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Fertile ground for US-UK HE partnerships, potential for deeper ties

The PIE News - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 00:09

Similarities between the US and the UK’s higher eduction environments create fertile ground for institutional collaboration, which many universities to take their first forays into cross-border partnerships before venturing into other markets, it has emerged from a report from the American Council of Education.

The report also outlines that the political situation in both countries has led to renewed attention on these US-UK partnerships.

The two countries share “overall quality, access to funding, strength of the research enterprise, and general trajectory of internationalisation” in higher education, according to US-UK Higher Education Partnerships: Firm Foundations and Promising Pathways.

Because of these similarities, UK-US partnerships are sometimes used to test the waters for institutional partnerships further afield, explained Brad Farnsworth, vice president at ACE’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement.

“In terms of where our US institutions are looking at as the next frontier, the UK is not in there”

“US institutions… use their partnerships with the UK as more of a laboratory to experiment on more sophisticated modes of engagement because of the familiarity,” he told The PIE News.

Some institutions think international partnerships are “really risky and complicated and it could have huge payoffs, so let’s start doing this at a place where we are really, really familiar with the legal and political environment,” he said.

“And if it works, we can take it around the world.”

However, there is the danger that this familiarity will lead to complacency. Robin Helms, director of internationalisation and global engagement at the CIGE, said US-UK partnerships are sometimes placed on the backburner.

“One issue we brought up is there’s a lot of existing activity, but in terms of where our US institutions are looking at as the next frontier, the UK is not in there,” she told The PIE News.

Existing relationships need to be actively maintained, Helms said, but are sometimes taken for granted.

“There was one UK institution representative who said every time we do something in a new country, when we start a partnership in China, there’s a big press release and all of these things, and not so much when it’s US and UK,” she commented.

Another commonality that has emerged more recently between the two countries is political turbulence.

The Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump have brought about a “parallel set of challenges for colleges and universities, particularly when it comes to internationalisation, and renewed attention to the UK-US higher education relationship,” the report states.

One common challenge is boosting the levels of participation in outbound study, despite both being among the top study abroad destinations for students of each country, the report notes.

Twelve per cent of US students who travelled abroad in 2015/16 (38,189) went to the UK, for academic credit and non-credit bearing programs, according to IIE’s Open Doors data.

The US was the third most popular destination for study abroad for UK students (3,615) in the same year, behind France and Spain.

In spite of these common elements, the report points out a number of differences between the two higher education systems, which create further challenges in partnerships, including the size of these institutions, degree structure, and compliance requirements.

Another challenge is calendar and course equivalencies. While in the US, a course unit typically equals the duration of a semester, in the UK, it often lasts as long as a year.

Cultural differences, as well as internationalisation and partnership goals, also inhibit some relationships.

As a result, the report recommends that institutions work to clearly articulate the value proposition.

“In everybody that we talked to there really is an enthusiasm for these relationships”

“In everybody that we talked to there really is an enthusiasm for these relationships,” Helmes assured. “I think they are really seen as strong and there is strong commitment to it. It’s just this really thinking through making the case and really articulating the value proposition.”

And, in light of the geopolitical changes, Helms noted that there is “tremendous potential” to navigate this shared reality “by sharing practices and thinking beyond institution level partnerships to how our system’s working together”.

“How are we sharing good practices?” she asked. “How are we contributing to the greater global good in ways that go beyond these institution partnerships?”

The post Fertile ground for US-UK HE partnerships, potential for deeper ties appeared first on The PIE News.

Appeals court rejects revised version of Trump's travel ban

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 00:00

A federal appeals court on Thursday declined to lift an injunction on President Trump’s ban on travel to the United States from six majority-Muslim nations.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in a 10-to-3 ruling, found that the Trump policies amounted to religious discrimination, in violation of the Constitution. Further, the appeals court found that while the president of the United States has broad powers related to entry to the country, those powers are not absolute.

Of the president’s travel ban, the court decision called it “an executive order that in text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination. Surely the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment yet stands as an untiring sentinel for the protection of one of our most cherished founding principles -- that government shall not establish any religious orthodoxy, or favor or disfavor one religion over another. Congress granted the president broad power to deny entry to aliens, but that power is not absolute. It cannot go unchecked when, as here, the president wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation.”

