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How the US can stem decline in international students

University World News Global Edition - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 06:00
New enrolment of undergraduate and graduate international students at American universities and colleges for 2016-17 declined by 2.1% or nearly 5,000 students, according to the recent ...

British Council opens English centre in China

The PIE News - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 05:01

The British Council has started teaching an initial cohort of learners at its first English centre in China. The school, located in Nanjing, enables further development of ties between Jiangsu province and the UK, according to directors.

“The launch of an English centre in Nanjing marks not only the beginning of a new chapter in the British Council’s long history of engagement with Jiangsu province, but also a new milestone in the bilateral relationship between the UK and China,” said Carma Elliot CMG OBE, the British Council’s country director in China.

“Our analysis of the market indicated that there is great market demand and potential particularly in Nanjing”

The British Council operates in China as the cultural and education section of the British Embassy and consulates-general in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Wuhan.

The launch of its teaching centre creates a formal base in Jiangsu province.

Lessons at the school include the British Council’s flexible myClass program and a series of social activities are available for adult learners.

The British Council has also set up to IELTS test centres in Nanjing and opened the first Aptis’ English-language competency test operation centre in the region of Jiangsu.

The Council is the co-owner of IELTS working in partnership with NEEA in mainland China.

“Our analysis of the market indicated that there is great market demand and potential, particularly in Nanjing,” Kiran Patel, Director of Strategic Communications and Corporate Relations for the British Council told The PIE News.

“Jiangsu is also regarded as a leading Chinese province in the development of education and English teaching standards nationally which is aligned very closely to our work in this space,” he added.

The British Council provides resources through its websites and mobile apps and also MOOCs, the popularity of which has been climbing as The PIE News reported last year.

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Chamber of the Americas is proud to introduce our new member, Belize Business Brokers Limited, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Chamber of the Americas (English) - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 14:08

Michael Haworth, CEO
Belize Business Brokers Limited
Commercial Real Estate
302 Pescador Drive, Suite 204
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Zuma releases long-awaited fees commission report

University World News Global Edition - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 09:04
The long-awaited Heher Commission report into the feasibility of fee-free higher education and training has finally been released to the public by President Jacob Zuma, although the country still ...

Europe is first choice for US mobile students

The PIE News - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 07:29

The latest Open Doors report has revealed the number of US students studying abroad in 2015/2016 increased by 4% to 325,339, with the UK, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany coming in as top host countries.

The report conducted by IIE highlights the country’s increasing focus on preparing its students for a multicultural global marketplace. Currently, 10% of US undergraduates study abroad before graduating.

Europe was found to be the top host region, attracting more than half of US students who studied abroad, followed by Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia.

Strong growth was noted in Australia, Czech Republic, Cuba, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and South Africa.

China dropped out of the top five host countries, as the number of US students studying there decreased by 9%.

US higher education is increasingly focused on preparing students to secure jobs after graduation in order to advance their careers, and research has shown that studying abroad helps students develop the skills needed to succeed in today’s interconnected world.

In 2014, IIE launched its Generation Study Abroad initiative to mobilise resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of US students studying abroad by the end of the decade.

China dropped out of the top five host countries, as the number of US students studying there decreased by 9%.

Twenty-five per cent of all students who studied abroad were majoring in STEM fields followed by business, social sciences, foreign language and international studies, and fine and applied arts.

Study abroad by US students has more than tripled in the past two decades. However, the rate of growth has slowed following the financial crisis in 2008.

Deputy assistant secretary of state for policy in the bureau of educational and cultural affairs Alyson Grunder said there is a commitment to increasing opportunities to study abroad for US students.

“We need to develop the talent and skills necessary for 21st-century careers. It is in our national interest to build and grow the international relationships and networks that are key to addressing the global challenges and opportunities we face going forward,” she said.

“State Department exchange programs such as the Fulbright and Gilman Scholarship programs and our global network of EducationUSA advising centers in more than 170 countries are key to achieving these goals.”

The UK recently launched a similar mandate to IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, with UUK International looking to double the present 6.6% figure for outbound mobilityamong UK students.

In a separate survey that IIE conducted, an average decrease of 7% in the number of new enrolled inbound international students in US institutions was predicted for the 2017/18 academic year.

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Sector responds to assault on Chinese in Canberra

The PIE News - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 07:25

Australia’s capital city, Canberra, has reassured international students they are still safe after an alleged racial assault of three Chinese international high school students last month.

The attack, which was said to have taken place at a local bus exchange, left one student with severe injuries requiring hospital treatment and two others with minor bruising and lacerations.

“I was deeply concerned about the assault of Chinese international secondary school students at the Woden bus interchange,” Australian Capital Territory deputy chief minister Yvette Berry said in a statement.

“The ACT Government values the contribution that all international visitors make to our city, including our friends from China.”

In response to the incident and other similar incidences, police have increased patrols around bus stations in the nation’s capital and held meetings with Chinese residents to discuss “students’ personal safety, Australian policing and… the importance of contacting police if they felt they were in danger or witnessed antisocial or criminal behaviour.”

The wider Canberran community has similarly moved to reassure international students they are still safe.

“The community are trying very hard to dispel some misleading reporting mostly due to misunderstanding and or misinterpretation [or] confusion and the reactions to the perceived lack of timely respond (sic),” ACT Chinese Australian Association said in a Facebook post.

“In a vacuum of information, people think you don’t care”

“The recent incidents have caused undue distress to the Chinese community and tarnished the reputation of Canberra as a safe and student friendly city.”

Despite the response, however, there are still many concerned by the potential racial implications of the attack, with a Change.org petition claiming international students were “frequently provoked, intimidated, surrounded and even assaulted by the local young bullies around… Woden” already receiving almost 3,900 signatures.

China’s Global Times also picked up on the attack, calling it a potential “turning point, reshaping Chinese people’s foundation for understanding Australian society” if significant steps were not taken to address this and other incidences, as well as ongoing negative comments against the country.

Mary Ann Seow, president of student services association ISANA, said Australia had learned from similar concerns in 2006 and 2009 after Indian students were targeted in a series of attacks in Adelaide and Melbourne, respectively, and the local community must continue to push a welcoming message to students and parents.

“In a vacuum of information, people think you don’t care,” she told The PIE News.

“ISANA is reassured that everything that needs to be done to support the students, their families as well as homestay families is being carried out.”

Two teenagers, who were not themselves Chinese international students, were arrested in connection with the event.

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Spate of recent college closures has some seeing long-predicted consolidation taking off

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 01:00

Those forecasting a wave of college closures find themselves with a glut of recent anecdotes to support their story.

It has not been a good fall for small, private liberal arts colleges. Last week, St. Gregory’s University in Oklahoma said it is closing at the end of the semester. The news came on the heels of a similar announcement by the Memphis College of Art in late October, an announcement that itself arrived just weeks after Grace University in Omaha, Neb., unveiled plans to shut down.

Flip back a little farther in the calendar, to when Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind., decided in February to suspend academic operations at the end of the spring semester. Now, only 17 people work at the college as it tries to come up with plans for a future incarnation, even as it has been selling off its assets in hopes of raising funds to pay for those plans.

The spurt of closures would seem to support Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen’s recent doubling down on his infamous prediction that as many as half of the country’s colleges and universities will find themselves bankrupt or shuttered within 10 years. But it’s not just college closures that are pointing to signs of significant stress among small private colleges.

Wheelock College plans to merge into Boston University. Marygrove College in Detroit said in August that it will shut down undergraduate programs after this semester. Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia and Holy Cross College in Indiana both decided this spring to sell land in order to stave off financial crises. The University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Conn., announced in June that it will start admitting undergraduate men next year.

