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Massive surge in foreign student numbers

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 07:22
The Netherlands has seen a massive surge in the number of international higher education students, with over 80,000 enrolled at Dutch universities and applied sciences universities during the 2016 ...

Locked out: Australian study visas and the international student with disabilities

The PIE News - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 04:35

International students with significant health needs or disabilities could be restricted from studying in Australia because of regulations around who pays for the cost of their care, despite the fact that all temporary residents are banned from accessing public health care services anyway.

The claim, made by Estrin Saul Lawyers’ disability and health specialist Jan Gothard, refers to Public Interest Criteria 4005 of Australia’s migration regulation, requiring visa holders meet certain health requirements.

“In practice, [international students] cannot access those services. You cannot be a cost to the community”

The criteria are used to ensure Australian citizens’ interests are considered when someone enters the country – visa applicants cannot be placed on the organ donor list or suffer from severe communicable diseases, for example.

Gothard has noted a stipulation that temporary residents cannot be a “significant cost to the Australian community in the areas of health care and community services”, but this ignores the requirements and entitlements of study visas.

“In practice, [international students] cannot access those services. You cannot be a cost to the community,” explained Gothard.

“An individual must be costed regardless of whether they’re going to use the services or not, regardless of whether they’re entitled to use those services. That’s the way the regulations work.”

Australian study visa holders must cover their healthcare and education costs and the costs of their dependents, as well as maintain overseas student health cover. Failure to show sufficient ability to cover costs results in DIBP not issuing or cancelling a visa.

“It’s not logical,” Gothard told The PIE News, adding that most students were also unable to apply for a waiver like some other visa categories, leaving them with “no space” to argue against a decision to reject a visa application on grounds of likely healthcare costs.

“The next Stephen Hawkins could well be an international student who just requires that bit of encouragement from access to an internationalised curriculum”

So far, the apparent oversight seems to only affect those with significant disabilities or health issues, which Gothard first became aware of after representing a PhD student who was told his son could not remain in Australia because he had Down’s syndrome.

The son’s special education was costed above the permitted amount (currently limited to $40,000), even despite all expenses being covered by a scholarship the student had received from their home country.

The case highlighted a further “absurdity” of the requirement, Gothard said.

Costs cannot exceed $40,000 for the duration of the visa regardless of its length. If, for example, health care and services are estimated at $15,000 per year, a visa applicant on a one-year visa will be permitted into Australia, while an applicant on a three-year visa will be determined to have exceeded the allowed amount.

The appeals process to allow the son to remain in Australia dragged on long enough for the remaining period of the visa to shorten enough for the cumulative services estimate to drop below the limit, allowing him to stay in Australia.

To date, Gothard, who is also an adjunct law professor at Murdoch University, said she was only aware of cases where the dependents of visa applicants had been blocked from entering Australia, but said applicants themselves could also be blocked.

That situation appears to be relatively unusual, with education agents contacted by The PIE saying they were unaware of circumstances in which students had been blocked because of a community cost assessment or of the assessment itself.

ISANA president Mary Ann Seow said providers were unlikely to be aware as well, and therefore unable to provide adequate pre-departure services to prospective students.

“There have been several instances where visa applications are rejected and unless the potential student advises the provider, that information is not shared with the provider,” she said, calling on DIBP to provide further information on why visas were rejected.

“Educators need information on the reasons for visa rejection so that they can consider how an international student and dependents can be supported.

“International students with these circumstances should also be made aware that these special circumstances need to be shared with agents, sponsors and education providers and not at the point of a visa application.”

“Elected politicians in Australia are not likely to be motivated to proactively put supportive policies in place”

IEAA chief executive Phil Honeywood similarly expressed concerns with the requirement, telling The PIE the policy was a “stark contrast between reality winning out over rhetoric [of ‘equality of opportunity for all’]” and threatened to prevent talent before it started.

“Stephen Hawkins is a great example of a brilliant mind and contributor to mankind who has had to fight to be better understood,” he said.

“Notwithstanding his severe disability, no one can deny his contribution to the world of science. The next Stephen Hawkins could well be an international student who just requires that bit of encouragement from access to an internationalised curriculum to prove their creative worth.”

Surprisingly, the situation could be rectified fairly quickly, according to Gothard, who said a legislative instrument issued by immigration minister Peter Dutton could cease the practice of assessing services and health costs against a student’s visa applications.

“There is a precedent because there are some Commonwealth services which are not costed against temporary residents. That was done a few years ago on the basis that these temporary residents were not eligible for these services,” she said.

“That principle hasn’t been taken far enough.”

But Honeywood was pessimistic about the reality of that occurring and encouraged the industry to take the lead in helping international students with significant needs enter Australia.

“As international students do not vote and are perceived to be not paying taxes, elected politicians in Australia are not likely to be motivated to proactively put supportive policies in place. At the end of the day, any change to policy in this vexed area will need to come from the educators.”

The post Locked out: Australian study visas and the international student with disabilities appeared first on The PIE News.

Spain: Malaga to host its own int’l ed week

The PIE News - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 03:31

This week has been a celebration of international education, largely by Anglophone destinations. However in Malaga, teachers, academics, international educators and consultants are preparing for a week of celebrations in January to boost the Spanish province’s reputation for language tourism.

Malaga Education Week, which takes place from 7-14 January, aims to focus the attention of the study abroad industry on Malaga as a first-class destination for the study of Spanish as a foreign language.

