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ACE Survey Finds Increased Focus Among College Presidents on Campus Racial Climate

American Council on Education - ven, 08/16/2019 - 02:30
Campus racial climate has become a larger priority for college and university presidents and their institutions, finds a new national online survey by ACE's Center for Policy Research and Strategy.

California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris to Receive ACE Lifetime Achievement Award

American Council on Education - ven, 08/16/2019 - 02:30
Harris will receive the award at ACE2016’s Opening Plenary, scheduled for 5-6 p.m. (PST) on Sunday, March 13. During the same session, he also will keynote the Robert H. Atwell Plenary.

UK’s PSW offering comparatively “poor”

The PIE News - ven, 08/16/2019 - 00:30

The UK’s post-study work offer compares poorly to provisions in other nations hoping to attract international talent, a review commissioned by the Scottish government has found, as it renewed its argument to reintroduce the UK’s post-study work visa.

The document recommends that the UK government introduce a “more competitive” post-study work offer, which considers the ease of applying, program length, work entitlement and opportunities for applying to the program after leaving the UK.

“The UK’s… post-study work offer is far less attractive than in its competitor countries”

Reintroducing a flexible post-study work program will be effective in attracting and retaining international students in the short-term, the review suggested.

However, the review highlighted that an attractive post-study work offer alone is not sufficient to ensure long-term retention of international students.

“If a given country aims at retaining international students longer-term, it should develop additional policies or strategies that would encourage students to extend their stay,” the paper read.

Additional measures to ensure long term retention of international talent should include language and integration support, affordable healthcare and housing, UK employment information and advice, and help to create opportunities for establishing professional networks, it continued.

“International students’ decisions to stay longer-term depend on a wide variety of factors, including employment opportunities, ties developed in the host country, and how they feel there.”.

It also noted that the program should be systematically monitored to prevent its potential misuse and negative impact on the beneficiaries, while also to evaluate its effectiveness.

Author of the report, Paulina Trevena of the University of Glasgow explained that opportunities for gaining work experience are important for international students.

“The UK’s current and proposed post-study work offer is far less attractive than in its competitor countries. Brexit and the negative atmosphere around immigration also discourage international students from coming to the UK, especially those from EU countries,” she said.

“If the UK government aims to keep a competitive edge in attracting and retaining global talent, it should consider revising migration policies towards international students and strengthen practical support for those wishing to stay.”

The report looked at work benefits that international students were offered after graduation in popular destination countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the US. Other countries the review studied were France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden.

In 2019, applications from outside the EU rose by 9% on last year according to Scottish Qualifications Authority figures, with commentators suggesting a weaker pound and increasingly sophisticated recruitment and marketing strategies had driven enrolments.

According to government ministers, a more generous post-study work offer could increase enrolments further, and also benefit the country.

Scottish National Party MSP and migration minister Ben Macpherson said that like many other developed countries, Scotland’s ageing population and labour shortages mean the country needs to attract highly skilled labour.

“Brexit and the UK government are making this worse, as the UK looks increasingly insular and less attractive,” he said.

“We will continue to press for the reintroduction of a post-study work route in Scotland”

“The Scottish government has long argued for the return of the post-study work visa, to allow students studying for all degrees at bachelor level and above to be able to remain in the UK for two years after graduating.”

Scotland increasingly needs tailored immigration policies to meet needs that are not being adequately delivered by the UK government, Macpherson added.

“The evidence and our experience to date show that we hugely benefit from migration, and new Scots settling here, supporting our economy and enriching our communities.

“We will continue to press for the reintroduction of a post-study work route in Scotland so that people who study here can then build their lives and careers here.”

The post UK’s PSW offering comparatively “poor” appeared first on The PIE News.

Report finds student loans make up growing share of severely delinquent debt

Inside Higher Ed - ven, 08/16/2019 - 00:00

The New York Fed this week presented an unsettling picture of how student loans stack up to other household debt.

Defaulted student loans have surpassed all other types of household debt classified as "severely derogatory," including mortgage and credit card debt, according to a report from New York Fed researchers.

Fed researchers defined severely derogatory debt as any kind of delinquent loan combined with a repossession, foreclosure, or charge off. The proportion of debt falling into that category in U.S. households has stayed fairly consistent for the past four years. But defaulted student loans now make up 35 percent of that debt.

Auto loans are the only type of severely delinquent debt to see the same growth in recent years, but they trail student loans in the severely delinquent category.

That trend though is not entirely shocking, said Colleen Campbell, director for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress.

"Student debt is fundamentally different from other types of debt," she said.

Because other types of household debt are underwritten -- meaning they assess the creditworthiness of borrowers before making a loan -- those markets have tightened since the Great Recession. But the federal government has continued to lend to student borrowers at roughly similar rates because student loans work like an entitlement benefit.

Other key differences separate student debt from other kinds of household debt. Homes and cars can be repossessed by lenders and the debt charged off. When a student loan borrower becomes delinquent, interest on their loan continues to accrue and their balances grow.

The surge in college enrollment during the Recession, when many people out of work sought new skills to boost their chances of employment, has also likely contributed to the growth in delinquent and defaulted loans in recent years, Campbell said.

"We're getting to a point now, several years out from the recession, where we're going to see peak defaulting by borrowers from that period," she said.

Other consumer advocates say student debt delinquencies have been exacerbated by the failures of actors like student loan servicers.

"My main reaction to this data is that it confirms what advocates in the student borrower advocacy community have been saying for a long time: that student debt has hit crisis levels in the U.S.," said Alexis Goldstein, senior policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform.

Unlike mortgage lending, she said, there is no industry-wide framework at the federal level to regulate student loans. Goldstein said the findings of the New York Fed report underscored the need for state lawmakers to pass student borrower bill of rights legislation.

A growing number of states this year have passed legislation adding new oversight of student loan companies, although Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has said only the federal government has the authority to regulate the student loan program and the industry says such measures don't address the fundamental challenges with student debt.

Sandy Baum, a nonresident senior fellow at the Urban Institute, said it's likely that many student borrowers hold other types of loans and that they would prioritize that debt.

"Until you really analyze who are those people who hold other debts, what they owe, what did they spend their money on, I don't think it makes a ton of sense to say 'oh my god, it's student debt that's the problem,'" she said.

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Legal questions raised over links to Sci-Hub

Inside Higher Ed - ven, 08/16/2019 - 00:00

There is little dispute that Sci-Hub, the website that provides free access to millions of proprietary academic papers, is illegal. Yet, despite being successfully sued twice by major American academic publishers for massive copyright infringement, the site continues to operate.