Perhaps the better prediction to reference is one from Moody’s Investors Service in 2015: that closures of small private colleges would be tripling and mergers would be doubling. Or maybe it’s just better to warn that more cuts and consolidations are likely coming.

Skeptics can still argue that each campus closed, merger explored or acre sold is the result of unique and extenuating circumstances. They can say that we’re examining unique data points that shouldn’t be connected.

Look at the three most recent closure announcements. St. Gregory’s is ending operations after a plan to receive a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture fell through. That’s different from the decision made by Grace in Nebraska, which abandoned plans to relocate after a small incoming freshman class shattered financial projections. It also differs somewhat from the story at the Memphis College of Art, which blamed declining enrollment and real estate debt for its closure.

But at some point, the individual data points become part of a larger trend line. For however unique those three colleges may be, they have much in common as well. All enroll well below 1,000 students and hold small endowments.

So if the doom and gloom really are coming to pass, which institutions, in particular, are in danger of succumbing? A quick look at recent announcements shows that many colleges closing or cutting back are Roman Catholic, and many are located in the middle of the country -- the Midwest and Appalachia.

Those aren’t necessarily independent variables, though. There is a large number of small Roman Catholic colleges in the country, and many are located in regions where demographics are shifting with declines in populations that have traditionally attended Catholic institutions. The Roman Catholic institutions are likely caught up in trends affecting higher education more broadly -- trends like enrollment challenges, tuition discounting and a lack of financial resources at small institutions.

“A lot of our national data really indicate that some of these small Catholic colleges, as well as small private colleges throughout the country, are really struggling because of their finances,” said Heather Gossart, director of executive mentoring and coaching and a senior consultant with the National Catholic Educational Association.

Families are increasingly worried about tuition rates at colleges and universities, Gossart said. Some seek alternatives, such as public colleges that they think will be less expensive than Roman Catholic institutions. Others may not even consider small colleges because they don’t think a college small in size can offer as much financial aid as a larger university -- regardless of whether that perception is true.

Many Roman Catholic colleges are doing very well, even if some are struggling, Gossart said. Yet she acknowledged a potentially grim future.

“I think unless every one of our Catholic institutions begins thinking outside the box and looking at new and creative ways to recruit student populations and to create affordable tuitions, I think we are going to see the demise of some of our smaller Catholic colleges,” she said. “And it’s tragic, because each one brings a charism from its founding congregation. It brings a measurable value to the community that it exists in. But the reality is that it comes to a point where some of these smaller institutions are no longer viable.”

There’s another possible explanation for what seems like a large number of Catholic colleges closing or making major changes. Their shared religious identity -- the connections between board members and specific perspectives fostered by their common faith -- might make them more likely to be early movers when it comes time to respond to pressures. If that’s the case, it could be an indication that other institutions are likely moving toward the brink but have yet to act.

“The history and the Catholic identity of many of our institutions gives them some tools to be more flexible in how they respond,” said Paula Moore, vice president for external affairs at the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. “For instance, they have the ability to reach out to, perhaps, other geographically close institutions that share a founding order, and therefore they can look to those other institutions and perhaps try to identify some economies of scale.”

Such connections might be helpful even for financial transactions. Wheeling Jesuit sold its campus to the wealthy Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston to escape debt. Holy Cross College decided to sell 75 acres to the nearby University of Notre Dame to stabilize its finances shortly after speculation about its ability to stay open in the future.

Experts warned that property and asset sales can be an attempt at financial triage instead of a sign of a healthy recovery. They also pointed out that many colleges that were not Roman Catholic have merged or closed in recent decades.

No matter their religious affiliation, colleges under the most pressure tend to be saddled with a mix of problems like financial issues, academic programs that don’t stand out, declining enrollment and difficulty fund-raising, said James M. Hunter, who is the chief academic officer and senior vice president for business development at Emerge Education, a consulting group. Many are also located in rural areas.

“Typically, there isn't just one issue, and therefore never just one solution to remedy the plight of small, private colleges,” Hunter said in an email. “In fact, I believe it is the interaction of internal and external factors, over time and really since 2008-09, that have caused a number of small privates to close or merge.”

Signs point to the Midwest being under significantly more enrollment pressure than other parts of the country. Many Midwestern admissions officers, even at elite institutions, also reported struggling this year.

A Moody’s tuition survey released last week found that enrollment growth is projected at less than 1 percent across public and private universities nationwide in 2017. But 61 percent of institutions in the Midwest reported enrollment decreasing this fall. The portion projecting decreases in other parts of the country proved to be much lower, in the 40 percent range.

Nonetheless, higher education leaders resist viewing widespread consolidation as a fait accompli.

“We continue to believe -- and we think we’ve documented it pretty well -- that most small colleges have the capability to be resilient in the face of these challenges,” said Richard Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges. “There are a small number of colleges that are in very serious trouble, but there are also a significant number of small colleges, 20 percent of them, that are just soaring. They’re doing very well.”

CIC earlier this year released a report showing colleges and universities have recovered significantly since the Great Recession. It also showed colleges with fewer than 1,000 students have performed worse financially than larger institutions.

Several colleges and universities have been closing every year for decades, Ekman said. Still, he acknowledged that there seems to be a slight uptick so far this year.

“I don’t know that it’s the beginning of a trend, but I certainly hope not,” he said.

The current spate of closings doesn’t necessarily mean more will follow faster, said Peter Stokes, managing director at Huron Consulting Group. But it should serve as a wake-up call telling colleges and universities they need to be smarter about facing mounting challenges.

There are likely ways for many to navigate those challenges. New types of student can be welcomed to classes, whether they be minority students who have traditionally been recruited in smaller numbers, adults or others who have historically been underserved. New donors can sometimes be found. Debt can often be managed better. Programs can be better tailored and colleges can carve out more unique identities instead of blending into the crowd.

A key question remains whether it’s too late for some colleges to successfully follow new strategies. Another is whether their leaders will tell themselves that their colleges have a unique story that couldn’t possibly end in closure -- until the many pressures build into a crisis and it’s too late.

“Everybody’s got their own history and story to tell about the poor decisions they’ve made,” Stokes said. “If you pan back and look at the big picture, they made those decisions in a particular context, and in the context of a particular business model -- and that business model is increasingly threatened.”

Look at all of the institutions that have closed or been forced to make painful changes, and a profile emerges. Their enrollment has tended to be measured in the hundreds, they have been dependent on tuition to fuel their operating budgets and they have been saddled with significant debts or deferred maintenance.

Time will tell if the recent burst of consolidations truly is the start of a wave, or the escalation of one that’s been building for some time. It is now becoming clear, however, that the early stages of a wave probably wouldn’t look like dozens of colleges shuttering at once. It would look like a significant handful of closures and painful changes dripping out over time.

It would look like the last several months.

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What's to be done about the numerous reports of faculty misconduct dating back years and even decades?

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 01:00

As more and more sexual harassment cases involving faculty members come to light, a significant share of them date back 10, 20 and even 30 years. The last few months have seen a series of high-profile cases in which the accused professors are now senior in age as well as status, retired or even deceased. While these so-called cold cases certainly pose practical challenges in terms of dwindling institutional memory and evidence, experts say institutions are often (if not always) eager to help right past wrongs -- and that they must.