Malaga has 28 centres for teaching Spanish as a foreign language, which represents nearly half of the offer in Andalusia and 15% of the total in Spain

The goal of MEW is to highlight the importance of Spanish, the world’s second language of international communication after English, and its increasing inclusion in national education syllabuses.

It also aims to encourage teachers of Spanish in secondary education, business schools and universities to promote their immersion courses in Spain as supplementary programs to those given overseas.

Malaga has 28 centres for teaching Spanish as a foreign language, which represents nearly half of the offer in Andalusia and 15% of the total in Spain.

The week-long celebration will include ECELE, an annual meeting of Spanish teachers and the Malaga Congress, where delegates will discuss Spanish as a financial resource.

ECELE has the objective of enabling directors and academic managers of secondary and professional education from around the world to get to know the opportunities for studying Spanish in Spain.

It will feature talks about the range of courses offered in Spain and to explain the benefits of the Instituto Cervantes accreditation process.

There will also be direct sessions between schools and the invited teachers as well as cultural, touristic and gastronomic activities.

At the Malaga Congress, top-level government, university and education representatives will discuss the importance of the language to the Spanish and international economy to stimulate study abroad and showcase Malaga as a study destination.

Speaking at the MEW launch, Costa del Sol Tourism CEO, Jacobo Florido recalled that the province of Malaga is second only to Madrid in Spanish schools accredited by the Cervantes Institute, adding: “it is no coincidence that Malaga stands as a destination for a week of great development for the language tourism that awaits us in January.”

The post Spain: Malaga to host its own int’l ed week appeared first on The PIE News.

Some subjects 'could lose half their EU staff'

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 03:15
Some regions in the United Kingdom risk losing up to half of some university subjects' European Union staff, due to uncertainty over immigration rules after Brexit, according to a new report from ...

ACE Names 46 Emerging Higher Education Leaders to ACE Fellows Program

American Council on Education - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 03:04
ACE has selected 46 emerging college and university leaders for the 2017-18 class of the ACE Fellows Program, the longest running leadership development program in the United States.

UK tumbles, Asia rises in THE employability ranking

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 02:17
Higher education institutions in the United Kingdom have tumbled in Times Higher Education or THE's just-published Global University Employability Ranking, while Asian universities - ...

NUS launches #StudentsoftheWorld awareness campaign

The PIE News - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 02:03

“Without international study, I wouldn’t be here today, nor would I be the student I’ve become”: this was part of the powerful message delivered by NUS international students’ officer, Yinbo Yu, this week at the House of Commons as part of the UK’s international education week celebrations.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Students convened the celebration event which was attended by many international students as well as embassy staff, MPs and industry stakeholders.

Yu and the National Union of Students used the event to call on HEIs to join a social media campaign aimed at empowering mobile students and highlighting the value of international education.

“I came to the UK due to its incredible reputation, for a prestigious, quality education,” Yu told the audience.

“A student who travels across the continent to access education has the hopes of so many people behind them. Many of us are thousands of miles away from home, experiencing migration and isolation, all to fulfil a dream.”

In celebration of International Students’ Day, the NUS is asking students’ unions to collect stories from international and UK students on the positive impact of student mobility and share them on social media platforms using the #StudentsOfTheWorld hashtag.

Suggestions for the campaign include quotes that demonstrate the social or economic contributions that international students make and the long-term benefits of international collaborations.

“A student who travels across the continent to access education has the hopes of so many people behind them”

Yu said the campaign is rooted in NUS’ objectives around protecting student mobility post-Brexit in a bid to show how international study produces globally-minded graduates and enriches life on university campuses.

Speaking at the APPG’s celebration event, he explained how the NUS campaign would demonstrate the real-life impact that international education and student mobility have on individual students.

He also used his platform to highlight difficulties that international students had to face in the UK:

“For too long now, international students have felt under attack, unwelcome and have had to face barriers at every step of the way… from visa restrictions to student loans and basic healthcare,” he said.

“We need to provide a platform for international students to share their powerful experiences and to create a space which is inclusive, friendly and where we are able to reach our potential,” he said.

With a looming Brexit, some of the major concerns for universities are the increased barriers to recruitment of European staff and students and the loss the networks that come out of international collaboration.

In April, NUS published a report which showed that a majority of students in the UK felt their degrees would suffer if international student numbers dropped.

It found 70% of UK students agreed that any reduction in international students would impact their cultural experience at university.

In addition to the campaign, NUS has created the Great Education Exchange, a downloadable, interactive style board-game that presents the journey of being an international student.

70% of UK students agreed that any reduction in international students would impact their cultural experience at university

Yu described UK home secretary Amber Rudd’s comments on removing international students from net migration figures as a “golden opportunity” to show international students that they are appreciated and welcome.

“We’re on verge of victory in finally acknowledging the positive contribution that international students bring to the UK; not just in terms of economic value but social and cultural value too,” he said.

“We now know that over 97% of students return back home after completing their studies.

“With Brexit negotiations already underway, and the Immigration Bill around the corner, we need to protect and safeguard the transformational experiences both international and home students gain from moving freely in Europe, and internationally.

“This campaign will empower international students across the UK by putting their voice at the centre of the debate,” Yu added.

“I want as many students as possible to have the opportunities that I have had, and I want you to join me in making that possible.”

The post NUS launches #StudentsoftheWorld awareness campaign appeared first on The PIE News.

Southern Illinois U at Carbondale wants to dissolve academic departments -- all of them

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 01:00

Faculty members at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale understand that something has to be done to stem an enrollment decline and the campus’s financial woes. But many professors object to the centerpiece of Chancellor Carlo Montemagno’s radical new plan to fix things: eliminating every department across the institution.

