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Chronicle of Higher Education: Transitions: Christian Brothers U. Names New President, New Chief Academic Officer at Valencia College

Jack Shannon will lead Christian Brothers, in Memphis. Valencia College's next vice president for academic affairs comes from Florida International University.

U.S. Department of Education Blog | Ed.gov: 4 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Your Teacher

Teacher Appreciation Week is here! As a former teacher and in my current role engaging with teachers across Tennessee, I love that we celebrate and recognize our teachers.

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Can diplomacy dislodge the Maduro dictatorship?

Economist, North America - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 07:54

THESE ARE times of turmoil in Venezuela but in some parts of Caracas that is well hidden. At the leafy Country Club in the east of the capital, two men along with their caddie were playing golf on May 7th across the road from an elegant white stucco mansion. There was no visible security outside the house, the residence of the Spanish ambassador. And no clue that inside was Leopoldo López, formerly Venezuela’s best-known political prisoner, who has been a “guest” of Spain since he escaped from his captors in the early hours of April 30th, the day it briefly appeared the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro might fall.

An air of normality is precisely what Mr Maduro is attempting to cultivate, as he hopes to continue doing what he is oddly good at—staying in power. Before dawn on April 30th Juan Guaidó, Venezuela’s rival young president, had launched what he billed as the final push to end this “usurpation” (on the basis that Mr Maduro rigged the presidential election in 2018). With him was Mr López, walking freely in public for the first time since he was imprisoned in 2014, and a few dozen national guardsmen. Mr Guaidó is backed by more than 50 countries including the United States; the plan was to unseat Mr Maduro via a mass defection of the armed forces.

It failed. The army stayed loyal and by sunset, after a day of...

Peru’s government wants its citizens to take up baseball

Economist, North America - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 07:54

VILLA MARíA DEL TRIUNFO, a poor district in Lima, Peru’s capital, is best known for its sprawling wholesale fish market. Trucks from the city’s 13,000 ceviche restaurants queue up before doors open at 4am for the best seafood. Soon, however, the fishermen may have to contend with a different sort of catch. The neighbourhood is now home to a baseball stadium, built for the Pan-American games, which Peru is due to host in July for the first time. The government is hoping that the games will kindle a love for sport still obscure in Peru: there are also venues for archery, field hockey and water polo.

Residents seem bemused. Jessica Vilca, who runs a small ceviche restaurant across the street from the baseball park, looks forward to extra business but is mystified by baseball and the other sports that will be played in the Andrés Avelino Cáceres sports complex. “I never heard of it until they said they would build the stadium here. The only sport we know is football,” she says.

The new stadium seats fewer than 2,000 people and has bright green artificial turf. A three-metre-high fence challenges batters to clear it. Peru is fielding a baseball team for the first time in the 68-year history of the Pan-American games. That alone will give the sport a boost in the country, says Kenny Rodríguez, the team’s manager. “We are...

Chronicle of Higher Education: How Colleges Use 6-Word Stories About Race as a Teaching Tool

Reading the submissions to the Race Card Project can be uncomfortable. That discomfort can be a first step toward understanding.  

Singapore bets on medical training at home

The PIE News - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 06:40

The Singapore Medical Council has reduced its list of approved overseas medical schools from 160 to 103. The move will ensure the quality of overseas-trained doctors in the country remains high, it says.

The announcement comes around the same time as China reduced its approved English medium medical courses.

Taking into account the rankings and performance of universities’ conditionally registered doctors, the SMC’s recommendations have been approved by the country’s Ministry of Health and will become effective on January 1, 2020.

“We expect our need to recruit overseas-trained doctors to moderate and stabilise”

Students from Singapore who have already secured a place at one of the 57 institutions removed from the list, or who are studying at those schools before next year, will not be affected by the change, according to a statement.

The Ministry of Health says it has been growing its local healthcare training pipelines, and “building a strong local core to meet the healthcare needs of our ageing population”.