“The deep question here is, ‘What is the purpose of making these allegations after so many years?’” said Michele Dauber, the Frederick I. Richman Professor of Law at Stanford University. “To a certain extent, it’s not unlike debates about Confederate memorials showing up in states that have never really been forced to come to terms with what they’ve done. It is wrong to say that people who were wronged by institutions in the past should simply let it go, with no acknowledgment of their suffering.”

Issues of moral responsibility are arguably more relevant and important in an educational setting, and indeed academic institutions have grappled with these parallel issues of legacy, Dauber said. “We really need to think about who we’re honoring … Seo-Young Chu is clearly owed an apology, at minimum.”

About a Stanford Legacy

Dauber was talking about harassment cold cases in general, but she referred in particular to one victim of harassment: Chu, an associate professor of English at Queens College of the City University of New York. Chu recently wrote a widely read essay saying that the late Jay Fliegelman, Coe Professor in American Literature at Stanford University, harassed and raped her when she was a new graduate student at Stanford, some 17 years ago. Stanford at the time investigated and disciplined the professor with a two-year unpaid leave, during which he was barred from the department. But Chu said she’d that she’d never received a formal apology from the institution and that she’d been dismayed to learn that the graduate caucus of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies had in 2009 named a graduate mentorship award after Fliegelman.

The society renamed the award shortly after Chu initially contacted leaders about it, in 2016. But until Chu’s essay, she said, there was no public record as to why. Chu’s essay prompted fellow academics to ask the society to publicly acknowledge why it changed the name of the award and to renounce such abuses of power -- which it did Friday.

The society’s executive board “unequivocally condemns all forms of harassment, discrimination and abuse, including mistreatment based on sex, race or status,” it said in a statement, thanking Chu for coming forward. “In the months ahead we will be developing policies for incorporation into our bylaws that make clear that harassment and discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. This process will require the commitment of our entire membership to join together in a firm endorsement of our standards and values.”

Stanford has said that Fliegelman’s suspension was well-known on campus -- that the punishment was never quiet. Not addressed in Chu’s essay but worth noting, then, is that the Faculty Senate passed a resolution honoring him in 2008, upon his death from complications from liver disease and cancer. The resolution stated, in part, that Fliegelman’s “lasting legacy will be his mentoring of undergraduates and, especially, graduate students in their academic and research careers at and beyond Stanford.” According to meeting minutes, all present -- including the provost who would have overseen some if not all of Fliegelman’s disciplinary proceedings -- stood in silent tribute. The full Stanford Report version of the resolution notes that Stanford acquired Fliegelman's entire, highly valuable personal library -- including Thomas Jefferson's copy of Paradise Lost -- upon his death.

Dauber, a critic of some of her institution’s past responses to sexual misconduct, said she thought the Senate should now repeal the memorial resolution and pass one apologizing to Chu. “Surely we should not hold an institution charged with educating our future leaders to a lower standard than we hold Hollywood,” she added, referring to the professional fallout for Harvey Weinstein and others in the entertainment industry accused of sexual misconduct.

Chu told Inside Higher Ed that her essay “is not retaliatory,” but “meant to add another voice to the record.”

What’s Old Is New Again

Cold-case harassment reports are not new. Perhaps the most widely reported case of harassment in academe, that of Geoff Marcy, a former professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, broke in 2015 but involved reports of misconduct dating back years. Yet recent weeks have seen a new group of older allegations.

Jane Willenbring, now an associate professor of geology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, went public this fall with her claims of sexual harassment against David Marchant, who was until recently chair of earth and environment at Boston University (he remains a professor there). The allegations go back to 1999, when Marchant was supervising Willenbring as a doctoral student during a research trip to Antarctica; Willenbring says that Marchant pressured her to have sex with his brother, who was on the trip, pelted her with rocks while she was urinating outside, called her stupid and purposely blew volcanic ash in her eyes to agitate her ice blindness condition. Another formal doctoral student has made similar allegations. Boston is investigating Marchant, who has not commented publicly about the case.

Just last week, Kimberly Latta, a Pittsburgh-area psychotherapist, informed Stanford that Franco Moretti -- who now holds the Danily C. and Laura Louise Bell Professorship in the Humanities, Emeritus -- assaulted her decades ago when he was a visiting professor at Berkeley. Latta shared her email to Stanford on Facebook, saying she’d been inspired to speak out in the wake of the Weinstein news and the social media hashtag #MeToo, in which survivors of misconduct have shared their experiences.

“I am writing to report that when I was a graduate student at Berkeley in 1984-85, my then professor Franco Moretti sexually stalked, pressured and raped me,” Latta wrote. “He specifically said to me, ‘You Americans girls say no when you mean yes.’ He raped me in my apartment in Oakland. He also would frequently push me up against the wall in his office, right next to the window that looked out at the library, and push up my shirt and bra and forcibly kiss me, against my will.”

Latta said she reported the alleged misconduct to Berkeley at the time, but that the relevant official at the time was a friend of Moretti’s who discouraged her from filing a formal complaint. Instead, Latta said, the official said she should share only Moretti’s initials, in case of reports from other students. Moretti allegedly threatened Latta not to go public, saying he’d ruin her name. For that reason, she said, she remained silent for many years as she continued to work within academe.

“This man has certainly assaulted many other women over the course of his fabulously successful career,” Latta said. “It’s time that the truth came out about this predator. I will take any lie detector and make any affidavits necessary to assure that he is brought to justice.”

Stanford said Friday that Latta’s allegation was entirely new to officials, but that it had reached out to her. “We of course are concerned and will be reviewing the matter and whether there are any actions for Stanford to take,” said Lisa Lapin, university spokesperson, noting that Moretti was no longer on campus due to his retirement this year.

Moretti via email said that his relationship with Latta was consensual and that he never warned her to keep quiet, as he had little to no institutional status and no powerful contacts with which to threaten her at the time. While he and the misconduct officer are friends, he said, they were not yet so at the time Latta would have lodged a complaint.

“I did not rape her, and am horrified by the accusation,” he said in an emailed statement. “I was a visitor, with no prospect, back then, of ever being part of the American academy. Unfortunately, I fear this accusation will have an enormous impact on colleagues, friends and family, despite being utterly false.”

Latta did not respond to a request for comment about Moretti’s assertion. Berkeley officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the case.

Also last week, on Thursday, Arizona State University asked for and received the resignation of Jaime Lara, a former Roman Catholic priest and an esteemed professor of medieval and Renaissance studies who previously worked at Yale University. Earlier in the day, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn shared on its website that Lara had been defrocked 25 years ago for child sex abuse.

Ricardo Gonzalez, who received compensation from the church as a result of the case, told The New York Times that he called Lara’s institutions to tell his story as an adult. But he said he felt he was never believed. “I want everyone to know who he is,” Gonzalez said. “I want him to lose his job, I want him to not have a drink of water. He ruined the little belief that I have. He is a very, very horrible person.”

Lara did not respond to a request for comment via email.

Righting Long Overdue Wrongs

Gonzalez was not at Arizona State when Lara abused him, but the other cases pertain to former students.

Willenbring said Friday that she came forward once she earned tenure, and that she’s grateful for what seems like increased media attention to sexual misconduct cases in general because it’s “easy to sweep the issue under the rug without a spotlight.” Press attention can highlight a poor institutional decision following an investigation under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits gender discrimination in federally funded programs, for example.

Willenbring said that she wasn’t seeking justice in her Title IX case, however, “but to make sure it didn’t happen ever again” with Marchant and anyone else, and “also to shine a light on the dark aspects of academia.” She described the experience as anxiety ridden, in that there’s always a risk of professional consequences. She said she wonders, for example, if Marchant’s friends are reading her proposals or papers or, worse, those of her students. But writing the complaint has also been cathartic, and prompted others to come forward and possibly get their own sense of closure, she added.