Some academics talk openly about their use of the repository -- a small number even publicly thank Sci-Hub founder Alexandra Elbakyan for her contribution to their research. Most academics who use the site, however, choose to do so discreetly, seemingly aware that drawing attention to their activities might be unwise.

Just how careful academics should be about using Sci-Hub has become a topic of concern in recent weeks, with many questioning whether sharing links to Sci-Hub could in itself be considered illegal.

1/12 So something not-fantastic happened yesterday.
I received an email from a lawyer at @twobirds, @moniquewadsted, on behalf of @ElsevierConnect regarding my blog post about where to download research papers and scientific articles for free. https://t.co/Bf3H19RZ14

-- Citationsy (@citationsy) July 31, 2019

The discussion started when the team behind Citationsy, a bibliography management tool based in Europe, tweeted that lawyers for Elsevier, a major publisher of academic journals, had threatened to pursue legal action if Citationsy did not remove a link to Sci-Hub from Citationsy's website. The link formed part of a blog post titled "Hacking Education: Download Research Papers and Scientific Articles for Free."

Citationsy's team removed the offending link. But they questioned whether the link was really illegal. They noted that there are plenty of links to Sci-Hub online, including on websites such as Wikipedia.

But does sharing information via links, as academics routinely do, really constitute complicity in Sci-Hub's flagrant disregard for the law?

Whether linking to materials that violate copyright law "is or is not a copyright violation" doesn't have a straightforward answer, said Martin Paul Eve, professor of literature, technology and publishing at Birkbeck, University of London.

"There are divergent legal views in different jurisdictions as to what constitutes infringement," he said.

Writing about the Citationsy news on his blog, Eve shared links to Sci-Hub he had found published within Elsevier's own journals.

"I would suggest that before throwing stones, Elsevier may wish to get its own glasshouse in order," he wrote.

Tom Reller, Elsevier's spokesman, said the links in question were in a very small number of articles.

"We've known about this for several months and had already started alerting authors to our efforts to change the links back to the version of record," he said. "We have implemented checks in our production process and are adding a few more to better prevent this."

Linking to infringing materials in the U.S. "is a bit of a gray area as far as specific case law is concerned," said Trotter Hardy, professor of law, emeritus, at the William and Mary School of Law in Virginia.

"It's pretty clear that linking to lawful, copyrighted material is not in itself an infringement," he said. "But it's less clear that linking to infringing material might itself be infringement."

It is usually considered unlawful for one person to support another's wrongdoing. In criminal law, this is known as "aiding and abetting," but these terms are not used in copyright law, said Hardy.

"We use 'contributory' and 'vicarious' infringement to mean more or less the same thing," he said.

Contributory infringement is found when a defendant "knows of the ultimate infringement (or should know) and does something that induces or materially contributes to that infringement," said Hardy. Vicarious infringement is found when a defendant "had the right and ability to supervise the ultimate infringer and stood to gain financially from the infringement."

In instances of academics linking to Sci-Hub, it is more likely to be a question of contributory infringement than vicarious infringement, said Hardy. So could linking to Sci-Hub be considered contributory infringement? Hardy thinks yes.

If a defendant knows that Sci-Hub, or material on it, is illegal, then they have the requisite knowledge. The question then becomes whether they "induced" or "materially contributed" to someone's infringement, said Hardy.

It's possible to argue that users would have found the infringing materials on their own. But linking to them does make it easier and quicker to find them -- something that Hardy would consider a "material" contribution to the infringement.

"Courts might differ regarding any of the above, of course, but that's my thinking."

Mitch Stoltz, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, sees the matter slightly differently. Laws in Europe, where Citationsy is based, are stricter than in the U.S. But here, it is "largely settled that linking to something is not copyright infringement," he said.

Links are the language of the internet, the way information is shared, and people shouldn't be punished for doing this, said Stoltz.

"If you're saying, 'Here's a site that lets you get a bunch of illegal, infringing materials for free, I really recommend you go here.' That's when you're encouraging people to infringe copyright," said Stoltz. "Providing the link in a way that doesn't show a preference is ok. And that's really important. The papers on Sci-Hub are not contraband. It's not like child pornography that is illegal to possess."

Kyle Courtney, copyright advisor at Harvard University, said he has received around 20 inquiries from colleagues about this issue in recent weeks. He said it had "not previously occurred" to him that linking to Sci-Hub might be considered illegal.

Courtney advises caution when dealing with the site in any capacity.

"Cracking down on links could be another way for publishers to try and trim the influence of Sci-Hub, which courts have generally agreed is illicit," he said.

Tomas Lipinski, dean of the school of information studies at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, said that academics sharing links to Sci-Hub, should "be aware that much of the material on the site is suspect."

But he noted that not all content on the site is infringing. "It all depends on the contract between the author and the publisher," he said.

"Don't be afraid to link to things," said Lipinski. "But if you have a reasonable suspicion that the material you are linking to is infringing copyright, look for an alternative resource. Do the gut test -- If something doesn't seem right, don't use it."

Lipinski said it's generally wise to heed a notice to take down a link. But he also believes there is a risk that academics, who "generally want to do the right thing and are risk-averse," might "err too much on the side of caution," by unnecessarily removing content. 

He and the other experts agree it's unlikely that publishers would pursue individuals for linking to Sci-Hub.

"Which publisher wants to be the one to sue a researcher for infringing?" asked Eve. "The optics of a multi-billion dollar company suing a researcher who gives them research material for free are terrible."

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House bill pushes more transparency for student borrowers

Inside Higher Ed - ven, 08/16/2019 - 00:00

Rep. Donna Shalala, a Florida Democrat and former university president, has spent much of her first year in Congress seeking tougher federal standards on for-profit colleges, an issue that has divided members of Congress along partisan lines.

Thursday, though, she released a bill along with one of President Trump's favorite lawmakers, Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz.

The bipartisan bill would push more regular disclosures to student borrowers during the lifetime of their loan, including when they are still in college. The legislation is the latest evidence that while Democrats and Republicans are split on many major higher ed issues, transparency still has broad bipartisan support.

The Shalala bill would require that students receive monthly notifications about projected payments after graduation as well as descriptions of costs like origination fees. It would also require that borrowers have the option to make payments toward their loans while in college.

"The goal is to give student borrowers the necessary tools and information they need to manage financial aid and personal finances while in school," Shalala, a former president of the University of Miami and of Hunter College and a former chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said in a statement.

