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Education New Zealand rolls out NauMai NZ

The PIE News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 17:55

A new platform based around the Maori concept of manaakitanga – to show care and respect – has been rolled out by Education New Zealand to help international education adjust to study in a new country.

NauMai NZ, which takes its name from the Maori word for “welcome”, provides advice to support international students in their first six months of study and was developed by ENZ in collaboration with government bodies including Immigration New Zealand and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

“Students have been telling us that they need to know where to get reliable, up-to-date information”

“Our culture of care and respect for all visitors is incredibly important,” said Grant McPherson, chief executive of ENZ.

“We are proud that the majority of students have a fantastic, often life-changing, time in New Zealand. We want this to be the case for every student.”

Using the platform, students can access government information around areas such as accommodation, work rights, health care and wellbeing.

“Students have been telling us that they need to know where to get reliable, up-to-date information about living and studying in New Zealand, and NauMai NZ provides this,” McPherson said.

“This is a generation that is online 24/7 – and NauMai NZ has been designed to provide useful information at their fingertips.”

Currently in its initial phase, there are also plans to broaden the information available on the platform to extend to graduation and beyond.

According to ENZ, the launch of NauMai NZ fits into the broader shifts occurring within New Zealand’s international education sector, after 2018’s strategy prioritised improving the student experience over numbers targets.

One of the short to medium term goals of the strategy was the improvement of services to ensure international students received clear and timely information around education and immigration.

New Zealand attracted just over 125,000 international enrolments in 2017, according to ENZ data.

New Zealand’s changing international education priorities are featured in the upcoming edition of The PIE Review.

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Chronicle of Higher Education: Michigan State Selects Stony Brook’s Leader, Samuel L. Stanley, as Next President

Stanley, president of the State University of New York campus since 2009, will take charge of a community calling for transparency. Some of his old critics at Stony Brook say he may not deliver.

Aus: int’l students underwhelmed by rental options

The PIE News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 12:40

Accommodation options only just past muster with international students in Australia, according to a new report from edtech company Cohort Go, which found a growing need for options catering to the specialised needs of overseas students.

The 2019 Aussie Study Experience report, which surveyed almost 700 international students, gave Australian accommodation a satisfaction score of 57 out of 100, finding 60% were living in a private rental over other options.

“The more preparation that was done, the greater the satisfaction”

“The trend means that students coming from overseas aren’t necessarily getting a service that’s tailored to their needs by the accommodation providers,” said Cohort Go chief executive Mark Fletcher.

“Our research shows that these students are underwhelmed by their current, mostly privately-rented accommodation.”

Fletcher added the average rating provided an opportunity for purpose-built providers, which currently represent 8% of the market, to deliver specialised services for international students.

“I think what we see with the purpose-built student accommodation providers… they provide a really streamlined experience and a superior experience than those that are living in private rentals,” he told The PIE News.

While an opportunity for purpose-built providers, Fletcher added education agents had a substantial role to play after the report found a correlation between dissatisfaction and pre-departure research.

“It really came through that the more preparation that was done, the greater the satisfaction was for the international student,” he said.

Only 12% of students used an education agent to find living arrangements, Fletcher said, with counsellors five times as likely to assist students to find other services such as OSHC.

“There is a big opportunity for education agents and providers to work together to showcase the best that student accommodation providers have to offer.”

In 2018, reports that six international students were found living in a 24-hour study facility lead to calls from the sector for more purpose-built and affordable accommodation options.

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U.S. Department of Education Blog | Ed.gov: The Only Way Out is Through

On any given day I may receive a phone call from a teacher to check in with one of my students.

read more

UK guarantees home fees for EU students in 2020

The PIE News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 09:13

UK Universities minister Chris Skidmore has announced that EU students starting university in the 2020/21 academic year will have guaranteed home fee status and financial support for the duration of courses in England, “whether a deal for leaving the EU is in place or not”.

Speaking in Brussels, Skidmore announced that EU nationals who start a higher education course in England next year will remain eligible for undergraduate and postgraduate financial support, Advanced Learner loans, as well as FE and apprenticeships support.

“Our universities thrive on the diversity of being global institutions”

The minister said that it is important to remember that “while the UK has chosen to leave the EU, we are not leaving Europe, and our universities thrive on the diversity of being global institutions”.

“We know that students will be considering their university options for next year already, which is why we are confirming now that eligible EU nationals will continue to benefit from home fee status and can access financial support for the 20/21 academic year, so they have the certainty they need to make their choice,” he added.

The latest 2019 application cycle data shows more than 37,000 EU students have applied for full-time undergraduate courses in England – an increase of 1.9% on the previous year.

Commenting on the announcement, Russell Group director of Policy Jess Cole said it will be welcome news to the tens of thousands of EU students applying to start courses in England in 2020.

“Having clarity of their fee status is critical, especially in light of the continuing uncertainty over Brexit,” Cole said.

To reassure these students further, Cole said the government should guarantee their migration rights for the duration of their studies.

“Students starting courses in 2020/21 should be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme regardless of whether the UK leaves the EU without a deal,” she said.  

“We want to ensure the UK remains open and attractive to talented students from Europe and more widely after the UK leaves the EU.”

Universities UK chief executive Alistair Jarvis added that continued uncertainty would have significantly restricted student choice and the ability of English universities to recruit students from the EU.

“EU students make an important contribution to our universities, enriching our campuses culturally and academically and we are pleased to see this recognised by the government,” he said.

“It is important that other post-Brexit policies ensure an attractive offer to students from the EU and beyond and signal that the UK continues to be a welcoming place for those wishing to study here.”