“The chancellor is pushing this idea quite aggressively,” David Anthony, chair of the English department, said. “He kind of showed up, looked around and came up with a plan that doesn’t really have any model, evidence or precedent.”

Earlier this semester, Montemagno -- who has been on the job since mid-August and is an engineer by training -- told the faculty that increasing enrollment and solving Carbondale’s cash flow problems would necessitate restructuring. That didn’t come as a surprise to most professors, and many if not most support the idea. But last month, Montemagno told professors more about how reorganization would necessitate dissolving departments into multiprogram schools, which would be headed by appointed directors. Those schools would be organized within colleges run by deans.

So, in the case of proposed School of Humanities within the proposed College of Liberal and Performing Arts, for example, there would still be programs, courses and majors in history, English, philosophy, philosophy and languages, cultures and international studies. But there would no longer be a departmental structure to support them.

"We have lost more than 50 percent in our freshman class over the last three years alone. We are in a free-fall, and this is directly impacting the health of the institution," Montemagno said during a form on revitalizing academic programs. "Why is this occurring? It’s occurring because we are not offering programs that are distinctive and relevant to today’s students. As we try to correct it, we face limited resources, declining faculty numbers and no help from the state. We must recast and reinforce both our academic programs and our research."

The chancellor went on to say that the "biggest limitation in our ability to change has been bureaucratic, artificial boundaries created by the way we count effort and resources." The solution, he said, "is to eliminate the primary obstacles for multidisciplinary interaction – the financial structure associated with departments. By eliminating departments, we coarsen the delivery of resources to support innovative thinking."

He presented a draft restructuring that would involve collapsing eight colleges and 42 departments and schools (excluding the schools of law and medicine) into five colleges and 18 schools, including law and medicine. Current examples of the general model already exist on campus, in the School of Allied Health, the School of Art and Design and the School of Architecture, Montemagno said. All house multiple programs, with tenure residing in the school, not the department. "So we are not creating new ground. A modified version of this structure already exists on a smaller scale."

Beyond saving money in the reduced administrative costs, Montemagno said programs running together within a school would create new “synergy" on campus. He's also suggested that the faculty union contract and various institutional policies are forcing his hand on the department issue, based on the scope of reorganization; the union disagrees.

“Restructuring isn’t that controversial,” and some small colleges on campus might even embrace eliminating departments, said David Johnson, president of the National Education Association-affiliated Faculty Association and an associate professor of classics. “But others are really big, and this proposal is a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. It’s also a completely untried experiment, and that is what’s getting people concerned.”

Another point of tension is the negation of current departmental “operating papers,” under the plan. The papers, guaranteed by union contract, are currently approved by the university but are written by professors at the departmental level. They address issues such as tenure and promotion, faculty qualifications and both how chairs are selected and what they do.

There are also questions of workload: Montemagno has said that the administrative heavy lifting and day-to-day troubleshooting done by current chairs would be picked up by program faculty members as service or within course release periods. Asked about how it all might work, in practice, the chancellor told the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate last week that there was not enough time to have prolonged discussions and they would “just have to trust me. That’s what you hired me to do.”

Skepticism remains, especially considering Montemagno’s desired deadline for restructuring: everything decided upon by the spring, and in place by fall 2019. To Jonathan Bean, a professor of history who teaches business history, Montemagno’s invocation of synergy seemed like a “throwback” to management lingo of the 1990s. Synergy, or the idea that the sum is greater than the organization's parts, turned out to be something of a myth, but successful examples of synergistic mergers tend to be "carefully thought out processes," he said. Montemagno's "slap dash" plan, by contrast, seems "hell bent on increasing central control."

Bean added, “Most of us accept or even favor restructuring, but this really is turning the university upside down then pulling the departments off the branches of the tree.” 

Rae Morrow Goldsmith, a Carbondale spokeswoman, said Thursday that Montemagno has received “both positive and critical feedback” on the proposed academic structure, and that he’d welcome alternative ideas.

“The chancellor knew that there would be concerns about changing a long-held structure that so many are familiar with,” she said via email. “He is proposing the change in order to add to the teaching and research capacity of faculty, reduce bureaucracy, create more flexibility to develop cross-disciplinary programs and research, and generate resources to reinvest in programs and people.”

Carbondale has compared its plan to how Arizona State University is organized. That institution has trimmed its number of departments from about 69 to 40 in recent years. But it’s done so by combining departments into larger ones, or by clustering programs by theme -- not eliminating departments altogether. Johnson compared Carbondale's idea to a highly unpopular plan to eliminate department chairs at Kean University in 2010.

It’s unclear to what extent the final decision at Carbondale will involve faculty input. Montemagno has announced a 90-day feedback period, in which faculty members are to decide which programs should go into which schools. The Faculty Senate has already objected to the elimination of departments, via a resolution passed last week. The vote was 19 to 11, with three abstentions.

The text of the resolution reflects general faculty concerns that the change could do more harm that good in terms of recruitment, since “potential students and faculty will doubt the stability of programs lacking the institutional status of departments, and question the stability of a university that appears to lack the resources to support departments.” It also says that “principles of shared governance and academic freedom are threatened when a unilateral reorganization eliminates academic units across the board without regard to the content or mission of the unit, and with no opportunity for substantive deliberation or debate.” 

Hans-Joerg Tiede, associate secretary of academic freedom, tenure and governance at the American Association of University Professors, said Montemagno’s plan appears to be a “rather serious governance concern.” Under widely accepted principles of institutional governance, he said, any important decision about departmental structure should be made “in concert with the faculty.”