Gaetz said more transparency on borrowers' loan debt "will improve financial literacy and will also help borrowers understand the financial commitments they are making."

The bill's co-sponsors include Rep. Chris Stewart, a Utah Republican; Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Virginia Democrat; Rep. Ben McAdams, a Utah Democrat; and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Washington Republican.

The Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid has undertaken its own student disclosure initiatives during the Trump administration. The FSA last year rolled out a student aid mobile app that would allow students to track their loan debt and see estimates of potential monthly payments after graduation. Students would also be able to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid on the app and compare financial aid offers from multiple colleges.

A. Wayne Johnson, FSA's chief strategy and transformation officer, has said the app would make financial aid tools more accessible to borrowers beginning when their award is disbursed.

Democratic and GOP lawmakers have also pushed legislation for more transparency on college outcomes. The College Transparency Act, which would create a federal student data system tracking measures like graduation rates and loan repayment at the college and program level, is likely to figure into an overhaul of the Higher Education Act.

Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, said in a letter to lawmakers that passage of the Shalala bill would be "an important step forward in addressing the student debt crisis" by helping borrowers understand the financial commitment of student loan debt.

Advocates for college students, though, said more disclosures alone won't move the needle for struggling borrowers seriously.

"It's obvious to pretty much everyone that borrowers are confused by their loans -- but unfortunately, monthly disclosures just aren't a cure for the larger disease here, which is a complex, unnavigable, Byzantine repayment system," said Clare McCann, deputy director for federal higher education policy at New America's higher education initiative and a former Education Department official.

Colleen Campbell, director for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress, said it's critical for borrowers to have clear information about their debt, but disclosure won't solve the problems with the federal student loan system.

"We need fundamental changes to the structure of these programs," she said.

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Students and university-educated young people play central role in Hong Kong protests

Inside Higher Ed - ven, 08/16/2019 - 00:00

Young, university-educated people are at the center of the unfolding struggle in Hong Kong, where protesters temporarily shut the airport earlier this week in the latest development in a summer of protests set off by widespread opposition to a bill that would allow extradition to mainland China.

A survey of participants at 12 different protest actions that garnered a total of 6,688 responses found that the majority of protesters are between the ages of 20 and 29 and have completed a higher education. Across the different protests, the proportion of university-educated participants ranged from 68.2 percent to more than 80 percent.

The survey, conducted by a group of academics based at four different Hong Kong universities, found that the two most important motivations of the protesters were "calling for the complete withdrawal of the extradition bill" (it was suspended, but not withdrawn, in June) and "expressing dissatisfaction with the police's handling of the protest."

Striving for democracy for Hong Kong -- a semiautonomous region of China with its own legal system under the "one country, two systems" principle -- emerged as a key motivation for protesters in July.

Most of the protests have been on the streets and -- save for two separate protest actions at the University of Hong Kong and Lingnan University -- campuses have been "rather quiet," said Samson Yuen, an assistant professor of political science at Lingnan and one of the academics who surveyed protest participants.

Yet Yuen said "student unions and societies have been deeply involved."

"Student activism before this protest was actually on the decline, after the 'dissolution' of the Hong Kong Federation of Students in 2016, when students from four universities respectively voted to quit the alliance. The anti-ELAB protests thus also saw a revival in student activism --- but in a more decentralized manner."

The character of student involvement contrasts somewhat with the 2014 pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, when professors and students were among the most visible leaders of what became known as the Umbrella Movement. This summer's protests have been largely leaderless.

"During the Umbrella Movement in 2014, student organizations -- particularly the Hong Kong Federation of Students and Scholarism -- were truly at the forefront," said Denise Y. Ho, an assistant professor of history at Yale University and an expert on modern China. "Since then, student organizations have faced numerous challenges. The Hong Kong Federation of Students has been reduced after a number of universities chose to disaffiliate. Some of the professors and student leaders faced imprisonment, and others have moved on to other pursuits. On individual campuses, some university-level organizations have seen an increasing localist tendency, fracturing campus politics. It's important to understand this wider context when we consider this summer."

She continued: "Certainly, in the present moment students and young people are still at the forefront, but the center of gravity has changed. It is no longer the campus or traditional forms of association, like a student union. Instead, the movement has gone digital in ways that the aftermath of 2014 conditioned. That is, in order to protect participants and be more flexible, protesters are innovating new strategies and tactics. Thus we have something very new: on the one hand, protesters are more atomized and anonymous, but on the other hand, they are more committed and more united than ever before."

"There's been a self-conscious effort to make this less of a leader-focused movement, and one of the reasons for that is that after the Umbrella Movement the police went after the leading spokespeople for the movement," said Jeffrey Wasserstrom, the Chancellor's Professor and a historian at the University of California, Irvine, who studies protests in contemporary China.

Prominent student leaders of the Umbrella Movement, most notably Joshua Wong, served jail time. Two professors who played key organizing roles, Chan Kin-man, a retired associate professor of sociology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Benny Tai, an associate professor of law at the University of Hong Kong, were convicted in April on public nuisance charges related to the 2014 protests and sentenced to 16 months in jail.

Tai was released on bail on Thursday pending his appeal. Close to 500 scholars worldwide have signed an open letter to the University of Hong Kong calling on the university to protect Tai against "politically motivated dismissal or other disciplinary measures."

"As one of Hong Kong's most important centers of free thought and inquiry, HKU has long supported the values civil disobedience seeks to defend and promote," the open letter states. "Any move to dismiss an academic as a result of a conviction arising from peaceful advocacy could cause irreparable harm to the stature of the University as a champion of independent thought."

"There's a fear that I have that the university might reflect in microcosm what Hong Kong as a whole seems to be experiencing in macrocosm," said Terence C. Halliday, an organizer of the open letter and a legal scholar and research professor at the American Bar Foundation who also has affiliations with Australian National University and Northwestern University. "It seems over the last several years there has been a slow, bit-by-bit erosion of some of the fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong's society. Is the Hong Kong administration or indeed Beijing seeking to do with the university what it seems to be doing with Hong Kong as a whole?"

An HKU spokesperson said in a statement that the university "would like to thank all those who have signed the open letter for their concerns and interest in the University of Hong Kong. The University fully recognizes that teachers have good cause protection regarding their appointments, and we have every intention to uphold obligations and duties in such matters. In light of the Court's verdict and sentence in Mr. Benny Tai's case, the University is following up in accordance with the procedures stipulated in the University of Hong Kong Ordinance and Rules and Regulations.