Three institutions in Singapore – the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore, Duke-NUS Medical School and the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at the Nanyang Technological University – have seen intakes rise from 300 in 2010 to around 500 in 2018, according to the Ministry.

“The impact of the increase in local medical school intake will be fully realised from 2023, when these students graduate. As such, we expect our need to recruit overseas-trained doctors to moderate and stabilise in the coming years,” the statement explains.

Four Chinese healthcare training providers remain on the list – Peking University Health Science Centre, Fudan University Shanghai Medical College, Tsinghua University Peking Union Medical College, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. Four others will be removed.

However, the Chinese Ministry of Education recently limited the number of its universities that can teach medical programs to 45, and three of the Singapore-approved courses are not allowed to train medical students in English.

Some stakeholders have suggested that the move by the Chinese Ministry will reduce the number of medical students hailing from India studying in China in the future.

“Schools not listed (in the list of 45 universities) shall not recruit undergraduate students majoring in clinical medicine (in English) to come to China, but only undergraduate students majoring in clinical medicine taught in Chinese,” China’s Ministry of Education statement reads.

“‘Bilingual Teaching’… to recruit foreign students in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery is strictly prohibited,” it adds.

For other schools that have been removed from Singapore’s approved list of medical institutions, impact is not expect to be dramatic.

A spokesperson from the University of Iowa Health Care told The PIE News that the institution has very few foreign students.

“This change will not impact our medical student program,” they said. “We accept some foreign resident physicians, but very few from Singapore. This decision will not have a significant impact.”

 

The post Singapore bets on medical training at home appeared first on The PIE News.

BMI connects stakeholders at summit

The PIE News - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 05:53

BMI held one of its three Global Scholarship Summits in London, at which its inaugural Global Scholarship Awards were also awarded.

The event was attended by at more than 200 representatives of global organisations and institutions, with at least 1,500 one-on-one meetings taking place over the two days.

“It’s just a fantastic way to connect, and find out what funding is available”

At least 70 scholarship organisations, including governments from around the world and NGOs like COLFUTURO and the Organization of American States.

Jack Brady, international cooperation program coordinator of the Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (Chile), explained the work the organisation does, and why attending the Summit was important.

“We are a governmental organisation, the main scholarship organisation in Chile and we have a huge interest in this event. We are here to meet counterparts, universities, to find new institutions to cooperate with.”

He continued, most scholarships are for post-graduate studies and students must be accepted to an HEI, before

“Students must be accepted by a university, and after that they can apply for the CONICYT scholarships. We mainly [provide] for master’s or PhD studies.

And it wasn’t only the scholarship organisations that travelled across the world to attend.

The PIE News spoke with Roxanna Nuhaily, associate dean of International and Academic Affairs, UC San Diego, about wht convinced her to travel more than 5,000 miles to attend the event.

“It’s a great opportunity to find out exactly what [organisations] can fund, and know where the opportunities are to make our programs known to them – or what has to be done in order for them to qualify us,” Nuhaily said.

“It’s just a fantastic way to connect, and instead of talking directly to students, actually finding out what kinds of funding are available to students, and then when we do go to student events sometimes we’re the one that tell students about what they can take advantage of in their home countries,” she explained.

“We are always looking for diversity in our student recruitment, so coming here is also another way to accomplish that. I have met with people from countries I can’t travel to, because they don’t represent markets that are big enough, to be affordable in our budget.”

Along with two days of meetings, the attendees were treated to a Gala dinner at Hatfield House, the former residence of King Henry VIII.

At the evening event, four awards were handed out:

Lifetime Achievement Award – Jeronimo Castro Jaramillo, executive director of COLFUTURO
Best Scholarship Platform for Students – The Dubai Police
Best Scholarship Programme Benefiting Underprivileged Students – IIE
Best Management of Scholarship Students Abroad – Crowne Price’s International Scholarship Progam (Bahrain)

BMI’s CEO Samir Zaveri said the awards acknowledged “great contributions to the international education industry”.

“Making our final selection was certainly a challenge, and we extend a hearty congratulations to the winners and to all those who entered,” he added.