The case isn’t yet closed, Willenbring said, but “I think that now I have achieved what I set out to do.” She's turning her focus toward the “scores of women who reached out to me after the publicity with their own horrifying stories of harassment, discrimination and even rape in earth science departments all over the country.”

Brett Sokolow, executive director of the Association for Title IX Administrators, said that many institutions lifted their reporting timelines following the Education Department’s 2011 missive to apply Title IX to sexual misconduct, enabling these more dated complaints. And as new complainants continue to come forward with older allegations, he said, institutions are generally willing to hear their stories.

Richard Anthony Baker, assistant vice president for equal opportunity services at the University of Houston, said that such timeline-free policies are considered to be “trauma informed” because they allow the accuser “to decide when they are ready to notify the institution or move forward with their allegations, without the pressure of doing so because of an institution’s deadline.” The downside to those policies, however, is that the evidence to support a finding may be “hard to collect or not available 10 or 20 years after the event.” Another concern is that the “may no longer be affiliated with -- and therefore no longer under the control of -- the institution” so many years later.

Sokolow agreed that evidence is harder to obtain with time and that discipline is of course harder to administer if the professor is gone or dead. But cold cases are nevertheless an important opportunity for institutions to make sure that the policies and procedures in place now would clearly discourage or prevent whatever happened in the past from happening again, he said.

Additionally, he said, institutions in his experience are eager to help students or former students whose studies have been somehow derailed by harassment regain their footing. That includes offering readmission, tuition credits, counseling or advocacy, or accepting transfer credits, for example. Indeed, a number of women who have come forward with harassment or assault claims report having dropped out of academe, switched fields or transferring institutions as a result of their experiences.

Sokolow was hesitant to say whether the recent group of cold cases represented any Weinstein-inspired trend. But in higher education and in other sectors, he said, “We’ll look back on this moment as a tectonic shift in the way we address women’s equality in the workplace.”

Erin Buzuvis, a professor of law at Western New England University and moderator of the Title IX Blog, also said she had no way to quantify whether there were more cold case reports now or whether they were just getting more publicity. Legally, there’s not a bright-line reporting deadline, she said, but she agreed that colleges and universities are increasingly limited in their options for responding as time passes. Regardless of timeline, though, she said, “What institutions should be doing is whatever is reasonable and necessary to do by way of making sure that everybody is safe and that the problem doesn’t reoccur.”

That means that even when a professor is gone and no disciplinary action may therefore be taken against a particular individual, institutions “might be able to examine their internal processes and procedures or whatever allowed that problem to happen in the past.” In doing so, Buzuvis said, “institutions might easily discover that in the intervening years that a lot has changed by way of culture, policies and practice.”

Pushing for a Culture Shift -- and Accountability

Katherine Franke, Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia University and director of its Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, said she thought academe was no different from any other industry in which prominent people -- meaning men -- “have the power to make or break your career. And some will exploit this kind of power for personal gratification.” She said she also wanted to avoid “fanning the flames of a kind of sex panic” that could arise from the newfound attention on faculty harassment cases. (Franke worried, too, that such attention could overshadow what she said was a bigger threat to students: misconduct from other students.)

All that said, Franke posited that when it comes to allegations now emerging about male professors who sexually harassed or assaulted their female students 20 or more years ago, “I am less concerned with opening up the statute of limitations and allowing a suit to be filed, than with a kind of reckoning on our campuses with institutional denial of the well-known fact of sexual harassment by faculty.” Campuses have to be more invested in rethinking their cultural norms than protecting their brands, she said, noting that institutions' failure to sufficiently address harassment is one symptom of the “neoliberalization” of higher education.

At least in the court of public opinion -- or public accountability -- harassment cases at private institutions, both new and cold, are harder to try. That’s because private institutions are not subject to the same public records laws as public institutions, ostensibly because they are not funded with taxpayer dollars. In other words, some terms of a Title IX investigation are considered a matter of public record at a public institution but not a private one. Yet private institutions are still subject to Title IX -- because federal funds nevertheless flow into them.

Dauber, at Stanford, said accountability will remain a problem at private institutions in particular until public records laws are amended to include an exemption for sexual harassment and assault.

“There is no public benefit and only public detriment” to the current transparency laws for private campuses, she said.

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U.S. universities report declines in enrollments of new international students; study abroad participation increases

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 01:00

After years of growth, enrollments of international students at American universities started to flatten in fall 2016, and a downward trend in new enrollments appears to be accelerating this academic year, with nearly half of universities surveyed (45 percent) reporting a drop in new international students this fall.

Those are the headline findings of two international enrollment surveys released today: "Open Doors," a comprehensive annual survey of more than 2,000 colleges and universities that reports international enrollment numbers on a one-year delay, and a “snapshot” survey of about 500 institutions that reported on their international enrollment numbers for the current semester. The institutions that responded to the snapshot survey reported an average decline in new international students this fall of 7 percent.

While there are lots of variables that affect international enrollments, the drop in new students comes at a time when many in international education have expressed fears that the rhetoric and policies of President Trump could discourage some international students from enrolling at U.S. institutions. Among institutions that responded to the survey, 68 percent cited the visa application process or visa denials and delays as a reason for declining new enrollments, up 35 percentage points from last year, and 57 percent cited the social and political environment in the U.S., up 41 percentage points from last year. Other factors cited included the cost of tuition and fees (57 percent of respondents also cited this) and competition from universities in other countries (54 percent).

However, despite the 7 percent drop in new international students, the overall picture for this fall is mixed and suggests a divergence of trends depending on the selectivity, type and geographic location of a given university.

While 45 percent of institutions responding to the snapshot survey reported declines in new international students, 31 percent reported increases and 24 percent reported no change. Of those reporting decreases in new international students, the average decrease was 20 percent. Of those reporting increases, the average increase was 5 percent.

The most selective universities -- those that admit less than a quarter of applicants -- continued to report growth in new international student enrollments. The steepest declines in new international enrollments were reported by master’s-level institutions, where new international enrollments are down by 20 percent, and at associate-level institutions, where they're down 19 percent. Institutions in the middle of the country -- including the West South Central region, which includes Texas -- saw steeper declines in new enrollments than did institutions on the East and West coasts (see map below).

Total international enrollments have not fallen, buoyed up as they are by students already in the U.S. higher education pipeline. But the declines in new international enrollments will likely be cause for concern for many universities that have counted on growth in international students -- and the tuition revenue they bring -- to help balance their budgets.

The "Open Doors" survey also reports on the number of American students studying abroad. In that arena, universities continue to report steady growth. In 2015-16, 325,339 American students studied abroad for academic credit, an increase of 3.8 percent over the previous academic year.

"Open Doors" on International Enrollments

The "Open Doors" data, which reflect enrollments for the last academic year, not this one, show a 3.4 percent increase in total international student enrollments at American colleges and universities in 2016-17 compared to the year before, bringing the total number of international college students in the U.S. to 1,078,822.

Though a slowdown compared to the growth rates seen in the six years prior, 3.4 percent is still growth. However, what will be worrisome for many colleges is the fact that the number of new international students decreased for the first time in the six years that Open Doors has been reporting new enrollments, falling by 3.3 percent compared to the previous year.

Drilling down by academic level helps to explain the top-level trends. In 2016-17 the number of international students increased by a modest 2.7 percent and 1.9 percent at the undergraduate and graduate levels, respectively, and fell by 14.2 percent at the nondegree level -- a category that includes intensive English programs, which many students enroll in prior to entering degree-granting programs.

