Many scholars whose research might take them to Cuba have cheered the Obama administration's moves to loosen the rules on travel to the country. But professors at public universities in Florida will have to keep waiting. A Florida law bars public university professors or students from travel to any country in the Western hemisphere that is on the U.S. government's list of nations supporting terrorism. Even though President Obama has now removed Cuba from that list, The Miami Herald reported, the board that oversees Florida's universities has asserted that the ban remains in place until there are full diplomatic relations with Cuba. But the Herald reviewed the law and found no such provision. Some faculty members say that the state board is simply trying to block their travel to Cuba.
A new U.S. Department of Homeland Security rule will allow spouses and children of international students to study in the U.S. as long as they are enrolled for less than a full course of study. The amended rule will also remove a cap on the number of designated school officials nominated at any given institution: designated school officials, or DSOs, as they’re called, are tasked with overseeing compliance with U.S. immigration requirements vis-à-vis international students and scholars.
Where There Be Dragons, a study-abroad and gap year program based in Boulder, Colo., and that boasts of rugged outdoor components to its programs, also had students in Nepal. On Twitter, the program said that its students were safe. The Denver Post reported that the program has 25 students and 6 instructors in Nepal.
SIT, formerly the School for International Training, also has students in Nepal and reported that they are all safe. The students are scattered as they are currently in the independent-study portion of their program. An update from SIT noted that while some parents and colleges that have students there have urged the students to return to Katmandu, roads remain dangerous, so the program is following the advice of the U.S. Embassy and encouraging students to stay where they are for now.
According to the Institute of International Education, Nepal is the 16th leading place of origin for international students coming to the United States. In 2013-14, there were 8,155 students from Nepal at American colleges and universities.
Queen’s University Belfast is reconsidering its decision to cancel a conference about the murders at Charlie Hebdo, TheGuardianreported. Patrick Johnston, the university’s vice chancellor, said in a statement that the university has commissioned a risk assessment for the conference that will inform any decision about it. “Queen’s is, and will remain, a place where difficult issues can be discussed,” Johnston said.
Conference organizers said last week that the event was canceled due to Johnston's concerns about security risks and the reputation of Queen’s, while the university said that the conference was canceled because organizers had not completed a risk assessment (a claim that some academics at Queen’s have contested).
Students at the University of Warwick, in Britain, are criticizing a new logo, saying it doesn't reflect the university and was a waste of money to create. A petition raises concerns that "University of" will be dropped, and states that students have reacted with "visible shock and displeasure" when shown the logo. Times Higher Education reported that the university is standing behind the logo and that officials said students were consulted while it was being developed.
Bill Clinton is stepping down as honorary chancellor of Laureate International Universities, announced Laureate Education Inc., a for-profit that is among the world's largest higher education providers. Clinton concludes a five-year contract with the company.
His wife, Hillary, this month announced her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. As a result, scrutiny of the Clintons' many connections and roles has notched up in recent weeks.
Ernesto Zedillo, the former president of Mexico, will assume a similar position with Laureate. Zedillo will be a presidential counselor with Laureate International Universities, which enrolls nearly one million students, with a heavy focus on Latin America. He will advise the company and its 80 institutions on academic innovation and private and public sector collaboration.
"Laureate students represent the next generation of leadership. I have seen a commitment to quality and leadership throughout the Laureate network, and I have enjoyed being a part of it," Clinton said in a written statement. "President Zedillo will be a remarkable ambassador. I am sure he will have a positive impact on the organization and, most important, on its current and future students.”
Publishing groups are praising a recent move by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to amend Syrian sanctions regulations to authorize U.S. citizens to engage in transactions related to the publishing and marketing of Syrian manuscripts, books, journals and newspapers.
The Association of American University Presses, the Association of American Publishers's Professional/Scholarly Publishers division and the PEN American Center issued a statement on Wednesday commending the amendment as “a step in the right direction” while noting concerns about exceptions for government-related publications. The groups, which wrote a joint letter to OFAC in January seeking revision of the trade regulations, have in the past fought successfully for similar changes to the Cuba, Iran and Sudan sanctions.