In a statement on the department for education website, the government said it recognises the need to provide certainty for students and the sector, specifically for the academic year 2020/21 as the recruitment process gets underway.

“It is important that other post-Brexit policies ensure an attractive offer to students from the EU”

“Work to determine the future fee status for new EU students after the 2020/21 academic year is ongoing as the government prepares for a smooth and orderly exit from the EU as soon as possible,” the statement read.

“The government will provide sufficient notice for prospective EU students on fee arrangements ahead of the 2021/2022 academic year and subsequent years in future.”

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ApplyBoard raises C$55m in Series B funding, bringing total to C$72m

The PIE News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 08:15

Ontario-based AI-enabled student marketplace ApplyBoard has secured C$55 million in Series B funding which it said will fuel growth and market expansion to make education accessible to more students around the world. With this round, the company has raised C$72 million in total funding.

Anthos Capital, a California-based investment firm that invests in leading growth-stage companies at the forefront of change, led the round with participation from existing investors including Artiman Ventures.

“I am incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished”

With this investment, ApplyBoard said it will further develop its AI-powered platform and accelerate expansion into new markets, advancing the company’s mission of making education accessible to students around the world.

To support this growth, ApplyBoard will also hire more than 100 employees for its Kitchener headquarters and international offices over the next year.

“We believe education is a right, not a privilege. Everything we do revolves around putting students first,” said Martin Basiri, co-founder and CEO of ApplyBoard.

“Our dedication to making a difference in students’ lives is evident by the tremendous growth we’ve experienced in the past four years.

“I am incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished and look forward to continuing our momentum with this new investment.”

Speaking with The PIE News, ApplyBoard director of marketing Alicia Bedard said the significant figure came as a surprise to many of the team.

“You have a dream, and you know the potential of the company and where it could go, but I think everyone is really surprised that we grew as quickly as we did.

“It just goes to show that there was a significant gap in the market for the services that we provide. That being said, we could have taken on a lot more funding, there was a ton of interest in the company, but we landed on that number,” she added.

ApplyBoard launched as a result of the challenges the co-founder’s faced as Iranian students pursuing post-secondary education in North America.

“It just goes to show that there was a significant gap in the market for the services that we provide”

The proprietary platform uses AI and machine learning to assist students with program and institution selection, document submission, application, and obtaining a visa.

The company then reviews and processes each application, sending only those which are complete and qualified to its partner schools. As a result of its structured vetting system, students have a 95% chance of receiving an offer letter to the program of their choice.

Speaking to The PIE News, co-founder & CMO Meti Basiri said ApplyBoard’s mission is to make education accessible for every single student in the world no matter where they are from.

“If you belong to any village, in any country you should have the right to study,” he said.

“Then the other important thing to remember is that when students go abroad, they study, they change, and they contribute to change in that country too.

“Eight years I have been living in Canada, and a lot of things have changed… I had an impact on the economy and continue to have an impact on it, and Canada has impacted who I am today.”

“ApplyBoard has revolutionised the application process for international education”

Commenting on the funding announcement,  managing director of Anthos Paul Farr said he believes that ApplyBoard has revolutionised the application process for international education.

“Thousands of global students have obtained quality education, and high schools, colleges, and universities are benefiting from a diverse applicant pool as a result of ApplyBoard’s innovative platform.

We are proud to partner with a company that’s making a profound positive impact,” he added.

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Momentum builds around secure, portable credentials

The PIE News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 04:17

The benefits of Blockchain vs digital signing technology as the tool underpinning the security of digital academic records was one of the conversations which kept experts engaged during the recent Groningen Declaration Network conference in Mexico.

A greater global cohesion around the imperative of secure academic credentials and robust verification frameworks was achieved this year at the three-day event, its eighth iteration, ensuring that global qualification integrity now has its own voice and agenda.

“It’s the only international forum that’s joining all the dots across the globe”

With Unesco and many major government agencies attending the event – alongside commercial companies offering an array of credentialing and verification services – the conference also profiled many national and regional initiatives furthering secure portability and accessibility of data.

Erasmus without Paper was one such initiative, a European initiative to connect over 5000 HEIs and digitise all steps in the Erasmus+ mobility scheme; DAAD in Germany shared its own horizon-scanning on European projects (also including Europass); and Chinese & Canadian organisations shared details on respective national data exchange networks.

A global initiative called the PESC Geocode was also showcased among a series of “lightning talks”: it aims to be a globally implemented code system for institutions all around the world, a “fundamental building block in the data mobility ecosystem”, using a similar system to unique codes and numbers used in telephony.

Herman de Leeuw, executive director at GDN – a Dutch civil servant who was a pioneering force in establishing it – told The PIE News, “We were so happy to involve the Commonwealth of Learning, Unesco, the German Ministry of Education [this year].”

He stated, “We are clearly now bringing together a powerful coalition of international bodies and national governments and they all see the GDN as one of the uniting factors that are going to play a role in the future.”

Chris Jackson, CEO of Paradigm, a US-based credentials company, told The PIE News that there was an increasing realisation in his home market that international students and their needs had to be considered when delivering secure credentials.

“While the transcript is “king” in the United States, it is the diploma elsewhere in the world that is used as ‘proof of education’,” he explained.

“Historically, international students have not had access to digital diplomas, and if they wanted another paper diploma it could cost them anywhere from $25 to $200, significantly more than a transcript.”

Jackson said the momentum to modernise had picked up “quite tremendously”.

“As more international students have come to the US for their education, higher ed. has had to recognise that their previous policies may not be helping the students they are trying to attract,” he acknowledged.

“This is where digital diplomas have started to become popular since they are secure and portable, something that is very useful to the mobile, international student.”