The post BMI connects stakeholders at summit appeared first on The PIE News.

US: Student visa crackdown questioned by stakeholders and courts

The PIE News - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 04:10

The Trump administration in the US has been accused of arriving at “questionable conclusions” from Department of Homeland Security visa overstay reports, in order to legitimise immigration limits on international students.

Already accused of being a turn-off to international students for reasons including his controversial travel ban policy, applying to a number of Middle Eastern and Asian countries; Trump has set out his intention to curb the period of authorised stay for international students, in part by ‘back-dating’ the period of overstay to the date the visa ran out, rather than when immigration officials begin an investigation.

“DHS include people whose departure from the US could not be verified”

This is key, as penalties are handed out on the basis of time overstayed, and with DHS delays often exceeding 180 days many students could be unfairly punished by this change.

President Trump has since applied more pressure when, last month, he charged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to recommend policies to dramatically reduce the number of overstays in the US, with the administration apparently weighing up travel restrictions to offending countries.

Countries with the highest overstay rates at the moment include: Nigeria, Somalia, Chad, Sudan, Togo, Liberia, Eritrea and Sierra Leone.

A broadside against this turn in US government policy direction has come from Stuart Anderson, a former Capitol Hill staffer and currently the executive director of trade and immigration think tank, the National Foundation for American Policy.

In an article for Forbes, Anderson set out a number of ways in which the Department of Homeland Security’s visa overstay reports are seemingly being manipulated to exaggerate the situation and leverage a disproportionate argument.

The various flaws of the DHS visa overstay reports include the fact they actually include people whose departure from the US could not be verified.

This could be for a number of reasons, including, according to Paul Virtue, a former Immigration and Naturalization Service official, individuals changing to a work visa and that not being recorded by SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). Quoting the DHS themselves, Anderson’s article noted that departures from US airports are not monitored by anything other than the manifests of each airline.

Anderson further notes that there’s no distinction made between short-term and/or accidental lapses versus long-term overstays, with the latter category itself made variable by “adjustment to lawful permanent resident status, emigration on their own, and death.” In this respect he quoted demographer Robert Warren and his recent study of DHS reports.

“Overstay rate for F-1 students declined 42% between 2016 and 2018”

Warren’s work highlights that the half of the 6.19% “total overstay rate” for F-1 students in 2016 comes from “possible overstays”, and for the other half the DHS stated that “there is evidence indicating they are no longer physically present in the United States.”

Anderson further contended that the Trump administration is selective in what it uses from DHS reports to bolster its policy. It failed to acknowledge, for example, that the overstay rate for F-1 students “declined 42% between FY 2016 and FY 2018, falling from 6.19% in FY 2016 to 3.59% in FY 2018.”

Finally, underscoring the debate is the much-cited report from the Center for Migration Studies (where Robert Warren is a senior visiting fellow) that compared the number of undocumented immigrants overstaying their visas with those who crossed the border illegally between 2016-17, and revealed a 68%-32% split.

However, Warren asserts that overstay rates have not actually increased, and Anderson argued that the discrepancy is down to the decline of illegal border entries.

The topic of overstays has been contentious since an August 2018 policy memo to DHS was challenged in the courts, beginning October 2018.

A group of colleges and universities alleged the ruling was unlawful, as it “is intentionally designed to impose tens of thousands of reentry bars on F, J, and M visa holders each year”. Thanks to a court ruling on May 3, the DHS cannot enforce the memo, pending the further court hearing.

The post US: Student visa crackdown questioned by stakeholders and courts appeared first on The PIE News.

ACE President Molly Corbett Broad on the Election of Donald J. Trump

American Council on Education - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 02:30
ACE congratulates Donald J. Trump on his election as the nation’s 45th president.

Williams College student government rejects pro-Israel group

Inside Higher Ed - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 00:00

Members of a pro-Israel group at Williams College had everything in order to be recognized by the student government, including a constitution and signatures of support from their peers.

