international

Report outlines duties of countries to protect higher education from attacks

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Report outlines countries’ responsibility to protect their universities, students and faculty members.

Joint Papers With U.S. and Israeli Authors Increase

The number of co-authored scientific publications involving American and Israeli researchers increased by 45 percent over 10 years, from 3,439 joint U.S.-Israel publications in 2006 to 4,979 publications in 2015, according to an analysis of the SciVal and Scopus databases conducted by researchers at the Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. During that same time period, the total number of joint publications involving American and international authors increased by 69 percent.

The top five fields for U.S.-Israel collaboration, per the chart below, were medicine; physics and astronomy; biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology; computer science; and mathematics.

The report, “U.S.-Israel Academic Collaboration,” was commissioned by the Israel on Campus Coalition, which promotes pro-Israel views on American campuses. “This landmark report shows that the relationship between American and Israeli universities is stronger than ever,” Jacob Baime, the executive director of the Israel on Campus Coalition, said in a statement. “At a time when Israel’s detractors are calling for academic boycotts across the nation, the faculty have been undeterred in their work to solve some of the world’s most intractable problems through their important research.”

Daphne Getz, the lead author of the study and a senior research fellow at the Samuel Neaman Institute, said that although researchers “didn’t investigate the specific question of the impact of BDS [the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement] on scientific collaboration between U.S. and Israeli researchers, the continued and steady increases year after year suggest that the academic boycotts have not had a noticeable impact on these collaborations.” Asked about the slower rate of growth for American-Israeli joint publications compared to all international joint publications involving U.S. authors during the 10-year period -- 45 versus 69 percent -- Getz gave two reasons for the gap.

“First, the increase in total U.S. joint international publications from 2006 to 2015 is highly influenced by the very large increase in joint U.S.-China joint publications, a growth of approximately 350 percent,” she said. “If we examined U.S. joint international publications without China in the relevant period, we would have seen that the growth rate of U.S.-Israel joint publications is much closer to the total growth rate of U.S. joint international publications.”

“Second,” Getz added, “it is important to note that Israel is a relatively small country, with a limited number of researchers. The growth rate of U.S.-Israel joint publications exceeded the growth rate of all Israeli publications in the relevant period.”

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'Pay-for-Play' in U.S. Admissions Travel to China?

The latest in a series of Reuters articles about international admissions fraud examines what one critic describes as a “pay-for-play” arrangement through which Chinese education companies gain direct access to U.S. admissions officers for their student clients. The article explores how two American consultants for three major Chinese education companies have recruited dozens of U.S. admissions officers to come to China to meet with the companies’ student clients, with most of the travel costs being picked up by the companies. Two of the companies -- New Oriental Education & Technology Group and Dipont Education Management Group -- have been accused by former or current employees of engaging in college application fraud, accusations both companies deny.

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How higher education can help workers displaced by globalism (essay)

The national discussion over the need for colleges and universities to produce better outcomes and be more inclusive is largely focused on the young people who enter the system. Yet we often ignore older workers whose skills are outmoded or no longer in high demand due to the changing economy -- and who are being displaced by technological shifts and the free flow of goods and services among countries.

While hardly anyone argues that improvements in technology should be slowed down, the same cannot be said for a greater integration of the global economy through freer trade. In particular, globalization and its impact on high-wage manufacturing jobs has become a key political issue in Western economies. It is evident that our country as a whole, as well as the higher education system, is doing a poor job of helping displaced workers reintegrate themselves into the economy. Given adequate funding, the system of higher education is capable of playing a greater role in helping them retain their dignity and contribute to the future.

Economists are in near-unanimous agreement that both free trade and technological change have raised the average income in the United States by shifting resources, including labor, from low-productivity industries into higher-productivity -- and therefore higher-wage -- industries and jobs. History shows that, over the long run, this movement of resources from agriculture to manufacturing and then to services has resulted in the gains in productivity that have led to higher living standards.

Writing for The New York Times, Javier Solana and Strobe Talbott also argue that international trade has been a major force in stabilizing world political systems since the end of World War II. To preserve this stability, they call for a restoration of “public support for free and fair trade … through better safety nets as well as ambitious and effective retraining opportunities.”

But the transition toward a more efficient use of world resources has seldom been a smooth one. It is certainly easier to divert steel from the production of tanks to the production of bridges than it is to convert coal miners into computer programmers. From the riots of the Luddites in 19th-century England to Brexit and the American election, it is clear that the increases in income and efficiency have produced both winners and losers. Those left behind are moving the political climate in Europe, and especially in the United States, into an antiglobalism environment.

