Reuters Highlights Flaws in SAT Security Overseas

A Reuters investigation found that the security of the SAT has been compromised in Asia much more frequently than the College Board, the nonprofit entity that owns the test, has publicly acknowledged.

An internal PowerPoint presentation obtained by the news agency showed that half of the 18 SAT tests in the College Board's inventory in June 2013 had been leaked to outside entities, in part or in full. The College Board confirmed to Reuters that it proceeded to use material from some of the compromised tests, though officials said that test questions were used in countries other than those where they were known to have circulated.

The investigation also highlights the security challenges caused by the College Board’s practice of reusing test questions and the ways in which a thriving test prep industry in Asia exploits this vulnerability. A College Board vice president told Reuters that the entity “would never move forward with a test administration … without the full confidence that we can maintain the integrity of the exam and deliver to our member colleges and universities valid scores.”

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Brussels Attack Victims Include at Least 2 Students

At least two university students were among the dozens killed in the terrorist attacks at the main airport and a subway station in Brussels last week. Howest University College on Friday announced the death of Bart Migom, a second-year marketing student. According to a New York Times profile, Migom, 21, was at the airport for a flight to Atlanta to visit his girlfriend, whom he described as his “Georgia peach” and “partner in Christ.” This article has been updated to delete a reference to the university attended by Migom's girlfriend, as reported by the Times, after the university said she was not currently enrolled. 

Earlier in the week the Université Saint-Louis in Brussels announced the death of Léopold Hecht, a law student, in the subway bombing. Hecht, 20, was remembered in the Times for his talent for acting and improvisational theater.


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Did Rothschild Impostor Trick a Top Chinese University?

A top Chinese university may have been tricked by a man pretending to be a member of the Rothschild banking family, the Associated Press reported. A Tsinghua University administrator cited “oversights” in the institution’s screening processes after the Economic Observer newspaper reported that Oliver Rothschild – who attended fund-raisers and received gifts from Tsinghua’s president on a recent visit -- might not be a part of the famous banking family after all.

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New analysis questions whether language blocks publication of work by nonnative English speakers

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Analysis finds little evidence linking language to acceptance or rejection by journals.

Texas Tech Suspends Study Abroad in Belgium

Texas Tech University has canceled its summer and fall study abroad programs in Belgium in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks that targeted the main airport and a subway station in Brussels, USA Today and KCBD-TV reported. Four Texas Tech students were in Brussels at the time of the attacks; all have been reported safe.

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Norway Adopted U.S. Research Model, and Lost

In 2003, Norway ended the "professor's privilege," in which faculty members at universities retained full financial rights to new business ventures and intellectual property they created in their university roles. In its place, Norway adopted a system similar to the United States, and now universities earn about two-thirds of such financial gains, and professors only one-third. A study released Wednesday by the National Bureau of Economic Research analyzed the results and found that Norway appears to have lost. The rates of patents and the creation of new businesses by professors dropped 50 percent under the new system. The study, available here, was by Hans K. Kvide of the University of Bergen and Benjamin F. Jones of Northwestern University.

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Belgian University Student Killed in Subway Bombing

A student at the Université Saint-Louis-Bruxelles was among the dozens killed by Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in Belgium, the university announced. Leopold Hecht was killed in the bombing of the Maelbeek subway station. According to USA Today, 20-year-old Hecht was studying for a law degree.

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Universities Account for Students in Belgium

U.S. universities scrambled to confirm the safety of students studying in Belgium in the wake of terrorist bombing attacks that killed dozens on Tuesday at the main airport and a subway station in Brussels. Among the universities that reported that their students were safe and accounted for were Goucher College and Loyola University Maryland, both in Baltimore; the University of Maryland at College Park; the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the University of Missouri at Columbia; and the University of Oregon, all according to local media accounts. Three Quinnipiac University students who were at the Brussels airport at the time of the explosions are shaken up but safe, NBC Connecticut reported.

Boston University has no students in Brussels but announced that it is advising its students elsewhere in Europe to avoid travel to the city.

Among Belgian universities, Vrije Universiteit Brussel has canceled classes and events through the end of the week and has instructed staff to work from home. The University of Leuven has closed its Brussels campuses through at least today but is continuing classes at its other locations as planned. The Université libre de Bruxelles is opening today with increased security precautions.

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Growth in Middle Eastern Students at Idaho State Causes Tensions

The growth in the number of students from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia at Idaho State University has caused unease on campus and in the community, The New York Times reported. The nearly 1,200 Middle Eastern students account for about 10 percent of Idaho State’s total enrollment.

Some professors report high rates of cheating among students from the Middle East and fault the university for admitting students who are poorly prepared. At the same time, one student quoted by the newspaper objected to what he described as the treatment of all Middle Eastern students as cheaters based on the actions of some.

Students from the Middle East reported facing discrimination on campus and in the politically conservative, predominantly Mormon city of Pocatello. Professors and officials acknowledged cases of discrimination, while suggesting that some of the students’ behaviors -- including what law enforcement officials describe as inappropriate overtures toward women and a disregard for or lack of knowledge of traffic laws -- have contributed to tensions.

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U.S. Seeks to Expand Educational Ties With Cuba

The White House made a series of announcements on Monday related to expanding U.S.-Cuba educational exchanges timed with President Obama's visit to the island. These include a new $1 million commitment from "the Cuban American community" to the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, a public-private partnership that seeks to expand student exchange throughout the Western Hemisphere. Cuba has also been added to the list of participating countries for two U.S. Department of State-funded exchange programs: the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program, which brings midcareer professionals to the U.S. for nondegree study and professional experiences, and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program, which funds study abroad for American undergraduates with financial need.

Monday’s announcements -- a full list of which can be found here -- are the latest in a series of steps the Obama administration has taken since 2011 to open up and promote educational travel to Cuba.

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