But when the time came for the Williams’s College Council to vote on the Williams Initiative for Israel's affiliation with the college last month, it rejected the organization in a 13 to 8 vote, with one abstention. The council seemingly did so on the basis of not agreeing with the mission or perceived politics of the organization, also known as WIFI.

The decision reverberated throughout the Massachusetts campus for a couple of reasons.

Williams had just recently dealt with a controversy over protecting free speech on campus, which was widely considered to be another example of students censoring others' views. And according to the minutes of a student council meeting, this was the first occasion in a decade when the body turned down a student group that had met the affiliation requirements. The minutes were reviewed by Inside Higher Ed.

Last year, some Williams students actively opposed an attempt by some professors to adopt the Chicago principles, a set of well-recognized standards promoting free expression on college campuses, and ultimately prompted the faculty members to withdraw their petition. The students said they were concerned that unfettered free speech could lead to minority students being "harmed." The students showed up at a meeting of faculty members who were discussing the free speech proposal, holding signs that read “free speech harms,” and drowned out professors who were attempting to speak.

Debates over the Israeli government's treatment of Palestinians, growing anti-Semitism in the U.S., and the so-called BDS, or boycott, divestment and sanctions global campaign promoting various forms of boycotts against Israel, have inspired strong emotions nationwide, but they have been particularly heated on college campuses.

The college council’s decision prompted statements both from Williams's president and national groups.

Maud Mandel, Williams's president, expressed “disappointment” with the council and support for WIFI. She said in the statement that WIFI members were allowed the same privileges on campus as other recognized student organizations.

“Even without [council] approval, WIFI or any other non-[council] organization can still access all services available to student groups, including use of college spaces for meetings and events, and we are guaranteeing them exactly equal resources,” Mandel wrote in a message to the campus. “I see the communication of this fact to WIFI as a basic matter of fairness and people’s right to express diverse views. Differences over such views are legitimate grounds for debate, but not for exercising the power to approve or reject a student group.”

StandWithUs, a pro-Israel advocacy group, responded with a letter to Mandel saying that her words were not strong enough. Mandel had alluded in her letter to “tension” with the council’s bylaws, implying that the decision went against its rules.

Roz Rothstein, chief executive of StandWithUs, said the "tension" characterization was an understatement. The student government's action was “blatantly discriminatory” and potentially a violation of not just council rules, but the Williams conduct code, Rothstein wrote in her letter to Mandel.

“It is imperative that your administration take all necessary steps to reject and reverse the council’s discriminatory decision,” Rothstein wrote. “We understand that President Mandel is trying to empower Williams students to right their own wrong. However, if this outcome had occurred against any other minority group, we strongly question whether her tone would remain as conciliatory toward the students who made that choice.”

The council’s bylaws forbid discrimination against student groups based on “immutable characteristics including but not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status or disability. These functions include routine operations, attendance and/or participation in events, election or appointment to club board positions and fulfillment of board role functions, club member enrollment and any other avenue through which Williams College students may join, participate in or otherwise interact with registered student clubs.”

A Williams college spokesman did not respond to a question about whether Mandel would take any further steps.

The council also did not respond to request for comment, but minutes from its meetings in April that were leaked online indicate that council members and attendees were wary of approving the group because of the Israeli government’s “oppressive policies.”

One student, Omar Kawam, said during on a council meeting April 16, where WIFI's application for recognition was deliberated and tabled, that he was worried the group was “watering down the real-life experiences of Palestinian groups who have been oppressed” by Israel, the minutes show.

WIFI representatives said during that meeting that the group does not take a stance on Israel’s politics, rather, it simply supports the country’s right to exist. To that end, the WIFI representatives said they would invite speakers to the campus who would discuss Israel's history and policies -- and try to find ideologically diverse points of view. The WIFI members said they would also celebrate Israeli holidays and support “political activism,” despite not subscribing to one particular political view.

Another student, Joseph Moore, asked WIFI if it would accept donations from outside groups that support Israel. WIFI members said they could not answer because they weren't sure whether they would seek outside funding.