In a special report on the declining support for internationalism, The Economist provides a spirited defense for the benefits of free trade but it also admits that globalism is on the run “because too little effort and money has been expended on taking care of those who have been hurt by the opening up of markets,” especially in America.

The Compensation Principle

If mainstream economics provides an argument for free trade, it also provides an argument for shifting some of the gains from trade from the winners to the losers. This argument is imbedded in the compensation principle.

That principle is drawn from the theoretical literature in economics that is concerned with advancing the overall well-being of society. It recognizes that the gains from any transaction can have both winners and losers. Improving societal well-being requires the winners to compensate the losers in some mutually agreeable way. The winners can have their gains, or at least most of them, as long as they are willing to support the losers in a way that leaves them the feeling that they are no worse off than when they started. These are people with dreams for their children and mortgages to pay, who have given up their jobs to market forces beyond their control.

That does not necessarily mean that all displaced workers would be restored to their former level of income. Some will not reach that level. Others might be willing to substitute leisure for income or take a less stressful job. And, yes, a few might even welcome the chance to study philosophy or art as they near retirement. For most, however, returning to the labor market will be of prime importance.

The principles laid down by the compensation theory only work if the winners and the losers have equal bargaining power. Since the winners would come out on top if bargaining were left to private markets or the courts, only the government has the ability to insist on a package of compensation that will adequately satisfy the losers. Using its power to tax and regulate, it can, and does, develop policies that transfer income from the winners to the losers.

That said, however, the volume of this transfer is inadequate in the United States, and a more equitable policy would involve a greater use of the higher education system. Not doing more to compensate those left on the sidelines by international trade risks a backlash that threatens our open economic and political systems.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development recently produced a comparative analysis of the “active labor market policies” of 31 mostly rich countries in its group. Analysis of the impact of these policies showed some success, particularly with younger and more recently unemployed workers. Examples of active policies included job-search assistance, education and training, public sector job creation, relocation allowances, and subsidized employment in the private sector. Each country was ranked according to the percentage of its GDP spent on policies that were designed to get people off benefits and back to work.

At the top of the list was Denmark, which spent 1.8 percent of its GDP in 2013 on active labor market policies, followed by Sweden and Finland. America was third from the bottom with 0.1 percent, ahead of only Chile and Mexico. Getting the United States to the middle of the pack would require us to make six times our current effort. That would place us equal to the effort found in Spain, a much poorer country.

Reaching the middle of the OECD pack, let alone the leaders, would come up against impossible political resistance in the United States. But if benefits were concentrated among those displaced by trade, there might be wider support. America took a stab at this with the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program enacted in 2002 and amended in 2009. But compared with the European effort, it was a small program with a limited reach. It should be expanded and more generously funded with a greater emphasis on education and training -- and involve a greater use of the higher education system.

Needed: Increased Education and Training

We have learned a lot from TAA and have found that workers benefited more when they sought out the education and training paid for by the program. Community colleges were the biggest providers of this education, and dislocated workers who participated in their programs achieved better employment outcomes than did those participating in other programs.

If America were to invest more in education and training, community colleges might be expected to carry a good deal of this load. But other possibilities exist. The range of possible training sites could be enlarged to include private and public employers. Wage insurance and other income subsidies to both private and public employers could help compensate displaced workers. Displaced workers could be given vouchers, much like Pell Grants, to use at approved training sites. Private employers might pick these up and develop on-site training and apprenticeship programs.

Including the private sector would contribute to the political support for such a program. For workers, the grants would allow a larger range of possibilities and could be used for an extended period to compensate for the gap between the higher-wage jobs lost in manufacturing and the lower wages common in many service jobs. In any program, particular attention needs to be paid to the participation of men in retraining, lest the social and monetary costs of incarceration, drug addiction, poor health and the deterioration of skills drag them and the society down.

None of this need increase the national deficit if we have the political will to transfer more of the gains of free trade from the winners to the losers. Doing anything less will threaten the gains already made and tear at our economic and political fabric.

Richard M. Romano is an economist and director of the Institute for Community College Research at SUNY Broome. He is also an affiliated faculty member at the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute at Cornell University.

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Soyinka Throws Out Green Card to Protest Trump

A Nigerian-born Nobel-prize winning author who has taught at Cornell, Harvard and Yale Universities has thrown away his green card in protest of Donald J. Trump’s election win, The Independent reported. Wole Soyinka was the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1986.

