The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s annual “Education at a Glance” report, an encyclopedic collection of education-related statistics across 46 countries, is being published today. The report includes statistics for the 34 countries that belong to the OECD -- whose membership is heavily tilted toward Western Europe and North America -- as well as for Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
Among the findings, the U.S. ranked fifth among the 34 OECD countries in terms of higher education attainment rates.
Unemployment rates for Americans varied according to level of education -- ranging from 3.7 percent for those who have completed higher education to 10.6 percent for those without a high school diploma. All rates were below the OECD averages -- a contrast to 2010, when the U.S. had above-average unemployment rates in all categories.
Adults in the U.S. with a higher education degree earn 76 percent more than their counterparts with just a high school diploma, a statistic that exceeds the average wage premium across OECD countries (60 percent) by a considerable amount. American students with master’s and doctoral degrees earn 143 percent more than their counterparts with just a high school diploma.
In terms of higher education characteristics, the report notes that American higher education has comparatively high rates of part-time study. The number of graduates from U.S. science and engineering programs lags OECD averages: for example, 17 percent of all bachelor’s degree recipients in the U.S. have studied science or engineering, compared to a 22 percent average across OECD countries.
The U.S. remains the leading destination for international students, hosting 19 percent of all international students in 2013.
DENVER -- The board of the Middle East Studies Association issued a statement on Monday condemning “the increasing frequency and intensity of violent acts against civilians taking place in countries around the world” and expressing alarm “at the related rise in the stereotyping and vilification of people of Middle East or Muslim background.”
"We urge, therefore, those with responsibility for United States policy in the Middle East and the Islamic world to avail themselves of the insights of scholarship as they seek to understand the background of these violent acts and to frame responses to them," the statement says.
The full statement, issued during the association’s annual business meeting, is available here. MESA members did not introduce any other new business at that meeting.
The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa was facing considerable criticism this weekend after The Ottawa Sun reported that the organization called off free yoga classes because of fear that yoga is a form of "cultural appropriation." An email from an official with the federation's center for students with disabilities to the yoga instructor who was told she was not needed this semester said that "yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced," and which cultures those practices "are being taken from." The email added that because those cultures "have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and Western supremacy … we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves while practicing yoga."
Two vice presidents of the federation, reached by Inside Higher Ed Sunday evening, said the issue of cultural appropriation was one of several factors at play in putting yoga "on hold" this semester, and that it could return next semester, after a review of all of the issues, including but not limited to cultural appropriation.
American University of Beirut announced Friday that it is restoring a tenure system for faculty members. The university suspended the use of tenure in 1985, at the height of the Lebanese Civil War, when Malcolm Kerr, president of AUB, was assassinated and many feared for the university's future. Tenure is being restored based on a vote of the Faculty Senate and of the university board. Faculty committees will now develop systems for tenure reviews -- both for new faculty members and those who have been working as faculty members at the university without tenure.
DENVER – Members of the American Anthropological Association voted in favor of a resolution calling on the group to boycott Israeli academic institutions by a 1,040 to 136 margin at the association’s annual business meeting on Friday evening. The resolution will be put to a vote by the full AAA membership in the spring.
Anthropologists at the business meeting also rejected an anti-boycott resolution by a 1,173 to 196 margin.
Proponents of the academic boycott see it as a way of protesting Israel’s occupation of territories obtained in the 1967 war and of standing up for the rights of Palestinians. Some anthropologists and many other academics oppose the boycott because they believe it will stigmatize Israeli scholars and damage the study of anthropology without likely having any effect on Israeli policy.
A motion calling on the AAA to divest from corporations that "profit from the violation of Palestinian human rights and the illegal occupation" also passed on Friday. But because that motion was introduced on the floor (as opposed to the two resolutions, which were submitted in advance), it will go to the association’s executive board for its consideration and will not automatically be placed on the spring ballot.
Inside Higher Ed will have more coverage of the association's vote soon.
The University of Cambridge has dropped a fund-raising video because many objected to its inclusions of David Starkey, a noted historian of Tudor England whose comments on modern society have been criticized as racist by many, The Telegraph reported. An open letter to the university said that including Starkey made many other alumni uncomfortable about being featured in the video or contributing to the fund-raising campaign. Cambridge officials said that they always planned to take down the video, but did so early because of concerns they were hearing. Starkey told the Telegraph: “I was asked to contribute by the university, which I love, and to which I owe a profound debt. In due course, the university will decide what is right, proper and expedient. I shall be happy to accept that decision."
Matthieu Giroud (right), a geographer who was associate professor at Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée, was among those killed in Friday night's terrorist attacks in Paris. His research focused on the social effects of gentrification. More details on his life and career may be found here.