Moore responded that he would not accept money from a group “who lobbies for or acts” immoral.

He wrote in an essay in the student newspaper, The Record, that Palestinian students confronted WIFI over Palestinian rights and its members dodged the questions.

“The response to these concerns repeatedly brought up by WIFI’s leadership throughout both [council] meetings was that WIFI would simply serve as a space for students who believed that the state of Israel had a right to exist in whatever capacity that means to each individual member of the group,” Moore wrote. “In geopolitical terms, however, Israel’s ‘right to exist’ is uncontestable … the pro-Israel lobby in the United States is both extremely well funded and politically influential. Thus, both practically and discursively, the state of Israel does not need a student group defending its ‘right to exist’ on this campus any more than we need to ‘defend’ the rights of wealthy, straight white men.”

The leaders of WIFI issued a rebuttal, also in The Record, writing that they had been vilified from the start. Their letter also noted that the council had approved a Williams chapter for Students for Justice in Palestine.

“Despite WIFI’s moderate mission, many [council] members and guests fought to silence WIFI, and in doing so, they successfully prevented the club from becoming officially recognized,” they wrote. “These individuals used instances of Palestinian suffering as justification for dismissing WIFI as a legitimate organization. It is true that many Palestinians have endured terrible hardships, and we empathize with those who have been affected and hope to see a future where Israelis and Palestinians can both enjoy peace and prosperity. But to describe the situation between Israel and Palestine in such black-and-white terms is disingenuous and does not tell the whole story.”

The editorial board of The Record did not exactly side with WIFI, but in an opinion piece, it took issue with an April 23 council meeting, during which the council voted on WIFI's application for recognition, not being more transparent. Minutes from that meeting do not list the names of council members who spoke, so all their comments were anonymous.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a civil liberties watchdog in academe, also lambasted the council’s decision and urged Mandel to act.

“A commitment to freedom of expression requires taking steps to restore it, not just lamenting when it’s been challenged,” Sarah McLaughlin, a senior program officer at FIRE, wrote in a blog post.

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House Democrats' spending proposals include big boosts for student aid

Inside Higher Ed - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 00:00

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are moving forward with spending proposals that make for a clear contrast with the White House on student aid, for-profit colleges and support for minority-serving institutions.

The appropriations committee approved a bill by a 30-to-23 margin Wednesday to fund the Education Department as well as the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services. It’s the first chance Democrats have had to craft a spending bill since they took over the House after the midterm elections.

The bill would boost the maximum Pell Grant award by $150, to $6,345. The White House budget proposal would provide flat funding for Pell.

Democrats would add $304 million to the Federal Work-Study program and $188 million in new money for Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. The Trump proposal called for cutting funding to work-study by 56 percent and eliminating the SEOG program entirely.

The bill also seeks $1.16 billion in spending on the TRIO program, $210 million above the White House request.

The proposed boost to Pell Grants is roughly the same size as other increases in recent years. But proposals over all go beyond previous spending deals, with significant increases to student aid programs.

The Democratic bill also calls for more scrutiny by the Education Department of for-profit colleges and student loan servicers. And it seeks changes to the department's handling of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to make sure borrowers are not improperly denied debt relief because of errors by loan servicers.

“We have an opportunity to reinvest in the American people and the programs on which they rely,” Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat and chair of the House appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services, and education, said before a hearing on the bill.

Several top Republicans on the committee quickly said the bill, which encompasses numerous programs besides student aid, had little chance of passing in its present form because of the large price tag. At roughly $189.9 billion, the bill is an increase of 6 percent in spending across the board. Representative Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican and ranking member on the subcommittee, said such a large increase is not likely to be accepted by the Senate or White House.

“I fear it sets us up for another yearlong [continuing resolution],” he said in comments at the hearing. “Or a government shutdown at worst.”

Boosting Existing Programs

Congress has for two straight years ignored calls from the White House for drastic cuts to domestic programs. But the Democrats’ proposal goes even further in pushing for large increases to student aid and other programs. The SEOG program, for example, saw a $107 million increase in a 2018 omnibus spending bill. The Democrats’ proposal calls for increasing spending by $188 million.

