international

Concerns about international student safety come to fore

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Kerry says Japanese students are deterred by fears of gun violence. Chinese and Saudi Arabian students are among victims of Boston bombings. Does growth in international student population come despite concerns on safety?

 

Boston U. Student, a Chinese National, Was Killed in Marathon Bombing

A Chinese graduate student at Boston University was the third victim of Monday's bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the university announced Tuesday.  University officials said that the student, whom it did not identify pending approval from his family, was among a trio of B.U. students and friends who watched the end of the marathon from near the finish line. Another graduate student was injured and remains hospitalized, the university said. Boston-area colleges continued to report that some of their students were injured, including seven from Emerson College.

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Protests of Major Higher Ed Cuts in Australia

Students in Australia are protesting more than $2 billion in proposed cuts to higher education, which, according to Universities Australia, represents the largest funding reduction since the 1990s. 

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Kerry: Gun Violence Scares Foreign Students From Enrolling

Secretary of State John Kerry told CNN on Monday that international students – in particular those from Japan -- are scared of coming to the United States because of fears of gun violence. "We had an interesting discussion about why fewer students are coming to, particularly from Japan, to study in the United States, and one of the responses I got from our officials from conversations with parents here is that they're actually scared. They think they're not safe in the United States and so they don't come," Kerry told the broadcaster.

The number of international students from Japan is on the decline, but, as CNN noted, there are also other demographic and economic explanations.

Controversy Over McGill Med School Reforms

Many medical faculty members at McGill University are protesting plans to shift the medical school curriculum from a research orientation to a focus on family medicine, The Montreal Gazette reported. The government of Quebec is strongly encouraging the shift, and supporters of the plan said that it will produce physicians who are needed by various communities. But professors say that McGill has traditionally played a key role in producing the physicians who also conduct high-level research, and that this mission is being gutted.

 

University Says BBC Endangered Students on North Korea Trip

London School of Economics claims that three undercover BBC reporters who accompanied a student group on a trip to North Korea put the students at risk, The Telegraph reported. The journalists, who feigned affiliation with LSE, accompanied 10 students to North Korea, where they conducted filming for a documentary that’s scheduled to air today.

“At no point prior to the trip was it made clear to the students that a BBC team of three had planned to use the trip as cover for a major documentary to be shown on [the BBC program] ‘Panorama,’ ” LSE officials said in an email sent to students and staff.

"It is LSE's view that the students were not given enough information to enable informed consent, yet were given enough to put them in serious danger if the subterfuge had been uncovered prior to their departure from North Korea.”

The BBC maintains that students were twice warned that a (single) journalist would be coming on the trip. "The students were all explicitly warned about the potential risks of traveling to North Korea with the journalist as part of their group,” a spokeswoman for "Panorama" said. "This included a warning about the risk of arrest and detention and that they might not be allowed to return to North Korea in the future."

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Report offers advice for forming partnerships with universities in Myanmar

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New report offers recommendations for forming partnerships with universities in rapidly changing country.

English Language Institute Said to Be Front for Prostitution

The president and other school officials at College Prep Academy, an English language institution in Duluth, Georgia, have been indicted for immigration fraud after an investigation revealed that they allegedly enrolled foreign female students with the understanding that they would not attend class but instead would work as prostitutes in local bars. The school, which was certified to sponsor students on F-1 visas in 2009, listed up to 100 students as enrolled even though federal prosecutors claim that fewer than half that number attended class.

“These defendants are charged with using a student visa program as a front to cashing in on bringing immigrants here to work in local bars,"  U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). "From manufacturing false documents, to charging thousands of dollars in tuition payments to maintain the immigrants on their rolls, the defendants are charged with subverting the purpose of the student visa program for profit."

ICE reports that students who are legitimately enrolled in College Prep Academy will be given the option of transferring to another institution or leaving the country.

Calls to College Prep Academy’s listed number were not answered on Friday afternoon.

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Swiss Universities Become More Popular With Foreign Students

Swiss universities -- with high quality and low tuition rates -- are enrolling larger proportions of foreign students, Swiss Broadcasting Corporation reported. In 1990, foreign enrollments made up 23 percent of the Swiss student body. Today that figure is 38 percent. While educators are proud of the quality of students being attracted, some officials question whether the country can afford to educate so many people from elsewhere.

 

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New Analysis of Global University Rankings

The European University Association has released a new analysis of the state of global university rankings. Various evaluation systems continue to proliferate and existing ones refine their methodologies, the report says. But some things do not change. The study notes "biases and flaws" that favor elite universities. Further, the report says that most rankings -- which tend to focus on research - "still not able to do justice to research carried out in the area of arts, humanities and social sciences."

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