"The University handles staff matters in a stringent and impartial manner in accordance with its due procedures. In view of the confidentiality of personal information involved and the need to ensure the integrity of the process, the University will not make further comments concerning the case."

Meanwhile, the tensions over the future of Hong Kong have spilled onto campuses in Australia and New Zealand, where students supporting the Chinese Communist Party have clashed -- sometimes violently -- with supporters of the Hong Kong protesters. According to The New York Times, about 300 Chinese nationalists interrupted pro-Hong Kong democracy rallies at the University of Queensland, and a video from the incident shows a student from Hong Kong being grabbed by the throat. Another video of a confrontation at the University of Auckland shows three Chinese men shouting down students from Hong Kong at a rally and pushing a young woman to the ground.

"Lennon Walls" containing messages of support for the Hong Kong protesters have been reported vandalized on a number of campuses. It remains to be seen how these tensions over the future of Hong Kong may play out on American campuses -- where Chinese students make up the single largest group of international students -- when the academic year starts.

Wasserstrom, the UC Irvine historian, said a notable feature of this summer's protests has been the organization of rallies for specific occupational and social groups -- protests for lawyers, for example, and for mothers. Still, he said, "the driving force of it is young people, many of them are students, who are particularly passionate about the future of the city they love. They're the people who are going to live longest in the city after 2047 when it's supposed to be fully integrated into the P.R.C.," under the terms of the 1997 handover agreement transferring control of Hong Kong, a former British colony, to the People's Republic of China.

"They have the most stake in this."

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Former Hofstra tennis coach accused of sexual harassment can sue, appeals court finds

Inside Higher Ed - ven, 08/16/2019 - 00:00

A former Hofstra University tennis coach who was fired after being accused of sexually harassing a team athlete will be allowed to sue the university, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday.

The coach had alleged, in a lawsuit dismissed by a lower court, that he was fired in September 2016 because Hofstra was under public pressure to respond to sexual misconduct on campus, particularly by men. He sued the university in 2017. The ruling now allows the lawsuit to go forward.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that the firing of coach Jeffrey Menaker could constitute sex discrimination and violate the federal employment law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, U.S. Circuit Court, Judge José A. Cabranes wrote in the ruling. The judge drew comparisons between Menaker's case and how universities were pressured to reduce campus sexual assaults after the Obama administration released new guidance in 2011 on how colleges should adjudicate assault cases under the federal law barring sex discrimination, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. At that time, the administration was intent on cracking down on sexual assaults, many of which were carried out by men. Universities that flouted the law or ignored the guidance by not investigating cases and sanctioning those determined to be involved in sexual misconduct, could lose their federal funding.

Judge Cabranes noted that the guidance "ushered in a more rigorous approach to campus sexual misconduct allegations."

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded the guidance nearly two years ago.

Hofstra, a private institution in New York, was already under investigation by the Obama administration's Education Department, prior to Menaker's firing, for potentially mishandling sexual misconduct claims and not responding forcefully to sexual violence on the campus. This may have given Hofstra the rationale to fire Menaker without following the university's formal processes for terminating employees, Cabranes indicated in the opinion.

The opinion means that the lawsuit will be heard by the lower district court.]

Michal Kaplan, a former player on the women's team, had told Menaker in April 2016 that his predecessor had promised Kaplan, then a first-year student, a full scholarship in her sophomore year. Only about half of her tuition was covered under her scholarship at the time.

Menaker said in the complaint that he could not find any record of this agreement, but told Kaplan she would be given a full scholarship in her junior and senior years. Menaker contends that he received a phone call the following month from Kaplan's irate father, who threatened that trouble would "come back to" Menaker if Kaplan didn't receive a full scholarship.

Kaplan's lawyers later sent a letter to the university accusing Menaker of "unwanted and unwarranted sexual harassment" and alleging that Menaker threatened to revoke Kaplan's scholarship and position on the team after she rejected his advances. The letter also accused Menaker of being obsessed with Kaplan's menstrual cycle and of instructing the tennis players to "dress nice" and "shave their legs."

Menaker denied all the allegations. He met with Hofstra administrators, who said they would investigate the letter's claims. Menaker gave university officials records of all his communication with Kaplan and recommended the names of other athletes he thought officials should interview. According to Menaker's complaint, one administrator allegedly told him that he believed the complaint against him was a ploy by Kaplan's parents.

The university did not follow up with the athletes Menaker suggested investigators interview, or follow its own policies for firing an employee, the lawsuit states.

The university successfully got the suit dismissed from district court, but Cabranes wrote that the lower court had misinterpreted a Title IX case on which Menaker based the arguments in his lawsuit. In that case, Doe v. Columbia University, a male student at Columbia accused of sexual assault alleged that his suspension was motivated by an "atmosphere of public pressure demanding that the university react more swiftly and severely to female complaints of sexual assault against males."

Cabranes wrote that the district court was too limiting in the application of that case. Just because Menaker is not a student, and the alleged misbehavior was sexual harassment and not sexual assault, doesn't mean the same principles in the case don't apply. Criticism of the university's response to sexual assault also doesn't have to reach a "crescendo" for officials to feel public pressure, Cabranes noted.

"We decline to adopt each of the District Court's proposed limitations on Doe v. Columbia," Cabranes wrote. "The logic of that precedent applies to both students and employees, to accusations of sexual harassment as well as sexual assault, and it does not rely on a particular quantum of criticism at a specific university."

Menaker also noted in his initial lawsuit that the university had failed to interview potential witnesses and that an official knew at least one allegation against him was false. He also never received a report that he said he was promised detailing the investigation.

Jill Rosenberg, Hofstra's legal counsel, provided a written statement on the university's behalf:

"The Second Circuit has ruled that the complaint should not be dismissed at this early stage of the case, but we are confident that Hofstra's actions and decisions will be upheld once the merits of this matter are considered in the lower court. We look forward to demonstrating there was no discrimination in the university's actions."

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Chronicle of Higher Education: Trans Students Are Found Far More Likely Than Others to Suffer From a Host of Psychological Problems

A benchmark new study shows that more than half of transgender, gender-nonconforming, and gender-nonbinary college students suffer from depression and inflict self-injury.

China pushes int’l numbers to record high – UCAS

The PIE News - jeu, 08/15/2019 - 10:02

A record 33,630 international students from outside the EU have been accepted onto degree courses in the UK driven by a 32% rise in accepted applicants from China, new UCAS data has revealed.

And despite Brexit concerns, there was also a small increase in the number of EU students accepted according to the university admissions service with 26,440 confirmed, up from 26,400 on 2018.