The Trump administration also has proposed significant changes to the structure of programs like Federal Work-Study and Pell Grants. The administration has sought to shift the allocation of work-study funds, for example, and to open up Pell to short-term programs lasting less than 15 weeks, the current minimum for eligibility. The Democrats’ bill by contrast largely doubles down on existing aid programs.

“Advocates for students and colleges have been very grateful that both Republicans and Democrats have come together to reject calls from the administration to slash funding for these programs, and instead providing critical boosts in support two years running,” said Jessica Thompson, director of policy and planning at the Institute for College Access and Success. “We are very glad to see House appropriators continue that trend for a third year by proposing modest but crucial investments to keep need-based grants and work-study at least on pace with inflation. We hope the Senate follows suit.”

The House spending bill also would provide $241 million in new funding for historically black colleges and other institutions that primarily serve minority students.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund last week called the bill a “historic investment” in historically black colleges and higher education as a whole. In particular it praised the proposals for new spending on SEOG and Pell Grants. The group called on the House and Senate to approve the Democrats’ proposals.

More Progress for Pell?

The $150 increase to the maximum Pell Grant is almost enough to keep up with inflation. But the problem for low-income students is that the cost of college has outpaced inflation, said Carrie Warick, director of policy and advocacy at the National College Access Network.

“The loss in purchasing power is really a result of the dramatic increase in the cost of higher education,” she said.

The Pell Grant now covers less than a third of the price of attending a typical four-year institution. NCAN has recommended that Congress commit to increases over 10 years that would boost the grant’s purchasing power to 50 percent of the price.

While Democrats didn’t make that kind of commitment in the appropriations bill, NCAN and other advocates for student aid plan to push for long-term increases to the Pell Grant in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Warick said the group will push for the Senate to at least match the House proposal for Pell Grants in the appropriations process.

New Demands for Oversight

The appropriations bill also includes language demanding tougher scrutiny of for-profit colleges.

The legislation directs the department to provide updates on borrower-defense applications on a monthly basis. The most recent quarterly report released by the Trump administration showed the department hasn’t approved or denied any borrower-defense claims submitted by student borrowers since June of last year.

The bill would also require the department to disclose the process it uses to oversee nonprofit conversions by for-profit institutions. And Democrats want the department to maintain a list of any institutions that have changed tax status on the Federal Student Aid website.

Lawmakers also pushed for quicker action on for-profit colleges that are on the brink of closure. Legislative language directed the department to outline a plan for preventing other abrupt closures. And it demanded that the Office of Federal Student Aid publish a list of colleges that have provided the department collateral through the form of a letter of credit from the 2017 to 2019 fiscal years.

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Change in degrees in Greece criticized as political, not educational

Inside Higher Ed - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 00:00

Greece is to merge its technological education institutes (TEIs) into universities in a sweeping reform of its higher education system that could see the degrees of hundreds of thousands of graduates upgraded.

The government has argued that the changes will create “synergies” and allow all institutions to help drive economic reconstruction.

But critics see it as a poorly prepared reform attempt designed to inflate the qualifications and boost the salaries of many graduates ahead of a general election in October. Greece’s far-left Syriza government is currently trailing rivals in the polls.

“It’s 100 percent political,” said Loukas Vlahos, a physics professor at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki who has publicly criticized the changes. “There’s no doubt in my mind.”

Passed by 147 votes for to 100 against in Greece’s parliament, the country’s new higher education law is expected to open the door for existing graduates of TEIs to upgrade their degrees to full university qualifications.

This will allow those employed by the government, where pay is linked to qualifications, to command higher salaries, said Vlahos. “It’s going to devalue the degrees of those who have [undertaken] enormous efforts to get into very prestigious schools,” he said. Universities generally require better exam scores for entry than TEIs, he explained.

One newspaper estimated there could be 400,000 such upgraded graduates, said Vasso Kindi, an assistant professor of philosophy at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. One risk is that those working for the government will ask for backdated pay enhancements to reflect their degree upgrades, she said.