The fastest rate of growth by far was in the number of students who are participating in optional practical training (OPT), a number that grew by 19.1 percent in 2016-17 compared to the prior year.

While individuals on OPT are classified as students for visa purposes, and remain on their university’s sponsorship, they are not really students at all in the traditional sense, as they have already graduated from their degree programs and are now pursuing employment. Under an extension of the OPT program that went into effect in May 2016, students with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields can now spend up to three years working in the U.S. on OPT after they graduate (students with degrees in non-STEM fields are eligible for a one-year OPT term).

“What we’re really seeing is this sort of bulge in the system. A lot of students who began their studies in the U.S. have remained under the sponsorship of their institutions for longer because of the OPT extension, while at the same time the numbers of enrolled students haven’t increased at the same pace,” said Rajika Bhandari, head of research, policy and practice at the Institute of International Education, which publishes the annual "Open Doors" survey with funding from the U.S. State Department.

“Then when you add to this the finding on the drop in new enrollments, all of that put together really points to the fact that the numbers of international students coming to the U.S. are beginning to flatten. I would interpret this as by no means a crisis, but really more of a wake-up call where this is the beginning of a flattening trend and there’s a lot that institutions and others can be doing to still turn this around," Bhandari said.

In 2016-17, U.S. universities reported increases in the number of students from China (up 6.8 percent) and India (up 12.3 percent) -- two countries that collectively account for about half of all international students in the U.S. However, the number of students from two other key source countries, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, dropped. The 14.2 percent decline in the number of students from Saudi Arabia was especially notable and is likely attributable to moves to scale back and retool the Saudi government’s foreign scholarship program, which has sent massive numbers of students to U.S. universities in recent years. The number of students from Brazil also declined by 32.4 percent, following an 18.2 percent decline the year before, reflecting the wind-down of another large foreign scholarship program sponsored by the Brazilian government.

Top 15 Countries of Origin for International Students in the U.S.

Country of Origin Number of Students in 2016-17 Percent Change From 2015-16 1. China 350,755 +6.8% 2. India 186,267 +12.3% 3. South Korea 58,663 -3.8% 4. Saudi Arabia 52,611 -14.2% 5. Canada 27,065 +0.3% 6. Vietnam 22,438 +4.8% 7. Taiwan 21,516 +1.8% 8. Japan 18,780 -1.5% 9. Mexico 16,835 +0.6% 10. Brazil 13,089 -32.4% 11. Iran 12,643 +3% 12. Nigeria 11,710 +9.7% 13. Nepal 11,607 +20.1% 14. United Kingdom 11,489 -0.9% 15. Turkey 10,586 -1%

The top three fields of study for international students in the U.S. in 2016-17 were engineering -- students in engineering fields accounted for 21.4 percent of all international students in the U.S. -- business and management (18.6 percent) and math and computer science (15.5 percent). The most notable change according to field of study was the big drop in intensive English enrollments, down 25.9 percent.

Note, all the numbers in the charts directly above and below are for the 2016-17 academic year. For more numbers from this fall, read on to the next subhead.

International Students in the U.S. by Field of Study

Field of Study Number of International Students, 2016-17 Percent Change From 2015-16 1. Engineering 230,711 +6.4% 2. Business and management 200,754 +0.2% 3. Math and computer science 167,180 +18% 4. Social sciences 83,046 +2.1% 5. Physical and life sciences 76,838 +1.9% 6. Fine and applied arts 61,506 +3% 7. Health professions 34,395 +1.3% 8. Intensive English 30,309 -25.9% 9. Communications and journalism 21,913 +3.6% 10. Education 17,993 -7.6% 11. Humanities 17,561 -0.6% 12. Legal studies and law enforcement 15,306 +1.5% 13. Agriculture 12,602 +2.3%

Fall Snapshot Data

Simultaneous with the release of "Open Doors," IIE released the results of the “snapshot" survey it conducted in partnership with nine other higher education groups on this fall’s international enrollments. Once again, the universities that responded to the survey reported an average drop of 7 percent in new international enrollments, but their total international enrollments remained flat as existing students stayed in the pipeline, including on OPT.

The survey does not disaggregate the enrollment changes by country of origin, but 71 percent of institutions said they were concerned about recruiting students from China for next fall and 68 percent said the same about India. Seventy-six percent of institutions said they are concerned about enrolling international students from the Middle East and North Africa, a finding that IIE says is likely due to concerns about the reductions in the Saudi scholarship program and travel restrictions for the region. A third version of the Trump administration’s travel ban, currently halted by the courts, would bar all travel from North Korea and Syria and impose varying restrictions or higher vetting standards for travelers coming from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen (it would also bar certain Venezuelan government officials and their families from coming on business and tourist visas).

New enrollments of international students started to decline last fall prior to the election of President Trump. But some college administrators are worried that the current political and social climate may contribute to keeping some students away. Hundreds of universities have joined a campaign aimed toward prospective international students called "#YouAreWelcomeHere" to counter concerns about xenophobia and perceptions about personal safety in the U.S.

Fifty-two percent of universities responding to the snapshot survey said that international students have cited the U.S. social and political climate as a potential deterrent to studying in the U.S. However, only 20 percent of institutions said that international students have expressed a desire to leave or have left the U.S. as a result of this climate. Eight percent reported an incident on campus or in the community that targeted international students in a negative manner.

Study Abroad

The number of American students studying abroad has trended steadily upward. The 3.4 percent growth rate in the number of American students studying abroad in 2015-16 follows a growth rate of 2.9 percent the year before that and 5.2 percent the year before that. IIE estimates that about 15.5 percent of bachelor’s students, and 10.4 percent of all undergraduate students (including those earning associate degrees), now participate in a study abroad experience during their degree program.

“While it’s not a huge increase, I think any increase is very positive,” Bhandari said. “It’s a slow but steady growth, and I think it’s really encouraging considering in the past year or so we’ve seen so many global concerns around security and health issues and political stability and concerns around destinations like France and Brazil and Turkey. And despite all that, we have seen not only a growth, but a slightly higher rate of growth.”

Notable changes in terms of student destinations include a 5.4 percent decline in the number of American students going to France, which is perhaps attributable to the Nov. 15, 2015, terror attacks in Paris that killed 130 people -- and that could well have dissuaded some students from enrolling in programs in France the following spring or summer. Though Turkey was never a top destination like France, the number of American students studying in the country, which has experienced a series of terror attacks since 2015 as well as a failed coup attempt in July 2016, also dropped, by a dramatic 62.7 percent.

The number of students going to Brazil, which was at the center of the Zika epidemic that started in 2015, declined by 11.4 percent.

The number of Americans studying in China also decreased by 8.6 percent, marking the fourth straight year of decreases in the number of American students studying there. "What we’ve mostly heard from institutions is that it’s simply been a matter of refocusing their study abroad programs and looking at other countries," Bhandari said. "Where they’ve already focused on China for quite a few years, they’re now diversifying some of the other countries where they would like to send their students."

On the plus side, the number of students going to Japan climbed by 18.1 percent. And the number of students studying in Cuba jumped dramatically, increasing by 58.6 percent, from 2,384 students in 2014-15 to 3,782 students in 2015-16. The U.S. under President Obama took various steps to ease rules for academic travel to Cuba and re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2015. It seems questionable, however, whether the surge in U.S. students going to Cuba will be sustained. The Trump administration last week issued new, somewhat tighter rules on travel to Cuba -- though various forms of educational travel continue to be permitted -- and the State Department in September warned Americans against travel to Cuba, citing "specific attacks" on diplomatic personnel there.