“[It’s] testament to students’ hard work and the attraction of our world-class universities and colleges”

France (2,590), Spain (2,280) and Poland (2,250) had the highest number of EU students acceptances according to the data, while a total of 7,490 (up 32%) students from China, 2,430 (up 8%) from India and 2,310 (up 1%) from Malaysia were also accepted onto courses.

In total 408,960 people from the UK and overseas had places confirmed, down 1% on 2018 figures.

However, a record 17.3% of 18-year-olds (18,900 students) from the most disadvantaged backgrounds in England were shown to have been accepted – a rise of 0.8% on 2018.

In Wales, 15.8% from the most disadvantaged backgrounds were accepted, and in Northern Ireland, the proportion was 13.2% – both new highs.

Across the UK, 28.2% of all 18-year-olds were found to have been accepted through UCAS, also a new record for A level results day, compared with 27.7% last year.

UCAS chief executive Clare Marchant described the figures as testament to the UK’s world-class higher education offering.

“The record proportions of disadvantaged students off to university, combined with the highest number of international students we’ve seen accepted at this point, is a testament to students’ hard work and the attraction of our world-class universities and colleges,” she said.

The post China pushes int’l numbers to record high – UCAS appeared first on The PIE News.

Guatemala’s president-elect promises “sufficient testosterone”

Economist, North America - jeu, 08/15/2019 - 08:08

“WE HAVE TWO very bad options. You have to choose the less bad one.” So reckoned Heydee Berrascout, a physiotherapist in designer sunglasses outside a voting booth in a posh suburb of Guatemala City. “You have to pick someone. But I’m not convinced by either of them,” said Oscar Marroquín, a shoe-factory worker across town in the poorer area of Bethania. Rich or poor, many in the capital disliked the candidates in the run-off of Guatemala’s presidential election, on August 11th. Both Heydee and Oscar opted for Alejandro Giammattei, as did 84% of the city.

Mr Giammattei, a conservative who was on his fourth attempt at the presidency, collected 58% of the vote. His opponent, Sandra Torres, who served as first lady from 2008 to 2012, got 42%. Turnout, at 40%, was the lowest this century. The country must wait five months until the current president, Jimmy Morales, finishes his term in January. But the malaise that Mr Giammattei will inherit is already clear. On the trail the president-elect told voters he does not want to be remembered as “one more son of a bitch”. That would be a novel achievement in a country where faith in politicians long ago melted away.

Mr Morales, a former comedian, had briefly inspired hope, raging against corruption. But he has spent much of his term obsessed with destroying the International...

Argentina faces the prospect of another default

Economist, North America - jeu, 08/15/2019 - 08:08

THE ELECTION of Mauricio Macri in 2015 was supposed to usher in a new era in Argentina, a country with a reputation for toothsome steaks, rapid inflation and defaulting on its debts. Mr Macri promised to tame soaring prices with tight monetary policy, a problem Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina’s previous president, had tried to obfuscate by publishing dodgy macroeconomic data and imposing currency controls. Mr Macri abolished these, allowing the peso to float freely, and removed export quotas and tariffs. Investors applauded. After resolving long-standing disputes with bond investors, Argentina was able to issue debt once more. In June 2017 Mr Macri even issued $2.7bn worth of 100-year bonds at a yield of 8%. They were almost four times oversubscribed.

Good fortune did not last. Unexpected changes to inflation targets and rapid debt issuance alarmed investors in 2017. These qualms mushroomed into a currency crisis last year. As the peso plunged, the central bank raised interest rates to 40%. Mr Macri was forced to seek a $57bn loan from the IMF. In order to satisfy the terms of the bailout, he has cut public spending and raised the prices of utilities, such as gas and electricity, and public transport. The crisis has taken a heavy toll on the economy. Argentina has been in recession for the past year; inflation is over 50%....

2U announces its first online undergrad degree

The PIE News - jeu, 08/15/2019 - 07:29

Edtech provider 2U marked its entrance into the undergraduate degree market as it teamed up with the London School of Economics and Political Science to offer a Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Business Analytics.

However, following the release of the company’s second-quarter 2019 earnings, 2U has said it has tempered enrolment and revenue expectations in response to an increase in competition online for students.

“Our bachelor’s degree offering will help prepare students across the globe for a new workforce reality”

The company will “moderate its grad program launch cadence” going forward, as it focuses on optimising the performance of existing programs, 2U co-founder and CEO, Chip Paucek, said.

However, Paucek indicated that the company will continue to sign new programs, and 2U’s competitive positioning remains “incredibly strong”.

With a strong focus on statistics, mathematics, and computing skills, the new 36-month program with LSE will provide students with essential digital economy skills necessary for industries faced with managing data-driven businesses, including healthcare, finance, and public policy, according to the online provider.

“We are thrilled to partner with the University of London and the LSE, two world-class institutions, on our first online undergraduate degree,” said Paucek.

“Data science and business analytics have become essential skills in today’s digital economy, and our bachelor’s degree offering will help prepare students across the globe for this new workforce reality.”

The University of London, of which LSE is an institutional member, is committed to delivering “relevant” programs for students and employers, said Craig O’Callaghan, director of operations and deputy chief executive, University of London Worldwide.

“We are pleased to be working with 2U to further extend our reach,” O’Callaghan noted.

“The BSc in Data Science and Business Analytics is highly relevant for today’s employers across all sectors, who now require their staff to routinely deal with data and analysis.

“This degree program equips them to meet these demands and ensures they are work-ready.”

The program, to be designed by LSE faculty, will able available on mobile devices from nearly anywhere in the world, according to 2U.

“This degree program is designed to respond to the modern challenges that arise from the availability of large and complex data in many areas of life,” said Irini Moustaki, program director, at the LSE.

“Employers, whether in the private or public sector, have strong – and unmet – demand for graduates who combine statistical and computing skills and are able to handle and develop models and algorithms in order to tackle real-world commercial or public policy problems in various disciplines.”

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US H1-B policies put startups at a disadvantage, study finds

The PIE News - jeu, 08/15/2019 - 06:31

US visa policies may be preventing foreign PhDs from working in startups in favour of larger companies, restricting startups’ access to a talented workforce and hampering their ability to contribute to innovation and economic growth, a new study has found.

Carried out by researchers at Cornell and UC San Diego, the study explained that visa policies that facilitate permanent residency may level the playing field for startups.

The study traced 2,324 STEM PhDs career choices and found that international STEM PhDs who require visa sponsorship are half as likely as their US peers to work in a startup as their first industry job after graduation.