The current version of the ban contains some modifications from the first version, which was also rejected by courts. The current version applies to people coming to the United States from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and includes those coming for educational purposes.

The case is expected to go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The current version of the ban, which the government has been blocked from implementing, contains some modifications from an earlier version, which was also rejected by courts.

More than 15,000 students and more than 2,000 visiting scholars came to U.S. universities from the six nations named in the current version of the ban in 2015-16, according to data from the Institute of International Education. While they make up only a small share of international students and scholars in the United States, leaders of academic groups have been united in condemning the travel ban. Many say it has had an impact on the image of the United States with international students (or potential students) all over the world, not just in those countries covered by the ban.

The Middle East Studies Association, a scholarly group, is one of the plaintiffs in the case decided today by the Fourth Circuit. The association’s president, Beth Baron, a professor at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center, said in a statement that the Fourth Circuit’s ruling “reaffirmed what MESA and our partners in this lawsuit have been saying from the beginning: President Trump’s Muslim ban violates the U.S. Constitution. We are thrilled that the court upheld the Constitution’s prohibition on actions disfavoring or condemning any religion, for that principle is a fundamental protection for all of us -- including MESA members.”

“Today’s decision will allow MESA to move forward more freely in advancing our mission as a scholarly association -- to facilitate the free exchange of ideas,” Baron said. “The order has already harmed our student and faculty members by preventing travel and disrupting research. We hope today’s legal victory will mitigate this disruption.”

The other plaintiffs include refugee resettlement organizations -- in addition to the ban on entry for nationals of the six countries, Trump’s executive order also suspended all refugee admission -- and six individuals who allege that Trump’s executive order would impact the ability of their immediate family members to obtain visas or enter the U.S. as refugees. One of the plaintiffs, identified only as Jane Doe No. 2, is described in the opinion as a college student who has a pending visa application on behalf of her sister, a Syrian refugee living in Saudi Arabia.

Another, identified as John Doe No. 1, is a scientist with lawful permanent residency status who has filed a visa application on behalf of his wife, an Iranian national. The opinion quotes John Doe No. 1, who is Muslim, as saying that the ban “forces [him] to choose between [his] career and being with [his] wife.”

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Report looks at perceptions of third-party pathway programs for international students

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 00:00

The main reason universities partner with outside companies to offer pathway programs for international students is to increase recruitment and enrollment of international undergraduates, while their main reasons for not partnering are concerns about academic standards and loss of control over the admissions process, according to a new report commissioned by NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

The report, available free for NAFSA members and for purchase for nonmembers on the NAFSA website, examines the growth of third-party pathway partnerships, in which universities partner with corporate entities to recruit for and deliver first-year programs that combine credit-bearing academic course work and developmental English classes for nonnative speakers. Pathway programs allow universities to go deeper into the pool of potential international students by enrolling students who fall short of the English proficiency standards required for regular admission.

Third-party pathway partnerships are a relatively new phenomenon in U.S. higher education, and their growth over the last decade has been controversial, raising concerns about outsourcing as it relates to core functions like admissions and teaching as well as questions about college readiness and rigor. On the other hand, the robust recruiting resources and specialized expertise that pathway providers promise have been enticing to many university administrators who are increasingly under pressure to recruit more full-pay international undergraduate students, and the number of such partnerships has steadily increased. While prestigious American universities with global name recognition have no shortage of international applicants with strong English-language skills, that's not the case for many other institutions. And advocates for the pathway programs say there are many students with strong academic ability who simply need to improve their English.

The NAFSA report identifies 45 universities that offer third-party pathway programs in partnership with eight different corporate entities: BridgePathways, Cambridge Education Group, INTO University Partnerships, Kaplan International Pathways, Kings Education, Navitas, Shorelight Education and Study Group. The 45 universities are nearly evenly split between public (24) and private (21). Most of the public universities offering these programs are large, doctorate-granting institutions, with 17 of the 24 enrolling more than 10,000 students. Most of the private universities are classified as comprehensive master’s colleges and universities. Ten of the private universities in the analysis enroll between 1,000 and 9,999 students, and one has an enrollment of fewer than 1,000 students.