Kostas Gavroglou, Greece’s education minister, insisted that TEI degrees would not be automatically upgraded. Instead, it would depend on factors such as when graduates studied, he said, with the exact criteria worked out over the next six months.

Another concern of critics is that the mergers have promoted TEI faculty to full university professors. This has been done “overnight, sweepingly, without any assessment of their credentials,” said Kindi.

The main aim of the reform was to “gain the support of students, faculty and their families associated with the technological institutions,” she argued.

Gavroglou told Times Higher Education that although TEI faculty would become university professors, they could be barred from responsibilities like Ph.D. supervision if their record was not deemed adequate by university assessment committees.

Had the mergers evolved out of discussion between universities and TEIs, they could have been “reasonable,” Vlahos said. However, they have been forced through by the government. In April, the senate of Aristotle University warned that the plans lacked a feasibility study and a clear strategy.

“We never saw a full plan,” said Vlahos. The reforms will “destroy” Greece’s technical training structures and force them together with its research-oriented universities, he warned.

Kindi agreed. “The new enlarged universities find themselves with numerous new departments whose academic programs are not accredited and are practically unknown. They may overlap with existing departments. They may have no relation to the profile of the university or the faculty they are attached to,” she said.

Gavroglou countered that in some cases TEIs’ research records outperformed universities, yet they still suffered from a public perception that they were second-class institutions -- a situation the mergers would help rectify.

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New presidents or provosts: Barry Bellarmine Chemeketa Highland Judson Northern Wyoming UTEP Wentworth

Inside Higher Ed - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 00:00
  • Mike Allen, vice president for student affairs at Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C., has been appointed president of Barry University, in Florida.
  • Deborah Fox, director of business operations and management at the Independence School District, in Kansas, has been named the 44th president of Highland Community College, in Kansas.
  • Paul Gore, dean of the College of Professional Sciences and a professor of psychology at Xavier University, in Ohio, has been selected as provost of Bellarmine University, in Kentucky.
  • Jessica Howard, president of the Southeast campus of Portland Community College, in Oregon, has been chosen as president/CEO of Chemeketa Community College, also in Oregon.
  • W. Mark Tew, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Howard Payne University, in Texas, has been named president of Judson College, in Alabama.
  • Mark Thompson, executive vice president and provost at Quinnipiac University, in Connecticut, has been selected as president of Wentworth Institute of Technology, in Massachusetts.
  • Walter Tribley, superintendent/president of the Monterey Peninsula Community College District, in California, has been appointed president of the Northern Wyoming Community College District.
  • Heather Wilson, secretary of the U.S. Air Force, has been selected as president of the University of Texas at El Paso.
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Chronicle of Higher Education: Johns Hopkins Won Its Battle With Student Activists. But at What Cost?

The occupation of the university’s Garland Hall may be over, but the tensions that animated it are far from resolved.

Chronicle of Higher Education: ‘Israel Studies’ Journal Controversy Escalates as June Meeting Nears

The turmoil suggests a deep political rift that puts the Association for Israel Studies’ future into question.

U.S. Department of Education Blog | Ed.gov: Why I Stay: 3 Reasons Why I Continue to Lead from the Classroom

I’ve always known that my purpose in life was to teach. With eleven years on the job, I still get interesting feedback around my choice to stay in the classroom.

read more

EMC launches Microcredential Framework

The PIE News - Wed, 05/08/2019 - 09:42

The European MOOC Consortium has launched a Common Microcredential Framework as part of its ambition to create portable international credentials for universities to meet the needs of lifelong learners, globally.

The move comes in response to demand from learners to develop new knowledge, skills and competencies from shorter, recognised and quality-assured courses, which can also be used to earn traditional university qualifications.

The CMF launched at the recent EADTU-EU Summit 2019 in Brussels with the EMC’s founding platform partners, including FutureLearnFrance Université NumériqueOpenupEdMiríadax, and  EduOpen.