“Startups may be less likely to make offers to foreign PhDs”

This disparity, the study explained, is partially attributable to differences in the ability to sponsor PhDs for a H1-B visa between startups and more established companies and not other factors such as a preference for higher pay.

In fact, foreign PhDs who gain a green card are more likely to move into a startup than another larger firm, while those with a permanent visa at graduation have roughly the same likelihood of applying for a job in a startup as their US peers, and are more likely to work in one than those without a permanent visa.

“On the supply side, foreign PhDs may be less likely to apply to startup jobs if they expect that startups are unlikely to sponsor them for a work visa or if they think that startups’ greater risk of failure may jeopardise their ability to obtain a visa,” the study read.

“On the demand side, startups may be less likely to make offers to foreign PhDs given the time, expense, and uncertainty of sponsoring them for a work visa.”

The study explained that there may be reasons why startups may be unable or unwilling to hire foreign PhDs linked to limited available resources –while the time and cost to sponsor a visa may prove too much of a burden for these companies.

The cost can range from US$5,000 to US$10,000 for attorney and filing fees, and the process can take several months, the study explained.

Speaking to The PIE News, immigration lawyer David Ware agreed that startups are at a disadvantage when trying to hire foreign talent.

“First, startups are relying on an income stream either from the principals themselves, investing their own money, or angel investors. Such funding can be inadequate to cover the filing and attorney’s fees that the employer is required to cover for an H1-B,” he explained.

“Next, the petition requires the employer to disclose gross and net income. Investor funds are not considered income in the accounting sense, and most startups have zero net income.”

Also, he added, H1-B requires the employers to pay a “required wage” – and many startups are unable to pay that wage, at least initially, due to limited funding.

“All these issues are ubiquitous with startups unless they are extremely well funded, which is rare,” he explained.

The study explained that the findings have implications for immigration policy, and easing regulations to attain permanent residency may make it easier for technology startups to hire foreign STEM PhDs. The authors specify that regulatory structures and auditing systems would need to be in place to prevent fraud.

“All these issues are ubiquitous with startups, unless they are extremely well funded, which is rare”

Asked what type of reforms would level the playing field, Ware said: “They’d have to give startups some sort of time-limited break from the income and wage requirements.

“I think there is always room for fraud in any regulatory scheme, but if you made the waivers strictly time-limited, I think this would discourage most fraud. You could also require lots of proof of the company’s bona fides, and a site visit,” he added.

The study also found that 24% of the international STEM PhDs in the sample worked in a startup during their OPT, compared to 12% in an established firm.

“Rescinding the OPT STEM extension, which has been the subject of recent policy debate, could severely limit technology startups’ ability to hire and retain foreign PhD graduate,” the study warned.

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BC insurance reforms increase int’l student costs

The PIE News - jeu, 08/15/2019 - 03:16

International students will see their health insurance premiums in British Columbia increase as the province moves to eliminate Medical Service Plan premiums for residents next year.

From September 1, any international students – including those in K12 education and language schools – who plan to stay in British Columbia for more than six months will be required to pay a monthly coverage fee of CAD$37.50.

This will increase to $75 per month on Jan 1, 2020, when the fees will no longer be required for residents.

“We have an exceptional healthcare system in BC, and we want to ensure it remains a fair system for everyone”

“For almost 30 years, BC has provided international students with provincial health coverage, while asking them to contribute a reasonable amount to help cover those costs. This updated payment method for international students continues that commitment,” Adrian Dix, the minister of health, said in a statement.

“We have an exceptional healthcare system in BC, and we want to ensure it remains a fair system for everyone.”

Each Canadian province has its own regulations regarding insurance coverage for its international student populations. Last year, Manitoba repealed its 2012 health coverage provisions for its international students.

BC first introduced coverage for all international students at schools and post-secondary institutes in 1992.

“Our feeling on the change is that providing access to reasonably priced BC MSP keeps the costs to students lower than if they had to buy more expensive private insurance due to not being allowed to participate in provincial MSP,” Brian Storey, director of Douglas College’s Global Engagement and International Student Services, told The PIE News.

“Being part of the provincial system simplifies student lived experience when they have a health need in B.C. by avoiding the need to recover personal costs paid for healthcare from third-party providers.”

A government report released last year revealed that more than 150,000 international students studied in British Columbia in 2017, a quarter of all international students in the country. It also found that international student enrolment in the public-post secondary system had tripled over the last decade.

Earlier this month, local media outlets claimed that under the current system, 40,000 international students were not enrolling and paying for MSP premiums.

“International students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University are required to have medical coverage and they must use our private medical insurance provider for the first semester of their studies in British Columbia,” Carole St. Laurent, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s interim associate vice president at KPU International, told The PIE.

“KPU provides our international students with information on the benefits of both the private and MSP coverage options. After the first semester, they can stay with the private insurer, switch to MSP or take both forms of coverage.

“As a result, the MSP changes won’t affect the way we administer medical coverage for our international students.”

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ACE Names West Virginia Resident Tara Turley 2016 Student of the Year

American Council on Education - jeu, 08/15/2019 - 02:30
​Tara Turley, a single mother and electrician who employed her skills to assist her flood-ravaged West Virginia community, is ACE’s 2016 Student of the Year.

Louis Soares to Oversee ACE’s Strategic Alliances, Advancement Initiatives

American Council on Education - jeu, 08/15/2019 - 02:30
​Louis Soares, a nationally recognized expert in higher education policy and innovation, is assuming a new role at ACE overseeing organizational strategy and advancement initiatives.

Chronicle of Higher Education: How Calling on Random Students Could Hurt Women

A psychologist argues that professors should encourage students to participate without singling anyone out.  

As debate over short-term Pell unfolds, for-profits on the sidelines

Inside Higher Ed - jeu, 08/15/2019 - 00:00

Lawmakers pushing for a dramatic change to the federal Pell Grant program have for months sought to placate liberal critics by arguing that new money wouldn’t go to for-profit colleges.

Legislation dubbed the JOBS Act would expand eligibility for Pell money to programs as short as eight weeks that are designed to land students employment quickly, stirring a debate over whether the funding should be directed toward job training rather than traditional college programs.

Some for-profit colleges would likely take advantage of those funds, especially those geared toward skills training, if not for the prohibition in the bill. But despite rumblings about a potential fight, there’s been muted opposition from the sector so far.

