South Korea's Duksung Women's University has withdrawn invitations to three Nigerian students to attend a conference attracting students from many countries, Reuters reported. The university said that it "politely withdrew" the invitations after a student at the university urged that the entire conference be called off to avoid the spread of Ebola. The university is going ahead with the conference, including 28 students from Africa.
Many American colleges and universities are recruiting more undergraduates from China. An article and video in The Chicago Tribune explore the issues related to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recruiting about 600 freshmen (around 10 percent of the class) from China. As recently as 2006, Illinois was enrolling only about 20 new undergraduates from China. This year, Illinois held three orientation sessions for Chinese students while they were still in China.
The deadly outbreak has a few colleges and universities changing plans, but the countries that have been hit hard are not places that send large numbers to the U.S. or that attract many study abroad students.
Tohoku University in Japan recently evicted 105 students from a dormitory, citing drunken behavior, The Japan Times reported. The university has been trying to crack down on excessive drinking, but dormitory eviction is an unusual punishment. Yasunori Kumakura, who is in charge of student affairs at the university said that, by evicting students, “we hope to reset the atmosphere in the dorm.... We’re doing it for the sake of their health.”
Educators at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology are concerned that 10 graduate students from Iran are losing their residency permits to stay in Norway, BBC reported. The students were told that their enrollment violated rules designed to prevent students from enrolling in programs that could help Iran's nuclear program.
The University of Maine’s partnership with the for-profit pathway program provider and international student recruiting company Study Group resulted in fewer students than hoped for in its first year, the Bangor Daily Newsreported. The target was to recruit 50 international students to the University of Maine and 20 to the University of Southern Maine in the first year. In fact, just four students enrolled at UMaine in fall 2013, one of whom withdrew; an additional 12 students enrolled later in the academic year and the university expects to enroll 20 new students this coming fall. The University of Southern Maine has enrolled one student through the partnership.
Maine officials told the newspaper that by the time they signed the contract with Study Group – in March of 2013 – they’d missed that year’s recruitment cycle.
As Inside Higher Ed has reported, an increasing number of colleges have turned to corporate pathway providers like Study Group in hopes of increasing their international student populations.
The Chinese real estate tycoon couple Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin recently announced a $15 million gift to Harvard University. The South China Morning Post reported that they have received criticism online from people asking why they didn't give the money to Chinese universities. The couple has pointed out that Harvard will use the funds to help poor students from China enroll there.
A Chinese graduate student at the University of Southern California died Thursday after being attacked by at least three men a few blocks from campus, The Los Angeles Timesreported. Police said that Xinran Ji, an engineering student, was assaulted with a blunt object while walking home from a study group around 12:45 a.m.; he was able to make it to his nearby off-campus apartment, where he was subsequently found dead.
USC has experienced a series of violent incidents that have shaken up prospective and current students. In April of 2012, two Chinese graduate students were shot and killed while sitting in a parked car just west of campus, leading their parents to file a wrongful death suit alleging that the university had provided misleading information on safety. Six months after that, a gunman opened fire outside a Halloween party, wounding four people.
The university has since that time introduced a number of new measures aimed at improving safety, though TheLos Angeles Times noted that Thursday’s attack “once again exposed the limits of the university’s efforts outside school grounds.”
Technical University, in Munich, is planning to switch most master's degrees to English by 2020, The Local reported. Currently about one-third of such programs are in English. The university's president, Wolfgang Herrmann, said, "English is the lingua franca in academia and of the economy." But student leaders are skeptical of switching so many programs to English.