Many companies in the field used the event to hear from peers in the industry about evolving demands from university admissions officers and government agendas to digitise and improve the sharing of secure academic records.

Antonio Pinedo, CEO of Signe which delivers the eTitulo product, commented, “The GDN conference is a  useful international initiative, where I can have an overview on how different countries have worked to implement secure and transparent solutions.”

He added, “This has allowed me, as a provider of academic accreditation solutions, to visualise the needs and the evolution of the current needs of the market.”

Consensus clearly exists for international transparency and ease of sharing data but the likelihood of one global solution is still some way off. But the backing of Unesco, with its director of policies and lifelong learning systems speaking at the event, is a big affirmation of the GDN agenda.

Jayne Rowley, chief executive at HECSU in the UK which runs the Higher Education Degree Datacheck service, said GDN was important for its ability to foster global conversations about accessibility for all, including those from developing countries (and refugee access to education was part of the program).

“We are clearly now bringing together a powerful coalition of international bodies”

“It’s the only international forum that’s joining all the dots across the globe,” she said.

“It cares about students coming from developing countries as much as from developed international education economies. And it’s a passionate and committed group who will push this [agenda] forward.”

There was also an annual signing ceremony for organisations signing up to the GDN ideals at the event: signatories this year included Linneuniversitetet in Sweden (which has become a digital-only institution), DAAD in Germany, UAC in Australia (the university admissions system) and The PIE News.

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Kaplan to open flagship school in Midtown NYC

The PIE News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 03:01

Kaplan International English has announced plans to move its New York English language schools into a newly refurbished historic building in midtown Manhattan, giving students prime access to all areas of NY.

The school will extend over two floors and will be designed to prioritise the student experience with a welcoming concierge, accessible student support services, and views of Columbus Circle on the corner of Central Park.

It will offer students a unique experience studying English in one of the world’s most exciting cities”

Chief Operating Officer at Kaplan International English David Fougere said the new school will “offer students a unique and dynamic experience studying English in the heart of one of the world’s most exciting cities”.

The Kaplan International English – New York Central Park is scheduled to open in October 2019 and will be larger than either of Kaplan’s current English language schools in NY.

In addition to the New York investment, Kaplan has also recently renovated its Boston Harvard Square school.

All of Kaplan’s Boston students will study at Kaplan International English Boston – Harvard Square, located just steps from Harvard University in the heart of the education capital of the world, from August 2019.

Situated in Cambridge alongside the academic hubs of both Harvard University and MIT, the school gives students the benefit of being surrounded by thousands of American college students as well as students from all over the world.

Fougere added: “We’ve been working hard to renovate our Boston Harvard Square school, giving students the perfect learning environment to succeed, but students will be benefiting from more than just a new lick of paint.

“Many of our students take advantage of the numerous universities and colleges in the area for further study after their English course,” he added.

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3,000th agent completes ICEF training course

The PIE News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 02:01

The 3000th agent to graduate from an ICEF agent training course completed her program last week. Alisa Shashkova from Russia finished the ICEF Agent Training Course – one of the organisation’s five courses – with what trainers say was a nearly perfect score.

“The growth for this kind of training is showing what a demand there is to support the industry”

“We are proud to mark this milestone of 3,000 course graduates,” said Tiffany Egler, ICEF’s director of Agent Relations.

“Education agents play an important role in counselling and referring students to education providers around the world. The growth for this kind of training is showing what a demand there is to support the industry and education destination markets – including traditional markets like the US and Canada, but also emerging markets like Ireland,” she said.

“We see agents as essential to growing global student mobility and look forward to welcoming more agents from around the world as they develop their expertise in our programs.”

Along with the IATC, ICEF offers another professional course – the China Education Agent Course.

Its three destination courses include the Canada Course for Education Agents, the Irish Education Agents Course, and the US Agent Training Course, and aim to help agents looking to specialise in a specific study destination.

Professional courses seek to develop agents’ knowledge of the industry, key destinations, fundamental skills and daily operations.

All courses are free, and agents who successfully pass exams are displayed on ICEF’s website, as well as on the Qualified Education Agents (QEA) app.

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Professor loses sex discrimination case over her pay but vows to fight on

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 00:00

Jennifer Freyd, professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, has spent years studying the concept of institutional betrayal, including when institutions don’t help right the wrongs committed within them.

Now Freyd is battling her own institution in court. She alleges that Oregon failed to properly respond to what her own department chair called a “glaring” pay gap between Freyd and the men she works with -- $18,000 less than that of her male peer closest in rank.

The case was just dismissed by a federal judge who said that the pay difference was more about the kind of work the men in her department do and the retention raises they’d secured over the years. But research suggests that even these explanations are rooted in issues of gender. Freyd has already filed a notice of intent to appeal.

“I was very caught off guard by this outcome,” she said recently of the dismissal. “But I’ll pursue this as long as I can. It’s important to know that this isn’t really what I want to be doing right now -- I have a wonderful new project on institutional courage. But I have a responsibility here.”

And not just to herself, as Freyd wrote in a court filing late last year.

“As someone who has reached a certain level of professional achievement, I feel a sense of responsibility to speak the truth of my experience,” she said then. “The pay inequity I have experienced is very painful, and I do not want the women I have mentored, my current and many former graduate students, my own daughter in graduate school, or the junior faculty we have hired in the department of psychology to go through what I’ve gone through.”

Oregon, meanwhile, said in a statement that Freyd is “a respected and valued” member of the faculty, “and we believe this decision establishes that she is fairly compensated relative to her peers.” The university believes the court “correctly decided the case” and will continue to defend itself on appeal.