The NAFSA report is based on a survey of international educators on their views on pathway programs. A total of 347 international education administrators from 261 institutions responded to the survey, yielding a response rate of 14.7 percent. The report targeted professionals who work in international education offices -- one of the eligibility criteria for respondents for the survey was having attended a NAFSA conference in the previous five years -- and so does not capture a full range of viewpoints of administrators who might work in other academic units.

Respondents said the top reasons why institutions, in general, partner with third-party pathway providers are “to access recruitment network of pathway provider” (59 percent of respondents selected this answer), “to expand enrollment of international students at bachelor’s level” (57 percent), “to improve yield of international enrollment" (57 percent), “to make up for lack of in-house expertise” (44 percent) and “to enhance diversity of international enrollment” (32 percent).

In open-ended comments quoted in the report, respondents cited reasons related to expanding recruitment and international student enrollment, e.g.: “Our international student numbers will likely decline because of decreased Saudi applications, so we are looking for new sources for international student recruitment.” Other open-ended responses included: “It was determined to be the most cost-effective option of increasing international student enrollments.” Another respondent cited the allure of a pathway provider’s network of recruitment agents: “We want access to a network of reputable agents and don’t want to have to build the infrastructure for managing them.” (Pathway providers typically partner with in-country recruiting agents, who are paid on commission -- another controversial practice in itself that is also gaining ground in the U.S.)

On the other hand, the top reasons respondents selected for not partnering with third-party pathway programs had to do with concerns about loss of control -- specifically “fear of loss of academic standards” (65 percent) and “concern for loss of control of international admissions process” (56 percent). Other reasons respondents selected for why universities, in general, do not partner with pathway providers included the sense that an existing university-governed intensive English program is working well (51 percent), the specific terms of a contract, such as the length and cost (44 percent), and a preference to develop in-house expertise (35 percent).

“We have in-house programs and believe they better serve the academic success of our students. We also prefer to keep the profit and academic ownership of such programs,” one respondent said. “We want to ensure our program maintains quality and adheres strictly to our mission of service to our students. We also want to maintain all revenue and keep costs low,” said another.

The survey also asked international education professionals to identify the factors to consider when working with third-party pathway providers. The top responses were: “define academic qualifications and preparation of students” (52 percent), “ensure transparency of recruitment practices (50 percent), “align with institutional goals and culture” (43 percent), “involve campus stakeholders during decision making” (39 percent), and “understand key responsibilities of institution versus provider” (39 percent).

The report includes breakdowns of responses according to institution type, size and whether or not the university already has a pathway partnership in place. Eighteen percent of respondents to the survey said their universities currently partner with a pathway provider. Another 13 percent said they were considering a partnership, while 64 percent said they were not considering a partnership. (Five percent chose “other.”)

"The reality is international student recruitment is going to become more and more important, for public institutions because of budget cuts and for private institutions because of demographics and the cost," said Rahul Choudaha, the principal investigator for the report and co-founder of DrEducation, a research and consulting firm. "Anyone who can bring capital, investment to grow the enrollment, that's the trend where higher education is moving."

"Clearly, there is one side of the story where there is interest and there is a need," Choudaha said, "but on the other side there are stakeholders who feel concerned.”

The survey research reports on the perceptions of international education administrators at universities, not the views of officials at the pathway program providers. Bev Hudson, the president of Navitas North America, a pathway provider, said of the report that it is "a common myth that pathway programs somehow dilute control of the admissions and academic processes, but it is a fear often rooted in misinformation. In fact, pathway programs offer much richer and nuanced insight into international students’ ability to be successful in degree programs than the standard credentials and performance documentation required for direct-entry students."

"Students move out of the pathway when they have reached the admission level specified by the university and only matriculate into a university degree program upon successful completion of the program and demonstration that they have met the university’s own admission standards," Hudson said via email.

The report from NAFSA will be discussed Tuesday during a session at the association's annual conference, which meets this year in Los Angeles.

