international

International Enrollment 'Potentially Volatile' Revenue Stream

International enrollment is an uncertain revenue stream for U.S. colleges and universities as Donald Trump prepares to take over as president of the United States, according to a report Moody’s Investors Service released last week.

Between 8 percent and 10 percent of total net tuition revenue in the United States comes from international students, the report estimated. International students only make up about 5 percent of U.S. higher education enrollment, but they pay more in tuition than domestic students.

Immigration proposals like those Trump has discussed, including proposals affecting employees with H-1B visas, could change international student demand significantly by hurting their postcollege job prospects in the U.S., Moody’s said. Universities that recently entered the international student market and those with less well-known brands globally would be most affected.

“In a climate where domestic students are extremely price sensitive and tuition increases have become a political hot topic, growth in international students provides a financial buffer against constrained tuition revenue growth,” the report said. “However, policy shifts can quickly change the landscape for international student demand, making this a potentially volatile revenue stream.”

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Protesting AU Cairo Students Call for Tuition Cap

Protesting students at the American University of Cairo are calling for a cap on tuition amid concerns that a devaluation of the Egyptian pound against the U.S. dollar could send their fees skyrocketing, The New York Times reported. The Times observed that the protests at AUC reflect the extent of Egypt’s economic crisis and its impact on even the country’s elite: “When the economic crisis hits the elite, it means the suffering is all over the place,” Malak Rostom, the vice president of the student union, is quoted as saying. “If we can’t afford it, we can tell how much other people are suffering.”

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Possible Plans for Immigrant Registry Under Trump

One of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s reported advisers on immigration policy told Reuters that the group of advisers of which he is a part could recommend the reinstatement of a national registry for immigrants and visitors entering the U.S. from countries where extremist organizations are active. (Note: The headline for this article has been updated to clarify that the comments about the registry did not refer specifically to any religious group.)

The adviser, Kris Kobach, helped design the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, introduced after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, under which visitors and immigrants from designated “higher risk” countries were interrogated and fingerprinted at ports of entry. The system, which also required some noncitizen male residents over the age of 16 to register at government offices, was scrapped in 2011 after the Department of Homeland Security deemed it redundant and amid criticisms from civil rights groups that it unfairly targeted immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.

Kobach, currently the Kansas secretary of state, also told Reuters the immigration advisory team has been discussing ways to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, under which more than 700,000 immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children -- many of them college students -- have registered with the federal government in exchange for temporary relief from deportation and the right to work in the U.S. legally. Trump has vowed to end DACA, which President Obama authorized through executive action.

The Trump transition team did not respond to Reuters’ request to confirm Kobach’s role, but he has been mentioned in media reports as a member of the transition team. Politico has reported that Kobach is rumored to be a possible pick for Trump's attorney general.

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Trump and Chief Strategist Pick Bannon Disagreed on Foreign Student Policy

A Washington Post article about how President-elect Donald J. Trump’s pick for chief strategist, former Breitbart News head Stephen K. Bannon, “flattered and coaxed Trump on policies key to the alt-right” -- a far-right ideology associated with white nationalism -- reports that the two men rarely disagreed during a series of conversations on Bannon’s radio show. But one area where they did disagree had to do with immigration policies as they relate to international students -- and Trump's view that students who graduate from top American universities should be allowed to stay in the country.

The following is the Post’s account of the on-air exchange between Bannon and Trump from last November.

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International Co-Authorship Increasing

The number of scientific papers with authors from more than one country increased by 16 percent between 2012 and 2015, according to data from the Nature Index, which tracks national and institutional author affiliations across 68 natural science journals. The number of papers with co-authors from more than one country increased from 21,460 in 2012 to 24,951 in 2015, with the growth in international collaborations being especially strong in the life sciences.

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Poland Probes Princeton Professor's Holocaust Claims

Poland’s right-wing government has extended an investigation into a Princeton University-based Holocaust scholar who made the controversial claim that Poles killed more Jews than Germans during World War II, the Associated Press reported.

Polish prosecutors are investigating whether Jan Tomasz Gross publicly insulted Poland, a crime punishable by up to three years in prison. A prosecutor recently ordered the extension of the investigation into Gross, a Polish-American, until April, overruling a lower-ranked prosecutor who recommended that the case be dropped.

A Jewish human rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, described the investigation into Gross as “alarming,” saying it “bears all the hallmarks of a political witch hunt.”

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Egypt Bans Papers That Insult 'Friendly' Countries

Egypt’s minister of higher education recently directed private universities to review all research papers and dissertations to make sure they do not include “direct or indirect insult to societies or individuals belonging to any brotherly or friendly countries,” the Cairo-based Mada Masr reported.

In the directive published Oct. 15, the minister of higher education, Ashraf al-Shihy, wrote, “I hope that this obligation will include every stage of preparing the thesis, from the study and the research at its inception, ending with its declaration and official publishing approval.” Mada Masr reported that a spokesman for the minister and the head of the country's Council of Private Universities were not available for comment.

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ACT Moves Testing in South Korea to Single Site

ACT is closing all of its 32 existing test centers in South Korea for the remainder of the academic year and shifting all testing in the country to a single site to be monitored directly by ACT staff from the U.S. in response to what the nonprofit college entrance test provider described as “repeated test material breaches” in the country.

“We can no longer continue to let the criminal actions of a few unscrupulous individuals undermine the efforts of hardworking, honest students,” Suzana Delanghe, ACT’s chief commercial officer, said in a statement. “Moving to a single testing venue directly monitored by ACT staff members will allow ACT to have greater oversight on the testing process, improving test security and fairness.”

The December administration of the ACT in South Korea will be at the Grand Hilton Hotel in Seoul. ACT said locations for test dates in 2017 will be announced by Jan. 31.

ACT canceled its June administration of the ACT at 56 test centers in South Korea and Hong Kong due to what it called a “verified” report that some people had obtained test materials prior to the test.

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Assailant, Motive Sought in Killing of Saudi Student

The University of Wisconsin Stout announced a $15,000 reward, funded by private donations and the university foundation, for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the fatal beating of a student from Saudi Arabia. The Council for American-Islamic Relations has pledged another $5,000 reward.

Hussain Saeed Alnahdi (at right), a junior from Saudi Arabia majoring in business administration, died Monday from injuries he sustained in an assault that occurred shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday near a pizza restaurant in downtown Menomonie, Wis., according to a statement from the university. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the police chief for the city of Menomonie said in a Wednesday press conference that authorities have not identified a suspect or motive for the assault, but have not ruled out the possibility it was a hate crime.

About 1,000 people attended a memorial service for Alnahdi at the university Thursday evening.

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Situation Facing Turkish Universities Called 'Dire'

The European University Association on Monday issued a statement stating its support for Turkish higher education following on what it described as “further infringements on university autonomy and academic freedom” reflected in new decrees holding that university rectors will no longer be elected by academics, but rather appointed by Turkey’s president from a group of three candidates proposed by the country’s Council of Higher Education.

The association also noted with concern the news that another 1,267 academics have been dismissed from their positions.

Both developments are outlined in an article Sunday in the Hurriyet Daily News, which states that the dismissals were justified by the government on the grounds that the individuals affected were affiliated with terrorist organizations or groups.

Since a failed coup attempt in July, Turkey has ordered the closure of 15 private universities, forced the resignation of all of the country’s 1,577 university deans -- many of whom have since been restored to their positions, according to information learned by the EUA -- and dismissed thousands of academic staff. Some have been detained.

“It is not our role to get involved in political issues,” Rolf Tarrach, the association’s president, said, “but it is our role to understand and discuss their consequences for the universities, and we are afraid that they are very dire.”

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