Losing $500K Over a Lifetime

According to Freyd’s original complaint, salaries in her department are supposed to be determined by seniority and merit. Merit-based raises are awarded based on a consideration of research, teaching and service. Oregon’s psychology program conducted a self-study in 2016. One of the findings was that psychology faced a “significant equity problem with respect to salaries at the full professor level.” The authors conducted a regression analysis and found that the annual average difference between male and female full professors was about $25,000. So over a period of 20 years, women would receive approximately $500,000 less than their male counterparts, and probably even more, when considering retirement benefits, which are based on salaries.

The department also conducted an external review of the department. That committee of outside professors also noted the “gender disparity in faculty salaries at the full professor level” and recommended that the department “continue pressing for gender equity in terms of pay at the senior levels of the faculty.”

Both reviews traced the disparity back to retention raises given to professors who pursued outside offers. The self-study noted that this was concerning, as “it is not obvious that the frequency of retention negotiations is a strong indicator of overall productivity.” Rather, it said, “there is strong evidence of a gender bias in both the availability of outside offers and the ability to respond aggressively to such offers.” The outside review said it’s “widely recognized that there is a difference between the genders in terms of seeking outside offers, and if this holds at Oregon, then the bias does have a gender basis.”

A ‘Most Glaring’ Case

The department sought ways the rectify the issue throughout 2016, such as by using funds available for raises.

Freyd’s deans were made aware of the issue and even acknowledged that it was a problem in conversations with the department, she said. But the psychology faculty was told there was nothing to be done.

Ulrich Mayr, department chair, continued to pursue the issue. He wrote in a late 2016 memo to Hal Sadofsky, associate dean of natural sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Andrew Marcus, dean of the college, that when controlling for years in rank, the department’s male full professors earn on average $30,000 more than women. The difference is “remarkably stable” across recent years, even with major faculty departures, and doesn’t change when taking out the department’s highest-paid full professor as an outlier or when controlling for h-index (a research impact factor) or 2016 merit ratings, he said.

“This imbalance is difficult to ignore, in particular when considering lifetime cumulative effects. It is a threat to overall morale, not only among full professors, but also among early and midcareer female professors who wonder how they can escape the same fate as their senior colleagues,” Mayr wrote.

While this dynamic could make it harder to offer professors strong counteroffers in retention matters going forward, he said, “Aggressive retention activity should not be the only way to maintain a market-adequate salary, in particular as there are structural differences and actual biases that make it harder for women to participate in these activities.” He noted that the majority of female full professors haven’t participated in recent retention negotiations, and that two “highly meritorious” male full professors appear to have relatively low salaries for the same reason.

Beyond general trends, Mayr urged “immediate” action on the “most glaring inequity case” -- Freyd’s.

“Freyd is currently the most senior faculty member in the department. She is a widely recognized leader in her field with impact beyond the academy,” Mayr wrote. Yet her salary is “$18,000 less than that of her male peer closest in rank (who is still seven years her junior). When taking in consideration impact or merit, this difference further increases to $40-50,000.”

Mayr said that the department last reviewed Freyd in 2014-15 and would have advocated giving her more than an 8 percent raise if he’d known that was possible. Apparently he could have asked for more, he said he learned later.

“Given the inequity she has experienced up to this point, I believe she should not be punished for my lack of information,” Mayr wrote, asking for a 12 percent raise to bring Freyd’s pay to parity with the next-highest-paid male full professor. “But even a fraction of this, say 5-6 percent, would help mitigate the gap and make it more realistic that we could finish the job with a future round of equity raises.”

Freyd’s college announced raises in early 2017. She received no additional salary increase beyond the standard across-the-board and merit raises. She says that Marcus and Sadofsky, the deans, asked to meet with her and told her that wouldn’t address her gender-equity concerns with respect to pay. “Only” three men were paid more than she was in her department, she recalls them saying.

There are six male full professors in her department, according to Freyd’s complaint. All are junior to her in years of service, and none has a higher h-index than she has. She is paid nearly the same as a fourth male colleague who is substantially junior.

Freyd sued Oregon for sex discrimination, including under the Equal Pay Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibit sex discrimination. She’s seeking an “appropriate” pay raise, back pay and damages.

Support Along the Way

Freyd received support from colleagues, students and other experts along the way.

“In addressing gender discrimination, you have indirectly given much to us graduate students,” reads an open letter signed by dozens of graduate students. “Not the least of which is hope. Hope for a life in which such discrimination is a thing of the past. And hope that we, in our own ways, can fight for equality in all forms for ourselves and our colleagues.”

Jennifer Gomez, a psychology Ph.D. who studied under Freyd, wrote in an open essay that her lawsuit highlights Oregon as a “shameful example of the rampant gender discrimination currently in practice across universities, including explaining away women’s lower pay through grant funding, retention efforts and tokenism.”

Kevin Cahill, a research economist at the Center on Aging and Work at Boston College, for example, wrote in a declaration to the court that his regression analysis of departmental salaries found that women’s salaries by years in rank “fell far below that for male faculty, and the discrepancy increased” over time.

Source: Cahill

Cahill attributed the trend to retention raises. And the earlier departmental studies noted that this factor is in itself gendered. Gomez said so, too. Is it?

One 2006 study found that gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations may be explained by differential treatment of men and women when they attempt to negotiate. Participants who evaluated written accounts of candidates who did or did not initiate negotiations for higher compensation penalized female candidates more than male candidates for initiating negotiations.