Soyinka had previously pledged he would throw out his U.S. permanent residency permit and “start packing” if Trump were to win the presidency. “I have already done it, I have disengaged [from the United States]. I have done what I said I would do,” Soyinka reportedly said at a conference in Johannesburg. 

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Catholic College Presidents Defend Undocumented Students

About 80 member presidents of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities have signed a statement in support of students who have benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, under which more than 700,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children have gained temporary protection from deportation and two-year renewable work permits. President-elect Donald J. Trump has said he would end the program, which was created by President Obama in what critics view as an overreach of his executive authority.

“We, the undersigned presidents of Catholic colleges and universities, express hope that the students in our communities who have qualified for DACA are able to continue their studies without interruption and that many more students in their situation will be welcome to contribute their talents to our campuses,” said the statement from the college presidents, which went on to quote the pope.

“When Pope Francis visited the United States last year, he had this to say to the World Meeting of Families gathered in Philadelphia: 'Among us today are members of America’s large Hispanic population, as well as representatives of recent immigrants to the United States. Many of you have emigrated (I greet you warmly!) to this country at great personal cost, in the hope of building a new life. Do not be discouraged by whatever hardships you face. I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to this nation.' We are committed to educating these young people, brought to the United States by their parents, who come to our universities to build for themselves and us a brighter future.”

A group of 28 Jesuit college and university leaders signed a separate statement issued Wednesday on undocumented students. In the statement the Jesuit college leaders pledge "to protect to the fullest extent of the law undocumented students on our campuses"; "to promote retention of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA)"; "to support and stand with our students, faculty and staff regardless of their faith traditions"; and "to preserve the religious freedoms on which our nation was founded."

Apart from the statements from the Catholic and Jesuit college presidents, a letter in support of DACA from leaders of all types of higher education institutions had been signed by more than 400 college presidents as of noon Eastern time on Wednesday.

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Amid Trump's comments, Castro's death, uncertain climate for U.S.-Cuba exchanges

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Trump’s comments on possibly undoing U.S.-Cuba “deal” in wake of Fidel Castro’s death cast uncertainty about future of educational exchanges with island nation, which have been on the rise.

Canadian Literary Figures Divide Over Ex-Professor

Canadian authors and academics are dividing over the case of Steven Galloway (right), an acclaimed novelist who was until last year a tenured professor and chair of the creative writing program at the University of British Columbia. The university announced his departure but has never detailed allegations against him. An open letter raising due process concerns about his case has attracted many literary luminaries in Canada. A counterletter criticized the original letter as focused on Galloway's concerns and not those of the woman who was rumored to have brought sex-assault allegations against him.

In the last week, new developments have renewed debate over the case. As The Globe and Mail reported, Galloway made his first comment about the case, releasing a statement through his lawyers stating that he had been investigated by the university -- and cleared of -- the charge of sexual assault. But the statement also acknowledged that Galloway had a two-year affair with a student, in violation of university rules. “Mr. Galloway profoundly regrets his conduct and wishes to apologize for the harm that it has caused,” the statement said.

Another article, however, featured an interview with a lawyer for the woman who brought the complaint (and who has not been named). That lawyer stressed that the allegations were not about a consensual affair, but about sexual harassment and sexual assault.

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Efforts to Defend Undocumented Students

An open letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump from higher education professionals -- faculty, staff and administrators -- calls for the continuation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, under which more than 700,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children have obtained temporary protection from deportation and two-year renewable work permits. Trump pledged to end the DACA program during the campaign, prompting anxiety and fears among students who benefited from the program and among higher educational professionals concerned for their students' futures.

“As higher education professionals, it is our livelihood to educate and cultivate the talent of students so that they can make significant contributions to our economy and society,” states the letter, which had garnered more than 500 signatures as of Tuesday evening. “It pains us to think of denying the possibility of employment and exposing to deportation some of the students who sit in our classrooms, who play on our sports teams, who lead our student governments and who are siblings, classmates, friends, co-workers, boyfriends/girlfriends to millions of U.S. citizens.”

The letter-writing effort is being organized by Herbert A. Medina, a professor of mathematics and associate dean at Loyola Marymount University.

Meanwhile, more than 200 college and university presidents have signed a separate statement calling for the continuation and expansion of the DACA program. As of Tuesday evening, 250 college presidents had signed the petition, which is being organized by Pomona College President David Oxtoby.

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International education a $20 billion industry for Australia

International education experts believe the country may benefit even more from political and economic changes in Britain and the United States.

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