and innovation. The bottom line - deliver value to individuals and the broader public.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Parents protest changes in Chinese university enrollment mix

Proposed changes to the geographic mix of Chinese students in China's top universities has caused parents to go to the streets in protest. The one-child policy adopted by China in the 1990s resulted in two unfortunate outcomes - a youth population bulge seeking competitive admission to university and families dependent on the success of the one child in the family. The Chinese Ministry of Education and the National Development and Reform Commission announced the directive to change admission quotas at top universities in order to make them more equitable and reduce the pressure on students in achieving high scores on their college admission tests but it appears to have created other pressures.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Higher education is U.S.A.'s best brand

A Gallup organization poll overwhelmingly concluded that U.S.A. citizens believed that the best brand of the U.S.A. was higher education. Although it was a measure of U.S.A. citizens and not other nations, the 35% who said that perceptions were "very positive" and 41% who said perceptions were "somewhat positive" was a clear endorsement in comparison to other areas such as perceptions of business, the president, or military.

The article asserted that U.S.A. citizens are probably justified in their beliefs, primarily based on the number of international students studying in the U.S.A. and the number of cross-border higher education partnerships that have emerged in the last decade. The next question Gallup will explore is how U.S.A. citizens view the impact and outcomes of higher education. These survey findings will certainly be important to watch in relation to satisfaction with completion rates, job placement related to educational attainment, and general quality of life.

Brandon Busteed, Executive Director of Education and Workforce Development for the Gallup organization concluded by admonishing "With strong demand for higher education in the U.S. and a solid belief that U.S. higher education is viewed positively worldwide, it is not a time to pull back our thinking or investment in this precious asset."

Monday, May 9, 2016

I, too, am Study Abroad

Study abroad has been dominated by privileged students over the years. As a first generation student at Colorado State in the 1960s and 1970s I wanted to travel but could never figure out how to make it happen - finances, logistics, support from family. The State University of New York at Oswego has begun to encourage students from more diverse backgrounds to consider this enriching learning experience through its "I, too, am Study Abroad" campaign. The proportion of students from diverse cultural backgrounds now match the overall demographics of its student body.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

EU vote in the United Kingdom and its impact on higher education

The United Kingdom will put the question of European Union membership to a vote in a June 2016 referendum. The "Brexit" move has been critiqued by higher education officials as potentially reducing the UK's potential for academic and research partnerships as well as impact enrollment. The most direct impact for students would come to those now studying in the UK from other EU countries; they would be classified the same as any other international student if the UK withdrew from the EU. The question of a diverse national/cultural mix of the student sector and the contribution this diversity offers to British innovation and its economy is perhaps the biggest question that needs attention.