In another experiment in that same study, participants evaluated videotapes of candidates who accepted compensation offers or initiated negotiations. Male evaluators penalized female candidates more than male candidates for initiating negotiations, with perceptions of niceness and being demanding, explaining resistance to female negotiators. (Female evaluators penalized all candidates for initiating negotiations.) The study also found that with male evaluators, women were less inclined than men to negotiate, and “nervousness” explained this effect. There was no gender difference when the evaluator was female.

‘Counteroffer Culture’?

More recently, last year, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education, based at Harvard University, published some findings of its first national Faculty Retention and Exit Survey.

Insights into the negotiation process suggest “some troubling gender bias,” the collaborative’s staff wrote at the time. “For example, among those who didn’t ask for a counteroffer, men are more likely than women to receive one, anyway; among those who do ask for a counteroffer, women are more likely to be denied.”

Moreover, the staff wrote, “Higher education's ‘counteroffer culture’ has real costs. Faculty are expected to cultivate outside offers before they can ask for a better deal at home. This requirement pushes them out the door: we are finding that nearly one in three faculty who left had originally sought the offer only to renegotiate the terms of their employment.”

Cornell University did try to get Freyd to stay working then when she left it for Oregon, decades ago.

Equal Pay for ‘Equal Work’ Only

Despite that evidence, Michael McShane, the federal judge in Oregon who decided Freyd’s case, found her claims uncompelling and sided with the university against her. McShane said that unlike elementary school teachers, all professors do not in fact perform the same work, and that their pay rightfully reflects that. Put another way, equal pay for equal work only means someone when the work is mostly the same for everyone.

One of four male full professors who are paid more than Freyd -- Mayr -- was the department head who performed both financial and supervisory work, the judge said. Another served as the department’s director of clinical training and led the campus’s Center on Diversity and Community. And while Freyd received one award of federal research funding, for $25,000, from 2008 to 2018, another full professor received 34 awards of federal funding for more than $12 million. (Freyd has still authored dozens of research articles.)

By “choosing to pursue optional roles, such as acting as the principal investigator of a federally funded research grant, directing a center of research, or serving as department head, full professors change their job duties and increase the amount of responsibility that their role requires,” he wrote in his opinion. “The university does not mandate that full professors take on these additional responsibilities, but it recognizes professors' freedom to do so and to ‘remake their job’ into what they want to do, whether through outside funding or community roles.”

All that aside, however, McShane said that offering retention raises to faculty who are being recruited by other universities is “justified by business necessity.”

Oregon “must retain its faculty who are being recruited by other institutions, especially those who secure federal funding, because they help the university to maintain its status as a top-tier research institution, expand its research footprint and provide funding for the training of graduate students,” he added.

McShane also said that Freyd hasn’t provided “any specific suggestions for how to create a system in which professors would be compensated solely on the basis of their time in rank that would address retention issues.”

Freyd can’t “have it both ways,” or “brush aside” other full professors in the department earning less while sweeping in those psychology professors making more, he said.

Again, Freyd never expected the outcome, which she said reveals a misunderstanding of faculty work. She expressed concern about how the idea that professors do different work and get compensated for it differently than their peers could chill academic freedom.

Mayr, the chair, agreed, reportedly sending the psychology faculty an email saying “that given the pay structure among full professors in our department, Jennifer deserves a higher salary,” and that work needs to be done toward pay equity in the department.

The lawsuit “has no bearing on the broader question whether there are factors in society, academia and our institution that lead to gender inequities in pay, or access to other important resources,” he wrote. So these “outcomes cannot be an excuse for reducing our efforts towards identifying and counteracting such factors.”

DiversityEditorial Tags: FacultyPayWomenImage Caption: Jennifer FreydIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 2Diversity Newsletter publication date: Tuesday, May 28, 2019Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Email Teaser: Retaining Gender Inequity?Magazine treatment: Trending: College: University of OregonDisplay Promo Box: 

Some defrauded borrowers win in court as debt-relief claims pile up

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 00:00

Earlier this year, Sarah Dieffenbacher closed the book on a two-year legal fight with the U.S. Department of Education over her student loan debt.

But the resolution was unsatisfying to Dieffenbacher. Instead of getting a ruling on the loan-forgiveness claim she filed for debt racked up at the former Everest College, the department discharged her loans through bankruptcy court.

“Unfortunately, it was not a settlement that I can say I'm proud to have received,” she said. “They found an easy way out.”

For some plaintiffs like Dieffenbacher, the courts have become the only viable path to forgiveness of student loans they argue aren’t valid because they attended fraudulent programs. That’s because Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, hasn’t acted on a single loan-forgiveness application -- so-called borrower-defense claims -- in nearly a year. More than 158,000 claims are currently pending review, according to department officials.

A handful of lawsuits, however, recently have ended in settlements that cleared the loan debt of students who attended programs operated by Corinthian Colleges -- the defunct parent company of Everest -- or other for-profit colleges where state regulators documented misconduct and deception of students.

But those victories themselves have happened only after years of litigation. And the relief they’ve offered has been limited to the plaintiffs themselves.

In a separate lawsuit in Massachusetts, the department reached a settlement agreement this month with two borrowers who attended Everest Institute programs in that state. Darnell Williams and Yessenia Tavares took out thousands of dollars in student loans to attend massage therapy and medical assistant programs, respectively. But neither found jobs in those fields, and within a few years they had defaulted on their federal student loans.

Williams and Tavares sued the department in 2016 after it sought to garnish their wages, arguing the loans were unenforceable because the Everest programs were fraudulent. Maura Healey, the state's attorney general, joined the lawsuit and said the department must review a borrower-defense claim filed on behalf of more than 7,200 Massachusetts borrowers.

