Australian National U Will Cut Share of Students From China

Australian National University is trying to reduce its proportion of Chinese international students as part of a “diversification strategy” launched in 2015, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

More than 60 percent of the university’s new international undergraduates in fall 2016 are from China. The strategy seeks to increase enrollments from other countries including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.

An administrator at the university told the newspaper the main motivation is to create a more diverse student body. Anne Baly, the university’s international director, said that heavy reliance on students from a single country "in itself is not a great business model, but I think that the driver behind this is about diversity. It's not like we're moving away from recruiting students from China. They are overwhelmingly great students to have."

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Non-British Experts Told They Can't Advise on Brexit

The London School of Economics and Political Science said some of its professors have been told they can’t advise the Foreign Office on Britain's departure from the European Union because they are not British, the BBC reported.

The university said the leader of a project had been told that only holders of U.K. passports should participate in talks on national security and foreign trade.

The Foreign Office denied that anything had changed, saying it would “continue to take advice from the best and brightest minds, regardless of nationality.”

LSE issued the following statement on the matter: “We believe our academics, including non-U.K. nationals, have hugely valuable expertise, which will be vital in this time of uncertainty around the U.K.'s relationship with Europe and the rest of the world.

“Any changes to security measures are a matter for the U.K. government.”

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No More Foreign Students for College Where Former Chief Admitted to Visa Fraud

A California college where the former CEO pleaded guilty to visa fraud in 2015 will no longer be able to enroll international students, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement announced Thursday.

Herguan University is no longer able to issue the required immigration-related paperwork to new international students, but will retain access to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System until Jan. 11. Current international students at Herguan have until that date to seek transfer to another SEVP-certified institution, change their visa status or depart the United States.

An ICE official said that Herguan currently has about 240 international students, including almost 180 from India.

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U of Lethbridge Suspends Alleged Holocaust Denier

A university in Alberta, Canada, has suspended without pay a professor accused of denying the Holocaust following scrutiny of an anti-Semitic post made by a third party on his Facebook page, CBC reported. The University of Lethbridge has “reassigned” the classes of Anthony Hall, who says he is a victim of a smear campaign.

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European Universities 'Feeling the Heat' on Funding

The majority of university systems in Europe are under growing funding pressure, a new "Public Funding Observatory" report from the European University Association finds.

Public funding to universities declined in 13 systems across Europe between 2008 and 2015. Seven of those systems also saw an increase in the number of students over that time.

And while public funding increased for 11 higher education systems in Europe, in seven of those systems enrollments rose faster than public funding.

Norway and Sweden are, the report states, the two front runners, in that they increased public funding at a higher rate than student growth, while Poland and Portugal also have positive funding trends but from a relatively low base in terms of percentage of gross domestic product invested in education.

“This data proves that almost all of Europe's higher education systems are feeling the heat,” Thomas Estermann, EUA’s director of governance, funding and public policy development, said in a press release. “The Public Funding Observatory also demonstrates widening funding gaps between national systems, translating into a huge challenge to the creation of unified European Higher Education and Research Areas.”

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Ex-Students at Singapore Branch Campus Sue NYU

A lawsuit filed last month in federal court by former students at a shuttered New York University branch campus in Singapore alleges that the university defrauded them by falsely representing that its graduate arts campus in Asia was the academic equivalent of its Tisch School of the Arts in New York.

The complaint faults NYU for billing the two programs as identical when, the complaint alleges, “Tisch Asia was a subpar program in practically every aspect, from the quality of faculty, facilities and equipment to exclusion of Tisch Asia students from grants, competitions and networking opportunities available to students at Tisch New York.”

The complaint by the three former students claims that the only way Tisch Asia lived up to the New York campus was in the cost of tuition.

The complaint, filed Sept. 20 as a class action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, also accuses the university of falsely representing that “Tisch Asia would be a long-lasting program.” NYU announced plans to close its Singapore campus, opened in fall 2007, in fall 2012, citing at the time “significant financial challenges that have required increasingly unsustainable subsidies totaling millions of dollars per year.”

An NYU spokesman, John Beckman, responded to the lawsuit in a written statement. “The students at Tisch Asia had the same curriculum as Tisch uses in New York; many Tisch Asia courses were taught by New York-based faculty and all were taught by highly qualified faculty; students had excellent facilities and equipment; and, notably, graduates received a Tisch School of the Arts degree. It was a robust, graduate-level program in the arts, and artistically the school was a success, with a number of students winning prestigious student film awards. It did not work financially and operated at a steep deficit precisely because NYU was providing the students with an excellent education that cost more than tuition dollars brought in. And even after the unsustainability of the finances became clear, NYU continued to honor its commitment to the students it had admitted by keeping the school open until each and every one had had a chance to graduate. This suit is wholly without merit, and we expect to prevail in court.”

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Two universities in Belgium join forces for English-language bachelor's program


Two Belgian universities join forces to offer unusual undergraduate program for internationally minded students.

U.K. Proposes Tiered Visa Plan for Foreign Students

The U.K. cabinet secretary in charge of immigration on Tuesday proposed a two-tiered system for international student visas, The Guardian reported. Amber Rudd raised the possibility of a visa system with differential rules depending on the quality of a student's university or program as part of a speech on reducing immigration levels.

“I’m passionately committed to making sure our world-leading institutions can attract the brightest and the best. But a student immigration system that treats every student and university as equal only punishes those we should want to help. So our consultation will ask what more can we do to support our best universities -- and those that stick to the rules -- to attract the best talent … while looking at tougher rules for students on lower-quality courses," Rudd said.

The co-chair of an all-party parliamentary group on international students and a member of the opposing Labour Party, Paul Blomfield, blasted Rudd’s proposals as “spectacularly ill informed” and “an act of madness.” Describing education as one of the U.K.'s “most successful export industries,” Blomfield said, “The only people cheering today’s announcement will be our competitors.”

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Plea to Save Academic Year in South Africa

The vice chancellor and principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, on Monday issued an unusual plea for help to “save the 2016 academic year.”

Academic operations at the South African university are due to resume today for the first time since Sept. 20 as protests, some of which have turned violent, calling for free higher education have shut down campuses across the country.

Adam Habib, the vice chancellor, wrote in a message that the university would reopen for academic classes today with “a full security contingent” in place.

“I need every staff member and every student to help me take back our campus as the academic program opens tomorrow,” Habib wrote Monday. “It is not ideal to attend classes with police at the doors of learning, but I am left with no choice.”

“If we do not get this right tomorrow, we have no choice but to close the university, which will compromise the 2016 academic program and the lives of all 37,000 students. It means that all students will have to move out of residences before the end of the week,” Habib wrote. A poll conducted by the university last week found that 77 percent of students favor the resumption of classes.

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Helping international students deal with work authorization problems (essay)


Alfreda James describes the challenges of dealing with the questions and behaviors of a generation without a legal or welcoming home.

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