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As lawmakers examine improper payments, record of former FSA chief under scrutiny

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 00:00

WASHINGTON -- GOP lawmakers said Thursday they had planned to subpoena the former chief of federal student aid, Jim Runcie, to testify before a House of Representatives oversight subcommittee and may still do so.

Runcie resigned from the Department of Education effective Wednesday rather than testify at a hearing on improper payments by the department. In a resignation memo and other correspondence leaked to the media, he also cited broader disagreements with the direction of the department under Secretary Betsy DeVos as reasons for his departure.

“No wonder American taxpayers are fed up with the federal government,” said Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican. “I think we should subpoena the guy and bring him in here to answer some of these questions.”

The oversight subcommittees on government operations and intergovernmental affairs met to review the progress the Department of Education is making toward accurately estimating improper payments to students and colleges and reducing them in the future. The Federal Direct Student Loan program and the Pell Grant program have among the highest rates of improper payments among federal government programs.

But Republican members were as interested in Runcie’s absence -- he had been scheduled to testify before his resignation -- as they were in the comments of the witnesses who did show up to testify, including Federal Student Aid Chief Financial Officer Jay Hurt.

Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, said that Runcie’s decision to not testify was a “slap in the face” to taxpayers.

Congress and federal watchdogs periodically review programs at each agency where significant amounts of improper payments may occur. At the Department of Education, that can involve both overpayments of aid to students who shouldn’t receive it, underpayments or payments without proper documentation. Those faulty payments could also include federal loan money not returned by an institution after a student’s withdrawal. The department has been out of compliance with federal law seeking to cut down on those payments for three successive years after missing certain compliance requirements. And a May report from its Office of Inspector General found that those payments have gone up.

According to testimony from Inspector General Kathleen Tighe, the improper payment rate was 7.85 percent for the Pell program and 3.98 percent for the Direct Loan program in fiscal year 2016 -- both well above targets established by the department in an annual financial report.

While targeted fraud from outside groups is a persistent problem for financial aid administrators, many improper payments are a result of error. The IRS data retrieval tool, along with the use of prior-prior year income data, was designed to remove errors in the financial aid application process. However, the suspension of the tool in March over cybersecurity concerns will likely hinder progress this year in eliminating errors that lead to improper payments.

Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, told lawmakers that to the extent the process could be automated and the data retrieval tool could be made available to students again, it would be a big step toward addressing errors contributing to faulty payments.

At least part of the higher rates of improper payments for the last fiscal year was a change in methodology for estimating those payments. After switching its approach to those estimates in 2014, the department arrived at much lower rates -- and was dinged by a report from the Office of Inspector General, which argued the change was made to improve results. Department officials at the time rejected that allegation.

As Republicans zeroed in on the payments issue, Democrats sought to shift the focus to the failures of student loan servicers and the potential consequences of massive cuts to the department proposed in the White House budget. Representative Val Butler Demings, a Florida Democrat, questioned how those cuts would affect the department’s oversight capabilities.

Tighe said one of the department’s management challenges has been overseeing the various entities under its purview, whether contractors or grantees.

“It’s going to be challenge for the department, if resources are cut in these areas, to maintain sufficient oversight and monitoring that is needed,” she said.

Republican lawmakers repeatedly pressed Hurt about whether Runcie, his former boss, would have been the appropriate official to answer many of their questions about the payments or whether he should have received large performance bonuses in light of what they called “abysmal numbers” -- questions he declined to answer.

Hurt told lawmakers one challenge to improvements is that the department does not have the resources to adequately arrive at an accurate assessment of those payments without taking resources away from finding and addressing improper payments.

“The only way to produce a statistically accurate number is to divert our resources from actually finding improper payments,” he said.

But pressed by lawmakers on the number identified in the IG report, Hurt conceded that the overall rate of 4.85 percent for faulty payments at the department was “a bad number.”

Meadows, in comments to reporters, said he thought it was still important for the subcommittee to hear from Runcie. He said he didn’t believe the issues reducing improper payments was one of limited resources.

“This is not a new problem,” he said. “This is a problem that has existed when resources were very robust within the Department of Education. So I don’t see it as a resource issue as much as a management issue.”