More than two years after filing their lawsuit, Williams and Tavares reached a settlement with the department, which is subject to a confidentiality agreement. The department, however, hasn’t ruled on the debt of the other Everest borrowers, despite a court ruling that found that the attorney general could file a borrower-defense claim on their behalf. Healey’s office is continuing to press for a resolution for those borrowers.

Meanwhile, the Education Department has started negotiating a settlement agreement with Christine Gold, a former student of the for-profit Court Reporting Institute in Seattle who sued the department in 2018 after waiting more than two years for a ruling on her borrower-defense claim. The program closed in 2006 after state regulators found widespread deception of students. Gold was on the hook for $36,000 she took out to attend, which ballooned to more than $60,000 by the time she filed her lawsuit.

Gold’s lawyers at the National Student Legal Defense Network said they couldn’t comment on her case.

Eileen Connor, a lawyer who represents Dieffenbacher as well as Williams and Tavares, said the department is forcing borrowers to turn to the courts because of excessive delays in the administrative process to review their loan debt.

“Every single person shouldn’t have to bring a lawsuit to get the department to follow the law,” said Connor, director of litigation at the Project on Predatory Student Lending at Harvard University’s Legal Services Center. “Unfortunately, I think the department is reading these decisions as narrowly as possible.”

In the case of the Massachusetts Everest students, Healey's office is demanding a resolution for the thousands of borrowers in the state with circumstances similar to those of Williams and Tavares. According to a court filing from the attorney general's office this month, the Education Department continues to garnish the tax returns of borrowers on whose behalf it submitted borrower-defense claims.

“All 7,200 former Corinthian students are entitled to the same relief as the two named plaintiffs in this case. The Department of Education cannot use a settlement to continue their illegal collection activities and avoid the relief these borrowers equally deserve,” Jillian Fennimore, a Healey spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Regulatory Battles

The legal fights have unfolded as DeVos wages a larger battle over borrower-defense regulations. Before 2015, the loan-forgiveness application was a little-used provision of the Higher Education Act. The collapse of the Corinthian chain that year led to a flood of new claims from borrowers who said they were misled by their college in violation of state law.

The Obama administration issued new regulations in 2016 that sought to clarify federal standards for students to get loan forgiveness. Although DeVos delayed the Obama rule from taking effect in 2017, a federal court told her last year to carry out the regulation. So even though the Trump administration has its own borrower-defense rule in the works, the 2016 regulations remain in effect. But that hasn’t led to debt relief for former students of Corinthian Colleges or ITT Technical Institutes.

After another judge last year blocked DeVos from using a partial-relief standard to award forgiveness to borrowers for only part of their student loans, the department hasn’t approved any new claims in months. DeVos has blamed the ongoing litigation over the department’s partial-relief formula for the delays.

“They [were] being approved before the court stepped in,” she told the U.S. House of Representatives' education and labor committee in an appearance last month.

Diane Auer Jones, the principal deputy secretary at the department, said at a House oversight subcommittee hearing this week that she couldn’t commit to a timeline for clearing the backlog of borrower-defense claims until the lawsuit over the partial-relief system is resolved.

“We are not able to determine the level of harm or level of relief a borrower should get because the methodology we have used is being blocked by a California court,” she said.

But Connor said there’s nothing stopping the department from issuing full relief to borrowers who were defrauded.

“It’s very clear that the preliminary injunction doesn’t preclude the department from granting complete relief to students, which is of course the right thing to do here,” she said. “It also doesn’t preclude them from coming up with an alternative way of effecting partial relief.”

After the Trump administration announced it would award only partial relief to borrowers with valid claims, Dieffenbacher received an offer to settle her lawsuit and have about half of her $67,000 in student debt canceled. She said she considered the offer “a joke.”

Dieffenbacher had waited for a ruling on her borrower-defense claim since 2015, and filed her lawsuit in 2017. But she wasn't willing to take an offer that didn't clear all of her loan debt for a program she said hadn't provided any benefits.

“I think they felt I would take it and shut up and be happy with it and go on,” she said.

Late last year, though, Dieffenbacher filed for bankruptcy after several years of struggling with loan debt that prevented her from taking major financial steps like purchasing a new home. When the department offered to discharge her debt through the bankruptcy process in a settlement, she agreed.

"I was exhausted from fighting. I was ready to get on with my life," she said. "It almost felt like I had no other way out."

Dieffenbacher said she hopes other students who were misled by their colleges press the department to allow loan discharge through the bankruptcy process, which is barred by law to most student borrowers.

“It’s proof it can be done,” she said. “I’m hoping it puts more pressure on them to allow that.”

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Tax hike on employers will help make college free for many students in Washington State

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 00:00

Lawmakers in Washington State are taking a novel approach to funding higher education with a new scholarship program that will make tuition at the state's colleges and universities free for thousands of low-income families.

Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, on Tuesday signed into law a work-force investment bill that creates the Washington College Grant. The scholarships, which will be fully funded through an increase in the state’s business and occupation tax, guarantees financial aid for more than 110,000 low- and middle-income Washington residents. The grant will help students pay little or no tuition.

The scholarship program is one of the more progressive statewide grants to emerge in recent years. It’s a first-dollar scholarship, which means qualified students can be eligible for the aid regardless of whether they receive federal or other state grants. Students can use the grants to attend any of the state’s public or private two- and four-year colleges. Part-time students, students pursuing a certificate or those enrolled in an approved apprenticeship also can qualify for the grant. And the grant isn’t limited to recent high school graduates but is open to any potential student who doesn’t already hold a bachelor’s degree.

“This does allow our low-income students … the ability to have their full needs met,” said Ana Mari Cauce, president of the University of Washington. “And this is benefiting our business community because now we can graduate more students who are ready to take the jobs right here in our state.”