Carbondale has pointed to its feedback period as an example of shared governance. Tiede said meaningful faculty participation would be involving a faculty budget committee in questions of how budgetary issues are to be resolved over all, with the faculty making its assessments through the lens of the institution’s academic mission.

Of Carbondale specifically, Tiede said, “I don’t know what process led to this point, but we certainly see with some frequency administrations developing plans for major changes to the institution in which the faculty has had essentially no role. Getting feedback on a fully worked-out plan that has serious academic implications is not shared governance.”

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House passes tax plan with many provisions opposed by colleges

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 01:00

House Republicans on Thursday pushed through tax reform legislation widely opposed by higher education leaders who say many of its provisions will make a college degree less attainable and hurt the financial strength of institutions.

The bill passed by a 227 to 205 vote with 13 Republicans voting against the plan; it did not receive support from any Democrats.

The House plan, which was introduced just two weeks ago and did not receive a single hearing, dramatically lowers corporate tax rates and shrinks the number of income tax brackets. It has come in for criticism from higher ed both for the offsetting revenue it seeks from institutions and the elimination of benefits for students.

Representative Kevin Brady, the Republican chair of the House Ways and Means Committee and the chief architect of the plan, said in a closing statement before the vote Thursday that the legislation would improve the lives of Americans across the country.

"For too long, this broken tax code has put the needs of the people second -- propping up Washington special interests at the expense of hardworking Americans," he said.

But critics of the bill said hardworking students would suffer as a result of many of its provisions. In a letter to Republican and Democratic leaders in the House ahead of the vote this week, Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, said those provisions would "discourage participation in postsecondary education, make college more expensive for those who do enroll and undermine the financial stability of public and private, two-year and four-year colleges and universities."

"This is not in America's national interest," Mitchell wrote.

Among the most heavily panned provisions of the plan that directly affect students is the repeal of a tax code provision allowing colleges and universities to waive the cost of tuition for graduate students. That change would effectively impose a new tax on graduate students themselves, a move that student groups have warned would make graduate education unattainable for low- and middle-income students in a range of disciplines.

Sam Leitermann, president of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students, said the group was disappointed the House had passed a bill that does not protect graduate student tuition waivers.

“The taxation of tuition waivers will be devastating to graduate studies across the country and will cause many graduate students to be unable to continue their studies,” he said. “We will continue to advocate against these provisions through the reconciliation process.”

Families of college employees would also be hit by the House plan. It would tax the value of tuition discounts currently offered by colleges and universities to the spouses and children of their employees.

The repeal of the tax code provision that allows those benefits for graduate students and family members of employees is estimated to create $5.4 billion in revenues over a decade, according to an analysis the Joint Committee on Taxation presented to Senator Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat and the ranking member on the Senate education committee. The analysis found that student-related provisions of the bill would generate $71.5 billion in revenue.

Another provision of the bill would apply a 1.4 percent excise tax to private college endowments valued at $250,000 per full-time student. That provision would affect fewer than 100 higher ed institutions, but opponents say it penalizes colleges for having a stable revenue stream. It also doesn't redirect that money to student aid -- even though a chief complaint of endowment critics on Capitol Hill is that spending from those funds doesn't do enough to lower the cost of college.

The plan also eliminates tax-exempt private activity bonds that private -- and some public -- institutions use to lower the cost of borrowing for new construction. Effectively this would make it more expensive for colleges to build or renovate facilities. Because wealthier colleges can frequently raise money to build without borrowing, the impact of this provision would be greatest on institutions of modest means.

Higher ed groups also warn that the elimination of state and local tax deductions in the House plan would have negative long-term implications for public funding of colleges and universities. Without those deductions, states may see more opposition to raising taxes -- or even pressure to lower taxes -- that could lead to less support of public universities, critics say.

Reid Setzer, government affairs director at the progressive advocacy group Young Invincibles, said it is “appalling” that congressional Republicans think a solution to increasing student debt is cutting investments in higher education to pay for tax cuts for wealthy corporations.

“The Senate has and should continue to reject the House’s higher education cuts. But the Senate tax plan is also flawed: it fails to boost support for students and families who are struggling to pay for college, and uproots our health-care system by increasing premiums and driving up the number of uninsured,” he said. “Congress should keep their promise to help families get ahead. This plan misses the mark.”

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Valparaiso law school will not admit new students

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 01:00

Valparaiso University announced Thursday that its law school would no longer admit new students. While such announcements sometimes mean a law school is closing, Valparaiso insists that is not the case there.

Rather, the university is going to seek to merge its law school with that of another institution, or to move the law school to another part of the country, where it might attract more students.

The law school is more than 130 years old, but it has been struggling to enroll enough students to function. Only 29 new students enrolled this fall, down from more than 200 as recently as 2013.

In an interview Thursday evening, President Mark A. Heckler said that the law school faced many of the same challenges confronting other law schools. And indeed, many have responded to declining applicant interest by reducing the size of their programs. In April, Whittier College announced that it would shut its law school.

Heckler said that the Valparaiso law school previously had a reserve fund, but that the fund had been depleted. He declined to say how much the university provided to the law school.

Beyond problems facing legal education generally, Heckler said that Valparaiso faced geographic challenges. The law school is among four in the state of Indiana. Further, because the university is located in the northwest part of the state, it is part of the Chicago law school market, and one of six law schools there, the others more centrally located in or near the city.

Asked why the university didn't follow the lead of Whittier and simply shut down the law school, Heckler said, "We have a 138-year tradition and very strong people."