Top 20 Destinations for American Students Studying Abroad

Country Total Number of Students, 2015-16 Percent Change From 2014-15 1. United Kingdom 39,146 +2.5% 2. Italy 34,898 +3.3% 3. Spain 29,980 +5.8% 4. France 17,215 -5.4% 5. Germany 11,902 +8.1% 6. China 11,689 -8.6% 7. Ireland 11,071 +8.2% 8. Australia 9,536 +8.2% 9. Costa Rica 9,234 -0.8% 10. Japan 7,146 +18.1% 11. South Africa 5,782 +10.2% 12. Mexico 5,179 +9.9% 13. Denmark 4,632 +14.8% 14. Czech Republic 4,610 +12.6% 15. India 4,182 -5.8% 16. Argentina 3,847 +3.7% 17. New Zealand 3,807 +14.5% 18. Cuba 3,782 +58.6% 19. Ecuador 3,751 +0.1% 20. South Korea 3,622 +2.9%

The top five destinations for American students were all in Western Europe: the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and Germany. A little more than half of Americans studying abroad (54.4 percent) go to Europe. The next most popular regional destinations, in descending order, were Latin America and the Caribbean (16.3 percent of Americans studying abroad go there), Asia (11.1 percent), Oceania (4.2 percent), Sub-Saharan Africa (3.9 percent), the Middle East and North Africa (1.9 percent), and elsewhere in North America (0.5 percent). ("Open Doors" classifies Mexico as being part of Latin America, not North America.) Another 7.6 percent of students go to multiple destinations.

Sixty-three percent of students studying abroad in 2015-16 did so on short-term programs -- summer programs or those of eight weeks or fewer -- a percentage that did not budge much from the previous year. White women are disproportionally represented among study abroad participants, but participation has steadily grown more diverse in terms of students' race and ethnicity, a trend that continued this year. The proportion of women to men barely budged from the year before: about two-thirds (66.5 percent) of study abroad participants in 2015-16 were women and one-third (33.5 percent) men.

Proportion of Study Abroad Students According to Race/Ethnicity

Race/Ethnicity 2005-6 2015-16 White 83% 71.6% Hispanic or Latino(a) 5.4% 9.7% Asian or Pacific Islander 6.3% 8.4% Black or African-American 3.5% 5.9% Multiracial 1.2% 3.9% American Indian or Alaska Native 0.6% 0.5%

Students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields made up the largest percentage of students studying abroad -- accounting for about a quarter (25.2 percent) of the total. Another 20.9 percent of study abroad students in 2015-16 studied business, 17.1 percent the social sciences, 7.4 percent foreign languages and international studies, and 6.9 percent fine and applied arts.

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Judith Butler discusses being burned in effigy and protested in Brazil

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 01:00

Judith Butler is no stranger to controversy. Her books and speeches about philosophy, literature and gender have won her both critics and fans. In philosophy and gender studies, she is among the leading academics in the United States today. Her lectures at scholarly conferences are standing room only.

In Brazil last week, where she helped organize a conference at SESC, a research organization in São Paulo, she faced an ugly protest at which she was called a witch and accused of trying to destroy people's gender identities and trying to undercut the values of the country. Those protesting were largely critical of ideas in Butler's famous work Gender Trouble (Routledge), which many of those protesting seemed to think would be the topic of a Butler lecture.

In fact the conference was about democracy, and Butler didn't give and hadn't planned to give a lecture, but was one of the organizers. Butler was burned in effigy as police kept groups of protesters -- for and against Butler -- apart. A pink bra was attached to the figure that was burned. People held signs with her photo and phrases like "Go to hell" (and far worse). Others held crosses and Brazilian flags in the air. The event took place as scheduled, and the protests were widely covered in the Brazilian press.

Local news reports said that far-right Christian groups organized the protest and a petition that urged Butler to stay away from Brazil (she didn't).

As word circulated about the incident in recent days, humanities scholars have voiced support for Butler and drawn attention to the attacks she has had to face. Francois Soyer, a medieval historian at the University of Southampton, in Britain, wrote on Twitter, "How can you know if your research is having an impact? When a mob holding Bibles and crucifixes burns an effigy of you outside your seminar."

Via email, Butler discussed what happened. Butler is the Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also the lead investigator on an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant for a series of conferences, including last week's event, on the state of democracy. The event in Brazil was on the theme of "the ends of democracy."

In advance of her arrival in Brazil, Butler said that a "petition called for the cancellation of my lecture, and assumed that I would be speaking on gender since the allegation is that I am the founder of 'the ideology of gender.' That ideology, which is called 'diabolical' by these opponents, is considered to be a threat to the family. There does not seem to be any evidence that those who mobilized on this occasion had any familiarity with my text Gender Trouble, published in late 1989. But they took that text to be promoting the idea that one can become any gender one wants, that there are not natural laws or natural differences, and that both the biblical and scientific basis for establishing the differences between the sexes would be, or already is, destroyed by the theory attributed to me."

Not only were the protesters talking about a topic that wasn't on the agenda of the conference, Butler said, but they didn't understand her work or portray it even close to accurately.

"Of course, gender studies, and gender theory, turns out in actuality to be a much more complex field, and I don't know of anyone within that field who holds the kind of position that has been attributed to me or to 'the theory.' Indeed, the theory is not singular," Butler said. "The performative theory of gender that I proposed then accepted that we are all born into social norms and conventions that define our genders, but that we can also craft our genders within that scene of constraint.

"The aim of the theory was to offer more language and recognition to those who found themselves ostracized because they did not confirm to restrictive ideas of what it means to be a man or a woman. But that theory never denied the existence of constraints, and as I developed it in later years, I sought to show how it served the moral purpose of creating a more livable life for all people who span the gender spectrum."

Butler said that the conference itself featured the kind of good discussions she had hoped for, attracting an engaged, international audience. But she said that the nature of the protests were upsetting. "It was of concern to see so many people driven by ignorance, opposing a theory that in no way resembles the caricature, and engaging in effigy burning, recalling the hideous tradition of burning dissidents as 'witches.' I understand that the puppet/poster representing me included both a witch's hat and a bright pink bra, signifying gay or trans life in some way. I am not sure they thought about what it meant to accuse me of being both a witch and trans. If I am trans, then I would presumably be a man, but if I am a witch, I am presumably a woman. It seems they were engaged in a bit of gender trouble of their own."

As to what the protesters are really after, Butler said, "My sense is that the group who engaged this frenzy of effigy burning, stalking and harassment want to defend 'Brazil' as a place where LGBTQ people are not welcome, where the family remains heterosexual (so no gay marriage), where abortion is illegal and reproductive freedom does not exist. They want boys to be boys, and girls to be girls, and for there to be no complexity in questions such as these. The effort is antifeminist, antitrans, homophobic and nationalist, using social media to stage and disseminate their events. In this way, they resemble the forms of neo-fascism that we see emerging in different parts of the world. Indeed, they reminded us at the conference why we were right to worry about the state of democracy."

The protesters also turned up at the airport when she left the country. "On the morning that I was leaving São Paulo, my partner, Wendy Brown, and I were in the airport and we were accosted by a group of about 20 people, holdings signs with a blown-up picture of me (doctored) with banners telling me to go home or go to hell," Butler said.