Several employers in the state sounded an alarm a few years ago about a lack of residents with high-quality skills and educations that go beyond a high school diploma, said Anne Fennessy, chairwoman of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. A report released in 2016 by those employers found a projected 740,000 job openings in Washington by 2021, with 70 percent of those jobs requiring some education past high school.

Cauce said it was important to include all types of institutions -- public, private, four-year and two-year -- as places where students could use the grant dollars. The state doesn’t want to create a "two-tiered system" where low-income students go to only one type of institution and wealthier students go to another, she said.

“People from low-income backgrounds should have the same range of opportunities as people from wealthier backgrounds,” she said. “A quarter of our students are community college transfers, and they’re absolutely terrific. Beginning at a community college is perfectly respectable and for some people the best option, but at the same time we want students to take the option that makes sense to them. And for some, that’s enrolling here.”

Support From Microsoft and Amazon

The grant is expected to cost about $80 million annually for the first two years, but the program doesn’t represent the full scope of the new work-force legislation. The legislation will generate more than $1 billion in projected revenue over the next six years for higher education.

It also attempts to make the funding “recession-proof” by only allowing the taxes collected to be used for higher education programs, compensation for college employees and student financial aid. Other statewide tuition-free programs, such as the Oregon Promise, are funded through their state budgets. No other state has replicated Tennessee’s approach of paying for its Promise program through lottery reserves that were placed in an endowment.

In addition to the grant, the state is spending $16 million a year for two years to expand guided pathways at community colleges, which are designed to help students transition from college programs to a career. It also is providing $30 million annually to colleges and universities to increase the salaries of nurse educators and other faculty in high-demand areas such as computer science and welding.

"This legislation invests in both sides of the equation: affordability for students coupled with foundational support for the colleges and universities that serve them. And it also invests in student support services, like advising, to make sure students not only enroll in college but can succeed once they get there," said Laura McDowell, a spokeswoman for the two-year college board.

The new funding is paid for through a tax on businesses that rely heavily on employees with advanced degrees, such as software development, architecture, engineering, financial services, scientific research and telecommunications.

“There should be some recognition that they are paying for the next generation,” Cauce said. “There’s nothing wrong with importing talent, but it’s easier for them to hire from within the state … so this is a really good investment for them.”

Supporters of the new education investment include two of the state’s largest employers -- Microsoft and Amazon. Depending on the size of the business, each will be taxed at a different rate. Microsoft and Amazon would pay the most and see a total annual surcharge of $7 million each.

“It is sensible to ask the parts of the business community that benefit so strongly from higher education to pay into this fund so we can sustain the higher education system on which we depend,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft's president, in an interview with Inside Higher Ed. “I was acutely aware of the fact personally and as a company that Microsoft arguing for a tax increase for other businesses was somewhat of an awkward position to be in.”

Smith said Microsoft, with annual revenue of more than $100 billion, was arguing for a tax increase on much smaller companies. But Smith encouraged a larger tax increase for Microsoft and Amazon.

Some employers opposed the tax.

“We’re very supportive of the need for further investment in higher education, especially because we spend so much time and effort in funding the K-12 system and we need to be strategic in funding higher education,” said Amy Anderson, director of government affairs for education, work-force development, health care and federal issues at the Association of Washington Business, which represents more than 7,000 companies. “But increasing taxes is not sustainable, and we don’t want to get in a position where we starve our higher education sector.”

Anderson said while there is money now in the state budget, that won’t always be the case.

“If we see any economic downturn, which is anticipated, we do know that at some point it will impact our businesses and we won’t have additional revenue to support these higher education efforts,” she said.

Smith said he would encourage businesses and lawmakers in other states to consider following Washington’s footsteps in finding a new way to fund higher education, even if that means increasing business taxes.

“The states are laboratories of democracy, and I’m hopeful the success and innovation in Washington State may inspire similar efforts in other parts of the country,” Smith said. “I don’t think the Legislature would’ve imposed a tax on businesses without the leadership by some businesses to advocate for it.”

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New presidents or provosts: Corning Howard Payne JWU Santa Clara USC

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 00:00
  • Marie Bernardo-Sousa, L.P.D., senior vice president of administration and enrollment management at Johnson & Wales University, in Rhode Island, has been promoted to president there.
  • Carol L. Folt, former chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been named president of the University of Southern California.
  • Cory Hines, vice president of enrollment at Dallas Baptist University, in Texas, has been chosen as president of Howard Payne University, also in Texas.
  • William Mullaney, vice president of academic affairs at Bergen Community College, in New Jersey, has been appointed president of Corning Community College, part of the State University of New York system.
  • The Reverend Kevin O’Brien, S.J., dean of the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University, in California, has been selected as president there.
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Chronicle of Higher Education: Virtual Reality Comes to the Classroom

Ed-tech experts predict an acceleration of activity, but they caution that it needs a strong pedagogical foundation.

Virtual Reality Comes to the Classroom

Ed-tech experts predict an acceleration of activity, but they caution that it needs a strong pedagogical foundation.

UUKi and CRCC Asia form partnership

The PIE News - Mon, 05/27/2019 - 08:27

Universities UK International has announced a new partnership with international internship provider CRCC Asia that will see a range of funded scholarships to support UK undergrads from underrepresented groups to intern and gain valuable work experience abroad.

The scholarships are CRCC Asia’s pledge to the UK-wide UUKi-run Go International: Stand Out campaign, which aims to double the percentage of UK undergraduates who study, work, or volunteer abroad to 13% by the end of 2020.

“We want to wash away social misconceptions”

CRCC Asia will provide five funded places for students from underrepresented groups to participate in a one-month international internship program in either China, Japan, Vietnam or South Korea.