Valparaiso, a Lutheran institution, is proud of the way its faith tradition has influenced its law school, Heckler said. "We think there is a need for a law school that sees the law as a calling, as a service," he said.

The university will consider locations anywhere in the country, he said. Further, it will consider affiliations with law schools that do not share the university's faith, provided there is respect for the law school's commitment to service. Faculty members would have to support the new location or partner, he said. Depending on location, accreditors and state agencies might also be involved in a review of any proposed change.

Heckler said that some discussions about affiliations or moves have already taken place, although he could not reveal any details about them.

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New Title IX practices at Notre Dame draw criticisms

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 01:00

The University of Notre Dame for years has been derided for its handling of campus sexual assault. It’s been the subject of multiple prominent lawsuits and federal investigations and was one of the first institutions to be scrutinized under the Obama administration’s heightened rules on these types of cases.

Now, recent policy changes at the powerhouse religious institution have once again spurred concerns of victim advocates, who say the new policies might allow a student accused of sexual misconduct to avoid the traditional disciplinary process.

At a time when some perceive President Trump’s Education Department to be scaling back protections for rape survivors, the university must strengthen its own procedures, students and alumni said in interviews, not follow the lead of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has been criticized for removing stringent Obama-era guidance on investigating and adjudicating sexual assault.

In August, Notre Dame revised its practices on Title IX, the federal antidiscrimination law known formally as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This is routine for the university every summer, said spokesman Dennis Brown.

The key piece of this shift was a new option allowing students involved in certain sexual misconduct cases to ask for an “alternative resolution” rather than a comprehensive investigation that ends with a panel of university officials deciding whether there was wrongdoing.

This alternative -- which hasn’t been used yet -- can’t be applied to cases involving violence, including rape, Brown said. It could be employed in other types of harassment cases, such as stalking. And what a “resolution” entails will vary by case, Brown said -- it might involve a permanent order barring contact between a victim and the accused, or offering the accused training on sexual violence.

Other institutions have instituted similar routes for deciding a case -- Brown named Wittenberg University, a private religious institution in Ohio as an example. There, merely an apology from the accused, or counseling, can suffice to close a case.

“It can take a number of different forms … based on the wishes of the victim in particular and what they may want to see,” Brown said.

Notre Dame’s Alternative Resolution Process

Alternative resolution is a voluntary, educational and remedies-based process that is not intended to be disciplinary in nature. Where an initial assessment concludes that alternative resolution may be appropriate, the university will offer individual and/or community-based remedies designed to maintain the complainant’s access to the educational, extracurricular and employment activities at the university and to eliminate a potential hostile environment.

This process may include a variety of approaches including, but not limited to, educational programming or training, facilitated dialogue with a respondent, and/or mediation. In some cases, such as alleged sexual assaults, mediation will not be appropriate, even on a voluntary basis. Depending on the form of alternative resolution chosen, it may be possible for a complainant to maintain anonymity. The university will not compel a student to participate in any particular form of alternative resolution. Participation in alternative resolution is voluntary, and either party can request to end alternative resolution at any time.

The university will seek to complete the alternative resolution process within 60 calendar days following the decision to proceed with alternative resolution. In some instances, that may be the same date as the date of the report; in other instances, based on information gathered in the initial assessment, that may be at a later date. The 60-calendar-day time frame does not typically include academic break periods and may be affected by holidays or other extenuating circumstances. The university reserves the right to reasonably modify the alternative resolution process based on a case-by-case basis due to the scope or complexity of the facts and circumstances at issue, or due to other extenuating circumstances. The university may extend any time frame in this policy for good cause, including extension beyond 60 calendar days. Any modifications will be communicated to both parties.

He stressed that the university wouldn’t strong-arm students, and that both parties would need to agree to settle a case in this way.

In addition, Notre Dame has hired two new deputy Title IX coordinators, who will help conduct the investigations that were previously outsourced. The hearings on the cases were moved out of the Office of Community Standards and now will be handled by a three-person panel -- one deputy Title IX coordinator and two other officials in the Title IX and student affairs offices.

The university doesn’t allow mediation in sexual assault cases, Brown said, though mediation is cited as a possibility in the new policy language on alternative resolutions that was promulgated through the student affairs division and agreed to by the Reverend John I. Jenkins, the university's president.

DeVos has permitted mediation in sexual assault cases, according to information her department issued in September. That month, she withdrew the Obama administration’s guidance to colleges on adjudicating sexual assault cases, which came in the form of documents issued in 2011 and 2014, claiming it had created bias against students accused of sexual assault.

Two Notre Dame students, sophomores Elizabeth Boyle and Isabel Rooper, launched a campaign -- StaND 4 IX -- that called for the university to preserve some of the tenets of the Obama guidance. As a part of that, they penned an open letter to Father Jenkins that they are asking others to sign -- at press time they had received more than 1,000 signatures.

Rooper said while they are particularly worried about mediation possibly being allowed in these types of cases, the alternative resolution could potentially beneficial for some students who want to avoid a stressful and time-consuming investigation and hearing.

They also want the university to publicly clarify its new approach -- it was quietly approved over the summer and never announced en masse to the campus, Boyle said.

“There’s a profound lack of information of what the alternative resolution actually entails,” Rooper said. “And part of why we object so strongly to the alternative resolutions … is that we don’t have trained experts in mediation or counseling or restorative justice at the helm of enforcing this policy.”

This new practice does appear legally sound, though, being in line with Title IX guidance from 2001, said Laura L. Dunn, a lawyer and executive director of victim advocacy group SurvJustice.