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Sheila Bair's relationship with board at Washington College strained

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 00:00

The relationship between the president and governing board at Washington College on Maryland's Eastern Shore has deteriorated and could soon lead to President Sheila Bair's departure after less than two years on the job.

Such a move would be a significant change for Washington College, a small but historic private institution with less than 1,500 students. The college counts itself as the 10th oldest college in the nation. Bair is its first woman president.

Bair is also a notable figure who served as the chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. from 2006 to 2011. She was one of the early voices to worry about a subprime mortgage crisis and oversaw the FDIC as its powers expanded as a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill. She has become a critic of high amounts of student loan debt for those who cannot repay large balances. At Washington College she has overseen affordability measures like incentives for low-income students who save, a scholarship program matching tuition dollars families pay out of college savings accounts and a program offering full-ride scholarships to students from low-income backgrounds.

A source close to the college said Bair and members of the college's Board of Visitors and Governors have clashed over board members' high level of involvement in the institution's operations. A draft meeting agenda including an item that would terminate Bair's presidency has been circulating among board members, the source said.

A copy of an email sent by Board Chair H. Lawrence Culp Jr. on May 24 that was obtained by Inside Higher Ed appears to outline a future board meeting in which members were to discuss ending Bair's presidency. The meeting was scheduled for May 31 by conference call.

“Meeting agenda items include the end of Sheila C. Bair's employment as president and the consideration and approval of her successor,” the email said. It went on to say that Culp will cancel the meeting if it is determined to not be necessary.

Contacted on Thursday before the email was obtained, Culp said business was normal at the college.

“Sheila Bair is the president at Washington College, I'm the chair of the board, and we're hard at work,” he said. “I don't want to respond to rumors, so I think I'm just going to leave it there for now.”

Culp did not immediately return a second request for comment after the email was obtained Thursday evening.

Another board member also said he did not know anything about a leadership change.

“I don't know anything about the possibility of this happening,” said Richard Creighton, a vice-co-chair of the board. “I'm surprised that's circulating.”

A colleges spokesman said he was unaware of any pending presidential changes.

Bair did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment. Her lawyer, Raymond D. Cotton, declined comment.

 

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German universities oppose plan to compete on teaching quality

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 00:00

German universities have emphatically rejected a proposal that they fear could mean competing for funding on the basis of their teaching quality, but the plan is not off the table.

As England prepares to unveil its controversial teaching excellence framework (TEF) ratings and the Australian government plans to award a portion of teaching funding on the basis of “performance,” German university leaders have argued that comparing teaching quality is a near impossible task.

Last month, the German Council of Science and Humanities, which advises the federal government and states on research policy, put forward proposals for a new independent body that would award funding for new and innovative teaching efforts.

In an unusually rapid and unanimous response, the German Rectors’ Conference, which represents university leaders, rejected the idea last week. One of the reasons, Horst Hippler, the body’s president, said in a statement, was that “there are limitations on the comparison of teaching … in a competitive setting.”

The final decision rests with federal and state governments.

Sabine Behrenbeck, head of the council’s higher education department, told Times Higher Education that it envisaged making only a very small proportion of the teaching budget competitive -- about 1 percent of the total. This money would go to promising projects exploring new ways to teach, rather than being distributed on the basis of some kind of standardized assessment of teaching quality.

“We don’t recommend a TEF,” she said. “We don’t trust so much in metrics, for assessment, but in evaluation by peers.”

Still, she added that the proposed new body would organize discussions on “how can we evaluate the quality of teaching” in the future.

The proposals are part of a long-running attempt in Germany to get universities to pay more attention to teaching rather than research, an issue that has played out in several other countries, including England.

But the problem for governments the world over is that measuring teaching quality is notoriously difficult: the TEF focuses on metrics including student satisfaction scores and graduate employment, but these have been criticized respectively for being too subjective and too utilitarian as measures of the quality of a university education.

In Germany, there is little indication so far about how teaching quality might be assessed, should this ever become part of national policy. Tobias Schmohl, a researcher at the University of Hamburg’s Center for University Teaching and Learning, said that was “one of the reasons why everybody is nervous right now.” Unlike England, however, graduate destinations are not part of the discussion in Germany, he said.