"They were screaming at me to leave Brazil, where I was not wanted. And there seemed to be some mention of pedophilia (which I strongly and absolutely oppose, as would any feminist scholar and activist). There were physical fights between the protesters and some bystanders who intervened physically to stop them from harassing us, but neither one of us were hurt. As I entered the security area, one of them yelled out in English that 'Trump will take care of you!'"

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Senate tax plan would add new taxes on college royalties

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 01:00

Senate Republicans' tax reform proposal has added a new worry for many colleges watching the progress of legislation in Congress: taxes on income unrelated to their core academic mission, including licensing royalties, which are significant at many institutions.

The proposal broadens the unrelated business income tax -- a tax on the activities of an exempt entity unrelated to its charitable mission -- to apply to a broader range of activities by colleges.

The Senate plan makes two key changes to the tax, known as UBIT, that are serious concerns for colleges. It would apply the tax to royalties generated from a university's name or logo, income that is currently exempt. And the Senate bill would require colleges with more than one business activity unrelated to their core academic mission to count them separately for tax purposes, a change with serious repercussions for those institutions, higher ed groups say. Those activities could include rental of lab facilities to users not connected to the university, athletic events, use of golf courses or rec centers by alumni, and sales from special events for the general public.

Under current law, both corporations and tax-exempt entities like colleges can use a loss in one business activity to cancel out a gain in another area and avoid paying taxes. General Motors, for example, could use losses on sales of Chevrolet vehicles to offset taxes paid on gains in its Cadillac division.

But the Senate proposal would require tax-exempt organizations to calculate losses and gains for each economic activity for the purposes of paying taxes -- a change referred to as a "basketing" proposal that higher ed groups say would make colleges' tax bills shoot up as they could no longer use losses from one activity to offset gains in another for tax purposes.

Liz Clark, director of federal affairs for the National Association of College and University Business Officers, said colleges and universities should pay taxes on business activities under federal law but said reporting guidelines shouldn't be made overly burdensome via tax reform.

"Any changes to such guidelines should not result in disparate treatment for nonprofit organizations by holding them to standards and rules not applicable to corporations," she said.

Accounting for various business activities under the new rules would also add a substantial regulatory burden for colleges, higher ed groups say. While the tax reform plan has been advertised by GOP leaders as simplifying and streamlining how individuals, families and corporations pay taxes, those higher regulatory costs could take money away from services to students, higher ed groups said.

Businesses like college bookstores would suddenly pose challenges for colleges keeping track of which items sold in a store would be subject to the UBIT and which wouldn't, according to the groups -- a coffee mug with a university logo, for instance, versus a textbook. And colleges that frequently make campus arenas available for wider community purposes could see negative incentives for doing so.

“They are creating, unfortunately, unintended consequences,” said Steven Bloom, director of government relations at the American Council on Education. “One is the increased cost to universities that ultimately is going to harm students.”

Although the UBIT wasn't part of the House tax overhaul plan released this month, it has been part of tax reform proposals going back to at least 2014.

Higher ed groups on Friday had just begun the work of calculating the cost to colleges and universities of the proposal. The Joint Committee on Taxation projected that the basketing requirement for tax-exempt organizations would generate $3.2 billion over 10 years. The committee projected that the licensing provision of the proposal would generate $2 billion over 10 years. While many nonprofits would be subject to the basketing proposal, colleges' projected tax payments would likely make up a significant chunk of revenue from the licensing tax.

The tax on royalties from licensing will have a larger impact at those colleges with large athletic programs and big alumni networks. But it will affect all universities that license their name or logo to third parties, including any trademark or copyright related to that name or logo, said Jessica Sebeok, associate vice president and counsel for policy at the Association of American Universities. ​University trademark licensing goes well beyond athletics and includes use of colleges' names and logos on products such as apparel, novelty items, collectibles, stationery products and affinity programs.

Sebeok said taxing licensing income would unquestionably have an adverse effect on financial aid and other academic spending.

Many of the biggest college brands have policies dictating that licensing income go directly to academic services. At Harvard University, for example, all royalties from licensing programs are required to support student financial aid initiatives. And at Ohio State University, a policy states that royalties from licensing of university trademarks directly benefit a variety of scholarship and financial aid programs.

"Licensing activity provides nonprofit universities with a source of revenue that unlike, say, donations that come with donor-directed restrictions, can be applied to the institution’s most pressing needs -- including scholarships, student activities, athletics programs, renovating out-of-date campus facilities and even scientific research," Sebeok said. "In fact, a typical university licensing policy requires that that all royalties accrue to the institution’s overall educational and operational budget, in furtherance of that institution’s charitable mission."

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California mulls three options for new online community college

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 01:00

More than two million Californians have attended college but don’t have a degree, which is a problem the state’s two-year system is trying to help solve with a new statewide, online-only college. Today the system will submit three options for the college to its Board of Governors.

“What we’re trying to do is provide access to a population we’re not serving,” said Jose Fierro, president of Cerritos College and co-chair of the group that developed the three online options. “We’re trying to look to the future to provide as many options for upward mobility given the changes in the economy and population in the state.”

The proposed online college would seek not to compete with the system’s 114 brick-and-mortar campuses or their online offerings, officials said, but instead would be an option for people who can’t go to the traditional campuses or didn’t transition to college in a typical way. The plan, dubbed Project FLOW (Flex Learning Options for Workers), includes a focus on work-force credentials and nondegree certifications.

It’s aimed at the 2.5 million Californians with some college and no degree, 48 percent of whom are from Spanish-speaking homes.

“Now they’re in the work force and may be underemployed and have problems with social mobility,” Fierro said. “Our current system may not be the best choice for them to access education, so for constituents across the state we developed three different options to provide this particular group of students an alternative to access higher education.”

However, some critics said that despite the focus by the system and the governor’s office, students and residents are not asking for the online college.

“The idea that students are breaking down the barricade to have this is a fallacy,” said Jim Miller, an English professor at San Diego City College and a member of the California Federation of Teachers, a faculty union. “It would be one thing if we had no online options, but we already have it.”

The two-year system’s Online Education Initiative, which debuted last year, allows students to register and participate in online courses across multiple degree programs. The initiative also provides online counseling and allows students to find and take online courses that may be overbooked on their home campus. There’s also the California Virtual Campus, which works alongside OEI, to help students transfer to California State University.

The intention isn’t to compete with currently available online options, said Eloy Ortiz Oakley, the system’s chancellor.

In order to reach a different population of students, particularly working adults who are looking to quickly gain skills and have economic mobility, “we have to give them a different option than what we’re offering at the brick and mortars,” he said.

Option 1

The first possibility described would create a separate online college that serves students statewide but is housed at an existing community college.

That college would be responsible for employing or contracting with instructional designers and faculty members to develop the online academic programs. The existing college’s staff also would provide student support services and would be tasked with building additional employer relationships outside their own institution’s region.

Option 2

The second option would create a consortium of colleges to collaborate and create the statewide online college. Institutions would volunteer to be a part of the consortium and decide together how the online college should serve students and deliver content, Fierro said.

The consortium would be responsible for employing faculty and instructional designers to handle the curriculum and for developing support services.

Option 3

The final option would create the system’s 115th college with operations support coming from the chancellor’s office, Fierro said, adding that the chancellor and board would hire a president to lead the online institution.

“The idea of developing these online college plans is not to compete for students currently in the system,” he said, adding that the online institution is expected to grow to about 45,000 students in the first seven years of operation and to provide instruction in English and Spanish.

The chancellor’s office isn’t recommending any one option to the board or the governor, but will meet with the governor’s office to talk through the advantages and challenges of each option, Oakley said, including a discussion of possible regulatory obstacles to implementing the proposals.