The agreement to exclude for-profits from the bill shows there are exceptions to GOP lawmakers’ dedication to a common set of standards for all colleges. Republicans like Tennessee senator Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the Senate education committee, have been staunch critics of regulations like gainful employment that apply only to for-profits and other career education programs. For the most part, they've argued that federal standards shouldn't single out any particular sector. The lack of activity from for-profits on the JOBS Act, meanwhile, suggests much of the sector may have bigger preoccupations as lawmakers negotiate a new landmark higher ed law, including a potential fight over the federal rule that limits the proportion of a for-profit college's revenue that can come from federal student aid.

Still, exclusion of for-profits could be a fraught issue for supporters of the bill, said David Baime, senior vice president for government relations at the American Association of Community Colleges.

“That’s the reality that we’re dealing with,” he said. “Anything that could complicate passage of the JOBS Act, which is at the top of our priority list, would be a concern.”

Debate Over ‘Sector-Neutral’ Rules

Community college groups have been among the biggest advocates of the JOBS Act. The legislation has also received major backing from corporate leaders, including the Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs from major U.S. corporations. Roundtable board member Ginni Rometty, the chairman, president and CEO of IBM, told lawmakers in a letter in May that the JOBS Act would allow financial aid to "meet learners where they are." The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on the other hand, hasn't endorsed the bill and a spokeswoman said the chamber has lobbied against the exclusion of for-profits from short-term Pell. 

Skeptics of the JOBS Act among consumer groups have questioned whether short-term training actually pays off in the long run for students from low-income backgrounds. They’ve also made hay over the potential for the proposal to create a bonanza for low-quality for-profit programs. The bill’s supporters have argued that the exclusion of for-profits in the latest version of the legislation addresses those concerns.

While that debate has played out, for-profit colleges themselves haven’t been very engaged on the legislation. That could change soon. Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities, said his group opposes any attempt to apply different regulations to certain sectors, and he plans to raise the issue with lawmakers.

“We’re in the business of workforce preparation, but we’re not allowed to use the short-term Pell Grant in this bill,” he said.

CECU was taken by surprise by the JOBS Act’s exclusion of for-profits -- a provision of the bill that flew under the radar for many until recently. Previous versions of the legislation hadn’t based eligibility on a program’s tax status.

“There’s a way to serve students and protect taxpayers,” Gunderson said. “No. 1 is transparency and No. 2 is universal outcome metrics for all schools.”

Other players in the for-profit sector, though -- CECU mostly represents smaller colleges -- haven’t made the legislation a top concern. The two chief co-authors of the bill, Senator Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, and Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, haven’t been lobbied on the for-profit ban, aides said.

A Portman staffer said leaving for-profits out of the proposed short-term Pell expansion allowed the bill to address the top concerns of Republicans and Democrats alike.

"The major concern on the Republican side was the cost of Pell expansion," the aide said. "The major concern on the Democratic side was the quality of the programs and making sure we were not opening the space up to bad actors."

Congressional Budget Office scores show the bill would cost about $423 million less over 10 years by dropping for-profits, the aide said.

The Portman aide said the Ohio Republican had no philosophical objection to for-profits receiving short-term Pell funds but wanted to start with programs at community colleges already active in providing short-term skills training. Portman's staff also noted that four other Senate Republicans back the bill, even with the provision.

JOBS Act Tied to HEA Reauthorization

While CECU has promised to push back on the for-profit ban in the JOBS Act, many larger proprietary institutions have focused their attention elsewhere as talks over a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act unfold. One reason is that the biggest players in for-profit education aren't necessarily heavily involved in short-term training. Another is that the JOBS Act is only one potential piece of an overhaul to the landmark federal higher ed law being negotiated by lawmakers. Another involves the federal 90-10 rule -- a much bigger concern for those colleges. That rule caps the proportion of total revenue proprietary colleges can receive from federal financial aid at 90 percent.

Student veteran groups have made tightening 90-10 a top priority for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Veterans’ and military education benefits aren't counted toward the rule, and those groups argue that veterans are targeted by for-profit colleges for enrollment as a result. Veterans’ organizations were also among the most vocal opponents of the PROSPER Act, a 2017 GOP proposal to reauthorize HEA that would have done away with 90-10 entirely. A Democratic HEA proposal released last year would have changed the standard to an 85-15 formula, further limiting the proportion of revenue for-profits could take in from federal sources.

The most polarizing debates around for-profits could involve potential changes to that standard.

Whether the JOBS Act moves forward at all will likely have a lot to do with whether lawmakers reach a broader agreement to reauthorize the Higher Education Act in the coming months. That’s both because the costs attached to Pell expansion would be offset by other legislative changes in an HEA deal and because Congress rarely moves stand-alone bills forward that aren’t part of a more comprehensive deal.

“It would be really hard to imagine big changes like that happening to Pell absent a full HEA reauthorization,” said Lexi Barrett, associate vice president for state and federal policy at Jobs for the Future. “That doesn’t mean it’s impossible.”

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Colleges use small grants to develop new programs and expand their study abroad capacity

Inside Higher Ed - jeu, 08/15/2019 - 00:00

Windward Community College administrators had long wanted to establish study abroad programs for students. But the small two-year college in Hawaii didn't have the infrastructure set up for it.

Things changed three years ago after the college applied for and received a $50,000 grant from the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to create two short-term, faculty-led study abroad programs -- Footholds Abroad -- in England and New Zealand. The college also used the grant -- which could not be used to directly fund student travel -- to help create a study abroad center and website where students could get information about the study abroad opportunities available to them, including programs run by the University of Hawaii system, of which Windward is a part.

Windward had not consistently run its own study abroad programs before 2016. But the college has since offered the England program three times and the New Zealand program twice. It has also offered faculty-led programs in Costa Rica and the Czech Republic. Plans are in the works for new programs in Ireland and Taiwan next year and a second program in England.

Sarah Hadmack, an associate professor of religion and director of study abroad at Windward, said the funding helped the college "create a model" it could use for creating additional faculty-led programs.

"It was just what we needed to really get the ball rolling," she said.

Nationally, about 11 percent of undergraduate students study abroad at some point in their degree programs, but the percentages who study abroad vary dramatically across some institutions. Some private liberal arts colleges boast 100 percent participation, or very close to it, while other institutions send very small numbers of students overseas.