Dunn said she was concerned, however, that Notre Dame would rely on an alternative resolution for a dating violence case, for instance, without understanding that abusive behavior can escalate.

“I have seen several religious schools be woefully ignorant on the topic to leave survivors in greater harm after ‘alternative’ approaches to discipline,” Dunn wrote in an email, later declining to name any institutions. “Significant training should be required to avoid misuse of such an alternative process to a situation where escalation is likely. I would recommend that all schools have a threat-assessment process as part of this determination to offer alternative resolution.”

Brown said that the university will take into account if someone is a repeat offender before offering this new route.

S. Daniel Carter, president of Safety Advisors for Educational Campuses, said an initial assessment may not be sufficient to determine whether an “ongoing hostile environment” exists, as required under Title IX.

The Obama letter on Title IX -- to the chagrin of some critics -- enforced a lower standard of evidence in sexual assault cases, preponderance of evidence, which generally means there’s a 51 percent likelihood misconduct occurred. Preponderance of evidence is the standard used in most civil cases, as compared to a clear and convincing standard, which requires roughly a 75 percent chance.

DeVos has told colleges they may use either standard of evidence while the department accepts feedback on permanent rules and develops them.

Notre Dame still uses the preponderance standard with no plans to change, Brown said. Part of the StaND 4 IX push is for the university to commit to preponderance as well as the 60-day time frame mandatory under the Obama rules, which Brown said Notre Dame still operates on. DeVos abolished that mandated timeline in her interim guidance.

“We’ll, of course, be meeting with the students … to offer these assurances,” Brown wrote in an email.

StaND 4 IX has also requested that easy waivers be available to the new requirement that students live on campus for six semesters.

Past and current promises from administrators have done little to mollify Grace Watkins, though, a 2017 Notre Dame graduate who is a sexual assault survivor and who was active in lobbying them for reforming their sexual assault policies.

Watkins said in an interview that she felt the administrators, despite their statements, had placed significant pressure on students to pick alternative resolution because they have characterized it as “more restorative.”

“It made me really angry and seemed to fit in the culture that it is just convenient to be forgiving,” Watkins said.

One administrator verbatim told Watkins she should “pray for the redemption of [her] rapist,” she said.

Notre Dame has been panned before for its management of sexual assault cases. In an opinion piece in Time, Watkins detailed both the problems with mediation in sexual assault cases and a now defunct religious service that the university dubbed “the Mass of Healing” that she said felt like another attempt by administrators to encourage forgiveness for rapists.

When the “Mass of Healing” was happening, the university would invite sexual assault victims, the accused, and their friends and families for a service in the same place.

During the Mass, attendees could opt for an anointment previously reserved for those close to death, but now is more so for anyone suffering a mental or physical illness, Brown said.

Brown disputed the notion that the Mass was meant to push victims to “forgive and forget.” He said Notre Dame has never received any negative feedback over it and it was discontinued simply because the university regularly rotates the events it holds for Domestic Violence Awareness month in October.

Right now, Notre Dame remains under investigation by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights for two complaints opened in 2016.

In September, a former Notre Dame student sued the institution, claiming she was told to drop her sexual assault complaint against a football player so he could transfer out of the university -- the university called the lawsuit inaccurate.

Also this year, a federal judge ruled that a student expelled for allegedly harassing his girlfriend be allowed to take his final exams -- that student also had filed a lawsuit against the university, declaring a Title IX violation, though in that case the institution’s punishment against him still held.

Perhaps most notable was a case in 2010, when Lizzy Seeberg, a student at nearby Saint Mary's College, died by suicide after she accused a Notre Dame football player of sexual battery. Following an Office for Civil Rights investigation after Seeberg's death, the university came to a resolution with the Education Department and agreed to change its sexual assault procedures.

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Decrease in number of openings for history faculty jobs

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 01:00

The academic job market keeps getting tighter for historians.

During the period from June 2016 to June 2017, the American Historical Association posted 501 listings for full-time positions, a 12 percent decline from the year before. This was the fifth straight year that the number of postings was down. Adding to the concern is that the number of new Ph.D.s in history is routinely more than twice the number of positions being posted by the AHA.

It is important to note that not all faculty jobs in history are listed with the AHA. That said, most experts on the academic job market say association studies like this one reflect broad trends in various disciplines.

History is among the many fields where specialization is crucial in the job search.

American history tends to have the greatest number of jobs (and job applicants). In recent years, as many history departments have moved to diversify their offerings, the history job market has been healthiest in fields such as Asian and African history, where many departments lack expertise they seek. But this year, those fields, Middle Eastern history and environmental history saw larger percentage declines than did American history. Latin American history, however, was flat.

Editorial Tags: HistoryImage Source: Getty ImagesIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: 

IEAA has new “forward-thinking” brand

The PIE News - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 09:44

A new website, logo and revamped special interest groups were amongst the changes announced by IEAA at last month’s AIEC in Hobart.

The rebrand, which aims to better differentiate the peak body from affiliate organisations in Australia and abroad, sees a significant shift in IEAA’s outward appearance.

A new research agenda will underpin IEAA’s advocacy and lobbying activities

Key amongst the rebranded changes, a new, predominantly light-blue logo replaces the former red, blue and black logo, with imagery to signify the organisation’s members’ core values of being “engaged, forward-thinking, internationally focused.”

“One of the key objectives of our current strategy is to position IEAA as the ‘top of mind’ organisation for Australia’s international education sector,” explained IEAA chief executive Phil Honeywood in a statement.