Other ideas currently being discussed focus on making sure lecturers have teaching qualifications and continuous training, as well as taking teaching experience into account when making hiring decisions, explained Christian Tauch, head of the rectors’ conference’s education department.

Although German universities have rejected the proposed new nationwide teaching body, they nonetheless face a ticking time bomb over their financial situation. In 2020, federal funding that allowed them to cope with a big increase in student numbers is set to expire, and there are question marks over how many strings the federal government will attach to any replacement money.

German universities fear that the proposed new body will mean a continuation of this kind of temporary, project-based funding. Instead they want “continuous, sufficient funding” on a permanent basis for teaching, said Tauch. “You can’t build up new structures based on this [temporary] money.”

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Colleges award tenure

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 00:00

Agnes Scott College

  • Yael Manes, history
  • Nicole Stamant, English
  • Jason Solomon, music

Bates College

  • Jason Castro, neuroscience
  • Caroline Shaw, history
  • Mara Tieken, education

Carleton College

  • Muhammad Faress Bhuiyan, economics
  • Andy Flory, music
  • Sarah Meerts, psychology
  • Cherlon Ussery, linguistics
  • Matt Whited, chemistry
  • John “Thabiti” Willis, history

Kenyon College

  • Ross Feller, music
  • Hans Lottenbach, philosophy
  • Rosemary O’Neill, English
  • Kerry Rouhier, chemistry

Michigan Technological University

  • Ramy El-Ganainy, physics
  • Adam Feltz, cognitive and learning sciences
  • Stefka Hristova, humanities
  • L. Syd Johnson, humanities
  • Pasi Lautala, civil and environmental engineering
  • Bruce Lee, biomedical engineering
  • Nina Mahmoudian, mechanical engineering
  • Chelsea Schelly, social sciences
  • Mahdi Shahbakhti, mechanical engineering
  • Kazuya Tajiri, mechanical engineering
  • Min Wang, mathematical sciences
  • Yang Yang, mathematical sciences

Middlebury College

  • Anne Goodsell, physics
  • Rachael Joo, American studies
  • Julien Weber, French

Mount Saint Mary's University, in California

  • Therese Fassnacht, music
  • Jackie Filla, history and political science
  • Stephen Inrig, health policy and management
  • Robin Owens, religious studies
  • Peter Tan, philosophy

Quinnipiac University

  • Todd Ahern, psychology
  • Fodei Batty, political science
  • Elena Bertozzi, game design and development
  • Xi Chen, sociology
  • Louis Deaett, mathematics
  • Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox, legal studies
  • Gary Giumetti, psychology
  • Barbara Glynn, nursing
  • Christopher Hodgdon, accounting
  • Kiku Jones, computer information systems
  • Ruth Kaplan, English
  • Lani Keller, biology
  • Choonsik Lee, finance
  • Courtney McGinnis, biology
  • Karen Myrick, nursing
  • Kimberly O’Neil, English
  • Nicholas Robinette, English
  • Kenneth Ryack, accounting
  • Mary Schramm, marketing
  • Ruth Schwartz, education
  • George Sprengelmeyer, music
  • Jaime Ullinger, anthropology

University of Hartford

  • Mary Arico, civil and biomedical engineering
  • Jaclyn Conley, painting
  • Edward Cumming, orchestral activities
  • Aslihan Demirkaya, mathematics
  • Donna Menhart, ear training
  • Larissa Schroeder, mathematics
  • Karen Tejada-Peña, sociology
  • Amanda Walling, English
  • Lisa Zawilinski, elementary education

University of San Francisco

  • Nola Agha, sport management
  • Arturo Araujo, art and architecture
  • Monisha Bajaj, international and multicultural education
  • William Bosl, health informatics
  • Jennifer Chubb, mathematics
  • Kathleen Coll, politics
  • Rebekah Dibble, organization, leadership and communication
  • Sophie Engle, computer science
  • Michael Goldman, sport management
  • Moira Gunn, business analytics and information systems
  • Monika Hudson, entrepreneurship, innovation and strategy
  • Keith Hunter, organization, leadership and communication
  • Kouslaa Kessler-Mata, politics
  • Allison Luengen, environmental science
  • Thomas Maier, hospitality management
  • Bich Nguyen, M.F.A. in writing program
  • Christina Purpora, nursing
  • Stefan Rowniak, nursing
  • Liang Wang, entrepreneurship, innovation and strategy
  • KT Waxman, nursing