“The world of work is changing fast and the world of learning is changing with it”

According to the EMC, the CMF will establish a framework for these goals to be achieved across Europe’s leading MOOC platforms and the universities within their networks.

Speaking on behalf of the EMC, Mark Lester, managing director for Educational Partnerships at FutureLearn explained that the world of work is changing fast and the world of learning is changing with it.

“As the forces of technological innovation drive change at an unprecedented rate, people will need to upskill and re-skill throughout their lives and develop higher order competencies that will underpin a successful career,” he said.

“Leaving work for long periods of time to earn a traditional qualification will be less applicable in this new world and a new solution is needed from the education sector to meet this growing need.”

To ensure high-quality standards, the CMF said microcredential courses must be capable of earning academic credit, be developed within the university’s national qualification framework and, in Europe, in line with the European Qualification Framework.

The microcredential courses will aim to be recognisable between different higher education institutions to create an ecosystem where learners can one day take microcredentials from within a network of universities that can be used towards a larger qualification, such as a postgraduate certificate or master’s degree.

“The current crop of microcredentials have so far popularised short forms of online learning among universities, but the proliferation of different types of microcredentials is becoming confusing to learners and employers,” added Lester.

“The EMC partners are proud to be collaborating, along with our respective university partners, to try to ensure there is greater consistency, quality and portability built into the microcredentials that we develop.”

The post EMC launches Microcredential Framework appeared first on The PIE News.

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Brazil: Language travel boosting agent revenues

The PIE News - Wed, 05/08/2019 - 06:39

Despite economic crisis and political instability in Brazil, the number of Brazilian language students abroad increased 20% in 2018, to a peak of 365,000 according to a recent survey from the Brazilian Educational and Language Travel Association. The agencies prompted the growth with focus on personal assistance.

The BELTA survey consulted member agencies for evaluations, as well as non-member agencies, students and prospective students.

“Malta figures in the top six destinations because it allows ELT students to work”

The data shows that 67% of students sealed the deal by visiting the agencies and receiving personal assistance. Online sales represented 9%, while other 14% decided to deal directly with the international institutions.

Of those surveyed, 73% of agencies reported sales growth in 2018, whereas 20% had a decrease.

However, according to Belta, Brazilian language students moved some US$1.2 billion, considerably less than in 2017, which saw $2.7bn spent. The average investment showed a decreased too, from $9,989 per student to $8,560.

Canada is still the favourite destination: one in every four language students chose the country, followed closely by the United States, with a 20% preference rate. The UK, Republic of Ireland, Australia and, for the first time, Malta also appear among the most chosen.

“Malta figures in the top six favourite destinations for the first time because it has set on a policy that allows ELT students to work. It is an improvement for the country and as well for the ELT market”, Maura Leão, president of Belta, told The PIE.

English is the preferred language by far, corresponding to 87% of courses. Spanish comes second (5.5%), followed by French (4%).

Speaking English is a major priority to Brazilian students, but not the main one: money matters more, as the principal aspect when choosing a country is the currency exchange rate. Quality of life, visa regime, and work opportunities are seem as priorities by Brazilians.

The annual research shows the Brazilian language student profile in 2018 was mainly female (60%), with average age of 24 years old, single, who left their parents’ house to go abroad. Full time students are still the more numerous (30%), but professionals with stable jobs are on the rise (29%).

The average duration of the course is short-term: between 2 and 3 months (59%) or even as short as one month (32%). Long duration courses from 6 to 7 months (6%) or for more than a year (1%) were less attractive in 2018.

Belta research shows a novelty regarding full term programs abroad: a 20% growth in Brazilians taking up sports related scholarships.

“One of the reasons [for the increase] is that the international universities have adapted to receive a growing number of Brazilians and [opened] the possibility to have a sport interchange. Many institutions valourise sports. In absolute numbers, 3,000 students embarked… having partial or total scholarship due to sports performance”, Leão explained.

Degrees come fourth place in the list of most sold products. ELT courses are number one, followed by work-and-study programs and study-and-travel courses.

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