“Our new brand positions IEAA as a modern, progressive organisation and really strengthens our value proposition to members, stakeholders and government.”

Communications manager, Peter Muntz, who oversaw the rebrand, said the process took almost 12 months and incorporated the suggestions of over 50 member organisations.

“Our members really are at the heart of what we do and it was fantastic to engage so many of them in the process of re-defining who we are and how we position ourselves,” he said.

As well as changing the appearance of IEAA, the peak body also announced a change to its special interest groups, renamed to “Networks”, and a new research agenda, which will underpin its advocacy and lobbying activities.

A new model for professional development as well as an expansion of its Young Professionals Network, which provides networking opportunities for up-and-coming international education staff, are also expected in the new year.

During the 2017 AIEC, IEAA announced its Excellence Awards winners, with Helen Zimmerman receiving the distinguished contribution award.

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Latin America’s voteathon

Economist, North America - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 08:58

IN THE annals of Latin American democracy, Marcelo Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction magnate, will occupy a place of unique infamy. From Mexico to Argentina and many places in between, his Brazilian construction company bribed presidents, ministers and candidates to win public contracts, setting a nefarious example that other firms followed. The damage to the public purses in padded contracts ran to over $3bn. The intangible cost to the credibility and prestige of democratic politics in Latin America is incalculable.

The reverberations from the Odebrecht scandal come at the worst possible time. Starting with Chile on November 19th, seven Latin American countries will choose presidents over the next 12 months. They include the two regional giants, Brazil and Mexico. An eighth, Venezuela, is due to vote by December 2018, though its dictator, Nicolás Maduro, is unlikely to allow a fair contest. A further six presidential ballots are due in 2019, not least in Argentina. The region’s...

Explaining turnout in Latin American elections

Economist, North America - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 08:58

THE flurry of elections coming up in Latin America will not only choose new leaders. It will also provide a check-up on the health of democracy itself, which in most countries on the continent has been in place for only a few decades. Latin Americans appear to be losing some of their enthusiasm for it. In the latest edition of the region-wide survey conducted annually by Latinobarómetro, a pollster based in Chile, the share of respondents saying democracy is the best form of government hit its lowest level in a decade, at 53% (in 2010 it was 61%). The proportion saying they had no preference for democracy over other systems reached an all-time high of 25%, up from 16% in 2010.

How worrying is this for Latin American democracy? One indicator will be voter turnout. Participation is only a rough proxy for political vibrancy. Some citizens might stay home because they are satisfied with their government and confident that its policies will continue. Others might vote because they expect that a clientelistic government will reward...

Chile’s voters are in no mood for reckless radicalism

Economist, North America - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 08:58

A WEEK before national elections, Chileans would normally be cursing the billboards and posters cluttering up their cities. On the eve of this year’s presidential and congressional elections, scheduled for November 19th, there is much less to complain about. Restrictions on campaign spending imposed in 2016 after a party-financing scandal have kept much of the pesky propaganda off the streets.

This has not cheered up voters. “People are very disappointed with politicians,” says Beatriz Díaz, a teacher of English in Pirque, on the outskirts of Santiago. “They keep stealing.” The crackdown on campaign hoopla, meant to curb such behaviour, may deepen voters’ apathy. Pollsters expect turnout to be low.

Yet voters are likely to endorse the political establishment that has governed since the 17-year dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet ended in 1990. The strong favourite to win the presidency is Sebastián Piñera (pictured left), a billionaire businessman who was president from...

UK: Bournemouth regional festival celebrates int’l ed

The PIE News - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 08:31

Last month saw the first One World By The Sea festival take place in Bournemouth & Poole on the south coast of the UK, to celebrate the cultural diversity of the area.

Rather than scones and cream, international food was served at the three-day event in Dorset which was organised by the International Education Forum and supported by Bournemouth University as well as other civic organisations.

The festival also included international film screenings and music and dance performances and finished with a mini-festival in central Bournemouth.

Rachel Woodward-Carrick, director of Bournemouth University International College, organised the event and was delighted with the outcome.

“With the event we really wanted to do two things,” she told The PIE News. “The first was to showcase Bournemouth’s diverse community. I came here four years ago and was really surprised by the cultural diversity.

“The second was to send out the message that international students are very welcome here – this gives people an example to show others of what we have done here.”

“I came here four years ago and was really surprised by the cultural diversity”

Woodward-Carrick added that the event was a collaborative effort, with financial and logistic support from Bournemouth University, the Arts University of Bournemouth and the Dorset Race Equality Council, which ran a similar event in Dorchester earlier in the year.

The list of contributors included several language schools around the city, including Anglo-Continental and ETC International College.

The festival has a strong, visual brand.

“Outside of London, Bournemouth has the most language schools so it is important that we all work together to grow the pie, not only compete against each other,” said Woodward-Carrick.

She added that it was important to get local residents involved. “People are already used to international students in Bournemouth, for example, in shops people may speak slower so that they understand.”

Activities on the World Discovery Day, which the Bournemouth University International College hosted, were designed to help people learn a little more about countries international students in Bournemouth are from.

Visitors learnt to say “hello” in five languages, write their names in Arabic and took part in an interactive quiz.

Chris Davis, International Pathways manager at Bournemouth University, has high hopes for the future of the festival.

“We’re already looking forward to planning next year’s event, building on what we’ve learnt this year and making the festival even bigger and better,” he said.

“We are keen to ensure that we make the One World By The Sea Festival a permanent fixture in Bournemouth’s ever-growing calendar of events and to be a part of the town’s thriving BOMO festival programme.”

