Peking U. Criticized for Creating Elite Unit

Faculty members and students at Peking University are criticizing the creation of a new elite unit, which will offer a Rhodes Scholarship-style program for foreign students, The South China Morning Post reported. One student told the newspaper that those in the special program "will live on the school’s best plot of land, have the best teachers, they will have bright and spacious class and dorm rooms.... They will be the privileged elite and all the other Peking University students will be second-class citizens.”

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New Draft Guidance on Conditional Admissions

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is releasing draft policy guidance on conditional admissions policies clarifying that international students must meet all admissions standards for a given program – including English language proficiency requirements – in order for the university to issue an I-20, the legal document that students need to apply for visas. The draft guidance would mean that universities can't issue I-20s for a degree program in cases in which admission is conditional on successful completion of an English language program, but they can issue two separate I-20s, one for the English language program and one -- once a student meets the English language requirements – for the degree program.

The draft guidance on conditional admission, to be posted on the Study in the States website today, is the first installment of a second draft (the first draft, on conditional admission and pathway programs, came out in May 2013). Because of the complexity of the issue SEVP has opted to release this draft in multiple installments.

Plagiarism Questions on Nominee to be Korean Education Minister

Kim Myung-soo, a professor at Korea National University of Education and nominee for education minister of South Korea, is facing tough questions from legislators over plagiarism allegations, The Korea Herald reported. Kim is accused of plagiarizing papers he wrote that won him promotion to both associate and full professor and of having students write op-eds that appeared under his name, and of having students teach classes for him. Kim has denied wrongdoing and said that because the papers he is alleged to have plagiarized "contain information that is widely available," he doesn't "think that can be called plagiarism."

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The 29-year-old who is a force in reforming higher education in Ukraine

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A 29-year-old is playing a key role in reforming higher education.

Faculty use Internet-based technologies to create global learning opportunities

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As colleges look for low-cost ways to globalize the on-campus learning experience, there's increasing interest in using the Internet to connect with international classrooms. 

Addition to Blacklist? U.S. Scholar Turned Back in Beijing

An American professor turned back at the Beijing airport despite having a valid tourist visa said he believes he’s being punished for his support of Ilham Tohti, an ethnic Uighur and economics professor arrested earlier this year on charges of separatism, The New York Times reported. The U.S. Department of State and human rights organizations have denounced Tohti’s arrest. 

“The issue for me is not my being denied entry — I can certainly continue my research and academic work without going to China — but the attempt to pressure those who speak in support of Ilham to retreat into silence, or at least to isolate them,” Elliot Sperling, the professor who was turned back and a Tibetan history expert at Indiana University, told the newspaper.

The Times noted that China has a history of denying entry to scholars and journalists who have been critical of the Chinese government.  

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New research provides insight into the growing pool of international high school students in the U.S.

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A rapid growth in the number of international students seeking American high school diplomas creates new recruiting opportunities for colleges.

Conference considers internationalization of Ph.D. programs

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Internationalizing doctoral programs should mean more than recruiting students from other countries, say speakers at conference.

Universities in Iraq are caught in the conflict

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Once again universities in Iraq are caught in the middle of the conflict.

Troubled Italian University Loses U.S. Degree-Granting Authority

The New Hampshire Higher Education Commission voted unanimously on Monday to allow the degree-granting authority of a troubled for-profit Italian institution to expire at the end of the day. St. John International University had long been plagued by low enrollments and legal claims of unpaid wages filed by former employees, raising hard questions about the oversight role of the New Hampshire commission, and, more broadly, the practice of cross-border accreditation or authorization.

The New Hampshire commission had issued a May 14 letter to the university asking it to address seven specific points, including confirmation that the university is meeting payroll (as verified by an accounting firm), evidence that all former employee claims had been settled and paid in full and/or that sufficient funds are being held in reserve in an escrow account to pay outstanding claims, confirmation that no new claims had been made against the university and/or explanations of any claims, evidence of payment of all costs related to a New Hampshire commission site visit, and submission of a financial report and financial and enrollment projections.

“They provided a status report which nominally responded to those seven requests, and today at the commission meeting, we went over each of the seven and the consensus was that they were not responsive and therefore there was not a compelling case to extend their authority to offer degree programs,” said Edward R. MacKay, the director of the New Hampshire Division of Higher Education. MacKay said his interpretation of the regulations is that since the degree-granting authority was simply allowed to expire, the university does not have an avenue for appeal.

SJIU's board secretary and U.S.-based lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday evening.

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