The program will be open to BAME students, care leavers, students with disabilities, women studying STEM subjects and those from Jewish communities, and the scholarship program will officially open for student applications in October 2019.

The scholarships include pre-departure support, accommodation, a work placement in one of 14 sectors and a variety of cultural, social and business events. Return airfare will also be provided by CRCC Asia’s flight partners, StudentUniverse.

Director of Global Initiatives for CRCC Asia Dominic Palazzolo said the partnership has highlighted a significant gap within the industry and aim to provide access to underrepresented groups.

“In partnership with UUKi, and in the spirit of the Go International: Stand Out campaign, it is our commitment to open the door and provide access to all. We have highlighted a significant gap within the industry and aim to provide access to underrepresented groups,” he said.

“We want to wash away social misconceptions that ‘because one comes from an underrepresented group that they simply can not take part in these opportunities’. The door is open to all and you are welcome.”

Director of UUKi Vivienne Stern also expressed delight that CRCC Asia had joined the Go International: Stand Out campaign.

“Our research shows that students from disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented groups have the most to gain from studying, working or volunteering abroad in both their subsequent academic and employment outcomes,” Stern said.

“We look forward to hearing about the life-changing experiences that the scholarship students have in Asia.”

CRCC Asia currently operates in the UK, China, Japan, Vietnam and South Korea and the company has plans to launch a new location in 2020.

The post UUKi and CRCC Asia form partnership appeared first on The PIE News.

Singapore: Lasalle aims to become contemporary arts hub for Southeast Asia

The PIE News - Sun, 05/26/2019 - 20:30

Singaporean-based Lasalle College of the Arts has used its annual graduation showcase to highlight its role as a contemporary arts hub for Southeast Asian students and signal its intentions to increase the burgeoning appreciation of the arts throughout the region.

The Lasalle Show, which runs from April through May, showcases work from the college’s students across all levels and areas of study, including visual arts, music, theatre and architecture.

Provost and vice-president academic Venka Purushothaman said as investment and interest in contemporary art increased in Singapore, the college was looking to leverage its position and attract students from Southeast Asia and beyond and bridge Eastern and Western artistic styles.

“There is generally an increasing interest in arts culture, creative industries, design”

“Singapore itself… is not quite Western, it’s not quite Eastern; it’s a blend of both,” he said.

“It will always be that at the confluence of these two elements. It needs to speak to the contemporary because it is drawing from the rich heritage of established systems in the West.”

Speaking with The PIE News, Purushothaman said Southeast Asia was also becoming a lucrative market for providers in the region due to its population’s relatively low average age.

“Southeast Asia is also very interesting because [it] is one of the fastest growing areas in the world,” he said.

“We’re seeing with this kind of growth, you’ve got a whole new generation of young people wanting to engage and make a difference to the world that they want to build for the 21st century.”

Currently attracting a third of its students from abroad, Purushothaman added Lasalle hoped to further push a burgeoning understanding of contemporary art throughout the region, which has traditionally prioritised the STEM and commerce fields.

“If we can be a space for young, emerging Asians to actually articulate their own sense of place and purpose in Asia, I think that will be a great success for us.”

As well as bringing students in, Lasalle president Steve Dixon said the arts college aimed to increase its international partnerships and study abroad opportunities to help Singapore have a broader role in the contemporary art scene.

“We’re looking for a majority of our students to go on exchange, and there are opportunities for all students to go on international exchange, and we’re linking up with different international partners with that,” he told The PIE.

“There’s a growing reputation. I think there’s a recognition of the ambition here, and the ambition we instil in students.”

So far, the college has earned several enviable accolades, including students picking up three of the five President’s Young Talents awards in Singapore, as well as two film students nominated for the BAFTA Student Film Awards.

“Simply doing it all for the glory of Singapore won’t be sufficient”

“There is a real renaissance in a lot of countries, and we also benefit from that in terms of the students that come here,” Dixon said.

“There is generally an increasing interest in arts culture, creative industries, design… and we’re also starting to team up with international institutions to look at joint short courses or longer programs.”

As creative industries become more transient and require professionals to travel for work globally, Adam Knee, dean of the faculty of fine arts, media & creative industries said it was essential to provide mobility opportunities.

“They really need to be able to get out there in order to achieve what students are supposed to strategically in terms of the bottom line,” he said.

“Altruistically, in terms of what Lasalle would really want to do at a higher level, we want to develop more sophisticated thinkers, we want to develop people who are going to help the world in various kinds of ways.

“Simply doing it all for the glory of Singapore won’t be sufficient for that.”

Several markets have begun to notice the increased interest in arts and creative industries. In early 2018, Education New Zealand co-funded the feature film Mortal Engines to showcase the county’s creative industries.

The post Singapore: Lasalle aims to become contemporary arts hub for Southeast Asia appeared first on The PIE News.

Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the House Tax Reform Proposal

American Council on Education - Sat, 05/25/2019 - 02:29
House Republicans have unveiled a comprehensive rewrite of the U.S. tax code in a bill that could have devastating implications for higher education. ACE's president responds.

ACE Initiative to Increase U.S.-Japan Higher Education Relations Through Collaborative Online International Learning

American Council on Education - Sat, 05/25/2019 - 02:29
ACE has announced the U.S.-Japan COIL Initiative, an effort to strengthen higher education relations between Japan and the United States through collaborative online international learning.

Chronicle of Higher Education: What Colleges Can Do About the ‘Dropout Crisis’

They should focus on serving the students they have, says an Urban Institute scholar, instead of just drawing from the ranks of the well-prepared.

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