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Chamber of the Americas is proud to introduce our new member, Elevate Aviation, Salt Lake City, Utah

Chamber of the Americas (English) - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 07:14

Joseph Hogan, Owner
Elevate Aviation
Cirrus Training Center for the state of Utah, providing Aircraft Rental, Flight Training, Pilot Services and Aircraft Management
485 N. 2360 W
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Upbeat outlook for enrolment at UK boarding schools

The PIE News - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 06:09

The number of non-British pupils with parents living overseas studying at UK boarding schools this year was down by around 470, according to figures from the Independent Schools Council. However, Suzanne Rowse, director at the British Boarding Schools Network, has told The PIE News there are reasons to be optimistic for future intakes.

Global oil crises, shrinking wealth, falling birth rates in Asia, visa regulations, and students choosing foundation courses over boarding schools, all contributed to reduced enrolment from overseas pupils in 2016/17.

Nineteen key markets in British boarding schools have dropped since last year’s ISC figures, including Russia, down 20.5%; Nigeria down 30.9%; and Central & South America, down 19.7%.

This information was delivered by the British Boarding Schools Network’s market analysis at its recent workshop in London. Enrolments from mainland China remain stable, having increased in recent years.

But Rowse explained that a competitive currency is buoying demand in Europe.

“In Spain, France, Germany and Italy, the weaker pound is helping recruitment to grow. The slow [Brexit] negotiations has reduced the Brexit effect, especially for those looking for short-term placements,” she told The PIE News.

Even boarding school recruitment in Russia, which has been significantly impacted with political issues and the rouble devaluation in the past two years, is now looking promising, she related.

The unstable political situation in Turkey has resulted in growing demand for a British education from Turkish parents

“Agents are reporting more applicants this term for entry in September 2018,” she said. “One agent who recruits from Russia said that schools are reporting two or three times more applicants already this term.”

She added Turkish agents had told her that the unstable political situation in Turkey has resulted in growing demand for a British education from Turkish parents wanting to send their children abroad.

Nigeria saw enrolments fall in 2017, following difficulties transferring funds abroad that the Nigerian government deemed non-essential, and challenges remain.

But in February, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced an important revision to its fiscal policy, making the payment of overseas school fees one of the country’s priorities.

“So whilst there is now no obstacle to pay school fees, agents report that many parents simply don’t have the money due to deflated oil prices, hence recruitment is still slow from this key African market,” explained Rowse.

Independent schools abroad are also competing in many cases to attract the same potential students.

Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council, spoke of the added benefits of studying in the UK:

As a student, “you are going to probably find it’ll be easier to learn English, you’re going to learn about British culture, and you’re going to find it’s a lot more straightforward to enter into British universities because you’re closer to the game,” he stated.

Lenon thinks that issues surrounding visas will become less of a challenge in the future.

“We are seeing more schools offering short term stays for 6 weeks or a term taster experience”

“I think that everybody in government understands that students who come to British boarding schools and to British universities … are welcome, they are very important for some of our universities,” he said.

“All of our universities take quite large numbers from overseas and very few of those students turn out to be a problem for the visa authorities.

“There is every likelihood that, as part of the Brexit arrangements, the government will announce a liberalisation of the visa regime as far as international students are concerned.”

The PIE News reported that an increase in demand for foundation courses that prepare for university were also creating competition in 2015.

Rowse is adamant that schools need to be flexible and adaptable to meet the requirements of markets. They must be open to compromise on deposits and continue to have good partnerships with agents.

“We are also seeing more schools offering short term stays for 6 weeks or a term taster experiences with a financial incentive to return for a longer term academic programmes,” she said.

She added that Bromsgrove School in the Midlands is introducing a one year Foundation Programme from next year; a new trend in the sector.

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Pan African University to offer virtual education

The PIE News - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 05:04

A new virtual higher education option designed for Africans within Africa will soon be launched: the Africa Virtual and E-University which will offer studies through the Open Distance and e-Learning model.

Buoyed by the success of the now well-established Pan African University, a continental institution of excellence owned by the Africa Union (AU), the body is in the final stages of operationalising the project.

To be run as an e-learning arm of the African Union’s PAU, the E-University will offer distance education to students from across 54 countries in the continent, using English and French as languages of instruction.

The AU will convert the existing African Virtual University – an already established virtual institution of higher learning established by 19 African countries since 1997 – into an arm of the PAU, making it an Africa-wide university accessible to interested learners from across the continent.

“This choice has a number of obvious advantages over other options, including faster implementation and operationalisation, does not require major political decisions for establishment, and has in place administrative and governance structures including the council, senate and rectorate”, stated a concept document prepared by AU’s department for human resource, science and technology.

“It will encourage and optimise the use of emerging, new and adaptive technologies for pedagogy, content delivery, research and management.”

The transformed institution will also move its headquarters from Nairobi, Kenya to Yaoundé, Cameroon

“It will offer the African diaspora and the international academic community, an innovative continental framework to contribute towards the development of higher education and research in Africa”, it added.

Following the decision, the university will effectively change its name from African Virtual University to Africa Virtual and E-University, says the paper prepared under the leadership of Beatrice Njenga, head of education at the AU Commission.

The transformed institution will also move its headquarters from Nairobi, Kenya to Yaoundé, Cameroon, the seat of the PAU rectorate.

The E-University is listed as one of the flagship projects of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, a blue for accelerated development on the continent.

Established in 2012, the PAU a continental institution of excellence mainly in sciences has branches in Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria and Algeria with one more planned in South Africa.

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