Wagner College

  • Shani Carter, business
  • Jason Fitzgerald, education
  • Nancy Cherofsky, nursing
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Canada’s war over “cultural appropriation”

Economist, North America - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:49

Appropriately dressed

ANYONE, anywhere “should be encouraged to imagine other peoples, other cultures, other identities”, wrote Hal Niedzviecki in the spring issue of Write, an obscure Canadian literary magazine. For that apparently innocuous observation, he lost his job as the publication’s editor. Mr Niedzviecki was defending “cultural appropriation”, the use by artists and writers of motifs and ideas from other cultures. He suggested an “appropriation prize” for creators who carry out such cross-cultural raids. In a special issue of the magazine dedicated to indigenous writers, that was offensive, his critics said.

Mr Niedzviecki’s supporters were also made to suffer. A journalist at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was demoted after he offered on Twitter to help finance the prize. The editor of Walrus, a better-known magazine, decried “political correctness, tokenism and hypersensitivity” in...

Argentina’s new, honest inflation statistics

Economist, North America - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:49

SOME readers of The Economist may be numbed by statistics. To many others, they are the water of cognitive life. Each week at the back of this newspaper we publish official data on 42 of the largest economies in the world—with one exception. Five years ago we stopped publishing the inflation figure for Argentina produced by the government of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner because we, and many others, thought it was bogus. We substituted an inflation number drawn up by PriceStats, an international data service. A year later the IMF followed our lead, formally censuring Argentina for “inaccuracy” in its data.

This week we are delighted to resume publication of the official inflation number for Argentina. One of the first things that Mauricio Macri did after he was elected as the country’s president in November 2015, defeating Ms Fernández’s candidate, was to restore the professional independence of INDEC, the statistical office. He charged it with...

The fate of Brazil’s president hangs in the balance

Economist, North America - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:49

“IF THEY want, let them bring me down!” So declared Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, in a newspaper interview on May 22nd. He is the second president in the space of a year who is fighting to stay in office in the face of allegations of wrongdoing and dismal poll ratings. His predecessor, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached in 2016 on a technical violation of public-accounting law. The allegations against Mr Temer are far graver, but his chances of remaining president may be brighter. Whether he stays or goes, the accusations against him are momentous. The blow to his prestige and influence will delay, and might destroy, vital reforms to Brazil’s economy, which is only beginning to emerge from its worst-ever recession.

Mr Temer’s woes began on May 17th when O Globo, a newspaper, reported that, on a tape recorded by Joesley Batista, a billionaire businessman, he is heard endorsing payment of hush money to a politician jailed for his role in the Petrobras scandal....

Brazil’s fabulous Batista boys

Economist, North America - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:49

JOSÉ BATISTA SOBRINHO helped build Brasília. In 1957 his meat business supplied canteens that fed workers constructing Brazil’s modernist capital. Now his two youngest sons, Wesley and Joesley, are bringing the place down. As the bosses of the company their father founded, renamed JBS in his honour, they are at the centre of a scandal that may force a president out of office for the second time in a year (see article).

JBS is the world’s biggest beef exporter. Its revenues rose from 3.9bn reais ($1.8bn) in 2006 to 170bn reais last year, helped by China’s appetite and Brazil’s enthusiasm for national champions. From 2007 to 2015 the development bank, BNDES, injected into Batista enterprises more than 8bn reais in capital and loans. Most of it was to help JBS buy rivals, including American brands like Swift and Pilgrim’s Pride. J...

Government to ease rules on foreign investment in HE

University World News Global Edition - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:22
A new government decree to ease the way for foreign investment in education in Vietnam, likely to be approved by the country's leadership as early as June, will streamline procedures and reduce bu ...