As for the cost of each proposal, the governor’s finance department is working with the system to evaluate each option and to develop a cost estimate, he said.

Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has been encouraging the state’s public education systems to come up with solutions that increase college access for students and lead to better outcomes, Oakley said. It was Brown who urged the system to come up with the three options that -- once approved by the board -- will be presented to him.

“The governor expressed to us a sense of urgency,” Oakley said. “We know that our colleges have been doing a wonderful job of improving their ability to reach the population of students we have. Students accessing and taking online education have increased, but we also see total enrollment staying the same. We’re doing a better job of reaching students where they’re at and giving them options to learn, but the type and number of students we’re reaching is the same.”

The system serves about 2.4 million students. Ten years ago enrollment was nearly three million.

There are concerns, however, about attempting to create a brand-new institution that would specifically address the needs of working adults.

A Brookings Institution study from earlier this year indicated that students who are the least prepared for traditional college don’t do well in online courses.

“I don’t think the idea of entirely online serves community colleges well,” Miller said. “It’ll be sold in terms of access and serving students, but the great irony of that is if I go out and talk to my students and ask would they want their difficult statistics class face-to-face or online, the vast majority will say face-to-face. They say it’s much more trouble taking them online, and these are students who have taken them and did well.”

Miller connects this push for a statewide online college to the similar rush a few years ago to bring massive open online courses, or MOOCs, to community college students in California.

“This is probably well intended,” he said. “But in a time when we might get hit, in terms of the tax plan, in education funding from the federal level, spending resources to invent something that is unnecessary is a bad idea.”

Oakley said the system understands the adult student population is difficult to serve and they will have to do more than just reach those students.

The system is also looking at other online models at places like Arizona State University and Western Governors University, particularly at how to develop advising and student supports that can be delivered through technology.

“It’s very challenging to reach the population we’re trying to reach,” Fierro said. “But it’s important to establish steps to get students to the level of comfort that is required in order to learn. Yes, they may not be proficient initially in an online platform, but that essentially means we have to work with experts, instructional designers and faculty to help students.”

Jim Mayer, president of California Forward, a bipartisan public interest organization, said a completely online college would not only benefit those people who are already working and can’t afford to attend a traditional community college, but also small employers that can’t afford to create the infrastructure needed to provide training for their employees.

“The community colleges, by building this platform, can help the smaller employers, who are the fuel of our economy, to have the work force they need,” he said, adding that the partnerships created for the college would help ensure that its student employees are trained for future work-force needs.

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US hosts record high 1.08 million international students

The PIE News - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 00:56

Higher education institutions in the US hosted a record-breaking 1.08 million international students in 2016/17, according to a new Open Doors report. This marks the second consecutive year of the US hosting 1 million + international students – but a decline in new enrolments was also revealed.

According to the report published by IIE and the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the new findings signal a slowing of growth, with an overall increase of just 3% compared to increases of 7-to-10% for the previous three years.

Much of the increase reported for the past couple of years can be attributed to more students pursuing Optional Practical Training (OPT) related to their academic fields after their degree studies, and thus remaining longer in the higher education system.

India is a hugely important country for US educators with the largest growth recorded in students from India: for the third year in a row. India and China now represent approximately 50% of the total enrolment of international students in the US.

The number of new international students enrolled at a US institution for the first time in autumn 2016 declined by nearly 10,000 students to 291,000 – a 3% decrease from the previous year.

This is the first time that these numbers have declined in the twelve years that Open Doors has reported this data point.

“45% of responding campuses reporting declines in new enrolments, 31% reported increases in new enrolments”

IIE President and CEO Allan Goodman said it is critical for US institutions to set strategic goals and be proactive in reaching out to students in a wide range of countries in the coming year.

“Countries and multinational employers around the world are competing to attract top talent.

“As more countries become active hosts of international students and implement national strategies to attract them, the competition for top global talent in higher education and the workforce will only intensify,” he added.

The top places of origin for international students studying in the US were China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, and Brazil.

The scaling back of large Saudi and Brazil government scholarship programs were said to be a significant factor in a flattening of growth, as the number of students from those two countries showed the biggest decreases at all levels, including non-degree study.

Other factors driving the decline in new enrolments were reported to include a mix of global and local economic conditions and expanded higher education opportunities in students’ home countries.

International students have regularly been shown to benefit US communities and HEIs economically and otherwise.

In 2016, the US Department of Commerce reported that international students brought $39 billion to the US economy through their spending on tuition, board and living expenses.

International students brought $39 billion to the US economy

In addition, international students’ roles on campus as teaching and research assistants support the faculty in many departments, particularly in STEM fields and their diverse perspectives help enrich classroom learning for US students.

IIE conducted a separate online enrollment survey with 10 education associations in October 2017 to provide an early look at what campuses are seeing in the current academic year.

Almost 500 HEIs reported continued flattening in the overall number of enrolled students and an average decrease of 7% in the number of enrolled students.

However there were fluctuations in these figures, with 45% of responding campuses reporting declines in new enrolments, 31% reported increases in new enrolments and 24% reported no change from last year.

Commenting on the reasons behind the decline in new enrolments, IIE head of research, policy, and practice Rajika Bhandari said there needs to be a greater focus on the “push factors” of countries that students are coming from.

“The cost of education in the US is now rising to such levels that people are beginning to look for alternative places”

“It’s all about global competition; what other countries are doing and whether that is more attractive to students when compared the cost of US education,” said Bhandari.

“The fact is that students can complete shorter degrees in Europe – which is a consideration for many in terms of cost saving – and there are now more opportunities in student’s home countries as well.”

Goodman added: “With respect to cost factors, US higher education has always been costly and foreign families have always saved a great deal of money for to pay for it.

“But the cost of education in the US is now rising to such levels that people are beginning to look for alternative places [to study], and that’s something to watch very closely in the future.”

Read the full report here.

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Chamber of the Americas is proud to introduce our new member, Darisa, S.A. de C.V., Mexico City, Mexico

Chamber of the Americas (English) - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 15:45

Jorge Abraham Mendelejis
Director General
Darisa, S.A. de C.V.
Design, production and manufacture of handcrafted objects d’art, as well as exclusive corporate award and recognitions
Av. Tezozomoc Num 126
Col. Nueva Ampliacion Petrolera, Azcapotazlco
Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico

Chamber of the Americas is proud is introduce our new member, Oak Leasing, Mexico City, Mexico

Chamber of the Americas (English) - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 15:40

Alberto Iglesias
Director General
Oak Leasing
Leasing of vehicles, equipment or machinery
Patriotismo 587, Piso 4
Col. Nochebuena
03720 Mexico City, Mexico

Ted Mitchell Named President of ACE

American Council on Education - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 03:04
ACE has announced that Ted Mitchell, a former college president and top federal policy maker, has been named the Council's 13th president, effective Sept. 1, 2017.

International students add US$627 million to economy

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 21:35
The net contribution to the economy of the 5,046 international students graduating with masters degrees in 2007-11, when deducting for all costs incurred for higher education and welfare expenses, ...

Ruling 'affects millions' on distance learning courses

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 21:34
The Supreme Court of India has dealt a serious blow to deemed universities granting degrees that are delivered by distance or correspondence learning without first obtaining mandatory permission f ...

Elite universities invest endowments via tax havens

University World News Global Edition - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 21:32
Elite universities in the United States and the United Kingdom have been investing endowment funds offshore in order to pay little or no tax, according to details revealed in the so-called Paradis ...