Students at community colleges and minority-serving institutions, or MSIs, tend to study abroad at lower rates: less than 1 percent of students at community colleges study abroad during their degree program, while 5 percent of students at minority-serving institutions study abroad, according to data from the Institute of International Education, which conducts an annual survey of study abroad participation rates. But those numbers may soon grow; there is intense interest at many MSIs and community colleges in expanding study abroad opportunities for their students.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, or ECA, has provided more than $10 million in small grants to 90 higher education institutions since 2009 to help expand study abroad opportunities. Of the 90 colleges that have received grants, 29 are minority-serving institutions and 18 are two-year institutions (some fall into both categories). The grants fund projects that build capacity to expand or diversify the student populations that study abroad or the destinations where they study -- more than 70 percent of students who study abroad are white, and more than 50 percent study in Western Europe.

Some of the grant recipients send much larger proportions of their students abroad than others. Sul Ross State University, a Hispanic-serving institution in West Texas, sends less than 0.1 percent of its undergraduates abroad each year. Sul Ross has a high proportion of students with financial need: 64 percent of undergraduates receive federal Pell Grants.

“We also have a very high percentage of students who are first-generation college students,” said Esther Rumsey, the director of international studies and a professor of communication at Sul Ross. “Trying to do a whole semester abroad is not something that’s financially viable for the majority of our students.”

Sul Ross is using a newly awarded $35,000 State Department grant to develop study abroad programs -- one- to two-week trips -- that are embedded into core curriculum classes.

“It offers a travel opportunity for students early in their college career, like second semester freshmen year, or sophomore year,” Rumsey said.

She's hoping that a short-term study abroad experience will lead students to consider doing a full semester abroad or exploring other international study opportunities such as a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, a State Department program that provides scholarships for study abroad and international internships for Pell Grant recipients.

“But I think the first step is to get them a passport and get them out of the country once so they see that it is something that is not just for elites -- a broad variety of people can go,” Rumsey said.

Other institutions are using grant funding for more targeted outreach. Augustana University, in South Dakota, sends about 200 students abroad a year, mostly on short-term programs during the January term. About half of its students study abroad over the course of their undergraduate career. The university is using an approximately $21,000 grant to fund faculty travel to develop a new study abroad site in Kenya and to fund a part-time, one-year position to analyze the college’s study abroad participation data.

“This research position is giving somebody 20 hours a week to dig into all this data that we have about the students that have gone abroad -- the faculty who have led, and what courses -- and compare that to our student body,” said Erin Kane, the assistant director of international studies at Augustana. “What we really want to see is who isn’t going and why not and be able to offer specific courses that are going to target these students because of interest or major or location or whatnot.”

Some colleges have used the grants for building up their administrative infrastructure for study abroad. Shepherd University, in West Virginia, used a 2016 grant of roughly $50,000 to help establish a study abroad office. Yin Star, who was appointed to be Shepherd's first full-time study abroad director, used part of the grant to get professional certification from the Forum on Education Abroad so she could set the office up in line with best practices in the field.

"It allowed seed money for me to be able to come to Shepherd and do the job," Star said. "It allowed me to form a study abroad club, it allowed me to get the study abroad photo contest going, it allowed me to really take charge of putting the word out there for students to think about study abroad, and it allowed me to build my website."

Other colleges have used the State Department grants to fund development of specific programs. Santa Fe College, a community college in Florida, used a 2017 grant to develop a new biotechnology internship program in partnership with the State University of São Paulo, in Brazil. Four students participated in the inaugural year, and another iteration of the program is planned for next summer.

“As an institution that serves a high percentage of economically disadvantaged youth and a high percentage of minority students -- most of our students are working, some of them full-time, and they have busy, active lives -- people dream about study abroad, but they see it as something that’s not possible,” said Vilma Fuentes, the assistant vice president of academic affairs at Santa Fe College. “Being able to have a grant-funded project that shows the viability of this and to be able to tie it directly to an academic program … to say, ‘This can be the pinnacle of your bachelor’s,’ it was a very powerful project, I think.” (Santa Fe College, like other community colleges in Florida, offers a number of bachelor's degree programs.)

Gallaudet University, a college for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, is using a newly awarded grant to develop resources to support access for deaf students to study abroad.

Becca AbuRakia-Einhorn, Gallaudet’s coordinator of education abroad, said study abroad provider organizations have a "wide spectrum" of practices when it comes to accommodating deaf students. “Generally, a lot of these study abroad organizations will say, ‘We will do our best,’ and the problem is that we end up reinventing the wheel every time we’re trying to work with them,” she said.

“I get calls and emails multiple times per week from people from other universities who say, ‘I have a deaf student who walks into my office; she wants to go to Semester at Sea -- what do I do?’ Someone wrote to me and asked, ‘What’s the standard way to pay an interpreter?’ There is no standard.”

AbuRakia-Einhorn hopes to publish case study information on how colleges and study abroad providers have handled accommodations for deaf students. Another goal is to highlight the work of deaf travel bloggers. "The goal at the end is to collect a lot of different resources that will help advisers work with students who are deaf, that will help students who are deaf feel empowered to navigate the study abroad process, and lastly to help study abroad providers make their programs more accessible," she said.

The study abroad capacity-building grants are not especially large -- in 2019 the largest grant available was $35,000 -- but the projects point to various ways in which institutions of varying types and study abroad participation levels are thinking about expanding opportunities and diversifying participation.

“Our evaluations of the program show that the capacity-building program is helping U.S. higher education institutions sustainably build their study abroad capacity,” Caroline Casagrande, the deputy assistant secretary for academic programs at the State Department, said via email. “For example, we recently finished a multiyear evaluation of the 17 grants we funded in 2016 and found that more than 700 U.S. students -- nearly half from groups underrepresented in study abroad -- participated in programs supported by our small grants that year. Grantee institutions established 71 new global partnerships, formalized 47 new memorandums of understanding and strengthened 33 existing MoUs that they will use to increase their study abroad programs and numbers for years to come."

At Windward, one of the programs established with the help of the State Department grant, a two-week theater program in England, just completed its third run. Nicolas Logue, an assistant professor of theater who co-directs the program, said the college has obtained grant funding and support from a number of institutions, including a grant from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, to bring the cost down to a nominal amount for students. The students who participated in the program this summer paid only for their airfare in addition to the regular cost of tuition for a three-credit course, he said. They spent a week in London at the East 15 Acting School and a week in Shakespeare’s birthplace of Stratford-upon-Avon.

“It’s led to such amazing training and career opportunities for students,” Hadmack, the study abroad director, said of the program. Two Windward students have successfully auditioned for East 15 while they were there (one deferred to pursue professional acting opportunities, according to Logue).

“The cool thing is that trip has led to a deeper partnership with both Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and East 15 Acting School,” Logue said. “We’re exploring more and more exciting things with them, not just sending them a cohort of students every year, though we’ll still continue to do that.”

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