international

Quebec Urged to Ban Students From Wearing Burkas

A leader of the Parti Québécois, which is the governing party in Quebec but has just started a tough re-election campaign, has proposed that college and university students be barred from wearing burkas, Maclean's reported. Bernard Drainville, the official who proposed the idea, is also behind the proposed "values charter" that would bar public employees (including those in higher education) from wearing any religious attire. In proposing the burka ban, he said he was concerned that students in burkas attend classes at a number of universities in the province.

 

Treasury Dept. Issues License on Exchange with Iran

The U.S. Department of Treasury on Thursday issued a general license allowing accredited U.S. universities to enter into academic exchange agreements with Iranian universities and permitting the export of some educational services, including university entrance examinations. The guidance also permits American universities and their contractors to enroll Iranian students in certain online undergraduate-level courses, including massive open online courses, or MOOCs. In January, Inside Higher Ed reported that the U.S. government had blocked access to the MOOC provider Coursera for individuals in Iran and other economically sanctioned nations.  

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Researchers in Switzerland lose out due to country's vote on immigration

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Universities in Switzerland have grown research reputations by recruiting top scholars worldwide, but country's recent anti-immigrant vote endangers financial support from Europe.

Student Deaths Lead to Debate on Hazing in Portugal

The drowning deaths of six students, apparently from hazing, have set off a debate at Portugal's universities, The New York Times reported. Hazing in Portugal is not associated with fraternities, but is a rite of passage for new students. Critics say that the recent deaths show that the traditions have gotten out of control, but many students support hazing and are rallying to preserve it.

 

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Kyoto U. Seeks Foreign Advice, Candidates for Next Chief

In an unusual move for Japan, and a first for one of Japan's national universities, Kyoto University will seek advice from some university presidents outside Japan on possible candidates to become the institution's next president, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported. The university will seek recommendations from the presidents of Harvard University, the University of Cambridge and other institutions. In the past, advice was sought only from within the country.

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MLA Council forwards controversial measure on Israel to membership for vote

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MLA Executive Council will send controversial resolution to full membership to decide, but opts not to send another resolution because of how it describes Lumina.

Report outlines attacks on universities and academics around the world

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From abduction and arbitrary arrest to assassination, report offers comprehensive picture of assaults on universities, their students and staff around the world.

In Britain, Minority Groups Have More Education Than Do Whites

New research from the University of Manchester has found that members of some minority groups in Britain are more likely than white people in the country to have postsecondary degrees, Times Higher Education reported. The study found that 43 percent of those with Chinese heritage had a degree, as did 42 percent of those with Indian backgrounds and 40 percent of those from black African groups. Only about a quarter of white British people have a degree.

 

A look at Columbia's 'Global Centers' model

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Columbia has created network of eight "Global Centers" to promote transnational teaching and research.

Report Calls for Greater Oversight of Optional Practical Training Program

A report released Friday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified a need for greater oversight of the optional practical training program (OPT), which allows international students to stay in the U.S. and work for between 12 to 29 months after completion of their programs. The report found that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, does not maintain complete records on which international students are actively working and whether they are working in their fields of study, as required by ICE regulations. A GAO analysis of more than 126,000 records of students participating in OPT found that 38 percent did not include an employer’s name. GAO also found that the records did not contain the dates on which students began working.

"Collecting and monitoring complete information on foreign students approved for OPT would better position ICE to determine whether these students are maintaining legal status in the United States," the report says.

The Homeland Security department concurred with all of the GAO's recommendations, which can be found on page 31 of the report.

 

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