Universities and cities - Key drivers of sustainability

University World News Global Edition - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 05:43
The British Council welcomed 900 academics, university leaders, ministers and industry chiefs from 80 countries to its Going Global 2017 conference on Monday, to focus on "Global cities, connectin ...

Students reveal intent to build community links

The PIE News - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 03:05

While a particular postgrad course choice was their main decision-making factor, a range of international students in the UK revealed a strong desire to make links with their local community while studying, noting an “international” city and university efforts to offer access to the wider community were favourably regarded.

Twenty students based in eight cities nationwide travelled to London this week to share their unique experience of living in the UK.

The student roundtable session on the impact of cities in student experience was organised by The PIE and BUILA during the British Council’s Going Global conference.

The ability to work part-time was also lauded as a very important way for students to immerse themselves in city life beyond their university network.

Some students considered working part-time to be essential, not just for financial reasons but because it gave them the opportunity to access a wider network and build self-confidence.

Students shared observations that were as valuable as they were authentic, with Quynh from Vietnam, for example, revealing she did not how to cross the road in the UK and had presumed that just as in Vietnam, it was permissible to attempt crossing anywhere.

More targeted orientation and help finding part-time work were two recommendations that students made, while Dilson, a master’s student from Brazil, said more support in acquiring his Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) would have been appreciated.

“I had to work hard to find out” when and how to pick this up, he said, saying he had expected the UK to be more organised.

Working part-time was viewed as essential to build self-confidence while living in the UK

He cited the important role that accommodation played in helping him gain a social circle of friends because he lived with many other nationalities.

Quynh revealed getting involved with a local church had helped her get to know locals, and said even during classes, she had found it hard to mix with British and other international students without this being facilitated by the university.

Both of these students acknowledged that they had looked at the Facebook pages maintained by cities to get a feel for their chosen city before arriving.

Cities such as Nottingham, Huddersfield and Dundee were all praised for being able to offer multicultural communities with Halal food, for example, within a relatively small scale. Cost of living was also a factor noted by those in some of the more affordable cities.

However, course choice did trump most other factors for many students, with the one-year master’s being another big determinant when comparing courses with those in other destinations.

Charlene Allen, chair of BUILA, commented, “It was invaluable to hear directly from the students’ themselves about what informs their decisions and what their real experience of studying in the UK has been.”

“They have gained many skills outside of their studies through their amazing voluntary work, part-time paid work and roles in helping other students to settle into UK university life.”

Allen said it was clear that universities which are enabling this additional activity are really adding value to the students’ study experience: “We will certainly be looking at ways of including the lessons learnt in future BUILA training sessions for our members”.

The post Students reveal intent to build community links appeared first on The PIE News.

ACE Names Illinois Resident Mario Sankis 2015 Student of the Year

American Council on Education - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 03:00
​Mario Sankis, of Round Lake Beach, IL, will be presented with ACE's Student of the Year Award at ACE2016 during the March 14 morning plenary session.

Fifteen More Institutions Join ACE’s Alternative Credit Consortium

American Council on Education - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 03:00
The selected institutions have demonstrated a strong commitment to access and attainment, particularly in the area of serving non-traditional students

Renu Khator, University of Houston President and System Chancellor, Elected ACE Board Chair

American Council on Education - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 03:00
Khator became board chair during ACE's 97th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. ACE's membership also elected Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia vice chair; and Nancy J. McCallin, president of the Colorado Community College System, secretary.

Georgia State University and Governors State University Receive ACE/Fidelity Investments Award for Institutional Transformation

American Council on Education - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 03:00
The awards were presented at ACE’s 97th Annual Meeting and were accepted by Georgia State University President Mark P. Becker and Governors State University President Elaine P. Maimon​ on behalf of their institutions.

Holtschneider Receives 2015 ACE Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award

American Council on Education - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 03:00
​The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul University (IL), was presented today with the 2015 Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award* during the opening plenary of ACE's 97th Annual Meeting.

ACE Names Indiana Resident Jeffery Gearhart 2014 Student of the Year

American Council on Education - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 03:00
​Jeffery “L.J.” Gearhart II, a McDonald’s restaurant general manager and student at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana, is ACE's 2014 Student of the Year.

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